Your gut nutrition


By Andrea Bursey

Nutrition & Mental Wellbeing 

If you thought food was just fuel for your body, think again! Your mental wellbeing is directly linked to the foods you consume, and you can improve mental clarity and wellbeing from simply choosing better and more nutritious options. During times like these (Covid-19), where we have limited interaction with friends and loved ones, it is particularly important to prioritize mental health and self-care. 


The link between the gut and mental health

Unhealthier options that are high in sugar and fat are often seen as indulgent treats which may result in you feeling happier for a short period of time but leave you sluggish and flat afterwards. The effect of highly processed and sugary foods has also been found to influence your gut microbiome, affecting absorption and digestion which has an impact on various other functions in the body. 

Serotonin is a hormone that regulates sleep, appetite, and mood. About 95% of the serotonin in your body is produced in the gastrointestinal tract (gut). The gut contains millions of nerve cells that help digest and absorb nutrients as well as influence the overall bacteria in your gut. 

Having an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria can limit nutrient absorption and reduce your overall immunity. Boosting certain nutrients like prebiotic fibers and probiotics nourishes the good bacteria to improve your overall gut health. 

Examples of foods that may aid the growth of good bacteria include fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi and kombucha. A highly processed and high sugar diet unfortunately has the opposite effect. 

Check out this blog to explore more on the topic: THE MIND-GUT CONNECTION – HOW TO UNLOCK YOUR GUT HEALTH POTENTIAL

Fueling your best mental performance


Think about your body like a car. Your car functions better when it is fueled with the correct fuel and breaks down when you forget to add fuel or if you use the wrong type. Your body is similar, holistically functioning optimally when you “fuel” it with high quality foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The human brain is fueled directly by glucose, the by-product of carbohydrates. Foods that provide us with carbohydrates include fruit, milk, sugar, bread, and pasta. 

As we all know, not all carbohydrates are created equally. Diets that are high in sugar upset your body’s regulation of insulin, promoting oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. 

A balanced diet with higher fiber carbs like fruit and wholegrains is great for providing the brain with energy to function throughout the day with less insulin spikes, giving you more mental clarity. The frequency at which you eat may also play a role in your concentration and energy levels. Some people prefer to skip breakfast while others thrive on 6 small meals per day. The key is finding your balance and sticking to a plan that suits your needs and lifestyle. 

Protein plays a role in providing our bodies with amino acids which aids hormone balance as well as mood. Including a variety of high-quality protein sources such as beans, legumes, lean beef, chicken, and fish is a great idea to make sure your productivity is at its peak. A regular intake of healthy fats also comes highly recommended for optional brain function. Include fat sources that are high in omega 3 and 6 to boost brain function and reduce inflammation. 

Check out this blog I wrote on intuitive eating: INTUITIVE EATING – COULD IT BE THE ANTI-DIET PLAN FOR YOU?

Eating a variety of foods from different food groups daily will ensure you have a constant intake of different beneficial vitamins and minerals that play a role in your mental and physical health. Diets that are restrictive and ban certain food groups can result in nutrient deficiencies.  

Shopping right

Next time you’re at the grocery store, take the time to fill up your cart with a variety of foods as well as colourful fruit and veggies and fermented foods. Having nutritious snack options on hand is also a surefire way to make sure you don’t reach for the cookie jar next time you’re feeling peckish. 

The final word

Pay attention to what you put in your body and the way that certain foods make you feel. Remember that everyone is different and finding a way of eating that works for you and helps you function as your highest self is something that will take commitment and time, but at the end of the day, it’s well worth it – your mental wellbeing will thank you for it. 

Men's Health


A brief overview

The importance of men’s mental wellbeing has often been overlooked due to the long-existing stigma surrounding men’s mental health. This men’s health month, we want to go deeper into dissecting ideas about masculine roles and gender norms and the way in which this affects the happiness, health and mental stability of men of all ages. 

From turning to community support to trying new ways of doing therapy, there are some really beneficial daily practices that could help men struggling with mental illness everywhere. All that’s needed is an honest and open conversation about mental health struggles and how to start the healing and mental health management process.

Why has men’s mental health been overlooked?

