Hi there! If you are just joining us, we are midway through a blog series on health during colder weather. We’ve already talked about pursuing fitness through outdoor and indoor activities, and we’ve also covered ideas for eating seasonally with winter squash, cruciferous vegetables, and baked goods. Keep checking back here for more recipes and tips for protecting and increasing your mental and emotional health as the days grow shorter and colder.

Healthy eating influencers often tout the benefits of eating seasonally. By this they mean eating those things that are in season in your part of the world; those fruits and vegetables that can reasonably be considered fresh. But if you live in a part of the country where temperatures are on a downward trend right now, the list of things that are “in season” is shrinking by the day.

It would be nice if eating all the dishes featured on last week’s Thanksgiving table counted for “seasonal” eating, but sadly, that’s a surefire way to spiral out of control. Instead, our best bet for keeping ourselves on track is to incorporate fresh, seasonal items into recipes that will satisfy. As always, it’s alright to splurge occasionally, but self-control is the key to success in this department.

Soups and stews are a great way to get plenty of vegetables on your plate (or in your bowl) this fall.Keep in mind it’s best to stick with broth-based recipes over cream-based or cheesy ones, but again, everything in moderation. Soups are already a great one-pot meal, but what makes them even better is that many can be prepared in a slow cooker. That means very little work or cleanup, which we can all agree is a bonus.

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You likely have a few standby, family soup recipes up your sleeve, but it couldn’t hurt to branch out. You could even take ideas from the following list and give your usual approaches a facelift. Of course, a quick web search will yield endless results beyond these, but here are a couple we recommend trying:

Feel free to improvise as you make the recipes we’ve shared here. Most soups and stews are quite forgiving if you substitute or add ingredients. Don’t forget to pick up a loaf of crusty French or sourdough bread to accompany your soup. For the chili, tortilla chips or cornbread are a great addition. Bon appetit!

Later blog posts in this series include: recipes for roasted foods and leveraging light and sleep for mental health.

During the fall and winter, soup can drive away the chill. There’s something comforting about a warm meal, especially one shared with good friends and family. It’s reassuring to be surrounded by those who have your best interests in mind. Liberty HealthShare is a caring community of like-minded individuals who are committed to sharing in one another’s medical costs as they pursue health individually. To learn more about Liberty, visit our homepage. Feel free to call us at 855-58-LIBERTY, and one of our representatives will be happy to answer your questions.