Pilates

Healthy Winter Comfort Food

 Photo by Mihrzn

As we head deeper into the coldest part of winter in Australia, it’s very tempting to stay curled up under the doona with some decadent, sweet treats to eat only venturing out to top up supplies and see if spring has sprung.  Being confined to our homes in April and May during uncertain times, for many, resulted in overindulgence of comfort food.  Follow this with winter which is traditionally a time of richer food and drink anyway and many are battling with declining health, unwanted kilos and are looking for a way out of this downward spiral.
If you are already practicing Pilates, maintaining your health and fitness is a priority for you, so here are some healthy comfort food solutions to help you stay on track and complement your training.  If you are committed to improving your own health and fitness and want to start your Pilates journey,  join JS Mind Body Pilates Online,  take the free 10 day trial now, self cancel at any time.

Raw Protein Balls

These delicious, healthy balls are so quick and easy to make.  Just one ball for an afternoon snack will satisfy your daily sweet cravings and is packed with nutrients. You can tailor them to your own taste by playing around with the ingredients.  Vary the type of nuts you use and experiment with adding different seeds or dried fruits and create your own customised snack.  I use organic ingredients, but it’s not essential.

The 6 Basic Ingredients
200 grams of Medjool dates pitted, 1/2 cup of raw almonds, 2 Tbsp cacao powder, 1Tbsp raw honey and 2 tsp of black chia seeds

Blend everything in a food processor until fine.  Roll into balls and then roll in desiccated coconut or sesame seeds as pictured above.  Store at either room temperature or in the fridge and they freeze well too.  Cashews, hazelnuts and walnuts work well instead of almonds, in any combination as do a small number of cranberries or dried apricots.

Hearty Soups Are Satisfying

During childhood winters, my grandmother kept a pot of homemade vegetable soup on hand always ready to serve up a steaming bowl for her ever hungry grandchildren as an after school snack.  Prepared with love,  it was a satisfying and comforting yet highly nutritious meal that stopped us reaching for junk food alternatives.  It’s no wonder I always keep a variety of healthy soups on hand for winter meals and snacks too.  Homemade soup really is the ideal comfort food and there are so many different healthy options to choose from.  The trick is to keep a few varieties in the fridge or freezer at all times, serve with crusty bread and you have an instant, healthy, delicious meal.  Pumpkin and ginger soup made with coconut milk and Minestrone soup made with vegetables, beans and pasta are just a couple of examples and the recipes are easily found on the internet.

Herbal & Fruit Teas

One of my favourite winter teas is chamomile with added chopped fresh ginger.  The two flavours together are delicious and studies have shown that both of these ingredients possess anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects.  Warm water with lemon juice is also popular so try to find a few combinations that you enjoy that provide health benefits as well.  Peppermint tea and lemongrass tea with a dash of honey are also perfect during winter.  Have a few different tea options on hand and these will help you to stay hydrated, provide health benefits and are very satisfying and relaxing to drink after a winter meal.

The key to overindulging in the wrong foods is to make sure you have plenty of healthy options available to you like the suggestions above.  A little planning and preparation will ensure you have plenty of tempting, healthy comfort foods on hand to keep you cosy and satisfied for the rest of winter!