The Daily Beet

24 Feb Adventures with Ami: Winter Fatigue

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I’m ready for winter to be over.

I don’t think I am alone in this thought.  The past few months have been really hard on most of the country.  The weather has been unflinchingly cold/snowy/ice-filled for most of the country.  Historic storms, ultra low temperatures, school closings, flight cancellations, and even deaths have been reported from coast to coast.  I’ve stopped watching the weather.  I just really don’t want to know.  Even my dogs seem haggard.  My German Shepherd turned and looked at me from across the frozen ice pond of a backyard today…his eyes said – when is this going to be over?  It’s this time of year you might catch me sporting a new shade of hair color or watching one of my favorite classic movies, Blue Hawaii. Dreaming of sunshine, warm weather and all the things that Spring brings.

I’ve been craving all things colorful lately.  From an array of beautiful fruit to the shock of colors available in the new models of running shoes.  Everything colorful has been attractive to me these days.  I bought three different kinds of citrus fruit during my last grocery trip.  I rejoiced at the crisp scent of the ruby red grapefruit as I peeled it for a morning snack.  I also noticed the other day as I was pulling produce out of the refrigerator to make my salad, that I was building a rainbow.  Red- tomatoes, Orange – carrots, Yellow- sweet peppers, Green- kale, Blue- Blueberries, Purple- cabbage. Perfection.  My rainbow salad!

We eat with our eyes.  From cookbooks to food blogs, great looking food crosses my path daily.  Get excited about the food you prepare for yourself by making it flavorful and visually appealing as well.  A pop of color can add interesting flavors to your meal in addition to making it pretty.  Different colors in plant-based foods can often mean a differing array of nutrients also.  Mixing things up by slicing your vegetables in a different way can even make an old standby fresh and exciting.  Making zucchini noodles with a spiral slicer brings a whole new dimension to the vegetable.  Slicing carrots like chips instead of sticks makes them great dippers for salsa and hummus.  Getting creative with your presentation can also get kids interested in their plate.  Everyday on Pinterest, I see fun ideas for kids involving fruit and vegetables.

Today, beets have crossed my radar.  Golden beets, red beets, beet greens, beet hummus, roasted beets, beet burgers.  The colors are mesmerizing and a fresh change from shades of tan and brown.  One pass on google for beet recipes and beets on Pinterest provides me with a plethora of ideas for this colorful root.  Another new item on my radar at the grocery store is a bag of yellow, orange and red mini sweet peppers.  They all taste the same, but the colors matter.  At least to me.  Decorating a burrito bowl, a stir-fry, a salad with the multi-hued vegetables can make it a lot more attractive in addition to adding flavor.

Until Spring arrives with tulips and daffodils to decorate the drab winter landscape, add some splashes of color and interest to your dishes.

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Ami Mackey for Engine 2
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is the Curator of Creative Content at Engine 2. She is also a food coach at Engine 2 and has been plant-strong since 2011. When she isn't attending to all things Engine 2, she is the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She has earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

  • KVarney
    Posted at 09:12h, 24 February

    I am tired of cold and snow too! I have been really tired, despite the plant-based diet. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia last Friday. I need to do more research on exercise and specific foods that might help. Any suggestions?!

  • Jean Hayes
    Posted at 15:58h, 25 February

    You create great images in my mind with your descriptions of your beautiful, colorful food! Thanks!

  • justme
    Posted at 11:56h, 26 February

    I decided this year to never complain about the weather again. No matter how much I whined, it never changed the thermometer one degree or stopped the rain/snow/fog or melted any ice. This is true of summer heat as well. What is good about where you are? What is better about where you are than some other place? We can have spring indoors with modern heaters. We can sit by a sunny window. We are not hungry. We have enough warm things to put on to keep us cozy and toasty. But…I get the need for color and also make a beautiful sunny salad, Ensalada de Repollo, with green and purple cabbage, pink radishes, red tomatoes, orange carrot, yellow bell pepper, black pepper, and green cilantro, scallions, parsley, and jalapenos.

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