Vocabulary: Food and health

Ahora que se acercan unas fiestas de Navidad llenas de comilonas, no queríamos irnos sin repasar el vocabulario de una parte tan importante de todas las festividades. Tanto en Nochebuena, como el día de Navidad, Nochevieja, Año Nuevo, Roscón o el Día de Reyes, hay comida típica con platos tradicionales de cada zona o país, pero para que nos acordemos de los ingredientes y los productos básicos, os animamos a repasar este vocabulario.

Además al final del post os proponemos un WRITING para que nos lo enviéis al mail y así trabajar un poco este tema, pero sin mucho trabajo, que estos deberes podéis hacerlos hoy y mañana mismos los tenéis corregidos.

Food and healthy diet is a typical topic in Cambridge and TOEIC exams, for this reason we have decided to give you some vocabulary and idiomatic expressions you can use in your writings.

At the end of the vocabulary you have a writing exercise to do, you can send it by mail if you want our teachers to correct it or you can hand it in.

Types of food

Meat (or “red meat”): carne (roja)

Poultry (or “white meat”): carne (de ave de corral)

Game (“wild” meat): carne (de caza)

Fish: pescado

Seafood: marisco

Vegetables: verduras

Fruit: fruta

Food groups

Fats: grasas

Oils: aceites

Protein: proteína

Dairy: lácteo

Grain: grano, cereal

Sugar: azúcar

Ways of cooking food

Boiled: hervido

Steamed: al vapor

Fried/sauteed: frito

Stir-fried: salteado

Roasted: asado

Grilled: cocinado a la parrilla

Baked: cocinado al horno

Stewed: guisado


Starter/hors d’oeuvre/appetiser: entrante, aperitivo

Main course: plato principal

Dessert/pudding: postre



1- Alive and kicking: (also be alive and well) to continue to be well, healthy or successful.

Example:  Don’t worry about your grandmother; she is alive and kicking.

2- As blind as a bat: If someone is as blind as a bat, they are nearly or completely blind or they are unable to admit problems or bad things.

Examples: Without her glasses, she is as blind as a bat.
She is as blind as a bat when it comes to her husband’s shameful behavior.

3- A bag of bones: an extremely thin person.

Example: She’s turning into a bag of bones. She has lost a lot of weight.

4- Be full of beans: said about someone who is active, lively, healthy and has a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

Example: He’s always full of beans when he goes to school.

5- Be sick and tired of: be angry and bored because something unpleasant has been happening for a long time.
Another variation of this idiom is: be sick to death of .

Example: I’m sick and tired of hearing your complaints!

6- Bitter pill to swallow: (Also swallow a bitter pill) Said about something unpleasant that must be accepted or endured.

Example: After the disappointment and defeat, to declare bankruptcy was a bitter pill to swallow for him.

7- Black out: to lose consciousness.

Example: Mary blacked out when she fell.

8- Hale and hearty: in a good health.

Example: In spite of her old age, she looks hale and hearty.

In bad shape: In bad physical condition.

Example: John is in bad shape. He needs to exercise and go on a diet.

9- In the best of health: very healthy.

Example: He’s in the best of health because he goes to the  gym regularly and doesn’t eat junk food.

10- Just what the doctor ordered: exactly what is required or wanted.

Example: John: Apple  juice? / Mary: Thanks! Apple juice is just what the doctor ordered.

11- Nurse someone back to health: to look after a sick person until he recovers.

Example: He is lucky to have such a caring mother. She was glad to nurse him back to health.

12- Picture of (good) health: in a very healthy condition.

Example: The doctor told him that he is a picture of good health.

13- Poison pill: This phrase refers to a type of defensive tactic used by companies against a takeover.

Example: A lot of  companies have used poison pill strategies against hostile takeovers.

14- Safe and sound: safe and without injury or damage.

Example: The kids returned from the excursion safe and sound.

15- Take a deep breath: This is an idiomatic expression that means to pause, especially in order to make oneself feel strong and confident.

Example: He took a deep breath before doing the most difficult  part of his work.

16- As fit as a fiddle: to be healthy and physically fit.

Example: Despite being over 80, my grandmother is as fit as a fiddle.

17- Clean bill of health: a report or certificate that a person or animal is healthy.

Example: The doctor gave me a clean bill of health after my annual check-up.

18– Go under the knife: To have an operation in surgery, often cosmetic surgery.

Example: Rose went under the knive two years ago for her spleen removed.

19- Black and blue: bruised, showing signs of having been physically harmed.

Example: Her knee was black and blue after falling off his motorbike.

20- White as a sheet: (also as white as a sheet) said about someone whose face is very pale because of illness, shock or fear.

Example: Mary  looks as white as sheet. She  must be very ill.            



 You have seen the following advertisment in a young people’s magazine.

Write your article in 140-190 words.

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