Winter Calls for Favourites

Among the many things I strongly dislike about winter is this lethargy brought about by cold temps in the morning, that then shift to high temps in the afternoon, before coming right down again.

It takes its toll on the body, in all honesty, and I am sometimes caught on the back foot.

The sniffles tend to accompany me most of my way, as this up and down jump is not ideal.

I’m like, if it’s going to be cold, let it be cold the whole time, then I am prepared for it. If it chooses to be hot, let’s work with that. Is that too much to ask?

Truthfully speaking, winter in Namibia is always a wild experience. You never know what you’re going to get.

As always, there are those that can’t wait to get back to full-blown summer, but who will be the first to complain when it gets too warm. We still love them, though.

The fluctuating temperatures that vary drastically between day and night mean it’s important to maintain not only your physical health but also your mental well-being.

Your diet plays a crucial role in how you feel, and during the winter months the right nutrition can help stave off mood swings and lethargy.

Foods to Boost Your Mood in Winter

Oily Fish: Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are crucial for brain health and can help reduce symptoms of depression. Omega-3 supports the structure of brain cells and are involved in signalling pathways that regulate mood. While salmon is on the pricey side, sardines can be easily acquired in various forms.

Greens: Spinach, kale and other leafy greens are packed with folate, a B vitamin essential for brain function. Low levels of folate have been associated with depression. Including these greens in your diet can help boost your mood and energy levels.

Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium. Magnesium plays a significant role in mood regulation and has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression.

Whole Grains: Whole grains like oats, brown rice and quinoa provide a steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. This helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, preventing the energy dips and mood swings that come with consuming refined sugars and processed foods.

Berries: Berries such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, which are linked to depression and mood disorders.

Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate, in moderation, can be a mood booster. It contains compounds that enhance the production of serotonin and endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.

Below is my recipe for pulled chicken, one of my favourite dishes, which goes well with anything from pap and rice to tacos and on buns.

Pap and Pulled Chicken

6 chicken thighs

8 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons mixed herbs

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp curry powder

2 tsp dry ginger

2 tbsp barbeque sauce/sweet chili sauce

1 onion, sliced

3 spring onions, diced

2 cups mushrooms (optional)


  1. Fill a large pot up to ¾ full with water and place on medium heat. Place the chicken, along with the garlic and all the herbs and spices, except the curry powder, in the pot.
  2. Let the chicken cook and boil on medium for at least 4 hours (which can be shortened if you are using a pressure cooker).
  3. Remember to add water and maintain the water level between half and ¾. When cooked, strain the chicken, preserving the liquid.
  4. Shred the chicken with a fork and set aside. Meanwhile, to the same pot, add oil and place on medium to high heat
  5. Sauté the onions until soft and add the curry powder. Add mushrooms and stir until cooked through before adding the chicken back and lightly fry it. If needed add a touch more oil so as not to have the chicken dry out.
  6. Add barbeque sauce and green onion at the end before serving.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News