Fresh Ideas: Winter Brain Fuel

by Sanae Ferreira

Achieving and maintaining long-term Health and Wellness are critical to your success. It is a balance of exercise, nutrition, and sleep that get you into your best physical and mental state to tackle all the challenging research issues in the day-to-day.

It is still often chilly here in Boston, and winter has not quite left us yet.

From the nutrition perspective, I’ll touch on a few seasonal Fresh Ideas to give you that winter brain fuel you need. My goal is to help bring a bit more joy to cooking for your self this winter. Start small and see where this takes you!

Eating fresh and flavorful foods is not a marketing ploy to get you to empty your paycheck. There’s a reason that wilted, not-so-fresh foods aren’t appealing. From the moment fruits and veggies are picked, they begin to lose their nutrition. By the time grocery stores get produce, consumers usually don’t know how long it has been since the produce has been picked. For your nutrition and to make sure you’re getting all the health benefits that you’re paying for, it is important to have some idea of the real freshness of raw foods you purchase.

Although the cold here in the Northeast may drive us in hot pursuit of comfort foods which are often calorie rich and are not necessarily nutrient rich, it is very important to find those gold mines of nutrients and insert them into a seasonal eating pattern. Why does eating seasonally matter? This brings us back to eating fresh, nutrient rich foods – if foods are seasonal, then they were picked and packed recently, did not have to travel far, and are consequently more likely to be nutrient rich. Start fresh, lay the foundation for your meal, and then spice it up with good-for-you spices and rich herbs that pack a punch. You want to be at your most energized and hydrated state in winter when it is dry and the seasonal elements are more irritating.

How do you craft a healthy, enjoyable plate?

Try this acronym: C R A F T S suggested by author Jolene Hart.

C olorful

R ich in nutrients

A nti-inflammatory

F resh

T ailored

S easonal

The next time you’re at the store, bookmark or take a screenshot of this list and see if you can start small and pick up one new food a week to try.


Winter Grocery List:

-sweet potatoes, carrots, potato, turnip – (perk – 800% of your vitamin A in each cup of sweet potato)

-kale, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, fennel, cauliflower, beets, onions – (tip – cook gently, on lower heat for a longer time to keep nutrients)

-frozen veggies (perk- flash frozen right after picking helps ensure freshness)

-avocado, parsley, fresh cranberries – (tips: for smoothies: try a little fresh parsley – fresh herbs pack a load of awesome nutrients- or try cranberries with orange juice or fresh oranges)

-chick peas

-spices – (tip: immune boosting turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, lemon and honey infused into hot water make a wonderful elixir that supports wellness)

-pumpkin seeds, cashews, walnuts for snack

-kiwi, grapefruit, banana, pomegranate for fruits


spiced immune support recipe


Wishing you all a clear mind and healthy body this winter.

Continue the conversation on Twitter @dieTribebyS! What are you trying this winter? Are there any recipes or nutrition topics you would like to read more about?

To your health!