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Winter Warm Up Menu

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Winter Warm Up MenuAs renowned UK foodie Nigel Slater says in the introduction to his new book, Greenfeast: Autumn, Winter, “winter is nature’s way of making us eat carbohydrates”.  I agree.  Nothing makes me crave carbs more than cold weather.  And while winter doesn’t officially arrive until December 21st, it feels like it is already here as I write this, especially with the snow that greeted me this morning.  So November’s menu is both a warm up for winter and to help you warm up in winter!  It is chock full of warming spices and starchy carbs, but the healthy kind.

Carbs have been unfairly demonized of late.  Yet people often forget that vegetables and fruits are carbs.  And about the only thing everyone agrees on is that veggies and fruits are uber-good for you.  But it is true that consuming refined and processed carbs (think white rice, white bread, instant oats and the like) are pretty much the equivalent of eating sugar, given how quickly they are metabolized into sugar in the bloodstream.

But the whole grains and legumes that star in this menu are full of healthy fibre (this menu provides 45 grams, in fact), something most of us don’t get enough of.  They also deliver many important vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and iron.  And these unrefined carbs won’t spike your blood sugar, especially when combined with protein and healthy fats as in these recipes.

So tuck into these steamy, bubbling bowls of goodness without guilt!  I hope you enjoy this menu and share it with your family and friends!  Sign up here to receive the recipes and stay warm!

Winter Warm Up Menu

Breakfast: Caramelized Banana & Almond Steel Cut Oats (this stick-to-your-ribs porridge keeps you going all morning & you can make it ahead of time) 

Lunch:  Cozy Slow Cooker Split Pea & Kale Stew (a hug in a mug…if you like it meatier, leftover ham or bacon adds a subtly smoky flavour)

Dinner: Moroccan Chicken & Chickpea Stew (easy peasy but worthy to serve to guests – I love it with a side of garlicky sautéed rapini or simply stir in handfuls of leafy greens like kale, spinach or Swiss chard)

Winter Warmer: Golden Turmeric Hot Chocolate (this spicy rich hot chocolate will warm you up & boost your mood on the coldest of days)

Join The Nutritional Reset community here to receive this month’s menu today (as well as each month to come)!  And read on for some nutritional tidbits about a few foods featured in the recipes…

A few featured foods

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Winter Warm Up Menu


Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas contain a soluble fibre, raffinose, that our gut bacteria ferment into butyrate, which helps reduce intestinal inflammation and promotes regularity.  Consumption has also been linked to better blood sugar regulation as well as healthier blood cholesterol.

Keep a quality brand of cooked, canned chickpeas on hand and nourishing nosh is mere minutes away!


Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Winter Warm Up MenuCinnamon

Who doesn’t love cinnamon, so comforting and aromatic?  Just try walking past a bakery serving freshly made cinnamon buns – impossible!

Cinnamon has a host of health benefits but here I will focus on just one.  Cinnamon slows the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream and it improves glucose use in the cell.  In other words, it has an anti-diabetic effect. 

And it’s very versatile, used here in the oats, the Moroccan chicken stew and hot chocolate!


Cooking your own food is the single most impactful step you can take to improve your health and energy!

I hope you enjoy the recipes in my Winter Warm Up Menu.  Sign up here to receive the download link for this latest Menu of the Month.  And if you want to cook more of your own food but don’t know what to make or have the time to organize your own menus and shopping lists, The Nutritional Reset offers a meal planning service.  It makes preparing tasty, nutritious meals a snap. Click here to find out more.

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