Health Tips for the Winter Season

Its winter, I can’t believe it is June already.  Time flies!  I was very tempted to welcome the season with a hearty recipe of a stew but before I do that, let’s talk about health matters….

As a blogger, it is very easy for me to just post recipes, cooking advice, new products, new cookbooks etc.  However, that is not all I would like you to take away from this blog.  I’ll remind you every now and then to take care of your health and body image.  That is where my mind is at right now and I hope I can rub it off on the people that read this blog….

The people in my cycle blame me for picking up weight.   That is because they volunteer to taste everything I make.   Yes, they would not be picking up weight if they just tasting the food.  The problem is that they eat.  One example; I lived with my brother for a few months at the beginning of the year, it was three months to be exact.  By the time he left he had a bit of umkhaba (pot belly) and his clothes didn’t fit.

So I would not want you to blame it on trying out the recipe on this blog for picking up weight.  So,here are some tips on how to survive the winter months without picking up weight.  I feel I can give this advice because winter months are my best months when it comes to discipline and weight management.  For some weird reason, I’m motivated to workout and to be strict in portion control.  Because of that, I’m always at my best weight during the winter months.  It’s crazy huh?

This is what works for me and I hope you can try out some of these tips and see whether they will work for you:

  • Exercise, exercise, exercise –  if a gym is not within your vicinity then buy an exercise equipment that fits into your living space.  I bought myself a stepper and it works out the whole body.  A skipping rope also does wonders and you can take it anywhere.
  • Drink plenty of water, warm it up it is it too cold for you.
  • Watch your portions,  stop eating when you are full.  Chew your food slowly.  Chewing breaks down your food making it easy for the food to be absorbed by the body.  Also remember that it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register that the stomach is full.
  • Because it’s cold the first thing we turn to is coffee and hot chocolate. I love coffee no matter the season and the addiction / dependency gets worse in winter.  I’ve disciplined myself to reduce my coffee consumption and replace some of the coffee with a cup of boiling water and a slice of lemon.   It’ll make you feel warm and fuller for a while.  Plus, it’ll do wonders for your tummy.
  • Reduce sugar intake by replacing sugar with a sweetener.  They have fewer kilojoules than sugar.
  • Drink green tea and rooibos tea, without sweeteners before going to bed or atleast twice per day.
  • Don’t forget your water.
  • Wash your face before going to bed and apply some Vaseline. It’ll make it smooth like a baby’s bum.
  • Increase your consumption of foods with Vitamin C i.e. oranges, grapefruit, lemon etc.  Vitamin C boosts your immune system so that you don’t get sick often.
  • Enjoy all the seasonal fruits and vegetables!  Madumbes are in season! Yay! Avocados are in season, that means they are cheaper.  Have some with your toast.  A Zulu friend of mine says she enjoys it with Phuthu pap, it doesn’t sound appealing, I know but she swears by it!

That’s all the tips I can think of right now.  I would love to hear what works for you?

About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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