Winter is a tough time for maintaining a healthy diet. Apple pies, Oktoberfest, Halloween candy, Thanksgiving and pumpkin pies, Christmas cookies and cakes, one last New Year’s bash before your big resolution… And then you have fewer fresh vegetable, less sunlight/Vitamin D, fewer activities to help maintain bone density… It’s a lot for even a mostly healthy eater.
Start with winter vegetables, especially gourds, which are packed with great nutrition. When not baked in a pie with sugar, pumpkin is really healthy. Try a shake instead: milk, pumpkin filling (you can slice and bake a pumpkin to get it sans additives), and pumpkin spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc.
Try frozen fruit. Berries with all their bright colors are packed with nutrition. Frozen fruit preserves most of the nutrition (certainly a lot better than canned veggies or sugary preserves). And they’re available year round!
Make a plan to limit your treat intake. One thin chef advised in a cooking column that he only eats it if he makes it—no quick sugar fix for him.
Work on getting enough Vitamin D and Calcium. Many parts of the country get the occasional sunny day throughout winter—so be ready to use it! Use a daily multivitamin as a safety net for the rest of the time, and through in an additional calcium supplement: bone density thins in the winter, but you can combat it with making sure you get enough calcium and exercise.
Besides staying healthy, good nutrition will help support your happiness over winter. Lack of Vitamin D contributes to Seasonal Depression, and of course, it feels good to have a healthy body.
What’s your winter strategy for staying healthy?