Katie Bulmer-Cooke: Be healthy or hibernate?

December 1, 2015

I feel like winter has firmly slapped me in the face! It’s dark, freezing and every evening my sofa is calling my name. It’s just so much tougher to stick to your exercise regime at this time of year.

I see so many people lose their way with exercise and a healthy diet during autumn and winter. Salads are as appealing as streaking down the sea front and having the motivation to get to the gym is like a distant memory!

But the harsh truth is, if we don’t make an effort to continue our healthy habits, especially in the run up to Christmas, then we are going to have some major work to do when January hits.

Did you know the average Brit gains eight pounds over the festive season alone? I certainly don’t want to be faced with the task of tackling that extra body fat in January!

Here are my top two strategies for staying fit and healthy when the dark nights and sub-zero temperatures set in:

Enjoy your winter warmers

Winter brings with it cravings for warm, starchy foods like chips, bread, pie, dumplings and roasts, so why not give those winter warmers a healthy makeover?

Carrot and sweet potato soup: (take in a flask to work)

Serves 4

* 4 carrots

* 1 sweet potato

* 1 onion

* 1 litre water

* 1 tsp dried coriander

* 1 tsp sea salt

* 1 tsp black pepper

Peel and chop the carrots, sweet potato and onion and place in a large saucepan with the water; bring to the boil. Add the coriander, sea salt and black pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. Once cooked, blend.

Fish and vegetable pie:

Serves 2

* 6 prawns

* 1 salmon fillet, diced

* 1 haddock or cod fillet, diced

* 1/2 red onion, sliced

* 1 red pepper, chopped

* 1 yellow pepper, chopped

* 1/2 courgette, sliced

* 2 handfuls of spinach

* 1 lemon

* 1 tsp of sea salt

* 1 tsp black pepper

* 2 sweet potatoes

* 1 tbsp hummus

* 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil

Heat the oil in the pan and stir fry the prawns, salmon, haddock, red onion, peppers and courgette for around three minutes, then place the fried mixture in the bottom of a pie dish, squeezing the lemon juice over the top and seasoning with sea salt and black pepper. In

the meantime, peel, chop and boil the sweet potatoes. Drain, then add the hummus and blend. Use the sweet potato to top the pie then bake in the oven for around 20 minutes.

Don’t go it alone

Going it alone at the gym, especially at this time of year, can seem almost impossible. So, to keep you motivated and, most of all, accountable, instead try joining a class, working out with a friend or hiring a trainer. Then, the next time you feel like you’re surgically attached to the sofa, the thought of letting someone else down will be the extra reason you need not to skip your workout.

Let’s stay fit and healthy this winter.

Katie Bulmer-Cooke is an award-winning health and fitness entrepreneur, consultant and speaker (contact michael@usb-uk.com)

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