During cooler months it’s natural to want to cuddle up with some of your favorite comfort foods. Not only that, but you might find yourself less likely to get active outside like you did during the summer months. Whether its snow, rain or the less sunlight you’re in for a change that could make you less likely to keep up your active, healthy lifestyle. For myself, I know I’m less likely to turn on the blender for smoothies when it’s cold outside, I’m most likely not going to run when it’s brisk and breezy. So what are the alternatives we can begin to master to keep health going all year round?
Let’s talk about food choices that can keep you motivated, healthy and dedicated to your goals especially when it comes to burning fat. Mainstream fitness and health blogs will tell you movement and good food can lead you to becoming the lean machine you’ve always dreamed of — and they’re mostly right. But during winter, when motivation is lower — snoozing is easier, and with holiday sweets at every turn it’s our responsibility to learn about the natural ingredients that can keep us fired up toward our goals.
Turning up the heat can be that simple. You guessed it, chiles + warming foods can be the missing piece to staying fit and motivated this winter. Did you know hot peppers like cayenne, jalapeno and serranos have a natural chemical compound called capsaicin that brings the heat — not only to your mouth but to your tissues. That means spicy foods can help you burn fats and heat up from the inside out. Dr. Bryan Walsh, lecturer at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, discusses the benefits of capsaicin and how they can promote the breaking apart of triglycerides (aka fat tissue) without much more effort than choosing to eat more peppers with spice. In my opinion, this is the perfect compliment to winter habits; creating fat burning options instead of the emotional dread and stress to get moving with heavy exercise.
Now, as a health enthusiast and coach I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t put the disclaimer that eating spicy during winter isn’t the only fat burning solution. In my body, when winter arrives I find myself looking for comfort and pleasure. Soup is a great way to bring that into your daily life whether you’re in the office or working from home.
Another warming ingredient I love, that also is great for immunity, is fresh ginger. I recommend buying the root fresh (pro tip: you can cut it into inch long pieces and freeze it for long periods of time) and plopping it into your favorite broth to sip throughout the day.
Yum! You can also experience warming up from the inside out while exploring diverse restaurants. Horseradish in wasabi and pickled ginger can often be ignored when eating sushi but these two sides are power packed with heat that will keep you happy and healthy through the colder months. Navigating how your unique health lifestyle changes with the seasons is our specialty at Firewave Wellness. We’re here for you!