As the exceptionally cold, rainy and snow-filled winter continues, we lose more and more fitness motivation. By design, our bodies naturally like to hibernate during this season or at the very least, slow down. So, it can be tempting to dig into high-calorie comfort foods to warm our bodies during the cold days, however, we must do our best to find healthy alternatives. Below are a few recipes to prevent the dreaded winter weight gain. Brussel Sprout and Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts Ingredients: For the Salad: 2 Tbsp. butter 2 Tbsp. walnut oil 1 lb. brussel sprouts, quartered 1 green apple, sliced salt, and fresh ground pepper, to taste 1 tsp. fresh rosemary For the Walnuts (you may also purchase a pre-made variety to save time): 1 Tbsp. butter 1 Tbsp. sugar 1 Tbsp. brown sugar 1/4 cup chopped walnuts Method: Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add brussel sprouts and apples; season with salt and pepper. Add rosemary and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until tender. Prepare walnuts by melting butter in a saucepan. Add sugars and stir until incorporated; add walnuts and continue to stir around for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Remove brussel sprouts and apples from heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Spoon salad onto the plate and garnish with candied walnuts. Winter Abundance Bowl Ingredients(Serves 2-3): 2/3 cup brown rice 1/3 cup green lentils ¼ – ½ tsp. sea salt 1/2 head broccoli ½ head cauliflower 3 parsnips peeled 1 medium sweet potato (leave the skin on if it’s organic!) 2 cups shredded kale juice of ½ lemon or lime a drizzle of cold-pressed olive oil Method: 1. Combine rice and lentils in a medium bowl, cover with water and wash well, rubbing grains and legumes together. Drain and repeat until water is clear. Soak overnight if possible. 2.In a medium saucepan place the rice and lentils, plus 1½ cups water (if soaked – add 2 cups water if un-soaked), and sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered until water has been absorbed and rice and lentils are cooked through (about 30-45 minutes depending on if you soaked the grain or not). 3. While the rice and lentils are cooking, chop the broccoli and cauliflower into florets and the sweet potato and parsnips into bite-sized cubes. About ten minutes before the grains have cooked (check the water level before adding veggies – if it’s dry, add a little more liquid), add the sweet potato and parsnips. After five minutes, add the broccoli and cauliflower on top of the sweet potato. 4.While the rice and lentils are cooking you can also blend together the sauce (see below) and prepare the kale: Chop with a knife. You may steam the kale or eat it raw. Toss with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil and some salt. Toss to combine. 5.To assemble the bowl, simply spoon in the cooked rice and lentils with the steamed veggies, add the kale on the side and pour sauce over. Give thanks for the abundance and enjoy. Winter Abundance Bowl: Garlic-Ginger Pumpkin Seed Sauce Ingredients: 1 cup/150g pumpkin seeds 3 cloves garlic knob of fresh ginger 1 Tbsp. maple syrup 3 Tbsp. olive oil 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 3 Tbsp. lemon juice ¾ -1 cup /175- 250 ml water ¾ tsp. fine grain sea salt ¼ tsp. cracked black pepper Cayenne pepper to taste Method (Makes 2 cups): 1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast pumpkin seeds, stirring every so often, until they begin to pop. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 2. In a food processor, pulse to mince garlic and ginger. Add cooled pumpkin seeds and blend on high until sand-textured. Add remaining ingredients (start with ¾ cup water) and blend, scraping down the sides periodically. Add remaining water as needed to suit your desired consistency. Season to taste. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Lamb and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash Ingredients: 2 acorn squashes (1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise, seeds removed 1 lb. browned ground lamb 2 tablespoons butter 1 shallot, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 tsp. fresh sage Coarse salt and ground pepper 1 box (6 ounces) wild-rice blend (seasoning packet discarded) 1/2 cup dried cherries 1/2 cup pecans, chopped *Feta and chopped mint can be added for additional flavor Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a baking sheet, arrange squash cut side down; cover sheet with aluminum foil. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add shallot, garlic, and sage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and 1 3/4 cups water; bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, without stirring, about 25 minutes. Remove rice from heat, and stir in cherries, pecans and cooked lamb; season stuffing with salt and pepper. Season the inside of each squash half with salt and pepper. Dividing evenly, scoop stuffing into halves, and serve. Enjoy. Written by Kimberly Lackey. Kimberly Lackey is the Founder of EMPATH Coaching and an Integrative Health Coach. She works with individuals and families through coaching, nutritional counseling, motivational speaking and more to build healthier, happier lifestyles. Ms. Lackey may be contacted at Kimberly@EmpathCoaching.com. Images from Diet Hood, Martha Stewart + My New Roots. One Response Adonis Villanueva March 23, 2017 This looks delicious! I’m going to try this recipe out. Thanks! Reply Start a Conversation to Adonis Villanueva Cancel a Conversation Connect with Enter your WordPress.com blog URL http://.wordpress.com Proceed Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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