Food

Winter Grocery List and Food Guide with PDF


Most vegetables and fruits are now available throughout the year . Hence it is not so easy to know what grows and what to eat during winter. Winter Grocery list and seasonal eating guide and the downloadable PDF help you end that confusion , even if you live in India or outside.

Why should you eat according to season ?

The gut bacteria in our body varies as per the season. It will not be the same in the summer and the winter.

A deer that eats green leaves during spring summer will eat the barks of trees during winter. If it tries eating the bark during summer, it will end up with digestive issues.

Similarly, if we eat spring or summer foods during winter, we will also end up having digestive issues, blood sugar imbalances, hormonal problems, lowered immunity and other health issues. Winter by itself comes with its own woes . These woes can be reduced to a large extend by eating according to the season.

Here is a comprehensive list of vegetables, fruits, nuts +seeds, spices, grains and pulses to be included in winter.

Tastes to favour – Sweet, salt, Sour, dense( starchy), oily, moist and hot.

Things to avoid – Raw veggies, salads, smoothies, chips, caffeine, energy drinks, refined ultra processed food, breakfast cereals and cold food like ice cream, slushies, soda etc .

 M – If winter is mild for you or if you live in a tropical area, have these vegetables/fruits . If you have a harsh winter, save those for Spring.
* denotes the foods it is a winter superfood.

Fruits

Fruits should never be combined with the main meal, or be ground into juice or smoothies. Have fruit by itself as a snack.  
 

  • Banana
  • Tangerine *
  • Persimmon
  • Dates *
  • Figs
  • Tomato ( yes, tomato is a fruit)
  • Oranges *
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Pomegranate *
  • Berries (M)

    Avoid grapes, mango, water melon, cantaloupe, cherries, plums and peaches during winter.  
     

Cooking oils

  • Sesame oil *
  • Ghee *
  • Avocado oil *
  • Mustard oil *

    Coconut oil is suitable for mild winter and if you traditionally cook with it .
    Always avoid refined oils like sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil/vegetable oil and rice bran oil .

Vegetables

Avoid bitter gourd, raw greens,  salads and cucumbers.
Go for the vegetables that grow near you and not around the globe. Visit a farmer’s market or a farm near you.

Tubers are meant for winter

Cook these vegetables into a stir fry or any local recipe of your region.

  • Avocado
  • Pumpkin *
  • Squash
  • Ash gourd/Winter melon *
  • Peas
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Okra/Ladies finger
  • Yucca/Tapioca
  • Potato ( Go for Organic variety)
  • Taro root/Chembu/Arbi *
  • Chinese potato/Koorka *
  • Arrow root/ Koova *
  • Purple yam/Kaavithu *
  • Elephant yam/Chena  *
  • Plantain
  • Turnip
  • Radish *
  • Sweet potato
  • Corn ( Over 93% of Corn in the US is Genetically modified. choose Organic , non gmo variety)
  • Mustard Greens *
  • Flat beans/ Avarakka
  • Methi/Fenugreek leaves
  • Spinach ( M)
  • Dill leaves ( M)
  • Cabbage ( M)
  • Cauliflower (M)
  • Bell Peppers (M)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger *

Grains

  • Rice
  • Wheat *
  • Amaranth *
  • Corn ( Choose only  organic non gmo variety)
  • Finger millet/Ragi ( cooked with ghee or milk )
  • Little millet / Samai/ Chama
  • Buckwheat *
  • Pearl millet/Bajra /Kambu *

    Avoid Jowar/Sorghum and Thinai/Foxtail millet during winter.


Pulses/Legumes

                Most pulses and legumes are good or winter as long as they are soaked and cooked well. Soak the pulse for 6-8 hours in water and discard the water. Cook it generously with spices and pair with rice/wheat/any grain listed above.

 If your tummy finds it difficult to tolerate pulses, go for the split and husked variety. ( for eg : yellow moong dal instead of green moong ).

