Why Good Decisions Are Never Made On An Empty Stomach

Guest post by NOMAD one of Feedr’s workspace partners.  

by Caroline Lang

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Pig-out on productivity

With a new energy bar or superfood salad popping up on every corner, it’s no longer a surprise that good food can lead to a better lifestyle. Nutritious meals have a significant effect on productivity, with the right food fueling electrical impulses for learning, memory and other cognitive tasks. We’re told to always keep some fruit and a bag of nuts on our desks and are encouraged to seek out fresh salads for lunch over greasy burgers and sugar-loaded meals that will drag us down for the rest of the day and impact our motivation in the office. According to HBR, “food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon.”

Full-bellied friendships

Not only does what we eat impact our personal experience at work but it also affects our connections with others in the workplace. Food is inherently a social activity and humans have been bonding over it since the day we caught our first fish. It’s a universal language and something that we look forward to experiencing – especially together. What’s more is that the act of mimicking behavior – something which naturally occurs when eating together – leads to increased pro-social behaviors. As such, food in the workplace benefits both our cognitive abilities and our social skills, allowing us to share information with each other while we share our meals.  

Consumer conferences

The American marketplace for corporate catering ezCater, recently conducted a study that found that the presence of food in the workplace has significant effects on business deals. 90% of the 1025 office workers they spoke to, agreed that food keeps customers and prospects happy, 80% said it made it easier to secure a deal and 61% agreed that food contributed towards closing said deal. Professor Lakshmi Balachandra at Babson College carried out a similar experiment when she asked three groups of students to negotiate a business deal – in a restaurant, in a conference room with food and in a conference room without food. Those who ate while deciding important matters created 12% greater profits than those who were asked to negotiate without eating. Balachandra argued that his success rate was due to the increase of glucose that occurs when eating – a carbohydrate that enhances brain activity, bolsters self-control and regulates prejudice and aggressive behaviors. No surprise then, that the groups with fuller bellies could negotiate in a calmer and more productive manner.

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Devouring the talent

What Forbes’ John Baldoni calls “Motivation by Mouth” has another huge impact when it comes to attracting talent. With startups bombarding their potential candidates with the newest and most exciting employee perks – from free beer to gym passes – food is pretty high up on the list. 67% of those interviewed by ezCater said they’d choose a job at a company that offers free food over one at a similar company that does not. The Wall Street Journal’s Rachel Feintzeig has even classed this free perks arms race as a whole new job category, where startups are battling for the best talent out there. Free food on site might just be the deciding factor when accepting a job offer.

Based in the heart of Camden Market, the team at NOMAD are huge foodies. Like Balachandra, we believe that good decisions and meaningful partnerships are never made on an empty stomach, and as such have teamed up with Feedr to take your meetings to the next level. Impress a client, surprise your team or serve yummy food during your workshop: we’re convinced food is the fuel of any meeting!

Use the code Feedr40NOMAD” to get £40 off your first meeting room booking with NOMAD

Exercise in the City

It’s no secret that leading an active lifestyle and eating healthily can significantly improve our overall health and emotional wellbeing. Combining a balanced diet with regular physical activity has been proven to reduce our risk of developing serious health conditions. Did you know, for instance, that London bus drivers in the 1950s were found to be twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack than bus conductors? It’s a shocking statistic and one that draws many parallels with today’s typically sedentary office culture.

According to research carried out by Loughborough University, the average person spends 65% of their waking hours sitting down. On Your Feet Britain also state that close to half of women (45%) and around two fifths of men (37%) working in offices in the UK spend less than 30 minutes a day walking around at work. Queue Exercise in the City, who are shaking things up and getting us moving.

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Image Credit: Exercise in the City

Exercise in the City help workplaces get active by providing convenient, highly accessible fitness classes that allow those in corporations to slot exercise into their increasingly busy schedules. Proving that a traditional studio or gym space isn’t essential, they bring the class to you at your workplace with a range of fun, office-based workouts ranging from Pilates and Yoga to HIIT, Circuits and Zumba.

Their growing base of insured, highly qualified instructors are all incredibly passionate about what they do. They offer enjoyable pre and post work classes, along with great lunchtime sessions, all of which are suitable for every level of fitness. Additionally, the classes are great team building opportunity in the workplace. So there really are no excuses to get up and get moving!

