I am a summer girl through and through. I love the beach, swimming, surfing, sunshine, bare feet, sand between my toes, sunset beach picnics, summer fruits and salad, early summer morning runs, braais, and evening neighbourhood walks to the park with my dog when the sun is only setting after 8pm.
But, the leaves are falling, Autumn is officially here, and winter is nearly upon us. No point getting sad about it. And in fact, this year there are actually some things that I am looking forward to about winter. Here they are:
Avos are amazing. Not only are they creamy and tasty, but they are full of healthy fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Avos contain monounsaturated fats which are important in promoting heart health. Eating some avo with your meals will also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, due to the fact that it is a fat and fats are filling. Mash them, slice them, dice them...so many things to do with avo. Have fun with them this winter!
I want to try out more soup recipes this winter. I always encourage my clients to eat some vegetables with lunch and supper daily. In summer it’s pretty easy to eat some salad with your lunch...on a cold winter’s day, somehow that tuna salad just isn’t as appealing. Enter soup! What a fantastic way to get your veggies in on those cold winter days. Soups are an ideal ‘all in one meal’. You can have veggies, protein (e.g. from chicken or legumes), carb (from veggies and legumes again), and healthy fat (from some olive oil used in cooking) all in one cup/ bowl. It’s nice and convenient to take soup to work for lunch in winter.
- Slow cooker meals
I also want to try out some slow cooker recipes this winter. I like the idea of throwing a whole lot of veg and chicken/ meat into a slow cooker and letting it cook away while I’m out at work, and then coming home to a warm, nutritious meal cooked and ready to eat. For those of you who work late...this is a much better option than grabbing take-aways on the way home.
- Citrus fruit
While I do get sad when the wide variety of summer fruits are no longer in season, I am getting excited at the thought of citrus fruit. Winter fruit is not just about oranges, apples, bananas and pears. When you hear ‘citrus fruit’ don’t just think about oranges. In the ‘citrus fruit’ category there are many varieties of fruit to try such as oranges, naarjies, clementines, and grapefruit. Ruby grapefruit is a personal favourite of mine. I love to have half a grapefruit, some scrambled egg, and avo for breakfast in winter.
- Forest runs
In summer, after work, I often find it too hot to go for a forest run. I stick to early morning road runs. But, in winter, I love nothing more than a forest run straight after work. The air is crisp, cool and refresing. I love getting the blood running through my veins to warm me up, and enjoying nature in a way that warms me up, rather than leaving me freezing outdoors.
- Trying new gym classes
In summer I can’t handle the thought of exercising in a gym, when I could be enjoying a summer sunrise run, or an evening sunset surf after work. But, in winter when its pouring with rain outside then I am very grateful for my gym contract. I’m looking forward to using the rainy winter days to try out kick-boxing and some other interesting gym classes that I’ve been wanting to try out. It’s so important to keep exercising and keep those endorphins pumping in winter keep your mood good and keep the cold weather from getting you down.