By Simon Hunter, Head of Venue and Brand, Chelsea Football Club –
I challenge you to find anyone who hasn’t heard about the benefits of clean eating and clean living. What looks good on the outside – vibrant green leaves, sunshine oranges and bright red berries on our plate – feels good on the inside. But is it another leisurely food fad? I’m not sure it is. Clean living translates not just to how we live, but how we work, and there’s nothing leisurely about it. In the fast-paced ‘work-hard-play-hard’ lifestyle of today, the mental demands of balancing our lives at work and at home mean we need to be focused and energised nigh on 24/7, conscious that what we eat and drink can affect how we think, perform and behave during the day just as much as getting a good nights’ sleep in anticipation of the next.
Food provides us with energy, stamina, endurance and the clear thinking we need to work effectively if it’s healthy, balanced and nutritious. The connection between nutrition and brain capabilities has been illustrated by numerous studies. A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience showed eating a small portion of antioxidant-packed blueberries every day improves the ability to learn and short-term memory and can result in reversal of nerve cell damage.
Food and drink has moved firmly up the rankings in the selection criteria for booking meeting venues – it’s not just value based on price and location, but more importantly, the value of what they eat on the body and mind. We’ve added more oat-based dishes, seeds and fresh fruit in our menus to deliver a slow release of energy and nutrients that can lower blood pressure, increase blood and oxygen to the brain, keep metabolic rates at a steady pace all day and boost cognitive function.
Gone are just simply the deep fried lunch options of meeting venues of old – dishes such as omega-3 salmon with sesame seeds and Broccoli are rich in brain strengthening magnesium and antioxidants which can help to deliver that all-important clarity of thinking. It’s clean eating for clean living, at work and at play. Seems like the perfect balance to me.