The cooking Journal

Posts in 'Nutrition in the Workplace'

Wake up your work force!
With the average worker losing 11 days of productivity each year due to tiredness, isn’t it time to eat yourself fit and energetic again.

At 6.30am when you are dreading the busy rush hour commute you are more than likely turn to a strong cup of coffee and a sugary bowl of cereal to start your day. STOP! This is probably the worst thing you can do! Foods that are high in sugar are great for an initial energy boost, but as the sugar rush starts to fade you will find your energy will come crashing down.

So try perking up your morning porridge with this delicious recipe!

Our tried and tested breakfast porridge is perfect for filling you up and giving you the energy you need to get you through to lunch.

Share this recipe with a work colleague today and give them the wakeup call they need!

Carrot cake Porridge
Ingredients (serves 2)
100g oats
100g carrots
1 apple
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
150ml milk
50g raisins
2 tablespoons of yoghurt a handful of walnuts or pecans
1. Start by soaking the oats in boiling water, in a small pan; pour the water about 1cm above the oats.
2. Now peel the carrots and then grate the carrot and apple separately and set aside. Once the oats have absorbed the water, add the cinnamon, carrot, apple, nutmeg, ginger, salt, maple syrup, raisins, and the almond milk.
3. Stir the ingredients, and cook on a low heat until the mixture thickens and becomes creamy. Once you get your desired consistency and the carrot pieces have softened, remove from the heat.
4. Serve in two bowls, topping with a splash of honey, a blob of yogurt and a handful of chopped nuts.

Nutritional Tips: Did you know Ginger has many health benefits; it is a highly effective digestive aid and carminative ingredient. By increasing the production of digestive fluids and saliva, ginger helps to relieve flatulence, indigestion as well as stomach cramps. Ginger is also anti-bacterial and an anti-inflammatory, easing pain in inflamed joints or arthritic conditions.

Preparation tips: Soak the oats in the ingredients and milk and place in the fridge before you go to bed, then pick up the recipe from No3 in the morning. The oats will be more nutritious from having soaked overnight, and the flavours will be more intense and creamy.
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Good Health is Good Business
Does your business have an awareness of the ‘wellness’ of its employees, and the direct effect it has on the organisation?

By implementing a corporate wellness programme, you will see multiple benefits within the organisation in the form of an energetic workforce, a reduction in employee sickness, increased staff loyalty, job satisfaction and staff retention.

There are five key aspects to achieving wellness which are nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress management and mindfulness.  When those elements of your life are in place you can achieve both balance and perspective.  An improved diet can directly lead to increased motivation, an increased ability to exercise which leads to greater energy and better sleep; overall, creating an improved outlook in life.

The role of a corporate wellness programme is to act as a catalyst to get individuals within an organisation to start thinking about their well-being.  Through the employee’s direct engagement, they can consider what they are eating and how that affects their everyday life, and by taking it into their own hands, which is the only way to make it achievable.

Individuals often need only very basic and elementary help, such as knowing how to cook healthy menu options, or even just knowing how to shop for the things they should be including in their diet.  Unfortunately, food manufacturers don’t make that easy, we have very little food transparency and that’s an issue which causes a great deal of confusion for the consumer.

Is it time to refine your corporate wellness programme? Simple workshops and seminars that are designed to get individuals thinking about what they eat and the impact it has on their energy levels and overall physical and mental health can have significant improvements in the workplace. For more information on a corporate wellness programme with The Cooking Academy, head over to

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Health tips for the office professional: eating well at work
The workplace is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to temptation to eat unhealthily.  This is mainly down to the supply and demand nature of food provision, and snack vending machines being the most common type of quick food solution on any office floor.

Although trying to improve your health levels whilst working a desk job can seem like a losing battle, there are simple things you can do to reduce the challenge and make things seem that little bit easier.

Here are 5 tips for setting yourself up the right way for a healthier week at the office:

    1. Plan ahead

One of the main causes of unhealthy eating at work is lack of preparation.  You come into work already hungry but with nothing to eat and grab the first thing you see.  This often ends up being something with a high sugar content such as a pastry or cake from the building’s café.

