By Miranda Massie on September 13, 2016
Eating your Way to a Productive September
Food fuels our bodies including our brains. Nourishing ourselves with good quality foods will help ensure peak cognitive function. It starts with a bright breakfast, then a recharging lunch, followed by delicious supper and balancing snacks to keep us going throughout the day!
Each week in September, we will be sharing tips, tricks, and information to help you have a productive September! Become a UBC Health Contact to receive weekly reminders, tips and tricks.
Remember to eat breakfast! Trust me, it’s worth it to get up a few minutes earlier than to have your stomach growling mid-morning during an important meeting. Breakfasts including foods with a low glycemic index will produce a slower rise and lower peak in blood glucose concentration after eating. It should also include carbohydrates such as low-in-sugar breakfast cereals, oatmeal, whole grain toast and add in some protein such as plain dairy or non-dairy product, eggs and nut butters to keep you satiated for longer.
Try out these easy and innovative breakfast ideas:
- Think outside the breakfast cereal box with 34 Healthy Breakfasts for Busy Mornings
- Explore a variety of breakfast and brunch recipes
- Easy overnight oats recipe
- Maple-Cinnamon Apple & Pear Baked Oatmeal (one of my favourite recipes from Oh She Glows)
- Additional low glycemic index recipes
This week, learn all about lunches to replace the old boring deli meet sandwich! You can always make extra portions at dinnertime to have an easy lunch the next day.
With a bit of planning and key ingredients on hand, it is possible to make complete dinners during the week!
Who’s ready for snacks? Try bringing a magic bullet to work and your cup filled with your smoothie ingredients for a refreshing pick me up. Bring your snacks for the week to have them on hand and be less tempted to run to the corner store.
Posted in Nutrition, Physical Health | Tagged Back to school, breakfast, dinner, eating, family, food, healthy, healthy eating tips, healthy recipes, leftovers, meals, planning, Recipes, september | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on September 3, 2013
Our long time readers may notice that our newsletter looks a bit different this month. Our Health Promotions team has been hard at work this summer renewing and refreshing the content and design. We feel that it is important for this newsletter to grow and develop in order to continue to bring the most up-to-date, relevant and accurate health information to UBC staff and faculty.
Summer is typically a quieter time for those of us working on campus; however, this summer has gone by in a flash and I expect things to continue picking up as September begins.
In working to put together this newsletter, and in planning our staff and faculty programming for the year, we thought it was a good reminder to ourselves to prepare for what awaits as the new school year begins. As staff and faculty on campus, we work daily to support others and to facilitate learning, teaching, administration, maintenance and more. However, we can be of no help to others if we do not first look after ourselves.
For a lot of us whose workload will increase this week with the influx of energetic students on campus, it might be valuable to put some healthy habits into practice before our work gets too hectic. Building up our capacity for resiliency before we experience stress can enable us to manage our stressors in more productive and successful ways.
Factors involved in building resiliency and managing stress: *
Appraisal of the situation: How we perceive a stressful situation and how well prepared we are for the situation will affect how well we deal with stress. Managing our thoughts and preparing for potential stress leads to more successful coping.
Acting vs. Reacting: Being proactive in managing stress leads to more resiliency in difficult situations. Levels of stress can increase if we are consistently reacting instead of acting proactively.
Normalizing challenges: It is normal for everyone to experience challenges; working to overcome these challenges can build self-esteem and self-efficacy. This increase in self-confidence will serve as a protective factor when faced with future stressors.
Recently, the Canadian Mental Health Association released a free e-course aimed at helping people better recognize signs of stress in themselves and others, and to provide strategies to address and cope with stress in the workplace. This quick course is a great resource that can serve as a way of preparing for the school year ahead.
Seeking out support through relationships and resources is also another great option for managing stress. UBC has a wealth of support for staff and faculty on campus and in the community.
Wishing everyone a healthy and happy September!
*Rutter, Michael. (1985). Resilience in the face of adversity: Protective factors and resistance to psychiatric disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry, 147: 598-611.
Steinhardt, M., & Dolbier, C. (2010). Evaluation of a Resilience Intervention to Enhance Coping Strategies and Protective Factors and Decrease Symptomatology. Journal of American College Health, 56:4, 445-453.
By Colin Hearne on September 3, 2013
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, not exactly. It can help, as what we eat greatly impacts our moods and emotional health, as well as our overall well-being, but the apple in this saying is not what we should concentrate on – it’s the ‘a day’ part, the habit-forming inference.
According to Healthlink B.C.:
‘Building and maintaining healthy habits is a key part of a creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are many changes you can make depending on what your body needs to get healthy. If you have problems with your lungs or heart, you may wish to find help to quit smoking. If you are overweight you might want to find tips on eating healthy and adding physical activity to your day’.
With September having crept up sneakily, and as we wave goodbye to the beautiful July and August sun, one promise to make yourself this September is to become more habitual in a way that replaces the unhealthy habits with healthy new ones.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Healthy New Habits for September
- Face Fears
An important step in managing anxiety involves facing feared situations, places or objects. It is normal to want to avoid the things you fear. However, according to the online self-help resource, Anxiety BC (2013), ‘avoidance prevents you from learning that the things you fear are not as dangerous as you think’. Similarly researchers at Northwestern University have found that just one positive exposure to a fear had lasting effects in people six months later. Write down the fears that hold you back, whether it is fear of heights, fear of joining a new gym or exercise class or even the fear of public speaking; and identify resources where you can gain the tools to make the first step.
We all know it’s the best medicine, but laughter is also an effective preventative, which, according to an article in Psychology Today titled The Benefits of Laughter (Marano, 2003) “establishes-or restores-a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between people’.” This article also highlights that “laughter in relationships can decline dramatically as people get older”. Change this. Start watching funny movies, read humorous novels, or spend time with people who make you laugh – it’s contagious!
- Become a Pet Person
Scores of studies have shown that people who own pets tend to live longer, happier and healthier lives. In The Role of Pets in Enhancing Human Well-Being: Physiological Effects (Friedman), a study looking at the relationship between pet ownership and cardiovascular health highlighted the positive effect of having a pet. In particular, it found that pet owners were more likely to be alive one year after spending time in a coronary care unit than non-pet owners. While scooping poop may be an annoying task, the unconditional love and often silly behaviours intrinsic to our animal friends’ makes happiness come all too easily. Caring for another is one of the best things for our health.
- Be Adventurous
“Novelty-seeking is one of the traits that keeps you healthy and happy and fosters personality growth as you age,” says C. Robert Cloninger, author of the study Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change . The study also highlights how being curious about life and the world has helped throughout human history, citing examples of explorers discovering new places and our ancestors learning valuable survival skills. Be adventurous and try something new!
Healthy Habits at UBC
Making changes and adopting new habits is fantastic, but it can also be daunting. Support is available through UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). Our EFAP provider, Homewood Health, has a comprehensive and confidential counseling as well as Plansmart and Health Management services as well as a range of e-courses and an extensive online Health Library available to everyone enrolled in the UBC EFAP – so for any changes you feel you’d like to make you can receive up to date advice and trusted, professional information
If you do one thing for your health this month
Finally, keep yourself current on the health and well-being resources and tools available to you by continuing to read our monthly Healthy UBC Newsletter. New behaviours do not have to be radical, so let us help you through our latest health articles, lists of free workshops, EFAP information, health events on- and off-campus, the latest corporate discounts, and much, much more….make it your first step to good health this month!