Free ‘healthy mood food’ for Mental Health Awareness Week

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Mental Health Awareness Week - Milestones Trust

 

On Thursday, May 17th, Bristol charity Milestones Trust will be giving away healthy mood food tasters to workers in the Temple Quarter to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that good nutrition is essential to good mental health and that a number of psychological conditions can be influenced by diet.

Teaming up with Bristol’s not-for-profit cookery school Square Food Foundation, staff from Milestones Trust will give away tasters designed to improve mood, boost energy and help people think more clearly. They will also hand out cards outlining five top tips for improving your diet, alongside your five portions of fruit and veg a day.

The Bristol-based charity, which supports people with mental health needs and learning disabilities, is a leader in the field of nutrition and mental health. The charity is committed to improving food standards in care by delivering fresh, healthy and locally sourced food where possible in all their residential services.

Glen, who lives in supported living accommodation in Knowle and is supported by Milestones Trust, says changes he’s made to his diet, with the help of his support worker, have helped him turn his life around. Glen lives with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) which was made considerably worse following bereavement and a relationship breakdown.

He said, “I was in a really bad way to be honest. And because of my condition I can find preparing food incredibly difficult, so I was turning to junk food and ready meals just because that was the easiest option. With Mark’s help I’ve discovered lots of fresh and healthy alternatives and cut out loads of the bad stuff. Combined with regular exercise this has made a huge difference to my life.

“Along with exercise, eating well makes me feel so much better. My medication can make me feel doped up at times, but running and healthy food really help to combat that, giving me my energy back and basically making me feel alive again.”

Glen will be running three marathons over the summer. The 55-year-old had a long history of self-harm but says that now he has goals to aim for thanks to his running, supported by a healthy diet, he hasn’t self-harmed for over two years.

Glen’s support worker Mark Williams has recently studied nutrition and its impact on mental health but said even he didn’t realise how transformational diet and exercise could be until he worked with Glen.

Mark said, “It’s been really inspiring to see Glen’s determination to get his life back on track. Running has given him a whole new challenge and focus and he’s realised that in order to do the kind of distances he’s doing he has to eat well.  I’ve seen an incredible change in Glen since he took steps to improve his diet. He’s much more in control of his life and state of mind, he’s regained his sense of self-worth and is able to make plans for his future in a way he hadn’t been able to for years.”

Milestones Trust and Square Food’s stall will be at Temple Quay’s weekly street food market in The Square, Temple Quay between 12 and 2pm on Thursday 17 May.

Barny Haughton, founder of Square Food Foundation, said, “We’re delighted to team up with Milestones Trust for this event in Mental Health Awareness Week. This year the theme is stress – so we hope a little mood food boost for the hard workers of Temple Quay will give them something tasty and energising, alongside some food for thought in terms of the link between nutrition and good mental health.”

Taster portions of roast root vegetable curry and flapjacks will be given away along with recipe cards and five tips on diet and mental health.

 

 

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