The best way to combat this is to spend some time each week deciding on easy meals and snacks to take to work, so that you’re not left to make quick, rash decisions on a daily basis.

    2. Bring leftovers to work

This will help you to eat better whilst also reducing your monthly food wastage at the same time.  Leftover meat and fish can be used creatively to spice up anything from your lunch sandwich to a basic salad.  In fact we recently posted a brilliant and simple recipe for a salmon, avocado and artichoke salad using leftover cuts of fish.

A great tip is to prepare a little extra food when you’re cooking your evening meal, then take a lunch-sized portion out before you eat, and store it for the next day.  This will ensure that your lunches are always prepared the day before, whilst preventing you from overeating at dinner.

    3. The 80/20 rule

Deprivation shouldn’t always be the first port of call when it comes to healthy eating.  In fact depriving yourself can have an negative effect on you and your mind and can lead to an earlier relapse.

Most foods are fine in moderation.  The 80/20 philosophy draws on this by encouraging you to still give yourself treats throughout the week.  This makes it easier for you to stick to healthier foods the majority of the time as you won’t feel like you’re limiting yourself and therefore feel tempted by “forbidden fruits”.

    4. Enjoy what you eat

Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to taste “healthy”, as some might put it.  You should never force yourself to eat something you don’t like.

Making yourself eat humous when you hate it will make you more likely to reach for unhealthier replacements when you’re feeling desperate.  Try out a variety of nutrient-rich foods and then stick to what you like.  Food isn’t meant to be forced or a chore.

    5. Eat slowly

The slower you eat and more you chew, the easier your body is able to process the food it receives.  This is because the food is already broken down a great amount by your teeth and enzymes in your saliva before it reaches your stomach, meaning less effort is needed to dissolve it when it gets there.

This means better digestion, no uncomfortable tummy after wolfing down a meal, and a greater level of satisfaction and feeling full.  The brain takes around 20 minutes to register the fullness of your stomach; so the faster you eat, the more you’ll end up consuming before the sensation kicks in, which leads to overeating.


Those were my 5 top tips for eating better throughout the working week.  Try all of them, or even just one or two, and see if they make a difference to your diet at the office.  Good luck!

If you’d like to find out more about the 80/20 rule when applying to food, this article does a great job of explaining the main points.
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Eat more fish - Live longer, be sharper!
Fish is one of the healthiest meats available to man.  We should incorporate fish into diets at least 3 times per week; by doing so we can significantly reduce the risk of heart related diseases, lowers the chances of brain degeneration; lowers the chances of getting kidney cancer, depression, lowers blood pressure .  I know many of you are already aware of this but perhaps your biggest challenge is knowing how to buy fish and cook fish to make it interesting and tasty. If that sounds familiar to you, you should get yourself onto a Fish Cookery Class faster than you can say Omega 3 fatty acids.

Why should we eat more fish?

The key component that makes fish so healthy is the fact that fish is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, one of the acids the body cannot make it self. The omega 3 is also essential for fetal brain development and can potential strengthen a baby's brain connections as early as in the womb if you eat plenty of fish during a pregnancy.  If you are unsure about what fish you can eat during a pregnancy check with your local fish mongers.   Fish is also a great source of protein, it is easier to digest than chicken or meat, it is low in saturated fat, yet high in vitamins A, B & D as well as other mineral.

Salmon is probably one of the best fish – it has more Omega 3 fatty acids than most other fish.  Salmon helps your brain develop tissue to increase your brain power. Furthermore, salmon also plays a key role in fighting Alzheimer’s and other age-related cognitive disorders.   There are many different ways of cooking salmon to make the recipes variable and interesting without repeating the same flavours and your fish cookery course will enable you to extend your repertoire.

How to buy fish – what should you look for

When buying fish you need to look out for certain signs of what fresh fish looks like – a comprehensive fish cookery class will also demonstrate what a good piece of fish should both look and smell like and ways to identify healthy skin and texture.

How much fish should we consume

We should consume around 3 x 100g servings of fish per week.  By doing so we stand a much improved chance of good health, strong brain and supple joints.

To reduce the risk of mercury contamination, avoid eating swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel altogether. 

