Health Minds Healthy College

Campus Well-Being

Nutrition

MindWell: Free Events for March

February 28, 2022

MindWell has some incredible trainings and programs coming up for you this month:

  • Mindful Cooking: Healthy Meals Made Simple – Part 4
  • Performance Management from the Inside Out: Mental Health for Leaders
  • Building Fitness Habits
  • Improve Your Sleep

These programs are included as part of your MindWell account. All MindWell Events and Workshops are FREE of Charge for students, faculty and staff at RRC Polytech. Be sure to spread the word to your classmates and colleagues about these events, and make a plan to attend together! Working on our wellness can be a group activity!

Mindful Cooking Thursdays at 1pm ET / 10am PT | Begins Thursday, March 3rd

In Mindful Cooking Part 4, Chef Kristin will show you how to take the stress out of health eating through easy-to-prepare recipes that will keep you full and fueled throughout the day.

Register Here 

Performance Management from the Inside Out: Mental Health for Leaders Wednesday, March 9th, 2022 | 1pm ET / 10amPT

We continue to face new challenges and stressors inside and outside of the workplace as the pandemic continues. As leaders, supporting our own mental health is critical for clear decision-making, effective communication, achieving goals and supporting the success of our teams.

Register Here

Studio Be Build Fitness Habits- Every Monday in March

Lasting habits begin small.

This March, join Lucia’s fitness class every Monday to build the foundation of movement with a focus on the core and explore how a small but consistent commitment to showing up can shift your mindset around lifelong exercise.

Register Here

 Improve Your Sleep – Every Friday in March

For the month of March, join Ross each Friday in our Studio Be class, ‘Experience Mindfulness’ to learn how to tackle restlessness and get a better nights’ sleep.

Register Here

Sign up for a MindWell Account to access all training and workshops for Free! Click here to sign up. 

Animal vs. Plant Protein

February 8, 2022

The following blog is written by Evelyn Carriere, Campus Well-Being Coordinator.

I’d like to start by saying that none of the information in this blog post is being offered as nutritional advice, and my sources are not pulled from peer-reviewed journals. They are from documentaries, company websites, YouTube and celebrity channels. I think it’s important to recognize our sources of information and know that although it can be “fun” to do our own research – it is also not always credible.  Everything can be very subjective! I love this quote from Bruce Lee that is presented at the start of “The Game Changers” documentary film:

“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” -Bruce Lee

I wanted to write this blog because I love discussing nutrition and I think it is important to be able to have a healthy conversation about why we make certain choices or lead a specific lifestyle while also respecting other’s opinions.  This is not a debate about winning or losing, or proving one point as right or wrong. I’m just throwing some information together and encouraging you to read up on different angles to learn more about what you are putting into your body and why!

The “meat” of this discussion (no pun intended) is about Animal vs Plant Protein. I think it’s a great topic and I hope you can appreciate this blog.

The Game Changers

To get into it, I personally LOVED LOVED the documentary “The Game Changers” on Netflix which pitches the idea that the optimal diet for human performance and health is plant-based (vegan). If you haven’t watched it, I recommend it! They focus very specifically on high-performance athletes and how a plant-based diet sets them up for success. On the “Game Changers” home website – they state that meat, eggs and dairy decrease over-all health, increase the risk of numerous diseases, and reduces our lifespans.

The people behind the documentary are James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic and Chris Paul. This is an influential group of people. Producer James Cameron could be considered to have ulterior motives – considering he also owns Verdient Foods which is a vegan-protein company. However, this does not discredit his passion for veganism or detract from the meaning of the film. Also… who knew that Arnold Schwarzeneggar was vegan..?! I didn’t! Pretty cool to see a guy with a TON of muscle and who is clearly not lacking in the “protein” department. Just because you are vegan doesn’t mean you can’t be strong and jacked. I thought this was a great message in the film.

I also watched a YouTube review of the documentary film and Dr. Eric Berg (American chiropractor and nutritionist) does mention – however – that iron, DHA, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D are highly available in animal products, but can be much more difficult to consume larger quantities in plant-products. On the flip side, according to Liz Weinandy, RD (dietitian at Ohio Statue University) – she says that plants are abundant in vitamin C and vitamin E – which are not readily available in animal products. Dr. Berg states that it is very possible to eat a healthy nutrient-rich vegan diet as long as you are supplementing correctly, but that it can be challenging for some if not done correctly.

The Carnivore Diet

So shortly after watching “The Game Changers,” I heard about the Carnivore or “lion” diet. It was cool to see another entirely different perspective on the subject. I looked into the carnivore diet and here’s some information I found:

The carnivore diet is made up of meat, salt & water. You can ingest “foods that either walked, swam or flew” (Kelly Schmidt, RD). Depending on the person, the list of acceptable foods may include: red meat (beef, pork, lamb), organ meats, poultry, fish, eggs, lard, bone marrow, butter, salt and pepper, water, bone broth. In some cases – milk, yoghurt and cheese are allowed – since these are animal by-products.

It’s an extreme elimination diet and can be considered a method to uncover food intolerances (for those suffering from an auto-immune condition) or aid in weight loss. Others do it simply to produce their optimal state of health.

In an interview conducted by Simon Lewis (Founder of McKenzie Meats and How to Carnivore), he asks a surgeon Dr. Anthony Chafee, MD, a series of questions about his experience with the Carnivore diet.  Dr. Anthony Chafee has been on the Carnivore diet for three years (2018-2021).

He says that he can go between 24-30 hours between meals – and believes that his diet gives him enough energy to sustain him through long hours and shifts at the hospital, and provides enough mental focus to endure long surgeries. Typically, Dr. Anthony Chafee would eat approx. 1 kilo of steak per day while not working out (during his covid slump). When he started working out again daily, he was eating 2 kilo of steak per day. He would eat his meals closer to the end of the day rather than the beginning of the day – which he believes gives him his “hunter mentality” – and gets him to seize the day!! After eating in the late evening, he would finally give himself the time to rest and de-compress, and explains that he “sleeps like a baby.”

Dr. Anthony also mentions that although a meat-only diet is high in fat, he mentions that fibre was really only introduced in the 1980s and that people were fine before that when it came to fat digestion. Dr. Anthony mentions an interesting point in this interview – he states that “Your body can absorb fat through FOUR organs: liver, gall bladder, pancreas and small intestine.” That is a lot of energy expenditure to absorb something that some people consider “bad fat.” He believes that we were designed like this and if you were to take us back to our origins, our body was designed to be carnivore.

Other people who back the “carnivore diet” are Joe Rogan, Mikhaela Peterson, Shawn Baker, Esmee La Fleur (ZeroCarbZen), Amber O’Hearn (Mostly Fat blog). It is very controversial and yet it still has me thinking “this is an interesting take on the human body and it’s capabilities.” Because it is such a new trend, it’s difficult to know what type of sustainable effects it will have in the long term and I personally would not want to be a part of the experiment. However, all research has to start somewhere and I am curious what type of information will be released over the next ten years about the “Carnivore Diet.”

What’s Right for You?

To conclude my thoughts, I think it’s important to recognize our biases and points of understanding in our own world views. There are also educated doctors and dietitians on all ends of the spectrum – so it can be difficult to navigate through all the information out there and determine your body’s needs. I believe that nutritional advice should be given on an individual level, and that there is no magic pill or formula. Listen to your body and find a rhythm that works for you. Whatever you choose, make sure you are eating a nutrient-rich diet and always remember to stay hydrated!

Cozy Comfort Cooking

January 28, 2022

The following is a guest post by RRC Polytech’s Fitness Coordinator, Mario De Negri

January and February can be the breaking point for a lot of us. We need a break from the cold winter days and endless snow. The cold winter makes it challenging for us to function and find the energy to cook. I am always searching for some warmth and comfort to help me feel like I can get through the long months. I find cooking often does the trick of settling me when I come in from what seems like an abyss of never-ending winter cold.

Food can represent so much more than just nutrients. Food can mean taking time to nourish our bodies, can help us with mindfulness, and expand our creative side. Food often offers us comfort from the challenges we face in our everyday lives. Taking comfort in food helps us ground ourselves in the memories, feelings, and senses we’ve had when eating the dish in the past.

One recipe I really enjoy is Feijoada- Black Beans. I make it in my pressure cooker! To give a bit more context: Feijoada is a Brazilian black bean dish I started making a few years ago. I was searching for something that would make me feel warm on those cold winter days. The dish has all the makings of a cozy, warm, and hearty meal. The warmth of the dish lets me escape from the cold and makes me feel like I just put some fresh logs on the fire and am settling to watch them burn for the night.

Feijoada comes from the word “Feijoa”, which means “beans”. Beans are a staple food used in all parts of Brazil. Considered a traditional dish, Feijoada is rich and filling due to its stew-like nature. With the aromatic spices, it is just such a unique treat. It’s easy to make. Add it to a bowl of rice, and you are good to go.

A personal note; I suggest making extra. We all have those days when we feel beaten down from the cold, time escapes us, and we do not feel like cooking. So, I always pack up two containers of stew for immediate consumption. And to be kind to myself in the future, I make extra to store nicely outdoors in my shed. One good thing about winter is my shed can now double as a walk-in freezer- because it’s so cold outside! There have been many days I come home and am so thankful I can pull out one of these premade meals, cook some rice and know that I am taking care of myself. Your future self will thank your past self for this.

