Intentional Health Online Course Week 2 Review – A Balanced Diet

Getting Intentional: Week 2

Last week we introduced you to Sophia, one of our course attendees. She is taking part in our latest online Intentional Health course. Each week, Sophia is writing about her journey on the course. If you missed out, you can catch up with her first-week experience here. Now we’ll pass it over to Sophia.

“It was our second session of the Intentional Health online course this week. Before we got to the main session, we went into our breakout rooms to discuss, with our partner, what we’d learned and changed from last week. I liked reflecting on what we’d already done, as I think it helps ensure we won’t passively just drift along, and it helps keep us accountable to making changes, too! The second exercise we did in our breakout rooms was an ice breaker, where we had to ask each other a set of three questions. That sounds easy enough, but the questions were actually really tough:

  • ‘What makes you you?’
  • ‘What is your greatest achievement?’,

Yikes, where to start?! I settled on running 10km as my greatest achievement; I’m not sure it’s that profound but it was the first thing that came to mind! When someone commented on how hard the questions were to answer, the course leaders said that was the point: they want us to grow, and also to know ourselves better because when you know yourself, you can love yourself. That explains that, then!

Intentional Health Balanced Diet

Going into the session, ‘A Balanced Diet’, I wasn’t sure how much I’d learn as I feel like I already eat pretty healthily, but I was surprised by all the new things I picked up. I found The Eatwell Guide particularly helpful, as we looked at which foods fit into which food groups, and how many portions you should aim to eat from each. It was a very interactive session — with group exercises, polls, a video, and then a group discussion — which meant I stayed engaged and didn’t zone out! At one point we went through an example food diary, dividing the meals into food groups and tallying up the portions eaten, which was an easy way of assessing if a diet is healthy and balanced. After the session, I repeated the exercise with my own food diary that I had completed as of last week’s homework, and I realised that I probably eat far more cheese than I technically should, so I’ll keep an eye on that this week.

There were some other really useful lessons that I’ll take from the session too. It can help to use smaller bowls (crockery is bigger these days so we end up eating more as we tend to portion up our food according to the dish size). It’s good to choose wholegrain starchy foods as they keep you fuller for longer. And, most of the ‘damage’ done to our diet is done in the evening. I can definitely vouch for this last one! Just last night, when we sat down to watch TV — (me feeling smug for having eaten no cheese that day!) — my husband suggested getting the cheese and crackers out. Why not? I thought I’m under my cheese quota, after all! But before I knew it, I’d had far more than the recommended cheese portion, because it’s all-too-easy to mindlessly eat as you’re watching television. Oh well, I suppose it’s all part of the learning journey! And thankfully, there’s no space for guilt or judgment with Intentional Health; that’s just not their way. They recommend making small, sustainable changes, just one step at a time. I can definitely get on board with that!”

Intentional Health Balanced Diet - Cheese


Come back to our blog next week to read how Sophia is getting on with her third week on our online Intentional Health Course.

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If you’re tempted to join in with our next cohort of students, you can find out more and sign up for our next course online here.