The Winter months can be pretty tough to stay on track with healthy eating. We generally feel like eating more comfort food, hot and stodgy stuff! I make cauliflower mash regularly and really the only calories are from the butter, cauliflower is a ‘free’ veggie. I think it is better to steam the chopped up cauli, either in a microwave steamer basket or in a stove-top steamer, as that way you use very little water. If you cook the cauliflower in a pot, it is essential to drain it extremely well and to let some of the steam disperse, otherwise it may be soggy.
Hot soup is a lovely winter warmer too. Just be sure to get enough protein. Whatever kind of soup I make, I add 100g cooked chicken per person, to the bowl of soup and re-heat before serving. I’ve done this with mushroom soup, veggie soup, tomato soup, etc and it makes the soup very filling.
A new flatbread I made recently goes great with soup and it toasts really well. If you cut the bread into squares (like a Vogel’s bread slice) and then cut it through the middle, the slices are great for toast to go with your soup. It is gluten free and low carb.
Tips to help prevent winter weight gain
- As always, organisation and planning are critical. Spend some time planning the upcoming weeks’ meals, or at least know what kind of protein you are going to be using.
- Shop regularly enough that you have the right ingredients on hand. You don’t want to be running to the supermarket more than a couple of times a week. Let’s face it, who can go into a supermarket and only come out with exactly what they had planned to buy and nothing else?!
- If you have a crockpot, use it. You can easily make up the ‘mixture’ the night before and then pop it in the crockpot the next morning. Make enough for leftovers for a couple of days.
- Don’t stop measuring your portions. One of the easiest ways to regain weight is to increase the size of your portions. Even too much of the right thing counts.
- Stay active. Find something that you can do. Whether you hire a piece of equipment for the winter months, or you sign up for some kind of group fitness classes, or maybe you get a friend or two together and meet for walks, find something you can do regularly.
- Don’t forget to drink! Water, soup, teas, etc.
- Eat your veggies. Winter veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, etc are so nourishing. Make them into soup, roast them, mash them, dry bake them, stir fry them, make frittatas, etc. Aim for half of your lunch and half of your dinner to come from fibrous veggies. Your waistline and your gut bacteria will love you for it.
Be mindful that you really don’t want the good work you put in over summer and autumn, with losing weight and seeing results, thrown aside over winter. Hang in there and persevere. Persistence, not perfection will get you there.