Balanced nutrition – Mental health vitamin

HOW TO SUPPORT YOURSELF THROUGH A BALANCED NUTRITION?

Mental health benefits most from regular and varied meals, and from you considering and choosing the food that is good for your mind and body.

Balance in the main thing!

Tips and tricks that you can try yourself:

  • Before going to bed at night, take a glass of lukewarm water with you. Your body needs it in the morning!
  • Eat fruit separately from other foods. Fruits digest faster in the stomach and eating them together with other foods can cause digestion issues.
  • It’s getting warmer outside! Find a moment to enjoy your lunch outside. It would be great if you could enjoy it together with a friend, even over a video call!
  • Before starting a meal, take a moment to smell the food and enjoy the good smells.
  • Look for foodstuffs that are about to go bad in your cupboards. Consider not buying them anymore and try to plan your meals ahead.
  • Have a meat-free day!
  • Listen to your body after eating. Your body is actually very good at giving signals about what it likes and doesn’t like.
  • Drink a glass of water every time you want to snack on something. Maybe your body is thirsty instead!
  • Keep a food diary! Yes, it is annoying to start and keep up, but try to do it for at least 3 days. You will learn to notice your eating habits and maybe this would be a good method for improving these habits.
  • When possible, try to eat slowly and focus on the taste, texture and colours of the food!
  • Listen to your body when it craves for something! Sometimes the body is asking for a certain type of food, sometimes it’s thirsty instead, but sometimes it’s tired, bored or there’s another unfulfilled emotional need behind the craving!
  • If you tend to skip meals because you are in a hurry, try to plan your meals one day or maybe even a week ahead. This way you don’t have to think about what or when to eat when you have a tight schedule.
  • If you notice that you are a bit nervous or have trouble with concentrating then ask yourself if you are hungry? If so, then try to snack on something.

Tips and tricks that you can try with a team:

  • Agree to drink your morning coffee after not before a meeting and see what kind of an effect it has on your organism. Maybe one of you notices that drinking coffee too early makes them anxious before a meeting 😉
  • If you have your meetings in a single room, take some carrots with you and share them with others. Try to make a habit out of it. If your meetings have moved online, challenge your colleagues to stock up on healthy snacks for the meeting. You may even become the “health guru” of the office!
  • Share recipes with each other! Make a plan to all cook the same meal that night. Have a video call after dinner to discuss how everyone managed and if they liked it.
  • Eating breakfast can be very important for a balanced diet! See if you can move your morning meetings a bit later so that everyone has time to eat breakfast!
  • Challenge each other to change your habits! One glass of water every hour! An apple a day for a week! Dinner before 7pm!
  • If you notice that a colleague of yours is not taking lunch breaks, invite them to have lunch with you.
  • In a smaller team, you could have one person prepare food for everyone and bring it for office lunches during the week.
  • Tips and tricks for teachers who want to teach their children about balanced nutrition:
    • Ask your students to bring their favourite vegetable or fruit that they like to snack on to class. You can discuss what vitamins or health benefits these foods have on you together.
    • Let your students have an inner dialogue with their Feelings and Body. For example, Feelings want to reach out for junk food, but how does your Body react to that? Perhaps they could perform a small play where the dialogue is interrupted by the voice of Reason?
    • At the start of a week hand out CONVERSATION CARDS in your class (you can download and share them online individually or print and cut them out), divide your students in pairs and let them discuss the conversation cards with each other. At the end of the week, discuss how the assignment went and what they noticed.
    • Have a snack break during a video call! You can leave the screes on 😉
    • Fridge BINGO (if you are learning from distance, you can do this over a shared video call; if you are at school, leave some of the tasks as homework):
      • draw a BINGO card and brainstorm different foods to write in the boxes.
      • go and see if you can fill a BINGO line with the foods in your fridge?
      • choose your favourite foods and prepare a healthy snack with them.
      • Share your recipes and thoughts
    • Do a healthy eating exercise in class: investigate foods with different senses: touch, sight, smells with eyes closed, tasting small bites. See if food seems different when eaten slowly and with focus!
    • Homework idea: organise a shared balanced menu and try to have the family prepare the meals together. Discuss your experiences in class!

INSPIRING TALKS ON BALANCED NUTRITION

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