Modular interactive self-contained learning sessions facilitating assimilation of evidence based information around Nutrition, Lifestyle and Environmental factors affecting Recovery, Physical Health and Mental Wellbeing. June 2015
Learning, Participation, Interacting with others, Building skills & Confidence, Inspiration and Fun
This is a description of a program designed to raise awareness and foster learning around healthy eating and optimal lifestyle habits, with particular consideration to those participants in a recovery mode.
Learning is centered round basic understanding of health and healthy eating, what to avoid and practical food acquiring, discernment, preparation and kitchen skills. Asking questions and critical thinking is encouraged. Content and delivery is designed to be engaging and stimulating.
The design of the program is such that each session is self contained and that over 6 sessions, (1 session is 2 hours every 2 weeks) a participant will have acquired a range of knowledge and been immersed in a non judgemental group activity in which they may acquire important health and life skills.
Because the average engagement of a participant is around 3 months, the group of 6 sessions is also modular and self-contained. Another group of 6 sessions could then start seamlessly. Long-term residents will also benefit, because the extent of all the learning and information is so vast and the variety of the discussions so rich, that someone engaged for a year will not become bored.
Experience indicates that although the basic structure of a session is predetermined, how and what actually is discussed and the interactions that take place, is always unique. This is because of the uniqueness of each participant, the breadth and depth of the subject matter and the resultant group dynamics.
What follows is an overview of the sessions and brief outline of the content of a single session.
Each modular 2 hour session is divided seamlessly into sections that cover the following core elements –
- Food with emphasis on; healthy versus unhealthy, shopping, growing, preparing and cooking. Will cover the concept of food groups and introduce the Australian Government recent 2013 guidelines on healthy eating.
- Nutrients and Energy. This will be a group activity after which a participant will see the play between an essential nutrient and which foods contain this nutrient. As there are about 40 key nutrients, each session will endeavour to cover 6-7 nutrients spread between the minerals, the vitamins and the energy suppliers like fat, carbs and protein. Will also cover the Australian Government Nutrient guidelines on RDI's and upper limits.
- Each session will cover one important "Auxiliary Nutrient". These are Sleep, Movement, Sunlight, Communication & Inspiration, Nature & Stillness, Joy & Peace.
- What to avoid including badly marketed foods and toxic chemicals both in food and our environment. Using information from both the Australian EPA and the US EPA, the World Health Organisation (WHO) division called the International Association of Research into Cancer (IARC) and peer reviewed literature.
- Working with others. Selected activities will give opportunity to work as a small group. Opportunities exist here for the more long-term residents to work with each other and even mentor the newbies.
- Hands on activities to foster participation and skill building. Each session will include a short segment in the kitchen designed to introduce and develop confidence in the most fundamental food preparation and cooking skills. Resources permitting the group may also prepare and cook a small meal or snack near the end of the 6 weeks.
- Basic 101 of the human body. Each week a small section on either Digestion, the Gut and its' Bacterial ecology, Detoxification, Location & Function of key organs, Importance of Lean muscle mass and the Brain
- Information and discussion around what impacts our health, both physical and mental. In some sessions, this may be presented as a short 5-10 minute inspirational audio-visual by a leader or researcher in an important health, nutrition or toxicology field.
- A Reading List is compiled and included in budget, items purchased for in-house library and books presented to participants in a way that encourages reading.
- Finally, the 6 sessions would start to foster confidence in thinking for one self and evaluating health, food and nutrition information.
Single Session Overview
Important to note that while a session is broking into sections outlined below, the order may be different and the experience of the participant would be fluid, seamless and engaging. Aim is to keep session tight but relaxed. Approximate allocated times are shown.
- Integrating new arrivals with brief introductions and overview of "what these sessions are about" – all with an aim to make everyone feel relaxed and comfortable. Recapping previous session and any discussion of individual "homework" or tasks given as group activities. 5mins
- Basic 101 of the human body. For instance the Gut would include mouth, teeth, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gall bladder, liver and pancreas. Where they are. The roles of each and the juices they produce. Importance of looking after the gut bacteria. What can go wrong. Pain indicators. Discussion and Questions. 15mins
- Feature 2-3 Foods or Food Groups with discussion referring back to the Australian Government guidelines on healthy eating. Discuss alternatives used around the world, global versus local food supply and production, Pros and Cons of the foods and groups in focus, Preparation techniques to increase nutrient absorption, Nutrient dense foods versus Energy dense foods. If time will start to look at Meal design as a small group activity. 20mins
- Label Reading. Participants are asked to bring in processed food items they buy and the label is dissected to reveal contents, marketing claims, additives, sugars, fats, energy and protein. Additives with E-numbers are further investigated as to there harm or benefits. Great group activity. Alternatives are discussed. May include items from the resident kitchen (if Chef is willing) 10-15 mins
- What to avoid. Toxic chemical exposure routes today including food, water, makeup and the harmful substances they contain. May talk about alcohol metabolism and its toxic effects on health. 10-15mins
BREAK ---- 5 mins walking break.
- Kitchen Skills. In the Resident Kitchen. Basic hands on section to encourage confidence and skill development around food preparation and cooking. Every session. Simple cutting, chopping, safe knife and board techniques, grating, grinding, introduction to using a food processor, using a pan, heat regulation, adding flavour, food hygiene, assessing food quality. Need Kitchen items on shopping list as discussed and given to Program Coordinator. Also need small budget to purchase some food itmes. 15-20mins
Back to Presentation Room.
- Introduction to Nutrients and where they are in foods. What makes nutrients essential. What things deplete nutrients – i.e. alcohol depletes Vitamin B1 (thiamine). Some medications and toxins increase demand for certain nutrients. Supplements are discussed. This is a group activity where we explore 6-7 nutrients using a resource that matches a nutrient and the main foods that are good sources of this nutrient. Very interactive. Will refer back to the Australian Government RDI's and upper limits. 20-30mins
- Each session will cover one important "Auxiliary Nutrient". For example when we look at Sleep we will discuss how sleep is important for detoxification, mood, weight loss and general health. For those with trouble sleeping we will look at sleep hygiene. 10 mins
- If time -
Information and discussion around what impacts our health, both physical and mental. In some sessions, this may be presented as a short 5-10 minute inspirational audio-visual by a leader or researcher in an important health, nutrition or toxicology field. 5-10mins
- Evaluating anticipated outcomes
Feedback forms handed out after each session with key questions designed to assess desired outcomes. Questions to be designed in collaboration with Program Coordinator.
Time & resources permitting, we may include an off-site shopping tour taking in both the local growers market and woolies supermarket early on a Sunday morning.
Hartmut Günther's Resumé
Slide Show Example
Online slideshow demonstrating some of the slides used in the above presentations. They are not in any particular order. This is a LARGE file, takes time to load.