For many people, depression, anxiety or any other disorder is seen as a sign of weakness, and this image is reinforced through everyday behaviour in society, as well as the way we bring up men in our society. From a young age, boys face different emotional expectations than young girls do, and they are given limits as to how they should feel and a quota for how much emotional vulnerability is acceptable.

This life-long fear of being vulnerable has created an atmosphere of toxic masculinity and there seems to be a culture where men are brought up to be strong and keep quiet, even when it comes to real difficulties or obvious signs of mental health struggles. The burden of these societal pressures often stop men who are struggling with real issues from accessing the right resources, reduces their opportunity to seek comfort in community support and prevents them from openly talking about these issues to a professional or loved one.

Help & Support 

These dysfunctional expectations in our society are impacting our health and wellbeing in really serious and often unnoticed ways. Rising suicide and depression rates have been recorded over the last few years and, not only are these pressures weighing on our population’s mental health, but these pressures are also affecting the physical health of men across the globe. For example, there has been an increasing amount of research that points towards a link between high blood pressure and anxiety – which can cause very real and very serious health risks. 

As a society, it is our responsibility to address and eliminate this stigma altogether. Both men and women alike need the space to connect with their inner emotions every day and start implementing small practices in their daily lives that will help them achieve a more mindful outlook and better balanced when it comes to their mental health. 

So, what can we do as a society to encourage healthy ways to heal and give men access to the support they need – without judgement, fear or any type apprehension?

Men’s mental health organizations

Mental health organizations are one of the best resources for men facing mental health struggles. By donating to these organizations or simply recommending one of them to a friend facing mental health struggles, we can encourage the men in our society to access help when they need it – judgement-free. 

These organizations allow men to reach out and connect with other men in the same circumstance who are facing similar struggles. Below are some of the most accessible sites that provide support and give men the right tools to take action and begin the healing process: 

  1. The Men’s Foundation 
  3. National Institute of Mental Health 
  4. HeadsUpGuys
  5. SADAG

Focusing on wellbeing and mind maintenance 

Over the years, research has uncovered a clear relationship between lifestyle behaviours and mental health, and it’s a lot stronger than most people think. Harmful lifestyle behaviours – such as excessive eating, alcohol addiction or sleep deprivation – have a strong correlation to the development and exacerbation of depression. 

This means that encouraging healing lifestyle habits every day, while slowly eliminating the existing stigma surrounding mental health, are two of the most immediate ways to help men struggling with mental health and anxiety to live a happy, balanced life while getting the help they need. 

Men's Health

Below are the 5 most important lifestyle behaviours for maintaining good mental balance: 

1. Essential exercise

The most important lifestyle behaviour that most researchers focus on is the relationship between exercise and depression. 

According to Mayo Clinic, a strong exercise routine and daily workout can relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety tenfold by releasing good endorphins, inspiring social interaction and helping men gain confidence in themselves and their physical ability. 


2. Turning to community

Although friends and family may not understand exactly what someone facing mental illness is feeling, they are still an unbelievably necessary support system and, for most men, these daily social interactions with the most important people in their lives are vital. Friends and family are a key part of the health and mental wellness journey. 

They also play a large part in helping men battling mental illness to start living a more meaningful life by giving them the comfort of knowing that there are people standing behind them as they begin the process of learning to manage their mental health in their own time. 

3. Talking to a therapist

Talking to a therapist weekly (or even daily) can make a world of difference. A licensed professional knows how to tackle these types of problems and manage anxiety, stress or symptoms of depression in ways that most of us are not able to think of on our own. 

Trying therapy is not just about opening up and sharing with another person, but it’s also about developing helpful, life-long strategies that can better equip those living with anxiety or depression to deal with these struggles and live a happy, healthy life at the same time.

Some men may even want to try online therapy – it’s easy, more accessible and lets anyone connect to a source of support without leaving the comfort of their home.

4. Getting enough sleep

Getting enough sleep can single-handedly change the way anyone approaches the day. Fatigue from sleep deprivation can worsen the symptoms of depression, negatively impact your mood and cause anger or impulsivity. A lack of sleep also makes controlling and working through emotional reactions much more difficult. Sleep deprivation alters some parts of the brain over long periods of time, which means it prevents your brain from forming the right pathways that it needs to perform and function for the next day. 

