When it comes to winter comfort food, don’t get sucked into the allure of daily toasted sandwiches, pasta bakes galore and more mashed potato than you can poke a stick at!!
Instead, try opting for nourishing warming foods like ‘pimped up’ oats, soups and stews!
(NB: recipe for ‘pimped up oats below!)
Avoid the temptation to fill up on refined processed carbohydrates and try to choose good quality un-refined wholegrains, when including grain-based carbohydrates. Whole rolled oats, quinoa or organic brown rice can be good choices, but all grain-based carbohydrates are very energy dense, so aim keep the portion size small and only ideally only at one meal per day.
Why not think outside the box and try cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles or mashed sweet-potato instead? You get the same warmth and comfort with a whole lot more nourishment!!
My biggest tip is to make sure each of your meals are well balanced.
Each meal should nourish your body with the right combination of my 3 non-negotiables:
2) Colourful nourishing carbohydrates (fruit or veggies)
3) Healthy good fats!
Ideally, you should have a palm size of protein from either nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs or lean animal protein at each and every meal.
Couple this with 2 big handfuls of colourful veggies at least twice a day minimum. This could be in the form of steamed veggies, roast veggies, warm mashed veggies or piled into a delicious soup or stew!
Add a dash of good quality ‘good fats’ from nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil or oily fish (sardines, salmon, ocean trout, etc.) to each meal to round things off nicely. The protein and good fats will help keep you full and satisfied and reduce your carb cravings. As mentioned earlier, if you are adding in ‘grain based’ carbohydrates, try to choose the most nourishing option and also keep the portion size to no more than a quarter of your meal.
Get creative and ‘pimp up’ your meals with as much good nutrition as often as you can.
For example, instead of plain old winter breakfast oats, try adding in a tablespoon or two of chia seeds before cooking your oats. Then top this combo with a dollop of good quality natural or coconut yoghurt, slivered almonds & pumpkin seeds, antioxidant packed blueberries, or winter fruit of choice, and finish with a decent sprinkle or cinnamon to help balance your blood sugar levels. The addition of the nuts, seeds and your choice of yoghurt gives you a healthy serving of protein & good fats to maintain metabolism and many nutrients such as zinc to support immune function. Our beautiful fresh seasonal winter fruits (hello mandarins!) and winter veggies are packed with antioxidants and specific vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A & Zinc to help support our immune systems.
So, shop local and seasonal and get them in whenever you can!
Warmest ‘healthy winter’ wishes
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