Pete Evans, celebrity chef host of My Kitchen Rules shares his tips with us on how to prepare for winter.

 

1. How do you keep fit and healthy in Winter?

Pete Evans: “Like anyone, staying healthy during winter can sometimes be a challenge and when it’s cold and miserable outside it’s hard to resist hearty comfort food. The trick is to eat warm and healthily at the same time. I look for low GI carbohydrates such as brown rice or quinoa. They keep me feeling fuller for longer without filling out my waistline.”

2. What things do you do to get motivated in colder weather?

Pete Evans: “To keep myself motivated to stay healthy in Winter, I tend to experiment with fun, exotic ingredients in the kitchen. Recently I worked with SumoSalad to develop a new menu for winter and we were inspired by the Korean bibimbap to create Sumo Bowls. I find fun ingredients like seed and nuts, fresh herbs and in season vegetables make eating healthily more appealing.

I also have a great support system and I think that is extremely important, especially in the colder months. Having an exercise partner to push you out the door or a healthy eating companion to help you stay on track is the difference between staying healthy and adding extra kilos.”

3. What exercises do you recommend in the cooler months?

Pete Evans: “I am not an exercise expert but the best advice I can give is not to let the weather break your routine, both with exercise and food.

If running or swimming works for you, don’t break a pattern just to avoid the cold. Instead, wear a warmer jacket or a wetsuit. Similarly, don’t let the cold ruin a healthy diet and the hard work you’ve put in throughout the year.  Sacrificing routine – which is so important to your body – to hide from the cold, is really counterproductive.”

4. How do you avoid catching the dreaded Winter flu?

Pete Evans: “During Winter, I am even more conscious of the ingredients I include in my meals. I find having a healthy portion of nutrient rich foods in my meals is important to keep my immune system revving. Flavoursome foods like ginger, garlic and fresh herbs also boost your immune system.

An easy way to stay healthy is to incorporate easily accessible, super healthy ingredients like spinach and broccoli, into your diet. Winter isn’t all just doom and gloom, nutrient-rich root vegetables like beetroot and ginger are actually in peak season. I am also a fan of olive leaf extract to help fight off colds and flus for the whole family.”

5. What nutritional Winter meals do you recommend?

Pete Evans: “The best advice I can give is to make sure you’re eating a nutritious lunch. I see many people make bad choices at lunch because they don’t have time. Dieters often also avoid carbs but good carbs like low GI brown rice and quinoa fill you up, so you aren’t tempted to have a naughty 3pm snack.

My personal favourite at the moment is my Teriyaki Salmon & Snow Pea Sumo Bowl at SumoSalad. I made sure there was a generous helping of brown rice, red & white quinoa and lean protein so that winter lunchtimes can be fast, healthy and filling, all at the same time.”

6. What are some key ingredients to add to your meals in winter?

Pete Evans: “The more colour on your plate, the more goodness you are getting. Simple veggies such as beetroot, spinach, and broccoli are readily accessible and are perfect for winter. If you’re after something more exotic, than SumoSalad has begun to incorporate ingredients such as quinoa into their meals and they are a great way to grab your daily dose of nutrients on the go.”

 

Interview by Despina Skordilis