*Guest Post* How to keep healthy during Winter | Lydia McCall

First things first, did you see my last post? (Lunch at Nell’s

If you did you’ll have already (virtually) met my friend Lydia.

Lydia is a health coach and nutritionist and I’ve managed to pick her brains for you on how to stay healthy in the winter.

(Because lets face it, by living off chinese, carbs, hot chocolates and pumpkin spice lattes we aren’t going to get the victoria secrets body we dream of. If only.)

SO Lydia, where do we start?

How do we keep healthy through the winter months?

Don’t let the dark nights and rainy weather during the winter months keep you from living a healthy lifestyle. I know it is easier said than done as snuggling up under a rug and eating comfort food whilst watching X factor is so appealing. 
But this is not going to help you stay healthy or make you feel good. I want to share some of my tips to keep you feeling healthy throughout the winter months and keep those cravings at bay. 
Keep eating well
We tend to crave comforting foods in the winter as our body temperature is lower. So the perfect foods to opt for to satisfy your comfort cravings in the healthiest ways are oats, butternut squash, sweet potato and leafy greens which are full of essential vitamins and minerals. 

A great breakfast option is a bowl of oats with blueberries and flaked almonds on top. Full of complex carbohydrates, protein and fat to keep your energy levels stable. 

For the the butternut squash and sweet potato cut them up into the size of chips and roast them in some coconut oil and you have yummy healthy chips that will keep your blood sugar levels stable. 
Also you can make delicious heart warming soups which will satisfy any craving.
One of my favourite recipes is Butternut squash and spinach soup…
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a go…

This soup contains a high level protein to keep your metabolism and energy levels high.
Also the protein will keep your blood sugar levels stable so it will keep you feeling satisfied for hours.
Ingredients
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and deseeded
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 800 ml vegetable stock
  • Spinach
  • Black pepper
Directions
1. Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil over a medium heat in a large. Put the lid on the pan and cook until soft. 

2. Chop the carrots and butternut squash into small cubes and add to the pan. Season with black pepper and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften. 

3. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Now turn down the heat a little, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. 

4. Use a blender to purée the soup. 
5. Add chickpeas and a huge handful of spinach and re heat
6. Top with crushed pepper and serve

Enjoy!

Keep moving
It is very easy to skip the workouts during winter but instead of lacing up your trainers and heading out into the cold you can just turn your laptop on and get moving. There are so many great youtube channels out there offering many different types of exercise. You can choose from yoga, HIIT, pilates or circuits. 

Whatever you fancy you can find it on youtube. So clear some space in your sitting room, press play and get moving. There is no need to leave the warmth of your house.

A few of my favourite channels at the moment:
Tone It Up offers a wide variety of workouts ranging from HIIT to yoga.
Blogilates is a great pilates channel. Get ready to feel the burn.
Tara Styles is an amazing yoga teacher. Let her help you get your OM on.

Keep your mood healthy
It is very easy for our mood to feel low in the cold and darker months. To keep your mood high I would suggest eating every 3 to 4 hours to keep your energy levels up and mood stable. 

Book in time during your week to see friends and be around the people you love. This will lift your mood no end and make sure you move your body in some form during your day to release those all important endorphins.

Keep hydrated
When the days are colder our thirst tends to decrease but make sure you are staying hydrated by drinking enough water. Everyone is different and will need different amounts but aim for 2 litres a day. Keep a bottle in the fridge or at your desk at work and keep on sipping. Staying well hydrated keeps your energy and hunger levels stable. Add some fresh lemon, mint, lime or cucumber to spice up your water.
Want to know more about Lydia?
Interested in one to one help?

Lydia McCall is a certified health coach who works with women to help them heal their relationship to food and to ditch the negative self talk so they can lead a life of balance where food is no longer an issue. Check out Lydia’s website to learn more about her health coaching services http://www.lydiamccall.com/
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I’m sure you’ll agree that that was the kick start we all needed to stay healthy this winter?
As much as I LOVE hot chocolates and a chinese takeaway on a saturday night, I certainly don’t love the feeling afterwards…
It’s all about finding and satisfying your body with the right foods, so that you can enjoy eating without worrying about your waistline so much.

THANK YOU LYDIA!

Hopefully we can have Lydia back on the blog soon 🙂
Is there anything you’d like her to do a post on or any advice you’d find useful?
Mollie xoxo