ZENB10 January '24

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year when we are all inundated with the ubiquitous “new year, new you” trope. But fear not, our new year ZENB10 isn’t another one of those articles. Rather, we are encouraging small things for positive change, with a focus on health, wellness, and small things for your mental well-being. 

After all, you are pretty great!

What to do - Volunteer with FoodCycle

In the coldest months of the year, the most vulnerable are made more vulnerable, and for those of us who are lucky enough to have a little more, volunteering our time is one of the most impactful things we can do. 

This time, we are highlighting the excellent work of FoodCycle, whose vision is to make food poverty, loneliness, and food waste a thing of the past. According to their mission statement “Week in, week out we feed the hungry and give company to the lonely in our communities with delicious meals and great conversation, using food that would otherwise go to waste”. With locations across Manchester, Birmingham, London and more, they are always looking for volunteers to swell their ranks!

Find out more HERE.

Where to go - book a hot yoga class

Picture this: it is a cold winter morning. You can’t face another freezing jog and you’re bored of your usual gym routine. So instead, try hot yoga! Hot yoga is usually done in a room heated to 37-40 degrees Celsius, the equivalent of a hot summer’s day. Your yoga teacher will take you through a set series of poses, which you usually hold for a longer time. Besides reduced stress and greater connection with yourself, hot yoga is excellent for improving circulation, lung capacity, and even increasing bone density. Expect to sweat, so make sure to bring a towel and a water bottle to class.

What to buy - A Houseplant from your local independent garden centre

If you are lucky enough to have outside space, gardening in January is probably the last thing on your mind, but if you live in a flat and the grey of the world is getting to you, buy a houseplant. If low-maintenance is your thing, maybe look for an aloe vera or English ivy, both great for air quality. 

Perhaps you want to add some zing to your home cooking? Try planting a windowsill herb garden! 

When choosing your plants, just remember light is imperative to a happy plant, so do your research first! Check out this blog post from Prickle Plants for some first time plant parent inspiration.

What to eat - Carrot, Cumin, and Clementine Salad

If you’re anything like us, after the indulgences of the holidays, your mind starts to turn to vegetables. And of course, it being the middle of winter, if you’re trying to eat seasonally, you might be a bit stuck for ideas. Here we come to the rescue! A couple of great options are carrots and clementines. Both still in season and both packed with fortifying vitamins (A and C, respectively). For a simple but utterly delicious salad, shave ribbons of carrot with a veg peeler and add the juice of half a clementine along with a little bit of good olive oil. For a kick with a difference add a dash of ground cumin and salt to taste. To dress it up further, add some chopped parsley. Bright, delicious, and oh so simple!

What to drink - Turmeric and Ginger shots

The benefits of turmeric and ginger are well known both as anti-inflammartories, immune boosting and promoting a healthy gut biome (ginger can reduce bloating and even help with nausea). 

If you’re in a hurry, try the Plenish range of cold pressed, organic, no added sugar shots - we recommend their Turmeric Defence and Ginger Immunity. Spicy and delicious and good for you too. 

If you have a bit more time on your hands, try making your own! 

BBC Good Food has very easy ginger shot recipe. Scroll down for instructions to add turmeric! 

What to read - Atomic Habits, by James Clear

Not a new release, but definitely worth returning to, this time we’re recommending Atomic Habits by James Clear

This book explores how tiny habits stacked together, can compound to make major changes. Through stories from successful people and backed by science and psychological research, you’ll learn the brilliantly simple process of making mind improvements and habit changes. 

A New York Times and Sunday Times best-seller, Atomic Habits is a practical and useful guide to making real and tangible change in your life.

What to listen to - Food Rebels

Food Rebels is a podcast dedicated to telling the stories behind the people who are disrupting the old ways of doing food. Through conversations with founders and directors of companies from Green & Black’s to Freddie’s Farm you’ll hear the stories of how they are changing the way food is produced, talked about, and eaten. 

Hosted by AJ Sharp and with guest presenters Christabel Cairns, Dhruv Baker, and Rebecca Wollard, their experiences as chefs, writers, recipe developers, and entrepreneurs are utilised to the full. Essential listening for anyone who is interested in the cutting edge (wink wink) of the food industry.

You can find it in all the usual places where you get your podcasts, or go direct here.

What to watch - You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment, Netflix

You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment is a new Netflix series which delves into the benefits of a vegan diet. Based on a study conducted at Stanford University, one twin follows an omnivore diet while the other twin follows a vegan diet for eight weeks.

Remarkably, at the end of just eight weeks, various health markers are observed and (spoiler alert!) the vegan diet comes out on top. It turns out that those following a plant-based diet had a reduced risk of heart disease, greater immunity, and, amazingly, an increase in life expectancy. 

Combined with some damning evidence about the meat and diary industry in the USA, this series makes for some compelling viewing. If you are curious about going vegan or are doing Veganuary this year, add this series to you Netflix queue!

What to wear - Gnger Bees 

What is Gnger Bees? 

A London-based activewear brand with a focus on using reclaimed and recycled materials, who reinvest proceeds into sustainability projects around the globe without sacrificing style, comfort, or functionality! 

You’ll find a curated selection of active and athleisure clothing (and matching accessories), from shorts and leggings to body suits and joggers. Gnger Bees proudly shout about their use of reclaimed materials both for the clothing they make and the packaging it is delivered in.

Look no further for your fashion forward and planet friendly activewear needs!

Who to follow - @weshape.wellness

WeShape Wellness do daily stretches, strengthening and mobility exercises, all doable at home. As we get older, putting a greater emphasis on strength and continued mobility is essential. From your toes to your spine, it’s all covered. Rather than looking towards outward results, they focus on body positivity and the self-love that comes from within rather than a number on a scale. The more your body is able to move the more you will enjoy movement!