Eating in Season

Given that we are still a good month away from Spring, if you haven’t looked into it yet, they are some awesome winter vegetables that you can include in a variety of delicious recipes. If you eat in season, you usually get fresher produce that can offer more beneficial nutrients. Eating in season is also a nice way to support local farmers and help the environment. Most winter vegetables grow from November through March. What follows is a list of 9 awesome winter vegetables, so yummy in those fall/winter comfort food recipes.

9 Awesome Winter Vegetables

  • Beets: they offer fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. They also contain nitrates, which help with blood flow and blood pressure.
  • Broccoli: it contains antioxidants like carotenoids, chlorophyll, vitamins E and K, essential minerals, and it is also high in fiber and cancer-fighting compounds such as glucosinolates.
  • Brussels Sprouts: they offer a wide variety of antioxidants (that can be good against cancer too), fiber, calcium, potassium, folate, vitamins C and K.
  • Cabbage: all types of cabbage contain a high amount of fiber, vitamins C and K, manganese, and antioxidants like anthocyanins.  As mentioned in a previous post, anthocyanins can help with heart disease, among other things.
  • Carrots: they offer beta-carotene (vitamin A), helping with eye health and skin health. They have numerous antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin (that can help with healthy aging), plus vitamin K, potassium, vitamins B1 and B3, and fiber.
  • Cauliflower: it is packed with essential vitamins, carotenoids, fiber, soluble sugars, folate, potassium, and several antioxidants that can help lessen oxidative stress.
  • Escarole: one of the many dark greens that offers fiber, vitamins C, A, and K, calcium, plus iron. It contains antioxidants and polyphenols, helping with aging.
  • Kale: it is high in flavonoid antioxidants like quercetin, and vitamins A, C, and K, B vitamins, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium, plus magnesium.
  • Winter Squash: just like sweet potatoes, it is high in vitamin A (alpha-carotene and beta-carotene), vitamins C and B6, magnesium, fiber, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.

In Summary

After gathering a few of these nutritious vegetables (organic whenever possible), the choice is yours: you can simply roast them, make a vegetable soup or stew, saute some greens with garlic, or add some cut-up roasted veggies to a frittata or to a leafy green winter salad. What will you try first?

Until next time!

References

Cowan, M.D., Thomas. How (& Why) to Eat More Vegetables. Library of Congress No. 2016934925, 2016, p. 25.

Levy, Jillian. “Top 12 Winter Vegetables to Eat & Grow.” Dr. Axe, 12 Jan. 2021, draxe.com/nutrition/winter-vegetables/. Accessed 13 Feb. 2021.

You can also find me on Instagram.

20 Minutes of Me Time Every Day

In my last post, I briefly mentioned the importance of carving out some downtime every day as a helpful stress management tool. As explained, it can be any spontaneous outdoor physical activity such as running around with your kids or dog outside. It can be short work breaks or nice long hikes. But it can also be a formal meditation practice or similar relaxing practices to help you quiet any racing thoughts. Giving yourself 20 minutes (or more) of “me time” every day is not selfish. It is there to allow you to better navigate every day’s ups and downs.

A Meditation Practice

If you want to establish a meditation practice, there are some helpful apps for beginners such as Headspace, Calm, and Brightmind. More options are available online, of course – check out Commune! See what resonates with you best. 

Meditation offers a wide range of short- and long-term benefits:

  • It can slow aging of the brain.
  • It can lower blood pressure.
  • It can give you energy.
  • It can improve concentration.
  • It can help you sleep better.
  • It can lift your mood.

Other Relaxing Practices

If a formal meditation practice is not something you would enjoy dedicating some time to right now, there is a plethora of other options that can help relieve stress, relax the body, and do away with shallow breathing. In The New Rules of Aging Well, Dr. Frank Lipman lists the following activities:

  • Knit in a quiet place.
  • Play an instrument.
  • Listen to music you love, eyes closed.
  • Sketch a tree or a person across the way at the park.
  • Walk slowly (in nature or even in the city), being mindful of what’s around you.
  • Dig in the garden.
  • Color in a coloring book.
  • Wander in the woods and collect a certain type of leaf.
  • Watch fish in an aquarium.
  • Hunt for sea glass on the beach.
  • Observe birds or bees in a garden.

In Summary

As you can see, giving yourself 20 minutes of me time every day can easily be done. And the activity can change from day to day depending on your schedule. Just write that time for yourself in a calendar, if needed. Which meditative activity will you pick today?

Until next time!

Reference

Lipman, Frank. The New Rules of Aging Well: A Simple Program for Immune Resilience, Strength, and Vitality. New York, Artisan, A Division Of Workman Publishing Co., Inc, 2020, pp. 143–45.

You can also find me on Instagram.