Lifestyle & Parenting

How Jillian Harris Beats the Winter Blues

February 22, 2018

Chin up friends! Though it may feel like the chilliness is lingering, signs of spring are on the horizon and before we know it we’ll be surrounded by blooms, skipping down the street in our light coats and sunnies. In the meantime, let’s live in the moment and make the most of the next couple months, shall we? We had the pleasure of chatting with TV personality and gorgeous fashionista Jillian Harris about her winter beauty and wardrobe essentials, comfort food, plus her top self-care tips for the season. Enjoy! —Rachel Johnston

jillian harris

Hi Jillian! How do you maintain a healthy glow this time of year?

I feel like all aspects of our life are feeling dull and dry at this time of year. We’re so sick of our wardrobe; our skin is dry; our diets are feeling tired and and we still have leftover gift bags hanging around from Christmas! Everything is in need of a pre-spring kick start. So, one of the things I’ve done for my skin since I was 25 is exfoliating. Not just my face but my entire body. I love to get those little scrubbing gloves and go to town on my skin. It’s also good for the lymph nodes which connect to our energy, breathing and blood flow. I would definitely recommend exfoliating once a day or at least a couple times a week. After you exfoliate your face, always use a serum. I like ones that have a botanical aspect to them like rose or lavender – something that’ll give you that fresh, dewy feeling. In January, February, March, we’re so ready for winter to be over but we haven’t quite got back on the health train. Make sure you’re drinking enough water to improve your energy AND to keep your skin nice. Oh and laying off the wine will help, too!

As Canadians, we love our toques but how do we combat the frizzy hair that inevitably follows?

Great question! Usually hair gets staticky and you get toque hair because it’s dry. I definitely suggest using a hair mask once or twice a week. And if you’re on a budget coconut oil works great too! Sometimes I’ll put coconut oil on my hair before bed, put it up in a nice big bun and then wash it out in the morning. I also use a men’s pomade on the top of my hair (on the roots) right before I leave the house. This helps tame the flyaways and frizz.

jillian harris

How do you stay stylish while all bundled up?

It’s all about keeping it simple. I don’t usually choose new items at this time of year because spring is around the corner and its transition season. But if I have an itch to go shopping, I’m all about the leggings. Joe Fresh has nice, simple, black leggings for twelve dollars so you’re not breaking the bank. I actually like to shop for sweatshirts in the men’s section of Joe Fresh because you can find really nice oversized sweaters and knits. You’ll freshen things up but still be cosy. And then in the summertime you can pair those oversized knits with a cute pair of cutoffs and sneakers. I also recommend items you can layer. Today I’m wearing little brown cowboy booties from Joe Fresh with jeans and a cardigan. In the summertime I’ll wear them with a dress, skirt or shorts.

And are there certain fashion guidelines you follow for the season in terms of colours and fabrics?

Right now I’m really into the blushes and pinks because of Valentine’s Day and since Easter is also right around the corner. Don’t be afraid to introduce colour. I usually steer clear of dark green and burgundy because I know in a month or two it’ll be spring and I’ll probably want to retire those items. I still wear my greys and whites but pair them with lots of blush.

jillian harris

What are your top winter accessories?

I pretty much wear the same accessories every day. The same watch, rings, necklace—everything! If I switch up anything, it’s my earrings. They’re the easiest because you don’t normally sleep with them on. But it just depends, if you’re one of those people that takes off all your jewelry every night anyway, you’re probably more successful in switching it up the next day … I do love my hats! Toques in the winter, of course, and in the summertime you can wear a nice little farmer’s hat. Jewelry is just tough for me! I’m always losing things!

Comfort food has a rep for being unhealthy. Do you have a family fave with a nutritious spin?

I’ve been transitioning over to a plant-based diet the past few years. But I can’t let go of comfort food because otherwise I’d just be eating salads all the time and that’s just torture! I have a vegan spaghetti Bolognese recipe on my website that I absolutely love. I replace the beef with either finely diced mushrooms, lentils or you can also use veggie ground. So you’re getting double the amount of vegetables and avoiding the animal fat. You can decide how healthy you want to take it. Choose between regular pasta, whole grain, or even get crazy and use a gluten-free option, spaghetti squash or veggie noodles (carrot or zucchini)—it just depends on your health-nut level. If you’re entertaining a large group, you can also serve the sauce separate and have a bunch of options for the base. It’s a great way to go if you have a celiac in the bunch or have an uncle that just likes plain ol’ regular pasta!

jillian harris

Self-care is especially important in the dreary months but how can we indulge without breaking the bank?

I like to have fun in the kitchen and have been experimenting a lot lately. It’s great because a) everybody needs to eat and b) it also becomes a hobby and you save money by not eating out. It’s great having little Leo in the kitchen with me and I let him make a mess while I try out different recipes. During the winter we’re not outside as much so we’re trying to be careful with our time and making an effort to stay off our phones. One of the things that Justin and I have started doing is having a sit-down family dinner at 5:30 every night. There are no phones, no devices and we turn on some classical music and have a little glass of wine while we enjoy our meal. It’s become a really great time for us to connect with each other. I feel like many of us are so addicted to our devices. But thankfully I see change and I think our brains are starting to turn around and we’re realizing it isn’t healthy. So yes, I’d definitely suggest less technology if you can! I’m also a big fan of point systems. Loblaws, Superstore, Joe Fresh and Shoppers Drug Mart have all recently merged into one called PC Optimum. So after gaining points from practical things like grocery shopping and gas for your car, you can put them towards flowers or head to Shoppers Drug Mart to treat yourself to a face mask or Epsom salt for the bath!


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