The thermometer outside my bedroom reads 47°F as I lace up my boots with half-numb fingers. I haven’t been heating my home this winter, and the house has hovered around 50° for the last month or two. Recent scientific studies argue that exposure to mild cold increases thermogenesis and burns extra calories—in other words, I should be effortlessly shedding pounds. But another theory states that a human form of hibernation depresses our metabolism, leading to weight gain.
Either way, I’m definitely packing on the winter weight, no doubt due in part to the hours I spend each night huddled under a blanket, binge-watching Gilmore Girls and eating a steady stream of anything I can find. So, to reverse the trend, I’m restocking my pantry with local metabolism-boosting products and inviting you to do the same. Read on for my top Portland-made picks.
Regular portland Bread: Happy cycle
This hearty rye loaf is loaded with dietary fiber, an indigestible substance that requires extra caloric expenditure for your body to process. Research has also found that people who breakfast on rye bread stay sated longer than people who eat wheat, thus decreasing daily caloric consumption and fostering weight loss.
Pacific Northwest kale chips: STUMPTOWN ORIGINAL
A single serving of these zesty chips delivers 158% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C, a micronutrient required for a range of essential metabolic reactions. Kale is also low in calories and high in fiber, making this trendy vegetable an ultra-healthy snack. (Not into pre-packaged chips? Make your own with fresh local greens from the Portland Farmers Market!)
Hot Mama Chili Oil: Chilie de Arbol
Chili peppers contain capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their spicy kick by creating a calorie-burning bump in heat generation. Red chilies also contain high levels of vitamin C for an additional boost.
Locally roasted coffee (You’ve got 40+ choices.)
Studies show that metabolic rates increase significantly (up to 10%!) during the three hours after caffeine ingestion. The energy boost can also increase your endurance if you do drag yourself to the gym. Finally, coffee is a natural appetite suppressant, leaving you less likely to snack mindlessly.
Steven Smith: White Petal Green Tea
As we recently reported, green tea’s thermogenic properties burn fat while warming you from the inside out. Green tea is a great source of EGCG, a compound that boasts antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and metabolic-boosting qualities. The caffeine found in green tea works synergistically with EGCG to further boost calorie burning. Plus it’s calorie-free, so you can drink the whole pot!
Betsy’s Best Bar None: chili chocolate chip
These allergen-free whole food bars pack 10g of protein while steering clear of gluten, soy, nuts, grains, GMOs, and animal products. Your body burns more calories breaking down protein than it does fat and refined carbs. Protein also leaves you feeling full for longer, thus cutting down on total calorie consumption. And Betsy's chili chocolate chip flavor gives you that extra capsicum kick.
Bob’s Red Mill: Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats
Break that fast! Eating breakfast boosts your resting metabolism by up to 10%. Oatmeal has exceptionally good calorie-burning capabilities, thanks in part to its high levels of resistant starch, a digestive system superfood that kickstarts fat burning by as much as 30% while reducing hunger.
The athletic: PDX Airport Bidon
It’s easy to forget to hydrate when you’re not sweating buckets in the harsh summer heat, but even mild dehydration may slow your metabolism way down. Fill (and drink dry) this 22oz water bottle three times daily to reach that axiomatic eight cups per day.