March is Nutrition Month

By Kimberly Green, RD, UTM Dietitian, Health & Counselling Centre  

Trying to eat healthier?  Start by downloading this free recipe e-book.  These 15 ‘Good For You’ recipes  were selected by Canadian Dietitians  to help you celebrate Nutrition Month 2021 with your family, friends and colleagues.  

Are these recipes “good for you?” Great question! What is “good for you” is not the same as for someone else. There is no one-size-fits all approach to healthy eating. What healthy looks like for you is influenced by many things, like your culture and food traditions, personal circumstances and preferences as well as your unique nutritional needs.  

Do you need help finding your “healthy” as a UTM student? Call (905) 828-5255 to book a no-fee virtual appointment with the campus Registered Dietitian. 

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Why is it that every movie about a relationship breakup shows them eating ice cream?  That every story about a single or lonely person has them eating chocolate or pizza or some other “forbidden” food? 

This notion that sadness or grief, especially after a break-up, can be consoled by food is a common one.  But does food really help makes us feel better?  Yes, actually!

Research that shows certain components in chocolate actually make us feel happy, producing the same euphoria as being in love.  Most plant-eating mammals, including humans, have evolved to have a preference for sweet foods, as a way to get vital nutrients for energy.  Studies have shown that high-in-fat foods are deeply satisfying to our brain and body.

So yes, food is comfort.  But it shouldn’t be the only comfort when you are dealing with a breakup or experiencing grief.  If you find yourself relying on food to lift your mood very often, talk to your counsellor about other ways to self-soothe, and try these 3 tips from UTM Dietitian Kimberly Green: 

  • Eat at somewhat regular intervals each day, about 4-6 hours apart. Eating healthy foods regularly can keep your blood sugar steady  – this can help you to make better decisions when thoughts of chocolate or ice cream come to mind. 

  • Be mindful and present while eating. Turn off your devices and really pay attention to the taste and feel and smell of what you are eating.  Allowing your senses and your brain to really experience the food often allows us to be satisfied with smaller portions and a wider variety of nutritious food. 

  • Be good to yourself. Taking care of yourself during a break-up (or other sad time) does not mean giving in to every craving, or conversely denying yourself food as pleasure – Self-care is about balance: feeding yourself nutritious, satisfying food (whatever that means to you) in quantities that fill you up.