By Julie Stachiw | Registered Dietitian, Manager, Nutrition and Wellbeing
The world feels topsy turvy at the moment. Most of us are studying or working from home, and are missing the connections we have with family, friends, classmates and workmates, including study breaks, meals and outdoor time together.
You may be wondering what to do when it comes to food during this COVID19 pandemic. UBCO Dietitian Julie Stachiw has some great advice:
1. Wash your hands before you eat, cook … or do almost anything.
What to buy
Avoid panic-buying at the grocery store. Our food system is robust and grocery stores will restock. Buy what you need, plus some extra non-perishable goods each time you go, such as:
- Whole wheat dry pasta, rice, quinoa and oatmeal.
- Pasta sauce
- Canned soup, legumes or tuna
- Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables
- Nut or seed butter
- Granola bars, such as Lara bars
- Protein powder or skim milk powder
- Dried fruit
- Nuts and seeds
- Textured vegetable protein
- Tetrapacks of soy or nut milks
For perishable, longer-lasting items, consider buying:
- Citrus fruits and apples
- Root vegetables
- Garlic or onions
- Cheese and eggs
- Order take-out or delivery
- Consider ordering food online a week in advance of when you’ll need it, to limit having to go in to the store in-person. This limits the number of people you would encounter compared to going out in public.
Are you still on campus?
At UBCO, Picnic and Hedwig are still open. See here for more information about locations and hours: https://food.ok.ubc.ca/feed-me/
- Try a new recipe! Look at websites such as www.unlockfood.ca for nutritious and delicious recipes.
- Have random ingredients in your house? Choose a protein food, a grain, and a fruit/veg and make something new!
- Set up FaceTime and chat with friends and family while you cook and eat.
- Try to choose meal options that resemble a balanced meal; vegetables/fruit, protein, and whole grains.
For information on food banks in our area see the following resources for more information (try calling them first as some may be closed to foot traffic at this time).
Take care of your mental health
The urge to melt into your couch right now is real, however keeping active is important. Go for a socially-distanced walk outdoors to keep your body and mind healthy. Or try a YouTube exercise video from the comfort of your own home – this is the time to try something new! Set a timer on your phone so that you get up and do something active every hour, even if it is just getting up off the couch to make your bed.
Take care of your immune health
Everywhere we look on social media there is an exuberant claim about super foods boosting the immune system. Nutrition is integral to creating a healthy immune system, so keep eating your veggies! However, there is no one vitamin supplement or super food that will ‘boost’ your immune system. The most effective way to decrease your risk of contracting COVID-19 is to wash your hands and practice social distancing.
Last but not least
Don’t forget to get your zzzzzs and stay hydrated!