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Seasonal Eating

It is simply part of our biology that we eat differently each season. The cooler air, less daylight hours, holiday parties, and less physical activity all have a significant effect on what and how much we eat. 

Even though it is 2019, biologically we are programmed to fatten up to survive the elements, the way many other animals do. 

Did you know that Winter actually makes you hungrier? Seasonal changes affects many hormones related to hunger and appetite - glucocorticoids, ghrelin, serotonin, and leptin - causing hunger, depression, a slower metabolism, and weight gain. So you are not only hungrier, but you crave carb heavy comfort foods. It's a lose/lose - or rather a gain/gain!

There is no need to suffer, however. Satisfy body and mind and eat stomach warming comfort foods that fill the void in your belly and heart. 

Soup - A great way to get more fiber since you can toss just about anything into a soup pot — greens, beans, lentils, whole grains, and veggies. Add in some chicken, pork, lean beef, or fish for your daily dose of protein.

Citrus - They aren't just for Summer! We live in California where fresh fruits are in supply even in Winter. Sautéed or tossed in with lightly steamed winter greens, Swiss chard, chicory, or kale are a lovely pick me up in winter.

Veggies - Vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and winter squashes are incredibly good for you, and are great for roasting and throwing on top of some pasta, polenta, or simply as a side dish. Simply toss them with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and stick them in the oven or broiler until they start to brown.

Salmon - It is vital in winter to up your intake of vitamin D due to limited daylight hours, the change in the wavelength of the sun’s rays, and less time outdoors. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in maintaining mood. Salmon, which is a delicious and super healthy source of Vitamin D, also is rich in omega-3 fatty acids - another mood booster!

If you’re going to give in to a craving — and let's just agree you occasionally should give in — make healthful swaps. If you’re dying for a bowl of pasta and cheese, switch out regular enriched pasta for yam or zucchini noodles and add a few steamed vegetables for fiber.

And if you are dying for something sweet, go for a steaming mug of dark chocolate. Rich in flavanols, dark chocolate helps reduce the risk of heart disease, raises levels of healthy cholesterol, and is a delicious mood booster. Check out this link for some healthy brands of dark chocolate...