It’s no secret now that I have quite a high interest in how food can improve our wellbeing. In the last 3 years I have been reading up and following blogs that practise eating to feed and nourish us to help us feel that we are the best version of ourselves. When I was asked if I’d like to join a Food for Wellbeing course run by Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine, I jumped at the chance. The course would take place one evening a week, for 6 weeks. The venue was the fantastic space at Bakesmiths, Bristol.
Integrative medicine focuses on the whole person. It combines conventional and holistic approaches together to improve health and wellbeing. It actively supports lifestyle change and self care.
The Food for Wellbeing course was to be led by a team of experts; Elizabeth Thompson is a holistic doctor and CEO of The Portland Centre, Helen Cooke is a nutritionist with 25 years of experience, Helen McCarthy is a psychologist who offers programmes for permanent weight loss, Francine Russel is a food educator with an interest in mindfulness. We were also joined by 2 more food educators; Bev Campbell and Jane Morrice.
The course brought together tips around cooking healthier food from scratch; psychological expertise; and nutrition and medical knowledge to help us understand why food is so important for our health and overall wellbeing. During the course, we also had the opportunity to find out more about the role of exercise in health and wellbeing.
Each session also contained a practical demonstration with the community food educators, a delicious shared meal, and a variety of input from experts interested in non-drug approaches to health and wellbeing. Some sessions contained group participation; we all got to make some lovely overnight oats. We were given a selection of recipes to try and make at home, like this hummus.
We looked at which foods to eat regularly (hello vegetables and wholegrains!) and which to eat sparingly (dark chocolate…sob). We focussed on mindful eating, which is something I need to practise much more. We also talked about foods which are anti-inflammatory, and pre-biotic and pro-biotic foods.
I found the course to be really informative, and I particularly enjoyed hearing Helen Cooke speak about nutrition. We also had a session on raw foods, and had a delicious raw dinner together after the session. Our cookery demos from the food educators cemented the fact that eating a healthier diet doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. For each demo, we covered 3 or 4 dishes that anyone can make, and were given the recipes to take home with us.
The next course will begin in Autumn 2017, and if you’d like to find out more,
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Disclaimer; I was given a complimentary place on this course. I was not paid to write a positive review. Anyone who encourages food for wellbeing and improving health is fab in my eyes. Thank you for supporting those who support this space.