Topic for Today - CHALENGE TWO - LET’S EAT

Challenge Two - Let’s Eat (Good, fresh, healthy is proven to have a positive effect on our mental wellbeing)

A good meal can really lift your spirits & do great things for your mind and body!  Make it for yourself or to share…

Giving our bodies a lovely mix of all of the things that they need and cutting back on some of the stuff that isn’t so good is a great way to help yourself and to support your mental health.

A well balanced diet that mixes up different kinds of protein (fish, cheese, meat, nuts) with great carbohydrates (rice, past, potatoes) and fantastic vitamins and minerals (fruit and vegetables) means you body has everything it needs to keep going and to repair itself when we need to.

It can be hard to do this all the time, fresh food can seem or even be, more expensive.  Lock down has limited what we can get and from where and we can loose a little interest in preparing and cooking food over time.  If we are all honest we know there are times it just seems easier to reach for a ready meal or a packet of crisps to stave off hunger.

So you challenge today is to dig deep and make yourself something great that you and your body are going to really appreciate.  Make it fresh, make it bright and make it colourful - raid your cupboards and try to get as much fresh produce in there as possible!  And then take a picture and show us what you did!  Nature provides all our wonderful food, the fresher it is the better it is so if you have something growing in your garden or pots that you can also eat – that would be fantastic.  And if not – why not think about planting some herbs on a window ledge or potatoes in a pot? Gardening and seeing things grow is also great for our mental health.
PS if you share that meal with an old or new friend it will also boost your wellbeing and help you do something lovely for someone else too

Here are a couple of web sites that might add some inspiration - but don’t let them limit you, get creative with your cupboards, start a trend for banana casserole or curried orange soup!

Now we’d also like to think about how you are eating you food.

Where and How 
It might sound strange but eating healthily also includes how you actually eat.  So, before you have finished cooking this meal will you also spend a little time thinking about how and where you will eat it - if you can eat at a table that is fantastic, use your favourite pots and cutlery to enhance the enjoyment, and when you are actually eating…. take your time.  Think about your food, how its tastes and feels.

Eating more slowly is proven to be better for you, and also gives you stomach time to work out when it is full so that you don’t over eat.

Eating with Others
If you are eating with others why not take the meal time to talk about what is going on, to remember what you were doing this time last year or imagine what you would like to be doing this time next year.  Share what you are enjoying right now and think about what more you could be getting from this time together.  But it is worth noting, best to avoid phones and digital devices at the table - if you can try and enjoy the time with each other and give your attention to those you are eating with.

Left Overs
Save any left overs, pop them in the fridge for tomorrow, and use your imagination to see if you can turn them into something even more exciting.

Clean Up
Ok, my final top tip is to clean up pretty quickly after the meal if you haven’t been able to do it as you prepared.  There are few things as miserable as staring at last nights dirty dishes when you get up in the morning.  So, get it all cleared away so you can start your next meal time fresh.

Who knows, maybe this Challenge can kick start a healthier eating habit in your house!

If you want to, please post on our Facebook page to show us the meal you made or maybe the people you shared it with.

Now the final bit of the challenge is that if you have enjoyed the process and can afford it (please don’t give us money that you need for other things) then please donate via our Virgin Money page to help us keep reaching out and building a more connected, caring, creative and kind world for us all.  

Ok, well that’s it for today - See you tomorrow…..

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