Blogging that’s good for your Health…

On Saturday the 15th of September we hosted News & Trends Live x Health Blog Awards Ceremony.

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A collaboration between That Protein and the Health Blogging Community.

Bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers were celebrated for their achievements, this alongside the showcasing of health conscious brands such as:

The event consisted of talks and workshops in which topics such as marketing, social media, blogging and various health related subjects were discussed. The starting topics and the wide variety of experience within the panellists made for some interesting and important discussion about the current state of the ‘online’ world. Issues such as authenticity and the lean towards health and self consciousness were raised.

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Take a look at the Health Bloggers Community Website to find out more about what they do and their next events.

Meet Our Members: Jack Fleming

Our regular Meet Our Members spot introduces you to the brilliant and creative people that have taken up residence here at This Time Next Year.

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Name

Jack Fleming

Company

Soop Stories – Stories On Our Plate

How do you take your tea or coffee?

Good solid builder’s tea, splash of milk, strong brew, no sugar.

What’s your favourite Waltham Forest Hangout?

I live and grew up in Snaresbrook, so I know Waltham Forest relatively well and seeing the area grow over the years is a joy. I absolutely love the Hornbeam café in Walthamstow, they do some work that is similar to ours, and of course, Deeney’s down the road for the Haggis toasties.

Tell us how SOOP came about

I’m one of two directors of Stories on Our Plate, we started nearly three years ago building on the foundation of celebrating people’s culinary identity through food. We primarily train home cooks to run their own pop up restaurants around London. We began life as a monthly supper club series which was all about celebrating the home cook, their food, their influences, their narration and helping them share that with paying customers. We take cooks through a mentoring programme over two or three months leading up to a collaboration and offer varying support around tasting, practising and storytelling. It’s all about trying to get out of them what they want to share with people, having them think about what they want their diners to leave the room having experienced. For example, an Egyptian cook we recently worked with is challenging the stereotype of middle eastern cuisine as a region and showcase the difference of Egyptian cuisine to neighbouring countries. She wanted to engage with the Egyptian diaspora that had not been back to their home towns and may have forgotten how to cook traditional Egyptian recipes; doing her own pop ups in London has been a way for her to reach those people. Previously we’ve ran training programmes for migrant refugee cooks, which tailored more to teaching them food hygiene and culinary skills.

We’ve just finished our first book, which is called Stories on Our Plate: Recipes and Conversations, featuring twelve home cooks that worked on the supper club series. We’re taking the book on tour in September and October and our second edition will be coming out the following October. It has been a fascinating eight-month project, working with two anthropologists and my co-director, who is a food anthropologist as well. Our aim was to strike a balance between having a conversation in a kitchen and cooking to recipes. Each recipe shoot was a two-hour long informal session with the cook; having a natural conversation with them brought up themes such as moving to London, sense of belonging, preserving recipes that have been handed down and taste memory. Allowing them to lead the conversation has built a portrait of each of them; twelve cooks, each with three brilliant recipes along with an understanding of who they are and why they’re doing what they’re what doing.

The idea behind taking the book around the country is to encourage local cooks and local initiatives in other towns to take up a similar project with support from us where needed. We’re looking to do three or four editions of this book because this approach of stepping away from a traditional cookbook has got so much potential.

What led you to setting up SOOP?

I spent five years in community conflict resolution in Bradford, working with people on conflict, relationships and day-to-day life. Food always played a role, there’s custom having tea and snacks first before tackling conflict that takes place across different cultures. Personally, I’ve always had a good relationship with food and been a good home cook, but what I saw at that time was an emerging conversation of how we see food as a restorative communal activity. I moved back to London and joined a small NGO in Amsterdam which was working on a project in the south west Balkans, using food to resolve post-conflict reconciliation. Essentially setting up communal meals between local communities and business leaders to re-establishing scarred, fractured relationships. After spending a year there, I came back and during my master’s programme I did a research project on culinary citizen cooperation; looking at projects across Europe and North American that use food as a bridging gap between fracture communities and communicating that to public administration and government. My world was gastro-nationalism, hummus wars and nationalism through food. And that’s when SOOP was born, my earliest thought to focus on people’s food identity whilst providing a social and economic opportunity. I reached out to the food anthropology community; the second or third person that responded became my co director, she has the same approach to food but being a food consultant and anthropologist, she brings a different perspective, so a perfect match.

