Are you a muncher or a starver during exams?

Dear UeaTers,

It was three years ago when I was sitting in the library, just like you, dreading the upcoming exam period. I had a short attention span coupled with terrible eating habits. When stressed, I ate donuts, muffins, cookies, croissants, chips, and twinkies (okay so I had a sweet tooth!). I was the stereotypical “muncher”. I would study for an hour, daydream for the next hour, eat a couple of cookies, check my Facebook for 30 minutes, go get a slice of pizza, and call it a night. My mouth had to be constantly chewing to make my mind work. Or so I thought!


My study-partner, however, was quite opposite. She fretted for two hours, made a “To Do” list, fretted some more, studied an hour, and ate nothing because she felt sick during exams. She was the epitome of a “starver”.


At this point, you may want to review your own study habits and figure out if you are a starver or a muncher.


On the last day of exams, I (4 lbs heavier) and my friend (4 lbs lighter) would crash, complain, and sleep for a week.


One night, two days before my Physics exam, I had my “light-bulb” moment (appropriate timing, no?). I woke up at 6am, went for a 15 minute jog, showered and got myself a nice big breakfast of eggs, oranges, toast and coffee. Suddenly energized, I grabbed a bag of blueberries and opened up the books. By noon, the blueberries were gone, my white t-shirt had one purple smudge, and I was 6 chapters smarter. I took an hour long break, had a nice meal of steamed veggies, mashed potatoes, and chicken breasts, yumm. And lots of water. Another four hours with the books, dinner and 5 more chapters later, I felt like a new man! (err, woman!).

The point of all this is that if I treat my body right, it functions well, specially during exams. On that note, read on for 10 simple ways you can change your eating habits and conquer those exams! 



  1. Don’t wait until exam week to eat healthy. If your body is used to twinkies twice a day, it will not understand why you are eating an apple instead. You have to give it time and let your body get used to apples! So try to keep your diet healthy throughout the year. Yes you can eat twinkies sometimes, but allow your body to extract the goodness from fruits everyday…that will keep your blood sugar regulated, and you will not feel lightheaded or tired
  2. Keep snacking. Nuts, berries, apricots, raisins, yogurt….eat something small every three hours! Again, it keeps your blood sugar and energy constant.
  3. Try to cut back on coffee. If you must have coffee, go with decaf. Cappuccinos and lattes are the devil. Instead, ask them to fill half your cup with milk and top it with decaf coffee and very little sugar. Or try teas. They keep your stomach feeling like it’s full.
  4. Do sleep. Eight hours, ten hours, whatever is normal for you. There is nothing as important as getting your daily sleep fix.
  5. Drink a lot of water, Keep a bottle close at hand, and take a few sips every fifteen minutes.
  6. Relax! Worrying will not make things go any smoother. Try meditation or yoga for a few minutes each day.
  7. Exercise, for a few minutes each day. It helps bring up the motivation levels, clears out your head, and keeps your heart smiling (I mean pumping).
  8. Do not skip meals. Even if you are a starver, you have to eat. Don’t let stress get in the way of your appetite. Your three main meals a day should be spaced out…and try to not look at a book while eating. A meal should be a way to wind down, treat yourself to something yummy, and not think!
  9. Chew gum. It keeps your mouth busy and has very little or no calories.

Best of luck!!

Easter Eggs with Natural Dyes

Easter is 5 days away. The stores are packed with chocolate eggs, and hollow chocolate figures of Bart Simpson, the Transformers and bunnies. Some of you may claim to be too grown up for Easter egg hunts….but we at UeaT encourage all UeaTers to indulge in egg decoration and hunts. Maybe even hold an Easter egg hunt across campus!


Before you set out to buy food colors and dyes for your egg decorating ventures, try out some natural dyes. You probably already have some of the ingredients needed.


Boil your eggs like you usually do, and leave them in the refrigerator overnight. Boil one cup of water with a small amount of your “color ingredient” until the water picks up the color. Strain the mixture, pour it over your eggs and cover for an hour. The longer you leave the eggs in the dye, the darker the color will be (but it will also seep into the egg, so it may not be a good idea to eat them).

