The Best Electric Fireplace & Healthy Ways to Stay Warm this Winter
Staying healthy in the winter is always a challenge. With temperatures dropping and cold and flu season upon us it's more important than ever to find ways to not only stay warm but to boost our immune system so we don't get sick.
Below are clever ways to get through the winter season, maintain a healthy immune system and stay warm.
Get Your Flu Shot
Nothing creates the winter blues like the flu. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get the flu shot. They're everywhere and most places are offering them on a walk-in basis. Some employers even provide flu shots to their employees for free. It's a great start to fighting those pesky pathogens and keep your immune system strong. So don't forgo that trip to the pharmacy or doctors office. It'll definitely help keep the flu bug at bay.
Stay social. Getting together with friends for drinks and a hearty meal keeps your happiness level up which goes a long way to keeping the immune system strong. Those who socialize often have a tendency to feel better about themselves and their lives. Fight the winter blues by keeping in touch with family and friends and you're less likely to feel seasonal stress and get sick.
Increase your consumption of healthy fats. Nuts have a way of regulating body temperature so you feel warmer and less cold. The Mayo Clinic reports that they're beneficial to your heart and have a tendency to reduce cholesterol too. Other nutty benefits include: fiber,Vitamin E, plant sterols, and l-arginine. Next, cook foods with Omega 3 fatty acids in them. Salmon is a great choice.
It's cold, so it goes without saying that you're trying to stay warmer than you normally would.Wintertime is a great excuse to snuggle up with a loved one. Not only does this make you feel good but it'll keep you warm too. This releases a feel good hormone oxytocin that reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. A great way to feel warmer and enjoy the upcoming season is to cuddle up. Don't have a snuggle buddy? Invest in throw blankets. Throw blankets are a perfect way to feel cozy when you're watching your favorite TV program or movie.
Let's face it, we're more conscious of our health and bodies in the summertime simply because we're wearing less clothing and spending more time outdoors. If you maintain a healthy exercise regimen in the wintertime too, you'll stay healthier and feel better.Exercise helps the lymph system cleanse impurities and promotes a healthy mood. You'll feel better about what you're eating during the holidays if you'reexercising regularly, and you won't put on any extra pounds.
Consume hot and steamy beverages. Not only does this warm up the body but it also has antioxidants to help protect the body against infection. Don't fill them with excessive sugar as too much sugar can reduce your body's ability to fight infection. Choose tea with added benefits like chamomile, which is known to have properties that fight the common cold, echinacea that helps boost the immune system, and others with cancer fighting properties like hibiscus and rooibos.
Enjoy homemade soup! The hot vapors keep you warm and help expand airways and clear the nasal cavity. Soup also has an anti-inflammatory effect that can help sometimes soothe the throat. Many soups are beneficial because of the blend of vitamins and minerals, but one of the best soups to make is chicken soup. This soup actually contains healthy properties like protein and vitamin A. Other ingredients like garlic,carrots, celery, onions, and turnips contain anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antibiotic properties.
Lots of Nutrients
Consume lots of nutrient rich foods like soups, fish, chicken, and fruits and vegetables. Also increase your supplemental intake. Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin D are great immune system builders. Also, season foods with garlic and ginger that have antibiotic properties that help fight infection and reduce inflammation should you get a cold. Also, take a walk in the sunshine. Sunshine is known to increase your mood and help the body produce Vitamin D on its own.
We all know that staying warm with a heater can be expensive. Central heating can rack up your heating bill when used excessively. One way to stay warm and keep the energy bill downis to use a space heater. This will allow you to heat one room at a time. Winter and fireplaces go hand in hand, but if you're like me and you don't have a fireplace or you don't want to use the one you have because it's a hassle, you should consider a fireplace alternative. So go ahead and snuggle, enjoy a warm meal or beverage, and get toasty. The best electric fireplace to use depends on where you plan to set it up but you can bet there is an option that will work.
Everyone knows that dressing in layers is a great way to stay warm and keep winter chill at bay. Keep your body warm and you're less likely to catch a cold. Invest in a winter wardrobe that will keep you comfortably warm on the go and at home. Hats, scarves, socks, and gloves are ideal accessories but also layer up with tanks, layering tees or turtlenecks and sweaters. If it's really cold where you live then thermals are a must have since they can be worn under just about anything.
Below are a couple of recipes courtesy of the Food Network that will help you boost your immune system to get through the winter months.
Baked Salmon with Blackberry Ginger Glaze
- 12 ounces blackberries
- 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 (8-ounce)skinless salmon fillets
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small saucepot over medium-high heat, combine water, blackberries, ginger and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until berries break down, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl, using the back of a spoon to push blackberry pulp through. Return blackberry mixture to the sauce pot, add sugar and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Remove from heat and let cool.
Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and set fillets on top. Brush fillets with oil and season with salt and pepper. Once blackberry mixture is cool, brush over salmon fillets and bake for 4 minutes. Brush again with blackberry mixture. Turn oven to broil and broil another 3 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- Dash hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
- Dash Worcestershire sauce
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 ounces egg noodles
- 8 ounces frozen peas
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped dill leaves
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and carrots and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the chopped garlic and saute until fragrant, 1 minute more. Whisk in the flour and stir frequently until it coats the vegetables and makes a paste. Cook until it reaches a pale blonde color, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock, making sure there are no lumps. Add the bay leaf, hot sauce, and Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes to thicken and develop the flavors.
Reduce the heat and add the chicken and the noodles. Do not boil the chicken or it will become tough. Add the peas and the dill and simmer gently for 10 more minutes.
Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve.