Winter in Central Florida is here; warm up with some healthy food and beverage choices. Though most days are quite comfortable with day time high temperatures averaging in the 70s, we can still experience a few days of chilly weather and nights accompanied by frost. Chilly days usually make you think of warm foods and beverages, likes soups, casseroles, hot chocolate, or coffee. Due to our climate, Florida is fortunate to still harvest locally grown vegetables like tomatoes, squash, mushrooms, green peppers, corn and green beans this time of year, which are great to add to vegetable soup.
Soups are a great way to add a variety of vegetables to your diet and can be made with a relatively low calorie count. Be cautioned that soups made with heavy creams and butter, such as chowders and tomato bisque, can have a high calorie, fat and sodium content. Choosing healthier options like broth-based vegetable, minestrone, or turkey vegetable soups provides needed vitamins and minerals while keeping fat, and calories low. It’s also nice to drink warm beverages during the chilly months. Coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea can provide some instant warmth, but be careful when adding cream, milk, sugar, marshmallows, and flavors. While these ingredients can make warm beverages taste great, they can also add unnecessary calories and too much sugar. It’s also important to continue your daily physical activity. Remember these 5 tips to help you stay warm and safe when exercising outdoors.
1.Check daytime temperatures before exercising outside.
2. Dress in layers and remove items as needed.
3.Drink plenty of fluids; dehydration can happen from sweat and breathing dry winter air.
4. Cover your, hands, head, feet, and ears.
5. Use sunscreen and safety gear as needed (bike helmets, reflective clothing, and proper foot wear).