It’s ironic that I would be invited to such an event as the one
Liberty Living is a major provider of student accommodation in the UK, and this event was part of their #LibertyLivingHealthy campaign which aims to encourage students to take care of themselves. They have Mental Health Hubs on campuses and these workshops,
We were welcomed into the event space at Fora by a choice of Kombucha, the most delicious apple juice or bubbly, and the most wonderful spread of finger food and dips ever. I am in love with their beetroot and their turmeric spreads in particular, so much so I borrowed a
The evening was split into 3 workshops covering 3 main areas of wellbeing, and the chance for networking or getting a massage (which was so popular it turned into an occasion of networking too as we all queued for our turn!). My group started with the nutrition workshop, which is the one from which I got the most out. The lovely nutritionist, whose name I believe is Anastasia (I have bronchitis and my brain is fried so I
She gave us some really good
Maintaining Healthy Blood Sugar Levels:
– Eat protein with every meal and snack
– Avoid refined sugars and grains
I am really bad at this last one, a lot of my midday meals end up being some form of vegetarian whole-grain GF pasta a few hours after some whole-grain porridge or low sugar cereal of some kind and I’m hungry again within the next 4h.
– B12: in animal foods, if vegan use supplements
– Omega 3 fatty acids: in oily fish and walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds
– Vitamin D: test vitamin D levels and if below 70nmol/L supplement 1000iu-4000iu per day depending on needs
– Antioxidants: eat a wide range of vegetables a day to increase antioxidant levels, aim to eat a rainbow at lunch and dinner
Now, this wasn’t entirely new to me, except that I had no idea just how many things my vitamin D deficiency affected. Is it any wonder I have been running on empty and trying to fuel myself with short-term solutions just to cope with the bare minimum of working life? Never again.
– Eat fermented foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir
– Avoid processed foods and sugars
– Rotate vegetables on a daily basis to increase bacteria diversity
These tips were not entirely new to me either, but I took it all as a push to get back to a book I had read in the past and the gut-friendly diet
My second session was a yoga class, although the stretches and poses involved are common to a variety of other mat-based exercise routines I have done over the years. One thing I have
- Reduce stress
- Increase your concentration
- Understand the mind and body connection
- Gain strength and stamina
- Improve balance and stability
- Improve posture
- Develop body awareness
- Breathe better
- Increase your energy
- Be more mindful
I was surprisingly not tired, which is strange considering that not only I’m down ill now, but I was just back from Rome and I had been running around like a headless chicken ever since pretty much July…maybe the sun and the vitamin D spray I’ve been taking ever since the blood test results came back have had some impact. Even just one tiny stretch in the middle of the day can make a difference, and the poses I have learnt this time make a great addition to the desk exercises from the Fellowes event which I am still implementing.
Our final session (before I got a chance at a massage) was the mindfulness workshop. I have to admit I have a love/hate relationship with mindfulness meditations, some of which are way too Buddhist for me, but I went along anyway as the moderator said we were under no obligation to do something we were uncomfortable with (and I am really uncomfortable with positive pep talk to myself, it turns out). On a very basic level, some mindfulness techniques were a part of my CBT a while back, especially walking paying attention to my surroundings instead of lost in my thoughts, but it was a good relaxing half an hour even if not much of it was really new.
I may know the theory but I often fail to put it into practice, and the environment was also very good for unlearning some of the misconceptions I had acquired from previous experiences. 3 long breaths can be enough without needing to make time to jump into a 10 minutes long meditation when you just can’t. Consistency is a more powerful thing than the length when it comes to mindfulness. Prayers like the Jesus Prayer of the Desert Fathers go really well with focused breathing too, so that’s something to think about whenever I am next stressed out by something that is going to make me rant in self-righteousness to whoever is kind enough to listen.
It was a really good evening after going around so much and never really stopping to think about how well I was doing. I’m grateful for what I have