If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been slowly gearing up for this “How to” Maintain Winter Wellness.” Superfood tea, naturally flavored water . . . all ways to try to give your immune system a quick boost during this cold weather. I wish there was a special formula to stay healthy through the winter. Maybe a dash of good luck is all that’s needed, but I do believe there’s something to be said for eating well to prevent sickness. With the flu season upon us, we already know it’s a gamble. Getting sick? No thank you. You wouldn’t run a marathon tomorrow without training, so why not do everything in your power to keep you balanced for tomorrow? Here are some ideas of what I like to incorporate in recipes to help my body stay healthy during the cold winter months ahead.
When in doubt, I try to bring food back to the basics — natural ways to nourish your body. I just newly discovered the daikon radish is high in vitamin C. Cue a Daikon & Carrot Salad. Also high in vitamin C are citrus fruits (hence my picture of a grapefruit), peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and even cauliflower. I try to incorporate food high in antioxidants, like cranberries, pomegranates or blueberries. Toss them in a salad, decorate banana pancakes, yogurt or chocolate avocado mousse. Just because I’m trying to be basic, doesn’t mean I can’t be creative!
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- Quinoa Cranberry Salad
- Banana Pancakes with Poached Berries & Pomegranates (pictured below)
- Bang Bang Cauliflower
- Kale Rosemary Flatbread
- Spicy Garlic Sautéed Kale & Spinach
Hydration is your new friend. I started carrying a Nalgene around with me in high school, so I’d be prepared for our soccer practices in the August heat. It’s a habit that stuck. Sometimes, I’m not in the mood for plain, bland water. Toss in some citrus, cucumber, fresh herbs, strawberries, even fresh ginger. You really can’t go wrong. I also love me a big cup o’ tea. My nighttime routine ends with a cup of herbal tea, red tea or decaf green tea to just sip on and unwind. I made a Cranberry Orange Tea with Ginger, a take on an Aloha original, and added it to green tea. (If you haven’t heard of Aloha, they’re a wellness site that embodies clean eating in the most natural ways.) I must say it was like a taste of perfection – light, slightly spice and revitalizing.
- Lemon Mint Water
- Cucumber Melon Water (pictured below — top)
- Strawberry Basil Water (pictured below — bottom right)
- Mint Clementine (pictured below — bottom left)
- More Naturally Flavored Water Ideas
Embrace the Season.
Look to see what’s in season for produce, so you can guarantee things to be at their freshest. Take the daikon radish; it’s a winter root vegetable and readily available now along with its vitamin C. Not surprisingly, other produce in season seems to be exactly what you want to stay healthy: pomegranates (pictured below), Brussels sprouts, kale, citrus.
Whenever I eat lean, clean, green and just smart, I feel ten times better. Food never has to be boring – it should be fun! Why not savor it?