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Image Credit: Exercise in the City

 

We love Exercise in the City’s holistic approach to wellbeing, which parallels the Feedr philosophy. It’s important to remember that the benefits of eating well and exercising regularly aren’t merely confined to our physical health. Fuelling our bodies with a balanced diet and increasing our activity levels in a responsible, sustainable way can do wonders for our mental wellbeing and overall happiness. We believe that this holistic approach is a sure-fire formula to leave us feeling more positive and energised in day-to-day life.

Allbright Event: International Women’s Day 2017

Last week’s Allbright event coincided with International Women’s Day. We were invited along to City Hall to share in a celebration of successful female founders and entrepreneurs, proactively tackling the gender gap in London.

Opened by the Mayor of London, Saqiq Khan, the morning was filled with inspirational speeches and discussions, led by top names from a multitude of industries. ‘Be Bold For Change’ was the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day and this resonated throughout the morning. It was amazing to hear from so many strong, entrepreneurial women, including Kelly Hoppen, Emily Forbes, Cat Gazzoli, Aneeqa Khan.

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Image credit: Twitter @MrsAnnaKJones

During the morning, Khan introduced Skills For Londoners. A major aim of this scheme is to enable young people, who may not otherwise have access to the required resources and finance, to realise their potential. He explained his plans to ‘make sure Skills for Londoners taps up chief executives, entrepreneurs, successful women, to go to [speak at] assemblies at schools and further education colleges across London’, thus inspiring an aspirational generation of young women that understand what they are capable of achieving.

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Image credit: Twitter @MrsAnnaKJones

Debbie Wosskow, co-founder of Allbright and a member of Khan’s advisory board also delivered food for thought. Men continue to dominate the investment space, and so she brought to light the significant impact that female presence can have upon a board, with figures suggesting that a mixed team of directors can deliver a 36% better return on investment. Wosskow also emphasised the mutual role that men and women need to play in this challenge of the gender gap. She pointed out that, for things to change, we all need to be proactive to create a real impact.

The morning sparked many fresh ideas and left us feeling empowered and energised, looking forward to future developments and upcoming Allbright events.

Conscious Consumerism: Elysia Catering

We are thrilled to be introducing Elysia Catering through our current blog series, charting The Rise of Conscious Consumerism. This week’s spotlighted Feedr vendor employs a highly impressive concept, tackling London’s food waste concerns with innovation and finesse.

Established by French entrepreneur, Sophie in 2016, Elysia provides practical solutions to surplus within the food processing industry, rescuing artisan food that would otherwise go to waste and transforming it into delicious, catered breakfasts and aperitifs. Produce is handpicked from a quality selection of ethical producers, including Rubies in the Rubble, Lucocoa Chocolate and Husk & Honey, and is, importantly, purchased at a fair price.

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Values spread not only to the quality of products, but also to those behind the scenes. Inspired by the Ohio-based enterprise, Hot Chicken Takeover, the company reinvests profits into training programmes for employees who have struggled to find work elsewhere. As a certified member of Social Enterprise UK, Elysia’s training programmes allow employees to discover and develop the skills that they need to flourish in future endeavours. It’s a highly supportive system in which team members are paid fairly and, after two years with the company, are assisted in either finding a new job or becoming self-employed through their franchise model.

Here at Feedr, we’re always on the look-out for vendors working with innovation in the food industry. So of course, we were drawn to Elysia Catering, and their impressively unique vision, which we support wholeheartedly. It’s reassuring to know that, through our work with them, we’re supporting social and environmental responsibility and doing our bit to protect the planet.

Conscious Consumerism: The Mae Deli

The Mae Deli has become something of a household name in recent months. Headed up by husband and wife duo Matthew and Ella, of Deliciously Ella, the ever-popular Feedr vendor was founded on the principal of producing naturally tasty food in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

Operating with integrity is a top priority, and the company ensure that each and every area of the business remains completely transparent.

Founders, Matthew and Ella believe that their team members are all part of the extended family and should be treated thus. Employees are paid the London Living Wage, while equal opportunity and cultural diversity are championed, with team members hailing from a total of eight countries.

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Delectable salads from The Mae Deli

Deliciously Ella lives up to her namesake, whipping up only the tastiest recipes to include on The Mae Deli menu. Simplicity is key in her formula and ingredients used are the types of things that you’d probably find in your kitchen cupboard. All food is unprocessed and free from additives, preservatives and stabilisers.

Respecting the environment is a top priority for the company; all containers used to package food from the deli are recyclable or compostable. The team encourage customers to bear this in mind when discarding empty boxes, thus keeping their landfill contribution to the absolute minimum.

