Nutrition and Wellbeing


I’ve always intended to eat better, ever since meeting Danny 30 years ago, the macro biotic juggler who could walk backwards down the stone steps in my garden juggling 5 balls. There must be something in it, I thought. However I don’t have that kind of discipline – never juggled more than 3 balls (badly), and rarely been able to eat well for very long. But I can see it makes sense, and that generally the more attention I pay to what I eat, the better I feel.

About 10 years ago I won a copy of Amanda Geary’s ‘The Food and Mood Handbook’ and it really impressed me. Browsing through it now, I read ‘food is more than fuel to keep you going, and what you choose to put in your mouth can influence the state of your mind. Greater control of your moods and energy levels is possible through exploring the links between diet, nutrition and emotional and mental health.’ The only thing that stands out in my memory is how brilliant sweet potatoes are – I don’t think I ever touched one before, but I’ve enjoyed them ever since. I’m ashamed to see that my rizla paper marker is stuck at page 23, and that I never got on to chapters like ‘Brain Chemicals and Gut Feelings’, ‘Caffeine and Chocolate’ or ‘Good Mood Foods’ (there are tons of them). Why is looking after myself such hard work?

Anyway now Leeds Mind’s Peer Support service, which has already been the subject of a post on these pages in March, is about to run a six week Nutrition and Wellbeing Course, aimed at providing us with an understanding of basic nutrition and how it can affect our mental wellbeing. They say “using fun and interactive tools, and discussing our positive and negative associations with food, the sessions aim to improve our ability to make healthier, balanced food choices that will help our mental and physical selves.”

Sessions will include; Food and Mood, Basic Nutrition and Eating Socially. The course will run on Tuesdays, 1:00 – 3:00pm, 4th June through to 9th July.

They want to be sure that attendees feel they will get what they need from the course before attending, and want interested persons to meet with a facilitator, who will explain the content of the course and what it involves. The bad news is that meetings will be held tomorrow on Friday 24th May, from 12.00 – 4:00pm at Clarence House in Horsforth – sorry it’s so late in the day telling you this. The meetings will be on a one-to-one basis (rather than a group activity), and will be 15 minutes long. To book one you need to ring Leeds Mind on 0113 305 5802 or email

The publicity also says that If you will struggle with attending on 24th May, a telephone call may be arranged at a time that suits you, so even if you pick up this information after the event there may still be a chance of getting on the course. Go for it. Remember, you are what you eat, and you don’t want to be a pork pie all your life, do you?



Living on my own

HELEN SUMS UP SO WELL THE DILEMMA OF BEING HUMAN, JUGGLING OUR NEEDS AND WANTS, always a pleasure to read…oh and I know a good place for Leeds..the type with cream!…accompanied by cool retro vibe ..2 nr UoL campus one near bus station ..Cafe Rand

Hello from me to you

‘Sometimes I feel I’m gonna break down and cry, so lonelyNowhere to go, nothing to do with my timeI get lonely, so lonely, living on my own.

Sometimes I feel I’m always walking too fast And everything is coming down on me down on me I go crazy oh so crazy living on my own’

Living on my own – Queen


‘Live your #dream and wear your #passion because today you’re as old as you have ever been and as young as you will ever be…’

‘The past is dead. We can’t change it so why beat ourselves up over it? This Flowing Moment, As You Read, Is The Only Place We Can Exist!’

‘Kind, good hearted common sense is hard to beat! ;D)’

‘To love someone is nothing, to be loved by someone is something, to love someone who loves you is everything.’

‘People who…

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I am a procrastinator, a ruminator and a Terminator – one of those may not be entirely true. It seems that I am not alone (re: the first two -inators). An August 2012 article on procrastination, posted by the BBC news website, garnered enough response from readers to warrant a second article entitled “Reader’s Tales of Epic Time-Wasting“. Here, people from all over the UK took time out of their busy schedules to share their experiences of taking time out of their busy schedules to engage in activities of low priority rather than those of more importance. I, of course, read both of these articles, while attempting to start my first blog post (‘The Art of Starting‘) for The Wellbeing Web.

It’s now May 2013 – I may have procrastinated a little.

Best of Intentions

Part of this aversion to starting is that I’m plagued by a destructive perfectionism – a fear of falling short of my potential. Panic sets in when I attempt to start something new. I fear that I don’t know Everything so my ignorance will be obvious as soon as I begin. I know logically that I can’t know everything; even the brightest minds are mainly concerned with a specialist subject, unable to answer questions outside of their field. Who am I to think that I can attain the allusive “perfection” that I know, rationally, does not exist? I guess, it’s control that I am grasping for, when things can seem so chaotic. If I just knew a little more, maybe I’d understand how to live more effectively, more efficiently? It seems that I want to feel whole and complete before I can live life to the full. The problem here, though, is that I never feel quite ready and it’s difficult to learn more by standing still, stagnating. I’m always waiting for something. I’m always banking on an unforeseeable (and possibly none-existent) future event that will allow me to actualise – to become The Real Me. If I could just… get there. Just… start.

