5 Tips to Fight The Winter Blues

I get the Winter Blues every year. What can I say, I’m not a winter person. It’s too cold. I don’t like to be cold. When I’m cold I stay inside. When I stay inside I eat and I don’t exercise. And then I get sad, flat and uninspired not to mention a little wider.

This winter I’ve got a plan to stay healthy and happy.  It’s an easy plan:


1.   Stay Happy – get plenty of Vitamin D

Vitamin D has been linked to cell health, immune system function and mental well-being.  And whilst we get most of our Vitamin D from the sun, we can also help our levels through food. Oily fish such as salmon and tuna are good sources of Vitamin D as are fortified cereals, fortified milk and soy products (milk and tofu), eggs and mushrooms (read more about mushrooms and Vitamin D).

If you’re feeling extra lethargic and sluggish this winter you may want to have your doctor check your Vitamin D levels as you may need a supplement.


2.    Keep Satisfied – eat enough protein

For some reason we are more hungry in winter. What’s with that? There is no scientific reason for it so I think it must all be in our heads. To make sure you don’t over eat fill up on the right stuff. Protein fills you up and keeps you going until your next meal. Try to include protein in every meal and you’ll be less likely to snack. Great sources of protein include lean meat, eggs, legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans), reduced fat cheese and yogurt, and nuts.


3.    Boost Energy – load up on complex carbs

It seems harder to keep high energy levels in the colder months; it’s cold, it’s rainy and we don’t have that lovely warm sunshine to give us a lift. The good news is food can help. Replacing highly processed food with complex carbs will boost energy slowly and keep you energised throughout the day (not to mention boosting your vitamin and mineral intake). So load up on buckwheat, brown rice, quinoa, oats and multigrain bread. Make a warm bowl of porridge for breakfast, take a vege-packed soup with added brown rice for lunch, throw some buckwheat or quinoa into your evening stew. It sounds so good, right?


4.    Get Naturally High – exercise regularly

Urgh, I’d rather pull out my own teeth than exercise when it’s cold and wet outside but it’s gotta be done. Exercising regularly not only keeps your body fit and healthy but also your mind – all those exercisey endorphins give you a natural high and makes you feel good. So if you’re like me and lean towards teeth pulling, have an inside and outside exercise plan. If it’s really foul outside stay inside but make sure you exercise – I’ve got a cross trainer that I jump on when it’s too awful to step out the door. But if it’s fine outside, make yourself get out there and you’ll feel so much better for it (not to mention you may just pick up a little extra Vitamin D from the sun). Half the battle is actually getting yourself out the door so give yourself a shove.


5.    Stay hydrated – drink loads of water

When you’re dehydrated you feel slow, groggy, headachy and sometimes you even get muscle cramps. It’s hard to function when you’re dehydrated. It’s just as important to stay hydrated in winter as it is in summer but we tend to drink less water in winter don’t we? Probably because it’s cold. I find it hard to drink cold water when I’m cold so I switch to hot water or hot water with lemon. Soup is also great for increasing fluids. No matter how you choose to do it, stay hydrated.


So that’s my plan – Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, No Winter Blues. And come spring, I should be ready to go without any extra padding to shed and a happy mindset. That’s the plan anyway…..


Do you get the winter blues? What do you do to keep them at bay?


Healthy eating!



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