By Miranda Massie on March 4, 2019
Nourishment goes beyond nutrition, beyond food labels, calories and superfoods. Nourishment is a mental, physical and even spiritual state where we feel fulfilled, satiated and whole. Our modern lives often have us running to and from commitments, engaging with fast-paced technology and navigating personal and professional demands. This leaves little time to think of food as anything but the fuel to help get us there. In the spirit of Nutrition Month, I’m providing a little ‘food for thought’ (pun-intended), some simple steps to support feeling nourished.
1. Practice gratitude
At the start of a meal, take a quick moment to consider where your food came from. Picture who had to work in order for the food to land on your plate. In that moment, pause and say thank you.
Why: Gratitude supports mental health and wellbeing, and slowing down supports healthy digestion.
2. Don’t forget your liquids
The body needs food to function, but it needs hydration to survive. To ensure that you are hydrated throughout the day, try water tracking and reminder apps, incorporating beverages into your daily routine (before breakfast, before bed, with all meals), and using a favourite water bottle.
Why: 60% of our bodies are made up of water, which needs to be replenished in order to support many important health functions.
3. Prioritize sleep
Set up a sleep routine and do your best to keep it consistent. Try setting a reminder to go to bed at the same time each day, invest in comfortable sheets, limit caffeine consumption and avoid technology before bed.
Why: Sleep and nutrition go hand in hand. Our diet can positively or negatively impact our quality of sleep, and our sleep patterns can result in irregular or overindulgent eating habits.
4. Identify what brings you comfort
For me, comfort food includes cheesy pasta, salt and vinegar potato chips and wine. We all deserve to indulge once in a while: it’s important. However, we should also be aware that we define these foods as ‘comfort’. We often use these foods as a way to avoid dealing with challenging people, situations or emotions. By identifying the foods that you crave the most, it brings awareness to the emotions driving the eating.
Why: Being more mindful of why and when we reach for certain foods can interrupt habits and enable portion control and increased self-awareness.
5. Listen to your body
Pay attention to subtle signs your body might be telling you about your diet. Consider writing them down or tracking them over time. Have a headache? Your body might need more water or perhaps you’ve been drinking sugary beverages. Experiencing a gastro-intestinal issue? This could indicate an allergy or a need for more fibre-rich foods. Skin inflammation? This might indicate a food intolerance.
Why: Getting to know your body’s rhythms can help catch an issue, challenge or allergy early, leading to increased physical comfort and piece of mind.
This month, I encourage you to look beyond nutrition and reflect on what helps you feel nourished. This may mean eating meals with friends, establishing a new bedtime routine or even indulging in your favourite comfort foods (just to make sure they’re still as delicious as you remember).
You can also read more about strategies to help you feel nourished.
All my best,
Posted in Editorial, Miranda Massie, Nutrition | Tagged comfort, editorial, gratitude, mental health, nourishment, Nutrition, nutrition month, physical health, sleep, tips, tricks, UBC, water | 2 Responses
By Melissa Lafrance on October 25, 2017
Time to dig out your flannel jammies, rain boots, and scarves: winter is coming. Let’s look on the bright side: at least we don’t get wallops of snow like the east coast for four months of the year. On the west coast and Metro Vancouver, we get the rainy season, which can be pleasant if we make the most of it. Research has shown that gratitude increases overall wellbeing, so let’s look at a few things we can be grateful and cheerful for this November.
1. Benefit from the Mindfulness@Work Program (starts Nov. 7)
This six-week, in-person and highly beneficial program focuses on integrating mindfulness in the workplace to promote effectiveness, teamwork and communication, and has many more personal and professional benefits. The enrolment fee is $100, and UBC staff and faculty can access professional development funds to cover the cost.
The program begins November 7, with a second cohort starting in April 2018. Spaces are limited, so register now!
2. Aim to Thrive at UBC (Oct. 30 – Nov. 3)
Thrive is a mindset as well as a week-long series of events and year-long focus on building positive mental health and reducing stigma for everyone at UBC.
3. Rain graffiti is coming to UBC (starts Oct. 30)
Be sure to notice new things in your environment when you step out for a walk on campus. You might just find something whimsical, quirky and fun on the pavement. Rain grafitti uses water-repelling and eco-friendly paint that only appears when wet. If you spot it, take a photo and share it on social media with the hashtags #LetsThriveUBC and #UBCSEEDS for a chance to win tickets to an upcoming UBC School of Music concert.
4. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. (Sunday, Nov. 5)
Mornings will be brighter and we gain an hour! Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour before you go to bed Saturday night on November 4. Learn more about Daylight Saving Time.
5. Grow your mo’ during Movember (Nov.)
Led by the Movember Foundation, Movember is an annual, global, moustache-growing charity event held during November to raise funds and awareness for men’s health. Each year, brave and selfless individuals from around the world come together in a commitment to moustachery. Join the movement to help men live happier, healthier, longer lives.
6. Enjoy fall colours by getting outside
The crisp weather won’t chill your bones because you’ll be warming up with exercise. Get outside and check out these thriving places and spaces at the Vancouver campus and 30-minute walking maps, walking events and groups.
Check out Tourism Vancouver’s list places to enjoy fall colours. If you like to hike, check out Vancouver Trail’s suggested hikes for November and December. Be sure to check trail conditions and prepare before you go out. For more hiking trails, check out Vancouver Trails and Outdoor Vancouver.
7. Cook comforting foods with fall produce
Savour fall flavours with BC Fresh’s featured fall recipes and use the fantastic array of in-season fall produce in BC.
8. Explore other offerings at UBC
- UBC Farm’s upcoming workshops
- UBC Recreation’s staff and faculty offerings
- UBC Bodyworks Fitness Centre
9. Take up ice skating
UBC Recreation’s ice-based programs include hockey and skating lessons for youth and adults. UBC Rec also offers drop-in sessions of public skating, figure skating, hockey, and stick and puck. Their dynamic range of hockey and skating programs can accommodate people of all ages and skill levels. Whether it’s your first time on the ice or you’re looking to refresh your hockey skills, they have a program for you.
10. Additional events and activities
Photo credit: UBC Communications and Marketing