Wondering if anyone else is experiencing cabin fever? I tend to catch it mid-February; and by the end of March, thankfully, I am feeling better! I know I am coming down with the “fever” when I notice a tendency to sleep more – which, frankly, could be boredom, since I really do want to go outside but an inner voice is saying, “stay inside where it is nice and warm!”
So what to do when house-bound during a long Minnesota winter? Well, I have been trying to put into practice tips that, as a dietitian, I share in various DAHLC nutrition/culinary offerings. One such tip is to take time to organize your kitchen. So on a frigid weekend day, I took time to thoroughly clean the refrigerator. Next, I tackled the drawer with the storage containers – tossing out several plastic containers with no matching lids. I ended the day by taking inventory of staple foods, those foods that I want readily available for simple meals! Although the list of staple foods varies per household, common ones are: 1) packaged whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta; 2) canned beans, tomatoes, and chicken, beef, or vegetable stock – look for lower sodium brands; 3) dried fruit or canned fruit without sugar or syrups; 4) nuts and canned tuna provide quick protein sources (and other nutrients); and 5) don’t forget the freezer staples – frozen fruits and vegetables make for quick healthy meals and/or snacks.
Now, with a more organized kitchen, beat the winter blahs by cooking a hearty, healthy meal. How about a chili, soup or an Irish dish for the month of March? Need some ideas for getting started? Access healthy recipes at http://dahlc.mayoclinic.org/cap/eat-well and check out the March culinary/nutrition offerings, including the new Get Cooking classes:
GET COOKING: A hands-on cooking class held in DAHLC's demonstration kitchen. A different topic/technique will be discussed in each class: http://dahlc.mayoclinic.org/discussion/get-cooking.
Overcome cabin fever by eating well!
Margaret Gall, RDN, LD