Winter 17 Top Tidy Hints

Cam – Boutique Farmer

Winter has definitely arrived in our organic gardens.  The winter greens are flourishing with the cool nights, and mild sunny days.  We are picking savoy cabbages, purple broccoli, little purple kalettes, daikon, amaranth, tatsoi, gailaan and much more!  Our newly planted strawberry and blueberry patches are heavily flowering and we are eagerly anticipating our first berries to pick.  Our fridges are full of beautiful winter salad leaves, and herbs.  Bronze fennel, golden purslane, bergamot and licorice root are just some of the unusual herbs we’ll see on the menu in the coming months. With the change of seasons, and the lower temperatures, we always use this time wisely to catch up on our garden maintenance.  We are re-gravelling our paths, and spreading wood chip for weed suppression with Spring here soon.  If you are growing strawberries or blueberries at home, a good tip for maintaining healthy disease-free leaves, is to spray weekly, with an organic milk spray with a 1:10 ratio to water.  This helps maintain healthy competition with the fungal spores on the leaf surface.  Removing runners, and dead or dying leaves is also important to keep the plants energy directed towards flowering and fruiting.  More delicious berries for us!  Enjoy the best of the growing season.
With food+love, Cam.

Hayley – Head Naturopath

It is really important in winter to eat more cooked and warming foods, such as soups, stews, casseroles and curries, all these dishes can be very nutrient dense. Too many raw foods can be too cooling. Do a big cook up on a Sunday, and make portions for the week or freeze them. Being organised helps you be healthy. Even though it is cooler, it’s important to keep hydrated, heating/air conditioning/fire places can make you dehydrated. Get your fluids through room temperature/warm water, or herbal teas. Some of my favourites are lemon and ginger, rosehip & green tea. As a general rule, I aim for 1.5L or 6 glasses per day. Eat lots of veggies! It is the season to eat root vegetables such as carrots, sweet potato, parsnip and beetroot; pumpkin, garlic, ginger, onion, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celeriac, fennel, Asian green such as bok choy & choy som. And fruits such as apples, citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarins, tangelos and tangerines; pears, persimmons. Look after that gut flora, 70% of your immune system lives in your gut. Improve your gut health by eating more prebiotic rich foods such as vegetables, nuts, seeds & wholegrains; consume more probiotics such as fermented foods, yoghurt, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, tempeh; reduce and manage stress; eat foods rich in polyphenols such as blueberries, red wine (in moderation), dark chocolate, and green tea. Make sure you get your bare skin out in the sun! Vitamin D is crucial for immune health. Getting anywhere from 5 to 15mins of sunlight on your arms, hands and face 2-3 times a week is enough to enjoy vitamin D boosting benefits of the sun. Get enough quality sleep, adults need between 7-9hrs per night. A lack of sleep makes it difficult for your body to regulate essential things like appetite control, your immune system, good metabolic function and your ability to maintain a normal body weight. Rest, winter is the time to hibernate. Say no to social invitations, have phone free time, have a break from social media, cook meals at home, stay in, practice the art of doing nothing. Be kind and nurture yourself. This is the season of colds and flus, and the best way to avoid getting these is to keep your immunity up. If you do get sick, make sure you give yourself the time to rest and recover, avoid soldiering on and sharing your germs with your work colleagues!

Danielle – Head Yoga Teacher

Winter and colder temperatures can make our systems sluggish; we tend to eat richer foods, often staying indoors and not exercising…so now is the time to fire up your physical and mental strength, ramp up your yoga to keep the body moving and not put on those extra kilos no matter what the weather is like outside. Try beginning the day with some Sun Salutations A, B or C. (Surya Namaskar A, B or C). Perhaps start with 10 or even 20. They are cardiovascular and get the whole body moving. You might even work up to the 108!! A very auspicious number in yoga!
With love Danielle x

Mel – Spa Manager

Some Spa Rituals to create a little cosy ‘Me Time’ during the colder months of the year. Balance your body –  with a sauna bathing session. This is the perfect way to heat up your body in the winter with the added benefit of detoxification. Sweating your toxins out in a sauna helps strengthen your body’s immune system and helps with stress relief and relaxation. Unwind the mind – slow down and relax with our wonderful massages on available. Our Lymphatic massage will help in detoxification with our Hot stone massages being the perfect way to warm up your body and muscles allowing your therapist to perform a soothing treatment by working with your body. Don’t forget to stay strong and motivated in winter by keeping up your exercise routine. Focus on the benefits and let our Personal Trainers help you reach or keep your goals. Find Gaia’s One on One sessions here –

Trudi – Beauty & Holistic Wellness Specialist

5 ways to keep your skin soft and youthful this winter
Winter can be challenging for the skin. The cool winter air can strip your skin of its natural water content, leaving it dry, red and rough. It can feel as if your skin has aged years overnight! Why does this happen? Low air humidity, harsh heating, icy winds, and hot showers all contribute. Here’s 5 tips to keep your skin smooth and radiant all season long:

  1. Drink warm water. We all tend to drink less water in the winter. Who wants to sip on something cold when there is hot tea, coffee & cocoa? Unfortunately, caffeine and lack of water dehydrate your skin, leading to premature ageing.
    Winter Tip: Fill most of your glass with purified water & top it up with some boiling water… it will be so much easier to drink and will warm you up. You can even add a few pieces of sliced ginger to the bottom of your glass, a natural anti-inflammatory.
  2. Eat hydrating beauty foods.It’s tempting to ditch the greens and go for high-carb comfort foods in winter, but a lack of hydrating foods & nutrients will dry you out further, causing dull looking skin.
    Winter tip: Incorporate lightly steamed greens into your meals, such as kale, green beans and broccoli. They will retain a high level of nutrients & water content. Alternatively add a fresh side salad to your warm meal with hydrating cucumbers, avocado & celery – your skin will glow from the inside out.
  3. Use a humidifier.Wood fires, central heating and fan heaters all steal water from the air – leaving you dry & parched.
    Winter Tip: If this is happening to your indoor space, use a humidifier to pump hydrated air back in to the room. Feel your skin sigh with relief.
  4. Skip the steaming hot shower.We all love hot showers in the winter… but not so much our skin. Piping hot water instantly strips away our natural good oils, the last thing we need in winter.
    Winter tip: Dial the tap back a notch & go for lukewarm instead of hot. Then lock in those youthful oils by using a body lotion after you shower.
  5. Start a winter skincare ritual. Add luxurious nutrients to your skin daily. Pamper yourself. This is the time to be consistent & show your skin some LOVE. Make it a special time for YOU.
    1. Here are 3 winter skin essentials:
      — Add nutrients.
      If your skin is feeling dry, add a vitamin rich face oil under your moisturiser. Try Gaia Retreat’s very own certified organic Restore Serum. Packed with antioxidants and essential fatty acids, this is a true superfood for the skin.
      — Exfoliate.
      1-2 x week (and no more). A gentle scrub will remove dead layers, encouraging fresh skin to emerge. Use our organic Face Polish. This creamy formula contains Australian native Lilly Pilly – a natural source of AHAs.
      — Protect & hydrate.
      Use a hydrating masque to replenish. Try our organic Nourishing Masque with deeply hydrating Cacao & Shea butters. To intensify the effect, sleep with it on overnight.

      For your complete winter skincare ritual, visit Retreatment Organics’ Winter Skin Guide: