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  • Shirley Norman

Warding off those Bulging Winter Blues

I'm a summer person! I get distinctly gloomier with the onset of winter. As the days grow colder and another layer of clothing is added, I become more disconnected from myself, needing to snack more and move less. I fully relate to the concept of hibernation.

This winter I'm making a conscious effort to change my attitude. Here are a few ways to Beat the winter Blues and the resulting Bulge:

1. At the beginning of each week make a huge pot of vegetable soup. Add all the "free"veg including marrows, celery, peppers, green beans, baby spinach, cabbage, a tin of tomato purée,a few carrots and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil for 2 to 3 hours and let simmer. Use a hand blender to give it a thick, hearty consistency. Enjoy between meals, before meals or instead of meals. It will really settle that empty, disgruntled tummy. Relax in the knowledge that you're meeting your fibre and phytonutrient requirements in one bowl without having to force an unappetizing salad down.

2. Make hot cocoa whenever you're craving something decadent. A teaspoon of cocoa, an aspartame free sweetener, some hot low fat milk and boiling water makes a comforting drink.

3. Force yourself to move your body for at least half an hour four times a week. Bundle up and go for an invigorating walk,dance to your favourite music, use that stationery bike for the purpose it was intended (not as a clothes horse), do a yoga class and get your circulation going and your endorphins soaring. You will be less prone to a snack attack if you're feeling good and besides, you're not eating whilst you're exercising.

4. Take a long hot bath using coarse salt, and feel the energy shift as the tension and gloom diffuse into the water.

5. Make a flask of herbal tea in the morning and consume throughout the day. So much more palatable than those obligatory 8 glasses of cold water.

6. If at all possible, flee from winter to a warmer spot for a week or two, shed those layers, get a good dose of Vitamin D and reconnect with yourself.

Shirley Norman is a registered dietician who's enjoyed her Private Practice for over 20 years. 084 462 3550. 011 440 7871.

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