“Three-Fold Foundation for Winter Wellness”


The last picking of fall’s garden filled the bushel baskets in Grandma’s cellar with bold colors of gold, orange, and green. That “fresh-picked” fragrance from the bushel baskets would just briefly cover the musty smell of the cellar. Our barn boasted hefty hay bales that were ready for the cattle’s winter feedings. My new school wardrobe hung in my closet, ready for the cold season ahead. I felt safe, prepared, and ready because my family had gathered in and stored up for the uncertainty of the coming months.

Winter typically isn’t the season we think would build or support our health. Sadly, many women (or their families) spend numerous days trying to “cure” a winter cold, the flu, or other seasonal ailments. But even in this harsher season, there are several wonderful natural remedies and resources – given to us by our Heavenly Father – to build, strengthen, and beautify our inner temples.

Let’s look at three areas in which we can build a strong foundation of preparedness for super health during the winter – diet, exercise, and rest.


Seasonal changes prompt us to adjust our diet. Simplicity best describes the ancient winter diet which, unfortunately, our modern tastes and lifestyles have all but forgotten. A healthy winter diet should include heat-producing, mineral-rich foods which are higher in protein and fat. These substantial foods also help to counteract the drying effects of the colder season.

Since winter is the season the body stores fats, proteins, and minerals, this is also the season to eat heavier meat. Chicken, turkey, seafood, and red meat in reasonable portions provide you with just what your body needs.


Although this should be a quieter, calmer time of the year, the calendar says otherwise. With several holidays occurring in the winter season, it is important to balance our activity and relaxation levels to prevent reaching the “burn-out” point.

Recent sports medicine studies show a connection between moderate consistent exercise and a strong immune system. Researchers believe the physiological changes in the immune system during a routine exercise program may provide long-lasting health benefits.  Did you notice the researchers said moderate exercise? We don’t have to engage in lengthy, intense, “no pain, no gain” workouts to reap the rewards of improved health, stamina, and weight maintenance.

Indoor exercise (or “work-ins,” as I call them) can be relaxing while giving our muscles a workout. Yoga, Pilates, ballet, and the exercise ball are just a few of the many stretching/strengthening exercises that can improve our immune system to stay strong, toned, and well during the colder season.

Before beginning any exercise program, whether at home or in an exercise facility, please be sure that your health care provider approves. Staying well-hydrated before and after the fitness routine is just as important in this season as it is in warmer seasons.


Rest completes the third part of the inner-preparedness foundation. If we follow the wisdom of nature’s changing cycles, this part proves to be vitally important to our over-all long-term health and wellness.

My thesaurus gives several words that more clearly and completely define the word “rest:” quiet, relaxation, state of inactivity, stillness, and pause are only a few of the many descriptions. Does your daily routine allow time for quiet, relaxation, or stillness?

We must establish a firm wellness foundation in this season of winter. When we use the winter season as God designed, our body, mind, and spirit are restored and ready for the abundant life and activity that come with spring and summer.

Dear daughter of the King, my prayer for you is that God will embrace you with His nurturing warmth, quiet strength, and indescribable peace during the winter season. Stay well!

Mineral-Rich Foods for Your Winter Menu:

  • Winter squash (acorn, autumn cup, banana squash, butternut, carnival, or pumpkin)
  • Root vegetables (beets, yams, sweet potatoes, parsnips, onions, turnips, carrots, or rutabagas)
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains (especially amaranth and quinoa which are exceptionally high in protein)
  • Beans (soak them overnight before cooking)
  • Heavy fruits (avocados, bananas, oranges, grapefruit, and cooked apples)

Winter Diet Tips:

  • Healthy oils (olive, walnut, sesame, and almond) also reduce winter dryness and warm the body.
  • Spice up your winter diet with flavor and warmth using herbs and spices. Used sparingly, ginger root, garlic, cayenne pepper, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, and sea-salt add the finishing touch to that winter soup or stew!
  • Herbal teas make wonderful cold-weather refreshment and tonics while providing inner warmth and nourishment.

