Temps are dropping and the snow is accumulating in the mountains. In many ways, winter is one of the most active seasons in the Pacific Northwest, but do you know how to fuel up before you head out for a day on the slopes? Just as the gear and clothing we sport for winter activities changes from summer, the food and drinks we use to power up for the cold changes too. Add these healthy foods and drinks to your weekly menu to help you get ready for outdoor adventures throughout the active cold months.
Start your days off with a big bowl of delicious complex carbohydrates. Oatmeal is not only tasty it provides tons of long-lasting instant energy once it’s been consumed. Along with having plenty of carbs, it’s packed with fiber and protein, which means the energy you get from consuming it lasts, and lasts and lasts. Add dried fruits and nuts to your bowl and you’ve got a satisfying morning sendoff that will hold until lunch.
There’s no doubt that an active lifestyle leads to sore muscles and joints—especially when the cold weather hits. If you haven’t heard about the miracles of bone broth, then it’s time to read up and stock your pantry full of this delicious and nutritious soup base. Bone broth is not only full of flavor, it’s also nutrient-dense and contains vitamins and minerals that reduce inflammation and arthritis and joint pain. But that is just the beginning. While making soups with bone broth, or drinking the stuff straight is good for the muscles and joints, it’s also great for the gut! Studies show that it restores the gut lining and helps with the growth of probiotics. Additional benefits include improved skin and immune system support to keep those pesky cold and flu bugs away.
Looking for the perfect recovery drink? Grab your thermos and fill it up with hot chocolate. The warm version of the chocolate milk recuperation craze is perfect when the snow falls…or even when it hasn’t. The best time to drink this treat is right after you’ve finished your workout or activity. The hot chocolate not only rehydrates you, it gives you a shot of protein and antioxidants from the cocoa. (Use 100 percent cocoa if possible for the most nutritious results.)
It’s what’s for dinner! If you don’t have time after work (or your evening workout) to slave over the stove for a healthy meal, then a warm bowl of power-packed chili is the way to go. For a fast evening meal, prepare your dinner with a lean source of protein—like chicken or turkey—and beans in the family crockpot. This high protein, high fiber meal is easy to make and warm and nourishing. Make a large enough pot, and you’ll have enough to fuel your activities for days!
Forget coffee. Grab some tea for anything that ails you or for a sweet winter lift. Lemon teas are great for kicking the winter blues while chamomile before bed will help you get some much-needed sleep for active winter days. If you feel a sore throat coming on, get on top of it with licorice root or enjoy a nice pick-me-up with a cup of ginger tea.
Winter is one of the best times of year here in the Pacific Northwest. If you don’t have time to get outside and play, head to one of the local indoor courts for a game of tennis. Whatever you decide to do to stay active this season, don’t forget to fuel up with great-tasting and healthy foods and beverages that are made for what your body needs during the cold winter months.
Still craving all things pumpkin? Check out our healthy ways to satisfy your pumpkin spice obsession.