I recently hit 50,000 views and as a huge thank you from me to you I have a special treat in store. Jenna Zoe one of my oldest friends who previously did a fabulous post on nutrition here has agreed to do regular guest posts on SLSStyle.
In this interview Jenna is tackling tricks, tips and remedies that can ease you through the colder months.
1. What products do you use to keep your skin looking good in winter?
I swear by a brand called Live Native since I came across them about a year ago. They are a raw organic skincare brand that make simple, natural products that are really gentle on my skin. My skin always used to play up and I used to feel like I was playing product roulette, constantly looking for something better. Live Native has given me my best skin since I was 16, so I've stuck to it. I use their oil-based cleanser and serums, which hydrate my skin so much I don't feel like I need moisturiser every day.
Visit Live Native here.
2. Do you change your diet and exercise routine in winter?
In the winter I try to stick to the same eating principles that I do for the rest of the year, but that being said we find ourselves craving heartier foods in winter and I'm not immune to that either. The key to dealing with cravings is to listen out for what they're actually telling us - in this case they're trying to tell us to eat slightly more, since we burn more calories in colder weather. The key to eating in winter is to really amp up your consumption of good quality carbohydrates, namely fruits and vegetables. When you are getting enough healthy carbs, you will see your cravings for 'quick carbs' like sweets and calorie-sense foods like cheese and fats, diminish.
Thats not to say you cant give in to these cravings though; My strategy for winter is to feast on fruits and smoothies all morning, have a big salad for lunch, healthy snack in the afternoon, and then I give myself a little leighway at dinner time. The timing of our treats is very important - having these kinds of foods last really makes a difference because that way, they don't block other foods from being digested.
Eat the simpler, healthier foods first, and I promise you will see a difference in weight management, cravings and energy levels. And it's likely your stomach will be flatter too!
Jenna's mango & cilantro smoothie
3. What's your favourite hot drink to keep you feeling warm?
I am the wrong person to be answering this question because I drink iced tea even in the middle of winter! To keep warm I eat lots of warming spices and chillies to my food; at the moment I'm loving a big sprinkle of curry powder on top of my salads, which is delicious. Having said that I also love a Venti Mint Blend tea from Starbucks; it's impossible to make a mint tea this good from home, because they use 3 different kinds of mint in there, as well as some tarragon.
4. Since its winter we all like to indulge a little in some sweet treats, what are your favourites?
I'm a dark chocolate girl through and through. I have my dark chocolate fix almost every day, so that I don't feel deprived. I'm also partial to my Peanut Butter Cups which are my favourite item we sell - I stick a tub of them in the freezer and have one after dinner. In terms of treats, I tell clients that there isn't anything you should 'never' eat - if you really love to eat something you can absolutely still eat it from time to time.
5. What do you do to avoid piling on weight when it's cold?
I make sure never to undereat, because that's when our bodies send us straight to the cheesecake! Our bodies are very wise, and they will always try to make up for not getting enough nutrients by bingeing or overrating heavy foods later on. It's crazy to me that some people think we can trick our bodies out of enough nutrition by having a coffee for breakfast, skipping dinner or trying gimmicky diets like the 5:2 diet - our body knows better!
6. Any quick and easy go-to recipes you like to eat when it's chilly inside?
On the night when I'm staying home, a very quick but healthy comfort food is to chop a bunch of veggies like courgette, mushrooms, fennel and aubergine and grill them in the oven. This takes all of 5 minutes, then I place them in a big bowl and cover them in a good quality pasta sauce. It looks like a dog's dinner, but it's delicious! Another option is to roast some sweet potatoes and butternut squash and either stuff them with hummus or almond butter, or serve with a big salad with avocado.
I love to make a homemade lentil soup which is very comforting and hearty (see Jenna's recipe here).
7. Any hair care tips for when your hair has been fried from central heating and the blistering cold?
Once in a while when my hair is really dry, I'll massage coconut oil into my whole hair before bed and keep it in overnight. But every night without fail, once I've moisturised some serum or cream into my face and my hands are still oily, I finger-comb the ends of my hair with the rest of the product. It really helps!
8. What are your views on alcohol? What to drink and what to avoid?
I'm going to sound quite controversial here. Most health and fitness experts advise us to choose vodka over wine when trying to maintain our figures. I say the total opposite - even though its low in calories, we must remember vodka is hard liquor and therefore very tough on our liver, and super ageing. Whats the point in being slim at the cost of looking 10 years older than you are, right? It's fine to have in moderation if you really love the taste of it, just don't consider it a 'free food' that you can go to town on. I prefer red wine, beer or champagne because they are relatively gentler on the body. Alcohol is fine in moderation, as long as you have a good grasp on your consumption; a lot of us think we drink a lot less than we actually do.
9. What do you do to warn off getting bugs which go around during winter?
As much as there are certain foods that can help our immune system strong, I believe what really helps keep us strong is minimising foods that place a heavy burden on the body, like mucus-forming dairy, inflammatory sugar and hard-to-digest processed foods. When our bodies are busy trying to digest and dispose of these foods, it can't conserve its energy for keeping us strong at the same time.
When I'm really trying to give myself a boost, I eat as clean as possible, up my intake of raw foods and add garlic, onions, and coconut oil to everything - they are antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial.
I also strongly advise caution to people who take zinc supplements for immunity in winter - zinc and iron compete with each other for absorption, so taking too much of one can reduce our levels of the other.
10. If you do get sick what remedies do you have?
If I come down with a cold or infection, I make a huge thermos or teapot full of hot water, 2 or 3 teaspoons of good quality honey and lots of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a great alkaliser and also helps kill germs and bacteria. The honey is also really antibacterial. If things are really bad, I kick things up a notch and add a capful of brandy or whisky - but only if I need to get better asap! It's an old fashioned trick, but it works.
For further reading please check out Jenna's website here.
I'm planning on roping Jenna into doing a series on getting ready for the perfect bikini body this summer!