I don’t know about you, but I find delight in almost any outdoor activity on a sunny winter day, surrounded by sparkling snow. But when I come in from the cold, I crave something warm to eat or drink. Our eating habits naturally change with the seasons. In the winter, we find ourselves seeking warm foods like soups, stews, herbal teas, and hot chocolate, as opposed to fresh salads and cold berries.
Traditional wisdom from around the world has long favored hot and cooked foods during the cold months as they warm the body and do not dampen the “fire of digestion.”
Without the farm-fresh fruits and vegetables of summer and fall, I get lots of questions about how to stay on the alkaline diet in the winter. It may seem like there is less of an alkaline offering during the winter months, but the truth is we can find an abundance of delicious alkalizing meals and food choices in all seasons, even in the cold. And eating an alkaline diet is one of the best things you can do for your bones.
Tips for eating alkaline during the wintertime
- Enjoy steamed vegetables instead of salads: A handy steaming basket and a few minutes is all you need to produce a hot vegetable dish. Salad dressing or chopped nuts add that bit of winter-appropriate nourishing oil.
- Consume one or more baked root crops every day: Potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabaga, kohlrabi, parsnips, and winter squash are in this category. Leftover potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash make a hearty addition to any breakfast.
- Make more soups: Soup is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to consume the two cups of vegetables useful for alkalizing at each meal. A meat base adds protein and flavor, if desired, while a good-quality bullion or miso picks up most any vegetable soup. Lentil soup is hearty and particularly alkalizing. Below you will find a great lentil soup!
- Try ginger tea: Ginger root has a very special quality as a substance that warms, enhances digestion, and detoxifies. To warm up, try taking a thumbnail size amount of fresh ginger, mincing it up, and steeping it in boiling water. Add a bit of honey or sucanat, if desired.
Warm the body, bones and soul with alkaline foods this winter. It’s easier than you think!
Lentil Soup with Greens
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano, basil
1 bay leaf
14-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup dry lentils
5 cups water or broth
½ cup chopped fresh greens
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the onion, carrot, and celery in the oil until softened, then add the garlic and herbs. Stir one minute, and then add tomatoes, lentils, and water. Bring to a boil and simmer about an hour, until the lentils are soft.
Add greens and season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!