How to Eat Healthy in the Dead of Winter

We’re all at that point—the dismal, midwinter blues are seeping in, along with the brutal cold. It’s tempting to run for cover, taking shelter in our favorite comfort dishes that have less-than-favorable consequences on our diets (which, if you’re like us, are a New Year’s resolution that we’re this close to scrapping). Fret not— contrary to popular belief, and despite what the howling wind is telling you, it’s possible to eat healthy and fresh. You don’t have to break your resolutions yet! You might even be able to spruce up your favorite comfort dish by adding a healthy new twist. Take that, Old Man Winter.

Tip 1: Ditch the lazy attitude. Start by hitting the gym, walking the dog, doing jumping jacks in your kitchen (or vacuuming your kitchen, if you’re feeling ambitious and want to kill two birds with one stone!)— Anything to get your energy up. If you feel healthy, you’ll be more likely to eat healthy, too.

Tip 2: Grocery shop on a full stomach. This is a tried and true strategy. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone to the grocer, list in hand, starving, and proceeded to parade down the aisles grabbing boxes and cans as if they were going to disappear in the next 5 seconds, dumping them into our carts and rolling along on our merry way. Sticking to your list is much easier if your stomach isn’t growling at the sight of every item on the shelves.

Tip 3: Buy fresh. How can it be possible that this brutal season can produce some of the most healthful fruits and vegetables? We’ll tell you. “Superfoods” like pomegranates, kale, and citrus, are in season throughout the colder months (and available at Roma’s!). But fresh produce isn’t the only important item to check off your list. Roma’s also has fresh, natural meats. You’ll feel obligated to use these fresh foods, because, well, the thing with fresh foods is that they don’t stay fresh forever! However, they stay packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and just about every other nutrient your body needs.

Tip 4: Food prep. We mentioned ditching the lazy attitude— here’s a similar requirement. Preparing your meals beforehand, at least to an extent, will boost your chances of eating healthier. Wash your produce, cut your meat, package everything into meal-sized containers. If there’s a meal ready for you in your fridge, you’re likely to eat it. In fact, it’s entirely possible that once you prepare your meal, it’ll be all you think about until you eat it. And if you don’t eat it, we’re sure that someone else will take that delicious meal off your hands. Hungry child? Starving spouse? Even your dog deserves a fresh treat here and there. 

Tip 5: Allow yourself a cheat day. Yep, after everything we just told you about eating healthy, we’re also telling you it’s okay to cut corners once in a while. Set a day out of the week where you’re allowed to eat whatever you want, well, within reason (we don’t want you to kill your week’s progress!). Restricting yourself too harshly is proven to make it more difficult to stick to a diet. Go ahead and indulge, and if you’re hesitant, do your best to incorporate that “healthy twist” we mentioned (remember the whole “A for effort” thing?). Happiness is a huge component in health, and you won’t be happy if you can’t eat your favorite foods from time to time.

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