TIME Food & Drink

A Festive Super Bowl Menu Fit for Patriots Fans

Celebrate the Patriots with this traditional New England cuisine

Show your support on game day by serving up dishes that feature ingredients found in the New England Patriots’ home state of Massachusetts. Or, try this menu if you’re rooting for the Seattle Seahawks.

 

  • Seafood Chowder With Crispy Breadcrumbs

    crispy breadcrumbs chowder
    Con Poulos

    Nothing represents New England quite like chowder (or, “chowda”). Prepare a batch of this creamy seafood chowder for your guests to enjoy while they cheer on the Patriots. Baked breadcrumbs provide a delicious crunch to a velvety blend of clams (littleneck or cockles) and white fish (cod, sea bass, or halibut).

    Get the recipe.

  • Lobster Rolls With Corn and Celery

    lobster rolls
    Gentl & Hyers

    Take the stress out of cooking for a crowd by making lobster rolls out of frozen tails (as opposed to whole live lobsters). Not only does it require a lot less work, but it’ll also save you money. Most New England restaurants serve lobster rolls made with butter rather than mayonnaise. Simply omit the mayonnaise from this version for a more traditional take.

    Get the recipe.

  • Baked Beans

    baked beans
    Christopher Baker

    This irresistible side has all the makings of traditional Boston baked beans—the dish gets a hint of sweetness from molasses, while sliced bacon lends just the right amount of saltiness. Though this recipe only requires 20 minutes of hands-on cooking time, you’ll need to plan ahead to accommodate the nearly three hours of baking time. Don’t be deterred, the payoff in flavor is worth the extra effort.

    Get the recipe.

  • Easy Popovers

    popovers
    Christopher Baker

    The perfect accompaniment to an indulgent dinner on a cold night, this foolproof popover recipe requires just five minutes of hands-on time and turns out every time. Simply butter a muffin tin, whisk the ingredients together, divide evenly into the muffin tin, and bake approximately 30 minutes until the popovers are puffy and golden brown.

    Get the recipe.

  • Vodka Cranberry Cooler

    vodka
    Dwight Eschiliman

    Because cranberry cultivation began in Massachusetts in the early 1800s, it has since become the official state fruit. This festive cocktail features a homemade simple syrup that helps to highlight the fruit’s tart flavor. Simply combine the cranberries, sugar, and water; bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool before adding the tonic water, vodka, and lime juice to the cranberry syrup. Serve over ice and top off with a splash of cream soda.

    Get the recipe.

    This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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TIME Food & Drink

The Ultimate Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Menu

Gear up for Sunday's big game with these tastes of the Seahawks' home state

Gear up for the big game with dishes that highlight ingredients found in the Seattle Seahawks’ home state of Washington. Or, try this menu if you’re rooting for the New England Patriots.

 

  • Grilled Teriyaki Wings

    teriyaki wings
    Christopher Barker

    In Seattle, it’s easy to find great Teriyaki. Ditch the Buffalo wing recipe and bring a taste of the Emerald City home with these finger-licking teriyaki chicken wings. Simply toss chicken wings on the grill (a grill pan will work just fine if you prefer to stay indoors or don’t have a grill), brush with teriyaki sauce, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Then, watch them disappear in a flash.

    Get the recipe.

  • Ginger-Scallion Salmon Burgers With Miso Yogurt

    teriyaki wings
    Marcus Nilsson

    Seattle’s world famous Pike Place Market is chock full of fishmongers who sell freshly caught seafood, like wild salmon. Pick up just over a pound of fresh salmon fillet to make these unique burgers, then prepare the impressive and tasty toppers: a spicy carrot-jalapeño slaw and a five-minute miso yogurt sauce.

    Get the recipe.

  • Creamy Broccoli and Apple Slaw

    broccoli apple slaw
    David Prince

    Washington grows 58 percent of the apples produced in the United States, so this crunchy slaw is a natural fit for a menu rich with the state’s most popular ingredients (apple is the state fruit, after all). Simply combine finely chopped broccoli, apple, cranberries, and pine nuts with a creamy homemade dressing made with yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, shallots, salt, and pepper.

    Get the recipe.

  • Dutch Baby with Fresh Fruit

    dutch baby
    Charles Masters

    When the fourth quarter begins, swap out the finger foods for a delicious dessert. This Dutch baby, also known as a German pancake, is easy to make (it takes fewer than 30 minutes) and is topped with vanilla ice cream and a medley of stone fruit and cherries, another crop widely harvested in Washington.

    Get the recipe.

  • Espresso Slushy

    espresso slushy
    Charles Maraia

    What better nod to the home of some of the country’s best coffee than an ice-cold espresso slushy? To make your own, combine homemade simple syrup with instant espresso, lemon juice and zest, then freeze for approximately 2 hours. When ready to serve, drizzle the drink with heavy cream. Bonus: This beverage doubles as an after dinner pick-me-up, so you can enjoy the rest of the game without slipping into a food coma.

    Get the recipe.

    This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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TIME Diet/Nutrition

Why Your Coffee Addiction Isn’t So Bad for You

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Go ahead and pour yourself another cup

Knocking back a daily cup of joe (or several) delivers more than a jolt of energy. That morning brew comes with a host of health benefits, according to research. Here’s how coffee can benefit your body and your brain.

1. Coffee may decrease your risk of depression. Drinking four or more cups per day could decrease the risk of depression in women, according to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health. The study examined the coffee habits and depression rates of 50,739 women over 10 years. Coffee drinkers had a 20 percent lower chance of developing depression later in life. Drinking two to four cups daily also appears to lower the risk of suicide by 50%, according to another Harvard study.

2. Coffee might help prevent skin cancer. Drinking four or more cups of coffee daily may lower your risk of cutaneous melanoma, the leading cause of skin-cancer death in the U.S., by 20 percent, according to a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers followed nearly 450,000 cancer-free participants over 10 years. Overall, those who drank more saw less cutaneous melanoma. Four daily cups of coffee can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, according to previous studies.

3. Smelling coffee can bust stress. When rats smelled coffee beans, genes connected with healthful antioxidants and stress-reduction were activated, according to researchers from Seoul National University in South Korea. No, you’re not a rat—even if you’re in the rat race—but the stress-busting benefits may be one reason your morning latte smells so delicious.

4. Coffee might help fight obesity. A compound found in coffee, chlorogenic acid (CGA), could help ward off obesity-related diseases, according to researchers at the University of Georgia. In a study of mice, CGA prevented weight gain, reduced inflammation, helped maintain normal blood-sugar levels, and kept livers healthy. Gradually increasing your coffee consumption can also lead to a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to previous research.

5. Coffee may prevent Parkinson’s disease. Men who did not drink coffee were two to three times more likely to develop the disease than men who drank four ounces to four cups per day, according to a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association. Though there are treatments to slow the progression of Parkinson’s, which targets the body’s nervous system and causes tremors, there’s no cure, so prevention is key.

6. Coffee could boost your workout. Caffeine increases the number of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which raises overall endurance, because your body doesn’t have to burn carbs so fast, The New York Times reports. Weightlifters who drank caffeine before their workouts stayed energized longer than those who did not, according to another small study.

7. Coffee may help your hearing. Regularly consuming caffeine may help prevent tinnitus, a persistent ringing in the ear. Women who drank one and a half cups of coffee a day were 15% more likely to develop tinnitus than those who drank four to six cups, according to a study of 65,000 women published in the American Journal of Medicine.

8. Coffee could lead to a healthier liver. Drinking both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee may lower liver enzymes associated with inflammation, according to a 28,000-person study conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute. Participants who drank at least three cups of coffee per day showed lower levels of the potentially harmful enzymes than those who did not drink coffee.

9. Coffee might help you live longer. Drinking two to six (or more) cups of coffee per day could lower the risk of dying by 10 percent for men and 15 percent for women, according to a study of over 200,000 men and 170,000 women (ages 50 to 71) in The New England Journal of Medicine. (The data was adjusted to discount the effects of unhealthy habits, such as smoking, since regular coffee drinkers also tended to be regular drinkers and meat-eaters.)

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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TIME Research

The Science Behind Procrastination

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Learn the biological factors that cause procrastination—and how to defeat them

There’s no more elegant example of the cyclical self-torture of procrastination than the lyrics to a song from the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Our hero has a book report due. He sings in a halting, panicky monotone:

“If I start writing now…when I’m not really rested…it could upset my thinking which is not good at all…I’ll get a fresh start tomorrow…and it’s not due till Wednesday…so I’ll…have all of Tuesday unless…something should happen…Why does this always happen…I should be outside playing…getting fresh air and sunshine…I work best under pressure and there’ll be lots of pressure if I…wait till tomorrow…I should start writing now but if I…start writing now when I’m not really rested…it could upset my thinking…which is not good at all.”

Ring a bell? It’s a monologue we all experience in some form, an agonizing internal conversation that fells the best of us. And that’s where things start to get interesting: Procrastination is so relatable, so universal, because the human brain, it turns out, iswired for it. Science explains Charlie Brown’s seesaw sensibility as a fight that is sparked between two parts of the mind when it’s faced with a distasteful activity: a battle of the limbic system (the unconscious zone that includes the pleasure center) and the prefrontal cortex (the internal “planner”). When the limbic system wins, and that’s pretty often, the result is putting off for tomorrow what could (and should) be done today.

Here’s a bit more scientific backup, so you can stop blaming yourself (or your parents, your birth sign, the weather) and start chalking up procrastination to biology. The limbic system, one of the oldest and most dominant portions of the brain, is on automatic. It tells you to, say, pull your hand away from a flame—and also to flee from unpleasant tasks. In other words, it directs you to opt for “immediate mood repair,” explains Timothy A. Pychyl, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Carleton University, in Ottawa, and the author of The Procrastinator’s Digest: A Concise Guide to Solving the Procrastination Puzzle ($16, amazon.com).

The prefrontal cortex is a newer and weaker portion of the brain. It’s what allows you to integrate information and make decisions. “This is the part of the brain that really separates humans from animals, who are just controlled by stimulus,” says Pychyl. The prefrontal cortex, located immediately behind the forehead (where we tap when we’re trying to think, dammit, think), gets the job done. But there’s nothing automatic about its function. You must kick it into gear (“I have to sit down and write this book report!”). And the moment you’re not consciously engaged in a task, your limbic system takes over. You give in to what feels good—you procrastinate.

While understanding these mind games demystifies our habit of perpetually postponing stuff, it doesn’t cure the habit. The solution for procrastination is outsmarting it: You can trick yourself into productivity. How? Here are seven strategies for overcoming the Big P, devised with help from specialists in the field (yes, there’s a procrastination field). This tool kit of techniques will fix the fight between the just-do-it angel and the pleasure-hungry devil in your head. No need to pick just one tactic. Have them all in your arsenal so you’re ready to handle whatever obstacle your battling brain might toss in your path.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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12 Laundry Mistakes You Should Stop Making Right Now

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Are you using too much detergent? Overloading the washer? Overdoing the bleach? Find out the answers to these questions and more

Mistake 1: Rubbing Stains Furiously

This can make the stain worse and possibly wear away the fabric. Instead, be gentle and methodical. Treat the stain as soon as you can; the less time that elapses, the more success you’ll have. And always use a white cloth so that colors can’t transfer. Dab, rather than rub, working from the outside in to keep the stain contained.

Mistake 2: Using Too Much Detergent

Excess suds can hold dirt pulled from clothes and get caught in areas that won’t always rinse clean, like under a collar, leading to bacteria buildup. The remedy: Use only half the amount of detergent that you normally do, then gradually increase that amount if your clothes are not coming out as clean as you would like. An exception: If you have hard water, you may actually need more soap than you are using. Check the recommendation for hard water on your detergent bottle.

Mistake 3: Filling the Washing Machine Incorrectly

When washing in a top-loader with liquid detergent, you should first fill with water, then add soap, then add clothes, right? Well, no. This protocol from the past was meant to prevent residue on the fabric and the machine. But modern detergents are phosphate-free and not harmful to clothes the way old formulas were. As long as you’re not using bleach, don’t add clothing after the water (a pain, because clothes can float). Instead, use this order to distribute detergent best: clothes, then water, then soap.

Mistake 4: Washing an Item That Has a “Dry-Clean” Label

This isn’t necessarily a blunder. Most items that say “dry-clean” can be hand washed and air-dried. This includes natural fibers, such as linen and most silks. First check for colorfastness; moisten a cotton swab with mild detergent and dab it on a hidden seam to see if any dye comes off. If not, go ahead and dunk the garment in soapy water just once or twice, then rinse and immediately roll it in a towel to extract moisture. However, you should stick with dry-cleaning for certain categories: leather, suede, silk dupioni, anything with embellishments, and structured pieces (like blazers).

