So we’re into February already! We’ve made it through the toughest month of the year, but sadly those long, cold and dark days are here to stay for now! Whilst many of you may have set health-related New Years Resolutions (if so, well done, and I’m sure you’re doing a great job at sticking to them!), the constant darkness and horrible weather might just make your goals a bit more challenging to achieve.
Fear not! – I’m back with new tips and recipes for making your goals more achievable and beating those Winter blues! Of course, it mainly revolves around making the right choices for your health, which is all about looking after your body, and fuelling it well too!
Read on for my top tips for beating the Winter blues – there’s no need for the cold weather to get you down!
For me, regardless of the season, breakfast is essential! Anyone who knows me knows that I’m extremely passionate about the first meal of the day, and I’m a big believer that a delicious, balanced breakfast can really set you up well for a brilliant day! Whether you’re sweet or savoury, there’s something for everyone. A hot bowl of porridge loaded with fresh fruit and mixed nuts can be the perfect winter warmer, or a hearty savoury breakfast of poached eggs on granary toast can really fill you up to face the chilly weather! These types of breakfasts are typically high in complex (slow-releasing) carbohydrate, fibre, iron, protein and a range of micronutrients, meaning that you’ll be keeping yourself full, energised and keeping your immune system functioning well – which could help to keep those winter colds at bay. You’ll find a few sweet and savoury breakfast below if you’re in need of a little bit of inspiration:
For full recipes for these breakfasts, please visit TheCookingYam Instagram or Facebook page
Savour the Season
Winter may be cold and dark, but there’s so much to enjoy too! Snowy and frosty mornings can make for a beautiful photo, winter walks in nature are great for enjoying the environment and keeping active with little impact on the body, and of course, comfort food tastes that little bit better as well!
1. Get outside!
It’s cold, but a breath of fresh air may be just what you need to beat that back-to-work boredom – why not try taking the dog for a walk or swapping the car for a brisk stroll when you’re heading to the shops? You could give yourself a health boost and do your bit for the environment!
2. Enjoy your cosy nights in!
When the weather’s poor and you’re lacking in energy then why not take the opportunity for a little bit of down-time? As long as you’re keeping active throughout the week, there’s no harm in taking a night off to indulge in a good (you be the judge!) film, get the popcorn going and enjoy the company of loved ones! The day after my exams finished I had a film night with friends and it was exactly what I needed! To sit down and be able to relax without the worry or stress of pressing commitments felt amazing, so this is something I’m definitely going to try to do more of! A hearty soup, stew or roast dinner works so well with these sorts of nights as they’re nutritious dishes that you can change up to include your favourite ingredients and flavours, they can be shared with family and friends, and it’ll warm you up for your night in!
3. Relax in style
There are even some activities that can be just as useful for relaxing – I’m still keeping up with my regular yoga classes (they were a saviour through the exam period!), and I’ve recently discovered Body Balance too. This meditative form of exercise combines yoga, tai chi and pilates for a conditioning session that strengthens your mind as well as your body. It’s just a nice alternative exercise that I’ve found for when I feel like clearing my mind and focusing on how my body feels.
Give it a Go!
If you’ve got a bit of spare time on your hands then why not take up a new hobby? This could be as part of a New Year’s Resolution or to give yourself something productive to do that doesn’t involve that dreaded screen time! Learning a new skill can stimulate your brain, take your mind off the Winter blues and might even expand your social group if you can learn those skills with others (dance, language or cooking classes are great for this!). I recently took a trip to Chocolate Alchemy in Loughborough for the ultimate chocolate-making workshop! We learnt so much about the history and art of chocolate-making, and we tried a huge variety of delicious chocolates! What a treat!
That’s all from me for now – make sure to keep up with my recipe updates on Instagram and Facebook, and check out the all-new British Swimming Hub section of my blog! I’ll be updating this page with news of all of my exciting new projects with British Swimming for 2019! As always, please get in touch in the comments or via the listed contact methods – I love to hear your feedback!