It’s raining, it’s pouring! My daughter and I love singing this song to keep our spirits up during the rainy season. It’s been quite gloomy these past few days. The change in weather, though, should never dampen our spirits, nor should it keep us from doing what we want to do. During this season, it is therefore essential to keep ourselves and our children strong and healthy. One way to avoid cold, cough and flu is to keep ourselves hydrated.
Another way to avoid sickness and illness during this season is to stock up on nutritious food. Meal planning for cold weather is very different from planning meals for warmer weather. You must take into account the additional demands that cold temperature places on your body. Extra calories are necessary in keeping your body warm (especially for children), dampen the air you breathe and fuel any involuntary quivering.
Eating nutritionally rigorous food will make the difference in your ability to stay warm and invigorated. Here are 5 things that keep my family’s spirits up in the rainy and cold season.
- Liquids galore
Since the weather is cold, we might not feel the urge to drink water, but we need to. We need to constantly remind ourselves to get up and drink. What I do to keep myself reminded is that I buy 330mL bottles of Wilkins Distilled drinking water and I make it a point to consume a bottle every hour. I set my mobile phone to alarm every hour to remind me to stand up and get a new bottle from the fridge! You can also shake off that cold-weather chill by drinking hot drinks such as cocoa, coffee or tea.
Storage tip: Always check the expiry dates of teas, coffee, cocoa and milk. If you didn’t finish your drink, cover your cup or mug before putting it inside the refrigerator.
- Leafy Greens and Veggies
Aside from being super-healthy, vegetables are also budget-friendly. Some cold-weather favorites include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, beets, onions, cauliflower and broccoli (I super love the last two vegetables!). These are rich in vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fiber and even anti-carcinogenic compounds called glucosinolates. Some studies even claim that vegetables can reduce cholesterol and lower risk of cancer and diabetes.
Storage tip: Tightly wrap the veggies and stash in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for up to a week.
How to Eat it: You may eat it raw, make a salad, or stir fries. It is also good for soups.
The best way to develop safe and healthy eating habits is to start your kids young. As they grow up, choose to give them more greens and fruits presented in a way that won’t intimidate them. Frozen grapes (#Zeeka ate them all already ;>) are a healthy alternative packed with vitamins instead of buying them popcorn or candy for snack. #WilkinsCircleofTrust
Are dark cold days getting you down? Grab a handful of cheery fruits to last you until next summer season. Most fruits are loaded with vitamin C – which is very ideal in keeping your resistance strong — and flavonoids – which may reduce risk of cancer. My daughter and I love buying different kinds of grapes and berries and we place them in a cute little bowl. The different colors just put us in a good mood! Don’t ever forget to add a piece of fruit to your diet because fruit consumption has also been linked to lower risk of a significant number of ailments which include diabetes, cholera, gingivitis, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Crohn’s disease. Stock up oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, apples and mangoes.
Storage tips: Store fruits inside the refrigerator for a few weeks. You may also just store it at a room temperature for up to four days.
How to Eat it: Just peel it and eat. Too, you may make fruit salads and hot lemonade or juices.
- Food grains and carbohydrates
Aside from the fact that carbohydrates are the speediest to convert to energy, grains also provides sundry nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies especially in cold seasons. They are very important sources of dietary fiber, numerous B vitamins such as niacin, folate, thiamin and riboflavin, and minerals such as selenium, magnesium and iron. These may also help reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. These may be the reasons why my daughter’s favorite food is “kanin”.
The fiber that we get from this type of food is also important for proper bowel function as it helps reduce diverticulosis and constipation. Store up products such as whole-grain breads, cereals, rice and pasta.
Storage tips: Heat, moisture and air are the enemies of whole grains, so be sure to keep them away from these. Store them in clean airtight containers with tight-fitting lids and closures. You may also use zip-top plastic bags or glass, plastic or aluminum canisters.
- Protein-rich food
If my daughter and husbands favorite food are carbohydrates and food grains, my favorite are protein rich food! Excess protein is turned into energy by our body which we need to jump-start our metabolism during cold rainy days. High protein foods include eggs (I eat 4 hardboiled eggs — although the white part only every day for breakfast), cheese, meat, fish, tofu, nuts and legumes.
Storage tip: Always separate raw, cooked and ready-to-eat food. Store raw meat, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the freezer/refrigerator so juices won’t drip on the other food. Freeze or refrigerate perishables promptly.
For more of my personal tips, please do join me in a conversation over at the Wilkins Distilled Drinking Water Facebook Page. If you have more tips on how to keep safe and be healthy during the rainy season, post in on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts and use #WilkinsCircleofTrust. Feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let’s talk!