On Monday evening I attended a workshop focused around my favourite topic of all time: food.
(I have Italian origins and I can quite happily discuss food forever).
The workshop was hosted by a UofT Dietician on behalf of the Dieticians of Canada, to celebrate March as Nutrition Month. The title,100 Meal Journey, represents the average number of meals that one person will eat in a month. The workshop focused on goal setting and planning to create small changes in eating habits that make a big difference over 100 meals.
To begin, each participant shared what barriers to food they experience when trying to eat healthfully. The big one for most people was the time it takes to shop, prepare, and clean up when cooking their own meals (not enough time…does that sound familiar to anyone?). I live in a residence with a meal plan which, while there are certainly some challenges to eating healthfully, I don’t notice time being the biggest issue. For me the big one is portion size and mindless eating.
We discussed all these topics together, and my best takeaways are the following:
- Swap your sip—sugar filled drinks are easily swapped for infused water, teas, or sugar-free coffee drinks, and can reduce (not exaggerating here) dozens of teaspoons of sugar each day from our diets
- The when and how much we eat is influenced by where we eat—creating an environment that is distraction free can contribute to eating more mindfully. This might mean creating boundaries where our study desk no longer doubles as our dining table
- Portion size—I have a hard time conceptualizing the amount of space objects take up (just try going apartment shopping with me and it becomes terribly obvious) so the frequently used “palm size” servings of grains and meat vs. “half a golf ball” serving of cheese confuse me. I prefer to use the great plate guide, which I’ve written about before
- Cooking-in rather than eating-out—this suggestion was accompanied by a long list of apps and sites, the coolest of which are the following:
- eaTipster is a Dieticians of Canada created app which sends you a healthful tip every day to your phone
- eaTracker (I am of the mindset that I’d rather not track my food intake because otherwise I become a tad too obsessed, but if you find that following your food choices helps you make better ones you can check out this Dieticians of Canada app)
- Cookspiration which is another Dieticians of Canada creation, hosts an endless number of recipes à la Songza style (we miss you Songza!)
Of course, the HealthyU team wants to hear how your Nutrition Month is going! The FuelU team is running a social media contest called the Healthy Lunchbox Challenge. Visit the Facebook page to be inspired by others’ lunches, post your own photos, or vote on your favourite lunch for sweet prizes…gift cards to Fresh Restaurant, anyone?!
Have a great week!