Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Winter Harmony- Welcome Michelle Pfennighaus

The Winter Harmony blog series is our gift to our beautiful community to help inspire and support you to live in harmony with winter. Join us and some amazing guest bloggers M-F during the month of January. Click here to see all the Winter Harmony posts in one place.

Get your own
Winter Harmony Mandala to bring a little peace and joy to your winter season this year and see what message it has for you.
Winter Hat. Boots. Balance

I lived in Boston for 6 winters before I bought a hat. No joke. It was another 2 years before I bought waterproof boots.

If you’ve ever experienced a New England winter, you can appreciate how out of touch I was with my own (freezing cold) body.

And it wasn’t just temperature I was ignoring. I was ignoring my IBS symptoms. Ignoring my dizzy spells. Fainting. Anxiety. Exhaustion. Drinking more Dunkin Donuts coffee to wake up. Ignoring what it was doing to me.

It took a health crisis for me to change, and change I did. I started doing yoga. Loving that hot, hot sweaty glow. I changed my diet, piece by piece. Started wearing my hat. Boots. Gloves.

Now my winter self care includes a lot more than woolen accessories. Ayurveda has actually given me the most when it comes to living in harmony with winter - helping me understand how my body becomes cold and dry and out of balance.

So my food gets warmer, both in temperature and spice. That warms and enlivens.

My neti pot becomes a twice daily routine, helping to clear my sinuses. It’s been years since I needed antibiotics.

Sesame oil tames my skin.

When I’m congested, I don’t rely on the false friendship of decongestant medication that only dries my body out further, causing more imbalance. Instead, peppermint essential oil helps relieve stuffiness.

And I get cozy. Winter is a time of hibernation. Less going out. More afghans on the couch with a cup of tea and a cat curled in my lap. Maybe even a hat.

I’ll take it off in the spring.


Michelle Pfennighaus is wife, mama and health coach to busy women around the world. She suffered for years with IBS and anxiety, until finally healing herself through changes in diet and lifestyle. Her life’s reinvention has been documented in the movie “Lemonade” and she’s been featured on ABC, NBC and NPR with her inspiring story. Visit and for recipes and healthy ideas.


  1. Michelle...

    I love your post here. And will take a few of your self-care ideas and put them into practice right away. Off to do some yoga stretches...and make a hot cup of tea.

    And as a fellow New Englander I smiled at the thought of you not buying a hat for six years... especially today when I woke to 15 degrees this morning here on Cape Cod! :)

    Love your website too!


  2. YOU ROCK, Michelle!
    Although I don't have to think twice about the "hat, boots & gloves", your FUN post allowed me to look at how I can ignore the obvious! And of the simple more effective ways I can respond to those "signals", "conversations", or "communications" that I receive from not only my body, but my life and my relationships as well.

    With love & gratitude,
    Cindy Perloff

    P.S. Fun boots! =o)

  3. Loved your fun and insightful article! Thank you so much for sharing :) I have been enjoying my Peppermint Essential Oils the past few weeks. Now I know why!