Nuts + seeds

Nuts and seeds are rich , dense and perfect for winter.
  • Almonds
  • Flax seeds *
  • Brazil nuts
  • Sesame seeds *
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cashew (Fall/early winter)
  • Garden cress seeds/Aserio/Aliv
  • Coconut
  • Pistachio
  • Walnuts
  • Pecan

Spices

Be generous with spices in your winter diet. It is important to temper spices over food . They regulate your digestive fire and keep your immunity higher. Small amounts of home-made pickles or preserves that does not contain Class ii preservatives or additives are good to be a part of winter diet.

Jaggery and honey are warming and good for winter. Honey should never be mixed with any food that is above 40C or 104F.

  • Pepper *
  • Ginger *
  • Nutmeg
  • Saffron
  • Cinnamon *
  • Cardamom
  • Fennel
  • Dill *
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric *
  • Mustard
  • Coriander
  • Clove

Raw/ Unpasteurized, Grass-fed Dairy

  • Butter
  • Ghee *
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Buttermilk *
  • Cottage cheese/ Paneer
  • Cheese
  • Cream

Meat

Most meats are good for winter as long as they are under 20% of your weekly diet.

Winter is a good time to increase physical activity and flexibility. This will help in reducing depression, joint pains and SAD(seasonal affective disorder) that usually comes with winter and its gloomy days.

When days are dark outside, its better to look inwards and find the light inside.

Are you connected with us via Facebook? Here is our Facebook page where we post daily updates on health and fitness. 

Interested in losing fat and balancing  hormones sustainably? Check out our programs

Food, Lifestyle

How to deal with Winter Woes?

During winter, we like to relax over the holidays, play in the snow and enjoy the chilly weather. All this is subject to us being fit andhealthy and not being down with the seasonal flu, or having a cough, high fever or the painful achy joints.

Winter is the time when the earth is dry, days are short and nights are long. Most people feel sluggish and depressed as we see the sun less.

How do we improve our immunity and keep our joints supple? What foods and lifestyle changes do we need to embrace to keep us healthy andhappy through the winter?

During winters, our digestion is at a peak and is perfect for digesting fats and heavy starches that will nourish us. Even though, doughnuts, french fries, ice creams etc are fatty and starchy, they don’t nourish us . Hence they are not suitable for any season even if they fit into our macros.

Let us look at a few tips and easy ways to improve our energy levels and to keep seasonal depression at bay during the winter:

  • Time for Tubers – Just like summers are for fruits, winters are for tubers.

Starches and carbs have got a bad reputation and most ‘Diets’ avoid carbs except for sweet potatoes. There are many different tubers that are native to India and other countries.

Traditionally we have used tubers in several dishes during the winter (like puzhukku that is made in Kerala, thaalaga kozhambu in certain parts of Tamilnadu and Undhiyo that’s made in Gujarat).

Tubers are excellent for hormonal balance

This is significant now as we have higher number of PCOS , fertility and reproductive issues than ever before. Tubers are excellent for hormonal balance.
Products like progesterone creams and bio identical hormone replacements for hormonal issues (like PCOS, PMS, endometriosis etc) contain compounds that are extracted from yams and other tubers.

 
  • Intensify your physical activity – Double the intensity of your Physical activity during winter whether it is running, hiking, biking,lifting weights, favourite sport or yoga. The reason for this is that in summer we get exhausted or tired soon and the same levels of exertion doesn’t exhaust us but will only energize us in autumn,winter and spring.
  • Include more seeds and nuts – Sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, chia and the liks are wonderful to keep our joints, skin, hair and nails healthy in winter. Unsalted nuts are also a rich source of essential fats and minerals like zinc, selenium, magnesium etc that are essential for immunity, blood sugar regulation and hormones.
  • Care for the citrus – Nature provides whatever is needed to protect ourselves during that season. When we ignore that and start eating other fancy foods (sometimes in the name of a diet), we weaken our immunity.

Winter is the time for citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, mandarins, gooseberries, guava and other sour fruits that are abundant in Vitamin C. 

