Winter Wellness & Seasonal Self-Care

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The winter months are a crucial time to focus on self-care and wellness, as we are experiencing shorter, darker, and colder days—as well as a tendency toward lowered immunity. As we move past the initial New Year’s boost and roll into the end of February—a time where spring is just at our fingertips—it is imperative to continue to practice regular self-care to maintain our health through this final push of winter.

At Golden Roots we like to think of wellness from a whole body perspective. This means that we focus on consuming nutritious and warming foods, maintaining regular physical activity, and finding personal practices that help to restore and bring joy!

Golden Roots Kitchen is dedicated to crafting seasonal offerings that support our clients’ nourishment and overall wellness. Our weekly vegetable-based soup offerings are wholesome and hearty, and are great for adding warmth to your digestive system. We also offer detoxifying bone broths, that serve as a powerhouse of nutritional support. Bones are a key dietary source of collagen, a nutrient you may want to incorporate more of into your diet, as it’s known for supporting the skin to feel more smooth and supple—something many people struggle with during the cold and dry winter months.

Incorporating warming ingredients and spices into your meals and beverages is another great way to add extra warmth and winter wellness support. Cinnamon, clove, turmeric, and cardamom are a few warming spices that activate blood flow, as well as provide additional immune support. Ginger and garlic are also strong immunity boosters, and are anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial in nature.

For example, incorporating a warmed beverage into your daily routine, like our Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric & Ginger Lemonade, can provide a perfect wellness pick-me-up—a dose of seasonal citrus for a boost of vitamin C, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich turmeric, and digestive-aid ginger all pack a punch! You’ll find similar benefits in this week’s Chai Spiced Almond Milk Latte, or give our Chicken Shiitake Soup with Golden Bone Broth & Toasted Garlic a try—for an umami-packed, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting bowl of goodness!

Listed below are some of our recommendations for additional winter wellness boosts:

  • Vitamin D

    • an essential nutrient to support strong bones and a healthy immune system; produced by the body through exposure to sunlight—which can be challenging during the darker winter months

    • incorporate foods that are naturally vitamin D rich, such as salmon, cod liver oil, fresh eggs, and mushrooms

  • Immune supporting herbs

    • Echinacea - a group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family; has a long history of use for activating and stimulating immune function to prevent and/or treat cold and flu symptoms

      • try this powerful herb in a warming tea form, or as a tincture on the go

    • Elder - rich in antioxidants and a delicious way to get your immune system humming; elderberries are able to block the receptor sites that viruses use to enter the cells;  elderflowers act as a natural antihistamine—helping to relieve symptoms of cold, flu, and allergies

      • try an elderberry syrup or tincture at the onset of a cold, to soothe symptoms of the common cold, flu, and/or sore throat

Beyond diet, practicing self-care in all its other forms is equally important. Finding an exercise or movement practice that feels both invigorating and restorative during the harsh winter months can help us in our endeavors to stay healthy, maintain balance, and reduce our “winter blues.” If your routine takes you outside, try to stay bundled, all while still allowing for some much-needed vitamin D sun exposure. If you’d prefer to avoid the cold altogether, try going to a yoga or Qigong class—both allow for gentle movement while helping to decrease stress and increase immune function.

More than anything, find those simple, daily practices that nurture and light you up—this could be taking a hot bath, enjoying some down time with friends and family, spending time out in nature, or even reading a good book! This is the key to sustained wellness over time—and as always, please let us know how we can continue to support you on your respective journeys.

Wishing you wellness, always,

Dena & Mary

Dena Zlotziver, M.Ed., is a teacher, writer, and member of the kitchen staff at Golden Roots Kitchen.

Mary Smith has her Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition and Food Science, and serves as GRK’s in-house nutrition expert.


Melanie Geist