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Warm Me Up

The week is off to a cold start here in Charlotte. I admit that I am a total baby when it comes to cold weather and I do everything I can to stay warm. I bundle up in jackets and hoodies even when I’m indoors, constantly have a scarf around my neck, camp out in the hot yoga studio and drink as many warm liquids as possible (two coffees and a tea so far today!).

I also turn to what I consider to be “cold weather” foods to comfort and warm me…things like chili, soup, chicken and dumplings, etc. Brandon is of the mindset that chili is perfectly acceptable to eat year round but it just doesn’t appeal to me unless there is a definite chill in the air (and football on TV!).

Given that the low was in the 30s last night, I promised Brandon a chili night and we settled in with a fire and a movie.

These days, whenever I make chili I make a pot of traditional ground beef and beans for Brandon and then some spin on vegetarian chili for me. I use the same base of onions, peppers, jalepeno, garlic, spices, beans and tomatoes so it makes it easy. Last night I went with butternut squash as my big add in. My chili was a mixture of red kidney beans, black beans and butternut squash. It was so delicious! I topped it with shredded cheddar, avocado and sour cream.

I was feeling kind of over cornbread since I’ve baked it so much lately so I decided to make a batch of Cheesy Beer Quick Bread. This stuff is so easy and really delicious.

And of course I had to get my green in for the day so I started with a salad while I waited for the beer bread to finish baking.

I would like to publicly announce that I watched a movie with NO technology distractions last night. (Remember, I cannot sit through movies…). Brandon and I rented Water for Elephants from Red Box. I loved the book and thought the movie was good too!

Mid-movie dessert break was a scoop of vanilla ice cream and half of a leftover birthday cupcake. Yummy.

I slept horribly last night (this is another post for another time but I have suffered from severe night sweats since high school and they kept me up all night :() so BodyPump at 6 a.m. today was a bit of a struggle. My body felt pretty sluggish and kind of run down. After downing two cups of coffee and a protein bar, I was back in action and ready for my personal training clients.

I came home for lunch and was really craving chili leftovers but we’re saving them for dinner tonight since I am teaching until after 8. Plan B was a grilled cheese with provolone, spinach, thinly sliced apple and honey mustard. More apple slices, TJs wheat thins and cottage cheese on the side (I like to dip the crackers in the cottage cheese).

Post afternoon PT client snack was a cup of Trader Joe’s vanilla black tea and a slice of whole wheat raisin walnut bread with peanut butter and honey.

Next up…making playlists and writing class plans for two classes tonight. I’m teaching my normal Monday evening hot class + a complimentary class for Lululemon’s 24 Days of Complimentary Classes!

What are your favorite “cold weather” foods? 

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Sana December 12, 2011, 5:03 pm

    I am a huge cold weather baby! I don’t even leave my house…

  • Emily December 12, 2011, 5:54 pm

    where is your whole wheat raisin nut bread from? it sounds + looks amazingly delicious!

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:17 pm

      it’s from great harvest. i love it! i try to keep a loaf in the freezer.

  • Therese December 12, 2011, 6:20 pm

    I hate night sweats! I’m 26 and I started having night sweats after high school as well. Like gross, soaking my pajamas night sweats. I tried adjusting the ambient temperature, using different sheets, different pajamas, etc. Then I thought maybe it was my birth control pill or my Effexor. I quit both of those and… nothing. I tried drinking less water before bed, more water, less salt, more salt, anything I could think of. But I still had the night sweats at least 5 nights a week. Last fall, I started getting several abdominal pains and my GI doc recommended an elimination diet. One week in my stomach felt better AND… NO MORE NIGHT SWEATS! I don’t know which result thrilled me more! I have been gluten-free for almost a year now and I’ve only had a handful of night sweats since then… always a few nights after caving and indulging in a gluten-filled treat. It’s DEFINITELY worth trying gluten-free after the holidays. Give it a week or two and hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised like I was :o)

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:18 pm

      therese – thank you so much for your comment and sharing your experiences. i’ve never even considered dietary reasons for the night sweats. i’ve tried all the things you mention above and nothing has worked over the years. i think i’m going to see a specialist soon about it and i will definitely bring this up.

  • Brooke @ sweats & sweets December 12, 2011, 6:22 pm

    Mexican meatball soup and four bean casserole. Favorite cold weather foods!

  • Sam December 12, 2011, 6:24 pm

    I love Beer Bread! I just can’t bake it cause I will eat the whole loaf myself! in a day!

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:19 pm

      haha – i’m doing a really good job on it. there is little left! 😉

  • Tracy December 12, 2011, 6:33 pm

    I made veggie chili last night too – love it! It’s definitely my favorite cold weather food.


  • Megan December 12, 2011, 7:25 pm

    When it’s cold out I also go for chili but I also make tons of soups… I naturally drink a lot of tea and coffee as well but it gets crazy in the winter (especially on the plane…) I read the book Water for Elephants and have been waiting to find time to watch the movie. 🙂

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:20 pm

      i need to expand my soup recipe collection. i don’t make a lot of soups. i enjoy them though. you will like the movie!

  • She Rocks Fitness December 12, 2011, 7:26 pm

    I’m about to heat up a bowl of Turkey Pumpkin Chili that I found on the Whole Foods website. Topping it with some fresh cilantro and a skinny bagel with fresh avocado and fresh ground pepper. Always a good way to warm the belly, since I’m cold all the time too!

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:20 pm

      turkey pumpkin chili sounds awesome! avocado is the best with chili!

  • Clara December 12, 2011, 8:04 pm

    Jen- I spotted these yoga pose shaped cookie cutters and immediately thought of you! http://blog.amyatlas.com/2011/12/great-finds-yoga-gingerbread-cookies-giveaway/

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:21 pm

      this is so cute i can’t even stand it. i definitely NEED these!!!!!

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) December 12, 2011, 10:41 pm

    I dread cold weather… good thing I live in Houston! 🙂 I could eat chili year round but my husband is like you and prefers it only in our “winter” months. When it is cooler out I love soups and pastas too!

  • ashley @ onehotmess December 12, 2011, 11:22 pm

    I am always impressed w/ your healthy grilled cheeses! A grilled cheese and tomato bisque is my go-to. But your Salsa Chicken recipe is in constant rotation during fall and winter. It has also become a request at our Christmas Eve soup and sandwich bar at my grandmothers each year!

    I get night sweats as well but mine are due to meds that I hope I can stop taking one day soon. Are sry-fit pajamas a thing?

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:21 pm

      ooohhh i haven’t made the salsa chicken in forever. that is good stuff! hmm…don’t know about dry-fit pjs but i need them!!!!

  • ashley @ onehotmess December 12, 2011, 11:24 pm

    I am always impressed w/ your healthy grilled cheeses! A grilled cheese and tomato bisque is my go-to. But your Salsa Chicken recipe is in constant rotation during fall and winter. It has also become a request at our Christmas Eve soup and sandwich bar at my grandmothers each year!

    I get night sweats as well but mine are due to meds that I hope I can stop taking one day soon. Are dri-fit pajamas a thing?

  • Madison December 12, 2011, 11:35 pm

    I am sure you are getting a lot of night-sweat comments but I used to have that problem as well and went as saw a doctor. I am a division 1 athlete so we have similar body compositions and they said it was because I needed to gain a little weight/fat for regulation. I since have (thank you college weekends) and they have disappeared entirely. Nothing too medical but a little food for thought 😉

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:23 pm

      hmmm…interesting. i’ve had them constantly since high school so i’m not sure but that’s definitely worth talking to my doctor about!

  • Chris Kimbell December 13, 2011, 7:35 am

    My favorite cold weather food is pizza. It’s my favorite hot weather food too! At least it’s my only addiction!

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:22 pm

      chris – i am a fellow pizza addict. so happy to see you back in class today.

  • Brittany (healthy Slice of Life) December 13, 2011, 9:33 am

    I love chili of all kinds and any soup when the weather gets cold! Oh, and night sweats are the worst. I experienced them for a few weeks after Hailey was born. Waking up drenched is an awful feeling.

  • Simi December 13, 2011, 3:13 pm

    How do you make your grilled cheese sandwiches… they always look so good!!

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:24 pm

      in a cast iron skillet with BUTTER! and i smoosh them down with the spatula 😛

  • Mary-Catherine December 13, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Your sandiwches always look more delicious than mine 🙂
    So sorry you’re experiencing night sweats — no fun! About a year ago, I was treating a female athlete expressing similar concerns/problems. At first we thought it might be anxiety/stress, but when she went to the doctor, he said that because she was underwight and overtraining, the night sweats/hot flahses were occuring. Although this may not be the case for you, she also was missing her montly cycles or periods. The doctor explained that due to a lack of estrogen, and because she was underweight, she was actually entering menopause extremely early….. So, my client started eating more, exercising less, and gaining weight. At first, the problem became more severe because her metabolism significantly increased (refeeding syndrome) and thus produced more night sweats. However, after about 3 weeks, it stabalized and no more night sweats. Not sure what is causing it in you, but it could be related to hormone levels? Whatever the culprit, good luck figuring it out or getting it fixed!!! Have you ever tried sleeping with a fan beside you or turning the temperatures really low at night to help?

    • Jen December 13, 2011, 7:26 pm

      mary-catherine – thank you so much for your comment and your insight. i definitely haven’t experienced any problems with my cycle but the training/weight thing is a good thing to discuss with my doctor. i have been tested for hormone imbalances and they didn’t find anything. it’s so frustrating. 🙁

  • marian December 15, 2011, 10:21 am

    oh my gosh, I am SUCH a wimp when it comes to cold weather. my mom is always so ashamed when I come home to massachusetts and I have to crank up the heat to 70* and she’s in a tshirt…..

  • Nicole December 19, 2011, 11:01 pm

    Hi Jen,
    I just made your Butternut Squash Chili and Beans, and Cheesy Beer Bread. It was super easy and delicious! I just posted it on my blog: http://portlandtraveler.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/dinner-tonight/ so feel free to check it out. Thanks for the recipe.

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