Enjoy,

Mario

Cooking for Wellness: A Hands-On Virtual Workshop

November 9, 2021

Did you know that eating balanced meals regularly can reduce anxiety symptoms, increase energy levels, and even improve concentration and memory? Eating habits are critical to overall wellness, yet when we get busy or stressed we often don’t make the best food choices.

So, show yourself some love by cooking a delicious and balanced meal. Join our free, hands-on virtual workshop and learn how to make lasagna rolls while cooking alongside your instructor, Abby Legaspi!

Date: Monday, November 22

Time: 6-8pm

Menu: Lasagna Rolls

Register here. After registering you will receive a Zoom link to join. Seating is limited to 20 participants.

Ingredient kits

If you require a kit with ingredients, be sure to register by November 19 so you can pick up the kit on the afternoon of November 22. For this event, kits can only be picked up at the Notre Dame Campus. You may also simply purchase the ingredients at your local grocery store.

THRIVE Activities

This workshop is part of our THRIVE activity series, hosted by the RRCSA and Healthy Minds Healthy College. THRIVE activities provide opportunities for balance and self-care, which we all need right now. All students and staff are welcome. For accessibility needs or questions please contact Pamela Villafranca.

Your Instructor

Cooking for Wellness workshop instructor Abby Legaspi

Abby Legaspi is a Nutrition graduate from the University of Manitoba with 10 years’ experience running cooking programs for different non-profit and grass roots organizations. She now works at Norwest Coop Community Food Centre and is passionate about almost everything related to food, from gardening to cooking. Abby sees food as a means to connect people while recognizing that food insecurity can be experienced by so many. As an advocate for good food, it is Abby’s hope that one day, everyone will be food secure.

 

Cooking for Wellness: A Hands-On Virtual Workshop

September 28, 2021

Did you know that eating balanced meals regularly can reduce anxiety symptoms, increase energy levels, and even improve concentration and memory? Eating habits are critical to overall wellness, yet when we get busy or stressed we often don’t make the best food choices.

So, show yourself some love by cooking a delicious and balanced meal. Join our free, hands-on virtual workshop and learn how to make pancit while cooking alongside your instructor, Abby Legaspi!

Date: Wednesday, October 6

Time: 6-8pm

Menu: Pancit (a Filipino noodle dish)

Register here. After registering you will receive a Zoom link to join. Seating is limited to 20 participants.

Ingredient kits

If you require a kit with ingredients, be sure to register by October 1 so you can pick up the kit on October 5th or 6th. For this event, kits can only be picked up at the Notre Dame Campus. You may also simply purchase the ingredients at your local grocery store.

THRIVE Activities

This workshop is part of our THRIVE activity series, hosted by the RRCSA and Healthy Minds Healthy College. THRIVE activities provide opportunities for balance and self-care, which we all need right now. All students and staff are welcome. For accessibility needs or questions please contact Breanna Sawatzky.

Your Instructor

Cooking for Wellness workshop instructor Abby Legaspi

Abby Legaspi is a Nutrition graduate from the University of Manitoba with 10 years’ experience running cooking programs for different non-profit and grass roots organizations. She now works at Norwest Coop Community Food Centre and is passionate about almost everything related to food, from gardening to cooking. Abby sees food as a means to connect people while recognizing that food insecurity can be experienced by so many. As an advocate for good food, it is Abby’s hope that one day, everyone will be food secure.

 

Join Cooking for Wellness: A Thrive Workshop

April 27, 2021

Did you know that eating balanced meals regularly can reduce anxiety symptoms, increase energy levels, and even improve concentration and memory? Eating habits are critical to overall wellness, yet when we get busy or stressed we often don’t make the best food choices.

So, show yourself some love by cooking a delicious and balanced meal. Learn how to make Salad Rolls with Hoisin Sauce while cooking alongside your instructor, Abby Legaspi! This workshop is part of our Thrive event series, hosted by the RRCSA and Healthy Minds Healthy College.

Date: Wednesday, May 12

Time: 6-8pm

Menu: Salad Rolls with Hoisin Sauce

Register here. After registering you will receive a Zoom link to join. Seating is limited to 20 participants.

Ingredient Kits

If you require a kit with ingredients, be sure to register by May 7 so you can pick up the kit on Monday, May 10. For this event, kits can only be picked up at the Notre Dame Campus. You may also simply purchase the ingredients at your local grocery store.

All students and staff are welcome. For accessibility needs, please contact Breanna Sawatzky.

