It’s winter time in New Jersey. The days are short, the weather is cold, and it’s the time of year where you leave your house as little as possible. It’s also the time of year where most people put on some weight. I am one of these people.
I believe there are many reasons for this. One being that we put on more clothes in the winter, so we are less aware of what we actually look like in a swimsuit (the thought of myself in a swimsuit, at the moment, is enough to make me hyperventilate). We tend to eat more, and when our pants feel a little tight, we just put on another layer of clothing . Another factor is that for those of us who work, the fact that it is dark by the time we leave the office doesn’t lend itself to getting a work out in, not to mention the frigid weather. So, unless you have a gym membership, you aren’t going to work out very much in the winter. It takes all the willpower I have within me to force myself to take the dog for a walk around the block in the winter. Poor Mags.
But one of the main reasons for my weight gain every winter is the fact that I tend to eat less vegetables in the cold season. Let me explain. After coming in from outside and my hands feel like ice, and I have to literally thaw out before I can move, the last thing I feel like doing is preparing a nice, cold salad. I love salads, but I’m much more inclined to eat them in the summer. I know this is not really a good excuse since there are so many delicious ways to cook veggies, but when I want something quick and healthy for lunch, a salad is a good go to.
However, I recently discovered ways to make myself eat more salad in the winter, and therefore, increase my daily veggie intake.
1. Put stuff you actually like on your salad. This may increase the calories, but I’ve decided it’s worth it for me. Lately, I’ve been topping my salad with Kalamata Olives and fresh Mozzrella. You could try adding something hot to the top of your salad, like some grilled chicken or steak. I’ve found that adding ingredients, aside from the actual ingredients of the salad (i.e. lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers), that I’m excited to eat make me much more inclined to make a salad.
2. Mix together the main ingredients ahead of time. This has been absolutely essential in motivating me to eat more salad. When I get out the main ingredients of the salad, (like the lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, etc.), I don’t just make a small bowl for myself. Instead, I’ll mix enough essential ingredients together so that I have enough salad for all my lunches for the week. This way, I am not deterred by the fact that I have to wash and chop everything before I can eat. I am not a patient person, especially when I’m hungry. Obviously, the toppings, such as the dressing and croutons (and any extras like the mozzarella or the olives I mentioned in the previous section), should be added right before you eat. I would not recommend adding those in advance, unless you enjoy eating soggy salad.
3. Add broccoli slaw to salad. This is not so much a way to make yourself eat more salad as it is a way to sneak more nutritional value into the salad itself. Everyone knows how good it is to eat broccoli, so I try to seize every opportunity to eat it as much as possible. Even if you don’t like broccoli, I suggest you try broccoli slaw. It tastes nothing like broccoli flourets and I barely notice it’s there when I mix it into my salad. In fact, it adds a nice bit of crunch to the salad – like carrot or cabbage would.
So, I’ve figured out how to make myself eat more veggies in the winter.
Now, if only I could figure out simple ways to motivate myself to workout more and eat less…Which, if I’m being honest, doesn’t really have anything to do with winter.