This week, I dropped into the Healthy Habits program that runs every Monday in the Hart House Reading Room from 12 to 1 p.m. Healthy Habits is a laid-back discussion about nutrition and tips for eating well and is led by a holistic nutritionist.
What I really liked about the event was that it was informal and thereby unintimidating. We all sat in the corner of the Reading Room on the couches and, in essence, had a chat. The topic varies week to week and you’re welcome to attend just one session or as many as you like, whenever you can. This past Monday, we talked about sugar – very timely if you ask me, given that Monday was also Halloween.
I lived on residence for my first three years at U of T and now that I’m living off-campus I face a real nutritional challenge. I used to pop into my residence repeatedly throughout the day, which gave me the chance to make some food and sit down to eat. Needless to say, these days that’s not exactly feasible.
It’s been a learning curve, but I’ve managed to identify some strategies for success when it comes to feeding myself as a new commuter student. I was doing a terrible job of it initially and learned my lesson the hard way when I fell ill and enjoyed a throbbing headache for three whole days. If you take anything away from this post, try to remember that while it can be challenging, time-consuming and expensive to stay on top of healthy eating sometimes – it’s worth the work. You might save an hour or two by cutting corners or cutting meals but you’ll lose much more than that when you’re feeling unwell later on.
This summer, I was enrolled in full-time classes. I would be on campus several days a week from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.. As a commuter, unwilling to burden myself with more heavy things to carry, I bought pasta every day for lunch. By September, I had twelve dollars left in my bank account.
It hadn’t taken me long into first-year to realize that I often had to choose between healthy eating and cheap eating. Loaded with extracurriculars, my days spanned twelve hours; I would subsist off snacks, water, or cave in and buy a sandwich or pasta. When I first discovered food trucks, I had been delighted — finally, a filling meal for under five dollars! But I soon realized that each poutine — however cheap, hearty, and delicious — made my body feel bloated and uncomfortable for hours afterwards.
The month of March brings with it many things:
- Movie releases (London Has Fallen comes out tomorrow (sequel to Olympus Has Fallen), I’m excited but also skeptical… then again, how bad can a Gerard Butler-starring film really be?)
- Warmer weather (hopefully!)
- Nutrition Month!
Registered Dietitians of Canada celebrate Nutrition Month every March. This year, they’re encouraging Canadians to take a 100-meal journey over the course of March, focusing each week on a new goal such as making quality food decisions and being aware of portion sizes.
I am a lover of food. I tend to be one of those people who scoff when friends stop to take a photo of their food before they eat– I am too busy lovingly staring at it to ruin the moment with cameras and clever hashtags. This week, I made an exception to my “no-phones-at-the-table” policy to capture my food choices and share them with you.
Food is my first line of defence against all the sickies that are going around on campus. I focus on maintaining a balanced and nutritionally vibrant diet (way of life) of three meals a day, plus healthy snacks when I get a grumbly tummy between meals.