Once again, Australians have learnt the hard way. Winter is an actual thing that happens every year and no amount of whingeing can do anything about it.
Of course, with the
subzero temperatures cooler weather comes the desire to snuggle up and tuck into some delicious comfort food. We're thinking lasagna, we're thinking hot chocolate, we're thinking giant bowls of melted cheese. What we don't want to think about is the inevitable 'winter padding' that comes with it.
While there's certainly nothing wrong with a bit of indulgence, healthy eating doesn't need to fly out the window the minute things get a bit nippy. According to nutritionist and health writer Michele Chevalley Hedge of A Healthy View, there are actually heaps of delicious foods that can keep you warm and nutritionally satisfied during the winter months.
"Roasts are the perfect winter food and are actually really healthy," Chevalley Hedge told The Huffington Post Australia.
"A good roast with a bunch of oven-baked veggies like sweet potatoes, parsnip and pumpkin can be beautiful.
"I don't know why people have this perception that roasts are unhealthy. Maybe because they are imagining a traditional Christmas dinner type affair with desserts and sweets as well."
"Things are shifting. We know beautiful, satiating proteins are not our enemy now," Chevalley Hedge continued.
"Where there may have previously been a [negative] perception around eating lots of protein, lots of meat, we know now it's quite satiating when we eat like that. It crowds out the ability for us to eat too many sweets.
"I love using that phrase. When we are eating protein-rich roasts and lots of beautiful vegetables with it, it crowds out the ability to have that desire of 'I really need that sweet now.'
"When we have a nutrient dense meal, we don't even have the desire for that."
"I love a casserole, cooked for few hours in the oven, it has that real home cooked yumminess to it," Chevalley Hedge said.
"It's also a great one-pot wonder. I love the ease of that, and I love the ability to throw as many nutrients in as you like. You can easily hide vegetables if you have non-vegetable-lovers in the family. The same goes for herbs.
"There's something about making a casserole at home and having that nourishing aroma throughout the house... It just feels good and it smells good."
"I think a really nice rich soup, for example of hearty vegetables with chicken and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, gives you that really yum, moreish, warm feeling you're after when it's cold," Chevalley Hedge said.
However, if you're keen to pair your soup with a bread roll, best to give the white stuff a miss.
"I'm not a big fan of the extra white bread rolls and things like that. Eat in abundance and eat well, and you don't have to worry about eating white flour and white sugars."
Orange fruits and veggies
"Orange vegetables and fruits are really high in levels of vitamin A, which is wonderful for our immune system," Chevalley Hedge told HuffPost Australia. "And in winter we are looking for our immune building vitamins.
"Also, vitamins A, D, E and K -- which are present in orange veggies and fruits -- are what we call fat soluble vitamins. These are great because we need to be consuming foods with fat in them to absorb the maximum amount of nutritional value in that food.
"If we were on a zero or no fat diet, which people did even up to five years ago, then you're not getting the maximum amount out of your food as you possibly can. Having things such as olive oil, coconut, oils, butter, ghee, stuff that like that; those kinds of fats allow us for maximum nutrient absorption.
"So, for example, roasted vegetables like sweet potato and carrots with olive oil -- that's a perfect winter side dish."
Keen to give it a go yourself? Check out Michele's perfect sweet potato recipe below.
Baked Sweet Potato
- Sweet potatoes
- Coconut oil or butter
- Cinnamon & sea salt to sprinkle
1. If organic, leave the skin on, and give them a good scrub.
2. Cut up sweet potatoes into large chunks.
3. Place sweet potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with melted butter or coconut oil.
4. Toss the potatoes to ensure they are covered thoroughly in oil/butter.
5. Lay the potatoes on baking paper in a tray and sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon.
6. Bake them in the oven at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes. Just watch, and when they are slightly crispy take them out.
Recipe is from A Healthy View's Low Sugar Lifestyle online 28 day program for busy people.