By Melissa Lafrance on October 3, 2018
Food is one of the most basic needs for our survival and health, but it also involves sharing, celebrating and demonstrating our care for others, and supporting our social connections and traditions. Food and social interactions often go hand in hand and nourishing ourselves can also cultivate our social supports.
Week 1: Holiday meal ideas and making social connections
What better way to show gratitude towards your loved ones than preparing a delicious Thanksgiving meal? Here are some ideas to help you prepare a holiday feast:
- Build your menu with these Thanksgiving recipes (Greatist)
- If turkey’s not your thing, try these vegetarian recipes instead (Food Network)
The holidays can be a difficult time, especially for older citizens or those without family around. Consider volunteering on a farm: you’ll be supporting a good cause and meeting new people. Check out the upcoming volunteer opportunities at the UBC Farm, as well as other opportunities to socialize and give back on local farms.
Week 2: Comforting meals, fall produce and farmers markets
- Savour the fall flavours and make use of the bountiful array of in-season fall produce in BC
- Get to know your local farmers markets and buy farm-fresh ingredients in your community
- Use Eating Well’s healthy soup and stew recipes to stock your freezer for easy and quick dinners
Week 3: Rethink your drink
This fall, UBC launches a Healthy Beverage Initiative (HBI) to promote healthy beverage consumption. The focus is on educating the UBC community about the health impacts of beverage choices and promoting healthier drink options, particularly water.
Developed by the UBC Food and Nutrition Working Group and other key supporters, which includes faculty, staff and student stakeholders from both campuses, the HBI exemplifies UBC’s commitment to wellbeing through the Okanagan Charter. For more information about the UBC Healthy Beverage Initiative, visit UBC Wellbeing or check out this Ubyssey article.
To help you rethink your drink, here are some low-sugar beverage options and ideas:
- Find out why tap water is best to quench your thirst (UBC Food Services)
- Jazz up your water with fruits, vegetables and herbs thanks to these flavoured water recipes(Food Network)
- Try no-sugar-added iced tea(Eating Well)
- If you are hosting a meeting, consider getting a water jug dispenser and providing reusable cups
Week 4: Quality meal times
Eating behaviour is strongly influenced by the social contexts we find ourselves in1. We often model behaviours of the people we eat with and the social environment/context. Nourish your relationships through quality meal times.
- Check out how eating together is great for team building and improving productivity (Cornell University)
- Learn how meal times can enhance mental health (The Vanier Institute of the Family)
By Melissa Lafrance on September 11, 2018
September is here, and so is back-to-school time. This month, we offer ideas, recipes and tips that are as stress-free as possible.
Food fuels our bodies, including our brains. Nourishing ourselves with good quality foods will help ensure peak cognitive function. It starts with a fortifying breakfast, then a recharging lunch, followed by a delicious supper, with balancing snacks to keep us going throughout the day.
Week 1: Be breakfast ready
Breakfasts that include foods with a low glycemic index 1 will produce a slower rise and lower peak in blood glucose concentration after eating. Your first meal of the day can include carbohydrates such as low-in-sugar breakfast cereals, oatmeal or whole grain toast combined with some protein such as a plain dairy or non-dairy product, eggs and nut butters to keep you satiated for longer. Here are some breakfast options to try:
- No-fuss breakfasts (Melissa Baker, Manager of Nutrition & Wellbeing at UBC SHHS)
- Healthy breakfast ideas for busy mornings (Healthy Families BC)
- 34 healthy breakfasts for busy mornings (Greatist)
- Freezer-friendly breakfast sandwiches (Damn Delicious)
- Freezer-friendly spinach feta breakfast wraps (Kitchn)
- A week’s worth of oatmeal in jars (Kitchn)
Week 2: Transform leftovers into tomorrow’s lunch
With a bit of planning and making extra food when you do have time to cook or prep meals, you can transform leftovers into tomorrow’s lunch. Try doubling up on recipes so you have enough portions for a couple of lunches. It shouldn’t add any cooking/prep time.
