Healthy Eating and Mental Wellness – A Note by Hannah
The direct relationship between healthy living to both physical and mental wellness is one too often unappreciated and at the heart of the Healthy Hunting ethos. In light of World Mental Health Day on October 11th, it seemed fitting to share some thoughts on the topic of mental health and eating well.
For many years a close family member of mine has tackled mental illness. In the bad times of self-deprecation and feelings of isolation are his marked moments of ill health.
The two are synonymous in many ways, the inability to be kind to yourself and use junk food as a cheap comfort knowing full well you are attributing to feeling worse. On the flipside is the happiness, the break from the cloud.
For as long as I can remember I have always associated him with good food, the sort of meals that you can taste the time, the dedication and the love. From speaking to him, he notes that “at my best and feeling great, good food and cooking for yourself and other people is right at the heart of it”.
Moving out of his home and reinstating with his parents, he lives again at the plant nursery that he grew up in. For those of you who may not know, a plant nursery is not a place that sing lullabies and change nappies but an estate that cultivates fresh produce. It is his privilege that he now partakes in the growth and nurture of a whole range of raw foods, with greenhouses packed with vegetables and fruits of all descriptions and the best part of three hundred types of herbs for seasoning.
For him, the whole process of sourcing, preparing and cooking in itself is a help. The ritual of the joy of finding the right food to cook and focusing part of your day solely on that process. In the moments where everything seems out of control and you go through a period “quick fix”, when you then take time to prepare food “you do actually start to feel better that your body feels better.” For him there is an addiction to the freshness and the vibrancy that you feel when you eat good food.
There is therapy in the art of growing itself. Organic growing and visitor centres are schemes dotted throughout the country, people approaching with mental health issues and problems with drugs and alcohol. Seeing things grow provably has a massive effect on people’s mental health. The fact that there is a push towards a goal, something other than there mental health that’s driving them is what helps. For my family member there is a special comfort in the naturalness of cultivating produce that has the essential means of running your body happily and healthily.
Although growing and eating well does not have to be a privilege, it is a right for everyone to nurture their body and mind. For him there is joys in seeing the passionate followers to come out of their way to find the stalls he runs at markets. Individuals who take genuine pleasure in sourcing nutritious food to add to their meals, or after years finding the herb that grew on their grandmother’s doorstep on sale to take home.
Replacing bad living with a nutritious one is our mission at Healthy Hunting, for our users we vision this to be ever more accessible. To tear away from unhelpful habits and begin a fresh appreciation for health, finding a source of pride in what you put in your body, as provably, “when you find the resolve to stop, you do feel better”.