Mistake 5: Not Zipping Zippers All the Way to the Top

Metal teeth can snag delicate and woven clothing that’s being washed in the same load.

Mistake 6: Washing Shirts All Buttoned Up

This seems like a good idea, but it can stress buttons and buttonholes and lead to premature poppage. Take the time to unbutton before tossing clothes in the washer (or the hamper).

Mistake 7: Overusing Bleach

Think twice before you reach for the bleach: You actually don’t need it to get rid of protein stains, like blood, sweat, and tears. (Okay, maybe tears are not a big laundry issue.) One natural option: Toss stained socks, tees, and undies into a big pot of water with a few lemon slices and bring to a boil for a few minutes.

Mistake 8: Not Leveling Your Washing Machine

If your washer is not level, vibrations can damage your floor and prematurely wear out key components, like the shock absorbers and the tub bearings. (Plus, there’s that terrible noise.) Place a level on top of the machine and adjust the feet, which typically screw up and down, accordingly. If this doesn’t help, beef up the floor with a ¾-inch-thick piece of plywood that’s a little larger than the machine’s base. It will help absorb vibrations.

Mistake 9: Letting the Dryer “Rest” Between Loads

Some folks like to wait an hour after one cycle concludes before putting in a new load. But in fact, running back-to-back dryer loads is smart and efficient. It lets you take advantage of retained heat from the previous cycle, cutting down on energy usage.

Mistake 10: Ignoring the Permanent Press Setting on Your Dryer

This medium-heat cycle with a cool-down period at the end is a proven crease curber. More tips: Don’t pack clothes in; they need to float freely or they’ll wrinkle. (Note: Ditto for the washer. Stuffing it can create wrinkles and prevent your clothes from getting clean. On top of that, it can put pressure on the machine’s bearings and shock absorbers, causing them to wear down prematurely.) And procrastinators, take note: It really does eliminate creases if you fold clothes when they’re still hot, right out of the dryer (or, if you prefer, right out of the pile that you dumped onto your bed). Give each item a quick shake so wrinkles don’t set in. If you don’t have time to fold a load immediately, shake out the pieces and lay them flat in the laundry basket, one on top of another, while they await further attention.

Mistake 11: Tossing Socks in Willy-Nilly

Here’s a sock-saving tip: Place socks in the washer tub first, so they’re less likely to attach themselves to other garments and then go missing.

Mistake 12: Not Cleaning Your Dryer

Even though you empty the lint filter after each use (right?), lint buildup can clog the duct over time and become a fire hazard. A sure sign that your dryer is clogged? It takes more than an hour to dry a load. Once a year, detach the hose from the back of the dryer and snake a long brush through to push out lint (20-foot dryer vent brush, $35, gbindustrialdirect.com). Also scrub the lint filter once a year with a small toothbrush and a bit of detergent. Rinse, then air-dry completely.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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TIME advice

This Infographic Will Help You Pick the Perfect Paint Color for Every Room

We asked the experts for their no-fail picks

Committing to a new paint color is scary. We asked a group of pros to share their go-to hues—from soft and soothing to rich and splashy—so that you can find the ideal one for every room.

paintchart_field
Graphic by Katie Field

Paint pricing: Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior, $50 a gallon; Regal Select Exterior, $52 a gallon • Sherwin-Williams Harmony Interior, from $51 a gallon • Farrow & Ball interior paint, $95 a gallon • Dunn-Edwards Everest interior paint, from $42 a gallon • Valspar Reserve interior paint, from $42 a gallon; Reserve exterior paint, from $46 a gallon

Where to buy them: Wool Skein by Sherwin-Williams, Wickham Gray by Benjamin Moore, Mink by Benjamin Moore, Chocolate Candy Brown by Benjamin Moore, Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore, Shining Knight by Dunn-Edwards, Precious Pearl by Dunn Edwards, Amazing Gray by Sherwin-Williams,Heartthrob by Sherwin-Williams, Shaker Beige by Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore,Simply White by Benjamin Moore, Dovetail by Sherwin-Williams, Rainwashed by Sherwin-Williams, Apple Blossom by Benjamin Moore, Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore, Prussian Cadet by Valspar, Tan Whirl by Dunn-Edwards

