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Wellbeing event explores the correlation between what we eat and how we feel

On Friday 1 November Church House Westminster hosted a wellbeing event for event professionals. The event took place in the Bishop Partridge Hall and was attended by almost 50 people from the events industry. 

Guests arrived from 12.30 pm for a drinks reception with canapés, which included several plant-based options. The speaker, Joy Phillips, founder of KitchenJoy Cookery School, then delivered a talk about 'Good Mood Foods', which was followed by a Q+A session. Healthy bowl food and a wellbeing buffet were served after talk, during which time guests embraced the opportunity to network with their fellow peers and join a tour of the Westminster venue's versatile event spaces.

The idea for the event was conceived in response to the everyday pressures and stress working in the events industry.  What we eat can enhance and improve our performance, mood, and health. The direct link between our gut and brain proves that what we eat has a direct link to how we feel. 

During her talk, Joy highlighted the foods that may have a positive effect on our wellbeing and physical health, helping us to feel happy and more energised. Conversely, Joy also shared with us what foods to avoid.

More of this:

  • Oily fish for omega 3 fats. Ideally, the smaller the better, as it means less mercury. Support your local fishmonger. Don't eat fish? Opt for chia, flax, hemp seeds, and edamame.
  • Nuts - walnuts and brazil nuts (no more than 6 a day to get the optimum amount of selenium for a good night's sleep).
  • Chocolate - 70% cocoa content, the darker the better.
  • Vitamin D - to make up for the lack of sunshine throughout the year.
  • Magnesium -  for healthy muscles and a good night's sleep
  • A wide variety of vegetables - aim for the 40 fruits and vegetables challenge a week: try to eat at least 40 different types of fruit and green vegetables every week.
  • Power foods - energy-supplying foods that make you feel fuller for longer such as bananas, brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, oats, and kale.

Less of this (or moderate your intake):

  • Coffee - two or so cups a day, depending on the type of coffee you drink.
  • Meat - aim for better-sourced meat, so support your local butcher. Chicken and especially turkey are great options. The latter is a good source of trytophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid.
  • Avoid processed food which may cause heart disease. This goes for rich foods as well. 
  • Sugar - avoid the risk of developing diabetes. What we eat has all the natural sugars we need.

The menu which featured healthy food and drinks was designed by our Head Chef, Nick Seckington. Items included:

  • Canapés included pumpernickel with avocado and beetroot, and crispy banana blossom, pickled grapes, and compressed cucumber. 
  • Bowl food such as cauliflower couscous and sushi rice with seared tuna, sea herbs, and pickled daikon. 
  • A wellbeing buffet consisted of
    • protein station with lemon poached chicken supreme, baked eggs with smoked haddock, and chickpea, carrot and beetroot sliders with crispy fennel.
    • a salad station featuring Asian slaw.
  • A sweet treat to end the afternoon came in the shape of a "make-your-own-ice-pop bar", where guests could choose to dip colourful mango-and-coconut ice pops in dark, milk or white chocolate before adding toppings such as fruits, nuts, and cocoa powder.
  • Drinks included ginger shots, a Virgin Mary with beetroot (instead of tomato juice, the latter is quite high in sugar), watermelon water and English sparkling wine.

View a video of the wellbeing event on Vimeo. 

Commenting after the event, Business Development Manager, Marina Papadopoulou remarked, "Speaking with so many event professionals this afternoon has underlined how important it is in our industry to maintain a healthy diet to support our mental health. Meeting tight deadlines, multi-tasking several events at the same time and the always-on culture can seriously impact our wellbeing. One way to combat this is to make sure that we are eating the right foods, and there are so many clever and easy ways of doing this".   

How does Church House Westminster support wellbeing in events as a venue?

  • Event spaces are designed with wellbeing in mind, with most rooms offering plenty of natural daylight and stunning views of Westminster Abbey. 
  • Our location in tranquil Dean's Yard offers peace and quiet to conference delegates
  • Event spaces provide flexibility for a great variety of layouts including informal setups. Event organisers can theme the venue and our in-house audio-visual team can offer plenty of ideas to transform the rooms with lighting.
  • Church House Westminster also makes a charitable donation for every wellbeing working lunch sold. Catering menus can be designed according to client requirements which reduces wastage. 

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