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Winter - Season of Flux

by Estelle Lefébure(more info)

listed in food, originally published in issue 236 - February 2017

 

Extracted with permission from Mindful Beauty: How to Look and Feel Great in Every Season

by Estelle Lefébure with the collaboration of Robert Masson and Julie Laurent-Marotte

Published by Rizzoli International Publications - Dec 2016. $19.95. Flammarion - 2017. £16.95. Paperback. ISBN-10: 2080202790.

 

Winter is a season of flux. When the first chilly mornings arrive and the nights grow longer than the days, we have a tendency to turn inward and hibernate. But this season can be an opportunity to recharge our batteries and renew our inner selves. 

MindfulBeauty
PP16-17 © Sylvie Lancrenon

Chinese medicine teaches us that this is the season to pay particular attention to our kidneys, whose good health is synonymous with youthfulness and longevity. Since the body is made up of over 70 percent water, dehydration has an ageing effect, while hydration promotes a healthy life. Our hair reflects our general state of health. Soft, glossy tresses indicate a good level of hydration, while dry, broken, or prematurely grey hair is often a sign of mineral deficiencies. It’s important to learn how to keep appropriately hydrated, but you should also understand how to avoid the causes of dry skin, wrinkles, joint problems, and pain.

So, go with the flow!

How to Avoid Dehydration

Here is a list of foods, products, and situations to avoid:

  • Overly spicy or salty food
  • Excessive consumption of meat or fatty foods
  • Coffee, alcohol, and cigarettes
  • Sleepless nights
  • Going to bed too late
  • Postprandial naps
  • Heavy dinners
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Excessive sexual activity
  • Inactivity

How to Stay Well Hydrated

Here is a list of recommended foods and activities:

  • Nuts
  • Vegetable proteins
  • Green vegetables
  • Seasonal fruits
  • Soups
  • Sparkling water rich in sodium and phosphorus
  • Mineral water in glass bottles
  • Eating meals at regular times
  • Sleep and relaxation
  • Deep breathing
  • Thalassotherapy
  • Postprandial strolls

A Little Test

Tug lightly at the skin on the back of your hand and immediately let it go. If your skin is well hydrated, it will spring back like an elastic band. If your skin is dehydrated, it will stay wrinkled for a moment.

MindfulBeauty

Advice from a Naturopathic Specialist - Focus on the Kidneys

Winter, humidity, cold (especially around the feet), and a sedentary lifestyle all have very

harmful effects on the kidneys. If you have bags under your eyes, mild swelling in your ankles, or foamy urine, these are indications of renal stress.

To protect and strengthen the kidneys, avoid excessive sodium (in prepared foods, canned goods, preserved meats) and excessive protein consumption.

Consider the impact of a starter of cured meats + a main course of a roast or steak + cheese + dessert, prepared with milk and eggs, eaten both at lunch and dinner. That’s ten helpings of protein a day! And that kind of consumption is not uncommon. Excessive protein gradually destroys kidney function and, like all forms of overeating, can lead to various forms of cancer and a shorter life span.

Although inadequate amounts of protein are detrimental to the immune system, excessive consumption is harmful to kidney function. It’s all a matter of moderation.

For balanced nutrition, follow the general advice (p. 14) and the alternating treatment described below for one or two months:

  • For the first two weeks of the month, drink an unsweetened tisane of cherry stems 15 minutes before the midday and evening meal. To prepare this, place a handful of cherry stems in 1 pint of spring water. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes over low heat and steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink the tisane in two or three servings, 15 minutes before meals.
  • In the second half of the month, make a different unsweetened tea from corn silk, to be drunk 15 minutes before the morning and evening meals. To prepare, put a handful of corn silk in 1 pint of spring water. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes over low heat and steep for 10 minutes. Strain, and drink in two or three servings before meals.
  • If it’s not possible for you to prepare these tisanes, you can instead drink a glass of spring water every three days, 15 minutes before the evening meal, with a capsule of linden sapwood extract.

Wholegrain Sesame

Go ahead and enjoy magical wholegrain sesame seeds. Black, brown, or creamy white, they are absolutely delicious. You can use them in a decoction with cinnamon or ginger (3/4 oz./20 g per 2 cups/500 ml of water, steeped for about 30 minutes) or sprinkled over a salad. Sesame is naturally rich in minerals and trace elements (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium), fatty acids, and proteins, and it’s a great aid in supporting kidney health.

Apple Ginger Lemon Infusion Fruits

My Infusions for Winter

It’s simple to prepare infusions. Combine your selected ingredients with fresh water and let the mixture steep in a glass pitcher in the refrigerator.

Apple, Ginger, and Mint Infusion

This cocktail is good for the digestion and works well with both still and sparkling water. Vary the ingredients and proportions according to taste. You can control the spiciness of the drink by adjusting the amount of ginger, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Blackberry and Sage Infusion

They have a delectable flavour and blackberries also add a bright splash of colour to the water. Like all berries, blackberries are rich in antioxidants, fibre, and vitamin C. Sage helps digestion and has a calming effect.

Cranberry and Lime Infusion

The same recipe works equally well with lemons, limes, or oranges. Cut the citrus fruit into slices and combine with cranberries for a cocktail that has a very seductive colour.

Cranberries are bursting with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Further Information

Available on Amazon

www.amazon.co.uk/Mindful-Beauty-Great-Every-Season/dp/2080202790/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479749979&sr=1-3

www.amazon.com/Mindful-Beauty-Great-Every-Season/dp/2080202790

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About Estelle Lefébure

Estelle Lefébure is a former supermodel who has established a wellness program achieved through a holistic approach to caring for body, mind and spirit throughout the seasons. Developed in consultation with naturopathic health and fitness experts and combined with Estelle’s personal beauty tips, her book Mindful Beauty: How to Look and Feel Great in Every Season covers fitness, nutrition, natural remedies and wellness - the essential steps to mindful beauty. It also includes 30 recipes from top French chefs. She leads wellness retreats in St Barts; her website is www.orahe.com

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