Northwest winter survival guide
This article was originally published in January 2013
It’s cold. It’s gray. It’s winter in the Northwest and it’s the ideal time to nourish your body inside and out and give it strength to fight the gloom. Here are some of our top tips.
Don’t forget your vitamin D
Traditionally, it’s been recognized for its relationship with calcium to support bone health. Recent studies, however, demonstrate vitamin D’s relevance to health issues including diabetes, heart disease, asthma and even autoimmune diseases. Doctors are finding that many people are deficient in vitamin D, especially in colder, less sunny climates. Take a walk or visit our health and body care department for a quality supplement. For more tips, listen to our Ask the Nutritionist podcast: Vitamin D, in depth.
Learn to cook healthy meals
Search the more than 1,500 recipes and learn to make hearty soups, create delectable salads from roasted vegetables and more. Follow along with one of our cooking videos and soon you’ll fill your home with the delicious aroma of home-cooked food. Or, sign up for a class with PCC Cooks.
Refresh your spice collection
The amazing health benefits of spices are lessened when your cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne and other seasonings grow stale. Our bulk spices section enables you to head home with freshly ground spices by the pinch or the pound for maximum potency.
Good mood food
You know what won’t lift your spirits long term? Sugar. Steer clear of sweets when you’re drowsy or glum. Reach for these nutrient-rich foods instead. Your body will thank you with increased alertness, steady energy and a stronger immune system.
- Enjoy nuts and seeds, yogurt with live active cultures and green tea
- Lean protein, such as eggs, chicken, tuna, turkey and legumes
- Fresh produce in every color of the rainbow, especially antioxidant-rich dark green vegetables and produce high in vitamin C (including sweet potatoes and citrus)
- Dark chocolate, which is much lower in sugar than milk chocolate and is rich in antioxidants
- Foods rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, including salmon, halibut, flaxseed oil and walnuts
- Complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread and brown rice
Treat your body with care
Roxanne Green, Redmond PCC health and body care expert, shares her top tips to survive and thrive all winter long.
Boost mood and battle colds with pure essential oils. Green recommends adding a few drops to your body care products, such as bath salts, lotion or body scrub. Or, combine with water or grain alcohol in a spray bottle and spritz your room, pillowcase or clothes.
Soothe creaky joints, nourish dry skin and boost mood with omega-3 essential-fatty-acid-rich foods and supplements. Reach for fish oil, flaxseed oil or eat salmon and halibut.
Rev up your immune system with help from garlic, ginger, oregano and parsley. Enjoy this powerful combo in the traditional cold remedy: chicken soup. Or, take those same herbs in supplement form if you’ve been exposed to illness or already are getting sick.
Employ the healing power of essential oils: rosemary helps improve your mood, lavender calms and eases stress, eucalyptus and bergamot help with colds.