Strategies for getting enough sleep include turning off your TV and phone early in the evening, avoiding mind-altering substances like alcohol or addictive substances like nicotine and keeping the same sleep schedule on weeknights. These small changes could help develop a more consistent sleep schedule and drastically improve your quality of life. 


5. Healthy eating

There is a strong link between diet and mental health. While healthier foods and proper nutrition increase energy, diets high in refined sugar and fats can be harmful to the brain and magnify the symptoms of mood disorders. It’s quite a complicated process but, essentially, the mood mediator – a neurotransmitter called Serotonin – is produced in the digestive tract. 

Unhealthy foods can cause inflammation and take the place of the good nutrients which your body needs for proper functioning and energy. While it’s not an all-in-one cure, healthy eating can really bring everyone a step closer to feeling better and shrugging off the lethargy. It will also allow the body to better produce the chemical it needs to maintain a healthy internal balance. 

Key Takeaways 

Living an active, healthy life can be difficult when you are silently struggling with your mental health. At WellBe&Co, we want everyone to be as healthy and happy as possible. That’s why we want to encourage all our readers to change their outlook and start searching for ways that they can help themselves, their friends or their family members who may be struggling with mental illness or mood disorders to get the help they need. 

It’s clear that these desired, traditional ‘masculine’ traits have set up a generation of men who do not feel they are allowed to have a connection to their inner feelings or mental wellbeing, and, here at WellBe&Co, we don’t want to overlook this. We believe that masculine-related norms are a barrier to men’s health and mental wellbeing and that achieving mental balance and stability is vital for everyone who is currently battling with stress, anxiety depression or any other disorder. 

It’s important to reach out to friends and family, as well as look inwards and use these 5 helpful coping habits to make small changes in your lifestyle every day. Most of all, we hope everyone finds the love and support they need to ask for help. We wish you all a safe, healthy and love-filled men’s health month. 




By: Sarah Braithwaite

The gut-brain connection is such a HUGE topic and recent scientific findings are coming through fast with exciting information on how important gut health really is. This blog simplifies a complex subject into some quick explanations and everyday tips to transition you into a place of better gut health management. 

Besides digesting food and making gurgling sounds, the gut is spectacularly sophisticated and an integral part of our overall health. The term ‘gut-brain’ has been popping up in conversations a lot more frequently lately, and for good reason – science is finally catching up and able to explain just how phenomenally complex and important our gut is. If you are curious to understand and explore the role of the gut- brain relationship, how they communicate and how to optimize gut health, then this article is exactly what you need right now. 

Quick dive into some science basics…

Brain cells are known as neurons and are not only limited to the brain but are actually found in our gut too (and our heart, but that’s for another blog post). Similar to our brain, our gut is also able to perceive, assimilate and process information, as well as store information. Who would have thought? 

In case your memory is a little fuzzy from the school biology days, the gut does not simply equate to our stomach – it includes our mouth, oesophagus, small and large intestines, colon, liver, pancreas, and central nervous system. 

The gut also contains sensory and motor cells and in essence functions like a mini brain. While our head brain is the mothership brain, the gut plays vital key roles in our communication with the brain, and affects our mood swings, immune system function and overall health. Serotonin, a very important mood stabilizer, is produced mainly in the gut (to read more see link to ‘mental health basics’ article), which means that our mood or mental state is definitely influenced by our gut. 


Gut-brain communication

Reflect on your own body here for a minute – when you are super stressed or anxious, do you find that you eat more, or eat less, feel constipated or have a knot in your stomach? 

When you are excited, do you feel butterflies in your stomach? 

When you receive negative news, do you get that ‘gut wrenching’ feeling quite literally? 

And when you are hungry and a sushi advert pops up on TV, does your stomach grumble with delight to let you know that it wants that? 

These are everyday examples of our conscious processing of gut-head communication. However, most communication is happening very unconsciously at lightning speed while you are none the wiser. The communication happens along a superhighways gut-brain axis known as the vagus nerve. Most of the traffic of communication travels from the gut up to the brain and not the other way around, which means that our brains are interpreting and reacting to the goings-on of our gut all day every day.

