Is salad on your menu in January?

So it’s January and like us, you’ve probably got a whole heap of resolutions, possibly starting with loosing a little of the holiday weight.

If you’re one of those people who has New Year goals involving getting up at 6am to go running in the dark, cold mornings before work and sticking to a light salad for dinner, we sincerely have the utmost admiration for you.

But for those of you not so inclined, it really is OK to prefer bed over running shoes on cold mornings and to favour hearty winter fare over reduced calorie dinners.

Let us explain.

Three years ago we visited Iceland (the country, not the supermarket). We discovered that most Icelanders cope with winter by hibernating. In the darkest months of the year, they get up, go to work and when finished, go straight home to eat a hearty meal and then go back to bed. In comparison, they spend the whole of summer out and about, socialising, exercising and making the most of the daylight hours.

Maybe it’s a little too extreme for us in the UK but you get the idea.

This does not mean that we are justified in three helpings of chilli instead of one. Nor does it mean we can get away without doing any exercise (sorry!). But by being sensible and realistic about both of these things means that we can make the most of the winter months without making ourselves miserable into the bargain.

Nurturing and looking after ourselves with pilates and yoga is something we like to do at this time of year. We also love the warm and cosy feel of a dance hall filled with music, laughter and friendship while winter wombles on outside (but then we are biased!).

Whatever you decide is the right course for you this January, don’t feel guilty about craving comfort food or for giving those early morning runs a miss. It’s far more important to be kind to yourself.