You are what you eat – essential when on a budget – HBN

The final day of Growing Talent 21’s Holistic Week included the excellent nutrition on a budget workshop delivered by Kate from Healthy Bites Nutrition.  A registered nutritionist, Kate devised this workshop especially for Growing Talent Associates showing them that good food doesn’t have to be expensive to be nutritional and can be prepared quick and easily too!


After sharing lots of ideas for healthy snack swaps as well as packed lunch ideas, Kate ran a practical to make a healthy pot noodle using a variety of fresh, canned and frozen vegetables, dried herbs/spices and limes.


Were the guys up for the challenge……………. of course they were!



So what were the guys thoughts on this workshop?


“This was interesting.  I will definitely use some of the things I learnt to improve my diet”

“Great info to help eat healthily”

“It was great to learn about the different food groups”

“Learning about portion control and balance stand out for me”

“This gave me lots of ideas for quick, healthy lunches and of course saving money”

“Some great budget tips”


We ended after lunch when the guys left for a celebratory drink ahead of starting their permanent jobs!  What a journey!

Latimer Vibe

Early, on a cold November morning seven intrepid Growing talent Associates stumbled from their warn beds to start their train journey to Latimer House.


After a train into London, tube across London, overground out of Marylebone, they arrived at Chalfont & Latimer for the final leg by taxi to the hotel.  Arriving at 9.20am, there was just time to grab a warming drink before the first module of Latimer Vibe commenced.


Mental Health First Aid – kicked off session one.  An understanding of mental health, the growth of the Mental Health First Aid global family, awareness in spotting the signs and steps to take to support someone as well as ourselves.  After lunch the finance workshop designed by Jon Barnes was delivered called ‘It’s Your Money’.  Learning on all areas of personal finance from store cards, credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages etc.


Sofie & Kate from Healthy Bites Nutrition, delivered an innovative workshop on healthy eating, food labelling and cheap ideas to feed ourselves on a tight budget.  A demo on a quick and easy breakfast on the go preceeded the pot noodle extravaganza!  Everyone had their own spices, dried rice noodles, frozen veg selection to compile their own bespoke lunch at a fraction of the cost of work lunches!  This went down really well……. All said they would start changing their lunch habits – saving money and better for health!  The intention is there, let’s see what reality brings……


Kate and Sofie pot noodle workshop

Day one ended with the second MHFA session on suicide and depression.  The photo below shows Andy, Mo and Ariane presenting their teams’ findings when considering some mental health symptoms and what they may look like.


Andy Mo and Ariane


At the three course dinner, we were joined by Lesley Davies and Chris Thompson – managers ahead of delivering their workshops on day 2!

Madi's gigantic burger
Madi’s gigantic burger!

 Day 2

First workshop was about personal finance.  We worked from the Latimer Vibe manual learning about standing orders, direct debits, bank accounts, overdrafts, store cards, credit cards, online banking, loans, mortgages, credit rating savings, increasing finances etc.  This was followed by a quiz.  Helped retain the information learnt.


Next was a fitness without the gym workshop giving valuable advice on staying fit at work, small changes to deliver big changes in our health, understanding how our body breaks down food and releases energy – a full on hour around renew and rejuvenate.  The guys then had to devise a plan to get fit taking into account things like mindset, rewards etc.


Next followed Session 3 of MHFA learning about Anxiety before Chris delivered an interactive workshop on poetry and creative writing to express and alleviate mental health issues.


It was powerful and sometimes shocking but absolutely innovative beginning with a YouTube clip of an American rapper.  We don’t generally associate rap with poetry but listen to the words and composition there is a definite link.  Next up was a short film on Sylvia Plath – I personally have always found her work very dark but she manages to express what a dark place she was in.  It’s often difficult for people with no experience of depression to appreciate the despair involved.  The final clip Chris showed was an amazing poet – Neil Hilborn who wrote about his journey into and then out of love whilst living with OCD and the impact this had on his girlfriend.  What initially drew him to her eventually pushed her away.  Thought provoking.

‘I loved it.  Chris made poetry interesting and fun’


The final session was MHFA 4 – Psychosis!  Understanding psychosis isn’t just about hearing voices started to question fears we all have about stereotypes:


‘I was afraid of mental health before, but know I feel I have gained a lot of knowledge on the subject for future reference’.


It’s important for us to understand more about mental health’.


A well earned drink with dinner followed!


Before and after the workshop session, the guys had full use of the facilities – swimming pool, sauna, gym between 6am-10pm.




Stairs at Latimer
On the way to dinner
Stairs 2 Latimer
The end of Latimer Vibe!

The next Growing Talent will commence in January 2015.   For anyone interested in the First Aider course for mental health, check out


Latimer Vibe Mark 3!

A briefing session for the 3rd Latimer Vibe takes place at PwC Hays Galleria tomorrow (4 November).  The content of the workshops delivered grows each time.  We have a new manual to encompass all of the workshops running at 57 pages!  Topics now covered include:


It’s Your Money – a basic, broad range look at personal finance from banking accounts, direct debits vs standing orders through to savvy saving practices, store/credit cards, debt management, mortgages through to increasing income potential.


How to get fit! – insight in how to plan a routine to ensure you increase your individual fitness level without gym membership


Fitness without the gym – blood pumping techniques for when you are desk-bound!


Hippy dippy – a look at well-being and positive thinking


Health Nutrition Bites – focussing on healthy eating on a budget


Practical Kitchen – the essentials to know about cooking for your self, food hygiene etc


Housing – some signposting for emergency housing and a look at what to consider if you are in secure accommodation but want to plan an independent move


In addition to the above all seven Growing Talent Associates will undergo the two-day global Mental Health First Aid course which will enable them to deliver first aid in this specialist area if they wish to.  It will definitely enable them to look after themselves better.


We have visiting managers delivering workshops in the above areas along with plenty of relaxation time which can be spent exploring the grounds, in the swimming pool, sauna or gym.  I expect a beer in the bar at the end of the day will be welcomed as well.


should be an exhausting but fun three days ahead.  Latimer kicks off Wednesday 5 November ending on Friday 7 November.