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Eating to beat the cold

publication date: Nov 30, 2010
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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We usually dole out this advice in January but given the arctic temperatures we reckon you need it now.

  1. Don’t skip breakfast. That applies at any time of the year but particularly when it’s freezing outside. A bowl of cereal or a slice of toast just won’t do the trick. A bowl of porridge will. (If you’re not mad about porridge try making it with milk and water rather than just milk and topping it with brown sugar or honey. More ideas on our Facebook page.)
  2. Learn to make soup. Yes, you can buy ready-made soup and it will warm you up but it won’t fill you up quite as effectively as a batch of home-made soup. Or taste as good! Take a look at the Recipe Finder for inspiration.
  3. Forget that diet! With obesity on the rise we’re not encouraging you to stuff yourself silly but now is not the time to be living off starvation rations. Fill yourself up with comforting carbs then you won’t need to snack between meals. Pulses like beans and lentils are particularly sustaining (try the Quick Spicy Lentils)
  4. But don’t forget your 5 a day. You need those vits to ward off colds and other bugs. You may not feel like salads but there are plenty of ways to enjoy fruit and veg without eating them raw. Steam or stir-fry your veg, stir fry or stew your fruit (see Sig's and my Facebook suggestions) and it’ll seem much more appealing in these icy temperatures.
  5. Spice up your meals. According to our nutritionist Kerry Torrens chilli and similar hot spices like paprika, cayenne peper and mustard seeds stimulate the blood flow and improve your circulation so get out that hot sauce bottle. Or rustle up a curry.
  6. Switch to hot drinks instead of cold ones. That needn’t mean non-stop caffeine. Try herbal or fruit ‘teas’ or infusions, hot Ribena or other blackcurrant cordials (nice with a squeeze of lemon to offset the sweetness), Marigold Vegetable Bouillon powder (like a light vegetable soup) or - a bit more expensive but more substantial too - sachets of miso soup


If you've enjoyed this article why not visit the Beyond Baked Beans page on Facebook where you can contribute your own tips and recipes.