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WHAT TO DO TO KEEP THE CHILL OUT AND THE GREY DAYS AWAY The first thing I've done this week is grabbed carbs, which is not great but I haven't prepared the right food to be on hand to keep me feeling full and satisfied. We know harvest is around the corner, and we always set up a display of root veg, squashes and pumpkins. These are the veg of the season and they're good for making thicker soups and stews. They're also better for us than potatoes, sweet potato is a great replacement, all having lower carb contents but still doing the job of making us feel like we'd have something substantial. SALADS AT LUNCH ARE A NO-NO I have so many clients tell me they're exhausted in the afternoons, so I ask 'what do you have for lunch?' Pretty much the answer is the same: 'salad' .... (and if you're an office worker and you have a sandwich straight from the fridge this applies to you too!) Don't eat anything straight out of the fridge! And don't eat things that are for the summer. Salad comes in many shapes so watery lettuce leaves should now be left out in favour of dark green leafy ones like rocket, watercress and for a hot salad curly kale is brilliant (it doesn't wilt) I'm not one to cook every night, so unless I've prepared a slow cooker meal at the start of the week then I do tend to reach for the green leaves, but I'm aware that all food should be eaten at room temperature or warmer, so all my salads at this time of the year are warm. For example bake your tomatoes, its a better way to extract the useful lycopene from them (heart health) , cook root veg with balsamic vinegar or a chilli oil - give them extra energetic warmth, you can mix them in with leaves and then have them with a good protein of your choice. Healthy cooking doesn't need to take time, baking salmon is just a few minutes in the oven and chicken mini fillets cooked in lemon juice (and some water and oil) only take 5 minutes in a pan - and you have the juiciest, zesty chicken to add to your warming veggies! All vegetables are carbohydrates, so you still get the fullness and satisfaction from eating them, especially those that you can cube like they were potatoes. If you need inspiration and you're on instagram follow a nutritionist of chef who will inspire you to eat the right foods at this time. I love Caroline Keatinge, she's a local nutritionist, and her soup this week made me want to slurp it up! And soups can have crunchy things in them so you feel you've had a meal.

THE MORE NUTRITIOUS YOUR FOOD THE BETTER YOUR BRAIN HEALTH Eating a real variety of fresh produce, as well as getting good fats like olive oil , nuts and seeds all contain the essential fatty acids and vitamins and minerals that we need for our physical and mental wellbeing. Coming into Autumn and Winter and so many of us start to feel the effects of SAD with the grey days and lack of sunlight. You can take an additional supplement of vitamin D, which I do recommend, and these are the foods that are rich in this vital vitamin:

  • Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.

  • Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.

  • Beef liver.

  • Cheese.

  • Egg yolks.

Also, going back to the start when I suggested a hearty soup over a salad at lunch time, this will benefit your energy through the afternoon. Cold foods will drain the bladder and kidney functions, they don't like cold and between 3 and 7pm these 2 organs are processing and cleansing, so they need energy. This is why you have the energy slump, they're using up what reserves you have to do the job. Ironically we then pump a load of calories into our system not long before we go to bed, exactly when we don't need it. So if you want your carbs, as I know I do at this time of year, have them at lunchtime. Not too much though as they can make you sleepy. It's better to have a balanced warm meal at lunchtime, and something lighter, but still warm in the evening. And for the menopausal ladies here, if you find your hot flushes are worse in the mid afternoon, again look to your lunch, your kidneys govern your temperature control, if you cool them down with your lunch, they work desperately hard to warm your body back up again, hence some additional heat. So, be Kind to your Kidneys, keep your lunch warm!

Be Kind to your Kidneys ~

Eat your food warm!

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