Well, winter is finally here…and along with it…the seasonal cold and man flu epidemics, ouchy chapped lips, dry skin, flaky nails, and brittle hair! What’s a girl to do!?

There are many things I do regularly to maintain good health year round, and I could probably write a book about them all…however…I am sure you don’t have time to read a whole book right now, so I have picked my top 2 things, to help your immunity and skin, hair, and nails…and stay feeling good from your core, this winter!

I asked the Core Health Squad what they wanted to hear about this month, and amongst the great ideas, a couple came up more than once! These were dry skin, and seasonal health regimes.

So, being clever as I am (and modest!)…I linked the two topics together and came up with two hot things to include in your winter (but really everyday) life!

What are they already!?…

…wait for it!…

…drum roll please!…

…bone broth and a shower filter!

…OK, so I thought that might sound slightly grander…but nevertheless, hear me out…here’s why I chose these two things as the things you need in your life…

Winter calls for extra vitamins and minerals to help our bodies function and maintain temperature, and to support our immune system. We want to get the most out of our nutrition with wholesome slow-cooked warming foods, reserving the cooking juices where possible to avoid any nutrient loss, cooking for long durations to breakdown foods into more easily absorbable molecules, often upping the protein and fat content to maintain tissue and energy reserves (these foods are harder to digest than carbs so we also need to support digestion).

Our bodies and joints start to seize up and ache more, so we tend to pump up the heat in the bathroom with long hot showers or soaks in the bath…and we notice our skin get dry, our nails and hair go brittle, and our luscious lips turn into a chapped, scaly, sore, not so kissable version of themselves…

Enter top inclusion #1…..bone broth!…

…a vitamin and mineral packed, delectable drink, containing…well, lots of vitamins and minerals to support the bodily functions and immune system…but also collagen and elastin…which of course are great for all our connective tissues, skin, hair and nails.

I used to think bone broth was just glamorised stock…which it is essentially…but more an elixir than a stock! Each are made in pretty much the same way, but bone broth is cooked for a much longer period of time to extract the minerals and gelatin that make broth such a nutritious food.

Collagen and gelatin (what collagen breaks down into) found in bone broth, are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins…and proteins are the building blocks of life. They are what make your muscles fibres, organs, hair, nails, skin, and connective tissues, as well as your enzymes, which help your body function.

It should go without saying, therefore, that bone broth is an amazing immune boosting food that can help your gut integrity and digestion…as well as support healthy connective tissues, hair, skin etc.

How specifically? Because the amino acids in broth…

…restore and maintain a healthy gut lining, so impact your immune system, as 80% of your immune system is in your gut

…help your mood, thereby also help to protect against the ‘winter blues’, as about 90% of your feel good hormone, serotonin, is made in the gut

…aid that sweet, rejuvenating, amazing activity that I now crave so much as a new mum, sleep, as around 80% of your sleep hormone, melatonin, is made in the gut…plus broth contains the amino acid, glycine, which also aids sleep

…help avoid achy stiff joints, dry skin, brittle hair and nails, and help your body functions in general, especially over the colder months as they are essentially what make these tissues and the enzymes needed for the body to function.

Volia! Bone broth = seasonal and dry skin help!

Have your bone broth like a cup-a-soup, or add to your soups, stews or sauces. I like mine in a mug first thing in the morning, with half a lemon!

You can pay a pretty penny for store bought versions of collagen and gelatin…and bone broth for that matter…but it’s really cheap and easy to you make your own bone broth…plus you can play around with what you add to it to mix up the flavour, and homemade is always better for you ‘cos it’s made with love! The power of intention people!

I stock NES Proteins 100% Grass-fed and Finished Collagen (450g for $42), Gelatin (450g for $29), Chicken Bone Broth (100g for $26), and Beef Bone Broth (100g for $23) if you are interested in these, however, I really urge you to make your own! Here’s the recipe…

1-2 kg of organic bones from 100% pasture raised animals or wild caught fish (beef knuckles bones, marrow bones, or about 3 chicken carcasses for chicken broth)
5 chicken necks (give or take, it really doesn’t matter)
Couple of chicken feet if possible (extra jelly like broth with these but not essential)
4 litres of filtered water
Plenty of Himalayan, Celtic or Redmond Real Salt (can always add more later)
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Veggie scraps (collect your carrots ends, cauliflower leaves, celery hearts, potato skins etc in the freezer)
Bunch of parsley

You really want to make sure to get organic/wild bones to avoid extracting and concentrating too many toxins. Some people like to roast the bones first for 30 mins at 200 degrees Celsius, but I honestly have never been bothered! I am sure it would develop a nice flavour though! I cover the bones with water and apple cider vinegar for an hour (the acid starts to break down the bones), then add the veggies etc and bring to the boil before simmering on low for 8-48 hours depending on what the bones are (8 for fish, 24 for chicken, 48 for beef). Could also try adding ginger, turmeric, chilli…I dunno, get creative and share your wins with us at the Core Health Squad!

OK, so #1 down…so why #2, a shower filter you ask!? Well the key was in the long hot baths or showers we mentioned before.

Yes, the hotter temperature will impact your skin, hair and nails so do be sure to keep it sensible, that’s just science people! However! Tap water contains numerous toxins including fluoride, chlorine, chloramine (a secondary disinfectant in municipal water), VOCs (the result of chlorine reacting with organic matter) and THMs (by-product predominantly when chlorine is used to disinfect water for drinking), that burden our body and increase its toxic load, making us more at risk of diseases and gut issues. These especially get volatile and we breathe them in, in the hot water vapour of our bath or shower thereby impacting us even more.

Installing a filter to your shower water (or one for all water in the house) that removes at least the chlorine, not only smells a lot better (I feel so much better when I run the boys bath and can’t smell the chlorine in the water!), it can reduce those volatile nasties drastically, and result in improved respiratory health (particularly for asthma and bronchitis sufferers), increased energy, and overall greater health…and…it helps that dry winter skin, as the chlorine strips proteins from your skin and hair causing dry bodies, split ends, and aggravating irritated skin and scalp conditions…

Voila! Shower filter = immune and skin support too!

For more information about the nasties in our water see https://chriskresser.com/is-your-daily-shower-making-you-sick

We are selling our house soon, so I didn’t want to invest in a whole house filter, but I still felt strongly about not running a chemically smelly bath for the twins, plus I have two asthmatics in the house! I was therefore super excited to be able to source the ENVIRO PRODUCTS by NEW WAVE, DESIGNER SHOWER FILTER (CHROME). If you are interested in purchasing this from me, then hit me up! It also comes with an essential oil diffuser ring, so you can get an even bigger immune boost by adding some OnGuard and Frankincense doTERRA essential oil…and it’s patented NDF-55 media, unlike activated carbon, is effective in hot water and retains it’s power for up to a year! It also reduces algae, fungus, and hydrogen sulphide, as well as inhibits the growth of bacteria in the filter and shower-head, reducing the mildew. We have noticed that pink scrum we used to get in the shower totally disappear! The filters cost $69.95 and replacement cartridges are $49.95 (plus p&p),, which I considered a really cheap investment for a year of better health!

So! Get some bone broth and a shower filter this winter to support your immune system, avoid that crusty skin…and help you…feel good from your core!

On top of these great inclusions, it is, of course, incredibly important to maintain good gut health…in more ways than just drinking bone broth!…eat a clean balanced diet right for your metabolism, live a detox way of life, rest enough both physically and mentally, de-stress mentally, emotionally, physically and chemically, take the right supplements for your body, and move a little daily, to help your general core health and amazing feels…be sure to book in for a free 20 minute consultation if you would like any advice here.