Warm tips to give winter the shoulder
Grethe Maritz is a model – she was even in a TV advertisement promoting the 2018 Miss South Africa pageant – an architecture student at the University of Pretoria, entrepreneur (check out her luxury leather goods @coolbananasbrand) and an aspiring poet.
But even someone as hardworking and as talented as Grethe can feel the winter cold.
“When I do not have to attend class or work on a design I try to stay in my onesie for as long as possible,” she says with a huge smile.
And to quote the famous Game of Thrones slogan: Winter IS coming; but luckily Chandré Prangley, a registered dietitian, gives some helpful tips on how to survive the winter chill in the Highveld.
“Staying warm and snugly in front of a fireplace with delicious and comforting food to indulge in and to spoil our senses with are definitely on top of most people’s list. It is also a time when our eating habits tend to change drastically and we start to lose our sense of prioritising our body and health in terms of diet and exercise. Healthy eating is important; not only for weight management, but our overall health as well. And it appears that as soon as winter strikes – or at least that first cold front – all our motivation and hard work of healthy eating that we built up during the summer months fly out the window,” says Prangley.
So in order to stay on track with your eating habits throughout the entire year, there are definitely a few points to keep in mind and apply to your life.
• Have a warm and comforting meal or snack, but a healthy option. A few examples are stews, baked potatoes (protein and vegetable fillings), protein-based dishes (crustless quiche and egg based-dishes) and soups. All these will definitely give your body a warm hug, but there will not be any feelings of guilt afterwards.
• Have regular meals to control your appetite. But obviously they should be healthy and nutritious. Protein-rich foods and healthy fats should be included in meals, as these foods tend to keep us full for longer.
Thank goodness there is such a thing as a healthy fat. And in winter-time, avocados are the rage. They are in season and can be enjoyed on warm whole-wheat toast as either a meal or a snack. It has also become popular to include avo’s at breakfast with an egg dish.
• Keep on drinking water even if it is only 16 °C outside. It is a given that water intake decreases during winter as your body does not lose as much fluid as in summer. We also do not particularly like to drink colder liquids, as this also cools down our body temperatures.
But water is still extremely important – it hydrates our skin (which tends to be drier now), it boosts our metabolism and energy levels and can certainly assist with weight loss.
Luke-warm water can be taken with a slice of lemon and mint (it honestly makes it easier to drink) and it tastes lovely. Another option is to have rooibos or herbal teas without sugar and milk. This will also count towards your daily fluid intake. Be cautious of hot drinks containing lots of sugar and dairy creamer as these are extremely high in calories. A healthier hot chocolate can be enjoyed when made at home with cacao, artificial sweetener and skimmed/low fat milk. Spiced chai tea is also a fantastic way to warm up and curb cravings.
• Remember your fruits and veggies!
Stewed fruits (without sugar added) can be enjoyed and many vegetables can be added to stews, potjies, soups and one pot meals to boost our vitamin, mineral and fibre intake. And as mentioned before, you should keep your immune system at its optimum level to decrease your risk of catching illnesses.
• Stay active.
Prioritise your activity and try to exercise at least three to four days per week for 30-45 minutes. Shorter days should be no excuse as exercise can be done indoors doing both cardio and resistance training.
Join a fitness group/bootcamp/gym/crossfit box to boost your motivation. And try to stick to this. You will be pleasantly surprised in summer.
Healthy eating is crucial and it should be sustained during all seasons of the year – no matter what the temperature may be.
So stay warm this winter and enjoy a delicious wholesome stew and low-fat hot cacao in front of the fireplace; all snuggled up after your work-out!