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Warming Up with Winter Meals

Posted by itsupportgroup
itsupportgroup
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on Monday, 20 January 2014 in General Interest

 

20072With snowmen and snowflakes abound, January is the perfect month to stock up on comfort foods that help us stay warm and cozy on even the coldest of winter nights. If you're anything like me, you'll agree that nothing is better than snuggling up by the fire with a warm cup of tea, or a freshly made bowl of soup. I've even found that adding oatmeal to my morning routine has helped me feel warm, and stay full and energized throughout the chilly (and sometimes dreary) winter season.

In honor of National Soup Month and National Fiber Focus Month, here are a few of my favorite (and healthful) reasons to shake away the wintertime blues:

Soup: Nothing warms our bodies, or soothes our souls, quite like a bowl of fresh, homemade soup. This simple meal is an excellent way to add veggies and essential nutrients into our everyday diets. In fact, since soups tend to be largely vegetable-based, it's seemingly effortless to enjoy a healthy consumption of vegetables, like celery, onions, carrots and other leafy greens. Even better — with coughs and sniffles making an appearance this winter season, a bowl of "Grandma’s" chicken noodle soup can help boost immune and digestive system health by clearing nasal congestion, improving hydration — and perhaps most importantly — offering just the right amount of warmth to soothe an aching or feverish body.

Try shaking things up with these "souper" tips:

          bullet   Throw in some fresh dill for a bold new flavor.

          bullet   Substitute plain chicken breast with chicken meatballs.

          bullet   Use brown rice noodles instead of traditional pasta for a gluten-free option.

          bullet   Add parsnips or other root vegetables for a heartier soup.

          bullet   Keep it creative with flavored pastas such as tomato or spinach to add an interesting new kick of flavor.

 

Oatmeal. Oatmeal is a delicious way to add fiber into our daily routine — not to mention, the added benefit of a warm belly on a cold winter morning. Over the years, I've grown to love oatmeal more and more, no matter the season. Why? Oatmeal is a great cereal base for adding an unlimited amount of healthy flavorings, such as dried raisins, cranberries and apricots, or fresh fruits like sliced bananas, strawberries and blueberries. Better yet — since oatmeal is considered a whole grain, it's no surprise that this well-known breakfast item supports overall digestive system health.

The bottom line? Whatever you choose this winter season, staying warm has never been so delicious!

 

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