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Jul 16

My Week on £10 – Day 4

Today I am going out to collect something I ordered on the Internet, and realise that I have barely left the house since this challenge started.  It is a quiet period for both clients and students, so unless there has been a reason to go out, I have remained indoors.  When I do tentatively venture out, the world feels strange, like emerging from a sick room after illness. It would have been far healthier to spend time during the past few days going for a walk, so why did I not do so?

A nutritionally insufficient diet may exacerbate or contribute to mental health issues, all the more so if there is a relationship between food poverty and social isolation.

A nutritionally insufficient diet may exacerbate or contribute to mental health issues, all the more so if there is a relationship between food poverty and social isolation.

I am becoming increasingly aware that the issue of food poverty does not begin and end at the dining table.  Limiting food intake is not necessarily a bad thing for me, but I do find I am getting hungry.  Walking where there is an abundance of food to see and smell, but which I can’t partake of, going past shops where I used to enjoy browsing is rather daunting.  It’s not that I used to stop at every shop and buy obscene quantities of food, but rather that I knew that I could have something if I needed or wanted it.

We live in a consumer society, and it’s no wonder that when people’s ability to consume is severely restricted, they feel excluded, and may withdraw even from experiences they could participate in.  I had the opportunity to go to a free concert last night, but I barely even considered it.  It is clear that there is a link between poverty and social isolation, and social isolation may be one of the factors in exacerbating mental (and physical) health issues (1).  So, aside from the probability that food poverty may restrict the availability of nutrients needed to support mental health (2), it is likely to be a contributory factor in mental illness.

I am excited to report that today I have been invited to participate in a project which aims to empower people with mental health issues.  As yet it is only an invitation, but I look forward to talking about it more as my involvement develops.

Meanwhile, my protein powder has run out, so no more breakfast for me until the end of the challenge.  On the positive side I found 2 eggs today, and in the spirit of not wasting, I used them in a kedgeree.  So today’s food was:

Zoodles with Mushrooms for about 90p per person.

Zoodles with Mushrooms for about 90p per person.

Lunch: Zoodles with mushrooms
Evening meal: Kedgeree

Tomorrow: Going on an outing with a friend brings new challenges.

References:
1. http://www.ophi.org.uk/research/missing-dimensions/social-connectedness/social-isolation/

2. Jacka, F.N., Mykletun, A., Berk, M., Bjelland, I., & Tell, G.S. (2011).  The association between habitual diet quality and the common mental disorders in community-dwelling adults: the Hordaland Health Study.  Psychosomatic Medicine, 73(6), 483-90.

 

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