Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is a term used in Denmark and Norway that embodies the mood of coziness and comfort. It’s that feeling you get on a cold, rainy day or during the holiday season when you lounge around in your comfy clothes and slippers, drinking a hot cup of tea, listening to soft music, and reading or simply taking in the moment. Similar to the word, hug, hygge is the notion of feeling embraced by joy and comfort.
Hygge can be anything you want it to be, anything that will guide you to feeling content. Treating yourself to the pleasure of getting cozy and savoring the moments that make you feel good. Maybe your inner hygge is watching a movie alone, or maybe it’s bundling up and going for a winter walk, there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
One of our favorite ways to “get hygge with it” is to cook up some nourishing and comforting meals that get our hearts warm and make our tummies happy. Grab your friends and cook together, or light some candles and enjoy a dinner for one. Whether you want to get social or embrace your inner introvert, these meals will activate your senses and spoon you some simplicity of life.
The stress of planning, cooking, and shopping, particularly during the holidays, is real. Rather than letting it run you down, stop for a moment and enjoy the process of making a meal from start to finish. Simple tasks like cooking and creating can be therapeutic. They can give you that break you crave and improve your mood by giving your brain a change of scenery. Not to mention the relief you’ll feel when you have meals prepped for the next few days!
Make nourishing yourself a moment of pleasure and self-love. Instead of focusing on nutrition advice you’ve heard from friends or through the media, trust your body’s instincts. Tune in, and listen to the things that make it – and you – feel your best. Each person’s “happy meal” is different. For example, pasta might make one person feel heavy and sleepy, while for others, it can make them feel grounded and satiated. The key is to allow yourself to fully enjoy your food, eat mindfully, and favor meals that give you positive energy.
3 cozy soup recipes
Rebecca Katz, a culinary nutrition expert and creator of Magical Mineral Broth, is a believer in the healing power of soup. She’s passionate about using soup to treat people, seeing it as a reset button that gives your internal organs a rest and helps detoxify your body – all while supplying and supporting you with essential nutrients.
Drinking soup can act as a calming bath for your gut. Think about how good it feels to dip into the tub after a long, tiresome day. Savoring a bowl of homemade soup relaxes your gut and helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is necessary for proper digestion and absorption.
To help you ease into the mood, we’re featuring our top picks of fall and winter-influenced soups. Here are our favorites when it comes to nutrient dense, nurturing soups. For access to all of these soul-warming recipes and more, all you need to do is sign up for 8fit.
What makes this soup a staple across Eastern Europe is probably its wholesome ingredients and delicious flavor. Beets are the main ingredient that give this dish its distinctive red color, and that little bit of sweetness. They provide you with plant-based iron and nitrates, which your body converts into nitric oxide. We’re not talking about the processed and harmful versions, nitrosamines. The nitrates found in plant-based foods like beets actually help improve blood flow and blood pressure. Sauerkraut, another common ingredient, contributes to your healthy gut bacteria.
Chunky chicken & potato soup
When your mom or grandma gave you chicken soup for your cold, she knew what she was talking about. Studies have shown that this age-old remedy can help improve immunity and decrease inflammation. This recipe screams comfort and promotes sustained energy with its good quality protein from the chicken and the healthy potato carbs. Aim for natural and homemade versions, rather than the canned or store-bought types.
Pumpkin soup with ginger-basil garnish
Eating pumpkin when it’s in season during the fall and winter months will help you be penny-wise and make the most of its nutrient-density. It provides beta-carotene which gives pumpkin its beautiful orange color and, more importantly, its powerful antioxidant benefits. Add in freshly grated ginger to enhance the soup’s warming nature, and serve it with a fragrant basil garnish.
Try our 500-calorie version!
- ¼ cups sweet corn (cooked) (~1 ¼ oz)
- ¼ cups unsweetened coconut milk (canned) (~2 oz)
- ⅓ cups white beans/cannellini beans (canned and drained) (~3 oz)
- 1 whole grain bread slice(s), 100% whole grain (~1 ½ oz)
- ¾ tsp fresh basil (chopped)
- ¾ tsp ginger (grated) (~⅛ oz)
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable broth (~10 oz)
- 2 tsp curry paste (~⅓ oz)
- 10 oz pumpkin
- Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half. Remove its seeds, and cut into small cubes. Drain and rinse the beans and corn.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the saucepan is hot, add the curry paste and cook for about 30 sec or until the paste becomes fragrant. Add broth (or water) and the pumpkin cubes, then stir and cook for about 20 min or until soft.
- Once the pumpkin is done, add the beans, sweet corn, coconut milk and heat the mixture. Then blend with a mixer or food processor until smooth.
- Ladle the soup into a bowl. Add the chopped basil and finely grated ginger on top. Enjoy with bread (toasted for a nice crispy texture!).