Have you ever noticed that butternut squash is hard to find in the summer or that strawberries cost more in the winter? That’s because when fruits and vegetables are in-season, they are more available and therefore more affordable.
Eating for the season has other benefits as well. When fruits and vegetables are grown in prime conditions, they are higher in nutritional content. Freshness impacts nutrition as well. The less time it takes for produce to make it’s way to your plate, the better. Selecting produce that is grown locally and doesn’t travel long distances to get to you is great for your body (and for the environment, too).
What’s in season now?
What’s in season depends on where you live. Fruits like apples, figs, pears, orange and clementines are in season during the fall and winter months in most locations. Vegetables like pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter squash, kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, potatoes and carrots, too. Look for signs that say “local” or are labeled with your state or region name.
Can’t find some of the ingredients listed in the meal plan? Here are some customization tips:
- Most of the vegetables can be replaced with other vegetables and you can always add extra as they are low in calories. However, be careful with the starchy vegetables (potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, beets, parsnip, peas, corn, etc.) and only add them to a recipe if it calls for it. Those ingredients are higher in calories.
- You can interchange nuts, seeds and peanuts 1:1. Choose your favorite!
- Fresh fruits can also be interchanged. Try your favorite seasonal produce or purchase the same fruit in bulk and use it for all of your meals.
- Add herbs, spices, and seasonings (vinegar, mustard, lime, lemon, hot sauce) to your liking. We recommend ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg for fall/winter flavors.
Meal prep tips
Our seasonal winter meal plan has repeat meals. This means you can cook in bulk, then enjoy those meals tomorrow and the next day.
If you are new to meal prep, don’t fret. Once you get into a routine, meal prep gets easier and easier. Here are some pointers:
- Prepare breakfast in advance by adjusting the ingredients by the number of servings you would like. For instance, multiply ingredients by 4 if you would like to eat it for breakfast for the next 4 days. We recommend keeping prepared meals in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Snacks are easy to take with you. Prepare them all in advance or prep them in the morning and take them to go.
- Multiply dinner ingredients by 2, then take half of the meal for your lunch the next day.
- Repeat or interchange meals. Find the recipes you enjoy and the meal pattern that works best for you. Meals will automatically be adjusted to your personalized calorie target with the 8fit Pro account.
Healthy winter meal ideas for 1 or 2 weeks
Interested in eating seasonally during the fall and winter months? 8fit nutritionist, Coach Lisa, created two meal plans for you to try. Enjoy recipes like a paleo quiche, overnight oats, salads and a delicious chicken dish. Download your meal plan to get started!
Download the 8fit app and go Pro for access to these seasonal winter meals recipes, customized portions and a shopping list that aims to reduce food waste. Sample two of the recipes from our winter meal plans here: Peanut Butter Overnight Oats and Paleo Ginger Pear Quiche Cups.