Q: Living in Canada in the Winters, I find it hard to make sure I’m keeping up with fresh fruits and vegetables when not much is available. What are my best options for eating seasonally?
A: During the Winter our bodies are more prepared to have heartier, more filling meals. Think of incorporating more stews, soups and casseroles using ingredients like root vegetables such as sweet potato, beets, turnips and pulses like red beans, lentils, and chickpeas. These types of food also last a long time and can be stored in a cool dark place throughout the Winter. Another option is to buy frozen vegetables. Nutritionally, they’re the same as fresh foods, and may be even slightly higher in some nutrients as they’re picked at peak freshness and frozen immediately. For example, some vitamins such as Vitamin C start degrading immediately upon harvesting.
Q: I find my mood lowers in the Winter when the days are shorter and it’s so cold out. What nutrients should I focus on to help keep my mood up?
A: Unfortunately this type of seasonal shift in mood is very common in colder climates, but there are a few tools in the nutritional toolbox to help! Here are a few nutrients to focus on:
B Vitamins-responsible for how we process energy from our food. A deficiency, especially in B12, is linked with poor mood. Leafy greens, whole grains, legumes are good sources of B vitamins in general. B12 only comes from animal sources, or those fortified with it (like soy milk or tofu).
Magnesium- a very common mineral for deficiency with symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and irritability. Sources include leafy greens, nuts, and seeds such as sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin.
Fatty acids- omega-3 fatty acids play a role in nerve conduction and keep our thoughts and emotions flowing smoothly. Sources include fatty fish, and walnuts and flaxseeds.
Q: How can I get back on track after a holiday of overeating and overindulging?
A: I’m right there with ya, the holidays can be a tough time to stay on track with healthy eating! I would suggest a few steps to getting back on track.
1. Get rid of the guilt you’re feeling. So things went a little off track, let it go and look forward.
2. Identify 2-3 healthy recipes that you actually look forward to making.
3. Pick your meal prep day. Whatever day in the week you have the most time is when you devote to cooking those delicious and healthy recipes you chose.
4. Double or even triple recipes so you can be guaranteed with lots of leftovers.
5. Freeze some of those leftovers so later in the month you’ll have rotating options of food to keep things exciting.
If you’re having trouble getting back on track then reach out and book an appointment with me. I have loads of recipe ideas to keep things fresh and exciting!
We will have the "Ask Our Nutritionist" segment on the bio-weekly bases, so if you did not get a chance to ask a question this time, feel free to e-mail us next week! Additionally, if you would like a more detailed nutritional consultation do not hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment with our nutritionist.