Now that it is getting chilly outside and winter is just around the corner, many of us may find it difficult to stay healthy in the winter months. However, although in the summer time it is always easier to stay active and choose better food options as we naturally crave refreshing and clean foods, it is still extremely important to stay healthy in the winter. With colds and flus circulating all around us, winter is even more important when it comes to eating healthy and making sure you get your nutrients in. And even though you may not be out by the pool or on the beach everyday like you would in the summer, if you take care of your body and your health in the winter- that will show and make things that much easier when spring comes!
Although the winter is a time to be cosy and to maybe treat yourself to a few indulgences every now and then (Christmas parties and New Years especially), there are a few tips you can follow to make sure you stay a bit more healthy and don’t completely throw your healthy eating out the window. We’re here today sharing a couple of these tips with all of you 🙂
Remember that your body will respond to how you treat it! If you eat healthy food, your body will be happy and healthy and you will have more energy. However, if you eat something that is very heavy and greasy (A.K.A. comfort food), you may feel happy in the moment but often times you will feel tired and sluggish after the meal. So, before you decide to have a take-away everyday or load up on cheesy pasta after a long day at work, take a minute to think about how you want to feel and you will most likely decide to opt for a healthier option.
Greens are still your best friend. Make sure you don’t skip on your greens in the winter just because the weather is a bit colder and you want something warm! Make a soup and add spinach, make a smoothie and sneak in some kale and spinach! Or even if you are making a roast or a warm dinner- don’t forget to add in some Brussel sprouts, beans or peas! And who knew… salads can also be warm! Top some dark leafy greens with warm quinoa, steamed butternut squash, pomegranate and roasted mushrooms and you’ve got a comforting and delicious, healthy, warm salad!
Set goals for yourself. If you want to stay very healthy with your meals but find it hard to select healthier options in the winter as you want something comforting, then try and set goals for yourself! For instance- eat 4 fruits a day, have 3 salads every week, make a homemade soup 2 times a week and so forth! Every time you achieve these goals- treat yourself at the end of the week to a nice bit of chocolate or a glass of mulled wine! Rewards will make you more likely to achieve your goals!
Prep in advance. If you’re out and about, it will be a bit more difficult to snack healthy in the winter as there is a lot of temptation to buy a sweet and warm coffee or hot chocolate. Same with meals- you will be tempted to reach for the easiest and most comforting meal. In the summer, there are a lot more places that serve healthy smoothies, salads or fruit pots, but in the winter these places are often masked by Christmas-themed drinks and cakes! One way you can stay healthy is by preparing! Always prep your meals in advance- whether it is the night before or on a Sunday before the beginning of a long week, prep some meals and snacks in advance and have them ready for the days ahead! Also, make sure to have fruit and veggies at your desk or in your bag to make sure you keep up with your 5 a day!
Stay hydrated with warm lemon water! A great way of fighting colds and staying hydrated during the winter months is to have some warm lemon water in the morning! If you’re not a tea or coffee fan, then this is perfect for you. And even if you are- this is still a great morning drink to get you up and ready in the morning! Whether it’s a warm or hot cup of water with some fresh lemons squeezed in – the instant kick of Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium will boost your immunity, waken you up and also help you stay hydrated and healthy throughout December, January and February!
Find an awesome Soup or Stew recipe. They are warming, packed with vegetables and will keep you full and happy when there is snow or rain outside! Make a massive pot of soup on a Sunday and it will have you covered for a few days!
If you’re going to drink, choose options with less sugar and calories. If you’re going out to a Christmas party of some sorts, you may be drinking. So, make sure you try and choose wisely whilst enjoying yourself 🙂 Choose a dry white wine or a Brut Prosecco over a cocktail filled with sugar or cream. If you do want a cocktail- something like a G&T will be better than a Pina Colada which is packed with sugar and fat. Mulled wine is also a good seasonal option but do make sure you don’t over do it + stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water with each alcoholic drink you consume to reduce the risk of dehydration and a hangover the next morning 🙂
Eat seasonal produce! Although strawberries and peaches may not be available to all in the winter, there are still some amazing fruit & veg you can get nowadays that is fresh, delicious and also nutritious! Make sure to stock up on butternut squash, pumpkins, Brussel sprouts, apples, pears, cauliflower, carrots and citrus!
Enjoy the season and have everything in moderation! Christmas and New Year only come around once a year, meaning that such beautiful family and friend gatherings are something you should enjoy with your loved ones! Have fun, enjoy the beautiful food and drinks that are around you and make sure to listen to your body! Have everything in moderation! 🙂