Look at food preparation and cooking as a fun inside activity during the cooler months. We benefit our whole body when the food experience of preparation and eating are enjoyed with others. Have a big soup cook-up on the weekend or start a soup club at work and take it in turns to bring in your favourite signature soup dish to share with your colleagues.
Cooking winter casseroles, soups and curries also provide the perfect opportunity to include a range of highly nutritional herbs and spices. These are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients to help repair our body and prevent disease. Turmeric, chilli, ginger, garlic are just a few of my favourites.
One part of what people refer to as cleansing is the need to get your digestive system working as well as possible. When our digestive systems are sluggish, we often feel that way too. Your digestive system is a critical player in the functioning of your overall immune system and a great way to keep this in check is to make sure you are getting plenty of fibre, which again comes back to eating lots of vegetables and wholegrains. These provide the fibre to keep things moving and to feed the good bacteria.
Using wholegrains to accompany your meal, instead of making it the star, can help prevent over eating and extra kilograms that may be occur in the cooler months. Try some slow cooked meals packed with vegetables in a slow cooker, or in the oven for long periods. Winter provides us with a great range of nutrient rich vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and silverbeet, perfect for this style of meals. Walk into the house and smell that aroma waiting for you. That is enough to lift your spirits after a gloomy weather day. Replace your usual snacks with mini meals of warming filling dishes. An afternoon mug of warm, hearty minestrone will keep you going until dinner time.
Make sure you treat yourself! A healthy warm dessert in cold weather can be used to nourish the body too. Try stewed apple with rhubarb, wholegrain fruit and nut toast with ricotta, sautéed banana and cinnamon, instead of reaching for the biscuits and cakes. Add some cinnamon, cloves and other spices for added phytonutrients and flavor.
Use the cooler weather to your advantage by eating nourishing and warming dishes with plenty of tasty vegetables, herbs and spices that will provide you with a massive nutrient hit! Then you and your well-fuelled body will be ready when the summer months arrive.