This was part of my 12-day Holiday Cheer series and I wanted it to be a permanent fixture on my website too. It’s a good reference when eating through the seasons. Hope you’re able to boost your mood with some of these winter foods!
Winter Wellness Superfood List
Foods To Supercharge Your Mood
Oh, wintertime. Some days, you love waking up to frosty mornings and ice covered blades of grass. Some days, you just want to stay in bed, hibernate and drink warm apple cider all day. This is a natural part of the winter season, as we withdraw, get a little more lazy, soak in the short hours of sun and hibernate during the longer nights, a slight stillness takes over.
We can use this stillness to rest and reflect. We can also feed our bodies and minds the right nutrients in forms of food, drink, relationships and thoughts to help us get through the heavy and uninspired moments.
As a yoga as medicine teacher, I integrate many of Ayurveda’s 10,000 year old teachings in my own health and the health of my clients and patients. Ayurveda is the study of the science of life. Ayur means life, veda means knowledge or science. The study of Ayurveda follows two primary tenets, ‘the body and mind are inextricably connected’ and ‘nothing has more power to heal the body than the mind’ (Deepak Chopra). It also reminds us that we as human beings are part of nature and asks us to get in tune with our constitutions:
- Vata- Energy of movement
- Pitta- Energy of fire or digestion
- Kapha- Energy of structure
I treat food like the gateway drug, if you start eating more wholesome foods, your energy increases, your stress level decreases, you become more inclined to exercise and get out into nature. From food you begin to build a foundation of whole health.
Like everything that I teach, there is no one size fits all. This list of foods are known to balance the body as well as providing a robust boost of nutrients and energy, but some of them may not be for you and your constitution. Eating well and mindfully, allows body and mind to give you hints on what works and what doesn’t. Good food as medicine, that’s the way to real, whole, optimal health! Enjoy!!
Winter Wellness Food List:
- Eat more foods that are sweet, sour, salty, heavy, oily, hot like soups, stews and healthy fats and organic protein.
- Eat less foods that are spicy, bitter, cold, light like salads, smoothies, crackers, raw foods
Avocados Beets Carrots Spinach Romanesco Parsley
Pumpkin Squash, Winter Zucchini Rutabaga Ginger
Sweet Potatoes Tomatoes Scallions Bok Choi Celery
Garlic Parsnips Collard Greens Kale Green Beans
Figs Grapes Mangos Limes Lemons Apple Dates
Oranges Papayas Tangerines Bananas Pears
Meat/Fish From grass-fed, free-range, cage-free, organic, local sources if possible
Turkey Chicken Salmon Tuna Lamb
Wild game Venison Sardines Anchovies
Lentils- brown, yellow, green Mung beans Split peas
Almond Olive Coconut Pumpkin Sesame Sunflower Truffle
Nuts and Seeds
Almonds Flax Brazil Cashews Pecans Pistachios Walnuts
Anise Cinnamon Basil Black Pepper Cumin
Ginger Sea Salt Saffron Turmeric Coriander Curry
Apple Cider Red Wine Rice Balsamic
Tarragon Ume plum
Wheat-free Tamari Apple cider based Mustard Cashew dressing Coconut Aminos
If you’re eating dairy and grains:
Grass-fed butter Raw milk (from a trusted source only) Goats milk
Grass-fed cheese Kefir Ghee
Amaranth Quinoa Millet Buckwheat
Rice- red, black, brown, forbidden, wild
This is just a list of superfoods available during the wintertime that are nutrient-rich and wholesome. Here are a couple of recipes for that pack a few of the most nutritious ones into a simple meal:
Butternut Squash Soup
From Aicacia Young, RD at Climb Healthy http://www.climbhealthy.com/savory-butternut-squash-soup-vegan-paleo/
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or rosemary)
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
- Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery and onion.
- Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in butternut squash, thyme, chicken broth, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to purée soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully purée in batches in an upright blender.
Ground Chicken Stir-Fry
- 1 pound of ground chicken
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup onions
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, grated
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup of spinach
- 1 cup bok choi
- 1 cup of greens (kale or chard)
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 cup broccoli
- ½ cup celery
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- coconut aminos and wheat-free tamari to taste (optional)
Heat up wok with sesame oil. Add garlic, ginger, onions cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add bok choi, celery, broccoli and stir some more. Then add turkey, mushrooms, spinach and cook through. Hefty pinch of salt. Add coconut aminos and/or tamari to taste.