Remembering To Stay Healthy During Stressful Times

Many people turn to various outlets to find comfort in times of high stress. Between working long hours and trying to balance our family, life can become over whelming at times and be detrimental to our health.

Some people feel that they don’t have enough time to eat good nutritious meals during the day, and others feel that because of the situation they are in all they really want is that very high in calories and high in sugar for a quick pick me up. Although you may be craving a comfort food it is very important to take a step back and realize that the best way to help yourself in times of high stress is to have a healthy meal or snack.

woman choosing between pizza and orange

In times of high stress it becomes even more important to ensure that you are fueling your body with the appropriate foods, as eating snacks with little nutrients can work against your body’s natural ability to combat stress. All foods affect our bodies in different ways. Therefore foods with high amounts of calories and little nutrient value can actually make it harder for us to be able to focus on our tasks at hand and accomplish our goals.

It is important to maintain eating habits such as how much you are eating and when you each to help your body better function with daily tasks in times of high turmoil.

Be aware of your food consumption in times of high stress as it is during these times that we tend to over eat and consume food. Mindfulness of our actions and ways we can help lower our stress levels will also help keep our food decisions in check and help maintain a healthy lifestyle!

running from food

Click on the link to check out what the Dietitians of Canada recommend when it comes to stress eating!


Making The Healthier Choice The Easier Choice

March is Nutrition Month and the theme for this year that the Dietitians of Canada have created is: Let’s take the fight out of food!

One of the hardest parts of eating healthy is having access to the healthier choice. A program done by Food Share and the TTC is giving people in “food desserts” (areas of limited access to healthier food choices) the opportunity to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables within their communities.grab some good food

Through this program they have placed “Pop-upfresh food markets” in places of high commuter traffic. This has been done so that people can easily purchase fresh foods and therefore make the healthier choice the easier choice. These Pop-up markets are at Downsview and Victoria Park Station on Tuesday and Thursdays, and Kipling subway station Monday and Wednesday 3:00-7:00PM.

This initiative began at Victoria Park Subway station where it underwent a trail for a year, and through its success they have continued the contract until 2019, as well as expanding to more locations. It is nice to see that eating a healthy balanced diet in the City of Toronto is becoming a realistic notion.

It is important to remember to take the time in our busy lives to stop and be aware of the healthier choice and these pop-up markets are allowing this to be possible.

fresh food

Professionals are Human too!

Health professionals are trained to work in a high demand and high stress environments but keep in mind, they are human, and we all make mistakes! They are more prone to burn out and a study found this can lead to increased risk of making poor decisions, behaving hostile towards their patients, increased medical errors and have potential difficultly maintaining relationships with their coworkers (Kumar, 2016). Other research suggests to address this issue of health professionals and burn out is provide training and access to programs related to mindfulness and self-compassion. Health professionals who are trained to be or are self-compassionate, correlate with lower levels of burn out, increased well-being (Durkin, Beaumont, Hollins Martin, & Carson, 2016), reduced perceived stress and potentially enhanced patient care (Shapiro, Astin, Bishop, & Cordova, 2005).


This suggests self-compassion is an important factor for health professionals for their own-well-being and daily life and their work life. Professionals are not perfect and mistakes happen. It would be important to remind ourselves to be self-compassionate. We should accept that we are only human, we make mistakes, and sometimes life can be difficult. Instead of being critical of yourself or ignoring the pain or difficulty you’re experiencing, take a moment, reflect and acknowledge what you are experiencing may be difficult, or it is painful, or you may have made a mistake. Finally, ask yourself how can I comfort and care for myself during this time?
For more information about Mindfulness and Self-Compassion based programs, ask the Wellness Centre at UHN to find out resources available on-site! Contact us at or 416.340.4800 x 4486


Check out other sources in Toronto: The Centre for Mindfulness Studies 

Durkin, M., Beaumont, E., Hollins Martin, C., & Carson, J. (2016). A pilot study exploring the relationship between self-compassion, self-judgement, self-kindness, compassion, professional quality of life and wellbeing among UK community nurses.

Nurse Education Today, 46, 109-114.

Kumar, S. (2016). Burnout and Doctors: Prevalence, Prevention and Intervention. Healthcare, 4(3), 37.

Shapiro, S., Astin, J., Bishop, S., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results From a Randomized Trial. International Journal Of Stress Management, 12(2), 164-176.


DIY Candles and Bath Salts!

Come to the Wellness TGH  Oasis Centre on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 at 12PM to 1PM.
Click HERE to Register!
For more information email us

Tusan Bean Soup


Some nice hearty soup to warm you up on a cold day like today!


Tuscan Bean Soup

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time : 25 minutes


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , (approx)1 1tbsp tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil, (approx)
  • 1 large leek , (white and light green parts only), diced1 1large leekleeks, (white and light green parts only), diced
  • 1 potato , peeled and diced1 1potatopotatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , sliced2 2cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 4 4cups cups(1 L) (1 L) vegetable broth
  • 3 cups shredded Savoy cabbage 3 3cups cups(750 mL) (750 mL) shredded Savoy cabbage
  • 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) white kidney beans , drained1 1can (14 oz/398 mL) can (14 oz/398 mL)white kidney beanwhite kidney beans or mixed beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano , (approx)1 1tbsp tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) minced fresh oregano or fresh parsley, (approx)
  • 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese Grated parmesan cheese
  • Garlic Toasts:
  • 1/2 baguette 1/2 1/2baguettebaguettes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 2tbsp tbsp(25 mL) (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic , halved1 1large clove garliccloves of garlic, halved


In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté leek, potato and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in cabbage, beans, oregano, salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes. Transfer 1 cup (250 mL) to blender and purée; return to pot and heat through. Serve sprinkled with more of the olive oil and oregano, and Parmesan cheese.

Garlic Toasts: Meanwhile, cut baguette into 12 slices; brush with oil. Broil until golden. Rub with garlic.

Source : Canadian Living Magazine: April 2010