When the weather gets cold, it's easy to let your pre-wedding fitness and wellness routines go out the window. Who wants to head out in freezing temps to exercise or eat a cold salad when you could be curled up on the couch enjoying comfort food instead? But it may actually be easier to get in shape for your upcoming wedding over the winter than it is during the summer—or if not altogether easier, at least just as easy. We'll admit we didn't come to this conclusion on our own, but with the help of New York City-based nutritionist Angela Shurina. Here, she shares her tips for staying warm, satiated, and healthy when you're engaged over the winter.
"It's natural to not want to exercise much, and really, you don't need to go the gym at all, just move around more," Shurina says. "If you're working at a computer, get up every fifteen minutes, change positions. Walk around the house more, use the stairs, park your car further from the entrance—all of these small things add up at the end of the day. Just stay active."
Stave off mindless snacking with tea.
"Herbal and green teas are especially good for reducing hunger and eliminating cravings," Shurina says, who recommends mixing a cup of tea with a spoon of coconut oil in a blender for a surefire way to stay full until the next meal, since coconut oil is full of satiating and blood-sugar regulating healthy fats.
Warm up your veggies.
Steam broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil on top for a delicious, healthy dish. Shurina also loves to make soups and stews by blending vegetables with bell peppers and tomatoes, adding spices, and then heating it up on the stove or in the microwave. "It's a really easy way to purée soup," she says.
Indulge your sweet tooth.
It would be near impossible to cut out sweets throughout your entire engagement, but especially so if the bulk of it takes place over the winter. So let yourself have a treat every now and then. "My favorite dessert is avocado chocolate mousse," Shurina says. Purée one ripe, creamy avocado until it's smooth, then mix together 1/4 cup of unsweetened cacao powder and 1/4 cup of coconut or almond milk, and add it to the avocado. Stir in two teaspoosn of stevia and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. When you take it out, you can sprinkle berries, coconut shavings, or toasted nuts on top.
If you're going to drink, make it clear liquor or red wine.
"Studies have shown that clear liquor doesn't raise your blood sugar as much," Shurina says. "It's also easier for your system to detoxify, and with alcohol, you want your body to remove it as quickly as possible. Red wine is also great for winter; it has antioxidants and warms you up a bit."