In the beginning we looked at who would be best served from this kind of project within London, and we really wanted to work with people who might not being getting the same opportunities to express their food identity, so we focused on engaging with those from migrant and refugee backgrounds and introducing the idea of pop ups to them. The organisation has evolved naturally since then. In the last, eight or nine months about 90% of cooks that get in touch with us are everyday home cooks with all sorts of stories. We’ve responded to the demand, and it’s made us realise that this is for everyone from all backgrounds.

Where will you be this time next year?

Over the next year, we’ll be doing a lot more on the book project. The pop-up series continues to thrive, we do that once a month, primarily across south London and we’re now taking that out of London as well. My co-director is relocating to Canada with her family so she’s starting up a series in Toronto with a slightly different twist to it; working in schools and doing early age food story-telling programmes.

We want to keep going and enrich the foundation blocks of what we do. You won’t see a change in direction in the next year, but you’ll see a more of what already exists. There will always be limitations on what we do in a business sense, but we don’t want to be steered by things we feel we ought to do, we’ll continue to do what comes naturally to us – not just for us personally but for what we feel is right for SOOP. We’re a community interest organisation and so will remain true to the name. We continue to strengthen relationships with the cooks that have been part of the series and out of that are able to share more opportunities for them. They’re not employed by us, however, we’re able to signpost them to opportunities such as private party and corporate event catering requests, this makes us more of a network organisation and speaks true of our organic approach to the business.

Take a look at the Stories On Our Plate website and keep up to date with what they do on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

From Hot Desking to Cool Coworking.

Marketing Manager, Kirsty takes us through her experience of battling the heat to stay productive.

We’re in the middle of a sweltering heatwave. Great for staycations, not so great for being on top of your work game – unless you’re a plant… I’m not. I split my working days between a city office in Clerkenwell, my dining table and This Time Next Year, so I’m granted a multi-faceted view on working in the heat. Let me break it down, freelancer to freelancer.

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Commute

Undergro… Shhhhhhh… don’t even say it. I’m not a fan of commuting on the Central Line on the coolest of days, you can guarantee I’ll be making excuses to find an alternative route. As a result, my journeys into the city office tend to be an hour’s ride on the 55 bus. In this kind of heat, tempers are simmering and smells from fellow commuters are ripe. Not my favourite journey of the week. Whereas working from home is preceded by a stroll to the back of the house, a quick stop at the front door to collect any post and I arrive at my dining table with a bright garden view. Feelings of smugness usually ensue. Travelling to This Time Next Year is less of a commute and more of a saunter. Just a 10-minute cycle from Lea Bridge Road, through Jubilee Park, under a canopy of trees (my favourite part) to Orient Way. Travelling earlier is better, by mid-morning the tarmac on Orient Way starts to radiate.

Top tip for commuting in the heat: Pop a bottle of water in the freezer the night before you travel, this can then double as a cool pack and a source of ice-cold water.

Coffee

Very high up on my list of workspace requirements. Forget the fire exits, where is my nearest coffee point?! There’s a lot on offer at my city office, but not without having to venture out into the wider world; then there’s the obligatory ‘Does anyone want anything?’. I’m not a stingy office mate, I’ll happily buy you a coffee, it’s the juggling of 3 keep cups, 2 espressos and a frappe that I’m not a fan of – and oh, great, now I’m wearing my flat white instead of drinking it. With this heat, you can multiple the likelihood of dropping the lot by 3.4 – fact. Working from home, my coffee comes from a cafetiere, which my expenses spreadsheet is delighted. Although, it’s hardly inspiring and I do like a bit of barista banter – sadly my kettle doesn’t have a particularly good sense of humour. However, over at TTNY there’s Steph; banging milk frothing skills, makes a makes a mean, green juice and is always sweet enough to ask about everyone’s weekend – winner. Shout out to TTNY coffee suppliers Ozone, whose name is wholly appropriate for a blog about the heat.

Top tip for staying refreshed in the heat: Invest in an insulated reusable coffee cup, they’ll keep your coffee toasty and – more importantly – your iced latte cold. Plus, a lot of coffee shops offer a discount for using a reusable.

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Climate

Over in my city office, there’s air con. Perfect, especially after a long bus journey. How… ever… there is usually four or five of us in a narrow space. While we see eye to eye on getting things done, temperature is a whole different ball-game. Interesting fact – women and men can experience a difference in temperature by up to 5 degrees!! Plus, anytime someone opens the door or the window all of that lovely cold air escapes; yes, I know the window should be closed while the air con is on, but you try telling that lot! Over at my dining table there is no air con, cracking a window would usually encourage a draft but lately we’ve seen a distinct lack of drafts. Come 1.30pm, the view of the sun in the garden starts to mirage and the only relief is to take a cold shower, draw the curtains and try to continue working through the sweat dripping from my brow. Now let’s talk about TTNY, that light and airy space with air conditioning as refreshing as a mountain stream and as delicate a baby’s breath. Ok, so maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but I will insist that once you walk through the doors at TTNY, you’re in a different climate, a climate where thoughts run freely, and tasks are regularly ticked off. It’s only when I go to leave, that I realise the engulfing heat that I left behind in the morning persists.

Top tip for surviving a hot office: Resist the temptation to fan yourself, the movement creates more body heat. If you don’t have air conditioning, buy a desk fan and place a bowl of ice (or your iced drink) in front of this – the fan will help move the cooled air from around the ice throughout the room.

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There you have it – my thoughts and tips on working in the heat from three different workplaces. In a Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ style conclusion, the Commute, the Coffee and the Climate at This Time Next Year is just right.

If you’d like to take advantage of the cool coworking options available at The Time Next Year, simply email hello@thistimenextyear.co.uk to book a free trial day.

Meet Our Members: Elaine Kasket

Our regular Meet Our Members spot introduces you to the brilliant and creative people that have taken up residence here at This Time Next Year.

Elaine Kasket

Name

Elaine Kasket

What do you do?

I was an academic, I am a psychologist and more and more I’m becoming a proper writer. What I’m doing at This Time Next Year is working on my book. I had this fantasy that I would be able to work at home. With my daughter at school, and everything quiet I’d get so much done. For some people that might work, but for me, that doesn’t work. I knew I would benefit from being around creative people and so that’s why I came here. For the purposes of This Time Next Year, I’m a writer.

When I left academia, I entered a far more explorative phase. I started doing performances, spoken word and lots of other things that I had never had time to do. I did Mortified, in London, and I’m now on the podcast. I would never have dared to do something like that before. The piece I did at Mortified is curated from a self-published novel that I wrote when I was nine. It’s a very funny piece, but I was also a good writer. I thought, how did I get so far away from this?

Is your writing under a business persona or under your own?

It’s all under Elaine Kasket but I’ve recently rebranded, my branding now needs to reflect my writing role, as well as my psychologist role. My design team came up with a logo and website that reflects the dual sides.

Do you drink tea or coffee? How do you take it?

I started drinking coffee during a work-heavy time in my life and I still primarily drink coffee, even though I’ve left workaholism behind. I’ve been trying out the soy milk thing and liking it. So, I would say Soy Cappuccino, these days.

Do you feel like having that space has been conducive to getting things done?

Being at This Time Next Year, it’s a reconnection. I’ve got time, I’ve got flexibility, I’ve got possibilities, I’m meeting people from various backgrounds and it’s given me space. I’ve got my settled desk and if I get a creativity block, I’ll go spin in a chair or go to another floor. I move through space in the same way I’m moving through my head at the minute. It’s a parallel mirror of what’s happening in my life, that’s why I feel like it fits me so well.

