These days there is a day or a week for everything from the slightly-silly-but-very-yummy foodie celebrations like International Donut Day, to crucially important awareness-raising events such as Mental Health Awareness Week.
This week, 14th – 20th May 2018, it’s National Vegetarian Week and Mental Health Awareness week, both of which are great opportunities for inciting action and awareness into important health related issues. We’ve spoken quite a lot recently on our blog about mental health; how to build a mental health tool kit, our favourite self care rituals and an interview with a life coach professional, but we haven’t talked that much so far about our plant based ethos. Actually, we’d argue that these two weeks couldn’t be better matched: There is a huge correlation between the food we consume and how happy it makes us feel. We’re not talking about comfort eating, although sometimes that is just 100% necessary (pass the chocolate plz), but more about the well researched and documented “gut brain connection.”
If gut health isn’t on your radar yet, have a read of this blog post to get clued up. Essentially, your balance of good and bad bacteria that you so hospitably house in your gut will drastically affect your mental state. Serotonin, the happy hormone, is produced in the gut after all.
One of the best ways to boost your good gut bacteria is to eat a diet that is rich in a variety of whole, unprocessed foods. The same meal deal at lunch time every day means that you deliver the same bacteria day in day out and it’s a sure fire way to an unhappy tummy, impaired immune function and an unhappy digestion. We aren’t outspokenly vegan or vegetarian at CPRESS, yes our food tends to all be plant based, but we’ve got your health in mind here rather than ethics. An organic, plant based diet is a sustainable method of maintaining optimum health as much of the animal products we consume these days tend to be heavily processed and if not organic or grass fed, can contain harmful antibiotic and pesticide residues.
Plus there’s the undeniable mental positivity that comes from eating healthily. We all know the feeling of the post-cake low right? You hate yourself a bit for indulging so much, you get a sugar rush followed by a horrible crash that only encourages consumption of more naughty treats later on. Just so that you know, we are definitely not anti-cake! Far from it! Indulgences can be positive mental experiences as well. Think how different you’d feel afterwards if you ate the cake feeling happy and positive, knowing that you follow a balanced diet that is on the whole unprocessed, full of veg and all the good stuff. This act of mindful eating is really taking hold at the moment in the London wellness scene, and we couldn’t be more supportive of that. Food is there to enjoy, not make us feel bad.
On the flip side, a few days of eating well gives you that amazing buzz, the one that lift’s your spirits because you know that you’ve been taking care of your body, and that in turn makes you happy and positive. So this week, enjoy all the yummy plant-based fare you can get your hands on. Eat it mindfully, indulge in lots of good gut-boosting fermented foods like sauerkraut on your salad or a kombucha during that mid afternoon slump, and you’ll be feeling great in body and mind in no time.