The Mae Deli’s commitment to total transparency includes sharing recipes for all items on offer at the deli, allowing customers to see exactly what goes into their food. And it’d be a tough feat to be more transparent than that!

Keep your eyes peeled for the final instalment in this series, introducing Elysia Catering.

Conscious Consumerism: Karma Cans

‘The best ideas happen at lunch!’ This is the gospel according to sisters, Eccie and Gini Newton, who have developed a lifelong hobby into the successful East-London business, Karma Cans: this week’s vendor in our conscious consumerism spotlight series.

The pair were raised in an environment that encouraged a healthy relationship with food, which included eating together as a family on a regular basis. From these foundations, emerged a business based around community eating culture. Through experience, the Newton sisters have ascertained the positive impact that inclusive eating has upon the workplace; stepping away from our desks for healthy team lunches is a fantastic way to nurture working relationships and spark fresh ideas. It seems obvious really, but so few of us actually put this into practice.

Operating with integrity is echoed in each and every stage of production and trade. Faddy diet food never enters the equation. Instead, Karma Cans offer balanced, energy-boosting food that is as delicious as it is nutritious.

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Wherever possible, food is locally sourced. Meat comes from traditional butcher, McKanna Meats and fish from, Leleu & Morris, while all fruit and vegetables are organic and purchased from New Spitalfields Market. The chefs also make use of fresh herbs, grown just outside their East London kitchen. And it’d be a tough feat to get more local that that!

All red meat was recently cut from the Karma Cans menu, eliminating their contribution to environmental issues associated with this sector of the farming industry. Likewise, their special vegetarian option on Friday encourages people to go vegetarian for one day per week, thus having a positive impact upon the environment.

Karma Cans avoid plastic altogether, taking an impressive, innovative approach to disposable packaging. All containers are made with cellulose (plant cells), sourced from sustainably grown eucalyptus plantations in Australia.

We admire Karma Cans’ ethos and love their delicious food in equal measure. We’re sure you will too.

Keep an eye out for our next spotlighted vendor, The Mae Deli.

Conscious Consumerism: Farmstand

Last week we introduced our discussion on the rise of conscious consumerism, in which we’ll be spotlighting a number of Feedr vendors over the next few weeks. This week is the turn of Farmstand.

Delicious food. Sustainably sourced. This is the resounding philosophy of Feedr vendor, Farmstand.

From farm to plate, the company ensure that their ingredients are environmentally sound, fulfilling not only consumer demand, but also adhering to the Farmstand philosophy. Building strong relationships with suppliers is of upmost importance to the company. They know each supplier inside out and work closely with them to ensure that everyone involved feels happy and appreciated.

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Image credit: Instagram @wearefarmstand

Farmstand’s ethos extends to the ingredients used in each and every dish, prepared and cooked on site. Fruit, vegetables and grains are sustainably grown and free from antibiotics, hormones and GM. A focus on using fresh, seasonal produce allows them to cut their carbon footprint to the absolute minimum.

Animal welfare is a growing concern in the UK, and many are joining the widely reported vegan revolution. But it’s understandable that while we may support the humane treatment of animals, not all of us want to give up meat altogether. Farmstand echo this notion and ensure that their beef, chicken and lamb dishes contain meat from only naturally fed, humanely treated livestock, sourced from local family farms and butchers.

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Image credit: Instagram @wearefarmstand

The Feedr vendor offer an exclusively dairy and gluten free menu, using exciting alternatives like COYO coconut yogurt to satisfy both your taste buds and your hunger, so you never feel like you’re missing out.

With increasingly busy lifestyles, many of us are turning to convenience food to cut down on time. Unfortunately, these changes in consumer habits can have a detrimental impact upon the environment, with a phenomenal amount of waste produced by take-away packaging on a daily basis. Farmstand refuse to contribute to this issue and work with London Bio Packaging to source 100% compostable packaging, including napkins and utensils.

We admire Farmstand’s commitment to sustainable and ethical standards within the industry and are proud to support them as one of our trusted vendors.

Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s spotlighted vendor, Karma Cans.

The Rise of Conscious Consumerism

We are sure that you will have taken notice of the dramatic cultural shift towards more ethical and sustainable living in the UK and overseas. In recent years, this has extended to virtually every aspect of consumer culture and, with increasing demand for transparency on all levels of the supply chain, businesses are considerably upping their game.

