Both bananas and walnuts are great sources of healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Walnuts are also rich in anti-inflammatory Omega-3’s.
⅓ cup r extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup honey or maple syrup
2 ½ medium or 2 large bananas, ripe and mashed
¼ cup milk of choice
1 tsp baking soda (NOT baking powder)
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
1 ¾ cups (220 grams) whole wheat flour ½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 165C and grease a loaf pan.In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Using a big spoon, stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok!
Fold in the chopped walnuts. .Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
For a swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (+/- 60 minutes). Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for at least 10 minutes. You may need to run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the bread from the pan. Carefully transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool before slicing.
Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, while tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion + red bell pepper, chopped
2-3 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp smoked paprika ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 -2 cans crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
5 to 6 large eggs ½ cup crumbled feta
Preheat the oven to 190C. Warm oil in a large, oven-safe skillet (preferably stainless steel) over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and salt. Cook, stirring often, until tender and turning translucent (4 to 6 mins). Add garlic, tomato paste, cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1-2 mins, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Pour in crushed tomatoes with juices and add cilantro. Stir and let come to a simmer. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 5 mins. Turn off heat, taste, and add salt and pepper as necessary. Use the back of a spoon to make a well near the perimeter and crack the egg directly into it.
Gently spoon a bit of the tomato mixture over the whites to help contain the egg. Repeat with remaining 4 to 5 eggs. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over eggs. Carefully transfer skillet to oven (it’s heavy) and bake for 8 to 12 mins. They’re done when the egg whites are an opaque white and the yolks have risen a bit but are still soft. Using oven mitts (both hands!), transfer the hot skillet to a heat-safe surface like the stove. Top with the crumbled feta, fresh cilantro leaves, and more red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve in bowls with crusty bread on the side.
Chia seeds are a great source of health promoting Omega-3’s while coconut is a source of selenium, an important antioxidant that protects your cells.
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup plain yoghurt
1 can coconut milk
¼ cup milk of choice
2 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tsp chia seeds
3-4 large strawberries, sliced (or any berry or fruit of choice)
Additional sliced strawberries or fruit for layering
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine oats, chia seeds, yoghurt, milk, and coconut milk, stirring well to ensure that everything is fully combined. Add in shredded coconut and sliced strawberries, stirring a few more times before covering with plastic wrap (or transferring to a sealed container) and placing in the fridge for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight. When ready to eat, assemble parfaits by dividing oat mixture evenly between two bowls or glasses, starting with a layer of oats, followed by a layer of sliced strawberries, and topped with a final layer of oats.
Our tips and insights into being successful at work you do, by valuing and investing in people …
Growing your business and being successful is hard, especially in times like these. We all want to make more money, smash those business goals and just feel like we are achieving our best lives at work. And yes, your customers are the heart of your business. But your employees and people you work with are the life blood. Think about it, you cannot get a single thing done without your people. Literally, not a single thing (barring what you can achieve on your own steam, of course).
When we think of increasing our business or product value we often immediately think of the customer. But what about the employees and people driving the value? Just as customer service has transformed over the years, along with the customer, into customer experiences (the holistic perception customers have of your brand or business stemming from every interaction they have with it) so too do we need to transform our employees’ engagement and happiness by intently focusing on their employee experience. After all your employees are your first customer, and the human side of your brand.
If the fiscal side of employee experience doesn’t captivate you (we all have different motivations) consider how much of our lives we spend at work and that you as a brand or employer have the power to make someone’s workplace, and by implication life, better, more positive and happier. If there is ever a time to flex your altruistic muscles and show some kindness to others, the middle of a global pandemic and on-again-off-again lockdowns would be it!
The deal with Employee Experience
A positive employee experience is more than just a decent place to work. Employee experience is a combination of your workplace culture, the physical work environment and the tools and technology which enable the work. As an example, when you go to work you want to experience a sense of belonging and shared purpose (culture), where you feel safe, can attain goals and grow while working in a healthy, safe and well environment with a technology or machinery that enables you to be efficient and perform. As leaders or business owners if we don’t address and manage all the factors impacting our employee experience we may pay a heavy cost. To convince the stoic and unmoved out there, here are some tangible examples of employee experience impacting the bottom line:
It is a proven fact (by science, people) that a happy employee is 20% more productive, imagine losing 20% of your employees’ production every day for a year. That’s a full day a week, almost full week lost a month just because your employee is unhappy.