The “color ingredients” can be a range of different spices, fruits, berries, vegetables, and teas. We like to use cherries (pink), blueberries (blue), instant coffee (brown), spinach (green), paprika (orange), grape juice (purple), cranberries (pink), powdered turmeric (yellow) and rooibos teas (orange). You can find a larger list here.

Send us your best colored egg pictures and we will add them to this space!

U-Cookie: Shortbread Sugar Cookies

Hello to a new week and the first snowfall of the season!!

We suggest that you stay indoors, drink warm hot chocolate, and bake some delicious Shortbread Sugar Cookies. They are super simple and quick to make, and turn out absolutely amazing!

(Click on the image to make it larger)

U-Cookie: Molasses Crinkle Cookie

As promised, here is the second installment of the U-Cookie recipes. Click on the image to make it larger, and right click to save it to your computer.



You will need:

2 1/4 cups margarine

2 cups brown sugar

3 whole eggs

2/3 cups molasses (not blackstrap molasses)

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Steps to follow:

  • Mix all dry ingredients together and sift.
  • Cream together the margarine and brown sugar in a standing mixture until smooth and light (4-5 mins).
  • Slowly add the sifted ingredients to the creamed margarine and mix evenly until smooth.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (or overnight).
  • Roll the dough with your hands into golf-ball sized shapes.
  • Roll the balls into sugar on one side, leave the other side clean.
  • Lay the dough balls (clean side down) on a parchment lined baking tray and bake at 350F for 12-15 mins.
  • They should appear brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack.

Strawberry Brain Drink

Fruit smoothies are an awesome way to get your fruit servings for the day…they are also a great way to satisfy dessert cravings.

There are hundreds of strawberry smoothie recipes online, but the best ones are the ones you make to your taste.


Generally, you will need:


Four or five fresh strawberries (can be frozen)

One banana

Yoghurt or milk (half cup)

Half an orange (if you have any lying around)

Few drops of lime juice

A couple of pineapple chunks (if you have any lying around)

One to two tablespoons of sugar, sweetener, or honey (depending on your preference)

Half cup of icecubes


All you have to do is to blend all these ingredients for two minutes pour them in a glass, garnish and drink up!

You can also add other ingredients. Popular choices include: dates instead of sugar, kiwi slices, soy milk, strawberry syrup, mint leaves, blueberries.

I continue to Lug a Mug

The campus wide Lug A Mug campaign is now in its second year. For those who don’t know what Lug a Mug is, check out our previous post about the campaign. We crunched some numbers and discovered that U of T students have been saving quarters galore. How many, you ask? 76,561 quarters! That equals 76,561 cups that did not go into the garbage. That also equals $19140.25 saved by U of T students in one year!!! Good job everybody!

For those of you who haven’t already made the switch to reusable mugs, we suggest you do it soon…

Why? Because:

  • You save 25 cents off each coffee or tea
  • You help keep Styrofoam and cardboard cups out of our landfills
  • You help reduce pollution in the environment
  • You don’t have to worry about finding a garbage can to throw away your empty cup
  • You get a smile from the nice lady at the coffee bar…because she supports Lug A Mug.

Mediterranean Cooking at Chestnut Residence

Good morning UeaTers!

As promised, we now have video footage of Nathan Barratt’s cooking class. If you would like to try the foods that Nathan and his helpers cooked, sign up for one of our Cooking Classes! When are they being offered? Stay tuned to find out!


And remember, you can find the recipes on our post titled Thank you for a successful NUTRITION WEEK 2009!!! Try them at home and let us know how they turned out!



Thank you for a successful NUTRITION WEEK 2009!!!

Today is the last day of Nutrition Week 2009. Thanks to your interest and participation, Nutrition Week 2009 was a major success!


