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Alternative Ways to Detox Away Those Winter Blues

Alternative Ways to Detox Away Those Winter Blues

Snow days, hot apple cider and cozy fireplaces are all things we love and cherish during the colder months. But as the days get shorter and the temperature keeps dropping, the winter blues can slowly pull you under and cover you up like a blizzard.

This past January, Toronto received just a little under 50 hours of sunlight, total. The winter blues isn't just a turn of phrase. Clinically, Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD for an ironic abbreviation) is a state of depression that seeps in during the colder, less Vitamin D rich seasons and is very much a real thing.

Cleanses aren't the only way to detox your mind and body. Sometimes it takes an alternative approach to combat those winter blues. Here are our favourite alternative ways to detox.

Spiced Almond Beet Latte

Sweet and colourful, cleansing and soothing, this recipe from Mind Body Green is a new home-go to for those especially cold winter days. With the star flavour, Beets, this latte is a natural detoxifier, immune booster and stamina supporter rich in Vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, phytonutrients and betaine. Not to mention, it’s also ultra Instagram worthy.

Recipe

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, plus ½ cup extra for foaming
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 medium beet, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beet in foil and roast for about 30 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces it (you can do this ahead of time).

In a blender add all ingredients, except the extra ½ cup almond milk, and blend until smooth.

In a small pot, heat up blended beet ingredients until boiling. Then pass through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Set aside.

Add remaining almond milk into a glass or cup and foam with preferred method of foaming. You can use a handheld foamer, a cappuccino machine, or even just give it a whiz in a high-powered blender. 

Pour blended beet ingredients into two glasses or mugs, top with foamed milk, and sprinkle extra ground ginger or cinnamon! Enjoy!

 

Reset your Chakra

Ah, the powers of yoga. We each have our own personal relationship with yoga. From ashtanga to hatha to pilates to meditation, yoga's healing and wellness benefits are a wonderful source of mental detoxification and therapy. The winter blues can put us out of sorts. Our body isn’t aligning

The winter blues can put us out of sorts. Our body isn’t aligning like it should be with our mind and spirit. Yin Yoga is a traditional form of yoga that focuses on carefully crafted poses that are held for longer periods of time to allow the body to stretch and release. Yin Yoga is an excellent form of mental and body therapy.

Chakra’s are points in our body in which our energy flows through. Working through this routine will help collect the mind and clear your energy to help get out of that cold snap.

 

Learn a New Skill

Trying something new, taking a workshop or signing up for a part-time course will help keep your brain curious, bright and challenged. It will also help you get out of the house. Here in Toronto there are hundreds of spots to pick up a new skill or try your hand at that thing you’ve always wanted to learn. A few we recommend: 

Here in Toronto there are hundreds of spots to pick up a new skill or try your hand at that thing you’ve always wanted to learn. A few we recommend: 

Ladies Learning Code & Camp Tech: dozens of digital workshops and courses ranging from coding to blogging to digital analysis. 

Purple Purl: A Not just a knitting supplies shop. The local Leslieville spot hosts weekly knitting workshops and meetings to help nurture and support all your knitting needs.

Playing With Fire: learn the art of glass blowing.

Bike Pirates: learn to build your own bike from scratch for those upcoming sunny days.

The Toronto Institute For The Enjoyment Of Music: learn to play the banjo, ukulele, bass, cello or any other musical instrument.

 

When In Doubt, Travel

Belmonte Raw - Bhutan - Detox

Throughout most Belmonte Raw’s recipes you’ll find that travel and global flavours are a huge inspiration. Our owner, Carol Belmonte, has lived all over Asia and Europe and since her move back to Toronto has taken every chance she can to return for cultural and spiritual visits. 

Recently, Carol travelled to Bhutan. Surrounded by India on the southern border and China on the northern, Bhutan is a mainly Buddhists country with abundant hiking trails and spots for meditation.

Of her recent journey, Carol had to say:

“I’ve travelled a good chunk of Asia and recently I was able to visit Bhutan for the first time. It’s a bit tougher to get into, so not a lot of people go. Bhutan's entire philosophy is focused on gross national happiness. Instead of measuring the success of their country on imports and exports, they do it on how happy their people are. And because of this there is a calmness, a peaceful aura that surrounds you while you're there. Because of where Bhutan is located, they weren’t really invaded and so they were able to keep their Buddhists philosophy throughout the years pure and whole. It’s such a beautiful country."

 

What are your favourite ways to fight the Winter Blues? Do you prefer to get out, seize the day with new acctivities, leave and explore the world or detox in your own space at home?

Recipe: Walnut Turmeric Milk

Recipe: Walnut Turmeric Milk

There is a reason it feels like everyone has gone nutty for nut milk. It makes for an excellent dairy alternative to traditional milk, it offers similar, if not more, nutritional properties and it has been deemed, arguably, healthier for the human digestive system. Nut milk, especially raw or DIY recipes, are typically high in calcium, vitamin D, healthy fats such as omega-3 and are low in carbs, sugar, saturated fats and most important they are DE-LICIOUS!

We’re on the nut train like you. At home, we’ve got nut milk in the fridge (sometimes store bought, sometimes DIY) and are obsessed with scanning Pinterest for new and inventive recipes to try out. A personal shop favourite has become this Walnut Turmeric Milk. 

For this recipe, we found that the Walnut base, which is naturally high in antioxidants and Vitamine E, shines extra bright when mixed with the raw power of Turmeric. 

Turmeric, a root herb from the ginger family, has firm roots in Asian and Middle Eastern medicine and cuisine. Used traditionally to soothe colds, upset stomachs or in savoury cooking, the striking yellow herb has recently become popular in Western culture due to its holistic properties. 

When we combine the creaminess of walnut milk with the bite of turmeric and cinnamon, this power beverage is a force to be reckoned with.

What you will need:
1 Medium sized bowl
1 High-powered blender
1 Nut milk bag or cheese cloth

1 Cup raw walnuts
3 Tbsp turmeric
1 Tsp ground cinnamon
2 Pitted majool dates
3 Cups of water

 

Turmeric Walnut Milk - Belmonte Raw

 

Instructions

  1. Put one cup of raw walnuts in a bowl and fill with water until the nuts are completely submerged. The nuts need to soak a minimum of 6 hours or preferably overnight in either the refrigerator or at room temperature. 

Nutritional Note: We soak nuts before blending them into their milk form for two reasons.

1. To soften them up for a creamier beverage.

2. For the germination process. The germination process happens when we soak nuts in water. The nuts release inhibitory enzymes that will open the particles of the nuts and change their energetic properties. This allows for the nuts to become easier to digest and end up becoming more nutritious.

  1. Strain the nuts after they have soaked for a minimum of 6 hours. We do not want to reuse this water as it contains the negative enzymes.
  2. In a blender, mix 1 cup of the soaked walnuts with 3-4 cups fresh water. We suggest starting with 3 cups and if you’d like the milk to be thinner adding another cup of water in afterwards.
  3. Add the cinnamon, turmeric, and pitted dates.
  4. Blend on high until thoroughly blended.
  5. Over a bowl, pour the mixture into a nut bag and allow for the liquid to drain into the bowl. Near the end, you may want to squeeze any excess liquid out from the solids left behind.
  6. Serve cold or hot, with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!