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.
Here’s a transcript of a conversation I recently had with my body:
Me: Hey body! Have you heard? It’s Reading Week! We can catch up on sleep and dramatically reduce caffeine intake to get through the day!
My body: Its been very cold outside. I feel my defences are low. I notice that last week you slept less than usual. I’m thinking of expelling some of the mucus that’s trickling down your throat by developing a cough.
Me: No please! Body be strong! I’m stressed. I have so much to get done this week. I don’t have time to get sick.
My body: On the contrary! I’ve been strong, and I’ve been waiting patiently for this very occasion. It’ll be least disruptive now: you’ll be in contact with fewer people, and you will be able to nap all the time.
Me: Argh, ok fine! But please make it quick!
My alarm goes off. I sit up and my head is spinning. I reach for my alarm and miss it the first two times. I finally get it to switch off, lie back down, and assess the situation. I’m drenched in sweat. My head is pounding. My throat is really sore; it hurts to swallow. I feel too cold and too hot at the same time. Memories of my dreams start to trickle back: flying donuts, green skies, canoeing on a chocolate river. I start to put the pieces together.
Yep. I’m sick. Now what?
I am writing this post from bed.
Five days ago, I found myself in the emergency room of a hospital with a rather bad kidney infection. After I was released from the hospital, my boyfriend insisted I take some time to recuperate, called my mother to come fetch me and that’s how I ended up here — writing my weekly blog post from the comfort of my childhood bed.
October had been a stressful month; debatably the most stressful month I’ve had in a long time and though the kidney infection has been a bummer, I am thankful to have the mental rest that has come with the physical rest my body needs.