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  • Writer's pictureHazel

Brighten your days: 5 ways to nutritiously pimp your food this winter

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

When your food doesn't need a filter because you're eating the rainbow 🌈😋👍

At this time of year it's so tempting to stop nourishing yourself properly, it's like as the days get grey-er people's plates get beige-r! And your mood can suffer as a result.

So just like the lights on your tree add a bit of sparkle to your days, it's time to pimp those plates with all the colour you can find as I have done with these eggs (I call them Asian Eggs - a fave brunch of mine).

Your body & mind will thank you for it.

Here's 5 others ways you can pimp your food this winter to brighten your mood and nourish your body in one hit!

1. Herbs & Spices

Did you know that fresh herbs count towards your recommended 5-8 portions of fruit & veg a day? Well, now you do! The antioxidants packed into our favourite flavourful herbs & spices do wonders for many of our bodily functions, but especially for our immune function which is usually impacted in the colder, duller winter months. Not only this, but they can really brighten your plate and pep up your palate, leaving you feeling more satisfied with your meal emotionally.

2. Seeds

Another nutritionally abundant addition to any meal, seeds are not only a great source of omega fats, essential vitamins & minerals (including several B vitamins, and nearly all of us need more B vitamins in our diets!) and fibre, but can also add a wonderful texture to our meals - add a crunchy sprinkling of sesame seeds to Asian dishes or a handful of pumpkin seeds to any baked goods or your porridge.

3. Mix up your veggies

Variety is the spice of life, and this applies to the vegetables on your plate also. When working as a vegetarian retreat chef, I was always looking for new ways to serve veg to our guests, many of who were not vegetarians and arrived for their week long stays concerned the meals would not be filling or tasty, and honestly the options are endless! Add lightly steamed broccoli, peas and asparagus to some leaves to create a warm, winter salad, learn how to prepare often overlooked root vegetables like celeriac and beetroot to add to your roasts, or perhaps just try a different selection of salad greens. Generally all vegetables are so quick & easy to prepare, it's just the thought of something different that deters us.

4. Carbs can be colourful too!

We all have our go-to meals which usually revolve around a carb of choice - personally I'm all about potatoes and rice - but how often do you pimp these everyday food stuffs? Next time you're in the supermarket, take some time to see what else is on offer. Rice comes in an array of different types and most supermarkets now offer wild rices which come in an array of colours, each with a slightly different nutritional profile and taste. Why not swap your regular potato for sweet, red or purple potatoes, mix up your quinoa or even create your own multi-grain mixes to serve as colourful, flavourful sides to your favourite dishes?

5. Eat with your eyes

Are you someone who just dumps the food on your late or eats out of microwave trays? If so, this is for you! Everything we consume is done so via all five senses (this goes beyond food and applies to communication, purchases, social media, etc) and what we consume, we absorb and so it is important that we pay attention to this. We all tend to feel more delight when food is presented to us beautifully, and when we make the conscious effort to do this for ourselves, we're putting our bodies into a state of relaxation and re-affirming to ourselves the we're worthy of this effort and food. Ask any Nutritional Therapist and they will tell you that taking a few breaths before we eat actually primes our bodies to absorb the nutrients of our food much more efficiently and can help a multitude of digestive disorders, and actually our digestive system starts producing more saliva and digestive enzymes the moment we know we're going to eat. So those few seconds spent preparing your food not only makes you happier because you're confirming your worthy of beautiful food, but will also help you absorb all the nutrients available in the food which supports our mental functions also.

Need some inspiration? Hit me with your favourite beige dinners in the comments and let's see if I can help you out!

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