The cooking Journal

Posts in 'Corporate Nutrition'

Team Building with a difference- 'Ready, Steady... Unite'
At The Cooking Academy, we offer a very different type of team-building activity, a cookery challenge in the form of a ‘Cook Off’ between colleagues.
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Improve your cognitive function with Peanuts

A higher nut consumption could be the key to better cognitive health in older people according to new research from the University of South Australia.

In a study of 4822 Chinese adults aged 55+ years, researchers found that eating more than 10 grams of nuts a day was positively associated with better mental functioning, including improved thinking, reasoning and memory.

Lead researcher, UniSA's Dr. Ming Li, says the study is the first to report an association between cognition and nut intake in older Chinese adults, providing important insights into increasing mental health issues (including dementia) faced by an ageing population.

"Population ageing is one of the most substantial challenges of the twenty-first century. Not only are people living longer, but as they age, they require additional health support which is placing unprecedented pressure on aged-care and health services," Dr. Li says.

"In China, this is a massive issue, as the population is ageing far more rapidly than almost any other country in the world.  "Improved and preventative health care – including dietary modifications – can help address the challenges that an ageing population presents.

"By eating more than 10 grams (or two teaspoons) of nuts per day older people could improve their cognitive function by up to 60 per cent– compared to those not eating nuts – effectively warding off what would normally be experienced as a natural two-year cognition decline."  Dr. Li says peanuts have specific anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which can alleviate and reduce cognitive decline.

Nuts are known to be high in healthy fats, protein and fibre with nutritional properties that can lower cholesterol and improve cognitive health. While there is no cure at present for age-related cognition decline and neurogenerative disease, variations in what people eat are delivering improvements for older people.

The World Health Organization estimates that globally, the number of people living with dementia is at 47 million.

By 2030, this is projected to rise to 75 million and by 2050, global dementia cases are estimated to almost triple. China has the largest population of people with dementia.

As people age, they naturally experience changes to conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed. This is all part of the normal ageing process; however age is also the strongest known risk factor for cognitive disease. Thus finding ways to help older people retain their cognitive health and independence for longer is imperative, modifying their diet is a good start and absolutely worth the effort.

Research taken from University of South Australia – Dr li and Dr Shi  published January 2019
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The Alchemy of Food – motivational speaker with a difference
‘The Alchemy of Food’ presented by Kumud Gandhi is the exception.   Kumud is a food scientist, published author and keynote speaker on health and wellbeing for peak personal and professional performance.
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Team builds with a difference!
The feedback we get about our team building events, apart from being a hugely enjoyable experience, is often about the additional benefits the employees gain from the event.

The teams are thrown together in an unfamiliar setting and have a time limited task to achieve.  This calls for leadership, teamwork, communications, strategy and project planning even before they’ve lifted a pan.

It is an excellent way to observe how people work together, how they go about achieving the tasks they have been set.

Some teams just ‘go for it’ without much analysis of the task ahead, and quickly find they might have to regroup, read the recipes and ask for help.

Others can be taken over by a strong personality who might be a good at a particular task in the office or their profession, but the skills are not so transferrable to a multi-task project such as producing a Thai banquet.

The most successful groups are those that take some time to read the recipes, sort out who has the skills needed for the task, and thinks about timing.  These teams are often the most innovative and creative, and don’t lose the end objective from their sights.

The team skills they learn, or learn about by making mistakes, are all transferrable and sustainable skills that can be applied to the workplace.  In all cases, the teams go away with some learning and a sense of achievement.

Click here for more information about our corporate offering.
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For those of us in business and particularly retail, over the festive period things may not have slowed at all and we still need to keep focused on our business objectives and activities.  This time of year is always challenging, commuting through dark mornings and evenings, usually awful weather and we’re past the festivities with a long month ahead until payday.  We need a lot of resilience to get through the gloom!

I believe January is always a good time to take stock and look at our objectives and how we can make life better for ourselves. Resilience and mindfulness are not only for the new age types, some of the most successful business people in the world take time out for themselves, actually they MAKE time for themselves.

Resilience training is often part of a business’s HR plan to support the workforce, and in my experience it only touches the surface as resilience and mindfulness are a way of living.  It’s about making a decision to set aside time or an activity for you, and only you.

Think about including some balance relaxation into your life, it can be anything from taking a walk, to sitting quietly, reading a book or listening to music, pursuing a hobby – whatever helps you clear your head and relax…and don’t forget to switch off the mobile. During the work day, take a walk around the block, fresh air and a different perspective will help

Make time for your family and friends.  If you’ve got a lot on, it may be difficult to do this, however research shows that catching up with friends and spending time socially is hugely beneficial, it keeps you less isolated and part of a community where you can share ideas and issues.

Following on from this, try and be more assertive when it feels like you’re being heaped with more tasks or it’s not clear what your objectives are.  Try and get some clarity, this will help you manage your workload.

What we eat can help us with our resilience.  Skipping meals is not a good idea, as it reduces the energy we have and leads us to reach for the snacks.  It’s always a good idea to avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugary or salted products as they give an initial boost to the system but this doesn’t long and you feel flat again.  Try and eat regularly and with others.  Research has shown that the community element of eating is hugely beneficial to wellbeing.

Eating breakfast is a good way to build resilience and set you up for the day’s challenges.  By eating porridge, granola or muesli and fruit you will a good energy source to keep you going.   Other foods to think about during the day are protein rich such as eggs, fish and soya.  Try and eat lots of vegetables and fruit.  And remember to drink lots of water to keep hydrated.

So set yourself some resilience objectives and start 2019 with a positive attitude!
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