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.
- 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
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:
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
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?