  • Be sweet and spicy–  Jaggery is another winter hero as It warms andnourishes the body . It is unrefined, wholesome and also a good source of Iron, phosphorus , potassium and calcium .  Stevia extract, time to go back to shelf !!! ( it is still refined and ultra processedwith virtually zero nutrients)

With the falling temperatures, it is natural to yearn for spicy food. Listen to your body and be generous with the spices. Ginger, pepper, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, clove etc helps in improving the digestion and immunity.

  • Self indulgence – Give yourself a warm oil massage with sesame or mustard oil and a relaxing bath. Massages are great stressbusters and a nice way of increasing hormones like DHEA , Serotonin and other pleasure hormones which are crucial to keep ourselves stress-free and happy.

 It is also evident from the fact that we become gloomy when the sky is grey and cloudy. After all we are not peacocks .

Each season comes with its own pros and cons. Winter is the time to rejuvenate metabolism, mind , immunity and use the stillness and chillness to our advantage with the steps mentioned above , rather than be indoors , binge watch and booze.

Are you connected with us via Facebook? Here is our Facebook page where we post daily updates on health and fitness. 

Interested in losing fat and balancing  hormones sustainably? Check out our programs

 

 

Food, Uncategorized

Healthy Chocolate Ice cream in 2 minutes

If any mom realises a chocolate ice cream can be made at home within 2 minutes with just 4 healthy ingredients, she would definitely not let her child have a store-bought ice cream. Store bought ice creams are not just sugar laden, but also in additives such as artificial colours, flavours and preservatives which are known to cause health problems not just limited to obesity, ADHD, behavioural issues and cancer .

This recipe serves 3 and uses just 4 ingredients , more can be added according to your family’s tastebuds. The main ingredient avocado is nutrient dense and contains good fats . It is also rich in vitamin A, E, K, B6 , C , Folate and Magnesium.

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados/butter fruit
  • 250-300 ml chilled whole milk ( Raw milk is the best option)
  • Organic cacao powder( yes, cacao and not cocoa. more details on this at the end)
  • 4-5 tbsp of unrefined cane sugar or date syrup
  • Almonds, Cashews and Pistachios( Optional)
  • Cardamom Powder (optional)

Method

  • Cut avocados vertically into two halves. Remove the seed and scoop the flesh with a spoon.
  • Transfer all ingredients except the nuts to a blender , Blend it for 30-45 sec. ( Can be even mashed with hand and mixed in a vessel if you wish to skip using the blender)

Tada… The easiest and healthiest chocolate ice cream you can ever imagine is ready.

IMG-20170611-WA0011

Transfer the mixture into a bowl and serve at room temperature or chilled.

If you are adding nuts, add it at the end and blend once. This will add a crunch factor to the ice cream.

If you find the mixture too thick, add little more milk and blend again. If it is too dark or bitter for your taste, add a little more sugar or date syrup.

 

What’s the difference between cacao and cocoa powder?

Cacao is the unprocessed, powdered cacao beans. Rich in Copper, Selenium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc, Vitamins and antioxidants.

Cocoa is cacao processed at a higher temperature and with alkali and usually had added sugar. This changes its nutrients, and structure at the molecular level and doesn’t offer much health benefits. While you read about dark chocolate being good for heart, it’s the cacao that is actually meant. However, when it reaches the magazines and newspapers, it is modified to be read as chocolate. Forget about chocolate (dark/milk) you eat being heart protective, the way it is processed will just clog your arteries.

How about the chocolate milk that we give kids? Be it boost, bournvita , nesquik or milo; it is highly processed, loaded with sugar, salt , synthetic vitamins and chemicals which will harm kid’s health.

Read more about hidden sugar in processed foods here.

If you want to give milk to your child by altering the taste, try cacao powder, or home-made dry fruit powder like almonds with cardamom or fennel seeds. They are wholesome, nutritious, delicious and give the real energy boost.

If they don’t like milk, just chill. Milk is not the only source of calcium/protein in this world.

If you liked  this recipe, share it with your friends too.

Interested in sustainable weight loss through lifestyle changes and not crash diets? Check out our programs.