Be prepared with these recipes, tips and healthy lunch spots:
- 15 kitchen staples to help you whip up a healthy meal (Melissa Baker)
- 13 hacks for quick lunches (Spud)
- Need to buy lunch? Find out what’s open on the Vancouver campus.
- Mouth-watering healthy lunch ideas for work (EatingWell)
Week 3: Who’s ready for snacks?
Avoid the mid-morning or mid-day run to the vending machine by incorporating healthy snacks that include a minimum of two food groups. That will help reduce the sugar spike and impending crash from eating highly processed, carbohydrate-based, easy-to-grab snacks.
Week 4: Home-Cooked Meals
How often do you get home after work, starving and with no idea what to make for dinner?
- Explore meal planners, including Martha Stewart’s Grocery Bag Weekly Meal Planner. You’ll get recipes for dinner (and possibly leftovers for lunch), grocery lists and the confidence to whip up simple meals.
Here are some time-saving tips:
- Wash, chop and store fresh veggies and fruit once or twice a week to minimize cooking and prep time on other days.
- Make grains galore. Cook extra whole grains or other sides and store portioned leftovers in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for up to a month. That way, you’ll be ready when you need a healthy meal in a hurry.
- Slow saves time: consider using a slow cooker. Check out BBC good food’s vegetarian slow cooker recipes.
For those extra busy times when you don’t have time to grocery shop, consider online food ordering or meal delivery services. Here are some local options for online ordering:
By Melissa Lafrance on August 7, 2018
It’s no secret that there’s a plant-forward movement happening. Even popular fast food joints are jumping on the plant-based wagon. This month, I’m sharing some food for thought: awesome plant-astic recipes and suggestions on what you can do to support the environment.
Week 1: Why Plants?
Wondering what the deal is with meatless Mondays, and why people are making an effort to reduce or avoid eating meat? Many personal reasons can influence our diet choices. In general, compared to meat-based diets, plant-based diets are more sustainable because they use substantially less natural resources and are less taxing on the environment.
Learn more about the health and environmental reasons for shifting from meat to plants:
- Avoiding meat and dairy to reduce your impact on earth study (The Guardian)
- How does meat in the diet take an environmental toll? (Scientific American)
- Environmental impact of omnivorous, ovo-lacto-vegetarian, and vegan diet (Nature)
Week 2: Plant-forward Diet
Vegetarianism and veganism isn’t for everyone, but we can all play a part in reducing our environmental impact through the foods we consume. I challenge you to explore and embrace plant-forward dining, where plants are emphasized but not limited to only plant-based foods. This means making plants the centre of attention and subsequently reducing your consumption of animal products. For instance, rather than having steak crowd your dinner plate, try reducing the portion and having it be your side dish. Read more about plant-forward dining (Foodservice Director).
UBC is playing its part as well, having hosted Canada’s first Forward Food Culinary Training and Summit. The May 2018 event focused on helping chefs to refine their plant-based cooking skills and challenged them to think differently about their menus.
Week 3: Let Plants Be the Star of the Dish
Try these plant-centric ideas and recipes that are sure to capture your attention:
- Plant-based (meat-minimal) recipes (Bon Appétit)
- Find the right plant-based diet for you (Harvard Health)
- 20 best plant-based dinner recipes (Minimalist Baker)
Week 4: Fill Up on Plants
Here are more recipes to help sow the seeds of plant-forward dining:
- High-protein vegetables and plant-based foods (Prevention)
- Healthy vegetarian eating plan (Dietitians of Canada)
- Following a vegan eating plan (Dietitians of Canada)
- Plant-based recipe collection (Cooking Light)
Photo Credit: UBC Communications & Marketing
By Melissa Lafrance on June 5, 2018
It’s the time of year when we want to cook and eat outdoors. To kick off grilling season this June, we’re exploring grilling tips and tricks, as well as delicious recipes for complete meals. There are many benefits to grilling: it’s a simple, fast and low-fat cooking method that uses fresh ingredients and best of all, it’ll mean fewer dishes! Read on to learn more.
Week 1: Grilling 101
If you’re new to grilling, here are tricks and recipes to try:
- Simple tips for healthy grilling by Healthline
- A healthier way to grill by WebMD
- Optimize your gas grilling by The Spruce Eats
- 13 best grilling tips by EatingWell
- Easy grillable veggie burgers by Minimalist Baker
Week 2: Grillable Foods on a Stick
You can use reusable or wooden skewer sticks (soaked in water first to prevent burning) to prepare healthy meals that cook evenly and quickly. Try these mouth-watering skewer recipes:
Week 3: Foil Packet Meals
Foil packets allow you to easily steam-cook flavourful, portioned meals. Try these recipe ideas:
Week 4: Desserts
If you want to complete your meal with a dessert, try these sweet, grillable options from Delish:
- Grilled summer fruit skewers
- Chocolate marshmallow bananas
- Angel food cake with strawberries in balsamic
Looking for more ideas?
Each week in June, we will be sharing tips, tricks and recipes to help you create meals on the grill. Become a UBC Health Contact to receive weekly reminders.
By Melissa Lafrance on May 3, 2018
Nutrition plays an important role in our overall health, so it’s no surprise that what we eat can be key for our sexual and reproductive health. Read on to learn how to support your reproductive health and explore recipes that will bring fun and togetherness in the kitchen.
Week 1: Foods for Reproductive Health
Some of the key micronutrients for reproductive health include iron, folate, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B121, antioxidants, zinc, and selenium2.
Here are some tips and recipes to support overall reproductive health:
- General guidelines for female nutrition by the Dietitians of Canada
- Mixed bean and quinoa salad by Pulses
- Fast fish and veggie packets by Cookspiration
- Find out which foods are rich in zinc and rich in selenium by the Dietitians of Canada
- Wild rice and pumpkin seed pilaf by Berkeley Wellness
Week 2: Eating for Energy
For optimal sexual and reproductive function, we need to get enough energy from what we eat and how much we rest. When it comes to food, maintaining energy is all about avoiding drastic fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Let’s look at ways to fuel your body with nutrients that sustain energy.
- Seven eating for energy tips by Workhealthlife (Note: Please enter “University of British Columbia” as your organization)
- Eating to boost energy by Harvard Health Publishing
- Four ways to boost your energy with breakfast ideas by Harvard Health Publishing
- This energy ball recipe by Cookspiration contains nuts, dried fruits, cinnamon, and a hint of Canadian sweetness. They’re perfect as a snack any time you could use a burst of energy.
Week 3: Celebrating Food and Lightening the Mood
Cooking doesn’t have to feel like just another chore around the house. Take a look at some suggestions to enjoy cooking with a partner, and not worry too much about the end product being perfect. As long as it tastes good, right?
- Huffington Post’s five tips for having fun in the kitchen
- Check out Thug Kitchen recipes to lighten up the mood in the kitchen
Week 4: Cooking and Togetherness
- Try cooking with a significant other with one of these romantic recipes by Kitchn
- These romantic dinner recipes by EatingWell are sure to impress! Or try out vegetarian dinner recipes by Gourmandelle.
- What’s for dessert? I hope you like chocolate! Try blueberry and dark chocolate bread pudding by Cookspiration and avocado chocolate mousse by Cook for your Life.
Looking for more ideas?
Each week in May, we will be sharing tips, tricks and information that support sexual and reproductive health. Become a UBC Health Contact to receive weekly updates.
By Miranda Massie on March 7, 2018
I love breakfast. Besides being one of those people who MUST eat something within an hour of waking up, I also just love breakfast food. Sweet, savoury, hot, cold, liquid, solid – it’s one of the most versatile meals around.
How many of you have heard that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Particularly in North America, this common social understanding dates back to childhood, and despite evidence to support it, many people still don’t eat breakfast. 
Now, I’m not here to get all parental and tell you what to do. Instead, in honour of National Nutrition Month, I’d like to share my love of breakfast. Here are my four reasons to feed your brain the most delicious meal of the day!
If you’re someone who needs variety, eating the same breakfast day after day may not sound very appetizing. Below is a go-to recipe that uses seasonally available ingredients and can be customized to your tastes. You can also find more oatmeal-topping ideas here.
Miranda’s Custom Make-ahead Oatmeal:
|5 cups||Quick oats|
|1 cup||Nut of your choice
(almond slices, toasted pecans, walnuts
|1 cup||Seed of your choice
(sunflower, pumpkin, chia, hemp)
|1 cup||Dried fruit of your choice
(cranberries, apricots, pineapple, banana)
|1 cup||Dried shredded coconut|
|Optional||Sliced fresh fruit (apples, banana, berries)|
- Prep ingredients in advance.
- Scoop 1/4 to 1/3 cup of your oatmeal into a bowl or Tupperware container. Add water.
- Microwave for 2 minutes. Enjoy!
Time can be a big barrier, but it doesn’t have to take ages to prepare breakfast. Here is a list of time-tested meal ideas to keep you moving in the morning:
- Miranda’s Custom Make-ahead Oatmeal (see above)
- Total time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds (30 seconds to scoop + 2 minutes to microwave)
- Toasted English muffin with melted cheese
- Total time: 1 minute, 30 seconds (1 minute in toaster + 30 seconds to melt cheese)
- Night-before yogurt parfait
- Total time: 2 minutes night before, no time in the morning (45 seconds to scoop yogurt + 45 seconds to add frozen fruit + 30 seconds to pack granola)
- Nut butter Eggo
- Total time: 1 minute, 30 seconds (1 minute to toast frozen Eggo waffle + 30 seconds to spread nut butter of choice)
- Make-ahead breakfast egg cups 
- Total time: 31 minutes (30 minutes to make head of time + 45 seconds to microwave on the go)
It makes you smarter
Food fuels our bodies. The same way that wood fuels a fire, we can’t function optimally or survive without it. When we sleep, we fast for six to eight hours, which means the longer we put off eating, the longer our bodies have to try and function without fuel. Breakfast can help support our brains to do great things and be productive. It also prevents us from being distracted by rumbling tummies. Read more about the effects of nutrients on brain function. 
Another barrier to breakfast is cost. We often assume that it’s easier to make a quick stop at a coffee shop, but this routine can end up being more expensive over time. For example, a yogurt parfait and a banana loaf from Starbucks costs $6.63 including tax, but you can get the equivalent items — all homemade by UBC nutrition students – at the Agora Café for $4. It also pays (pun intended) to be prepared. Prepping your meals in advance (as per the time saving tips above) is another way to cut costs.
This month, I invite you to rise and shine with breakfast, and if that’s not for you, find a way to incorporate an early morning snack into your routine a few days a week. Turning meals into social events (a potluck brunch perhaps?) is a great way to start.
All my best,
Photo credit: UBC Communications & Marketing
By Melissa Lafrance on March 7, 2018
In honour of National Nutrition Month, this third installment of our annual series takes a critical look at three popular myths. Read on for the real facts on fruits, veggies, and turmeric.
Disclaimer: The information in this feature is intended to encourage you to think critically about the information we are bombarded with. It is not meant to cause worry or make you revamp your diet completely. At the end of the day, we all need to make the food choices that make the most sense to us at the time.
Fruits and vegetables are healthy, so I can eat as much as I want, right?
It’s true that the majority of Canadians do not consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables; however, some people do and may even eat too much. There is no set maximum, but keep in mind that you can only eat so much in a day, and you need to leave room for other food groups. Eating only fruits and vegetables may result in you getting insufficient essential nutrients — not to mention the discomfort that can result from eating too much fiber-rich foods. Think moderation and variety. According to Canada’s Food Guide, adults between the ages of 19-50 should aim to consume:
- 7-8 servings of fruit and vegetables per day for females
- 8-10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day for males
- At least one dark green and one orange vegetable per day 
Cooking destroys all nutrients in vegetables.
This is not entirely accurate. It is true that exposing vegetables to high heat or boiling water for extended periods of time diminishes some nutrients, but some nutrients are actually enhanced. Take lycopene for example, the main carotenoid in tomatoes. Cooking tomatoes breaks down the cell matrix, thereby making the lycopene more available . Cooking vegetables breaks down the plants’ cell walls, making them easier to digest and absorb.
Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and B, are the most vulnerable because they leach out into the cooking water. For foods high in water-soluble nutrients, steaming (even using a microwave) and dry cooking like grilling, roasting and stir-frying retain a greater amount of nutrients than boiling . If you tend to boil your vegetables, don’t be alarmed: just eat a variety of cooked and raw veggies (even frozen) and you’ll be good.
Here are some additional resources:
- Tips to maximize nutrient retention by Thinking Nutrition
- Guide to avoid overcooking vegetables by the kitchn
Turmeric has superpower curing abilities.
First there was kale, then coconut oil, and now turmeric has made it into the mainstream superfood consciousness. Not only is it readily available as a common spice, but it now can also be found in concentrated supplement form. Curcumin, the principal compound in turmeric, has been studied for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but there still lacks clear and significant results. Some preclinical studies suggest that curcumin may help prevent and treat certain types of cancers and type 2 diabetes, however larger randomized controlled trials are needed to determine its efficacy. Also, curcumin taken orally is poorly absorbed and rapidly metabolized and eliminated in humans.
Bottom line: there isn’t sufficient evidence to suggest that it can prevent disease or cure illnesses . Long before it found its way into your latte, fresh turmeric root or ground turmeric spice was known for being flavourful and commonly used in many dishes. It can continue to be safely enjoyed in that way in small doses. You can find out more about how curcumin is metabolized, its bioavailability, as well as adverse effects and drug interactions here.
Interested in learning more about nutrition, detoxes, superfoods and hormones? Check out our Debunking the Diet Workshop Series.
For other nutritional myths we’ve debunked, see the previous articles written by Melissa:
Photo credit: UBC Communications & Marketing
By Melissa Lafrance on March 7, 2018
It’s March and we’re celebrating nutrition month! Let’s get cooking by focusing on the little things you can do to improve your nutritional health that will result in big-picture gains. Read on to learn the basics to a healthy diet, as well as healthier ingredient swaps and easy sheet pan meals.
Week 1: Back to Basics
Instead of focusing on calorie-counting, restrictive diets or “superfoods”, let’s think about the foundations of a healthy diet. Eating within your caloric needs and consuming nutrient-dense foods are beneficial to your health, but focusing on the small details can be confusing, stressful and frustrating. How about nourishing your body, heart and mind instead? Renowned American author, journalist and activist Michael Pollan said it best: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Check out these resources to get you back to the basics of healthy eating:
- Healthy eating basics by the Heart and Stroke Foundation
- Healthy plate and healthy bowl guidelines by Vancouver Coastal Health
- Food Rules book and Cooked documentary series (on Netflix) by Michael Pollan
Week 2: Basic Recipes
Take out the guess work and try these plant-astic, wholesome and satisfying meals:
- One-pot everyday lentil soup by Minimalist Baker
- Veggie and tofu stir fry by My Recipes
- Sweet potato and white bean chilli by Jamie Oliver
Week 3: Healthier Ingredient Swaps
One of the greatest things about home cooking is that you can make almost any dish healthier with simple substitutions. Don’t be scared to swap ingredients, modify recipes to make them healthier or use ingredients you have on hand.
- 67 healthy recipe substitutions by Greatist
- Blueberry muffin breakfast cookies by Minimalist Baker
- Lentil and sweet potato shepherd’s pie by Minimalist Baker
Week 4: Speedy Sheet Pan Meals
Sheet pan meals are great and here’s why: fewer dirty dishes, roasting produces more flavour, huge batches = leftovers (yay!), simple to prepare as most of the work is in the prep, and once it’s in the oven you can forget about it for a while.
Try these easy tips and healthy sheet pan recipes:
By Melissa Lafrance on February 5, 2018
This February, we are focusing on nutrition for heart health and cardiovascular disease prevention. A healthy diet is a major preventative measure as it affects blood pressure, cholesterol levels, body weight and blood sugar control. For this month, try taking the following recipes and articles to heart.