If you were among the many who went to one of our dining locations (MSB Cafeteria, Robarts Cafeteria, Sammy’s, Sid’s Café, The Buttery, Howard Ferguson Dining Hall, Veda and Wyilwood Café) this week, you were treated to a $5 Nutrilicious meal of Turkey Tacos, Chicken Curry, Vegetarian Curry and a Whole Wheat Pasta dish. If you missed out, worry not, we will post the recipes online so you can make it at home!


Perhaps you attended one of the World Food Week events, or came to Eat Local! for a free vegan lunch. Or maybe you strolled through our Weekly Local Farmer’s Market (which is now indoors where it’s nice and toasty) and picked up some fresh produce or delicious breads. Some of you even came down to Chestnut Residence for their famous all-you-care-to-eat lunch.


If you are one of the students, staff and faculty members who registered early, you were treated to a healthy cooking class followed by dinner which you made!! We are looking forward to your feedback, and suggestions for future classes.


If you were unable to attend, no problem. We have a short video showing Nathan Barratt teaching his class how to make Mediterranean food (coming soon) as well as ALL the recipes (see below). We suggest you try these recipes at home. If you run into problems or have questions, feel free to leave us a message here, and we will make sure the chefs answer them promptly.


How to prepare Healthy Asian Foods with Edward Low

New Aboriginal Food with Jaco Lokker

Travel the Spice Route with Nouman Ashraf

Mediterranean Cuisine with Nathan Barratt


So dear UeaTers, Nutrition Week 2009 is coming to a fabulous end. We would like to thank everybody who participated by picking up a Nutrilicious menu item, attending the cooking classes or stopping to read one of our Nutrition Tips at MSB Cafeteria, Sid’s Café and Robarts. We hope you will continue to practice nutritious cooking and eating, and share what you learned this week with your friends.



World Food Week at U of T

Dear UeaTers,

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a week long celebration of…FOOD?

That’s exactly what Hart House is planning from October 16 to October 23, 2009: World Food Week on campus!

The wonderful people at Hart House explain that “food is an integral part of our society.  It not only provides nourishment, but gives us an opportunity to share with our community; it allows us to preserve tradition and culture; it connects us to the land.  Food should be about simple principles, yet in our society we’ve allowed it to become a commodity. We demand year-round access to the cheapest food possible, gorging ourselves to malnourishment, while millions go hungry and suffer famine on a daily basis. In order to ensure access to safe and healthy food, and for the future of our society, we need to understand our food systems and reconnect and support the individuals that create them”.

So, Hart House has arranged workshops, lectures, food tastings and discussions on food and community. For a list of the events and schedules click here.

Bread with a purpose!

Dear UeaTers,
We would like to share a unique and inspiring story with you about one of the vendors at our Farmer’s Market.
When you come down to the U of T Farmer’s Market on Wednesday afternoons, you will not be able to resist the delicious breads being sold by St. John’s Bakery. They claim that for them, its more than selling bread at a market…..their breads and sweets build community. It is run by St. John’s- The Compassionate Mission, who helps those in need by employing them in the bakery and elsewhere. This way, by buying breads and sweets from the Farmer’s Market, you are helping somebody in need.

(The following is taken from St. John’s Bakery’s website)

St. John’s started as a drop-in centre in a strip mall on 53 Blake Street in South Riverdale. Two stores down was Joe Link’s bakery. The second day we moved in, Joe arrived with a whole tray of doughnuts, and after that he just kept dropping by and bringing us wonderful, fragrant goodies from his bakery.

Joe’s history took a turn for the worse. He took ill and lost his family and his bakery—everything. He ended up on the street. But slowly, he started pulling his life together, baking bread at our drop-in centre with his old equipment. We saw him being transformed; he “rose” like his bread. We started to sell his bread throughout the neighborhood. Two years later, Joe died. It was a terrible loss for us. But he left us his old dough mixer and a taste and desire for good bread and honest labour.

For us, it is more than our breads and sweets. It is about connecting with people, about building comunity. We draw people in with our bread. We believe our bread builds community.

On that note, UeaTers, come on our to the U of T Farmer’s Market, indulge in some delicious breads and help make somebody’s day!