Cheap, Healthy Eats on Campus

Now that you know a little more about eating on a budget, you might be a little more interested in cheap places to eat on campus. Oh, who am I kidding?! Anyone would want to know about cheap eats on campus. Here is a list of my favourites!


Agora is a UBC student volunteer run café providing affordable, accessible, healthy, local and organic food choices to student and faculty.  Hot food items are made with UBC farm produce, and you can get a big bowl of soup plus a slice of quiche for only $5.00! Plus, you can’t go wrong with $1.00 coffee. Go to the Agora blog for more.

The Pendulum offers a variety of fresh, healthy, and delicious foods including pastas, sandwiches, and salads. They have an excellent selection of vegetarian and vegan options that are amazing. My personal favourite is the wild rice with dried fruit and nuts. Find them in the Student Union Building (SUB) basement.

Sprouts is also a volunteer-based food outlet that whips up soup, homemade bread, and delectable treats using local, fair trade, and organic ingredients. Visit the Sprouts website or find them in the SUB basement across from the UBC Wellness Centre.

And the most amazing of them all: Community Eats lunches are served in Sprouts from 11:30 AM-1:30 PM every second Friday. The meals are free or by donation if you wish. You just have to bring your own plate and utensils. Check out the Community Eats blog  for more information on the initiative.

Hope to see you at one of these cheap eats hot spots. Have any other suggestions? Leave us a comment!

Eating on a Budget

As a student trying to make their way through a degree, high tuition costs may be hard to swallow. Some of you might have multiple jobs just to keep up with your bills. Keep reading to learn how you can stretch your food dollars because healthy eating keeps you nourished and focussed to reach a  fulfilled career.

  1. Plan ahead. Make a shopping list and browse for coupons before hitting up the grocery store.
  2. Stop at the bulk aisle. Buying in bulk is often much cheaper than pre-packaged foods.
  3. Buy generic store brands. They’re less expensive than their brand-name counterpart, and the quality is comparable between the two.
  4. Eat breakfast at home or if you’re on the run, bring some food from home. Imagine all the money you’d save if you didn’t have to buy your daily breakfast coffee and muffin.
  5. Share with friends. For the most bang for your buck, buy the mega-pack and split it with some friends. Or, get together for potluck nights. There might even be enough for tomorrow’s lunch.

Adapted from the University of Alberta Health Centre’s Healthy Eating on a Budget: A Student Handbook. In it, you’ll find the best buys for grain products, fruits and vegetables, milk products, and meat and alternatives.

If you have some good tips, please feel free to share. Here are some other sites I have found helpful:

Dietitians of Canada FAQ: Getting the most nutrition from your food dollar

Buying local and in-season produce with Act Now BC

Dietitians of Canada factsheet: Celebrate food… from field to table

Residence Life – How to Stay Balanced

Living in residence can be a very over whelming experience for students. For many it is the first time they’ve had to be (almost) fully responsible for themselves and being thrust into an independent lifestyle can lead to some big life changes. It’s definitely a struggle as we students are forced to balance academics and our social lives. It is easy to get caught up in partying and hanging out with your fellow residents then suddenly find yourself eons behind in school work. Another thing that can easily be forgotten is physical health. Without our parents around to stress exercise and healthy eating both practices can easily fall by the wayside.  A few months of nonstop partying, sedentary school activities, and junk food can quickly turn into extra pounds and poor health. So as a student, especially one living in rez where our meals are precooked and our friends are literally ALWAYS around, it is incredibly important to keep making healthy lifestyle choices. Physical exercise of any kind for at least twenty minutes a day paired with healthy food choices, i.e. avoid the fried/greasy/breaded/cheesy stuff, can really make a difference! And as tempting as it is to stay up all night with friends chatting, make sure to get some sleep! Make a schedule of your days so you have a good ratio of school to fun times. Living a healthy well-balanced lifestyle is easy and only requires a few simple choices that make all the difference in the end!


This article is brought to you by the Place Vanier Health and Wellness Committee.  If you need some tips along the way for a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle, become a fan of the Healthy Minds facebook page, and get tips each week for different aspects of your student life!

Juggling Life: Wellness Balance for Busy Students

Juggling the demands of university life can be challenging. 44% of UBC undergraduates report that stress has negatively affected their academics. This workshop will cover tips for managing stress and maintaining balance between school, work and play. The strategies you’ll learn include: minimizing the effects of stress, relaxation techniques, and time management tips.

Dates:     Tuesday, January 26, 2010 and Tuesday, February 2, 2010 – choose one that works for your schedule and register online

Time:     12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Location:     Chapman Learning Commons Lillooet Room

Sponsor:     UBC Wellness Centre

Cost:     Free!

Unconventional Ways to De-stress


Over the last two weeks, I’ve gone on a stressful, emotional rollercoaster. For the sake of my stress-induced acne, I’ve had to learn how to deal with my stress. This list consists of things that I’ve done to cope with my stress. Maybe they will work for you, or maybe they won’t. The idea is to get you thinking about the possibilities you have to de-stress, conventional or not.

Hot shower: A steamy stress reliever during which you can reflect and set up your game plan, or just think about nothing and focus on your senses. I find that a shower clears my mind and wakes me up so that I don’t have to read the same sentence again and again.

Push-ups: As much as I initially loathed the fact that I could only handle several wimpy pushups, I added one push-up each day. Now, I can proudly say that I can do 10 tricep pushups followed by 10 regular ones. In addition to my stronger arms, I’m finding that the push-ups do help to relieve some of my stress. I’m so focused on doing my mini-workout and improving my arm strength that I won’t think about my upcoming exams.

Read: As much as this seems counterintuitive, reading something that you enjoy, or in my case, the gossip-full tabloids and magazines can make you happier. I personally like the magazines because they’re full of pictures and funny captions, so it’s not as serious as neurophysiology or anything even close. Reading about someone else’s endeavors takes you away from your own life and perhaps it’s similar to envisioning a getaway to some tropical island (which is another way you can de-stress).

So this is how I’ve been coping. How have you been relieving your stress?

Remember that not everything that works for me will work for you, and what works in one situation might not work in another. For some other ideas, there’s an article in the Student Health 101 e-newsletter on managing stress. Enjoy, and good luck with the rest of your exams!

Is it caffeine season again?


When Starbucks rolls out their seasonal drinks, not only do I know that it’s the holiday season, but exams are in the here and now. Over and over again, I hear people around me say, “I’ve probably had too much coffee today, but…”

Admittedly, I only go to Starbucks for the occasional tea latte. But as for as I’m concerned, coffee and caffeine are essentials to get many students through another couple hours of studying.

The line-ups at the coffee shops aren’t getting any shorter, but it is important for you to know what’s in a cup since caffeine can cause side effects of insomnia, nervousness, irritability, and headaches. Health Canada currently recommends a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day for adults (a maximum of 300 mg is suggested for women who plan on getting pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding). To put that into perspective, a Starbucks tall (12 oz) regular drip coffee has an average of 240 mg of caffeine. Two of these would already put you over the limit. Next time you’re in line at your favourite coffee shop, maybe do a double take as to how much you need that cup of coffee.

And for the sake of knowing, here are some averages for coffee, tea, and cola:


Serving Size
(unless otherwise stated)

Milligrams of Caffeine
(approximate values)





8 237(1cup) 135

Roasted and ground, filter drip

8 237 179

Roasted and ground, decaffeinated

8 237 3


8 237 76 – 106

Instant decaffeinated

8 237 5


Average blend

8 237 43


8 237 30

Decaffeinated tea

8 237 0


Cola beverage, regular

12 355(1 can) 36 – 46

Cola beverage, diet

12 355

39 – 50

Your Procrastination Go-to


Procrastination… It was never so bad until I discovered the world of Facebook.  I’m constantly looking out for friend requests & checking everyone’s status updates. I know I’m not alone,  since Internet use for nonacademic purposes (including online gaming) was touted one of the top 3 reasons for academic difficulty among UBC students (2008 National College Health Assessment Survey – let me know if you want to know more).

Procrastination is not an easy thing to overcome, but LEAP has a really good Procrastination Toolkit. You might as well make good use of the time you’re procrastinating, so you can BETTER use your time when the temptation of procrastination calls again.

In an effort to maximize MY time before and during exams, I’m putting myself on a low-Facebook diet. I’m challenging myself to only log on to my Facebook account once a day for the next three weeks (for a maximum of 30 minutess). Maybe I’ll eventually build up the courage to inactivate my account. Maybe…

I’ll keep you posted with any of my Facebook withdrawal symptoms, and in the meantime, I want to know what your procrastination go-to is, and what’ll you do about it?

Coming down with the flu? Do you know what to do?

Responsibility and prevention at UBC


The University of British Columbia is dedicated to reducing the potential impact of an influenza pandemic. And we need your help!

As a UBC student, it is your responsibility to help minimize the spread of influenza-like illness (ILI) on campus and in the wider community. How can you do this? It’s simple: If you feel influenza-like illness symptoms coming on:

  • stay home from school
  • avoid public places
  • get some rest

How will we help? The University of British Columbia does not require a doctor’s note for absences due to ILI. Instead, please declare your absence due to ILI on the Student Service Centre.

Declaring your absence due to influenza-like illness

Once you have declared your absence due to ILI on the Student Service Centre, all of your professors, as well as your department and faculty, will be notified. This will help you focus your time on resting up and feeling healthy again.

When you’ve recovered, you simply declare your return on the Student Service Centre. Your professors will be notified to expect you back in class.

Feel the flu coming on?

To find out more about the declaration process or to check your symptoms, visit the Health & Wellness web page on influenza-like illness.