Historically, conferences are not the best place to practice healthy eating, usually serving unhealthy options such as burgers and chips, cakes, pastries, sausage rolls and sandwiches. This is due to the overall ease to produce the end product; fast food tends to be cheaper for large quantity production as opposed to healthier alternatives such as salads, rice bowls and smoothies. Up until recent years, there was a larger demand for fast and fattier foods.
With over 76% of workers choosing to buy lunch on a regular basis, instead of bringing lunch into work from home, more and more people are looking into alternative eating within the workplace in order to improve their diet, choosing to buy from fresh food stores as an alternative to buying the typical meal deal or visiting their local fast food establishment. Also, many individuals are choosing to push towards vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian diets in order to reduce their overall meat intake and try to improve their overall health. Many lunchtime locations are offering a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options, which is widely being adapted across all workplaces.
Food is a big focus on the brain throughout the day; it is important to feed the body with the best foods in order to keep well energised and allow yourself to focus properly. Eating heavy, unhealthy foods will energise you for a short period of time but will cause you to have a dip in focus towards the afternoon. Speaking to the Head Chef at Coventry Conferences, he states “There has been an overwhelming change in the demand for healthier food over the last five years and we have adapted our menu over the years to keep up with the demand for healthier alternatives as well as the adaptation for the increase of vegetarians, vegans and those who are looking for meat alternatives.”
When possible, you should choose healthier alternatives, focusing on superfoods such as quinoa, lentils and nuts. These have good fats in them that will help you to feel full for a longer period of time without feeling bloated. As well as the superfoods, change your carbohydrates from stodgy food such as bread and pasta and instead choose lighter carbs such as brown rice or couscous. Pasta, white rice and white bread are high on the glycaemic index, meaning they are high in sugar and will burn energy quickly as opposed to lower glycaemic index carbohydrates. Swap out your chocolate and cakes for fruits and vegetables. All of these simple changes will have a positive effect on your mind and body. Natural sugars found in fruit and veg take longer for the body to burn, keeping you energised for a longer period of time.
Healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to eat vegetarian or vegan meals, cutting out meat completely. The important factor is choosing a leaner, protein-rich meat such as chicken (without the skin), turkey and red meats such as pork chops. These meats have a relatively low fat content meaning they will not be so heavy for your lunchtime meal. A great alternative to meats would be to choose a variety of fish. Although fish can be higher in oily fats, fish such as salmon and mackerel are high in omega 3 which is proven to be great for increasing concentration.
When attending all-day conferences and exhibitions, you can become stiff and develop pains and headaches when focusing for a long period of time. It’s important to take breaks whenever you can, especially if you are looking at a screen during the conference. Health experts recommend breaking up sedentary time every 30 minutes for at least 1 to 2 minutes; this is sometimes hard to do when attending a conference as some topics can run for longer periods of time. However, going for a short walk to stretch your legs can be very beneficial to stopping any stiffness or pains, especially in the lower back. There are also some simple stretches you can do whilst sitting to help your back and neck when sitting for a long period of time.
At CoventryConferences, our on-site catering team KUDOS provide a large selection of fresh, healthy alternatives, made daily for your conference and exhibition lunches, whether you are looking for hot or cold meals, canapés or buffet-style food. On top of this there is also a variety of vegetarian and vegan options for you to choose. KUDOS are dedicated to created exceptional food that will help you keep to your healthier lifestyle.
As well as the food, CoventryConferences have 30 rooms to choose from, specifically designed for conferences and exhibitions. All of these rooms are ergonomically efficient and offer a multitude of seating plans and floor spaces ideal for exhibitions. All rooms come with AV support and options for tech hire such as laptops, projectors and LED screens and built-in air-con systems. The venue is easily accessible via car and train.