21st January 2024
I've started a Reconnect To Self podcast! There will be a new episode every week including guided meditations, inspirations and interviews. Here is the link.
This week includes an audio version of this newsletter ✨Please follow the podcast if you'd like to have easy access and get connected to new episodes. (If you don't have Spotify contact Jen to receive the podcast by email instead)
✨Also please feel free to share the newsletter and podcast with those you feel would benefit from them✨
There are definitely fewer people that enjoy winter compared with the lighter, warmer times. Although it can be cold, dark and harsh, it does have its own magic and lessons to share with us. Moving us inside ourselves to reflect, purify and rest. Winter invites us to go deep into stillness so we can emerge in time for spring with renewed energy. Just as nature does.
It is so much easier to navigate through the winter when we feel well. Every winter I reflect and write down top tips to help me prepare for the next one. This year my best winter wellness top tips are...
Eat lots of fresh garlic when crushed, garlic has a chemical reaction that awakens its immune system ninjas! Adding garlic at the end of cooking e.g. on top of soup and stirring it in or cooked just a little bit on bread with olive oil is yummy and works well. It could also be added raw to salad dressings. Some research states that heating garlic over 60 degrees C deactives some of the medicinal properties.
One thing to watch is when it's applied raw, garlic can burn the mucous membrane. That is why it is recommended to have a medium e.g. oil, bread, soup or porridge.
If you have an infection (especially respiratory), eating 3-6 cloves a day (1-2 cloves three times a day with food) is super effective. Ideally for 5 days to keep the ninjas in the blood even after the body has won the battle. Garlic is also brilliant at preventing infections when eaten regularly.
Raw garlic can be intense for the digestive system therefore it is best to take with food and to start with a smaller dose and build it up.
Garlic does support the gut flora, enhancing prebiotic and probiotic growth, and supresses pathogenic micro organisms. Eating garlic can therefore be especially helpful if taking antibiotics drugs. Clever garlic. Garlic has the character like one of those highly intelligent, charismatic, multitakers, well travelled with a library of knowledge and experience of the human.
It's medicinal actions extend into many areas including cardio vascular health and it is well known as a treatment and preventative for heart disease. Garlic thins the blood so may not be recommended in high doses if already on certain anticoagulant medication e.g. warfrin.
Some of the first recorded uses of garlic were on the Sumerian clay tablets dated around 4000 years ago. As a medicine, it was used by many ancient civalizations including in Egypt, India and Greece and continued throughout the world into modern times.
Garlic really is a winter time super hero. One of my herbal teachers used to say "If your friends don't like the smell of garlic, get new friends"
There is great wisdom in it keeping vampires away!
Long, cosy sleeps.
One of the benefits of winter is the chance to have a good sleep, without being disturbed by the sun light. The darkness can help us to get into a really deep, cosy sleep.
How can we make the most of this?
Bed time routines are so helpful for adults too. We wouldn't expect a child to get to sleep if they had been watching exciting TV, eating stimulating food or been on electronics. It's exactly the same for us. We need soothed before bedtime.
Perhaps a lovely relaxing bath, a warm drink, a story, a snuggle and then lights off.
What is your bedtime routine at the moment?
I've definitely made space this winter for early nights and longer sleeps. Not long lies that can spiral into a feeling of stuckness, instead having a longer evening of self care and rest that leads to a cosy bedtime routine and deeper sleep.
Winter rest is definitely high up on the winter top tips. There is research that states rest helps us stay healthy and prevents illness as well as reducing stress and improving our mood and clarity of mind. This also has been shown to have a positive effect on those around us.
Hopefully there are still people around us after we have eaten all that garlic!
A key to staying warm is to move. Moving the body, moves the blood, provides heat, oxygen and nutrition to cells and supports a healthy circulaltion.
Whilst a bit of fresh cold air can be invigorating, it is important to avoid drops in temperature when our body is dealing with infections.
Winter can be cold and damp (especially in Scotland!) and if our constitution (body type) is already cold and damp it can really affect our health and mood.
Balancing the excess with warm and dry can help. Eating foods that are warming and avoiding mucus producing foods (wheat, dairy, sugar) is a great start. Drinking warm water and warming herbal teas, and spending time in saunas and by cosy fires can feel great. It's also important to wear enough clothes.
Sometimes I wrap up so much I get some strange looks when seen in public. I go over the top with hats, scarves, leg warmers, wrist warmers, double layers of fluffy coats and gloves. Tucking myself in tight. It may look ridiculous, but there is method in the madness!
Other great winter health top tips are...
Vitamin D supplement ✨I've been using Dr Vegan https://drvegan.com as well as a vegan omega 3 from algae.
Drinking lots of ✨pure water and herbal tea, and staying sugar free is super helpful too. Especially as refined sugar has been shown to weaken the immune system and make us more suceptible to disease.
✨Essential oils are great at doing the opposite and instead stimulate the immune system to enhance white blood cell production.
Ravensara is an excellent oil to have during winter time as both an anti-viral preventitive and remedy. I have it handy when in crowds or if around someone who is unwell.
Lavender is well known to support the immune system, as well as having lots of other qualities e.g. relaxing the muscles. It can also have a soothing effect on the nervous system. For more info see Aromatherapy page on my website https://www.reconnecttoself.scot/aromatherapy/
✨What have you learned so far this winter?✨
✨What are your top tips for next years winter wellness?✨
Brightest blessings to you for a magical winter time✨
Autumn 4th October 2023
🍂Traditionally, autumn is a time when we harvest and start to gather in. We perpare our nest for winter time and set new patterns and routines.
There is an obvious change in the light and dark balance in the day. This is a natural rhythm to follow and surrender to. We may find we are sleeping more, eating more warming soups and root vegetables (see parsnip soup recipe below) and our exercise routines may be different too.
It's a great time for a reset, a cleanse and clear out of both our body and home spaces.
The yurt is holding some lovely supportive spaces this autumn including paradiso, reiki and soul retrieval sessions, kundalini yoga classes and a samhain connect day.
More info here https://www.reconnecttoself.scot/what-s-happening-/
🍁What's a Paradiso?
A 3hr session to unplug, deeply relax and recharge.
Includes a holistic consultation with self care map creation, aromatherapy massage, reiki and soul retrieval.
Especially good for therapists, parents, carers, teachers, those who give a lot and need some space to balance, recharge and feel nourished. A lush amount of time to go deep.
After a paradiso session it can feel like you've had time away, like a holiday.
Every Sunday in October and November is Soul Sunday!
What are Soul Sundays? Soul retrieval and reiki sessions with a free Sri Lankan Delights curry box to take home. Soul food to welcome yourself back!
2hr session £80 with free plant based curry box to take home
Available times here
What's a Soul Retrieval?
More info here
Soul retrievals and reiki are wonderful together. They can be part of a 2 hour session or paradiso. Soul retrievals are especially good when feeling lost, scattered, chaotic, stuck or a bit off.
The focus for weekly kundalini yoga classes in autumn is to support the lymphatic and the immune system and strengthen the nervous system.
Lymphatic cleansing top tips include...
✨daily skin brushing
✨drinking lots of clean, pure water regularly throughout the day
✨regular exercise which supports the movement of the lymphatic system
11 day reset
✨Next one starts ✨ Sunday 22nd October £55 ✨6.30am to 7.30am on zoom
Kundalini yoga class plus daily inspiration recordings and support. Great for cleansing, clearing and setting new healthy patterns.
🌟 "I love her 11 day yoga resets, which she runs throughout the year. I am from Scotland but live in Sussex and do these sessions from my sitting room via Zoom, which works beautifully. These resets never fail to create healthy physical and mental shifts." Sheena, Detox Health Beauty https://www.detoxhealthbeauty.com
✨New weekly kundalini yoga beginners class starting
✨Tuesday 24th October ✨6pm to 7pm ✨£7 a class
Can be sent to you as a recording if you'd like to join but timing is not possible.
✨Weekly kundalini yoga classes
✨Mondays 9.30am to 11am & ✨7pm to 8.30pm
✨Tuesdays 9.30am to 11am
Yurt space and on Zoom £33 to £45 for 4 week set
Samhain Connect Day🍁
A yurt retreat day for deep connection and healing. Step out of ordinary reality, unplug from electronics, responsibilities and things to do and have a deep rest and reflect ✨A reset for the turning of the wheel into Samhain.
Sunday 29th October 9.30am to 3.30pm £55
Sri Lankan Delights Lunch £8
✨Winter Solstice Connection Sunday 17th December
✨New Year Connection Sunday 7th January 2024
Wishing you a fabulous autumn gathering in and nourishing time.
Brightest blessings 🧡
Parsnip Soup Recipe🍂
Root vegetables are a highly nutritious, wholesome food that will help sustain energy levels through winter days.
Here's a hearty soup to warm your belly. Feel free to adapt recipe to suit you best.
1 tablespoon olive oil
. 1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Heat the above together in a large pan for 5 minutes
Add 5-6 medium organic parsnips, roughly chopped and 1 organic apple cored and chopped. Cover with boiling water (not too much that will make soup too watery - best to leave fluid for the coconut milk) and cook for 15–20 minutes until the parsnips are soft. Blend until smooth then add...
chopped coriander (as desired)
1/2 - 1 full tin of good organic coconut milk
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Previous newsletters from 2012 to 2022 are tucked up in an archive ☺️