Mental Health Awareness Week: 13th - 19th May 2019
Good food is medicine for our heart, mind and body.
Many of us see food as nutrition only or for sustenance. But it’s effect can be far greater. I chose this path, of feeding people because of the immense joy it brings to my life. From our supper clubs to cooking classes, I pour a lot of love into feeding you and my reward is your happiness. Each of us has our own unique relationships with food, easier for some than others.
One thing I know for sure despite not being a nutritionist is how food affects our mood. It can cause us joy when we eat well and share food with others in a positive environment and it can cause us pain when we eat badly and create negative associations with food. These negative associations can result in eating too much or eating too little. Sometimes maintaining a balanced diet can be difficult but we must do our best to eat well not only for physical health but for mental health.
Happy cooks in our London Cooking Class
I believe a great way to start is to learn to cook simple meals. Cooking for yourself is the best way to learn what you and your body like. I also find that cooking and eating together is a great source of joy amongst friends, family or even strangers like we do in our cookery classes. Creating positive and happy memories and associations with food is good for us. Talking more about what we eat, sharing ideas and not judging others on their food choices are all important.
At our feast in Waitrose, a cheerful evening with a guest bursting a ballad or two
Have you thought about how food affects your mood? For #mentalhealthawarenessweek I’d like to share a few tips I follow from Mind.org.uk - The mental health charity.
- Eat regularly to keep your sugar level steady and to avoid feeling tired, irritable or depressed. I struggle with this every day despite cooking for a living.
- Eat foods that release energy slowly like nuts, seeds, oats and whole grains.
- Eat the right fats like omega 3 & 6 rather than avoiding all fats, protein-rich foods and healthy gut foods. Olive oil, nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, avocados, oily fish like salmon, sardines, whole grains, milk, yoghurt and eggs.
- Drink more. Dehydration is bad for your mind and body. I try to drink regularly throughout the day. I struggle to drink enough water but after headaches and bad moods caused by not drinking enough, not to mention dry skin, I do well to make sure I start the day with water and drink as up to 2 litres a day.
- Eat the rainbow. Fruits and vegetables contain amazing nutrients needed daily. I am a fan of eating rather than drinking vegetables.
- Cut down caffeine. It is quite addictive. Sleeping earlier is a better way to enjoy an energised day.
- If you are worried you might be intolerant see your doctor or dietician as many of us self diagnose where there is nothing wrong or worse
I hope we can all work better at eating well. Read more on mind.org.uk and there is also a great podcast on food and mood as seen here
As always I love reading from you. Do share your experiences, ideas and tips with us. If you are a doctor, dietician or medical professional, do share your expertise which will be of great help to us all.
Don't forget to tag me on social media @leratofoods and use hashtag #leratofoods