It sometimes can feel difficult to keep in a cheery, bright mood all day long as the temperatures drop and the days become shorter as we head into the winter months. But there’s an amazing thing that happens when you eat certain foods – food can have wonderful healing and mood-boosting properties, especially when you choose the right ones for the season.
So here are 5 different foods and drinks that are tried and true to brighten your mood even as the days get dimmer, darker and colder.
A good homemade soup will not only warm you up from the inside out, but most are hearty and filling, so you won’t have to get up from under your blankets again anytime soon to get more food!
Rather than opting for a canned version of a good hot soup, try making one from scratch, preferably using a slow cooker or crock pot. Throw in tons of healthy veggies (carrots, potatoes, onions, etc.), along with some meat, broth and seasonings, and cook throughout the entire day so you have a hot dinner waiting for you when you get home. Your house will smell delightful and welcoming, and you’ll come home to a perfect hot winter time meal.
There’s just something about a steaming glass of hot cocoa that brings you back to childhood nostalgia. And as an adult, it’s even OK to add a shot of Bailey’s or other liqueur for a little extra added delight.
The cup will warm your hands and the liquid will warm your heart and soul – figuratively speaking. Choose a hot cocoa mix that’s dark chocolate for a heart-healthier option, and have some on the stove ready to drink when you come in from a cold night out shoveling snow or hanging Christmas lights.
Holiday wine can be the perfect after-dinner drink to help you warm up, relax and get cozy. The difference lies in the spices that are added to holiday wines – usually some cinnamon or nutmeg, or any combination of other spices that makes it taste oh so yummy.
Plus, holiday wine is served hot, almost like a tea, so similarly to the cup of hot cocoa, it will warm up your body inside and out. Holiday wine can be the perfect treat for curling up next to a fire with a blanket and a book or movie. Just make sure you drink responsibly!
Apple pies. Apple strudel. Apple cider. Apple donuts. Everything apple!
Apples are the classic food of the fall and winter months, and what better way to celebrate the flavors than to include apples in just about everything you eat? What makes them so special, and what will likely cheer you up about eating apple products, is that they’re only this popular for a few months of the year – so let yourself remember your last holiday season and get excited for this year’s as you sip on some cider or enjoy a hot batch of apple crisp!
Pumpkin is another classic flavor – mostly reserved for Thanksgiving, but now spilling over into the Christmas and other holiday times, as well. Now more so than ever, we see pumpkin-flavored everything popping up by early September to help us gear up for the upcoming season.
Indulge once in a while and treat yourself to a pumpkin coffee or a pumpkin bagel on any random day – the flavors will surely remind you of holiday cheer! Plus, there’s just something about those spicy flavors that you can’t help but smile while you’re ingesting them!
Annie Williams is a writer who likes trying to eat healthy while still enjoying her favorite winter-time meals and snacks. Her favorite is a homemade low carb soup with plenty of healthy veggies and ground turkey – and of course, low sodium broth!