Some people love winter. For others, short days and colder weather make the season seem much longer than 90 days. Keeping a positive mindset can be challenging.
Here are 6 tips that might help you feel better throughout winter:
1. Embrace the season by slowing down. There is no yard work, the holidays have passed, and it may be cold outside. Time to be attuned to your tiredness. Like gardens that need a fallow period to produce fruit in the growing season, bodies and minds need downtime too. Unscheduled time for relaxing will renew your energy and focus.
2. Appreciate season-specific activities, such as sitting by a warm fireplace with a warm drink, taking a brisk walk in the chilly air, or participating in winter sports.
3. Find a physical activity that you enjoy, since exercise releases feel-good endorphins.
4. Be active in nature whenever possible. Sunshine, natural beauty and fresh air are mood boosters.
5. Connect with positive-minded, uplifting friends and family, near and far. Technology allows us to visit face-to-face wherever we are.
6. Since cooking is usually and indoor activity, winter’s the perfect time to get creative with new recipes. This salad recipe takes advantage of winter citrus production, and the dressing adds a sweet tanginess.
Winter Citrus Salad
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon or spicy brown mustard
1 small clove garlic – minced or pressed
salt & black pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups lettuce of choice, sliced or coarsely chopped
3 citrus fruits of choice, pieces separated and cut in half or thirds
1 avocado, chopped
2 green onions – thinly sliced
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecans – toasted and roughly chopped
1 can roasted chickpeas
Goat cheese crumbles or other cheese as desired
Roast the chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400° F. Rinse the chickpeas, then toss them onto a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven to allow them to dry, shaking the pan after 5 minutes or so. Spray with non-stick spray and allow to cook until golden brown and crispy, checking every 5 minutes.
Make the dressing: In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, honey, mustard and garlic. While whisking, stream in the olive oil. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper and adjust for sweetness with more honey if desired. (Dressing will keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for a week.)
Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, place lettuce, citrus, green onions, cranberries and chickpeas. Toss with dressing. Place on individual plates and top with pecans, avocado, and cheese.
Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with NC Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups. firstname.lastname@example.org, (828)264-3061
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