By Tamara Paetsch | Food & Nutrition Coordinator
Tamara completed her nutrition degree and dietetics training at the University of Manitoba. She enjoys engaging with students through social media and outreach activities. Tamara is passionate about peanut butter, helping students build healthy lifestyles, and ensuring students have positive and safe dining experiences at UBC..

It feels like we are living in a strange dream where our daily routines have been flipped upside-down. For our own health and the health of others, we are encouraged to stay home and find alternative ways to do things we enjoy and connect to the people we love. As we all try to navigate these uncertain times, here are some ideas to help support yourself and others.

1. Food is available – no need to stress

  • There is no need to stock pile as grocery stores will remain open and stocked. Make a meal plan and a grocery list of the things you need so that you can visit the store as infrequently as possible. Each time you go, buy some extra non-perishable items in case you get sick (if you have no one that can go to the store for you). But please ensure you leave enough of high demand items for others. They will be restocked.
  • If you do need to self-quarantine for 14 days, here are some nutritious food ideas that will last you through the quarantine period:
      • Canned/dried beans and lentils, tofu
      • Whole grains – brown rice, whole wheat pasta, steel cut oats, whole wheat bread
      • Canned veggies – tomatoes and tomato sauce, mushrooms, corn, peas, green beans
      • Cooking oils and spices to flavour foods
      • Produce that will last – apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, beets, carrots, onions, garlic
      • Frozen fruits and veggies
      • Eggs, Milk /milk alternatives, and yogurt – Shelf stable milk and powdered milk can also be bought and stored at room temperature for a long time – once opened or mixed, store in the fridge and use within 1 week

2. Listen to your hunger cues

  • Being at home and next to the kitchen all the time can make it easy to eat out of boredom or stress instead of hunger. Try a few things to help you eat more mindfully:
      • Listen to your body – is your stomach actually hungry? Or are you looking for something to occupy your time with or deal with an emotional need? Sometimes doing something else for 10 min or so can help you decide if you aren’t sure. Try video calling a friend or reading a book; if you are still hungry after then go ahead and eat something. Sometimes we eat when we aren’t truly hungry and that is okay too. But make this decision consciously.

3. Take care of yourself

  • Our daily routines may be out of whack but there are many alternative ways of doing things we usually do. It’s so important to support yourself and others during these challenging times. Here are some ideas:
      • Social distancing can be hard – video call or phone a friend and check out these tips about supporting yourself others during this stressful time
      • Exercising is still important – there are tons of free exercise videos online including yoga videos and workout videos. Or try a new free fitness app like ClassPass Go.
      • Coping with stress – the WHO has a handy infographic on managing these stressful times.

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