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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7 Common Cooking Mistakes

Close up of pan and burner flame
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An innocent error can easily lead to a disappointing dish. Here's how to prevent overcrowded pans, recipe missteps and more

Mistake #1: You Didn’t Read the Recipe Through Before You Started Cooking

“Reading a recipe is like looking at a map before going on a trip. It’s the best way to make sure your meal is successful,” says Linda Carucci, author of Cooking School Secrets for Real World Cooks. Most cooking mishaps happen when a crucial detail is overlooked. Add cold butter instead of room-temperature butter to the batter and you may end up with a dry and lumpy cake; add tomatoes to the sauce before the onions are fully cooked and you’ll have a crunchy, not smooth, spaghetti topper.

What to do next time: Before picking up a spoon, take a minute to focus on the details.

  • Slow down and look in the recipe for action verbs, like chop, strain, and whip, to figure out which tasks need to be performed before you start cooking and which ones can wait until the recipe is under way.
  • Pull out the ingredients and the equipment you need. If everything is ready to go and you suddenly realize you don’t have a five-by-nine-inch loaf pan, you’ll still be able to look up an appropriate substitute, like an eight-inch square pan, before it’s too late―though you may need to adjust the baking time and temperature. (See easy pan equivalents.)

Mistake #2: You Overcrowded the Pan

Covering the entire surface of a pan traps heat and creates steam. And steam, says Richard Simpson, director of education at the Institute of Culinary Education, in New York City, is an enemy of browning, which locks in flavor and juices.

What to do next time: To guard against overcrowding, use two pans or cook in batches. To prevent the first batch of food from getting cold while you cook the second, keep it on an ovenproof plate in an oven set at a low temperature (about 200° F).

MORE 3 Breakfast Rules to Follow to Lose Weight

Mistake #3: You Didn’t Preheat the Pan, and Your Fish Fillets Turned Out Soggy

“The cooking surface has to be hot enough to seal in the juices and brown the food,” says Tamara Murphy, owner and chef of Brasa, a restaurant in Seattle. Food also tends to stick to a pan that’s too cold, which makes it harder to sauté everything, from onions to potatoes.

What to do next time: Heat the cooking surface on high for several minutes before adding the oil. You’ll know that the pan is hot enough when a few drops of water thrown on the cooking surface skitter and evaporate quickly. Now you can add the oil. When it begins to shimmer and ripple slightly, or a few seconds later, add the meat or the fish. If you’re using a nonstick pan, put the oil in the pan before you turn on the heat, as nonstick pans may release toxins when they’re heated up empty.

Mistake #4: You Cooked Pasta in a Small Pot and Ended Up With a Pile of Gummy Noodles

When food is added to a boiling pot, it immediately lowers the temperature of the water. Add too much food to too little water and the water will stop boiling, which changes the cooking process and makes your spaghetti taste starchy. If you blanch beans or basil in water that isn’t hot enough, they’ll discolor and turn brown, says Mike Sheerin, chef de cuisine at Blackbird, a restaurant in Chicago.

What to do next time: Use lots of water. “You really want the food to swim,” says Simpson. How much water should you use? For a pound of pasta, use at least a five-quart pot, filled with rapidly boiling water. For more help, watch this video about how to cook pasta, then try one of these family-friendly spaghetti recipes.

MORE Should I Eat Whole-Wheat Pasta?

Mistake #5: You Sautéed Wet Greens

The excess water on leaves in a hot pan creates steam, leaving spinach that’s stewed and mushy rather than bright and tender. In addition, “hot oil will splatter when it’s hit with cold water,” says Murphy. “So you’d better duck.”

What to do next time: To get tender greens, invest in a salad spinner.

  • For best results, spin the greens, pour out the water, toss, and spin again.
  • Wait until the pan is very hot before dumping in the greens, says Simpson. They should be sautéed only a minute or two, until they’re just wilted.

Mistake #6: Using Dried Herbs in a Recipe in Place of Fresh Ones Resulted in a Heavily Overseasoned Dinner

Adding a tablespoon of dried oregano in place of a tablespoon of fresh seems like an easy fix. The problem is that some herbs, like basil and parsley, lose some of their flavor when dried, while others, like oregano and tarragon, “are massively more powerful, and if you put in too much, you’ll overwhelm a dish,” says Simpson.

