Does your body struggle once winter sets in? From the constant changes in weather, to yet another flu outbreak, it can be hard to get off the couch and look after yourself properly – you might find yourself wishing you could hibernate until the sun comes back. But fear not! I’ve got some fantastic products that will keep you feeling energetic and ready to face the world, no matter what the weather report says.
Winter health from the inside…
When the cold rolls in, it’s tempting to wrap yourself in blankets, gorge on carbs, and refuse to leave the house. But it doesn’t have to be like that! A healthy alternative is to make friends with grains. I’ve been experimenting with Greenwheat Wholegrain Freekeh* (pronounced free-ka) recently, and it’s been a small revelation not having to reach for rice or pasta every night. All you need is a simple dressing (olive oil, red vinegar, mustard, honey & lemon juice), and you’ve got a great base for a meal. The cooked texture is thick and chewy, with a smoky, nutty flavour. And the benefits? It’s low carb, low GI and high in fibre – it has twice as much fibre as quinoa and three times as much fibre as brown rice. So fingers crossed it helps us emerge on the other side without too much extra round the middle!
And of course, cold weather = tea! And there’s something about chai that makes me feel particularly cosy, so I’ve been enjoying my box of Ovvio Organics Dandelion Chai Spice Tea. Tea is wonderful for fighting off cravings, and the dandelion root in this blend is proven to stimulate digestion and aid in the detoxification process. It also uses clove, cinnamon and cardamon, all of which are used to fight the common cold and prevent flatulence (*insert childish giggle*). You can drink it on its own, or with milk and/or honey, depending on your personal preference – either way, it tastes divine!
Winter health from the outside…
Flu season is here! While we all know that washing our hands is the easiest ways to ward off germs, there isn’t always a tap within reach. Which is why it’s handy to keep a bottle of Aqium Hand Sanitiser nearby – whether it’s on your desk at work or travelling with you on public transport. Simply squeeze a small amount into your palm, spread and rub as you would normal soap, and then allow to air dry. Too easy! The hospital grade formula is an effective antimicrobial agent, killing 99.99% of germs. And while it uses alcohol to achieve this, the addition of glycerin and pro-vitamin B5 means that it doesn’t dry out the hands, instead leaving them soft, refreshed and clean.
Even if you manage to avoid the flu this year, there’s always the common cold. And if you’re prone to cold sores, you’ve probably noticed that they often flare up when you catch a cold. Dr Kerryn Greive, Scientific Affairs Manager at Ego Pharmaceuticals, says that “a cold sore is called a cold sore because they often occur when a person has a cold… our immune defences are down and it is the perfect opportunity for the cold sore virus to cause an outbreak”. Which is why she helped develop ViraproX*, a triple action lip balm that moisturises, protects and relieves the discomfort of cold sores. You can use it as a preventative measure at any time, to keep your lips hydrated and protected from harmful UV rays, and as a treatment during a break out. The formula is thick and opaque, and my best description of the flavour would be “medicated peppermint” – it’s not great, but it’s not the worst!
While I don’t suffer from cold sores, one thing that does get worse for me in winter is my dermatitis. And from talking to friends, I know plenty of people with mild skin conditions find that they do flare up in the cold. So if you suffer eczema, psoriasis, or any other form of dermatitis, I recommend asking your local pharmacist for a tube of DermAid. This has been an absolute lifesaver for me, I can’t even tell you how many tubes I’ve gone through since first discovering it. It’s a topical hydrocortisone cream (available in 0.5% or 1% strength) that provides medicated relief for skin irritations. The formula is gentle enough for sensitive skin, yet strong enough that I normally notice an improvement after just one use.
There you go – winter health made easy!
What are your go-to products to stay healthy during the colder months?