Ready, Set…GO!


OK, so we know we need to eat right, brush and floss, get eight hours of sleep, drink plenty of water and, of course, exercise. We know that a mere 30 minutes of exercise a day is like the apple, keeping those doctors away.

Well, I am tired of aching, tired of the blahs, tired of being sick and, yes, I am tired of being tired! I am tired of being too scared and (dare I say it) too lazy to do something about it! I am tired of being like the man who sat by the pool for 38 years with the healing waters within reach (see John 5:1-9). My pastor recently noted in a sermon that the man was there—right there—for nearly four decades! Jesus even asked the man: “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6 NIV). Yikes! Does the Lord have to get face to face with me and ask: “Do you even want what I have for you?”

That inspired me! I will no longer give the Lord, or myself, any more excuses to stay in the “comfort” of the mundane, everyday routine and stay sick, depressed, and tired. Nope. No more. Done.  How do we do this? Ready. Set. Go!

First, we need to get ready! The story of the man at the healing pool stirred my spirit and I believe we need to get our hearts set on the true will of God— happy, healthy, and whole!

Ready yourself: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19 KJV).

Second, get set! Once our hearts are in alignment with the Word, we need to get our minds made up. This means no more excuses and no more fear! The main reason we fail to start is that we are scared. I was way too intimidated to go to the gym because I thought all the other people were better than me—and I have a degree in Sport and Exercise Science! I teach this stuff! My health and happiness will last a lot longer than anyone else’s snap judgment of me ever will.

Set yourself: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).

Finally, go! Do it! Pick something you will actually do and stick to it. It does not matter what it is or where you do it, but that you actually do it and keep doing it.

Get started with these simple moves designed to get you toned all over! Start with 2 sets of 10 repetitions each, 2-3 days per week for the next 4 weeks. Then challenge yourself to 3 sets of 10 repetitions or 2 sets of 15. Bump it up another notch after another 4 weeks and add light weights (5-10 pounds) at 2 sets of 10 repetitions or 3 sets of 15. (Don’t have weights? Try soup cans or old jugs filled with water!) Follow this plan and you will be so amazed at what you can accomplish—when you just get ready, set and go!

Total Body Blast


  1. Start in a standing position with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Stand next to a wall to help with balance.
  1. Standing tall, slowly inhale, bend your knees and lower your hips until they are parallel to the floor (or as close as is comfortable). Keep your arms straight at your sides.
  1. Exhale and slowly return to a standing position. As you stand, slowly bend your elbows and bring your hands up toward your shoulders.
  1. As you reach a full standing position, push your hands up toward your head, extending your elbows fully. Try and keep all the steps in one fluid movement.
  1. Inhale and slowly bend your elbows and return your hands back to your shoulders, then back down to your sides

Standing Bend Row

  1. Start in a standing position, slowly inhale and bend forward at your hips and lower your upper body until parallel with the floor (or as close as is comfortable). Keep a slight bend in your knees to support your lower back. Keep your arms straight and your hands pointing down to the floor.
  1. Exhale, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and bend your elbows and bring them up to the level of your upper body so you make a “T” Your elbows will be pointing away from you and your hands will still be pointing down toward the floor.
  2. Inhale and release your arms back to the straight position.
  1. Exhale, squeeze your rear end and return to the standing position.

Lunge Shoulder Ts

  1. Start in a standing position with one foot in front of you about 2-3 feet and the other foot extended to the back 2-3 feet. Stand next to a wall to help with balance. Keep your arms straight at your sides.
  1. Inhale and slowly bend your back knee toward the ground. This will bring your front knee into a 90 degree position.
  1. Exhale, keeping your arms straight and bringing them up, parallel to the floor. Continue to bring the straight arms together in front of you, touching your thumbs together.
  1. Inhale and reverse the arms back out to the sides and then down as you return to the standing position. (If your balance is not yet cooperating, complete the arm “T’s” while in the standing position, separate from the lunge movement.)

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