Monday, December 9, 2013

Brrr... Is it ever cold out? How I keep warm in the chilly weather.

Where we live, in Western Canada, we have always been spoiled with mild weather. Our summers don't get too hot and our winters are we quite mild, a couple degrees below zero is our worst. This year, we seemed to be hitting hard by the cold front. Everyone is complaining how cold it is. I just drove by a pumpkin field where people were playing ice hockey on it. I am finding it extra challenging trying to keep warm this year since my body went through so many changes in the last several months. Having lost body fat and having a compromised colon,  I am always dehydrated. So besides layering extra extra clothing before I go out, I have had to come up with a few creative ways to keep me from feeling like I'm trapped under an avalanche waiting for rescue. 

Wool and silk
I learned from my first camping trip as a kid that wool keeps you warm even when wet. I just love the breathability and the comfort of wool. I usually look for Merina wool because they are thin and washable. Silk is a great against the skin layer for me,  but I also grew up wearing the traditional Chinese silk jackets that kept me toasty warm as a child, the only drawback about silk jackets being as an outer layer is I wouldn't want to get it wet, even if it's the washable kind. 

Hot Ginger tea/ bath 
A cup of warming ginger tea goes a long way, what better way to warm up from the inside out. I thinly slice ginger and simmer in water for a good 20 mins. I love the spiciness of ginger. I don't sweeten it but if you like, some raw honey or organic maple syrup would be nice too. 

Warming Hand Slave
I came across this brilliant idea from  to make your own moisturizing salve that will warm your hands too. I will definitely make some once I get some beeswax.

Portable heating bags or pads
There are all kinds of reusable seeds and grain bags out there you can buy, even some neighbourhood drugs store would carry them. They are also very easy to make, check out for this easy DIY. I have made mine with rice but different kinds of filler will hold heat at different length of time. These little warmers are the frequent users of my microwave, I just pop them in for 1-2 mins and out come the toaster portable heaters.

Sodium Acetate Heating pads
I have a couple of these Sodium Acetate Heating pads in the event  I am not close to a microwave or my rice bags have completely cool down. Usually there is a small coin or rod inside the gel like substance and when you break it, the warmer heats up. The non toxic gel inside will harden when activated.

You can buy them here

Baby blankets for driving
All you parents out there, don't pass those baby blankets on too fast when your kids out grows them. I keep about 3-4 in the van for when I just get in and before the heater kicks in.

On top of all these warming tactics, a hot mug of bone broth to go or before I leave the house will give me a head start in braving the cold outside.

What are your favourite ways to keep warm in icy weather? 

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