Comfort Without the Calories

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By Diana Cherry
The weather outside is starting to turn a bit more frightful, and for me, nothing says comfort like food.  Now that the weather is turning chilly, it’s my first go-to.  Like most of us, I’m having to re-think what warms me up so I don’t gain my traditional winter weight.  The good news is, the fire really is delightful.  So delightful, in fact, that I may not need those cookies and milk to go with them.

Here are 5 comforts that cost you very little (if any) calories at all:

Take a Bath
Baths are soothing after a hard work out and relaxing after a long day.  Buy some scented bubble bath or salts and spend some time soaking in the suds.  It’s as satisfying as a big batch of hot brownies, only minus the late night binge and the morning guilt.

Brew Some Tea
I don’t know about you, but I love the sound of a kettle whistling.  Hot tea on a cold day warms me from the inside out.  Plus there are so many benefits to drinking anti-oxidant rich tea.  It fills you up, it warms you, but without unnecessary calories.

Light Candles
Last winter was cold and dark.  As the temperatures went down, so did my spirits.  I decided to fight back!  I bought candles of all shapes and sizes with pine and cinnamon scents and every night when I got home from work, I lit them.  They made me feel warm and calm; and their glow gave off a beautiful, natural light in our home.  This year, we have a fireplace.  Lighting a fire has the same benefits: an earthy smell and a beautiful, blazing glow.  What better way to stay warm?

Spend Time With Friends and Family
With the winter, come the holidays.  Houses and business are lit up; and we travel to see family and friends.  But, there’s no reason we have to wait for the day of a holiday to spend time with friends and family.  Revive Sunday family dinners or create a Make Your Own Pizza night with neighbors.  If there’s food being served in your home, you can be in charge of the ingredients.  Serve up healthful, hearty recipes.  After all, nothing says comfort like friends and family gathered.

Exercise
Nothing brings me down like being sick.  In the winter, it’s easy to get sick.  Everywhere you turn, there are coughs and sniffles.  And, I don’t always remember to take the best care of myself. Fight back by boosting your immune system, eating healthy meals and continuing to exercise.  Working out makes you look and feel your best, which inevitably lifts your spirits!   There are so many options: snow sports, hot yoga (give your heater a break and get warm while you work out!), and of course, time spent working out with your favorite fit friends at the Fitness Lab.

You see?  I’m feeling cozy and comforted just thinking about it.  With a little planning, you CAN have comfort and you won’t even miss the calories!  Here’s to a warm, cozy, and HEALTHY winter.