Winter Garden Inspiration

It’s cold outside and there isn’t much green outside, even down here in the South, this time of year.


However, when you just want to cozy up inside and have a hot bowl of soup, it can give you time to prepare for the Spring and Summer months; after all, there are bathing suits in the stores already!

I’ve been trying out a few different apps (Noom, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal to name a few) to monitor my nutritional intake and my physical activity. I’ll post in the future about my reviews on those. Like many others, I take January to re-assess my needs and focus on my weaknesses (again, did I mention the bathing suits?!?!). I’ve stumbled upon a few free fitness websites I’d like to share if you’re getting ready for the warmer seasons like I am: Fitness Blender on Youtube and (which is really geared towards the female population but trust me, if you can look past all the girly marketing, there are some great workouts for anyone!). I don’t get anything from anyone to share these; I just like to share anything I come across that might be helpful (and especially if it’s free!).

I’ve been telling myself every morning my new mantra “Summer bodies are made in the winter”. So, I’ve changed some workout habits and as I have posted previously, I’ve been working to shift to a ‘clean eating’ lifestyle. Which brings me to two topics I want to share: 1. Clean eating recipes I will start to implement as I try them out and 2. Updates, occasionally, on my own garden in which I will include some form of nutritional tips to accompany those posts (recipes, what’s in season, tips on storing them, etc).


To ensure I have a long growing season of delicious vegetables to eat, I had to start some seedlings, early, indoors.

Speaking of, let me introduce you to my favorite soup recipe during the winter months:

Cabbage & Garden Vegetable Soup


  • 1 potato
  • 1 medium cabbage (we like red but green tastes delicious too)
  • Tomato paste to taste
  • 1 turnip
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 cups diced vegetables of choice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste.



  • Boil 2 quarts of water in a large pot. Add olive oil, as desired.
  • Peel potato. Dice it up and boil in 2 quarts of water until tender. Once tender, mash it up in the water, as desired.
  • Add tomato paste, salt, and black pepper to taste.
  • Dice up all vegetable, as desired (you might like chunky or smaller pieces), and put in pot of boiling water.
  • Add cabbage last, putting in as much as will fit. Let it boil down and add more, as able.
  • Add water, if needed.
  • Approximate cooking time is 1 – 1.5 hours. Taste broth and add seasonings as desired.

Healthy Holiday Substitutions and Cold Weather Workouts

Healthy Substitutions for Healthier (Holiday) Eating

If you eat this Consider this instead


Whole Milk 1% or Skim
Ice Cream Frozen Yogurt, Sherbert, Sorbet, or Italian Ice
Sour Cream Low-fat plain yogurt
Cream Cheese Neufchatel or low-fat cream cheese
Whole Milk Cheese Part Skim Cheese
Coffee Creamer 2%, 1%, or Skim Milk, Milk Substitutes, or   low-cal/low-fat versions OR consider rich flavors while using very small   portions- you can be surprised how far that flavor goes

Cereal, Grain, Pasta

Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta with Marinara Sauce
White Rice Brown Rice or Wild   Rice

Meat, Poultry, Fish,   & Eggs

Chicken or Turkey with skin Chicken or Turkey   without the skin (white meat)
Pork or Ham Pork Tenderloin or Ham (trimmed, lean, smoked)
Breaded or Fried Fish Fresh, Frozen, or   Canned Unbreaded Fish- consider grilling or baking
Whole Eggs 1:1 or 1:2 ratio (whole egg to egg whites), use all egg   whites, egg substitutes


Cake (pound, yellow, chocolate) Angelfood, Ginegerbread
Cookies Reduced fat and   calorie versions such as Graham Crackers or Ginger Snaps
Custard Pudding made with skim milk
Hot Chocolate using syrup and whole milk Pure cocoa heated   with 1% or skim milk

Fats, Oils,   Dressings

Butter Whipped butter,   ‘diet’ margarine (just watch for trans fats and hydrogenated oils)
Mayonnaise Mustard
Baking using oil, shortening,   eggs,  or lard Applesauce can be   used in place for some recipes


Cream Soups and Gravies Broth-based soups or   homemade soups using low-fat milk

Just Because It’s Cold, Doesn’t Mean YouCan’t Fit in Your Exercise

“It’s only cold if you’re not moving”

winter fitness

Using the WebMD Calorie Counter, a person weighing 130 lbs can *potentially* burn the following calories with these winter or indoor activities for 1 hour:

Activity Calories per   Hour

Ice Skating


Skiing, General




Snow Shoeing


Building an Ice   House


Aerobics Class


Walking, Treadmill,   Brisk


Light Weight Lifting




Cycling/Spinning, Moderate


As you can see, there are still plenty of ways to burn calories despite the cold weather. There are more activities to do than are listed here. The number of actual calories you will burn depends on a lot of factors including your weight, gender, etc. so this calculator can be a fun estimator but it may not be accurate. How are you going to stay active during winter?

Recipe of the Month: Japanese Yam or Sweet Potato Pie

ingredient list

Serves 10

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch      pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 9-inch prepared graham cracker crust


  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Place yam/sweet potato in medium pot, and cover with 1      inch water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Simmer 10 minutes,      or until soft. Drain, cool to room temperature, and mash. (You should have      1 cup.)
  3. Whisk together potatoes, sugar, coconut milk, eggs,      cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger and salt in large bowl. Pour into piecrust      and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until set.
  4. Cool on rack until ready to serve.
  1. Per SERVING:
Calories 194
Protein 3g
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1.5g
Carbs 32g
Cholesterol 42mg
Sodium 241mg
Fiber 2g
Sugar 16g


This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. Statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding in supplements or making any changes in your diet or exercise routine.