Yup, it’s fast approaching. The trees will be turning before you know it and that cold north wind will start blowing. While this sounds like an episode of the Game of Thrones, in reality it is what is starting to occur across much of the United States. Once football season hits, you know it’s around the corner.
This time of year can also lead to a vastly reduced activity level, weight gain and even seasonal depression. Things turn darker, colder, and dismal… it’s no wonder this can occur. Don’t let Old Man Winter keep you down. Here are a few tips and activity choices we highly recommend to help you get through the colder weather in great shape.
Home is Where the Heart Is
I’m like a broken record here on a home workout fitness kick, but it’s because it can be so incredibly beneficial! Nothing can lift your spirits more than breaking a sweat and getting those endorphins rushing after a solid, heart-pumping workout. Obviously, if you plan on being inside during the majority of the time inactive, then you are bound to gain a few pounds. A simple “3 workout a week regime” can help you stay in shape, improve your mood, and save on a gym membership as well!
For many of us we have a mandatory one hour lunch break, but if you’re like me you wolf it down in 10 minutes and then have to find something else to do – this is where the office workout comes in great. From squats to pushups to lunges, there are dozens of bodyweight exercises you can do while in the office during your lunch to bust calories!
Scared of a little jog when it’s freezing outside? Me too! Obviously, you want to be smart in your decision to work/exercise outside first of all! But if you are going to get out there and battle the elements then you better gear up!
Here’s a few of our favorite winter outside activities to help you stay active this winter! It definitely doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out! In an article by Kacey Mya Bradley on DIYactive.com, a few easy ways to get started were laid out:
1. Take a Hike
Once again, don’t get me started on walking… I love it and think it is one of the best ways to start to get in shape when you are a beginner! Walking increases blood flow, gives your heart and lungs a needed boost, builds muscle, is a great social tool and is a stress reliever. Hiking is like walking with a view. You can walk through the woods, up steep hills or just along a peaceful river. Both activities require a good pair of shoes and some warm clothes. So bundle up and hit the trail.
2. Engage in a Winter Sport or Two
Skiing, snowboarding and ice skating (or curling or anything to get you active) are great winter sports that can really warm up your workout routine. These activities offer a fun way to enjoy winter weather while still getting your sport on. Including a new type of workout in your routine can also help work muscles you didn’t even know you had. So head to the slopes or rink, your body will thank you for it.
3. Try a New Activity
Whether you get involved in a gym class, engage in a private session or join a group to enhance your wintertime exercise routine. Heck, you can even join a dodgeball, volleyball, bowling league or take a Pilates reformer class, in any case finding a new activity can mix up the dullness of your predictable training. There is always something fun and awesome to try!
We all know it… winter is right around the corner but that doesn’t mean you have to quit being active. Give these SIMPLE tips a try to stay active and stay healthy, all year long!
Looking for more at home fitness tips? Then check out DIY Active: “Fit.Food.Life.” and join the DIY Nation!
Are you still skipping breakfast? Even after hearing about study after study that shows breakfast is good for you? Not only does it help fill you up in the morning, but it keeps you full, prevents morning snacking, and can even helps you lose weight! Still not convinced?
Many people simply avoid breakfast because they think it takes too long to make. I feel you there, who has time to make a 30 minutes breakfast when you barely have 10 minutes from the time you wake up to the time you have to be out the door? No worries, here are 3 quick, awesome breakfast recipes you can make quickly in the morning or even make the night before!
Spinach Omelet Recipe:
Got to a love this simple, tasty recipe that can be done in minutes! It might take a few tries to get that omelet look but trust me you will get it!
- 2 – cups (handfuls) fresh spinach
- 3 – large Eggs
- 2 – tablespoon low fat or skim milk
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- Rinse the spinach and then wilt the wet spinach with a small amount olive oil in a skillet.
- Mix the eggs, milk, wilted spinach, and salt/pepper in a bowl, whisking thoroughly.
- Pour the mixture into a medium skillet and slowly bring to heat. Cook the omelet on a low-medium setting to slowly cook the inside of the omelet.
- When the middle of the omelet is firm, fold in half to achieve the classic omelet look.
- Continue to cook on a low-medium setting to seal the omelet the finish cooking the inside thoroughly (you may have to flip the entire thing to finish cooking).
- Experiment and add your favorite veggies as well!
Strawberry Breakfast Bowl Recipe:
This is a great recipe from our friend Jennifer Katz Cohen (RD LDN) from Fresh Balance Nutrition. This is a warm, yummy way to wake up and refuel in the early morning hours! Give it a go!
