The Winter Project: Week 6

Monday, January 06, 2014

Happy New Year! 

Did you make any resolutions for 2014? I am all about simplifying my life by getting our home organized this year. We have closets to purge, digital photos to sort, and all things in between. When my home is neat, my brain feels it too.

How about last week’s challenge- did you find a little more movement? Start anything new?

the winter project

Welcome to week 6 of The Winter Project!
(What is The Winter Project?)

Welcome to January!

This month's theme for the Winter Project is “Surviving the cold with warmth and comfort”.

To begin experiencing “warmth and comfort” in this time of mid-winter, it is important to do your best to support your physical health. Physical health and mental health are tightly connected and, for me, feeling rested, well-fed, and worked out makes all the difference in the world for my happiness.

We are back to our normal routine as of today. The kids are back to school and I have no more excuses for eating pie for breakfast! After the winter holidays, I always crave sugar and comfort foods more than I want to admit and I feel like I need to go into “detox mode” to reboot my system.

Challenge for the week: Ease some healthy foods back into your life. Start each day with a healthy breakfast (maybe a smoothie with a handful of spinach or plain oatmeal doctored up with fresh fruit and nuts). Try planning your meals for the week (at least for dinner), drop the sugary treats, brown-bag nutritious leftovers for lunch, and work on staying hydrated.

This is a good time to take another look at basic needs and make changes where there are struggles. I need to work on getting to bed at a decent hour and easing the sugary treats out of my evenings. I find that adding healthy foods back into my meals helps me to ease out the junk.


It doesn’t take much to convince me to wimp out on cooking dinner in favor of take-out at the end of a long day, though. Planning quick and easy (but healthy) meals helps to keep me on track.

My plan: I am not planning a “cleanse” or other common January detox diet. Instead, I have planned a week of healthy meals and will put a little extra time into cooking so that we have healthy, homemade foods. Eating and serving my family real food is intensely important to me so the extra time investment is worth it. This may not work for you- find what does. Whatever feels good to you is perfect.

Some ideas for making healthy food fast:
  • Make a large pot of soup for dinner one night. Pour leftovers into individual serving containers like these (affiliate link) for grab-and-go lunches or dinners.
  • Double recipes that can be frozen and put an extra pan in the freezer for another day (e.g. lasagna, pizza dough, enchiladas, casseroles, etc.)
  • Use the same ingredients in multiple meals (e.g. tacos become taco salad or enchiladas; butternut squash can be roasted as a side dish, stuffed as a main dish, or pureed into a sauce; leftover roasted veggies make great tofu scrambles, frittatas, or can be used as pizza toppings).
  • Make extras when cooking lentils, beans, rice, sweet potatoes, etc. These things can be put together for quick and easy salads or rice bowls.
  • Double crockpot recipes and place extra portions in freezer bags. This makes for quick crockpot meals from the freezer.
I will also be putting some extra focus on getting more sleep and staying hydrated. In spite of the spring-like weather in California, I still don’t feel like drinking cold beverages.

dog and nespresso coffee

Warm ways to hydrate:
  • Green, white, rooibos, or herbal tea (maybe one of these homemade versions).
  • Ginger tea (pour boiling water over grated or sliced fresh ginger. Let steep for 10 minutes or so then strain and drink. You can add honey or other sweetener or lemon juice to taste.)
  • Homemade broth (try the Magic Mineral Broth) or clear soup. 
  • Hot water with lemon and honey (or sweetener of choice), add a dash of cayenne for extra warmth.
  • Homemade detoxifying mint tea (recipe here).
  • Raw hot chocolate (this is natural but does have a high sugar content from the dates. Use sparingly as a treat! Recipe here.)
  • Turmeric tea (bonus points for this one as the turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory! Recipe here.)
  • Warm almond milk steeped with chai spices (use your favorite milk).
Remember, happiness is cumulative! Find what works for you to nurture your physical health and know that whatever feels right to you is just perfect. xo

As we move through this project, I would love to hear about your survival skills, struggles, and success in the comments or by email (you can reach me at!

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to receive free Get Natured updates so you can be included in The Winter Project. The weather outside doesn’t have to be frightful! xoxo

Other ways to follow along:

*Important note: I am not a licensed mental health professional. This advice is not intended to take the place of therapy or medications. Please seek professional care if you are suffering from depression or anxiety symptoms.

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