As winter arrives and the days get shorter and colder, it's tempting to cozy up with comfort foods. While you definitely should let yourself indulge, it's also important to prioritize your health and well-being. Eating healthy during the winter months is essential to boost your immune system, maintain energy levels, and show up as your best self to all of the holiday events. Here are some tips to help you eat well during the chilly season.
1. Embrace Seasonal Produce
Even in winter, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables in season. Look for options like sweet potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts, squash, and citrus fruits. These foods are not only fresher but also more affordable during their peak season.
2. Warm Up with Soups and Stews
Soups and stews are not only comforting but also nutritious. Load them with vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Homemade broths and stocks add depth of flavor and provide an extra dose of nutrients.
3. Prioritize Fiber, Fat, and Protein at Every Meal
Having a balanced plate made up of protein, healthy fat, and fiber is very important all year long. However, prioritizing protein and fat is even more important during these months to keep your body warm and nourished throughout the colder temps.
4. Stay Hydrated
It's easy to forget to drink water during the colder months, but staying hydrated is essential. Herbal teas, warm water with lemon, and hot soups are excellent options to keep your fluid intake up.
5. Practice Intuitive Eating
It's okay to indulge in your favorite comfort foods during winter - it's actually encouraged! Restricting yourself will actually cause more stress and most likely lead to binging later on. We believe in intuitive eating. Before indulging, tune into your body to see how you really feel. Stay present during the enjoyment of it, and eat without distraction. Practicing intuitive eating will help you decipher your body's fullness signals and enjoy without guilt.
6. Vitamin D Supplements
In many regions, winter means less exposure to sunlight, which can lead to a deficiency in vitamin D. Consider taking a vitamin D supplement after consulting with a healthcare professional.
7. Stay Active
Regular exercise is key to maintaining your well-being during the winter months. It can help boost your mood and metabolism, so be sure to stay active even when it's hard. If it's too cold for your usual walk, opt for an indoor fitness class or an at home yoga class instead.
Eating healthy during the winter doesn't mean sacrificing flavor or comfort. By incorporating seasonal produce and making thoughtful food choices, you can maintain a nutritious diet that keeps you feeling your best, even on the chilliest of days.