Health Minds Healthy College

Campus Well-Being


March Cooking For Wellness- Virtual Cooking Class

March 8, 2022

During times of stress, it is essential to focus on maintaining and developing tactics that support us in maintaining our self-care. This includes ensuring we are eating enough, getting enough water, and sticking to a sleep routine. Sometimes self-care is very practical, and it can just make sure we are putting food into our bodies. So, show yourself some love, and care by joining us at Cooking for Wellness!

Date: March 16th 2022
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

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

This month we will be learning how to make Empanadas. Click the link to register, and there is the option to receive a cooking kit. 

Bring Your Own Supplies

  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup potato, diced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • pepper
  • pie dough

Register for Cooking for Wellness HERE

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.



Cookies with Kerri- Creativity, Coping, and Cookies

December 20, 2021

The holiday season is the perfect time for gathering with friends, new and old, and sampling sweet treats.

This heart-warming combination came together in a special virtual event planned by RRC Polytech’s Language Training Centre (LTC) and Student Life as part of the Healthy Minds, Healthy College Strategy. 

“Cookies with Kerri,” hosted by Kerri Korabelnikov, dean for the School of Education, Arts & Sciences, saw 50 students register for an online chocolate chip cookie baking lesson. While everyone got to enjoy a tasty treat at the end, the aim of the event went beyond baking.

“This wasn’t about just chocolate chip cookies, it was about connecting with people and creating a community,” says Korabelnikov. “It was very energizing; everyone was laughing and having a lot of fun.”

Students now living in Winnipeg but originally from around the world, including Korea, Mexico, and Colombia, collected ingredient kits in advance. On a blustery December evening, they joined together to participate step-by-step in a two-hour online session, hosted by Korabelnikov and supported by Michelle Johnson, manager of Student Integration and Employment Outreach at the LTC.

Students were also encouraged to involve their children in the cookie-making class, which made the experience even more special, says Korabelnikov.

The online baking activity was a family affair for LTC student Heidi Novelo Poot and her eight-year-old daughter, Maya.

“It was something different that you can enjoy with the kids and meet other people,” says Novelo Poot. “She (Maya) was so proud, and I think that was the best part. And those cookies were very good, and the recipe was easy.”

Another student, Gabriel Novelo (no relation to Novelo Poot), has been in Manitoba since moving from Mexico in August and is taking classes with the LTC. Activities like “Cookies with Kerri” are a good way to connect with people, Novelo says, something that is more challenging in the middle of a pandemic.

“I wanted to participate with students from other classes. As a newcomer, I need to be in touch with as many students as possible,” Novelo says. “As a newcomer, you need to integrate and take part in all of the activities.”

For Novelo, who operated a food truck in Mexico, the experience marked another first.

“It was fantastic because I used to cook in my food truck, but I never baked. This was the first time I had the chance to bake something,” says Novelo, adding the cookies “magically disappeared” quickly.

In addition to building a stronger sense of community, there are other positive mental health benefits to activities like baking, says Pamela Villafranca, Mental Health Coordinator at RRC Polytech.

“We want to introduce students to different self-care activities. We may not think of it this way, but cooking, baking and prepping food can be a form of self-care; it can be therapeutic for some folks, the process of working with your hands, mixing the ingredients, and getting to sample the final product can feel really good,” says Villafranca. “This workshop promoted connection and community building, and taking a break from your studies to learn a new skill.”

Villafranca shares some key wellness tips to stay connected and support your mental health:

  • Find ways to stay connected with your peers and your instructors – join group chats, use instructor office hours, turn on your video in class, and participate, such as asking questions in class
  • Recognize that we need a variety of forms of self-care, and we may need varying types of self-care at different times of our lives
  • Try something new! Baking cookies is one example of a self-care activity that helps you get creative, learn something new, and work with your hands
  • Learn about the services that you can access for support, including the Mental Health Coordinator and Student Support Services department

Above all, Villafranca notes: “We want the students to know that staff and faculty are here for them, and we want to support them.”

To learn more about wellness initiatives at RRC Polytech, the Healthy Minds Healthy College Blog. 

You can also try out Kerri’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe


1/2 cup white sugar 1 tsp baking soda
1 cup margarine or butter 2 tsp hot water
1 1/2 cups brown sugar 2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Mix white sugar, margarine or butter and brown sugar together
  3. Combine baking soda and hot water in separate dish
  4. Add baking soda/water, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour to sugar mixture and stir
  5. Stir in chocolate chips
  6. Form dough into small balls and place on cookie sheet
  7. Bake at 350F for 9 -11 minutes
  8. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and let cool
  9. Enjoy your delicious cookies

And feel free to reach out and let us know what you think!

Lunch and Learn Series:Spring Session

March 18, 2015

Rebels Athletics and Recreation Services are excited to bring the Lunch and Learn series to the college this school year. Come participate and interact with fitness, exercise, and wellness professionals as they present on wide array of active living topics.

2015 Spring Session

First Session – Nutrition Myths Busted

Date: Monday, March 30
Time: 12:00-1:00pm
Location: Green Lecture Theatre
Host: Janelle Vincent

Whole grain bread or rye bread? Butter or margarine? Gluten or no gluten? If you’ve asked yourself these questions, come and join us for this exciting Lunch and Learn, where we will discuss healthy eating and bust nutrition myths!

