February 20, 2014

How I Actually Enjoy Winter [plus two great recipes!]

It’s been cold this winter. Like, ridiculously cold. Polar vortices, foot upon foot of snow, it’s been unreal. Everywhere you turn people are cursing Mother Nature.

But I have a little secret…

I actually love the winter.  Skiing, snow, crisp breezes, I’ll take it all.

But what if you’re not a winter junky like me? No worries friends, I’ve got items, ideas, and recipes to help you be your healthiest (and warmest) you this winter! [Help your friends stay warm: share this list with them!]


Ditch the green juice (or add ginger): Some folks can handle drinking cold stuff when it’s sub-zero outside but not this girl. When the temperature drops, I ditch my green juice (and stop adding ice to my smoothies!) in favor of something a bit more warm (more on that in a sec). However, if you’re really in love with your daily green jolt, try adding some ginger. Ginger increases circulation and will help balance the cold greens and fruits in your juice. Grabbing a green juice on the go? Ask for a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, which will raise your body temperature and help you feel warmer.

Embrace tea: Sipping tea on a cold winter day (bonus points if you’re chilling with your favorite person/magazine/book) is like getting a huge, cozy hug. You’re warming yourself from the inside out, literally. The hot liquid will lubricate and warm your internal organs. Additionally, certain types of teas will warm your body more than others so aim for spiced teas like cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Skip the fennel and white tea, they’re very cooling for the body.

Bundle up with a serious coat: If you’re venturing out into the cold, friends, you just can’t do it without a serious winter coat. A crappy coat makes for a crappy winter day. A good coat will most likely cost you a bit extra, but the warmth you’ll feel as you’re out and about will more than make up for it. I LIVE for my favorite winter coat. I’m so cozy and warm in it that I don’t fear stepping outside to get to my favorite hot yoga class in NYC!

Thin wool socks: That’s right, I said thin. There is absolutely no need to walk around in big, bulky socks unless maybe you’re out trekking in the woods all day. For day-to-day toasty warmth and comfort, I’m a fan of Smartwool socks. They’re thin, they’re warm, they’re cute, and you can get them in ankle length so you can wear them any time.

Go inward and slow down: There’s a reason the quintessential winter image is one of people huddling snuggly around the fireplace with a blanket and a cup of warm cocoa.  Winter is a great time to be still, go inward, and reflect. Before you know it spring and summer will arrive and  you’ll be flying through life, so why not use this time to really embrace the peace and tranquility that comes with the season? We all need some time to just “be.”

I promised you two great recipes, because let’s face it, winter is THE time to head into your kitchen and cook up a storm (another great way to stay warm!). First up is a fiery little number – Classic Curry with Kale and White Beans – guaranteed to warm you from the inside out (thanks curry powder!), followed by a yummy sweet treat: Your Healthiest You Hot Chocolate!

Classic Curry with Kale and White Beans

Classic Curry


  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced or chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1 carrot, small dice
  • 1 ½ cups roasted butternut squash, I pre-roasted a giant batch and will eat throughout the week, chop squash, season with olive oil salt and pepper and roast at 375 degrees until caramelized, about 35-50 minutes
  • 1 can beans, rinsed and drained (garbanzo or navy)
  • 1/2 bunch of kale, chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
  • Generous sprinkle of sea salt and pepper


Add coconut oil to large non-stick pan and sauté garlic, onion and carrot for about 7-8 minutes until carrot begins to soften.

Add spices, salt and pepper and mix to coat vegetable.  Cook another 2-3 minutes allow the spices to warm through and flavor the vegetables.

Pour coconut milk and vegetable stock to the pan and mix thoroughly.  Add beans, squash and kale and cover and continue to cook until vegetables are soft and flavors are well combined, about 5-7 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning adding more salt and pepper or more curry powder.

Serve over brown basmati rice or quinoa.  Enjoy!

Your Healthiest You Hot Chocolate

Serves 2


  • 2-3 cups unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (or almond milk, coconut milk is creamier)

  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder, carob powder, or cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2-3 tbsp coconut sugar or coconut syrup (depending on which chocolate you use)

  • Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions: Place all ingredients (lower amount of sweetener) in a medium sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 4-5 minutes. Taste and add additional sweetener if needed. Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite ways to beat the cold? Share in the comments below!

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