Explore more: Thriving In Uncertainty: 8 Everyday Anti-stress Tools To Take The Edge Off

Immune function in the gut

Up to 80% of our immune cells are based in the gut, which means our immune system is coming into contact with our environment everyday based on the food we consume. Some foods are nutritional and healing for the gut, while others cause aggravation, inflammation, and discomfort. 

The microbiome located in the gut is the total ecology of microorganisms and if this balance of bacteria is too infested with bad bacteria, we create an imbalance. In fact, these bacterial colonies are so clever that they cause confusion during the gut-brain communication line, and even cause us to crave unhealthy foods that feed the bad bacteria. Serotonin, which I mentioned earlier, is an especially important mood stabilizing neurotransmitter, is produced mainly in the gut and interestingly only a small amount is produced in our brain. 

A happy gut equals a happier mood state. 

Optimizing gut health

Reading and understanding all the latest information on gut health means nothing unless you actually make changes to your lifestyle and prioritize gut health. After all, our immune system is based in the gut, and our gut influences our mental and mood states. 

Besides diet, other factors such as exercise, stress and emotional management, toxicity, and medications can also impact our gut health and mental health. A good quality probiotic can have enormous benefits of gut health by boosting the ‘good bacteria’ and stress can have very negative impacts on gut health. Regular exercise, mindful activities, and consumption of organic fresh produce has been scientifically validated to improve the microbiome and gut health. A healthy gut means a healthy well-functioning immune system and with winter upon us and a global pandemic in our midst, has there ever been a better time to make these changes?

Read more: Making The Most Of Online Therapy: The Secret To Maintaining Mental Health And Mastering Online Session During Lockdown

Tips to optimize gut health:

  • Invest in a good quality probiotic. 
  • Include probiotic rich foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, or organic natural yoghurt.
  • Switch to organic fresh produce that contain healthy microbes and minerals from the soil and are free of pesticides and chemicals.
  • Manage stress responsibly through exercise, journaling, mindfulness, life coaching or therapy.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Remove unhealthy foods containing high sugar levels, chemicals, or processed ingredients.
  • Be conscious of medications and use wisely (especially antibiotics).
  • Be conscious of toxicity in your environment (heavy metals in pots/pans, personal care products, and home cleaning products).

If you are interested in some delicious and gut-loving recipes, check out WellBe’s recipe page here

Parenting Tips


A brief overview

While we have all slowly started to adjust to the new way of going about our daily lives during the COVID19 outbreak, many people are still struggling to adapt to the new system of virtual learning and the added demands of being a parent with children learning at home. Parents are not only having to take on the role of caretakers while juggling the demands of the world of work, but many are also having to become teachers at home too. 

We know that the additional stress of having to guide your child step-by-step through the whole process can be taxing. 

That’s why we’ve put together this virtual learning survival guide to help you maintain balance in your personal life and achieve your health and wellness goals – all while helping your poppets learn at home. To all the parents out there, we hear you and we’re here to help.

What is virtual learning and why do parents find it so stressful?

Virtual learning is a web-based learning environment that allows students to access learning materials and resources using the internet at home. Virtual learning can often be stressful for both the parent and child, and this new way of accessing the classroom may be unfamiliar for children who are used to the type of face-to-face interaction they usually receive at school. It may be particularly difficult for the younger ones to adjust to learning with a lot less physical contact. 

This new way of learning may also create a lot of instability for you as a parent. Suddenly your regular routine has been disrupted and your carefully thought-out schedule has to expand to fit in those extra responsibilities. Virtual learning often means that parents need to put aside some time to help guide their children through the online learning process. Often, children need to be shown how to use this new technology – and you may not even know how to use an online learning system yourself yet. This can be really stressful for parents who are not naturally very tech-savvy. 

But, there’s no reason to panic yet. With a little patience and practice, the process will get easier and easier each time. The important thing to remember is not to absorb this stress. It’s essential that you prevent any unnecessary anxiety from affecting your health, your healing and your well-being. 

