We had an ice day yesterday and the temperatures hovered around freezing all day. It was gray, cold and gloomy. I decided to cheer up my afternoon with a delicious smoothie. Considering the season I had no fresh berries on hand, which are my favorite. I opened my freezer and found bags of strawberries I had hulled and frozen.
I had fresh pineapple, fresh papaya and frozen strawberries. I added a little of each to my VitaMix container. I always add some greens to my smoothie. Today’s choice was baby spinach. I threw in a few leaves of fresh mint and a piece of ginger (great immunity booster during these winter days). I avoid using ice, especially on cold days, to pack as much of the real fruit and veggies I can. So for the liquid part of the smoothie I chose 1/4 cup each of the orange juice and pomegranate juice. I love the color it gives my smoothies. Lastly, I also like to some plain Kefir to get my dose of probiotics.A quick whirl in the VitaMix and I had a refreshing, nutritious and tasty smoothie.
The availability of fruits and veggies during winter can be limiting. Use frozen fruits and vegetables when fresh are not available. A great way to have these on hand is to freeze them yourself when they are in season. All kinds of berries, grapes, mangoes can be frozen for later use. Eat what’s in season and freeze the rest for later.
Sometimes even the “in season” items can be found in the freezer section and can be convenient. Although Kale is available most of the year, I came across, frozen Kale, Chard and Collards. No washing, no chopping, ready to use. Frozen veggies are a great way to boost the nutrition value of your soups. Add a bag of frozen greens to your next batch.Keep up your fruit and vegetable intake daily with at least 5-7 servings altogether throughout the winter for an extra immunity boost.
Happy New Year! I am sure you have heard it many times over the last week or so and will continue to hear for another. When is it not a New Year? Have you been asked about your resolutions for this year? Are they much different from last year? Well, it doesn’t matter. Once you have made the new resolution a habit, it is no longer the “new year”.
It takes 10,000 hours of practice to make it a habit (or something like that). So keep on doing the things you planned to do this year for another few months to make it a habit. Some of the most proven techniques to keep us on our task include tracking and sharing your goals.
Tracking keeps you honest to yourself. Every day you track your activity or intake it is a reminder of your goals to yourself. It also makes you think twice about skipping a workout or consuming empty calories. Track it! Use paper, a spreadsheet or an app. Doesn’t matter how, just do it. The system that makes it easy for you to use is the best one for you.
Share your goals with your loved ones. Once you have made your goals known to others, your commitment to the goals is more. You can even ask those who you share with to be your gentle reminders. Ask him/her to be there in your moment of weakness. When you hesitate to go for the run, they will push you. When you are tempted by a dessert or another glass of wine, they will give you a gentle nudge not to give in. You will have a partner in your dreams.
One of my goals this year is to be thankful. To help me remind of all the things I am thankful for I created a “Gratitude Jar”. I decorated a large glass jar with a ribbon and stickers, put some cut-up colored paper and pen in it and set it by my bedside. I plan to jot down something I am grateful for everyday. I made a similar jar for each member of the family. We plan to read our notes at the next new year’s eve together. So far I already have several notes in my jar.
Share your goals and get help to hold yourself accountable.