An engaged workforce outperforms one that is lackluster by tripling profit to 147% profit per share.
A positive employee experience creates an engaged workforce. Annually disengaged employees cost the USA $450 to $550 billion a year!
Managing your employee experience allows you to shape your culture and culture eats strategy for breakfast.
To have talent and the best employees who give of themselves at work, they need to feel appreciated, and that means more than a competitive paycheck. Google increased employee satisfaction by 37% thanks to their investment in employee support.
Another hidden cost of poor employee experience is the increase in sick leave and absence, an unhappy employee takes 15 more sick days a year.
If you are in a highly competitive industry, positive employee experience can give you the edge with increased innovation and performance from your employees. Happy people just think and work better!
Insights into Your Business’ Employee Experience
If we want to focus on cultivating positive employee experience, a good starting point is understanding what and where it is now, establishing your status quo. Understanding your employee experience can be simplified into two main focus areas:
What do your employees expect, want and need?
How does your business design the solutions to meet the wants, expectations and needs of employees?
You can understand your employee experience by evaluating three things:
The physical space:
Evaluating your workplace design and its impact on interactions, daily work life and wellness.
The workplace technology:
Embodying frictionless technology that enables and supports performance.
The company culture:
Understanding and building the right behavioral norms, values and policies on what is acceptable inn your workplace.
Tips to cultivating positive employee experience
So you have a good idea of what employee experience is, why it is important to you and how to evaluate and understand your current employee experience. Hopefully, you feel energized to take action in addressing your employee experience, for your business value and for your employees. Here are some tips to assist you in starting to build a more positive employee experience:
Foster Psychological safety
Yes, it sounds complicated, but no it is not. Simply, psychological safety is merely about giving people the freedom to bring their whole selves to work while feeling valued, connected and accepted. To create increased psychological safety at work we need to approach others with positive regard, allow failures and successes, treat people with dignity and act inclusively. Our interactions, especially the leaders at work, need to down regulate fight or flight responses and allow people to be calm, energized and focused.
Communicate with your employees
An important part of employee experience is communication between the business, leaders and employees. Great communication starts with listening. Actively listen to your employees. You can create discussion boards, virtual collective spaces and even schedule team lunches that allow open communication. Really listen and try to understand what motivates and demotivates your employees, try put yourself in their shoes and understand their day-to-day lived experience. Storytelling is a great way to share ideas and communicate with employees. Host town halls or social media campaigns to keep them feeling connected.
Make people feel valued
Focus on fostering a culture of acknowledgement, people have a fundamental need to feel valued and this is true for the workplace. Recognize contributions to the team and company success in meaningful ways beyond monetary incentives. Create the habit of frequent feedback and make a point of letting people know you see them and their efforts.
Give employees’ growth opportunities
A big part of a positive work experience is feeling like you are growing and contributing to something bigger than yourself. Ensuring employees have routine learning and development opportunities gives them the chance to grow and progress. Growth can take the form of free access to Udemy courses or short courses, personalized development plans to one’s career aspirations or creating a learning culture in the organization with knowledge sharing and learning lunches.
Work Life Integration and Balance
We all want to feel like we have a good work life balance, in essence we want a positive experience at work and at home. As work and life become more integrated it is really up to leaders and business’ to enhance employee work life balance and show employees they genuinely do care for their happiness. Small steps such as increased autonomy and flexibility at work can go a long way to making employees feel empowered and valued. Consider others schedules when booking meetings, perhaps try have stand up meetings instead of sitting in a board room. Be mindful of the emails your forward and who’s mailbox you are filling. And most importantly encourage employees to switch off and recharge, often.
Integrate the desired experience into people practices
You can’t achieve the employee experience you want without ensuring all other initiatives in the business align. If you want to encourage feedback, make it a weekly habit in the team. If you want people to act inclusive, build it as a measure into your performance management system and include it in onboarding initiatives. Once you have identified the pillars you will use to build your employee experience make sure you integrate it into all the employee touch points to reinforce the change in behaviours and make it stick.
A word from Jessica Brownlee
Through the sharing of knowledge and experience, we want to help build communities, organizations and individuals become the most optimal version of themselves, both physically, emtionally and mentally.