I always want to get things clear in my mind before I begin. Nothing is ever clear, that is, except for the fact that clarity will only come from starting. Actually, until I finished that sentence, even that mini revelation was blurry.

I drive myself mad!


As I write, the green tick on my trainers is prompting me to Just Do It. Easier said than done Nike, it’s not like I haven’t heard all the other slogans… all the other sayings…

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step (Lao Ze)

Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved before.

No time like the present.

Then there’s Fake It ’til You Make It.

I don’t like the idea of faking anything! I want to be transparent and ask questions, grow and develop! I know, for myself that there is no “making it” as I intend to continue moving, questioning and learning as long as I am able. I do, however, live with the seemingly unscratchable itch of perfectionism, which haults starting in the first place. I’d really like to resolve this.

Pensive Bob

The present now will later be past (Bob Dylan)

Thanks Bob.

It’s important to take the plunge, to make mistakes, to risk imperfection. Risk being yourself – warts and all! Start a blog, try that course, cook something new. You and everyone else on earth are fallible but your contribution is worthwhile, however small.

I’d like to invite you on my journey of learning how to start. I stalled writing this post as I wanted it to be the definative blog post on “starting”, no further reading necessary.

This post is so saturated in irony…

This is the start of something much bigger but that’s all it needed to be for now… It might not be perfect but I took the first step, please feel free to come along.

More to come, try stopping me.

Christian 🙂

Adult learners Week – FREE COURSES at Swarthmore, for everyone. Wed 22nd & Thur 23rd May.

The fabulous Swarthmore Education Centre is hosting an Adult Learning week, on the 22nd and 23rd May from 11 am – 2 pm   The courses are open to everybody and are FREE!!!!!!!


Courses include French/Spanish conversation, Sign Language, Hand drumming, Herbalism and Printing!

There are so many benefits from taking community courses – some of which include: Having fun, meeting new people, increasing confidence, generating new ideas, preventing isolation, trying something new, having a creative outlet and the list goes on….

For more information contact Swarthmore on 0113 2432210.

Swarthmore Education Centre,  2-7 Woodhouse Square, Leeds LS7 1AD

More Trouble with Dr Jessen


Unsafe Spaces

A few weeks ago I blogged about getting twitterstormed by Dr Christian Jessen, presenter of the TV shows Embarrassing Bodies and Supersize vs Superskinny, after I asked him to be a bit more polite when talking to an eating disorder survivor. One problem with Twitter is the way a one-on-one argument can quickly be turned into a public affair simply by retweeting or by sticking text in front of somebody’s @ ID, thereby inviting any passerby to pile-in.

If the tweeter involved has a large following, then this can turn into a deluge of abusive messages. This happened yesterday when a famous comedian made an ill-advised joke about self-harm. Somebody with a history of self-harm sent him an angry tweet in response to this. He then responded in turn by retweeting her, with the result that she then received a stream of hostile tweets from his fans that lasted…

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How Facebook can distort things, the illusion of transparency.

I have found out that it is a good idea to take Facebook with a pinch of salt. 

Happy Face

This evening I met an old friend who lives ‘Darn Sarf’  she’d been for a meeting  ‘Oop North!’

Before I met her, I felt a little hesitant.  She was successful, had a family and had a lot more money than me.  I worried about my situation, what would she think of me?  My stress bucket felt full.  But, as old friends do – she managed to put me at ease within a short time.  We had a quick bite to eat and a chat, and I think that I learned a valuable lesson.

To give you a bit of background: In the weeks previous to meeting her, I’d been flicking around Facebook.  I’d been comparing myself to others.  All I could see was happiness radiating through the screen, children’s parties full of joy, new jobs, happy marriages, houses by the sea, horse riding in New Zealand, people living life to the full….you get the picture!

However as we chatted it became clear that some of these images were a little bit of an illusion.  It’s not to say that people didn’t have happiness in their lives, but there were also problems and stressors.  She told me about going through a period of depression and how difficult it was.  It’s well reported that one in four people are affected by mental health problems, but do one in four Facebook profiles show that?   We chatted about this and we summarised that most people do not talk about their problems on Facebook.  (although of course some people do.)

Whilst it may seem that there is a new sense of transparency when using Social Media, how much of this is an illusion.  Does Facebook distort reality?

The moral of the story, we concluded;  is the grass isn’t always (that much) greener on the other side!

Smiley Face by Creative Commons Licence from Enokson’s Flickr Page.

A heartwarming story, sometimes is the perfect antidote..

‘ The little white dog showed incredible determination…’

I believe it’s important to share our stories in order to make vital changes in the world, to learn from others,  to share understanding and to promote action if needed.

However I think this includes happy and light-hearted stories, the sweet things that make this world such a wonderful place.

So I had a little bit of a flick around the Internet and found this heart warming story from China (okay it’s not Leeds.)  I thought I’d share it…

We are always looking for guest posts, do you have any heart warming stories or good news to share?