We are having a Very Cold Winter. We've had two blizzards here in New Jersey before we were halfway through January. 

We all know that it's easier to eat lean in the summer. Just seeing my bathing suit near the surface of my drawer does it for me. Plus, it's hot and it doesn't feel very good to be stuffed with food when I'm hot. I walk a lot and do other active things like running after the kids outside (seriously), and little bits of tennis and swimming (really little bits). And, to top it all off, I'm usually too busy relaxing in the backyard to cook. Summer dinners get thrown together quickly with whatever's fresh and at hand, which is usually an obscene quantity of Jersey tomatoes and some fresh snipping from my herb garden. 

Winter is different. My wardrobe consists of big roomy cozy sweaters that hide an extra pound (or five). I'm chilled to the bone and I just want to fill my belly with warm hearty foods. Chili and stew. Steak and fries. Rice and bread. It gets dark early so there's lots of time to cook (we're not doing anything else anyway). It's way too cold to walk or play tennis.

How do you manage to stay healthy in the winter?  Here are some of my strategies:
  • I make soup. Lots of it. I cook up a big pot over the weekend and when it's done, I make another. We start almost every meal with soup. It fills me up, warms me to the core, and helps me eat light for the rest of the meal. Some of my favorites: Black Bean, Vegetable, and Roasted Butternut.   
  • I look for interesting vegetables at the supermarket (and I try not to look at the prices). This week, I bought fennel and kohlrabi. Last week I got some frozen okra. They're not local or seasonal, but they're nutritious and the variety keep meals interesting. 
  • I push myself to exercise indoors and I try to vary my routine. Some weeks are better than others. I invested in a Wii Fit this year and it's really helping. I know it's just jogging in place, but the Wii somehow manages to make it feel like an island tour!
What do you do to stay healthy during the cold, dreary winter months? Leave your comments below.  

Here's a list of other bloggers participating in the Eat. Live. Be. ChallengeSarah, Cate, Maris, Chris, Faith, Kristen, Emily, Jenna, Joanne, Casey, Patsy, Tri-Fit Mom, Claire, Allison, Jen and Leslie.