Cooking for Wellness workshop instructor Abby Legaspi

About the Instructor

Abby Legaspi is a Nutrition graduate from U of M with 10 years’ experience running cooking programs for different non-profit and grass roots organizations. She now works at NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre and is passionate about almost everything related to food, from gardening to cooking. Abby sees food as a means to connect people while recognizing that food insecurity can be experienced by many. As an advocate for good food, it is Abby’s hope that one day, everyone will be food secure.

Cooking for Wellness: A Thrive Workshop!

February 23, 2021

Did you know that eating balanced meals regularly can reduce anxiety symptoms, increase energy levels, and even improve concentration and memory? Eating habits are critical to overall wellness, yet when we get busy or stressed we often don’t make the best food choices.

So, show yourself some love by cooking a delicious and balanced meal. Learn how to make baked chicken and Asian coleslaw while cooking alongside your instructor, Abby Legaspi! This workshop is part of our Thrive event series, hosted by the RRCSA and Healthy Minds Healthy College.

Date: Wednesday, March 3

Time: 7-9pm

Menu: Baked chicken with Asian coleslaw

Register here. After registering you will receive a Zoom link to join. Seating is limited to 20 participants.

Ingredient kits. If you require a kit with ingredients, be sure to register by February 28 so you can pick up the kit on Monday, March 1. For this event, kits can only be picked up at the Notre Dame Campus. You may also simply purchase the ingredients at your local grocery store.

All students and staff are welcome. For accessibility needs, please contact Breanna Sawatzky.

Cooking for Wellness workshop instructor Abby Legaspi

About the instructor: Abby Legaspi is a Nutrition graduate from U of M with 10 years’ experience running cooking programs for different non-profit and grass roots organizations. She now works at NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre and is passionate about almost everything related to food, from gardening to cooking. Abby sees food as a means to connect people while recognizing that food insecurity can be experienced by many. As an advocate for good food, it is Abby’s hope that one day, everyone will be food secure.

Wellness Weekly: Curated Readings

October 1, 2019

 

In our Wellness Weekly, mental health roundup feature we curate some of the best writing on the web related to health and wellbeing. Here is some recommended reading for this week.

Food and Mood

Ever wonder if a certain eating pattern is best for your mental health? When we make everyday food choices, many of us think first of our physical health and appearance. But there’s another factor we may want to consider in picking foods: their impact on our mental health. Read What Is The Best Diet for Mental Health by Kira M. Newman.

Creative Hobbies

If you’ve been trying to get a little more mindfulness in your life, whipping up a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies might be exactly what you need. Read more about how Research Suggests Taking Up Baking Can Help You Feel Better by Gwen Moran.

Stress and Memory

You spend weeks studying for an important test. On the big day, you wait nervously as your teacher hands it out. You’re working your way through, when you’re asked to define “ataraxia.” You know you’ve seen the word before, but your mind goes blank. What just happened? Elizabeth Cox details the complex relationship between stress and memory in her Ted-Ed animation: The Surprising Link Between Stress and Memory.

 

Have a favorite health and wellness related read that you think we should feature? Send it over to Breanna.

Wellness Weekly: Curated Readings

August 27, 2019

In our Wellness Weekly, mental health roundup feature we curate some of the best writing on the web related to health and wellbeing. Here is some recommended reading for this week.

Making Friends

NPR notes that the act of making and being a friend is as simple as it is difficult. They spoke with experts to help find ways to make new friends, as well as to take better care of the friendships you already have. Read Accept The Awkwardness: How To Make Friends by Julia Furlan.

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Are you trying to save money on food? Get the school year off to a healthy start by planning your meals for the next few days or week ahead. It takes a bit of time, but it will help you save money later. The Dieticians of Canada has Ten Tips for Planning Meals on a Budget.

Dealing with Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can feel terrifying in the moment. Managing your thoughts and behaviours can go along way toward reducing the frequency and intensity of panic symptoms as well as how much they interfere with your life. Over on the Anxiety Canada blog, Dr. Melanie Badali shares 5 Tips for Dealing with Panic Attacks – The BRAVE Way.

 

Guide to THRIVE Week Events and Activities!

October 22, 2018

During THRIVE Week we take time to reflect on the role of self-care and balance on developing positive mental health that supports academic and career success. This year, THRIVE will be held November 5-9 at all RRC campuses.

Events and activities provide an opportunity for rest, social connection, physical activity, fun, personal growth, and learning. All students, staff, and faculty members are invited to participate.

Some events to look forward to are:

  • paint night
  • yoga
  • therapy dogs
  • board game night
  • tour of the sweat lodge
  • visit from Rob Nash
  • mindfulness workshop and much more!

Check out the NDC Thrive Guide and EDC Thrive Guide to see the slate of activities.

Subscribe for updates to ensure you receive all THRIVE related information.

The weeklong series of events is a partnership between the RRC Students’ Association and the Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative.