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Cooking with Karina: Watching the Winter Weight

Karina Arnold
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Smoked Salmon Toast

Smoked Salmon Toast. (Photo: Karina Arnold)

Karina Arnold is a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma who’s passionate about healthy cooking. She provides creative, healthy recipes and tips on clean eating.

As the temperatures drop, so does motivation to stay healthy. I admit, when I step out into the biting cold, my motivation to go running decreases. Instinctively, I want to curl up in my warm blankets, drink hot chocolate and binge watch Netflix. However, there are ways you can stay active this holiday season and not hibernate on your healthy habits. 

One way I motivated myself to continue working out is by signing up for local half marathons, triathlons and 5ks. Making a commitment inspires you to stay active and in shape. Furthermore, you can move your workouts inside. Try these TV watching workouts next time you watch a Christmas movie marathon. 

Do you usually dread treadmill or stationary bike cardio? Create fun workouts to make time fly! One fun workout is to make a playlist of fast and slow songs. Press shuffle and when a fast song plays, increase your intensity through greater resistance, incline or speed. When a slow song plays, run or bike at an easier pace. This can work for any cardio machine: treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical or rower machine. Find more fun treadmill workouts here

As the seasons change so does cuisine. That warm pie becomes so much more appealing than a hearty salad. However, just because the trees are losing their green doesn’t mean the green on your plate has to disappear as well. Try these healthy veggie dinners guaranteed to keep you warm and full this holiday. My personal favorite on the list is the Butternut Squash Soup because it is easy to reheat and refrigerate for later. Toast your toes by the fire and your bread with this Smoked Salmon Toast. See more healthy toast recipes here

Lastly, I believe the most important health tip is moderation. Although it is important to stay in shape, do not miss quality family time to get a “good lift in.” Stay active with loved ones by walking through Christmas light exhibitions, visiting a museum or strolling through Houston’s parks. In addition, stuff your stocking and not yourself with portion control. Are you really going to say no to a warm gingerbread cookie? If so, can I have it? Eating festive cookies, pies and cakes are one of the things I look forward to the most during Christmas. However, rather than eat five gingerbread cookies, I’ll eat three . . . or maybe four. Regardless, constantly restricting yourself from enjoying sweets sours holiday cheer. 

Staying active this holiday season, getting creative with workouts and moderation are key to maintaining your healthy lifestyle this holiday and all year. Have any creative ideas to stay active indoors? Comment below! 

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