winter hibernation food

>Charmaine and I were out for our Indian Food Odyssey a couple of weeks ago when we got onto the perennial subject of hibernation food. The temperature goes down, the days get shorter, and even before real winter kicks in many of us seem to lose our healthy eating initiative and dive headlong into stodge.

It got me thinking that there has to be a way to avoid this by making a few changes to our diets early enough to second-guess our bodies. I’m thinking we have to make these changes in early May (or October for the northern hemisphere) so our good habits remain intact when hibernation mode seriously kicks in.

The first rule that springs to mind is seasonal produce. There may be no science behind this, but surely eating the fruit and vegetables which are naturally occurring at each time of year must be good for us? We are better at heeding this lesson in spring and summer, when asparagus, strawberries or green beans start sprouting from our kitchen gardens (or the aisles in Queen Victoria Market). So perhaps embracing those apples, pears, pomegranates, nuts and pineapples will help – think of the traditional Hallowe’en party. And those wonderful autumn and winter vegetables will be a joy to cook with in all those hearty stews and curries – think beetroot, pumpkins, kale, turnip and of course tiny sweet brussels sprouts.

The second rule is something about the type of carbs we eat. When hibernation mode kicks in, we tend to carb-load and often get it seriously wrong. Again, I’ve nothing but instinct to suggest that if we tend towards really high-quality carbs early enough, we will stave off that craving. Think pulses, high-fibre options like brown rice, squashes and whole-grain anything.

This year I am on a mission to find the rules to help us all pre-empt those winter blues by healthy and delicious eating before our stodge-fests kick in- so that this year will be the last time I get to winter solstice feeling unhealthy and lethargic.

Anybody got any ideas for more winter food rules, or ways to keep motivated to do even a little exercise once the autumn equinox has been and gone?

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