Happy Wellness Wednesday, AVSSU! Here are some thoughts about nutrition from a student here at Daniels. While we aren't professionals, we hope that our experiences can be of use.
The New Year holds lots of resolutioners. Not uncommon among the ranks of resolutioners include the budgeters, the gym-goers, and the dieters. What underpins the success of any resolutioner is a strong moral resiliency. It’s in good conscious we make the decision to better ourselves, be that in a tangible or immaterial way. However, the resolutioner is often blinded by an end-goal which, so glorious in the mind’s eye, can often overshadow the small, necessary steps that keep your mind and body in fighting form. The most elemental consideration for anyone, resolutioner or otherwise, is nutrition.
Now, I’m no health guru, but being conscious about what we’re consuming and when we consume can radically affect the way we go about our days. Have you every woken up late to class and hastily gathered whatever half-granola bars you had lying around your room, stuffed them into your backpack and booked it out the door, only to find half way through the lecture that your stomach hates you and you’re finding it hard to focus? I’m sure it’s happened to you, because it’s happened to me and I’m only a few months fresh into this whole UniversityTM thing. What you have in the morning inevitable shapes the outcome of your day, so start off mindfully.
First things first, I drink a glass of water as soon as I get up. Sometimes it’s hard to have an appetite in the morning—say because of the events that transpired the night previous—and we dread hitting up your local caf for the same powdered eggs and a “peanut butter” sandwich. Getting some water in your system helps to get the gears turning, and drinking water never hurts (and it can certainly hurt you to not drink enough). Water is key. I often bring a water bottle to class so that I stay hydrated throughout the day and have an excuse to take a bathroom break when your prof is going on a bit. Water can clear up your skin and helps keep you going when you decide to embark on your weekly 20-minute visit to the AC for to scroll through Instagram on the elliptical (just kidding).
The second thing is I try to give myself enough time to sit and eat. I’ve been trying out mindful eating—spending anywhere from 20-50 chews on a single mouthful. I find that the process of eating becomes a fulfilling way to stay in tune with my body and having some extra me-time is beneficial to mental wellness.
The last thing I do is to try and eat consistently throughout the day. I like to stay constantly fueled throughout the day so that my body gets that constant stream of energy it needs to keep going, especially during the most tedious of classes. It’s important that you do what feels right to you, each body is different.
Even as a little experiment, I encourage all of you to give these simple tips a try, and If you’re looking for a resolution, this might be a good starting point.
Have a healthy and happy 2018, AVSSU!
As always, Wellness Wednesdays is brought to you by the Health and Wellness Commission, a team of Daniels students who are not professionals but want to share what we know to help you live your healthiest and most well life.
This month we’re talking about nutrition. One of the hardest things about moving out of residence is losing the meal plan and having to cook for yourself. A great way to do this is to meal prep. A system that has worked really well for me is to pick a day where I know I have a good amount of free time, usually on the weekend, and cook a big batch of something. My personal favourite is chili; you can make it with ground beef, turkey, or if you're veggie try a butternut squash and black bean recipe which can be found here: http://www.simple-veganista.com/2012/10/butternut-squash-and-black-bean-chili.html (trust me, it’s so good). I’ll usually freeze half of what I make and then eat the rest throughout the week, interspersed with things that are quicker to make such as pasta, salads, and veggie burgers. Cooking can be a good and productive break to take from all that reading and model building. If you are struggling with finding the time to cook at home, the University of Toronto does offer meal plans for people who aren't living in residence. The information can be found here: https://ueat.utoronto.ca/meal-plans/.
You can also find out about UofT research on nutrition here: https://www.utoronto.ca/news/tags/nutrition
If professional help regarding nutrition is something you’d be interested in, you can make an appointment with a dietician at the Health and Wellness Centre. You can walk in to make an appointment or call, find their hours and numbers here: https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/hwc/contact-us
Stay well, Daniels