How to Prepare for Colder Weather and Shorter Days

November 14 — 2019 | Breckenridge, Colorado

Juliana ambassador and registered nutritionist Uri Carlson has some hot off-season nutritional tips


Juliana Bicycles

Uriell (aka Uri) is a registered dietitian nutritionist and Juliana ambassador living in Breckenridge, Colorado.
She is the founder of Inner Wild Nutrition, an online-based nutrition practice focused on helping active humans fuel their best performances + ideal lifestyle (read: no diets). Follow along with Uri on Instagram @uri_carlson.


Around here, where it’s winter for half the year, we scramble like mad to snag any moment of free time and fit in all the riding we can before the snow falls. There’s something so bittersweet about that feeling that this ride could be your last of the season, but it’s also slightly terrifying. 

Overall, no matter where you are, fall seems to be the time to get in a few final all-day rides with your crew and snag every last evening bike park session before you end up with darkness by 5PM. These changes require an extra layer and maybe even a headlamp in your pack, but bundling up a bit more than usual and going for it is always worth it. 


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Cort Muller

Colder weather and shorter days also bring biological changes that trigger us to want to eat more hearty, nutrient dense foods. Do you want a big bowl of mac n cheese when it’s 90 degrees or when it’s 40 degrees and raining? And don’t even get me started if you grew up with apple cider donuts…

So, how can we prepare for colder weather and shorter daylight hours without being weighed down and wanting to eat just another box of mac n cheese for dinner?

Here’s some tips for continuing your summertime roll into the holiday season, without feeling weighed down: 

Fit in all the seasonal veggies - soups are a great way to do this, just be mindful that every soup you make is not finished with a carton of heavy cream. My hack for a creamy soup is to remove and blend 2 cups of the soup’s liquid with any of the veggies you’ve added (butternut squash, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower) and then add it back to the pot for a creamy finish. My stuffed squash recipe (see below) is another great way to add veggies. 


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Rachel Levin Photography

Make substitutions - instead of hot chocolate from a packet or coffee shop, make it yourself. Use real cacao (not cocoa) powder and less sugar, which you most likely will, because they load that up. To give you a quick idea, a 12oz Starbucks hot chocolate has 34g of sugar in it. That’s 8.5 teaspoons of sugar, or just under 3 tablespoons. 

It’s hard not to love a good mac n’ cheese recipe. Instead of making mac n’ cheese with 100% cheese, you can make it even more seasonal by cutting it with butternut squash - like this recipe from Pinch of Yum

Cookie dough by the spoonful might be validated by riding all weekend and most days before or after work, but it usually doesn’t fly the rest of the year. Instead, make my cookie dough dip recipe (see below). It’s a perfect combination of carbohydrate and protein for a post ride snack.


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Rachel Levin Photography

Baked goods count as ride food. This is true any time of year, but it can be especially helpful now, when you’re a sucker for fall-themed treats and find yourself craving more calorie dense foods. Baked goods from your favorite local bakery are like a perfect energy bar, but better, because they don’t have preservatives, their moisture content is much higher than a pre-packaged bar, and you actually want to eat them. 

Make it hot - Skratch Labs just came out with a limited edition Hot Apple Cider hydration mix. Put it in a thermos for your coldest rides or have it as a part of your post-ride recovery. Side note: it’s also a great mixer for adult beverages.

Now, get out there and make the most of that light. Then come home and enjoy the fact that you’ve got more time to be in the kitchen making all the goods that’ll fuel this inevitable transition from fall to winter. 


Uri's Recipes 


This recipe was originally created for kids, but adults seem to love it even more. It’s perfect for those times when you have a sweet tooth but really just need a snack with some healthy protein and it's a perfect post-workout snack in the fall. 


1 can chickpeas, rinsed + drained

1/3 cup all natural/no added sugar peanut butter 

3 tbs pure maple syrup 

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 pinch salt 

1/3 cup chocolate chips or a chopped 65% Rich Chocolove bar 


Blend all ingredients except chocolate chips in a food processor until desired consistency. Add chocolate chips and pulse until just combined. Serve with whole wheat graham cracker sticks, apple slices, or pretzels. 

Original recipe by Uriell Carlson, RDN. Inner Wild Nutrition 



Jackie Shea deserves a shoutout for compromising her carry on capacity to bring two noticeably large zucchini on the airplane with her from Portland to CO and for  inspiring this recipe. The fist time I had it we made it in a very sparsely stocked condo between three full days of riding. One of the best things about this recipe is that it's very customizable - hence the name. I've updated some ingredients since it's condo debut, but feel free to make your own adjustments with seasonings, veggies + the protein.



1 cup quinoa, rinsed + drained 

2 medium/large squash of your choice (zucchini, delicata, acorn, butternut, etc) 

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, separated 

1/2 medium yellow onion 

2 bell peppers, any color 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

1 tsp garlic salt (or seasoning of choice) 

1lb ground meat of choice (bison, turkey, beef, venison)



Set oven to 450F. 

Slice squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Rub with olive oil + a sprinkle of s/p. 

Cover the bottom of a cookie tray or pyrex pan with just enough water to cover the bottom. Set squash, cut side down, into water and bake for about 15 minutes, until starting to become tender. Then, flip and finish cooking for another 15 minutes, until soft. Set aside. 

While squash is cooking, rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer (or add it to the pot and rinse it like you would white rice). Add to a covered pot with 1 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat to a simmer and cook until all the water is gone. Season with some s/p + set aside. 

Dice the onions and peppers. Add 1tbs olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat and add the onions and peppers. Add garlic salt and any other seasoning you choose. Saute for 10 minutes until peppers begin to soften and onions are translucent. Clear a space in the middle of the skillet and add the ground meat and garlic. Cut the meat up with a spatula, mix into the vegetables on the side of your skillet and then cook until done. 


Place squash open face on a plate. Fill with a spoonful of quinoa and then top with a scoop of the meat + veggie mixture. Now is your time to add any additional toppings you choose: shredded cheese, sour cream + salsa, avocado, a dollop of sour cream or cottage cheese, etc...make it yours! 


Spinach, kale or another hearty green - added in the final few minutes of cooking meat + veggies Any spices - added to season the meat + onion mixture

Original recipe by Uriell Carlson, RDN. Inner Wild Nutrition 


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