Your health is your wealth so make lasting changes, one habit at a time.
The WellBe Team
About Jessica Brownlee
Jessica is an industrial and organizational psychologist specializing in learning, leadership, talent, neuroscience and wellness. A self-proclaimed wellness geek, Jessica writes The Humble Humanologist blog to inspire, motivate and uplift others on their work and wellness journey. She is her own boss, running a consulting company, Psychology360 (www.psychology360.org) and consults globally to some of the leading organizations. Jessica also strives to find balance and is an avid yogi and yoga teacher (who is yet to master a hand stand).
Do you feel like everyday is a struggle to find the motivation to do anything? Well then it’s time to make some serious changes! Adding some positive daily habits into your life can definitely help with creating a bullet proof routine that will ultimately encourage you to have a great day, everyday. Being positive is a choice. I truly believe that if we have our mind in a positive space we can become unstoppable in all aspects of our life. But finding a way to keep ourselves motivated and positive takes work and conscious effort. You need to create a morning routine to get your mind into a positive space. This way you will feel motivated to tackle everything in your day!
7 Tips to get onto the positive train
Get up and get going
You know when that first alarm goes off? Don’t press snooze! Get up right away and get going. Trust me, I know it’s much easier said than done but it really makes a difference in helping you feel less groggy and more motivated!
What am I grateful for
Waking up and thinking about or writing down what you are grateful for will really help you focus on the positive things you have in your life. It doesn’t need to be more than 5 minutes every morning, but make this a priority! This will set you out in a positive direction and will put you in a good mood.
Even though it may sound obvious, drinking a big glass of room temperature water first thing in the morning BEFORE you grab your coffee will make your body feel good and revitalized. Drinking water will hydrate you and wake you right up!
Meditation or deep breaths
Taking 5 minutes in the morning to meditate or even do breathing exercises is a great way to clear your mind before your day starts. It doesn’t need to be anything formal, you could literally just sit down while doing your gratitude exercise or drinking your water and take a few deep breaths!
Have a healthy wholesome breakfast
Instead of skipping breakfast completely, eat something healthy and nutritious. If you don’t have too much time you could throw together a smoothie that is jam packed with wholesome goodness! Eating healthily goes hand in hand with feeling good about yourself and your day.
Put together a playlist
Put together a playlist of your favourite happy songs! That way you can just press play and that positive feeling will come your way. Music really can bring in those feel good vibes into your life, so try to incorporate that into your morning (whether it may be when you are getting ready for work or when your commuting to work).
Move your body
Finding time to move your body and get a great workout in definitely has a massive positive impact on the body and mind. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but exercise helps release endorphins (happy hormones) into your body which make you feel happy and positive! I suggest trying to fit in your workout in the morning but if not set a time that works for you everyday.
Let’s be positive!
Ultimately, you have the control on how you live your life and how you decide to look at things. Using the above tips will really help set you up for success and get those positive vibes flowing throughout your day, everyday!
“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible!”
You’ve got one life. These are our tips on how to get the most out of it!
It’s easy to see the glass half empty right now. After COVID-19, Stress has been labeled as the number one health pandemic, the global economy has hit one of its all time lows and poverty is rife.
How can we possibly see the glass half full?
The Secret to Happiness
Ah, the age-old question!
There was a 75 year-long study at Harvard focused on uncovering the most important factor in human happiness. You might be thinking: financial stability or having a purpose right? The conclusion might surprise you… It’s a human connection.
When we talk about human connection, we’re not talking all that social media stuff. We’re talking real physical and emotional connection with other human beings, and the quality and depth of those relationships.
Human interaction can foster a great sense of community and sense of support. 2 Things we have always needed and will always need as humans to grow within ourselves and within the world. When we have a sense of community and support, we feel safer and more willing to try new things because we know
we’ll be backed up by our tribe regardless of the outcome. Not to mention, it’s been proven that daily, quality social interaction can slow the onset of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
So get out there and socialise (socially distanced of course!), make those connections, find your tribe and try new things to get the most out of life and keep your mind healthy. But this isn’t the only thing you can do to elevate your life…
We can actually rewire our brains
Until fairly recently, scientists firmly believed that the brain is unchangeable when we become adults. Who we are is who we are. Solid, concrete, unalterable brains. Once we’re adults, that’s who we are – no buts about it.
