I heard a saying a little while ago that resonated with me strongly:
“Do Winter Well.”
I think it was some health promotion messaging about getting outside and making snow angels or perfecting your cross-cuts on the outdoor skating rink. Here in Nova Scotia, that notion is, I think, a bit foolhardy, as we quite often have more rain than snow, which usually leads to the whole world being an outdoor skating rink. And I really don’t like skating.
But I can’t have a repeat performance of last year’s winter, and if it means learning to be more comfortable on skates, then I may have to dig them out of the basement and dust them off.
Last year, in December, our daughter started daycare and I returned to work. Theoretically, anyways, I returned to work. In reality, starting about two weeks after daycare began, I spent more time at home nursing strep throat, pink eye, the stomach flu, more pink eye, the flu, and a little bit more pink eye, in either myself or my daughter, than I had expected.
By April, I felt completely ravaged. I hadn’t had the energy or ability to exercise and my pride at having lost all my baby weight plus fifteen more pounds vanished, as did my stamina for things like climbing the stairs. As someone who uses food to nurture and comfort myself and others, and as someone who had just started a food blog, I had spent the last four months coming to the rescue in our poor, sick family with heaps of comforting food. Read: dough (cookie…bread…croissant…cinnamon bun); batter (muffin…cake).
I decided to visit my naturopath for an immune system reset. Which, I should have known, included mostly the consumption of green foods. And less flour, butter and sugar. And stuff like getting more sleep, exercising, meditating daily, and taking a few supplements.
This year, I am resolved to Do Winter Well.
For me this means focusing on daily habits and practices that support our immune systems, for starters. But further to that, I am doing what I can to prevent the winter blues from bringing me down. Though I usually don’t recognize it until spring is in the air and suddenly I’m just so much happier, I suffer from the cloudy days and rainy weather, the darkening afternoons and the after-work fatigue that comes with them. This year, I am energizing myself with exciting projects, lifting my face to the sun when it shines, and eating good stuff like this grain-free pear breakfast crisp.
Because even if you’re limiting some of the things that slow your body down and make it harder to cope with illness and the sluggishness of winter, you can still have dessert for breakfast.
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 cups pears, diced (and peeled, if desired)
- Honey, to drizzle
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Combine the coconut, pepitas, almonds, almond flour, honey, and coconut oil in a small bowl and stir until the coconut oil has moistened all of the ingredients.
- Add the pears to an 8 x 8 baking dish. Throw the cinnamon, cornstarch and water in with them and use your fingers, tossing them to coat the fruit in cinnamon and cornstarch.
- Top the pears with the crumble mixture, and press down into a firm layer. Drizzle the top with honey. Bake until browned on top.