WFIM January Health Event -Eat Play and be Healthy
Named after the Roman god of the doorway, January signifies the passage into a new year. And here we are, more than half way through the door. Hopefully by this point, not all of us have foregone our new year’s resolutions. Luckily, for those of us focused on health, we had WFIM to keep us motivated.
Last Thursday’s WFIM event with Leah Warner, of Employee Wellness Solutions Network, focused on the importance of stress management for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Leah provided us with tips and strategies for successfully managing stress through eating, sleep and exercise.
Among the attendees that evening was Doris Valade, President of Malabar Super Spice Co Ltd. I caught up with Doris after the event, asking her about her own stress management habits, and how her company promotes healthy habits within the office and beyond. Here’s my Q&A with her:
Q: Being reactionary to stress is common in the work place as stress can happen any time, any day for a variety of reasons. What is your proactive approach to minimizing stress?
A: My proactive approach involves a good night’s rest and an early start to the day. Although I wake up at 5:45 A.M., I average 8 hours of sleep a night. My daily routine varies as I travel a lot to visit customers, but I ensure consistency on the weekends by attending a Pilates class every Saturday. It helps me expend some of the stress-induced energy from the week past, while preparing me for the week ahead.
Q: Although stress is often seen as debilitating (an effect), Leah encouraged us to view it as empowering (a cause). How you deal with a stress-inducing situation is highly dependent on your mindset. How do you promote a positive mindset/environment in your workplace?
A: Through regular and open communication. We hold daily 8 A.M. meetings involving all Malabar team members to allow for quick updates and a bit of fun (humour) to start the day. We encourage additional, smaller team meetings to discuss and deal with challenges or issues as they arise. We also engage in team building activities to strengthen cooperation and in turn promote a positive company culture. Our team building event this month is indoor rock climbing!
Q: In the health workshop, we learned that properly fueling our body, engaging in activity and allowing time for rest are effective ways of reducing the impact of stress. As a food processor and ingredient supplier to the food industry, how do you promote the development of health conscious products?
A: Health conscious formulation begins with making informed decisions. We communicate industry trends, promote new products and discuss important issues facing food processors, in our bi-monthly newsletter, website and LinkedIn page. Although we have been a supplier of spices, ingredients and seasonings to the food industry for over 30 years, we strive to offer a variety of natural and dietary specific products. Some of our new additions include salt replacers for sodium reduction, rice crumbs as gluten-free filler in meat products and natural extracts as flavour enhancers.