What to do next time: When making substitutions, let the strength of the herb guide you. Here’s how to season smartly.

  • For especially fragrant dried herbs, use about a third of the amount of fresh herbs called for in the recipe. For extra-mild dried herbs, add a little more. Don’t know if the dried herb is fragrant or mild? As a general rule, if a recipe calls for a fresh herb to be added at the beginning of the cooking process, it is probably stronger when dried; if it’s called for at the end of the process, it is probably mild when dried.
  • The best way to judge an herb’s strength is by taste. If your dried oregano has almost no flavor, neither will the sauce, so use a heavy hand.
  • You can wake up the flavor of dried herbs by toasting them in a pan for a minute or two, says Carucci.

MORE How You Can Eat More of These 5 Winter Fruits and Veggies

Mistake #7: You Fried Food in Oil That Wasn’t Hot Enough

Whether you’re panfrying or deep-frying, food will absorb too much oil and become heavy and greasy if the oil is below 350° F.

What to do next time: Use an oil with a high smoking point (the temperature at which it begins to burn), and get it good and hot. Safflower, peanut, grapeseed, and canola oils are ones to try. Then follow these tips to tell if the pan is hot enough for cooking.

  • If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, do a test run, suggests Sheerin. Dip a bit of whatever you plan to fry, like a corner of a fish fillet, into the oil. It should sizzle immediately if the oil is ready.
  • You can also test a hunk of bread, which should brown in 10 seconds.
  • If you goof up and put the food in too early, “pull it out of the oil immediately,” says Sheerin. “Just because you’re doing it wrong doesn’t mean that you can’t fix it.” Let the oil heat and try again.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

Read next: 6 Cooking Techniques You Need to Know

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TIME advice

7 Hacks to Help Your Body Cope With Winter

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There's a reason low temperatures and biting winds are enough to drive you to hibernation: Jack Frost is nipping at more than just your nose

Here are seven simple steps you can take to protect yourself mentally and physically from the ravages of winter so that by the time spring arrives, you’re intact and healthy.

Keep the Winter Blues at Bay

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is responsible for an estimated 10 to 20 percent of recurring cases of depression in American women, according to Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Those with SAD can feel depressed, anxious, irritable, or exhausted. They may also see changes in their weight and sleep patterns. The condition could be a result of the extra hours of darkness that come with winter’s shorter days. More than half of those who suffer from SAD see positive responses to light therapy, a type of treatment that involves sitting in front of a box that shines three to five times brighter than office lights for 30 minutes or more each day. If light therapy doesn’t work, talk therapy or antidepressants are other options for treating SAD.

Stay Hydrated — Even in the Cold

Cold weather isn’t an excuse to ditch the water bottle. More than half of our bodies are made up of water, and if that percentage decreases by just one percent, we can become dehydrated. Even in winter when we don’t sweat much, we still lose roughly eight cups of water each day. To avoid dehydration, be sure to drink at least eight cups of water daily — and eat plenty of fruits and veggies, which are packed with H2O.

Fight Dry Skin

Cold weather, plus dry heat, often results in crackly skin. The fix? Hydration in all forms, according to our winter skin survival guide. Certain parts of our bodies, including our lower legs, naturally run drier because they have fewer oil glands than others, like our face, back, and chest. Our lips have no oil glands at all, leaving them extra vulnerable to dryness. Just drinking water isn’t enough to add that moisture back into dry skin. It’s also important to slather our bodies with plenty of lotion and avoid taking hot, dehydrating showers. For persistently parched skin, consider investing in a humidifier for extra moisture and protection.

Stay Safe in the Snow

A dusting of white may be beautiful, but it can also be a pain to shovel — literally. An average of 11,500 snow shoveling-related accidents are treated in emergency rooms each year. More than half of the injuries are soft tissue ones, like pulled muscles. Not surprisingly, the most commonly injured body part is the back. We can protect ours by taking some time to walk around and warm up our muscles before digging out our front walks. Once we’ve got our shovel in hand, we should be sure to push the snow out of the way rather than lifting it, which can strain backs. Finally, don’t forget to bundle up. While we may feel warm after all that exertion, we still need to keep our bodies, hands, and heads covered.

