By Melissa Lafrance on July 16, 2019
Refresh your summer recipes with tips, tricks and meals that will bring a spark to any table or gathering. Explore sustainable seafood, take a chance on an unknown ingredient or head back to cooking basics. Whatever your interest, we have recipes that are sure to ignite any appetite.
You may have heard that UBC recently announced it will purchase and offer only 100% Ocean Wise-recommended sustainable seafood. Doing so will make the seafood dishes offered on our campuses more diverse. We can all contribute to protecting our oceans by diversifying our seafood choices and supporting sustainable sources.
Ocean Wise defines sustainable seafood as “species that are caught or farmed in a way that ensures the long-term health and stability of that species, as well as the greater marine ecosystem”.1
Want to learn more about sustainable seafood? Explore these recipes and tips:
- Familiarize yourself with Ocean Wise’s guide to sustainable seafood
- Learn about ocean-friendly seafood choices in BC or use Ocean Wise’s seafood search function
- Try one of these Ocean Wise recipes
Be Adventurous with Your Home Cooking
According to BC-based dietitian Nicole Fetterly, some foods seem more difficult to prepare than others. When we’re unfamiliar with certain foods, we’re less likely to purchase or cook them.
Here are some recipes featuring less commonly-used ingredients but that might become a favourite of yours to make once you try them out:
- Fish: Halibut with sun dried tomato and chèvre sauce (Cookspiration)
- Legumes: Lentils with roast vegetables (Pulses Canada)
- Bread: Zucchini nut loaf (Cookspiration)
- Quinoa: Cook quinoa three ways (EatingWell)
- Eggplant: Eight simple ways to cook eggplant (Kitchn)
Minimal-Ingredient Recipes and Cooking Basics
It’s been suggested that creative tasks such as cooking and baking can have a positive effect on our wellbeing by increasing our feelings of enthusiasm and flourishing.2 Cooking can also be a mindful exercise similar to meditation: increased focus while preparing food can invigorate your mind and produce more delicious meals.
The following resources can help boost your cooking abilities and confidence:
- Simple and fun cooking videos with Sarah Carey in Everyday Food
- Quick and easy recipe videos via Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube
- Sheet pan dinner ideas (Food Network)
- 11 vegetarian sheet pan-inspired recipes (Brit + Co)
Try these simple but wholesome and satisfying meals:
- Recipes from the Minimalist Baker require 10 ingredients or less and can be done within 30 minutes or less. Best of all, they are healthy and straightforward. Try this perfect bowl of oats or this comforting one-pot everyday lentil soup.
- Almond butter, banana and chia overnight oats (Berry Nourished)
- 12 no-fuss breakfasts (Melissa Baker, UBC Food Services)
- Veggie and tofu stir-fry (My Recipes)
- Sweet potato and white bean chilli (Jamie Oliver)
By Melissa Lafrance on December 5, 2018
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.
Follow along below and discover weekly new ways for nourishment and enjoyable holiday eating.
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 recommended because when you’re fighting 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 Eating Well.
- Try making Cooking Light’s flavourful quick chicken pho.
- When you have more energy to cook, consider Jamie Oliver’s collection of winter soup recipes. Freeze in batches so you have a quick dose of goodness when you need it most.
We are lucky to be able to enjoy great foods and flavourful ingredients – even through the chilly winter season.
Here are some recipes and tips for using in-season produce:
- Check out Eating Well’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 the many winter squash and pumpkin varieties. You’ll also find great recipes if you scroll all the way down the page.
Week 3 and 4:
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), with a reminder to always check in with your doctor if you are on a special or restrictive diet for health reasons
Check out some of my favourite go-to festive recipes:
- Spinach dip is a great 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.)
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 10 mindful eating tips.
- Read Psychology Today’s take on enjoying holiday eating.
For more recipes and tips, visit our online nutrition archive.
By Miranda Massie on October 6, 2015
As the days grow shorter and we start to bundle up against the cold, I have noticed that we also have a tendency to hibernate. Although this is a necessary annual practice for some of our relatives in the animal kingdom, it has the potential to be detrimental to us humans.