The healthiest fish to eat

Fish really is an ideal protein, and the benefits of eating fish far outweigh the risks...when you choose the right fish.  Your fish cookery course will also provide a list of recommendations and hopefully provide the recipes to go with it.

Here are the Omega 3 rich fish that I recommend :

  • Salmon

  • Rainbow Trout

  • Mackerel

  • Halibut

  • Tuna

  • Cod

  • Sardines

  • Anchovies

 Difference between Farmed or wild

On the grounds of optimising health I would recommend line caught and wild fish.  Although farmed fish by and large contain the same amount of Omega 3, when it comes to fat and calories farmed fish has more.  Essentially as farmed fish don’t have as much room to swim around they are given anti-biotics to prevent diseases and tend to be dyed to give them a healthy colour.  They are also more likely to have toxins than wild fish, and as with outdoor bred meat wild fish has more flavour than farmed.
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Good Nutrition in the Workplace
Nutritional Cookery Classes for your Employees

Have you ever heard the expression ‘food for thought’ and wondered what it really means? Every organisation concerned with their productivity and profitability should seek out the answer.

Nutritional eating is vital to operating at our optimum levels, whether it is physical, mental or emotional and the link between health and success is increasingly recognised as a key factor in workplace and personal productivity. The mood, energy levels and thought processes at work are created by chemical reactions to our diet in the brain, which will influence how we interact with one another. Feeding the brain with the right balance of nutrition is therefore critical to maximising our output.

Nutrition in the Workplace

With busy lifestyles and work pressures, it isn’t always possible to manage ones nutritional requirements at home, so employers must consider the needs of their professional family in the workplace. The right food and drink choices available to staff will have a dramatic impact on their engagement with colleagues, affecting their mood and concentration throughout their working day. Investing in the nutritional needs of your employees will have a double win, for the individuals and the organisation through their increased productivity. Happy employees create positivity, which transcends to customers and suppliers, thereby enhancing your reputation as an ‘employer of choice’.  This in turn will have significant benefits to the bottom line in staff retention and a reduction in absenteeism.

Nutritional Cookery Programmes

The Cooking Academy offers a wide range of nutritional consultancy to evaluate and inspire change through employee engagement.  Our Corporate Nutritional Programmes and Corporate Cookery teambuilding events are available throughout the UK to educate and inspire busy, working people. We can devise a bespoke solution to suit your requirements, including Executive nutritional coaching, cookery team-building, nutritional cookery classes and workshop-based group events.

Organisations such as Jaguar Landrover have added the full range of cookery classes from The Cooking Academy as part of their Employee Learning Scheme programme for their employees as a means of maximising health and well-being awareness within their business.

RES, a leading wind power provider, have recognised the value of good health in the workplace and the impact of food on employee well being, they were inspired and motivated by the 'Spice Trail Masterclass' at their cookery event, which focused on the health and nutritional benefits of cooking with fresh herbs and spices, and the medicinal values of everyday ingredients.

If you feel that your organisation would benefit from a Nutritional cookery programme or cookery-based team-building event please contact Claire Larkin on 01923 778880 or email

Recent Client Reviews

“Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable event that went far beyond my expectations! The feedback I have had from the team has been the most positive I have ever had regarding events that I have arranged. You should be very proud of the event you have created.” Angela Marlowe – RES, August 2015

“Thank YOU for a wonderful evening! Everyone has been raving on about it today and we had so much fun. I'm so glad we could come to you for this event and I'm dying to come back”. Lou Watson – Universal Pictures, November 2015

“The day was great, I loved every minute of it.  We learnt so much more than I expected a lot and we will definitely come back to another class. It was highly motivating, very informative and educational and everything was explained very well.” Natalia Neila – Jaguar Landrover, September 2015

Natalia attended a Advanced Indian class as part of the Jaguar Landrover Employee Learning Scheme where The Cooking Academy is the preferred supplier.

“Thank YOU for a wonderful evening! Everyone has been raving on about it today and we had so much fun.  I'm so glad we could come to you for this event and I'm dying to come back”  We will have no hesitation in recommending you to our colleagues . Lou Watson – Universal Pictures, November 2015









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