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Adding Colour...

According to the meteorological calendar, Spring started on 1st March, although with the weather we're having, you may think otherwise. Still, garden colour is emerging with crocuses and daffodils, and the promise of warmer times to come.

Keeping colour and variety in our diet throughout the winter can be difficult, but it's vital to ensure our intake of vitamins and minerals (not only for immunity but for every physiological process in the body), polyphenols (which act as anti-oxidants), anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as fibre, essential for gut health and satiety. Then we too can emerge from winter, ready to 'spring' into action.

Whilst the NHS guidelines remain at five pieces of fruit and vegetables (including salads) a day, the ideal daily intake is actually double that. This is due to the poor nutrient quality in many supermarket foods due to depleted soil quality, increasing levels of pesticides/insecticides, plastic wrappings, as well as nutrient depreciation during long shipping and storage times. Moreover, we live in an increasingly toxic world, so our need for anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories is higher. And because a lot of our supermarket foods are beige in colour within refined/ultra-processed products (if there is colour in these, it tends to come from artificial colourants) and our cooking/preparation time is often short due to other life pressures, it can be hard to get our 5-a-day, let alone 10-a-day.

I therefore thought I'd share a photo of the food I prepared on the weekend, to show you how easy it is to include the ten pieces of fruit, salads and veg, and with all the colours of the rainbow. Note that a portion of nuts, seeds, herbs and spices can count towards your ten a day.


Live natural plain yogurt with blueberries (1) and raspberries (2), mixed plain nuts (3, walnuts, almonds and two brazils), and a sprinkle of home made granola. You can swap the yogurt for kefir, plant-based or coconut yogurt.

Lunch (see above photo):

Salad: rocket (4), watercress (5), chicory (6), tomatoes (7), celery (8), fermented gherkins (9), pickled artichokes (10), sugar snap beans (11), broccoli and lentil sprouts (12), radishes (13), red pepper (14), mixed seeds (15).

Dressing: made with virgin olive oil, turmeric, lemon juice, half avocado, a teaspoon of raw honey, a garlic clove.

Carrot and beetroot salad: grated raw beetroot (16) and carrots (17), with an umami dressing of toasted coriander and pumpkin seeds, virgin olive oil, tamari/soy sauce, grated ginger, lemon and orange juice.

Poached salmon (or any oily fish, fresh, vacuum-packed or tinned in spring water. Instead of fish, meat or eggs, add a portion of legumes or hummus for a Buddha bowl).


As per lunch, but with lentils (18) and mixed grains (19) added to the salad (both vacuum packed), and a portion of steamed samphire (20) which I needed to use up.

Okay, you could argue that whilst there may be many different plant-based ingredients, they don't each constitute a portion. Well firstly, I had these two salads over two meals, and secondly, I had LARGE portions. Plus, if you add the herbs, spices and other ingredients in the dressings...

But you get my point - many varieties and many colours.

And by the way, it took less than 20 minutes to prepare both salads whilst my fish was cooking, and less than 10 minutes to add the legumes to the salad and steam the samphire.

If you don't particularly like salad, roast different coloured vegetables sprinkled with herbs and seeds, make a veggie chilli with different spices, or a slow cooked stew.

So, let's welcome colour into our lives - from the garden AND on the plate! We'll emerge into Spring the healthier for it...


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