We are social beings, and as such, crave connection and support, both of which can wane as we recede into the warmth of our homes and huddle inside awaiting winter. I am the first to admit that I am guilty of this practice. There is something about coming home when it’s already dark outside that makes me yearn for my couch and reach for my sweatpants. I find myself less motivated to call up a friend or invite people over and after a few weeks, I end up feeling quite lonely and out of touch.
There is some great research out there to keep in mind this fall. I am hoping that it will serve as a reminder to reach out and that it will motivate me to stay more connected with others.
Five Fun Facts about Social Support
De-stress: Connecting with others and allowing for support during stressful situations can improve a person’s health and wellbeing.
Boost longevity: Emotional support from others positively influences physical health and longevity.
Be empowered: Individuals with meaningful connections to others are more likely to think in positive and empowering ways.
Protect yourself: Self-esteem and social support serve as protective factors against perceived life stressors.
Up your satisfaction: Self-esteem is associated with lower anxiety, depression and distress and higher levels of life satisfaction and happiness.
This month, I invite you to be more aware of your emotions and behavior as the seasons change. Are you spending more time inside? Are you feeling disconnected? Are you craving a boost in your social network? Or perhaps you have not heard from a friend in a while.
There is nothing wrong with spending time alone but when this solo time begins to shift to loneliness, it may be time to re-connect and reach out.
All my best,
Chao, Ruth Chu-Lien. (2012) Managing Perceived Stress Among College Students: The Roles of Social Support and Dysfunctional Coping. Journal of College Counseling, 15:5-21.
Kawachi, Ichiro and Lisa Berkman. (2001) Social Ties and Mental Health. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 78:458-467.
Steinhardt, Mary and Christyn Dolbier. (2008) Evaluation of a Resilience Intervention to Enhance Coping Strategies and Protective Factors and Decrease Symptomatology. Journal of American College Health, 56: 445-453.
Thoits, Peggy. (2011). Mechanisms Linking Social tied and Support to Physical and Mental Health. Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, 52:145-161.
By Colin Hearne on October 1, 2014
Connecting with others is a great way for us to stay social, and stay healthy! By nature, we are social beings. Most of us are fine with being on our own at times, but we also enjoy talking to others, sharing our experiences, and just being around other people. This sociability can keep us healthy, both physically and mentally.
There are plenty of reasons why being around others keeps us healthy. The support of others can help us maintain a greater sense of self-esteem and reduced stress. Being social may hold one of the keys to living a longer life. In a study published in the August 1999 issue of the British Medical Journal, 2,761 participants 65 years of age and older were followed for 13 years. Researchers tracked participation in 14 activities, including swimming and brisk walking, to shopping, volunteering, and playing cards with friends. The results suggested that people who spent time taking part in social activities fared just as well in terms of longevity, as those who spent the same amount to time exercising.
Letting UBC Support You
One great way to feel supported and to interact with others is to utilise Healthy UBC programming available UBC to staff and faculty. The Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program (HWIP) is a fund available to UBC departments, units and operational committees to support healthy activities for faculty and staff in the workplace.
The program provides start-up funds for kick-starting health related, sustainable initiatives. Have a great idea but need some seed money to get it off the ground? Already running programming but want to take it to the next level? Apply for Healthy Workplace funding! Some recent recipients include
- Museum of Anthropology’s Organic vegetable garden
- Centre for Hip Health and Mobility’s Hip to be Fit Program
- Sauder Business and Careers Centre’s Physical activity and Nutrition program
(The next application deadline is Nov. 21, 2014 at 4:30pm – Click here for a full list of past and present recipients.)
Information Session: Applying for the UBC Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program (HWIP): Oct. 7, 2014 @ 12.15-1.15pm
Have a great healthy workplace idea, but need some seed money to get it off the ground? Already running healthy workplace programming but want to take it to the next level? This interactive, practical workshop will be one hour dedicated to helping you understand HWIP and directing you to the path of possible funding. For more information, or to register, click here.