Ward Off the Flu

We already know that cold weather doesn’t directly cause colds, but many of us are more likely to catch one in winter. Why? One theory is that shorter days and less sunlight mean less vitamin D, which results in weaker immune systems. Others believe that cold viruses survive better in cold, dry environments. Another thought is that we spend much more time indoors in the winter, meaning we breathe in more germ-filled recycled air. To fight off bugs this winter, ease up on alcohol, eat healthy, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and, of course, wash hands often.

Keep Active

Despite the surge of fitness-related resolutions each January, we tend to exercise about five percent less in winter than in summer. If you find yourself in an exercise rut, break out by exercising in short spurts, scheduling gym visits so you can workout while watching your favorite shows, or skipping the gym altogether to work out at home or head outdoors. Try meeting a friend for a brisk walk, or taking up a new hobby like snowshoeing, which burns about 500 calories an hour, or cross country skiing, which burns more than 550 calories per hour.

Keep Your Energy Up

The shorter days in winter can make us sleepy because darkness triggers our bodies’ production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep cycles. If our bodies produce too much melatonin we may feel sleepy during the day or even experience dizziness and headaches, according to the Mayo Clinic. Keep your energy up by making sure you log seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Eat regular meals to keep your insulin levels steady so you don’t crash, and snack (healthily) when you’re hungry to give yourself an extra boost. If all else fails, have a good laugh—studies show that humor can increase energy.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

TIME beauty

See How 6 Women Got Over Their Body Image Issues

These women decided to embrace their shapes

  • Maura Pagano

    Real Women
    Maura Pagano Joao Canziani

    Age: 24
    Occupation: Recruiter
    Home: New York City

    Maura’s hang-up: “My calves and ankles have never been proportionate to the rest of my body. I always used to hide them under long, black pants.”

    What helps her let it go: “As I get older, I’m learning that what’s more important than covering up my imperfections is how confident I am. In this dress, I feel sexy—it shows off my chest and my shoulders and highlights my waist. If every other part of me looks this good, no one will stare at my calves.”

  • Rosalie Khan

    Real Women
    Rosalie Khan Joao Canziani

    Age: 41
    Occupation: Senior digital associate
    Home: Jersey City

    Rosalie’s hang-up: “I’m self-conscious about my body, especially my stomach, so I don’t normally wear anything clingy. Because I know they’ll fit me, I stick to baggy clothes. That also means I won’t have to drag out the try-on process.”

    What helps her let it go: “Pulling on skinny pants was a revelation. They actually made me feel slimmer. The fabric of this pair is stretchy and thick, and there’s a panel to hold in my tummy, creating a nice, smooth line. I feel comfortable—and even trendy.”

  • Danielle Hamblin

    Real Women
    Danielle Hamblin Joao Canziani

    Age: 43
    Occupation: Adjunct professor
    Home: White Township, New Jersey

    Danielle’s hang-up: “I have never been thin. While I wouldn’t mind the opportunity to be so, I sometimes think it’s just not meant to be.”

    What helps her let it go: “In comparison to the more serious challenges faced by other people, I’ll take this one. Besides, I have an air of fun about me, and I like that to show in what I wear. This sheath’s mix of prints offers that, yet the shape is professional and flattering. It plays up my waist and hits right at the knee.”

  • Rushmi Mehan Soni

    Real Women
    Rushmi Mehan Soni Joao Canziani

    Age: 25
    Occupation: Senior marketing manager
    Home: New York City

    Rushmi’s hang-up: “I used to love my lean waist. Then I got pregnant, and I was all belly. After I had the baby, I still had a belly. I struggled with that for a while because the weight fell off so easily everywhere else.”

    What helps her let it go: “Now I laugh at how much I talked about bikinis in my 20s. I created my son—of course my body is different these days. I remain somewhat self-conscious, but there are clothes to address the issue. This draped top gave me a trim-looking waist again.”

  • Arielle Devay

    Real Women
    Arielle DeVay Joao Canziani

    Age: 35
    Occupation: Sales-development executive
    Home: Astoria, New York

    Arielle’s hang-up: “I’m very curvy above and below the waist. When I wear something loose, I look bigger than I am. And when I wear something formfitting, I can end up looking like a floozy. Neither is a great option.”