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Image credit: Instagram @wearefarmstand

While many of us are keen to support ethical industries, it can be tough when we are feeling the pinch and living increasingly busy lives. Perhaps this is why, according to Social Enterprise UK, many of us are trying to make a difference with our daily habits, hoping to contribute on a broader spectrum through the small purchases we make each day. Companies like Mindful Chef have picked up on this; they specialise in delivering simple and responsibly sourced meal boxes, directly to your door.

Food is of course, a daily commodity for all, and Feedr have a deep-rooted desire to not only expose problems within the industry but also promote those vendors producing food that is fresh, ethically sound and delicious. From locally sourced ingredients to food waste reduction, we ensure that our vendors uphold an ethos that we wholeheartedly trust and believe in.

We recognise that eating high quality food responsibly can be confusing and time consuming, making it feel inaccessible to the majority. So over the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting a few of our great vendors in London who make this easy and whose philosophy is at the heart of all they do. Watch this space for delicious food, with conscience and intent.

Fare Healthy 2017

Fare Healthy is just around the corner, and we’re always excited to see developments and discussion around wellness. The third festival will be taking place on the 4th and 5th of February at The Old Truman Brewery in the heart of East London.

Co-founder Rose Lloyd Owen, of Feedr vendor, Peardrop, recognises that there is no fixed formula to feeling and looking great. Fare Healthy promotes a balanced approach to wellbeing, aiming to motivate people to discover a healthy lifestyle that works for them.

“Discussions and talks surrounding the industry are at the top of our agenda for the weekend, exploring hot topics and new concepts for body, mind and soul.”

Reminding us that health spreads beyond diet and exercise, Lauren Bartley of the Soil Association will be hosting an interactive Q&A session, dealing out tips to help you incorporate certified organic products into your beauty routine.

Another Feedr vendor, Pollen + Grace will be clearing up any confusion surrounding the natural sugar debate, while names like Tom Hunt and Gill Meller will be explaining how we can all live a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.

Fitness classes will be running throughout the weekend. Frame will have you channelling your inner Beyoncé and dancing to pop classics, while yoga teacher Annie Clarke will be connecting the mind and body in a dynamic yoga class, suitable for all levels. So whether you’re looking to get your pulse racing or wind down after a busy week, it seems that there’ll be something on offer to suit.

The Self Love Surgery launches at this years’ festival, providing you with the opportunity to sign up for a complimentary one on one consultation with a number of health experts in the industry. And we’re all entitled to a little TLC, right?

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We’re eager brush up on our growing knowledge of holistic living at this year’s Fare Healthy, and discover new ways to nourish body, mind and soul. Lloyd Owen’s mantra champions the power of positive thinking. She believes that ‘…a positive and happy state of mind is the most valuable thing we own’. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Reflecting on how the Wellness Industry evolved in 2016

WellToDo is one on our go-to spots for insights on the wellness industry here at Feedr, and as we approach the final stretch of the year, we spent a little bit of time reflecting on their expectations for trends in 2016.

Back in January, WellToDo reflected on the way in which wellness has permeated through multiple industries challenging the long-persisting relationship between fashion, fitness, food and even our own self-construal. We see this through things such as an explosion in hashtags including #cleaneating and #healthyliving on Instagram and other platforms, and we’re starting to see a shift in mainstream attitudes too.

WellToDo highlighted health magazines joining the trend by bidding farewell to covers promoting ‘bikini bodies’ and ‘drop two dress sizes’. The movement away from unachievable or unsustainable goals of our ‘ideal self’ makes room for proper understanding of how wellness can increase happiness, energy levels and longevity. Other trends highlighted included how wellness has started to attract the attention of big brands in a serious way, and to bring in record amounts of investment.

Wellness has moved from being a part-time activity or a weekend warrior approach to something that people really try to integrate into all areas of their lifestyle, and big business is taking notice. Due in part to this public change in attitude, companies have begun to jump on the bandwagon and the push for workplace wellness is increasing – what was once regarded as an arbitrary obligation for HR departments to implement has finally become appreciated and executed as a manner of employers demonstrating their value and concern for employees. However, many companies still struggle to find ways to implement workplace wellness programs that actually have an effect and benefit their employees in the long run.

All of these trends together highlight why we’re excited that Feedr has launched this year, and why we think making better food accessible to people where they work is important for individuals as well as employers. Watch this space in the coming months as we highlight other trends in the wellness space, and reflect on the relationship between food, wellness and the workplace.