How To Stay On Track With Your Goals During Winter
The things I love about winter: layered clothing, early nights, Netflix, winter roasts and BAKING, however winter was also the time of year I would gain a lot of weight from being generally lazy and over eating the wrong foods. Here’s some quick tips from me on how to stay healthy and on track this winter!
1. Calm Your Carbs
The cold season tends to ignite our cravings for more carbs and comfort foods. Why? After you consume these delicious treats, your serotonin levels rise, making your brain think you are happier. And as the day wears on, your carb cravings get stronger and stronger.
To counter this, try eating a protein-packed breakfast to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. If by the time the afternoon rolls around you’re still craving sweets or carbs, be sure to have low-fat and healthy snacks on hand. However, if you can, finding a way to increase your serotonin levels without food is the best way to beat the carb cravings.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are a healthy type of fat that are naturally found in many food types including fish, plant seeds and nuts. Omega 3 fatty acids are great for reducing joint pain and stiffness as they are a natural anti-inflammatory. Studies have also shown that omega 3 fatty acids help lower levels of depression, which people commonly feel during the shorter days of winter. My Warm Salmon Salad With Chilli Citrus Dressing is worth a try as it’s both tasty and loaded with goodness!
There are several species of mushrooms that have immune-boosting health benefits. That’s because mushrooms have naturally-occurring antibiotics. This gives them medicinal properties, which helps us to fight off many types of illnesses. Next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to stock up on varieties like white button or shitake mushrooms and add them to your meals this winter. I ask for mushrooms instead of bread or english muffins when I order Eggs Benedict. AMAZING.
Soluble fibre found in broccoli, beans, pulses and nuts is an important way to decrease inflammation and boost immune system function. Soluble fibre also helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body and aids in weight loss and protection against diabetes. BOOM.
5. Green and Orange Vegetables
Sticking primarily to vegetables and fruits that are dark green and orange is important in ensuring you’re getting healthy nutrients into your diet. Spinach, kale, a little pumpkin, carrots and oranges are all delicious during the winter. If you’re adding fruit to your diet, just watch your daily carb content.
Onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne and coriander are some of my favourites and are the perfect ingredients to add flavour and metabolism boosting qualities to your dishes. Not only do they make food taste great, but they’re also shown to help improve immune function. Turmeric is also a favourite and its main active ingredient is called curcumin, which gives curry its yellow colour. This spice has been known to help combat a number of conditions including inflammation and heart disease, and it acts as a powerful antioxidant. Have you tried my warming Turmeric latte yet? AMAZING. Click this link for the recipe
Try to stick to a simple weekly exercise plan so you don’t put off your regular exercise activities. On Sunday night, write down your exercise schedule for the next seven days. Choose your exact workout routines, activities or exercises for each day and how long they will be. Knowing what you’re scheduled to do each day ahead of time makes it easier to stick to. If you can, line up your workout schedule with a friend to encourage each other to stick with it and stay motivated. Even a power walk to get a coffee is something so add it onto the list. (FYI: that’s pretty much my daily routine!)
8. Workout at Home
If you’re like me and you really hate the cold, there are plenty of resources online that supply fun workout videos and
exercises including yoga from my friend Rachael Thompson (check out her site for a really good daily practice that takes just a couple of minutes), strength training, aerobics and other body-weight exercises. Even more recently I’m finding that running up and down the stairs in my building a few times then coming inside and doing some strength training on my home suspension training system is enough to keep me going. Just a little every day is all it takes. FYI: if you want the suspension system in your own home, I got it from YOUR GYM IN A BAG. Use my name MONIQUE as the coupon code in the checkout cart and receive a discount!