This sounds contrary. I love to be warm. My hands and feet easily get cold so to immerse myself under cold water each morning sounds like the very worst thing to do. The idea came from a TV programme, The Doctor who Gave Up Drugs. If you are in the UK, I would recommend watching it in the next week or so before it disappears from iPlayer. I'm a bit of a pill popper, headaches, migraines, hormonal aches and pains etc. I'm no stranger to an analgesic so this programme was an interesting watch. One of the treatments Dr Chris Van Tulleken recommended do a woman suffering from long term depression was cold water swimming and in a round about way, that's what lead me to cold showers. The cold seems to shock the body, make the blood pump faster and wake you up. I struggle with darker mornings, even in early autumn. I have a sunrise clock which definitely helps and the cold shower is helping too but more importantly it is preventing an early morning fuzz that I often wake up with and can quickly become a bad headache. It's quick: straight from the bed, under the shower, and our shower is basic and above our bath so it's not the most salubrious of surroundings. I have the water on warm just to ease myself in and then I turn both controls to cold and stand with my back to it. Many of my migraines are to do with blood vessels constricting in my neck so standing with the cold water hitting my neck and upper back seems to help. It takes my breath away every time, I often exclaim out loud. My arms stay by my sides and I rotate slightly from side to side. It's brief but it is exhilarating. Before I know it, my towel is wrapped firmly round me, my head is clear and my body is buzzing.
I feel like I am very late to the party on this one but I love it even if I'm only a recent convert. I usually have toast and porridge in the morning. Whilst I like the taste of porridge, it is a bit of a faff to cook, even in a microwave and the washing up a pain (we don't have a dishwasher). Overnight oats seem to be be firmly associated with Slimming World and lots of recipes emanate from them. I keep it simple and use a Bonne Maman jam jar.
- ⅓ cup of oats
- ⅓ cup of milk of your choice (I use sweetened soya)
Swish around to mix and top with frozen raspberries- as many as you fancy.
Add the lid, then leave overnight, not in the fridge as soya milk doesn't go sour like dairy and I don't like it very cold in the morning.
The next day you eat it as it is or add some yogurt (dairy or non) to the top. There are endless variations on this theme if you Google for recipes. It's so easy and fast, minimal mess and a great way to eat fruit in the morning, plus if you have to travel early in the morning , it's easy to pack and eat on a train.
3. 'Prep like a Boss'
This came about from watching The Body Coach programme in the summer and it just struck me as a common sense way for us all to eat more veggies. The premise is simple: buy some plastic storage (I use takeaway style boxes) and regularly put aside time each week to cut and prepare some raw veg snacks. This is the limit of my prepping and it's often combined with when I'm cutting up veg for an evening meal. We have carrot sticks in one box, pepper slices in another, radish in a third and keep them topped up during the week. It means that all three of us consume a lot more veggies at lunch time whether it's packed lunch or at home. I know the nutritional content is reduced from being cut up the day before but the reality is if these veggies aren't cut and ready to dive into at the time of eating or leaving for work, it's not going to happen. As a result of eating more raw veggies at lunch time, we're all eating less sugary snacks at lunch times. I haven't cut sugar out or anything like that - I like cakes, biscuits and chocolate too much but a eating a stack of carrots and peppers keeps me from adding three biscuits to my lunchtime coffee more often than not.
We all do this in some way and the older I get, the more I feel the need to more colour. A cheap bunch of flowers- the Asters below have been going for two weeks and I think they'll do a few more days. I never used to buy cut flowers, I saw it as a waste of money but now I find that burst of intense colour is money well spent.
And buy Hygge or cosiness I mean snuggle up, you and your family, animals, gentle lighting, quilts and blankets, drinks, food. Play a game, watch Bake Off, X-Factor, Strictly or whatever you can watch and enjoy together. Hygge is taking over the bookshelves as the Danish art of cosiness has gone mainstream and the publishers have got their lifestyle books (mainly photos of Scandinavian houses and how to tie twine around a tea-light) on point of sale. It's not rocket science and it's what people have always done: huddled together as the lights get low and snuggle up. My daughter found a cookbook with a wonderful array of biscuits and cakes for such an occasion, Fika & Hygge by Brontë Aurell of Scandi Kitchen. It's beautifully written and photographed and the recipes are sublime. Much of this inspiration comes from Sju Sorters Kakor, Swedish Cakes and Cookies which is the Swedish equivalent of the UK Bero cookbook- every house has a copy or multiple copies. I found a copy of Swedish Cakes and Cookies on eBay for under £3 and it's amazing. So many recipes and photos. Maybe the raw veggie eating offsets the sweet snacks from these books ;)
So those are the things I've been enjoying whilst I put my sandals away and get the quilts out. What are your recommendations for seasonal change?