A Dietitian’s Guide to Staying Healthy Over Winter

Have you found that your wellness has started to dip along with the weather? Between colder temperatures, less sunshine and fewer fruits and vegetables on the shelves, it’s not uncommon for your healthy habits to start to suffer. If this sounds like you, here’s a dietitian’s guide to keeping you healthy over winter.

Embrace winter

Before we get into the usual spiel of a nutritionist – healthy eating and exercise! – it’s important to start off with the right mindset. We can get quiet down on winter, reminiscing over summer days by the beach and feeling blue when the sun sets just after five pm.

Instead of letting the yearly plummet in temperature get you down, try to embrace the season. Look out for positives about winter: you don’t have to lather yourself in sunscreen, Tauranga’s biggest asset The Mount isn’t as busy, you can go skiing. Big or small, finding some things you enjoy about winter will set you up for success.

Seasonal eating

Now, of course I am a dietitian, so we do have to talk about food choices, too! Yes, it is true that the summer’s supply of tomatoes, beans and peaches are long gone, but there are still an abundant of healthy options on offer. Root vegetables, kiwifruit and feijoas are flourishing at this time of year, both at their peak nutrition and flavour. Seasonal wintry produce lends itself to warming meals you’re sure to love, like soups, stews and casseroles.

Keep moving

We’re pretty spoilt here in Tauranga to have plenty of beautiful days of sunshine and mild weather even in winter. Try to take advantage of these days by getting outside for a walk, a jog, or a bike ride. And if the weather really isn’t cooperating and you find your usual activity routine dampened, you can always keep fit indoors as well. From gyms to yoga classes to a simple walk around the mall, find ways to keep moving your body even when you’re stuck inside.

Soak up the sunshine

Sunlight is incredibly important for our health, mentally and physically. It makes us feel good and gives us a healthy dose of the all-important vitamin D. The lack of sunshine is often the biggest challenge for people over winter, and it might take some lifestyle changes to enjoy it more. Whether you take a stroll on your morning tea or lunch break, get outside on sunny weekend days, or adjust your winter working hours, soak up the sun’s rays when you can.

Small life hacks

Sometimes, the best ways to keep healthy and active in the colder months is through small changes that become healthy habits. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work; start your morning with a bowl of porridge; buy a beautiful woollen hat that makes you want to spend more time outside. Just a few little life hacks can make a huge difference on your mood, weight and wellness over winter.

Talk to a nutritionist

If these tips aren’t cutting it, please book in an appointment with a registered dietitian or nutritionist. Give Fiona at Food Solutions in Tauranga a call and we’ll work together to find realistic ways to make sure you stay healthy this winter.