Warm up to healthy comfort foods this winter

Winter can really weigh on us: from the shorter amounts of daylight, to the weather that tries to get in between us and keeping our physical activity up. Runners need every advantage they can get to keep our energy levels up at this time of year, and a big part of it is the nutrition we put in our bodies. Our mind is craving comforting, warm, carb-loaded meals while our bodies need ampped up veggies to increase our nutrient intake. Read on to find out what to stock your kitchen with as well as recipes to make best use of them.

Root Veggies

Why you want them: Beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips… these veggies are at their prime at this time of year. Not only are they delicious, but they feature high levels of vitamins A and C which helps to keep energy levels high.

How to eat them: For a deeply satisfying side, try Ina Garten’s recipe for Roasted Winter Vegetables, or this vibrant Carrot Soup with Ginger and Lemon courtesy of Epicurious.

Oatmeal

Why you want it: Oatmeal is the epitome of ‘stick to your ribs’ goodness for the winter months. With high levels of soluble fibre, oatmeal is also rich in zinc which helps our immune system function optimally.

How to eat it: If you haven’t tried overnight oats, visit Wholefully for eight delicious overnight oats recipes to work into your repertoire. There isn’t much better than firing up the oven on a cold day and baking a batch of oatmeal muffins that feature fruit and nuts like these options from Daily Burn.

Broccoli and Cauliflower

Why you want them: These cruciferous wonders are your best bet to stay at the top of your game over the winter months. Broccoli tops the charts with high levels of vitamin K, essential for injury recovery, but both choices have high levels of vitamin C as well.

How to eat them: For a classic favourite made healthy, try Recipe Tin Eats’ Ultra Lazy Healthy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake.  If soup is more your preference, try out this vegan Roasted Cauliflower Soup from Jessica in the Kitchen. Roasting the cauliflower really brings out the sweetness of this versatile veggie.

Lean Beef

Why you want it: Choosing a lean cut of beef, such as top round or sirloin, provides a great source of protein and high levels of vitamin B (which aids in energy metabolism) and iron (insufficiency of which can leave you feeling tired).

How to eat it: Try a slow cooked beef stew like this healthy version of Beef Bourguignon from The Healthy Foodie or Delish’s Sheet Pan Balsamic Steak with potatoes for a satisfying dinner.