What’s your advice for adjusting to a healthy winter diet after the sunny season?
Embrace winter nourishing foods is my first bit of advice. Too many people have a fear of winter weight gain. Let's bring back the love of food and just learn how to make it work for our brain and body. The number one rule for winter is to gather clean, easy, ‘do-able recipes’ and an action plan. The best diet is the world is…. Drum roll…. One you can stick too. A plan that is abundant in clean, whole foods that are not packaged and processed is what will create true wellbeing. Whole foods are vitamin, mineral and fibre rich. Packaged foods are sugar-packed, nutrient-void, and unhealthy hormone provokers!
Which nutrients do our bodies crave in the cooler months?
The nutrients we crave and require brainpower, balanced hormones, and vibrant life are the same in the winter as they are in the summer. We crave warm, richer foods in the cooler months. Winter foods tend to be heavier meals and that is often why people gain an average of 3 kilos in the winter months.
Which foods have these nutrients, and how do they boost our overall health?
I love people to think about their food and ask …where is my protein, fat and smart carb. When we are eating whole foods like this we are getting important nutrients like vitamin B ( energy and serotonin), selenium and iodine ( thyroid and metabolism), iron and B12 ( brain health and neurotransmitters) and more. We should be ‘crowding’ in so much good food for breakfast lunch and dinner that we don’t have room for a junkie, sugary, grab and go foods. The trick is to stay satiated and not get the ‘hangry’ monster.
We often have cravings for comfort foods. How can we transform a typical heavy comfort food into a lighter but still fulfilling healthy winter offering?
It’s all about educating ourselves with good advice, creating a plan that is ‘do-able’, stocking the pantry and fridge. We take a lot of time to plan our careers, schooling, heck even our wardrobe - why don't we do the same for the health of our energy, moods, sleep and weight?
It’s common to feel more hungry in winter. Why is this?
We tend to be hungrier in the winter because we are colder. So don’t forget the importance of movement- before work, at lunch and incidental exercise. Don’t confuse hunger for thirst either. We drink less water in winter so stock up on herbal teas, a nice teacup, and a water bottle that you want to drink from (not some banged up plastic recycled bottle! ) And one more nugget here… nutrition, exercise, and sleep is a three-prong approach to a productive, vibrant person. If you are not sleeping well, you are often comfort-eating, so create a sleep routine or you could have a waistline blow out.