7 Smart Food Choices to Stay Healthy in the Winter

Staying healthy In the winter is super difficult. Especially when you live in a state like Maine where it’s below freezing five months out of the year and the odds of finding yourself in leggings and a sweatshirt, are very high. Since you’re usually hibernating in your room, you don’t tend to notice if you gain any weight. So, I decided to put together a list of snacks and meals I like to keep me busy but also healthy while braving these hard winter months. I eat these snacks and meals at least once a week if not more, and straight from my home kitchen. These foods aren’t all going to keep you warm but they will keep you satisfied when you’re stuck inside! I hope you guys give these all a try if you haven’t before. And remember, it’s all in moderation. And summer bodies really are built in the winter ladies!


1. Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookies

These protein cookies are #1 on my list because they are my all-time favorite. Though they are a little heavy on the carb intake, they’re not as much as a sleeve of Oreos. And, they’re non GMO, da iry free, soy free, and vegan! They are packed with protein, fiber, and wholesome ingredients that are great to fulfill that sweet tooth before bed. They come in like a million delicious flavors including snickerdoodle, double chocolate, pumpkin spice, and my favorite: birthday cake. I like to pop ‘em in the microwave for about 25 seconds to soften them up. You can find these jems at the vitamin shoppe or order them off their website.


2. Halo Top ice cream

You’ve probably all had this mouthwatering protein added ice cream. If you haven’t, you’re truly missing out. Ben and Jerry’s, you’re truly the best but a girl can’t eat that many calories in one sitting without feeling guilty for the next 24 hours. The lid of this ice cream encourages you to finish the pint by saying “save the bowl, you’re going to want the whole pint” on the lid. It’s just too good not to, and it’s really not all that bad for you. Pick up a couple on your next trip to Wolly World, you won’t regret it.


3. Protein Pancakes

There’s are great, and not just for breakfast. There’s a million recipes online for these and they’re extremely more filling than regular pancakes. A premade mix I like is Kodiak Cakes. They can be found at Target or possibly your local grocery store if you’re lucky. This brand is non GMO, made with 100% whole grains, no artificial preservatives, and you just have to add water to the mix! I like to add some protein and flavor by covering them with some of my favorite nut butter. Just make sure not to drown them in syrup! Oh and it’s a waffle mix too!


4. Oatmeal

Once again, not only for breakfast. A lot of people like to make overnight oats which are just as good, and there are many ways to add to them to increase the flavor. Oatmeal is a complex carb that your body will thank you for. It’s extremely filling and nutritious and you can add fresh fruit, brown sugar, milk, honey...the possibilities are endless. Plus it’s super easy to nuke a bowl in the microwave on your way to class or work. Though they do have a lot of carbs, oatmeal is heart healthy, good for digestion, and filled with fiber and whole grains. My favorite is of course, traditional Quaker Oats. It’s better for you than a bagel or cereal, for sure.


5. Chickpea Pasta

My new obsession. Chickpea pasta is a made with plant based protein and is a great substitute for regular white pasta. The best part is that you can mix it with your favorite pasta sauces or meats for a deliciously filling meal. There are a couple different brands but I like Explore Cuisine. The brand also offers other options including edamame pasta, bean pasta, lentil pasta, and more. Just be careful on the portion sizes because this pasta can be addicting! Though it’s healthier, there are still a lot of carbs. Also, make sure to cook it a bit longer than you would regular pasta so it has time to soften.


6. Crock Pot Chicken

If you don’t have a crock pot, invest in one. Coming from a girl who is really picky about her protein choices and gets sick or just plain chicken, I will never ever grill, bake or boil my chicken every again! Throw some skinless breasts in the crock pot with your favorite sauce (mine is Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce) and leave it on low for about 5-6 hours (depending on your crock pot) and you have yourself the most tender, fall-apart, chicken you’ve ever tasted. Just don’t forget to check on it every hour or so to get it to the perfect tenderness.


7. Fajitas

These are a little hard because they’re easy to jack up the calories, so you have to smart about the ingredients. Just get some tortillas (preferably wheat), chicken, sliced bell peppers, shredded cheese, and your choice of marinade, ranch, sour cream or salsa. These are a great dinner option and they’re wicked easy to make. They cover all your food categories and they’re just so good. You can cook all the ingredients together and stuff it in the tortilla or heat it all up on the stove to melt the cheese. I’ve even made these with tofu before and they’re just as good!


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