So long summer – and our appetite for cool salads.

If summer is the season for drinking, winter is the season for eating. There’s just something about cold weather that stokes a dormant craving for all things high-calorie, comforting and covered in chocolate. Suddenly, wafts of freshly-baked buttery croissants fill the air and every cafe counter seems to be stacked with warm banana bread, sweet muffins and cakes. The city streets become a maze of decadent treats and even the self-confessed wellness foodies among us find the calling of winter cravings too tantalising to ignore.

If you’ve found your sweet tooth has flared up significantly and your anxious about your ability to maintain your healthy eating habits, there are ways to curb the cravings. For those of you working in the city and looking for a nutritious (and warm) winter lunch, we’ve compiled a list of meals that will not only nourish your body – but your inner #fitspo guru too.

First things first though; it’s always okay to indulge a little. Starving yourself never ends well and deprivation solves no problems. The healthiest diets are the ones that allow you a little of everything, everyday. (Cue collective sigh of relief).

Here’s 5 healthy winter lunches that won’t ruin your wellness game-plan.


Pho is the silent champion of winter lunches. You’ll often find between freezing temperatures and the lure of warm coffee, that the recommended 2-litres-of-water-per-day rule is only remembered around 10:30pm when you’re climbing into bed. Do better tomorrow, and keep your water intake up with a hearty chicken, beef or vegetable pho. Healthy hydration and satisfyingly slurpable noodles? That’s some alliteration we can firmly support. 

healthy winter lunches

Rare Beef Pho – Phi Yen


Soup, without contention, is the best part of winter. Chicken noodle, minestrone, beef goulash, pumpkin; when the chilly months roll around we eagerly welcome soups back into our lives like old friends and beg them never to leave. But be wary; while we often presume soups are innocently water-based and therefore personal trainer approved, many have more sinister motives. Cream-based soups can be loaded with unwanted fat and calories, so try keep to broth-based soups full of seasonal vegetables and proteins. Our lunchtime go-to? A hearty serving of Slurp’s chicken veloute soup with a wholegrain roll ($12). We missed you, old pal. 

healthy winter lunches

Superfood Bowls

Good-quality, low-fat protein is essential for winter meals. Not only are protein-rich foods like lean meat, legumes and nuts low GI, but they help stablise blood-sugar levels. This prevents mid-afternoon snacking on sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods.That’s right; we know about that 3:30pm donut you were planning.

When you can’t be bothered weighing out serves of protein, let  Zambrero do it for you. Their IQ bowls ($14.40) are perfectly-portioned with a serve of protein, another of ‘good’ carbohydrates and two of veg. The result: a blissful feeling of fullness that will prevail ’till dinner. Our gallant hero!

healthy winter lunches


Cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, cumin, turmeric – winter spices add depth and warmth to dishes, providing that ‘comfort food’ taste without the extra calories or fat. And the best way to consume them all – in a hearty veggie or lean meat curry. Tikka Turban does a flavoursome mixed vegetable curry ($13) and chicken tikka masala ($16), plus – you can even choose your preferred level of spice. Health-ticked flavour-kick. 

healthy winter lunches

Warm Salads

Warm up your go-to salad with roasted root vegetables, spiced chickpeas, toasted nuts or hot grilled chicken. Or, if you don’t have time to whip one up yourself, simply shimmy those feet of yours over to Sumo Salad’s design-your-own bar. Allowing full-customisation of salads, you’ve been warned that hours may be spent debating the merits of freshly-cooked falafel vs. slow cooked Moroccan lamb, or quinoa vs. brown rice. The true dilemma of our time.

healthy winter lunches

Johanna Borger x