Hello, my name is Ben and I am originally from Derby in the Midlands – UK. When I was 19 y.o. I joined the royal air force for 6 years and I was deployed on different missions including Afghanistan and the Folkland Islands where I was in charge of delivering aviation fuel to the front line aircrafts. After returning to the UK I worked in logistics and then had a career change into construction management. I am currently project leader overseeing the construction on a military base in Oxfordshire. Health, nutrition and fitness are my biggest passions.
Have you lived in shared-living spaces before? What made you choose coliving and our Hives as your home?
Before joining B-Hive Living I lived in different shared accommodations but the experience was not the same. This is because I didn’t find a community I belonged to; people were simply not on the same page in life. Joining the Hive has been very refreshing. I feel a sense of belonging to the community here, people are friendly, sociable and we all share a positive attitude to life. As soon as I entered the Hive I knew it was for me. The space was immaculate, and that for me is paramount to live a positive lifestyle.
How would you describe coliving as opposed to other types of accommodation you previously experienced?
The curated community is what makes coliving – or at least B-Hive Living – a different experience compared to other shared accomodations. The space itself is impeccable, modern, completely designed around the need of shared living, the facilities are fantastic and the team is always available in case any issue arises or help is needed. But the community, the support network you find in coliving is what makes it different.
What is your favourite part of the Hive and why?
Beyond our outdoor gym, my favourite part of the Hive is definitely the fire pit area in the garden. We enjoyed it a lot especially during the long summer nights, with music, some drinks and my fellow Hivers. You completely feel transported to a holiday place, just sitting there and looking at the sky, feeling the warmth and magic of the fire makes me feel on holiday and help me disconnect and relax.
Talking about healthy living, veganism is one of your big passions. Tell us how you started.
I am passionate about veganism, and for me this is very much linked to animal welfare. I simply do not want to contribute to any animal cruelty. About 3 years ago, some of my family members were vegan and I started to become used having a vegan meal when going out with them. At the time I was also working near a dairy farm and I saw something that made me feel very uncomfortable. It was a trigger point, the moment when I decided I would become vegan. I am at the gym every day and before becoming vegan my diet consisted of meat every day. It was a drastic change but I don’t miss it at all, my motivation is stronger than any desire. And it is encouraging to see more and more restaurants offering vegan options. I went to the Ivy in London last weekend and I was impressed with their full vegan menu.
What are some of the benefits in following a vegan diet? What are some of your top tips for someone wanting to become vegan?
When I become vegan my energy level went through the roof, I was waking up at 5 AM every day, full of energy, rarely feeling tired or sick. I think a vegan diet has a massive effect on your immune system.My change was drastic but for some people it might start by limiting meat days. There are so many meat replacement products available in the market (plant-based steaks, sausages, burgers or even bacon) or alternative such as falafel or tofu. My suggestion would be:
- Go plant based for 3 days a week and check your energy level and if you feel any different.
- Keep a record. Give yourself a rate (from 1 to 10) for the day. Then compare meat days versus vegan days. If you have a smart watch it can also help you keep track of your physical condition.
- Vegan food can be tasty. My top dishes are vegan pizza (with vegan cheese or vegan sausages) during the weekend and stir fry during the week. You can mix it with some rice, different grains, all sort of vegetables, tofu, meat replacement products, anything just experiment. For breakfast I tend to start the day with oat mixed with protein powders… my “gym meal”.
Talking about fitness, what are your top recommendations for simple home exercises to boost our fitness every day?
High-intensity interval training (or HIIT), is a great way to build your fitness level in a short period of time. With HIIT you can alternate short periods of intense anaerobic exercise (pushups, star jumps, burpees) with less intense recovery periods, until too exhausted to continue. 20 minutes are enough to start building good stamina and strength.
You exercise for 45 seconds then rest for 15 seconds. Start with 3 exercises and repeat them for 15/20 minutes. Aim to add one additional exercise every week.
Running helps increase your fitness level but it’s not for everyone, especially if you have any injuries or knee problems. What I like of interval trainings is that you can exercise as much as running in a similar amount of time. (15 min run = 25 min HIIT), plus you get a lot of transferrable skills that you can use in other activities, like gardening for example.
What’s the most unexpected thing you discovered about yourself or coliving being in a Hive?
Good question….well I have to admit I realised I am quite a neat freak. I think this comes from my years in the army. The first job of the day in military is to make your own bed and make it well. It starts the day off right. It might be a small accomplishment, but making the bed sets the tone for the entire day. I also love to decorate my room with plants, I think this is a very simple but smart way to boost your happiness and health levels indoor.
Would you recommend B-Hive Living to a friend? Why?
Definitely! I have no doubt you will find an amazing community here and a sophisticated but functional environment you can call home.