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Plant-based food, focus and ADHD with Penny Belle

10th Feb 2019 / Mental Health
Penny Belle ADHD Mental Health Blogger

At BALANCE Meals, our mission is to create healthy, nutritious meals that support people on their health and fitness journeys. We’re big believers that what you eat not only affects your physical body, but also your mindset and mental health.

We love to champion people who are using their stories to help others, whether it’s to improve physical health or encouraging conversation around mental health, real-life stories are key in the current climate of perfectly preened Insta feeds. But Insta isn’t all bad! We met our now very good friend on the platform and she’s putting out some seriously uplifting content, whilst keeping it real about her own struggles. Penny Belle has ADHD and has been using nutrition to manage her symptoms and increase her mental strength. We sat down to chat to her about her mental health journey and find out more about how she uses food to increase focus!

B: Hey Penny! Could you tell us a little bit about you and what you do?

P: I am a mental health and wellness blogger and advocate and I am also training to be a life coach. I am extremely passionate about teaching others to understand and love their brains. I didn’t know anything about mental health issues until I was 30! If I did, I would have avoided a lot of confusion, heartache and would have been so much more understanding toward others. I need to share the importance of this so that’s what I try to do! 🙂

B: When did you first get diagnosed with ADHD and what support have you had since your diagnosis?

P: I was diagnosed a year ago. I have been told medication is the only thing that will help me. I currently don’t take medication though. I am on a waiting list to see a psychotherapist. I was on a waiting list for CBT (behavioural therapy) which I heard was amazing but I have been diagnosed with Complex PTSD during the wait, so have now been advised that CBT may not help. Aside from all of this waiting, I am supporting myself by learning about how my brain works and how to manage my symptoms naturally.

B: How important is nutrition to you in regards to ADHD?

P: Nutrition is the first place I started when I began to change my life in order to love my brain. Our brains are connected to our gut, so you literally are what you eat. You eat rubbish, you feel rubbish. It’s simple.

B: What did you love most about using our service? Which meals are your favourite?

P: I loved everything! The way the meal prep is delivered straight to your door all neatly packed with coolers. I chose the POWER + PLANS vegan meal prep menu and the chickpea quinoa meal was my favourite. I was surprised by how flavorsome it was. In my past experience, chick peas can be quite bland so I love how you guys spiced them up!  I really liked the beetroot falafel too! I love colourful food 🙂 

B: How does the food you eat impact your day to day activity, energy and focus?

P: I try my hardest to eat plant-based diet and when I stick to this and drink the correct amount of water (2L per day) – I feel amazing. I feel as energetic as I would if I had drank coffee. I remember fasting caffeine once and drank over 3L of water a day to try to calm my cravings and I found that by day three, I didn’t even miss coffee. 

I forget to eat sometimes when I am busy then I find that I can’t think rationally. My mind feels all jumbled and super indecisive. When I make sure I eat healthy meals three times a day, I don’t get that big energy drop – like a comedown feeling. This is why BALANCE Meals saved me. I remembered to eat because it was already done for me. That sounds so lazy, but it really made me stay on track by having all my meals freshly prepped.

Nutrition is the first place I started when I began to change my life in order to love my brain.

– Penny Belle

B: Tell us about your morning routine…

P: I don’t really have a daily routine but on a good morning, I try to fit in as much goodness as possible before I leave for work. I say on a good morning, because these are things I wish I did every day but I do struggle to get out of bed when it’s cold! As soon as I wake up (around 6am) I Thank God for some stuff, drink a big glass of water and declare my positive affirmations out loud. Our words are so powerful, so it’s vital to me that the first words I take in are uplifting ones. I plod around listening to music, playing with my cat, Belle and tidying up. I like to have a little read with my breakfast, plan my day in my diary, write my intentions in my journal then start getting ready to leave for work. 


B: What advice would you give to someone who wants to make changes to their health and fitness but is unsure of where to start?

P: Start little by little. Add a small amount of exercise to your day or week, then as you start to feel the benefits, you will feel motivated to do more. It’s the same with changing your eating patterns. Cut the bad things down before cutting them out and you won’t be as likely to fall back into bad habits or binging. 

B: Can you tell us about 3 people who currently inspire you?

P: 1. The Slumflower – she created the #saggyboobsmatter movement and I just love how real and passionate she is. She is super inspiring. 

2.  Grace F Victory – she is so open about painful healing processes and has played a huge part in teaching me the importance of self love and healing. She is a dime!

3. Claira Hermet – Another self love general who inspires me every day! She reminds me how important it is to be patient with and embrace ourselves, and to never give up. 

Thanks so much Penny!

If you want to know more about Penny and her affirmation cards (yes – she sells them and we have them all over the BALANCE HQ office!) check out here website here.

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@balancemeals

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