Week 1: Mediterranean Diet and Healthy Fats
- Easy ways to protect your heart by Alive@Work
- Avocado, mango, black bean and kale salad by Cookspiration
- Wild rice and lentils with salmon by Cookspiration
- Dietary fats, oils and cholesterol by Heart and Stroke Foundation
Week 2: Fibre
- Increasing your fibre intake by Dietitians of Canada
- Cooking with whole grains and other recipes by Oldways Whole Grains Council
- Apple pie oatmeal by Cookspiration
Week 3: Heart-healthy Treats
- Baking that’s better for your heart by Alive@Work
- Pineapple nice cream by EatingWell
- Peachy buckwheat muffins with hazelnut crunch by Cookspiration
Week 4: Sodium
By Melissa Lafrance on January 11, 2018
This month, we’re focusing on recipes and nutrition tips to fuel your physical activity.
Food provides energy for body function and physical activity. Your energy and food intake needs can change in relation to your activity levels. Balance and variety of protein, carbohydrates, fat and water will provide you with the nutrients required for optimal performance and nutrient replenishment.
Weeks 1 and 2: Hydration
To keep your body hydrated, aim for a daily fluid intake of about 2-3 litres (9-12 cups); your intake will vary depending on your body size and activity level. When you are more active or if the weather is hot, you will need to increase your intake. Water is one of the best fluid choices and you should also use your thirst as a guide to help you determine fluid requirements.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) as “any liquids that are sweetened with various forms of added sugars”. Some examples include fruit, sports and energy drinks, sweetened waters, and coffee and tea beverages with added sugars. SSBs provide no additional nutritional benefit and contain “hidden” calories . If you choose to have SSBs once in a while, that is okay. But water is a better choice of hydration.
Here are some tips and recipes to help you stay hydrated:
- Check out the Dietitians of Canada’s recommendations on sports hydration, including steps to stay hydrated during and after exercise.
- See Eating Well’s seven refreshing foods to help you stay hydrated.
- If you need to boost your water intake, here are 12 easy ways to drink more water from Self magazine.
- Find out what’s in your drink with this rethink your drink article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Read this news release from the Canadian Paediatric Society and Dietitians of Canada, which advises against kids and adolescents consuming sports and energy drinks.
Week 3: Snacks
Having a small meal or snack about one to two hours before you exercise can help stabilize blood glucose levels and keep you hydrated and energized. It can also help you perform for longer and with more intensity . You’ll likely focus less on a rumbling tummy and more on your activity or workout!
If you are exercising for more than a couple of hours, make sure to fuel up halfway with fluids, a carbohydrate and protein-rich snack or small meal.
Here are some tips and recipes to help you fuel up before exercising:
- The Dietitians of Canada encourage learning how to plan pre-exercise meals and snacks.
- Try these simple snack combinations and adjust the amount based on the length of your activity: whole fruit with nuts or nut butter, vegetables and hummus or other bean/veggie dip, cheese and crackers, or plain yogurt with berries and granola.
- Simple Banana Berry Smoothie from Cookspiration
- Breakfast Burrito from Cookspiration
- Colourful Quinoa Salad from Cookspiration
Week 4: Recovery
Post-exercise healthy eating is important because it replaces the energy, fluids, electrolytes and carbohydrates that were used up during your workout. Protein is essential in building and maintaining muscle and supporting muscle recovery after exercise. It’s best to get these nutrients from foods rather than sports drinks, sports foods, and supplementation (i.e. protein supplements) — unless you are an athlete, in which case it’s best to seek advice from a registered dietitian.
Here are some tips and recipes to help you satisfy your hunger and nutritional needs after exercise:
- The Dietitians of Canada offer steps you can take to recover after exercise.
- Ginger Granola & Pineapple Cottage Cheese from Cookspiration
- Greek-style Chicken Sandwiches from Cookspiration
- Green Lentil Power Smoothie from Cookspiration
- Check out the Dietitians of Canada’s facts on sport supplements.
By Melissa Lafrance on December 7, 2017
In December, we are highlighting winter produce, feeding yourself when you’ve caught a bug, and rethinking holiday eating. You won’t find your typical guide to healthy holiday eating here. We are all unique and some of us celebrate in different ways, so it’s important to savour those special moments, especially if your festivities revolve around food.
Each week in December, we will be sharing tips, recipes and ideas on how to nourish ourselves this winter and mindfully and positively enjoy holiday eating.
We are lucky enough to be able to enjoy great foods and flavourful ingredients – even through the chilly winter season.
Recipes and tips for using in-season produce:
- Check out EatingWell’s five healthy foods you can enjoy this winter.
- To find local foods grown in December, check out FarmFolk CityFolk’s seasonal food chart.
- Try Ina Garten’s simple roasted vegetable recipe. If you want, sprinkle some goat cheese on your finished dish.
- Buy what might be an odd-looking squash and inspire yourself to do something with it. “Ugly vegetables” are not just ornamental; you can actually eat them. Check out The Spruce’s website to see all the many winter squash and pumpkin varieties You’ll also find great recipes if you scroll all the way down the page.
If you’ve caught a cold or flu virus, it’s important to hydrate and get proper nutrition – even with a reduced appetite. Passing over food or skipping meals isn’t a recommended treatment for any illness. When you’re fighting infection, whether it be a cold or flu virus, you need extra calories to support a higher metabolic rate.
Here are some tips and recipes to help you combat the bug:
- Hydrate! Learn about WebMD’s best (and worst) drinks to have when battling a cold.
- Check out this classic chicken soup from EatingWell.
- Try making CookingLight’s flavourful quick chicken pho recipe.
- For when you have more energy to cook, consider Jamie Oliver’s collection of winter soup recipes.
Let’s reframe the way we view holiday eating: it’s not what you eat on a few special occasions; it’s about the healthy food choices you make between occasions. Therefore, if you are going to be miserable about not eating your grandma’s special cookie, eat the darn cookie and savour every bite!
- Read Psychology Today’s take on enjoying holiday eating. You might gain a few tips in the process.
This holiday season, leave the guilt aside and mindfully enjoy meals that not only nourish your body, but also feed your soul. It is perfectly okay to eat foods that are sweeter and richer (oilier or creamier).
If you choose to indulge a little, here are some tips on how to do it well and mindfully:
- Have a strategy to help with self-control. Check out Self’s 13 holiday healthy-eating tips from a registered dietitian.
- Check out Harvard Health’s blog post on 10 mindful eating tips.
Melissa Lafrance’s Tips of the Month & Favourite Potluck Recipes
When I have an upcoming event involving food, my strategy is to make healthy food choices on the day of so that I can have balance and fully enjoy occasional indulgences. If I arrive hungry, I can’t even focus on pre-dinner socializing because I’m so famished. So, I don’t skip meals and I eat a snack beforehand. If I’m bringing a prepared dish, I tend to focus on simple sides, salads or appetizers that include fresh fruits and veggies. I’m not saying this is the “right” way, but it works for me and maybe it will for you too!
Check out some of my favourite go-to recipes, including a classic one from my grandma:
- Spinach dip is a great go-to potluck dish. Try Cookspiration’s version with pumpernickel bread and a variety of veggies.
- Another winner is Smitten Kitchen’s broccoli slaw. (I usually omit the buttermilk and mayo, and use Vegenaise instead.)
- Check out Vegetarian Times’ rosemary whole-wheat stuffing with figs and hazelnuts. (I usually add finely chopped carrots and celery, a bit of allspice, and replace the port with extra broth.)
My Mémère’s (grandma’s) classic coleslaw recipe:
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp celery seeds
- 1 small green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1-2 celery stalks, chopped
- In a saucepan, bring the sugar, vinegar, oil, salt and celery seeds just to a boil to dissolve the sugar.
- Slice the cabbage, green onion and celery, and transfer to a large bowl.
- Carefully pour the hot liquid over the cabbage.
- Refrigerate until cooled and serve. The coleslaw is best when it has time to mellow. Enjoy!