We’ve just gone into the strictest UK quarantine measures in Manchester. But whilst we try to do all we can to protect ourselves from exposure I can see this having a big effect on our immune systems. Colds and viruses creep up in the winter as many of the pillars of good health are forgotten. We spend less time outdoors getting the fresh air and movement our bodies need.
How easy is it to not leave the house all day if you’re wfh? Hibernation means we spend less time with friends and family even without quarantine rules. We feel more tired and sluggish so our sugar intake creeps up too. Then there are those cold days when all you want to eat is stodgy food!
This winter we have the added stress of the pandemic. Arrrgh, you’re either desperate for ‘me time’ or sick of your own company. So now’s a really good time to start creating habits that mean you get fresh air daily; move your body; find recipes that are both cosy and healthy; and connect more even if just on the phone. This super simple tray bake is full of autumn flavour and as the shops are full of squashes and pumpkins you can use any variety you want.
Plant-based eating does not need to be complicated. This recipe uses just five ingredients: squash, pumpkin, garlic cloves, lentils and feta. Add in some olive oil and a sprinkle of cumin and paprika and it’s that easy. Stick it in the oven, set the timer and get cosy.
We know what we need to do to strengthen our immune systems as the days get colder, but sticking to these habits is not always easy. The reality is we slip in and out of ‘good habits’ alllll the time. We generally know what we need to be healthy but the secret is to make actions so automatic we don’t spend too much time debating with ourselves whether to do it or not.
So don’t feel bad about yourself if you’re on the healthy habit rollercoaster too. It happens. I wrote my 5-day healthy habit challenge not because you’re going to have a healthy lifestyle in 5 days- sorry! But to give you strategies to make you more consistent. Click the link to sign up and you’re all set for a healthful winter!
Roasted Squash and Pumpkin, with Lentils and Feta Tray Bake
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small Squash
- 1 small pumkin
- 1 cup lentils, cooked
- 1/2 packet feta cheese
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- Preheat oven to 180 c/ 350 f. Line a baking tray with parchment paper
- Cook the lentils according to packet instructions. I tend to have these pre-cooked so they're ready to use.
- Slice the squash and pumpkin into small 1" pieces. Remove the skin if you prefer.
- In a bowl mix the olive oil with the spices, then add the squash, pumpkin and garlic cloves leaving their skin on, and toss to coat all the vegetables.
- Lay the vegetables on the tray, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 mins
- Take the tray out and sprinkle with lentils and feta. Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes