Top tips for keeping happy and healthy over the holidays

We know winter and Christmas is going to be different for many this year, and that it may be challenging for people in different ways, whether you are with a family, friends or alone… So, it’s even more important to take care of ourselves, physically and mentally. Here are the team’s top tips to help you along the way:

Mandy, chef : ‘Eat plenty of seasonal veg. Sprouts, parsnips, beetroot, swede, celeriac and carrots are all in season now and are popular Christmas sides, delicious roasted, added to a curry or a soup’.

Helen, programme co-ordinator: ‘Go for a walk nice and early in the morning- whatever the weather. We’ll have lots of wellies and waterproofs to give away to our families in January so there is every excuse to get out and explore with your family’.

Mala, hub manager and food co-ordinator: ‘Eat lots of oranges and apples – vitamin C is key to keeping you feeling bright and zingy on a difficult day’. 

Abosede, chef: ‘Love yourself enough to guard your heart, drink water, eat right, sleep right, exercise right and stay away from stress and negative vibes!’

Ruth, chef: ‘Get creative: collect all the bits of paper you can find, scrap foil, anything you can draw or paint on, then get out some paints, pens, pencils and cover everything with colour! Cut things into interesting shapes: stars, trees, hearts, apples, and collage them together on a big piece of paper or sheet. You can do different shapes and colours for different moods’.

Serena, programme assistant:  ‘Listen to some morning affirmations or meditation music whilst getting ready in the morning. Show appreciation and gratitude for life’.

Sue, director: ‘eat a piece of fruit every time you have a chocolate treat. It makes you feel more satisfied and less likely to eat too many’.

Alison, chef: ‘Talk to your neighbours if you can – distanced of course but make connections. Say hello and smile. It can make someone’s day. Don’t be too hard on yourself, take one day at a time’

Penny, digital hub manager: ‘Eat the rainbow of nutrient rich fruits and veg –  Especially vitamin D rich foods (eg mushrooms!) as there is not enough sunlight in a UK winter for our bodies to create it alone’ (vitamin D supplements are also recommended).

Zoe, food co-ordinator/kitchen manager: ‘Variety is key: try to eat at least 30 different plants a week – each one will provide you with different nutrients. As well as lots of fruit and veg, this can include pulses (lentils, beans etc), grains (brown rice, pasta), nuts, seeds, herbs and even spices. Make it a fun challenge and keep a list to track your progress’.