- ½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 strawberries, sliced
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ⅔ cup almonds, chopped
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, or warmed local raw honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- In a small pot, bring quinoa, coconut milk, and salt to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Top each portion with strawberry slices, coconut, and almonds. Drizzle with maple syrup or honey and add a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Pour additional warm coconut milk over top if you’d like to create more of a porridge.
Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes Recipe:
This is another great recipe from Jennifer. This high fiber, high-taste recipe is a great way to fill up in the morning and help you power through those early morning snack cravings! Feed your appetite with this high fiber breakfast food and stay full longer!
- ½ cup old fashioned oatmeal
- ¼ cup walnuts
- 4 egg whites
- ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
- ¼ cup carrots, grated
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons coconut or canola oil
- Process oats and walnuts in food processor until it resembles a coarse flour. Add remaining ingredients, except oil, and process until blended.
- Heat oil in a large pan. Add batter by the tablespoonful. When bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown.
It doesn’t take much to get up and get in a good breakfast. Just put in a little effort in the morning (or the night before) and it will set you up for a more energized day! Make sure to eat that breakfast!
For more awesome recipes and nutrition tips visit Fresh Balance Nutrition or DIY Active.
I love to cook – this is no secret. Since losing weight eight years ago, one of my favorite things to do to stay healthy and maintain my weight is to take my favorite foods and make them at home. Even though I like to think of myself as an adventurous eater, I’ve recently come to realize that I’m not nearly as fearless in the kitchen as I’d like to think when it comes to cooking. Considering that I didn’t really start cooking for myself until about eight years ago, I guess it’s pretty impressive that I have the repertoire that I do. Still, I have moments when I realize that I really need to push myself to expand that and try new things all the time.
Last week I decided to just that, and I’m so glad I did. Like a lot of people, I’m a huge fan of Thai food, but I’ve rarely experimented with cooking it because I’ve always thought that because of it’s depth of flavor it would be really difficult and time consuming(and I’d likely screw it up). I was flipping through several of cooking and food-related magazines and there just happened to be several Thai soup recipes and I decided to just go for it. I didn’t even bother to read the directions, I just went ahead about bought the ingredients I didn’t have and decided I’d set aside a night to try and make a lighter version of an already fairly healthy soup.
People: I have no idea why I waited so long. To make a delicious curry based soup is super-easy. Crazy-easy. Delicious-easy.
Here’s my lightened curry based broth version for you. This broth is crazy delicious on it’s own, but you can add anything you like to it. Use shrimp or chicken to add extra protein, and add rice noodles if you’d like to make it a noodle bowl. This literally takes less than 30 minutes to make, but tastes like it took hours. If you have leftover chicken or seafood, just toss it right in. It’s delicious!
THAI COCONUT CURRY BROTH SOUP:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 shallots, sliced
1 lime – zest the lime and keep the zest separate (you’ll be using both the zest and the lime juice)
3 cloves garlic (jarred minced garlic is also fine in a pinch!)
3-4 tsp fresh grated ginger – fresh is a must!
2 tbsp of red OR green curry paste – your choice!
4 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
2 cups of water
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 can unsweetened lite coconut milk
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
2 tbsp fresh chopped green onion
- Heat the coconut oil in a dutch oven or large pot
- Crisp up the shallots until golden brown. Remove shallots and reserve for later. You will use these as a garnish.
- Now add the garlic, ginger, and the curry paste to the dutch oven and warm/cook for one minute.
- Add chicken broth, fish sauce, 2 cups of water, lime juice, and lime zest. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and add in the lite unsweetened coconut milk
- At this point – add in pre-cooked protein if you like!
- Bring back to a boil and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
- (If adding rice noodles, add in now and let cook for another 2-3 minutes boiling until noodles get soft.)
- Spoon into bowls and top with cilantro, green onions, and crispy shallots.
You’ll feel like you’re eating take-out from a fancy Thai restaurant, but it’s SO easy to make at home. Even better, reheating and re-serving tastes better every time. This makes six yummy and healthy servings – so enjoy! If you make this, please let me know if you liked it!
To see this picture on Taunia’s Instagram, click HERE.
Diva Taunia is a professional musician, foodie and wanna-be chef. She is a born and bred Boston-girl now living in Los Angeles with husband (also a professional musician) and dog Julip. You can follow her antics on her Instagram account @divataunia or on her website at www.divataunia.com.