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As winter settles in, navigating the darker mornings and colder days can be a challenge. The reduced sunlight affects our internal clock and can lead to a drop in serotonin levels, the “happiness chemical.” So, what can we do to counter this? One key remedy is social interaction. Engaging with friends, participating in community events, or simply sharing a laugh can work wonders for our mental well-being during these winter months.

 

Thankfully, this magical time of year comes with its own set of mood-boosting treats. What could be more delightful than strolling through illuminated streets, admiring Christmas lights, or exploring a Christmas market while sipping on a hot chocolate? And let’s not forget the joy of baking – whipping up something scrumptious in the kitchen, a chef’s treat is a must! Even the simple act of immersing oneself in a beloved book, old or new, can bring warmth to the soul.

Amidst the chill, spending time outdoors can do wonders for both our physical and mental health. Wrapping up warmly and embarking on a wintery stroll not only allows us to breathe in the fresh air but also gives us a moment to reflect on what we’re grateful for.

At Bespoke Life, our companions are eager to accompany you to these festivities and outings over the colder months. Just give us a call, and we’ll join you in embracing the joys of the colder months.

Now, let’s talk about winter nutrition. The colder months are perfect for relishing hearty, healthy meals. Ever thought about preparing a comforting casserole or a homemade soup? These dishes not only warm the body but can also contribute to our well-being.

For those struggling with joint pain, using certain ingredients in your meals could be beneficial. Consider green tea, a warm and soothing beverage rich in compounds that help mitigate cartilage destruction associated with arthritis. Additionally, foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash, packed with carotenoids, possess powerful antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation. Research even suggests that consuming these antioxidants could lower the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Would you like a nourishing soup recipe? Imagine a bowl filled with the goodness of roasted butternut squash, sweet potato, and carrot, complemented by a slice of crusty bread slathered in butter.

Here’s how you can create this delightful dish:

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Butternut Squash, cut in large chunks
  • 1 Sweet Potato, peeled and cut into large quarters
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • ½ Cup Onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2 Cups Vegetable Broth (I use no sodium)
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • ½ Cup Whole Milk
  • ½ Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1–2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the carrots, butternut squash & sweet potato in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast 35-40 minutes or until a fork inserted pierces through with no resistance.
  3. Warm the oil in a large stockpot and sauté the onions until translucent and soft. Season with a sprinkle of salt to help release their moisture. Add the garlic, stir and cook another minute.
  4. Add the roasted vegetables, broth(s) and spices. NOTE: I use no sodium broth, therefore, I usually add 1 teaspoon of salt at this point. However, if your broth is salted, use salt at your discretion).
  5. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Take the soup off the heat and add the milk and cream. Stir to combine. Add more broth or cream if you desire until you get the consistency you like.
  6. Taste and season again if necessary.
  7. Serve in a large bowl with croutons or crusty bread.
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Lastly, there’s an intriguing old wives’ tale that claims the abundance of berries and fruits in summer and autumn forecasts a harsh winter ahead. While it might not be scientifically accurate, it adds a whimsical touch to how nature prepares for the cold months. After all, nature’s cycles often carry their own kind of wisdom.

How do you typically manage winter blues? Do you have any go-to strategies or favourite winter recipes that bring you comfort and joy? We’d love to know.