The two different types of virtual learning  

There are different types of online learning, each which requires a different degree of support from you as a parent. For example, fully virtual classroom classes are presented synchronously online where students and teachers attend live lessons. This means that it may require a lot less constant attention from your side as you can simply set the lesson up on the computer and the teacher will take it from there. 

However when doing asynchronous online lessons, learners are able to attend pre-recorded classes at any time of the day. While this is the most flexible system and it could help you better fit their lessons around your busy schedule, it may require you to set a more structured routine for your little one. There’s a greater need to create a more disciplined approach to learning here so that the required work gets done and lessons are not skipped or missed. So, what’s the best way to set a study-at-home schedule? 

Setting a schedule and creating a sense of stability 

Learning online at home often means that there is no set timetable or structured routine in the way that there is at school. For both child and parent, this process can be disruptive and some order might alleviate a bit of tension on both sides. By coming up with a fun daily schedule that allows time for learning, outdoor activities and playtime, it might ease some of your anxiety while giving your child the time to take a break and recharge. This gap would also allow you the space to get some of your own work done in between lessons. 

Try to make the learning process as natural as possible. Instead of trying to generate an hour-by-hour timetable, set aside a number of hours a day you’d like to dedicate to class time and allow time for activities such as sport or normal extracurriculars and maybe even have some fun baking a new sweet treat. The trick is to have reasonable expectations. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Some days might be really productive and other days you may not get through everything that you hoped you would – and that’s okay! 


Challenges to learning and stress-free fixes 

Despite the new and unfamiliar challenges that come with virtual learning, there are some small tweaks you can make to your daily routine that will help you manage this new learning system with ease and make the transitions as smooth as possible. So, what are the most common learning problems children have and how do you tackle them?

1. Frequently distracted

If your child is having trouble focusing, it helps to choose a designated study space and remove all potential distractions such as toys or games that are not educational. Whether you decide to set their study area up in your office or in your living room, ensure that this place is quiet, organized and free to be used at any time. 

This doesn’t mean that the room has to be plain and uninspiring. Decorate the room with fun posters, drawing boards or stickers to make the room a place that your child feels comfortable to learn in and excited to be in. Try to make the decoration process a team effort and maybe even paint the walls a fun bright colour together. It’s been said that green is the color of concentrating, and that colour can influence learning by increasing focus. So why not give it a try?

Another idea is to try and meditate or start a daily yoga routine together with your child every morning. It’s never too early to start these types of healing and mind-management techniques. Go out into the garden, find a beautiful spot and place your yoga mats next to each other. Try to do the different yoga poses together or simply let your child sit there quietly and appreciate the sound of the trees and the birds. Meditation is the perfect tool to increase mental focus and improve concentration. This simple morning routine sets a great tone for the day and could help your child learn better later in the classroom while allowing you to have a few minutes each day where you can clear your mind and truly unwind.  

2.  Lack of motivation 

Encouraging online learning can be difficult. But there are a few easy changes that you can make to get your child excited to learn and steer clear of any resistance. Try get them more involved by creating to-do lists and let them tick off everything they’ve finished they go. This will give them a sense of accomplishment and will make them more eager to learn. You could also come up with little things to reward them every time they complete a difficult lesson – such as including more free time and playtime outside for good work. Small things like setting out some healthy snacks to boost their energy might also make a big difference. If they are feeling tired or frustrated, do some fun exercise together outside to get the blood rushing.

While a good study schedule is essential, it might be de-motivating to do the same thing everyday. It’s important to get out of the study space every now and again and have some fun. Run, take a walk or play catch outside – whatever works best for you. A change of scenery and some mild physical activity could be a real game-changer. With these simple adjustments, you’ll maintain a better work-play balance, renew energy, and allow your little ones to go back studying with a clear mind and more motivation. This time outside also gives you the chance to work on your own physical fitness and well-being at the same time.

3. Trouble understanding the content 

No child is the same and while some may adapt easily to this new way of learning, it may take some more time and practice for others. But there’s no need for this to cause a spike in your stress levels. Some confusion is only natural when it comes to something as new as this. As a parent, it’s essential to learn when to let go of these small issues and refrain from absorbing any unnecessary stress. This is the perfect opportunity to practice the art of letting go and effectively manage your anxiety. This tool could really impact your mental health positively over time. 

