NEW YEAR, NEW JOY
After all the festivities of December, January may feel like the longest month of the year. With friends and colleagues committed to all sorts of New Year resolutions, the question is always how long would these resolutions last?
Here in the office we have taken a more collaborative approach together with the help of our Head Chef Joseph Lovell to cultivate good lifestyle habits. Little changes in food choices and activities will make these habits more likely to continue after January and into 2019.
The start of January signalled a plethora of #veganuary campaigns. Not only do you tend to save money having to buy less meat, but there is the bigger picture of helping the environment by going green and following a plant-based diet. Sustainable food choices ensure a healthy planet and the power of plants promote a healthy mind. If you find it difficult to go completely meat-free in a week, opt for #meatfreemonday. Try this super speedy and easy to follow salad for a tasty evening meal: kale, chickpea and avocado salad.
Not only does the salad tick the vegan box but it is a good option for when you are wanting to detox, which if done correctly, could help shed a few pounds over weeks. Keeping with kale, another recipe worth trying is this kale and apple salad. Probiotics cleanse out your system, help digest food better and aid a better night’s sleep. Also try fermenting cabbage or brussels sprouts in a kilner jar along with your unique spice and flavour combination and use it as a side dish for dinner. On other evenings we tried this detox vegetable soup which was jam-packed with flavour. We also enjoyed this detox water which helped with our #dryJanuary intentions. Not only did we have more energy and enjoyed better sleep, but we also experienced increased focus just by staying hydrated. Use a variety of anti-oxidants like berries, lemons, mint, ginger and turmeric root to promote your heart health, lower your risk of infections and lift your mood.
Smoothies were high on our list as breakfast alternatives during the week and we tried this berry detox smoothie and a kiwi and apple smoothie which were firm favourites by the end of the first week. We snacked on healthy homemade apple crisps during the day to keep our energy levels up.
To avoid the post-lunch energy slump we tried the raw food bar from our working lunch wellbeing menu and wheat-free raw energy bites to raise blood sugar levels steadily and keep them up. Eat a snack half an hour before you know you're likely to slump (usually 2.16pm in the afternoon) because it takes the body that long to convert what you eat to energy.
The most inspirational campaign for us this January was @RedJanuaryUK – which showed ways in which to support your mental health this January by getting active every day. In the office we made sure to take regular screen breaks, going for a walk for 3- 10 minutes, every hour. Try to head outside to allow increased oxygen to the brain. We found that we became more productive when we did. Change up your job activities to engage the mind and body. Do interesting jobs early afternoon. Having a meeting? Remove the chairs, stand and move around. Go for a walk if it is a 1-to-1 meeting. To boost energy, burn essential oils such as citrus scents, along with peppermint and rosemary. Do desk stretches and go for a walk during your lunch break. We are so fortunate to be positioned in Dean’s Yard, which is a beautiful tranquil green space in the heart of Westminster where our daily mindful exercises are put into action. We also did power walking in nearby St James’s Park a couple of times a week, which aided digestion and allowed us to think more creatively.
On the weekends, we allowed ourselves a treat day. We have yet to find a better way than spending a leisurely Saturday or Sunday brunch with friends. We tried and enjoyed sugar-free kale, chive and parmesan pancakes and spinach and banana muffins (there is a vegan version!). Other sweet items included delicious banana and chocolate chip ice cream as well as peanut butter, strawberry and apple slices which was a revelation!
Some of us indulged in #tryanuary where we tried new local London micro-breweries and new brews.
We listened to stimulating podcasts which broadened our horizons and inspired new hobbies and to-do lists. Our three favourite podcasts were:
- The Rewatchables
- Reply All
And at the end of all of this we tried to go to bed earlier some evenings to restore sleep cycles, which we can confirm leaves us all set for 2019 with plenty of energy and creativity for more inspiring corporate events.