Lifestyle | Get healthy through your winter diet

As we now walk through Hyde Park in the morning, we find our feet crunching on the frosted grass whilst the crisp, clear air forces our teeth to chatter; indeed it becomes obvious that winter is here.  As we sit in lectures we are graced with the coughing and spluttering of those unfortunate enough to have caught the dreaded bugs we all know too well at this time of year. There is a common misconception that being healthy is faddy or a diet or expensive or difficult to achieve, but let me reassure you – it ain’t any of the sort.

Being healthy is not only easy and enjoyable but it is the best way to avoid being ill during a time of festivity, mulled wine and fun. It is important to make sure you try and get all the vitamins and minerals needed as well as the essential fats and oils; eating rice crispies, pesto pasta and ready-made cottage pie with a few greens is not going to do it unfortunately…aim for a balanced, varied diet and make sure you eat enough as the cold kicks in. What’s more, I am a big believer that what you put in the inside shows on the outside; in other words if you eat crap it is going to show through your mood, skin, energy levels, hair and so forth – they are likely to all be pretty crap themselves. So, this winter let’s beat the bugs and all be glowing beauties by eating well and keeping strong. Along with taking a decent multi-vitamin pill each morning, below is a list of the foods which will best keep you strong this winter:

Oats, kale, broccoli, sardines, tuna, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, spinach, kiwis, papayas, blueberries, carrots, avocado, beetroot, ginger, citrus fruit, sweet potatoes, oily fish, herbs, garlic, onions, wholegrains

Uni Day Plan:

9am – start the day with a fresh hot honey, lemon and ginger tea and a large glass of water

For breakfast munch on either: poached eggs on wholegrain bread with avocado and poached mackerel or a big bowl of oats, with milk, probiotic yoghurt, some seeds and a chopped kiwi

11am – snack on a handful of almonds and walnuts and a tangerine

Lunch – big bowl of steamed vegetables such as broccoli and beans with some tuna and brown rice.

4pm – snack on oatcakes with almond butter and a banana if feeling a sweet kick; slurp on a herbal tea

Supper – cook a hearty, cheap and easy winter chicken soup

Retire with a cup of peppermint tea and large glass of water

Chicken Soup (serves 2)

2 Chicken thighs with the bone

2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed

1 Onion, diced finely

25g Pearl Barley

500ml Chicken stock

Two large handfuls of Spinach

1 Carrot, chopped

4 Florets of Broccoli, chopped into small pieces

1 tsp dry Chili Flakes

1 tbsp Plain Flour

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

  1. In a saucepan, cook the pearl barley in boiling water for 30 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile fry some oil, the garlic, carrots, chilli flakes and onions under a low heat until soft. Add the flour. (Use a high wok so that it can hold the liquid you will later add).
  3. Add the chicken thighs and brown, when they are almost cook through, shred off the meat into small pieces. Add the chicken stock and season well.
  4. Leave the soup to simmer gently.
  5. Steam the broccoli above the pearl barley and once tender add to the soup, drain the pearl barley and add to the wok also.
  6. When the carrots are tender and chicken fully cooked through, remove the chicken bones and add the spinach quickly. Enjoy.

 Tash Straker

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