The secret is patience and approaching the issue with a problem-solving mindset instead of frustration. There are a variety of solutions and a whole range of available resources to assist your child if this method of learning doesn’t work for them the right way. Expand your learning resources to incorporate online tools like PBS kids and CoolMath which will give your little one the extra help they need to engage with the content by explaining these lessons in a different way. Also try looking at something like K-12’s online classes for other types of learning activities to continue school at home during coronavirus. 

Most importantly, make sure that they know they can always ask for help, and be sure to encourage them and applaud them for their progress. You’ll see, they’ll get the hang of it in no time.  

Your health and happiness 

It’s important in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of life to remember to stop and appreciate the good moments. Everyday you can make small changes to take active steps to live a more meaningful life. With the everyday stresses and a never-ending rush, these easy-to-implement, small lifestyle-focussed changes could make a real difference in the state of your mental health and wellbeing. Practices like daily exercise, positive mind training through meditation or yoga and healthy eating habits can do wonders for developing a more positive outlook.

Also be sure to put aside an hour in the day to take a hot bath and spend some time alone with your thoughts. Go into the garden with your favorite book and spend a few minutes allowing mind and body to get in sync with nature, free from any distractions. Make time to focus on your own health and happiness everyday. 

How WellBe can help

At WellBe&Co, our goal is always to help you live as healthy and stress-free as possible. We know that it’s important to try and balance your responsibilities as a parent with your needs as an individual. That’s why we want to give you the right tools to help you live a more mindful and meaningful life. 

Follow our Instagram page to get daily tips and updates about new workouts, healthy eating and inspirational messages that will get you moving towards a more wholesome way of living in no time. We also have weekly blog posts just like this to keep you motivated and help you tackle the week ahead. Our better body blueprint training guide is also a great way to get your fitness journey underway. 

Start the process of achieving a happier, healthier and wellthier you with WellBe&Co today.





Creamy and incredibly tasty, this recipe has the right amount of protein, carbs and healthy fats and is dairy-free! A real comforting meal that is simple yet satisfying.


500 g chicken breasts, sliced into large strips
1 cup coconut flour
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp Italian herbs
1 tsp dried basil
125 g sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 cans coconut milk


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a bowl, mix coconut flour with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken breasts into the flour mixture to coat. Heat olive oil in a large pan (preferably one with high sides). Add chicken breasts and brown for about 5 mins on each side. Remove chicken breasts and place into a large casserole dish. In the same pan, add the onion, garlic, and herbs. Sauté until translucent. Add the sundried tomatoes. Add coconut milk and bring to boil. Keep stirring for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the coconut milk mix on top of the chicken breasts in the casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with rice or wholewheat pasta of choice.

Download Your Sundried Tomato & Coconut Chicken Bake Recipe Here






A one-pan wonder, this sticky chicken recipe is packed with good-for-you ingredients. This recipe maximises on flavour and doesn’t compromise on health benefits. Feel free to add more


1 tbsp sesame oil
2 onions, diced
4-6 chicken breasts or thighs
2 sliced picante or bell peppers
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp honey
¼ cup orange juice
3 sprigs rosemary
2 cups of chopped baby marrows


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, picante peppers, and chicken pieces until lightly browned and transfer to a casserole dish. Mix sauce by combining soy sauce, orange juice, honey, salt, pepper, and chicken broth in a bowl. Pour over. Add fresh rosemary, and chopped baby marrows. Toss together and bake for 40 minutes. Serve with brown rice or wholewheat couscous.

Download Your Sticky One Pan Chicken Bake Recipe Here






A plant-based version of the traditional cottage pie, yet just as comforting and delicious. Perfect to warm you up and a wholesome #meatfree family meal.