    What helps her let it go: “I’ve found it’s important for me to choose silhouettes that accentuate my waistline, such as a fit-and-flare dress. This provides a nice balance between showing off my waist and being work-appropriate.”

  • Kate Snyder

    Real Women
    Kate Snyder Joao Canziani

    Age: 37
    Occupation: Account executive
    Home: Brooklyn

    Kate’s hang-up: “A lack of curves. I used to feel awkward in my body—I was all legs and didn’t have much of a bust.”

    What helps her let it go: “I have grown into my body, though it hasn’t changed much. I usually dress very understated, but this style is very ‘look at me.’ The cut is fitted through the torso, so my behind seems curvier, and the hem adds visual interest. I like that I look shapelier—not so straight up and down.”

    This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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TIME Food & Drink

10 Whole Grain Breakfasts to Power Your Day

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Each one is easy enough to put together on a hectic morning, packed with satisfying flavors, and full of nutritious whole grains

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Prefer a savory start to your day? This one’s for you. Though more often seen at the dinner table, crunchy, nutty quinoa can be an unexpected but appealing addition to the breakfast table, too. For a one-dish morning meal, we love it paired with tender smoked salmon and a sunny, runny fried egg.

Get the recipe.

Whole-Grain Banana Muffins

A combo of whole wheat flour and omega-3 rich flax meal gives these muffins their tender crumb, while ripe bananas, almonds, and vanilla add just the right balance of crunch and sweetness. Mix the batter together in a blink, bake them in the oven for just 25 minutes, and pop one in your bag for a warm breakfast on-the-go.

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Oatmeal with Cheddar and Scallion

A sprinkling of shredded cheddar, paprika, and a flurry of chopped scallions elevate this savory oatmeal from the ordinary to the inspired. If you want to get a jump-start on a busy morning, make a large pot of oatmeal the evening before (or overnight in the slow cooker!) and simply reheat and garnish to taste when you’re ready to eat.

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Easy Granola

Do-It-Yourself granola may sound like a project, but it couldn’t be simpler—or more delicious. (Trust us: Try it and you’ll never crave the store-bought stuff again.) This basic recipe is foolproof and endlessly customizable. Prefer sunflower seeds to pepitas? They’ll work. Crazy for dried cranberries? Just have fun with it.

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Toasted Pistachio Muesli With Apple and Fig

Can’t get enough breakfast cereal? Even cereal junkies need to add something new the rotation now and then. Spice, sweetness, and irresistible crunch—this muesli has it all. Pair it with whatever sorts of fixings you like best—milk, almond milk, yogurt—and sliced seasonal fruit, like apples and figs, as a finishing touch.

Get the recipe.

Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins

Plump blueberries, oats, and whole-wheat flour deliver lots of fiber—meaning, with one of these in hand, you’re sure to stay full through your morning meetings. They couldn’t be more convenient, either: Packed with flaxseed meal and low-fat yogurt, these portable treats will keep at room temperature for three days or in the freezer for one month.

Get the recipe.

Granola Bars With Apricots, Oats, and Almonds

Skip the sugar-packed “breakfast bars” in the supermarket aisle and start your day with this healthier version instead. Simply combine roasted oats, almonds, and pepitas with chopped apricots and salt, stir in a mixture of almond butter and maple syrup, then smooth out and chill for up to three days.

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Oatmeal with Pineapple and Mint

Does your porridge need a pick me up? Though untraditional, adding bright, acidic pineapple and refreshing mint to your oatmeal lends the dish just enough zing to get your senses going in the morning. To save yourself time during the morning rush, pick up pre-trimmed and sliced pineapple from your grocer’s produce section.

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Mustard, Avocado, and Dill on a Whole-Wheat Muffin With Boiled Egg

Everything’s better with avocado on top—including a warm and toasty whole wheat English muffin. Some whole grain mustard and a pinch of dill lend the dish a bit of heat and a fresh, green perfume. Round it out with a creamy soft-boiled egg and you’ve got a real breakfast champion.

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Nut-Free Energy Bars

If you’re trying to cut down on processed sugar, substitute chopped dates for white sugar. Not only are they delicious, they’re also full of good carbohydrates and beneficial vitamin B6. Here, paired with maple syrup, dates sweeten up and bind together a batch of irresistible snack bars packed with raisins and rolled oats.

Get the recipe.

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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