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DARO - Commit to Get Fit - Official'ish blog #5

May

09

DARO is a large group and since every member of the department has committed to CtGF the programme has really been taken to heart.  There is an awful lot going on and even though there are work trips abroad and some holidays during May, everyone is partaking and contributing.  

In the last week alone this is what has been enjoyed by DARO:  netball, gym, boxercise, walking, swimming, yoga, badminton, paragliding, jogging, running, allotment, British Military Fitness, football, kayaking, handball, cycling.  

The impact of CtGF has been not only to facilitate us doing new things but also to prompt actually doing what we've long been thinking about.  People have moved more, taken on new challenges and bonded with their team.  Bad old habits have been challenged and new better ones are being tested.  New bikes have been bought, kayaking courses signed up to and good yomps undertaken with colleagues.

In particular, using CtGF and Sussex research, we have been taking a break from our desks in our own time for lunch.  Sussex research found that leaving the office to eat lunch increases general wellbeing and makes employees look more favourably upon their job.  Those that eat at their desk are more likely to feel miserable and this may impact upon their productivity.  The first best place to eat lunch is on the beach so we have to settle for the second best which is sitting on a bench in a green space.  We're incredibly lucky to work on the unique Sussex campus surrounded by the Downs and CtGF has shown some of us how truly beautiful our locality is.

The office biscuits and cakes have gone from the kitchen and were even replaced with quinoa at the team meeting - yes QUINOA!  I made two versions, one with pumpkin, poppy and lin seeds, the other with sprouted beans.  Those returning from trips have refrained from buying the local delicacies or have kept them back for after CtGF.  People have adapted the lunches that they've brought in, so much so that our fridge would make Gwyneth Paltrow proud...Goop indeed...see photo below - the jar is a home made nettle pesto made with walnuts, pecorino cheese, olive oil and garlic.

The range of change is naturally across the spectrum with some changes bigger than others.  One notable win is a favourite snack of a Mars Ice Cream being substituted with Total 0% with mixed berries.  In the middle there are a lot of people cutting down on caffeine and lowering sugar intake.  At the far end is the non fruit eater buying fruit, the next few weeks might even progress to consumption of it.  

The best bit is people sharing their experiences so that the whole team benefits.  A few of us made Terry Cooper's Eat Better, Feel Better seminar and we've shared the knowledge with everyone.  Well, the sharing was prompted on our return by 'did he mention quinoa?' and 'Terry!  Did he mention quinoa?' which then led us to share the rest.  The Omega 3 and 6 balance seemed to resonate the most strongly.