If you’re anything like us, then in these short, chilly winter days, the thing you crave most when you get home from work is a fast, filling dinner (preferably full of carbs!) and a boxset. But before you reach for the pasta and pesto, or order takeout for the twentieth time, pause. Eating a balanced, varied diet is one of the most important things you can do to support your hair’s growth and strength. This is the ethos behind Philip Kingsley’s famous holistic approach to hair care.
Although it might seem burdensome to cook up a meal that is as wholesome and healthy as it is tasty and warming, it doesn’t have to be. A little planning goes a long way. Here are our tips for building time-efficient winter dinners that both your hair, and your body, will thank you for.
Seek out seasonal veg
There is something very satisfying about being in sync with the planet’s rhythms, and enjoying food that hasn’t clocked up thousands of air miles. From tubers to sprouts to cabbages, our climate supports enough hearty, home-grown winter veggies to brighten up any winter meal – or even to make a meal in themselves. Here are two of our favourites:
Also known as Italian kale, this dark, leafy green is rich in vitamins. It’s delicious in veggie stews, or sautéed with garlic, chilli, a squeeze of lemon and, if your diet allows, chopped anchovies. Just close your eyes and imagine you’re in the Italian sunshine…
Not only does celeriac provide a subtle, nutty flavour, but it is also packed with antioxidants and Vitamins K, C and B6. Blend it into a hearty soup with a slice of crusty brown bread on the side. Or roast it with beetroot, butternut squash and other root vegetables, and toss them into a warming, satisfying bowl with barley or spelt.
Stock your cupboard with the right kind of carbs
It can be tempting to turn to pasta when you’ve had a long day in the office. But regular pasta is a simple carb, whereas complex carbs are far better for you – they support hair health by providing long-lasting, slow-release energy for growth.
Instead of normal spaghetti, try a whole-wheat version. Or go for buckwheat noodles, which can be delicious in Asian-inspired stir-fries and soups.
Likewise, instead of white rice, keep a supply of brown rice or quinoa – both of which can be easily cooked into one-pot meals with your choice of vegetables and proteins.
Source sustainable meat and fish
Protein is the main building-block of hair, meaning that consuming enough of it is essential for your hair’s health. If your diet allows, we’re advocates of eating high-welfare meat or seafood in small, frequent portions. Try sourcing this from your local butcher or fishmonger – though a good supermarket is also fine.
Sustainably caught sea bass, baked whole in the oven with lemon and thyme, is a fantastic option.
So is organic free range chicken. We like our chicken breasts sautéed with onions, aubergines and spices, and served in a whole-wheat fajita wrap with a dollop of yoghurt and some hot sauce (optional!) on the side. It’s a wholesome, filling meal that takes under 30 minutes to make. That’s less time than you’d be waiting for most takeaways.
Let us know your favourite winter warming recipes below!