Hi and welcome back.
Winter has finally come in full swing in the past week and Christmas feels like a distant memory. The whole of the UK is feeling run down and March and the start of Spring seems such a long way away. Today I thought I would share my Winter Essentials: the recipes I keep reaching for, lifestyle tips and go to essentials that never fail to put a smile on my face at this time of year. I hope you enjoy. C. -x-
Food is the ultimate comfort food for me on these cold, dark evenings. There is nothing i love more than enjoying hot food, catching up on the day with family and friends. My go to recipes include: Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole, Chilli or for a sweet classic, why not try my Apple Crumble? I love my slow cooker at this time of year because I can put everything together first thing in the morning, put the slow cooker on a low setting and by evening, food is ready to go.
Another food winter essential here. The weather is too cold and gross to sit outside catching up with friends so I find myself gravitating towards pubs and restaurants for a change of scenery when catching up with friends. For me, there is no greater feeling than catching up with family and knowing I don’t have to clean up afterwards. For inspiration on Eating Out, check out my Eating Out mini-series here.
Despite the chilly weather, there is always a place to explore. Having our lovely, almost 3 year old black Labrador Shadow who still acts like a puppy, means we are out walking in all weathers at least twice a day. Sometimes it can feel we are stuck in a rut with our walks so try to visit new places at the weekend including National Trust sites. Our current favorite has to be Calke Abbey in Derbyshire and Shadow loves exploring the woods too. When the weather gets too cold, we stop at the cafe for coffee and snacks. Gluten free options are available, see my post here for further inspiration.
Taking time for self-care
Completely opposite to the last pint, my next winter essential is taking the time to rest and recharge. The dark evenings can act as a deterrent to leaving the house again and people sometimes do not want to meet up. I try to take full advantage of this time by indulging in my favourite treats. One way I love to relax is to curl up on the sofa with a good book and a good treat. I am currently obsessed with Mcvitie’s gluten free Chocolate Hobnobs with a cup of tea and a good book. One of my new year goals was to read more (you can read my other new year goals and how I plan for 2019 here). My current book is Hygge; the Danish Art of Happiness which is perfect for these cold evenings.
Gloves, hand warmers
This point is probably very obvious but a total winter essential for me because I have suffered from Raynaud’s since I was 10 years old. I have read so many articles on how to help Raynaud’s and chilblains, an unattractive and painful side effect of Raynaud’s, but I find they all state the impossible; just keep your hands warm. Not always feasible in everyday life. Instead, I use a combination of applying regular hand cream to help soothe my hot burning hands, change my socks and gloves regularly (as its my feet and hands that are affected), using Vitamin E face creams to help my face and investing in some hard soled slippers. The biggest change for me happened when I found Turtle Doves. This is a company that uses recycled cashmere to create a range of products; but for me, their Cashmere Finger less Gloves work wonders. Although my fingertips are bare, the gloves work by keeping the blood flowing to my wrist joint so my hands are less likely to suffer from a Raynaud’s attack. My skin does still get dry so I have to apply more hand cream but not having suffered from chilblains yet is such a game changer for me.
(N.B. this post isn’t sponsored by Turtle Doves, I am just a big fan of their fingerless cashmere gloves).
There you go! My top 5 Winter Essentials. I hope you enjoyed this blog. If you re-create any recipes or visit any National Trust places, let me know by tagging me on Instagram using #livingcoeliac or by sharing images directly to my Facebook page. Newsletter is now live! Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any future blog posts.