The cold weather has descended on New York. The shorter days can inspire a natural inclination to to fly south or go into hibernation mode (or maybe both). The drop in temperature can be a trial to endure or an invitation to increase your resiliency.
I choose the latter.
After growing up in Maine I thought I’d had my fill of cold weather. But learning how to adjust my diet and lifestyle has changed my whole perspective of winter. Now I welcome the opportunity to practice downshifting and to strategically increase my energy reserves.
One of the very first lessons of Yoga that rang true for me was the idea of aligning with the transition into winter. I try to minimize my exposure to artificial light at night and use candles instead. I rest when I’m tired and wake early with the sun. Staying warm is essential. I drink lots of hot beverages and keep my body well insulated. And I never get a flu shot (elderberry syrup FTW).
And I cook nourishing foods. Bone broth is a fairly recent addition to my culinary arsenal. I was introduced to the idea a couple of years ago when I tried noodle soups in Chinatown. I’ve been hooked on that flavorful and nutrient rich broth ever since.
This article provides a good overview of the benefits of bone broth: How Bone Broths Support Your Adrenals, Bones and Teeth
It’s very easy to make bone broth at home. Save leftover bones (I use organic chicken bones), place them in a pot with filtered water, add a splash of vinegar to aid in mineral extraction. You can also add a bay leaf or some vegetable scraps for flavor. Onion peels give bone broth a rich yellow color.
Bring the broth to a boil and then simmer. The length of simmering time varies – from at least four hours up to 24 hours. The longer you simmer the more nutrient dense it will be, so add water as needed. You can use a crock pot or keep it on the stove. Either way it will make your house smell fantastic.
It’s okay if the broth turns cloudy – some people try to keep their broth clear, but either way is fine. Strain the cooled broth through a sieve with a towel or cheesecloth to remove the particulate. Store the strained broth in glass mason jars in the fridge. It will keep for about a week, and is a great addition to soups, stews, and any recipe that calls for stock.
What kinds of home rituals do you practice in the colder months? Feel free to leave a comment in the box below.