Stay hydrated! (even if you aren’t sweating as much)
- In colder months, a lot of changes happen. We wear thicker layers, have reduced thirst cues, and our metabolism increases as we work to keep our bodies warm. These are just a few of the reasons we need to make sure we are replenishing liquids on a daily basis, even if you are just working from home. Brew some herbal tea, infuse water, or add electrolytes to promote hydration all year round.
Keep up your vegetable intake!
- Here are some ways to incorporate vegetables in innovative ways to avoid boredom, ensure freshness, and keep your nutrient intake up!
- Experiment with riced versions. There are wonderful, new products on the market now, such as riced cauliflower or broccoli, which can be used as a substitute pizza dough, or sautéed to whip up a stir-fry dish that tastes like fried rice for a lower-carb option. If you have a food processor at home, this is a great way to put it to use by making your own riced veggies!
- Take advantage of the ease and convenience of frozen vegetables. When you stock your freezer with produce options, you’ll know you always have them on hand for a quick side dish to your dinner. A lot of times, frozen versions are even higher in nutrients than fresh because they are flash frozen, therefore maintaining the nutrients that they would lose if they were just sitting on a truck and then on the shelf. Make sure to look for organic versions to avoid added pesticides, and always avoid the steam bags- we rather not have plastic in our veggies. Here are a few of my favorites to have on hand:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Greens like Kale/Spinach/Collards
- Fajita veggies- Bell peppers and Onions
- Winter Squash
- Use veggie noodles! You can spiralize just about any root vegetable into thin noodles to sauté, use in soups, or toppings for salads! Check out the produce cases for prepared veggie noodles including zucchini, sweet potato, beets, winter squash, and more!
- Make soups & stews. Not only are they delicious, but you can load a slow cooker up with all kinds of vegetables with some olive oil, garlic, and let it cook down throughout the day. By the time you get home, you will have a wonderful, comforting meal that you can have for up to 4 days in the fridge, or can even freeze for another time!
Stay physically active
- If you find yourself doing a lot less walking/jogging, stretching, strength training, or just moving altogether, it is important to find a way to incorporate physical activity daily to maintain muscle mass, and regulate blood sugar levels. Of course, this does not mean I want you to go out in the ice and snow to run! There are so many more wonderful ways to get your body moving even with a storm brewing outside.
- Find an online gym, trainer, or class you like! One good thing that came out of the pandemic was virtual exercise. Now you can get a great workout without having to leave the house- so no excuses! Youtube has some great live classes happening every day that range from gentle movements like slow flow yoga, and all the way up to intense HIIT or cardio boxing workouts. I recommend browsing and finding an instructor you like, and maybe even looking into a local gym-turned-online to support small business, and build a community within our area. The perk here is that it makes for great accountability on those days we just feel like vegging out after work. Another great option is Peloton Digital- no fancy bike or treadmill equipment is required. They have hundreds of classes to take on your own time, and you can even join in live right on your television, or on the app on your phone or tablet. This also makes a great gift for your spouse or life partner, to keep each other motivated and moving!
Build up your immunity
- Vitamin D– many studies have been done correlating vitamin D levels and immunity/probability to become ill. Since it is involved in so many processes and mechanisms in the body, it is essential that we get enough in our bodies, especially since our primary way of getting it, sunlight, is less available during the winter season. It is very difficult to get enough of this vitamin through the diet, and therefore, we recommend daily supplementation to increase immunity and to also help protect your bones.
- Vitamin C– this is probably the first nutrient you think of and load up when you feel a cold coming on. The reason behind loading up on vitamin C is that it is a powerful antioxidant that helps in the production of white blood cells that protect us from infection. It also plays a large role in skin protection, and wound/tissue healing.
- Foods packed with vitamin C: citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, berries, kiwi, mango, spinach, kale, cherries, and parsley
- Glutathione– a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from being oxidized, aids in detoxing, and ultimately, protects the immune system. Boost up this winter with our glutathione supplement, or come in and get a wellness infusion!
- Foods to boost glutathione: sulfuric containing foods such as garlic, onions, parsley and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, collard greens, and cauliflower.
- Gut Health– Since our gut makes up about 75% of our immune system, we need to make sure it is functioning really well, especially during the winter. Add in some more prebiotic and probiotic foods to your daily diet, cut back on sugar and processed foods, and make sure your bowel movements stay regular!
- Prebiotic foods: Bananas, onions, artichokes, jicama, garlic, oats, asparagus, leeks, dandelion greens, chicory root, flaxseed, legumes, berries
- Probiotic foods: yogurt, refrigerated pickled vegetables (like pickles and sauerkraut), kefir, kimchi, kombucha, organic miso, tempeh
- Winter months can often feel long and drawn out, especially once the holidays have come and gone, and therefore, it can get harder to stay on track with a solid regimen. Here are a few ways to stay on track, and hold yourself to all of those goals you set for yourself earlier in the year:
- Treat yourself to a smart tracker- this is a great way to track and measure your goals daily! Find one that has everything you are looking for, and make sure it includes heart rate measurements to make sure you are staying safe and healthy while working toward your goals.
- Find a solid support group consisting of family, friends, and new virtual gym buddies! Establishing a group that helps support you, definitely does the trick when trying to stay on track. Especially if you get your family involved, they will most likely make sure to give you a big push when you start to backslide out of your routine. Do the same for them!
- Let us support you at Five Journeys! Set up regular appointments with our doctors, nutritionist, and IV nurse to have a wellness boost you look forward to. Also, be on the lookout for a new and exciting Virtual program- coming soon
Whether you need help staying accountable, or need a motivating factor to get you back on track this season, we are here to help! Call our front desk staff to set up an appointment with one of our functional medicine doctors, or nutritionist, or wellness IV nurse to learn more about how we can help! Also, don’t forget to stock up on supplements to keep illnesses at bay.