Now we understand that the brain can be remolded and rewired to think differently – a term known as ‘neuroplasticity’.
If you’ve always got a gloomy outlook on life, fear not – you can change your mindset! If you have a bad habit, you can change that too (phew!). All thanks to the ever-changing miracle and mystery that is your brain. The secret to changing the brain is repetition.
It’s all about habits
To start thinking differently, you need to create new habits that support the life you want to live. You need to implement changes consistently. The tried and tested way to build a habit is to ‘habit stack’.
Habit stacking means doing the “new” habit right after an existing one. For example you could try meditating and brushing your teeth in the morning – because that’s something you do every day (hopefully!).
The more we repeat something or think in a certain way and make it a habit, the faster our brains will be rewired in line with those thoughts and actions. So let’s make sure it’s a positive change!
Creating an attitude of gratitude
Expressing gratitude is the single most powerful way to create a more positive outlook on life. When we focus on what we’re grateful for, we focus on what’s good in our lives. Then, by repeatedly focusing on the good, we start to create a habit of thinking positively which ultimately extends to the way we see the world.
There are a few ways we can change our view on life:
Keep a gratitude journal
Did you know that the information we learn with multiple senses sticks more easily? Writing in particular is a very powerful tool we can use to learn because it engages both our senses of touch and sight. This is known as ‘multimodal learning’.
Get yourself a notebook in a size that floats your boat. A bonus for this one is if it looks nice on the outside so you’re more drawn to pick it up and use it. Keep it in a place where you’ll see it often – next to your bed is the best.
Every day – before bed or when you wake up – write down 3 things you’re grateful for. It’s powerful to write down full sentences that result in affirmations. For example: “I am grateful for my healthy body”.
When you’re feeling low, have a read through your journal (which over time becomes prey substantial!). After a year you’ll get to read more or less 1000 things that you get to be grateful for.
Take -me off social media
Ever had a “(s)he’s got it all” moment when you’re scrolling? It’s really easy to get down into a slump because your life seemingly isn’t as good as others’. It’s important to remember that people don’t post their life’s lows. All you’re seeing are people’s highlights and that’s not real life.
Set up the screen balance feature on your phone – they all have one! Make sure you’re not scrolling through unrealistic expectations all day. Put your phone away and sit in the present to acknowledge what you have in this moment. Why not even have a read through that gratitude journal?
It’s something we do without even thinking but really should. You know that thing where the air moves in and out of the body and gives us life? Yeah that one!
When you focus on the breath, you bring yourself into the present moment and that’s what we all need the most. We’re always living in the past or the future but very rarely in the present. When we live in the present we become more aware of what we have and how we feel. Basically, we live life in HD and who doesn’t want that? Breathing in and of itself is something else we can be so grateful for.
We’re working even longer hours now that many of us work from home and struggle to set work/ home boundaries. We sit for way longer than our bodies were ever designed to do and our spines compress, giving us all those (very common) back aches and pains. Set a timer on your phone to take a break from your desk – that might mean just gebng up and walking around the house a few times.
Try and exercise for 30 minutes, 5 -mes a week or 20 minutes every day. Your body will release happy hormones and instantly give you a mood booster.
As we spoke about before, community and connection are a big part of who we are as humans. When we perceive that we are supported and can support others, we instantly have more purpose in life – and that’s been proven.
Why not support a charity or cause? Donate clothes or even your time? Taking the -me to help others will give you a sense of gra-tude and pride in our communities by working towards the common good for everyone.
A word from Jessica Gaynor
Through the sharing of knowledge and experience, we want to help build communities and individuals become the most optimal version of themselves both physically and mentally.
Your health is your wealth so make lasting changes, one habit at a time.
About Jessica Gaynor
The human mind fascinates me beyond words. After I was diagnosed with stress-induced Epilepsy, I started to revaluate the way I was living my life and I became acutely aware of the global stress pandemic. It’s become my life mission to help others become aware of it too, through meditation and mindfulness – because awareness is the first step towards change.
I’m a registered Yoga Teacher and Employee Wellness Coach with a focus on mental health and wellbeing. I am currently studying towards a certification in Yoga Therapy – a discipline centered around helping people understand and manage both their physical and emotional imbalances in the body.