I’d never considered a coworking space before that deadline started getting closer. People think you should be able to write anywhere. My partner thought I was spending money for the sake of it, but there’s no comparison on the productivity I’ve had here. My brain doesn’t always deliver up the words while I’m here, there’s no guarantee that I’ll get into that flow, but being here stacks the odds in my favour.

Do you live locally?

Yes, I’m in Leytonstone, I used to hate commuting every day, but an eight-minute bike ride is fantastic.

What are your favourite Waltham Forest hot spots?

It’s hard to narrow it down, there’s so much good happening. I love Laura Lea Designs, she’s done a lot for the area by supporting local artists, I love Wild Goose Bakery and The Red Lion. I love the energy of the place, there’s so much burgeoning, I’ve lived here for ten years and it’s changed so much for the better in that time. I’ve lived in lots of places and I’ve never experienced the community I’ve found in Leytonstone. It makes a massive difference to the quality of life.

Can you tell us a bit more about the book?

It’s called All the Ghosts in the Machine and it’s being published in early 2019. It is about the unexpected and consequential intersections of death and the digital; the consequences we have not anticipated of our data sticking around online when we’re no longer physically alive. It looks at issues that are as much about life as they are about death. Things like privacy, identity and corporate ownership; how the entities that process and manage our data when we’re alive, end up having a substantial influence on how we’re remembered. Power has been taken out of the hands of those who have historically held it, such as families, and placed with the likes of Facebook. It’s a confusing roundabout of laws that were put in place in the pre-digital era.

I’ll give you an example, in 2014 Hollie Gazzard was murdered by her boyfriend with whom she’d just broken up. He came into the salon where she worked and killed her. By the time her family went on her Facebook profile, it had been memorialised. On the page, there were seventy-two pictures of Hollie together with her killer. The family got in touch with Facebook and asked them to remove the photographs of Hollie with her murderer. Facebook refused, saying they must protect the privacy and preference of Holly as assumed at the time of her death, the only alternative would be to take the whole page down. Having exhausted all options, the family received a call from a man identifying himself as the Web Sheriff, someone who cleans the reputations of celebrities online. He had seen the story on the news and offered to take care of it pro bono. A week later, he calls them up and says it’s done. That family got that help because it was a huge media story, but there are thousands of other families in similar situations with no one to help them.

All the Ghosts in the Machine: The New Immortality of the Digital Age will be published in early 2019 (Robinson/Little Brown).

Follow all the latest news from Elaine on her website: www.elainekasket.com

Why you SHOULD/MUST/REALLY ought to break for lunch.

Our Front Of House Manager, Dorothée takes up the pro-lunchbreak campaign. Here she shares why dining Al-desk-o isn’t the best idea.

 

Does this look familiar ?

Most of us today, do not take time to properly sit down for lunch. We see lunch as a waste of time, precious time that could be spent working instead.

Well, here are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea, and might end-up being counterproductive.

First, breaking for lunch is just that, an opportunity to get away from you desk and screen for a few minutes. When focused on your screen, sometimes it’s difficult to have the right distance. Breaking means taking a few minutes to breathe, socialize, and actually might make you more productive once you’ve gone back to work.

 

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From a Health point of view, well food is vital.Your body needs food, not only on a physical level, but also on an emotional one. When you eat quickly without paying attention to what you’re putting in your body, it actually prevents your brain and body from feeling satisfied, on both levels. Most diet specialists and nutritionist recommend focusing on the food you’re eating, instead of eating in front of a screen. This is because your body will become quickly more satisfied on every level, when you’re consciously eating.If you eat in front of a screen, you’re not connected to the sensation of hunger, so it’s hard to know when to stop, or whether you’ve actually had enough food. Food and eating are beautiful moments, and your body, and yourself, deserve the best!

Want to know more? Here is a great Huffington Post article on why eating at your desk is terrible for you, and your work.

Now you’re convince, take a look at our favourite Lunch Hotspots in Leyton.