2 cans lentils, drained
1/2 punnet mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
2 carrots, grated
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 can chopped tomato
2 tbsp tomato puree
½ tsp basil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
400-500 g sweet potato chunks
½ cup nut or coconut milk of choice
¼ cup grated vegan cheese or nutritional
yeast (optional)
Fresh parsley


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Boil or steam sweet potatoes until soft and mash with milk. While sweet potatoes are cooking, heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms, carrots and onions, season with salt and pepper and saute until lightly golden. Add the lentils and chopped tomato to the same pan and simmer for 5 min. Add tomato puree, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir over medium heat and allow to simmer for a few more minutes. Add lentils to a baking dish and top with mashed sweet potato. Sprinkle with grated vegan cheese or nutritional yeast. Bake for 30-40 min until golden on top. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Download Your Lentil Sweet Potato Cottage Pie Recipe Here





In the busyness of life, we often feel overwhelmed and anxious. There is pressure to constantly be achieving and striving for more. We are always “on the go” and we rarely appreciate the moments that make up our day. Therefore, it is so important that we allow ourselves moments of grace – moments each day where we reflect, we are present, and we fully enjoy ourselves.  These are known as savouring moments. 

What is Savouring? 

Savouring is the act of stepping outside of an experience to review and really appreciate it. Savouring can boost your mood, relieve anxiety, keep you present in the moment and it allows you to practice gratitude. Many of us feel this pressure to constantly be productive and fill our days, but it is also equally important to allow time for rest and reflection. The act of savouring is such a powerful concept that allows you to appreciate the positive things in your lives. It is the conscious decision to enjoy moments in your life. This could be something as simple as watching a sunset, having a bath or meditating. It could be having a conversation with a loved one or accomplishing that handstand you’ve been practicing. 

Explore more: Intuitive Eating – Could It Be The Anti-diet Plan For You?

Whatever it is, it is important that you acknowledge the emotion it presents and let yourself be fully present. The act of savouring is an opportunity to take a moment to truly enjoy what you are doing; acknowledge the emotions you are feeling and be aware of what the moment brings you. 

Taking Time To Relax

Benefits of Savouring:

  1. Highlights the positives in your life.
  2. Allows you to appreciate the small things. 
  3. Boosts happiness – when you experience positive feelings, your body produces serotonin and dopamine which reduce stress and calm our nervous systems. 
  4. Makes you feel more grateful and appreciative. 
  5. Allows you to be present and achieve more from your day. 
  6. Relieves anxiety or stress. 

Savouring is that idea of literally “stopping to smell the roses”. It is stopping ourselves from moving through life too quickly and allowing ourselves to notice all the positives. It is the act of bringing ourselves back to ourselves.  

Ideas for Savouring: 

  1. Have a bubble bath. 
  2. Watch the sunset or sunrise. 
  3. Read a book in the bath. 
  4. Have dinner as a family around the table. 
  5. Go for a walk on the beach. 
  6. Yoga. 
  7. Meditation. 
  8. Eat something delicious. 
  9. Stop and smell the roses. 
  10. Wear a new scent e.g. body lotion, or perfume. 
  11. Take a mental photograph of amazing experiences. 
  12. Get creative e.g. baking, art, music 
  13. Allow yourself to engage all your senses in an activity e.g. when you cook, really smell, see and taste the food. 
  14. Outwardly express good feelings e.g. laugh out loud at a tv show or joke 
  15. Ruminate on positive feelings and share these! Do not only share your negative thoughts and complaints. 

The act of savouring is a mindfulness act. It is the conscious decision to pay attention to your happy situation. When you are experiencing a moment of pleasure, it is important to engage all your senses and fully embrace the moment. By being mindful of every detail, you appreciate the moment more and you engrain the memory in your brain. The bonus of this is that the memory can be recalled at a later stage, and the memory will evoke the same emotion as the experience previously did. 

Explore more: Real Talk: How To Handle Unemployment Anxiety And Master Healthy Coping Habits

Savouring in your everyday life

As you can see, the simple act of being present in a moment can have significant positive effects on your mood, your day and your outlook. Next time you wake up, why not challenge yourself to make a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy it in bed, rather than scrolling through social media for 15 minutes and then rushing to get ready. Why not utilise your time in traffic wisely, by actively listening to a podcast or calling a friend to catch-up (if you have Bluetooth)? Why not greet the shop assistant and thank them for their service, instead of being oblivious to their presence? The power of consciously living is so powerful and can be so simple. Do not let life pass you by, savour the moments and reap the rewards.