As the temperature is dropping and the full-fledged desire to get fit for the beach is starting to ebb away, the temptation to let the pounds slowly bulk on and hide behind your sweaters and coats is around every corner. Cafés prodding you to grab a cup of Christmas Cocoa or Starbucks advertising from their windows with their 380-calorie Pumpkin Spice Latte, can be a tempting fix to get warm when the winter cold hits.
However, there are ways in which you can get warm without breaking the bank (those lattes can get expensive), or going overboard on your holiday calories (in October). Using getting warm as an excuse for drinking or eating your way to comfort and cozy is an easy way out, especially when you are walking around and everyone that seems to pass you by has a take-away coffee cup in hand.
You can reach for many foods that are actually considered healthy when looking to get warm as the winter rolls in, keep these foods at-hand before the cold front hits, and you will see that your sweaters from last year have actually grown in size.
Though these report to be fatty, they are made of “healthy fat,” which means that keeping a handful of these in snack baggies in your purse or in a bowl in your living room can give you and your guests a healthy option to snack on. They help regulate body temperature, among other healthy benefits, of course, when eaten in moderation.
As long as you keep it to a whole grain mixture, you can’t go wrong with a bowl of steamy, warm oatmeal. This option comes with fiber, starch also known as beta-glucan, and plant-based protein. Not only is it healthy for you, oatmeal keeps you warm and can actually lower your bad cholesterol levels by eating some of this on a winter day.
Black bean, minestrone, pumpkin, tomato, the list goes on and on. Done right and cooked on your own can reduce the chances of any added fats and all the extras in canned foods that can strike out the health benefits. If the soup is bulky and filling enough, it can even be enough for an entire meal.
If the thought of chili doesn’t get your mouth watering, you’ve been eating it wrong. The peppers usually found in chili can not only spice and warm you up, but also is great for your overall health. The beans found in chili, not to mention all the other veggies as well, can help build muscle in your body through protein, while also providing antioxidants. If you’re making it at home, opt for a healthier type of meat, rather than red meat, and your golden for a healthy food option that will keep you warm at home.
Both warm and baked in the oven, these two are great to warm you up on a chilly night. Both foods also have a sweet taste, which opens up all kinds of doors when trying to connect healthy choices to a tasty treat. Apples, when baked with the skin still on can provide you with a ton of packed fiber, both soluble and insoluble. This helps in the long run with the dinner you have just eaten because it helps smooth and slow digestion. They also provide you with water to keep you hydrated, they are made up of 86 percent water! Sprinkling cinnamon on top also gives you more antioxidants and gives it a sweet taste.
Another baked entity you can sprinkle cinnamon on are sweet potatoes. They are high in vitamin A and will keep you warm when it is cold outside. They are also high in fiber, especially on the skin, so bake accordingly. They also contain vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium. Just avoid plastering the butter on top and opting for healthier toppings, and you have a healthy way to keep warm.
Though a nice cup of coffee or the hot chocolate with the whip cream might look appetizing and is an easy fix, packing on the sugar and caffeine into your diet is just a quick fix when looking to get warm. There are healthier options, that also don’t skip on taste, either.