Blog on… good food vibes

Blog on… good food vibes

I spent this morning in a beautiful meadow at a mini yoga retreat.  My job (after enjoying the fab yoga experience) was to share how to get good vibes from what you eat. Oh – and some food. Words alone won’t feed people!  We munched on seasonal asparagus dipped in a hot citrus dressing, pistachio and cacao energy balls and some homemade local lavender tea, laced with mint & honey.

Whilst people nibbled and slurped, we talked food; how to enjoy it at it’s best, how to eat sustainably and how to how make it a great part of your day. So here are four my four simple principles for good food vibes:

Eat Colourful

Eating a wide variety of colours is an excellent way to support your gut health.  You’ve got a whole mini eco-system in there! And one which thrives on diversity.  So a general rule of thumb is just to check that you have lots of vibrant colours in your shop.  Each colour offers you a different set of nutrients, fibre, vitamins, anti-oxidants – you get where I am going. 

Here’s an example of how to make that work in practice.  Chinese fried rice anyone?  While it’s tasty and simple, it’s not always that colourful or nutritious.  Try adding peas (vit C & E, zinc, anti-oxidants), red peppers (vit A & C, fibre, folate, iron), grated carrots (beta-carotene, vit K1, potassium), grated fresh ginger (anti-inflamatory, anti-oxidant) and spring onions (nutrient rich and great for digestion).  All those can be thrown into cooked rice in minutes and you will be all the better for it. DM me and I’ll send you my recipe…

Eat Sustainable

25% of the heavy goods vehicles on our roads are transporting foods (source: DEFRA report).  It floods our struggling atmosphere with emissions. It also means a lot of our food circles the country before landing on someone’s plate.  If you have local options – give them a go.  The benefits of eating food less travelled is that it has less baggage (sorry!) and tastes all the better for it. 

Next, check out the labels on your foods.  It takes a few extra seconds, but try choosing foods that are Fairtrade, MSC (for fish), RSPCA approved or no palm oil. When you do, you are choosing food made by organisations that care about the planet and what’s on it.  The more we do that, the more positive our food footprint.

Talking of which, any idea how much food we waste?  Let’s talk packets of bread, to take one scary example. The UK throws out 1 million loaves of bread a day.  It’s an easy one to solve too – buy less, or buy one and freeze half (bread loves the freezer).  For more tips on making more sustainable choices, try reading:

And if you want to add sustainable and delicious together, try some of the new zero waste cookbooks – there’s lots of inspo’ out there. 

Final thought – we can all benefit ourselves and the planet by eating more plants.  No just fruit and veg, but grains, pulses, spices & seeds.  Wherever you sit on the spectrum of avid meat eater to pure vegan, you can always add more plants to your diet.  If you are a meat eater, try a meat free day or eating vegetarian or vegan at breakfast or lunch.  If you are a vegan, try more cooking from scratch with a variety of plants.  Check out the ‘Green Roasting Tin’ and new ‘Green Barbecue’ book from Rukhindi Iyer as lovely & easy places to start (or one of our classes (!) – all our virtual classes can be made vegetarian or vegan).

Eat Seasonal

We have been coaxed into a world where a strawberry at Christmas wouldn’t raise an eyebrow and an asparagus in your local supermarket that has travelled from Peru is natural.  Whilst it is great to support exporting economies in need, there is so much to be gained from eating produce at the time that it naturally grows – and enjoying it in the moment before (be brave now!) saying goodbye to it until next year. 

Food often comes in the season when we need it the most. Think root vegetables nourishing us in the winter frosts and juicy strawberries and elderflower cooling us in the summer.  So maybe grab a little knowledge on what to enjoy when, to appreciate it at its best, cheapest and naturally ripest.  This is a great place to start for the UK picture:

Enjoy nature’s chosen cycle and relish the here and now.  It will taste amazing.

Eat Sociable!

Saving my favourite until last!  We are sociable creatures.  This year has reminded so many of us how much we enjoy sitting around a table with friends and family and how much we have missed doing that.  Breaking bread with others is a pleasure and a massive well-being boost. 

It also teaches us to slow down (nothing like a TV dinner to get you eating on auto-pilot shovel mode!) and appreciate our food.  It helps us to share big dishes over stories from the day.  For kids, it is the first step in learning how to eat in a way that supports their digestion and gives them the chance to start communicating socially (although teens are maybe given dispensation – it’s a tough gig sometimes!).  It also helps us make better food choices.  If we sit down to eat a meal, chances are we are going to pick much healthier and balanced choices than if we grab and go. 

I am not suggesting a return to Bridgerton style, opposite ends of the table, candelabras and food domes.  More, that wherever you choose to eat, if there are others in the house, office, garden, eat at the same time as them and share food together.  A research paper from Oxford University “Breaking Bread: the functions of social eating” concluded this: “the more people eat with others, the more likely they are to feel happy and satisfied with their lives”.  And wouldn’t you want that for everyone?

Our classes are all about having some fun whilst you make or watch simple, delicious recipes, full of the good stuff without any of the stress and fuss. They are there to inspire you to give some of these ideas a go.

Find out more at:

Good food vibes.  Enjoy.