5 Easy Ways to Health-ify Your Food!

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As February fades into the past, some of you might be taking the time to evaluate how your new year’s resolutions have held up. We understand that getting back to school and extracurriculars and every other aspect of hectic student life might have gotten in the way of some of those goals, but we’re here to encourage you to take small actions to keep with it! And we hope that even if it wasn’t one of your resolutions this year, that you’re all taking the time to take care of yourselves with sleep, movement, and of course, food. On the topic of small actions you can take to improve your life, we’ve come up with some ways to enrich the food you’re consuming every day to make it better for you without making it less enjoyable. These are five of our favourite tips to make your takeout/delivery/pre-prepared or even homemade meals more balanced and nutritious. You need quality fuel to keep being the best you that you can be!

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1. More veggies! 

You can’t ever really have too many vegetables. Really. They’re such an important source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals and they come in so many beautiful shapes, sizes and colours! There are tons of ways that you can integrate them into the meals you love to balance it out. For example, you can sautee up a side of spinach and throw it in your noodles, or you can skip the side of fries with your double bacon cheeseburger topped with crispy onions and munch on some carrots with it instead!


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2. Sauce on the side! 

I get it – a good sauce can really make-or-break a meal. They add so much flavour to your favourite foods, but unfortunately can be a sneakily large dose of salt and sugar on top of your meal. Many restaurants are so worried about their food tasting bland that they’ll add wayyyyyy more sauce than necessary. Next time you get a great big salad or a teriyaki bowl or other saucy dish, ask for your sauce on the side and only add as much as you need. I can almost guarantee you’ll have sauce leftover!

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3. Plate your portions! 

Something that can be so sneaky about takeout and delivery options are the portions. When your meal comes in this box that isn’t really comparable to any of your dishware, it can be really hard to tell how many servings are in front of you. I always suggest putting your food on a real plate so you have a visual idea of how much food you actually have and eating that one portion to start. Of course, portion sizes vary and you need to listen to your body and eat whatever amount you need to feel satiated, but in my experience, there are often times where I can split one DoorDash dinner into two meals. Healthful and economical!

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4. Smart substitutions!

One of the greatest things about being a self-proclaimed foodie in the age of the internet is how customizable everything is. Especially when ordering delivery, the sky is really the limit to ways that you can cater your meals to your exact craving. We can also use this power for good and make our meals better for us. Even if it’s a small change, like adjusting your Starbuck order to have fewer shots of sugary syrup, these little changes are great ways to cut down on less-healthy parts of our favourite foods.

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5. Mealtime rituals!

Even if you didn’t make the meal yourself, eating intentionally and mindfully is a really important part of nourishing your body. When you focus on your meal without distracting yourself with a million other things, you’ll eat slower and enjoy more, which may help some of us who tend to mindlessly snack after a meal (me!!!). Take the time to actually sit down at a table with your meal and eat with no screens distracting you. Maybe chat with a friend or roommate, or if you really must, put on some great music or a relaxing podcast. Just try to use mealtime to rest your brain, feed your body, and give your food the respect and appreciation that it deserves!

If you want to learn even more about effective student nutrition and how it can help to foster a healthy lifestyle overall, check out Nourish U this March. By completing answering daily reflection questions you can be eligible to win great prizes, as well as take part in an expertly-curated nutrition journey to transform your relationship with food!