5 Simple Ways To Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Through The Winter

Don't let the cold winter months freeze all your nutrition goals by ignoring the importance of having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables; here are some simple ways to stay on track.
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Don’t let the cold winter months freeze all your nutrition goals by ignoring the importance of having a diet rich in fruits and vegetables; here are some simple ways to stay on track.

When winter rolls in, the natural reaction is to hunker down and eat heavy and filling meals that make us feel cozy and warm. With the crops providing less bounty of readily available and affordable fresh ingredients, it’s easy to default to chicken pot pie and lasagna. Don’t get me wrong, I love lasagna, but focusing on a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, fight inflammation, and positively affect your fiber, nutrition and endless vitamins and minerals in your diet. 



Eating what’s in season means you can get it locally and cheaper. Locally produced vegetables and fruits suggest fewer middlemen get them to you. Staying up to date on what’s in season is the best way to gauge what you should be consuming — and staying in the know of local purveyors and markets.

Here’s a list of what’s in season currently:

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Raddichio
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • Turnips
  • ..to name a few!


Some incredible local farmers like Coldco Farm in Verona and Freedom Farms in Butler are still visiting markets around Pittsburgh. Follow them to stay up to date. The Lettuce Ladies in Ambridge also supply local grocers with crisp, gorgeous greens all year long.

Frozen fruits and vegetables get such a bad rap, but here’s the thing, most of these fruits and vegetables are harvested, picked and packed during peak season and when they are ripe and perfect. Freezing is a more than acceptable way to have a variety of fruits and vegetables all year long.  

I love to mix and match fresh and frozen to make things easier and add a variety of flavors and textures. Stir fry is a great way to buy an organic, frozen stir fry mix and incorporate fresh mushrooms and greens. Easy, cheaper and no one will know it was half frozen. 

A smoothie might sound too cold for winter, but after a workout, it can be quenching and dense in nutrition. Add a protein supplement, frozen fruits and vegetables, and make it delicious. I have a ton of smoothie recipes on my blog.

Soups are another excellent vehicle for a warm and nourishing meal while packing them with delicious and nutritious vegetables — fresh or frozen. For example, Sewickley’s  Tracey’s Kitchen will deliver organic, gourmet local soups to the 15143 ZIP code. 

Having simple ways to prepare veggies in minutes is the best way to avoid caving for fast, less nutritious food. I love taking any hearty green and wilting it in a skillet with a touch of salt, pepper and butter! My sautéed cabbage recipe or Simple Sauté sub-in-season veg is so simple and easy. If you’re looking for an absolutely delicious and super nutritious meal for the fam, this veggie curry is unbelievable but takes a bit of prep — make a double batch and freeze it in portions for fast weekday meals.

Most of us have busy schedules, and staying healthy can be tough with so much going on. Enrolling in a weekly or monthly Community Supported Agriculture box or meal delivery service can help with some heavy lifting. You can find a complete list of regional CSAs from Farm to Table, Buy Local.

Additionally, plan ahead and get a local food delivery service to cover heavy lifting in your busy weeks. Most of these companies are getting fresh ingredients in large volumes, so you aren’t charged a hefty premium.

As a health coach and clean recipe developer, other than protein, incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables in my diet is a priority; most weeks, I aim for a variety of 15+ types. Try to plan ahead and make eating better a priority.

HeadshotWhoever said no good story started with a salad has never had one of mine. (It was me, I used to say that). 

But here’s the truth: I am not naturally fit or thin and don’t naturally reach for vegetables. I am not a chef, but I’m good at assembling ingredients. I put in the work. I believe in feeling and looking my best — but not compromising!  So, here you will find good ingredients, real wellness, and made fun! 

More formally, I cook up clean comfort food, am a passionate health coach, ritual maker and health product queen and a Certified Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition with a specialty in hormone health. 

Follow me:
Instagram: @michaelablaney

Categories: BeWell