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About the Host

Janelle is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for sport! She completed a Kinesiology degree prior to her Human Nutritional Sciences degree and recently completed the IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition. She was a Bison athlete in Cross-Country and Track and Field and is also a Competition Development (Level 3) trained coach in Athletics. She currently works with various athletes and teams representative of various levels of competition, from endurance to strength/power to precision/skill sports.

Her goals in sport nutrition are to combine both university degrees and her sporting background to help high performance athletes achieve their athletic goals by guiding them in properly fuelling their bodies.

Second Session –
Running Efficiency: How to Train: Best practices!

Date: Wednesday, April 22
Time: 12:00-1:00pm
Location: North Gym
Host: Sheldon Reynolds

Whether you are training for soccer, ultimate Frisbee or a marathon there are basic similarities in running strides. Participants should wear running attire. Dress in layers. Shorts, t-short, sweats or tights and a sweatshirt or light jacket. You will learn, technique, training, and nutrition in preparation for competition. If you have any specific questions regarding specific training for a 10km, ½ marathon….bring them!

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About the Host

Sheldon Reynolds, a lifelong runner will facilitate this active session. He has coached learn to train athletes as well as adult instructors in the Athletics Canada Run, jump and Throw program. Sheldon is an endurance athlete in the Active for life stage that has competed in races from 1,500 meters to the marathons and completed Ironman Wisconsin in 2010.

Third Session – Biking 101-Part 1

Date: Wednesday, May 13
Time: 12:00-1:00pm
Location: Green Lecture Theatre
Host: Dave Elmore

Biking basics: Sizing and purchasing advise on where to get a bike and as well where to purchase bikes from. Basic maintenance and preparing for your bike ride also discussed.

Head shot 1 (2)

About the Host

Dave Elmore is a certified CAN-Bike Master Instructor and was a founding member of Bike Winnipeg. He served as the Director of Safety and Education for over 6 years and remains active serving on several committees. CAN-Bike is a national program run by Cycling Canada offering a variety of courses on all aspects of cycling safety and skills. An avid road and commuter cyclist, Dave has been commuting by bike from Charleswood to downtown for over 25 years. He is also the project manager for Bike Week Winnipeg and the former project manager of Bike to School Winnipeg (now coordinated by Green Action Centre). A regular volunteer at The WRENCH, Dave enjoys building and repairing bikes of all kinds.

Fourth Session – Biking 101-Part 2

Date: Wednesday, May 27
Time: 12:00-1:00pm
Location: PH Staff Parking
Host: Dave Elmore

Taking it on the road: ABC Quick Check – how to quickly check that your bike is safe to ride. Skill component: learn some basic and often overlooked skills that can help you be more confident and safe on your bike. (straight line riding (w/shoulder checks and signals), rock dodge, quick turns, panic stops). Please bring your own bike to this session. Rec services has a limited amount of bikes that can be used.

The Flu Season and Fall Super Foods

October 16, 2014

Ways to combat the impending flu season: [1]

With the temperatures fluctuating, and more time spent indoors, the flu season inevitably sneaks in and strikes those vulnerable. Flu viruses are constantly changing, it is recommended that the flu vaccine be administered each year. October or November is the recommended best time to get vaccinated, but you can get vaccinated before or after these peak months.

Here are some other tips to help prevent colds and flu:

  • Eat and Sleep – Along with exercise, eating right and getting plenty of rest keeps your immune system healthy and better able to withstand infection. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits that offer antioxidants, and try to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night.Oct - cold
  • Exercise – Moderate exercise for 45 minutes a day, five days a week, can reduce the risk of a cold by a third.
  • Wash your hands often – Use warm water and a good helping of soap. Don’t forget to clean under the nails, and between fingers.
  • Watch your fingers – By rubbing your eyes, covering your mouth, or rubbing your nose with your hands, you can infect yourself with cold virus particles.
  • Clean for Virus Protection – Use disinfectant, especially in the bathroom and kitchen, when you clean at home. Try to avoid using sponges and rags, as they can be an additional source of germs.

Fall super foods: Read More →

Some new winter recipes

February 11, 2014


Since we are still in the middle of another Winnipeg winter, I made the decision to spend some more time in the kitchen, with an eye towards cooking some healthier meals and keeping the “winter weight” off. I don’t own many cook books, so I used that thing called “the Internet”, and started to search for some easy to prepare, yet healthy meals.

The first blog I visited was created and is run by a good friend of mine, Cam Makarchuk. Cam is a personal trainer and owns a Fitness studio in the city, Boom Bodyshapping on Jubilee. He started a blog, where he shares fitness tips, blogs and recipes with his clients and anyone who is interested in health and fitness. He recommended a few recipes to me, and I would like to pass them along to you. The first recipe is for a Beef & Spaghetti Squash Ragu. The second recipe that I have yet to try, but will soon is for a Paleo Pad Thai.

The second website I visited was suggested by my mom. She is an avid cook and cookbook collector; she passed along a cookbook to me written by a pair of sisters, Janet and Greta Podleski, aka the LooneySpoon sisters. They’ve sold a ton a cookbooks, and they’re easy to follow healthy recipes were great for me to cook from. They have a great fried chicken recipe  and an even better Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli.

Hopefully these recipes will produce some delicious food for you! Pair that with some time in the North Gymnasium and Loft or in the fitness facility on the EDC campus, and your winter will be far more healthy and productive!

Cole Skinner

Athletics & Recreation Coordinator

Planning for Energy-Tips on Healthy Snacks and Foods for CollegeLife

August 26, 2013

20-healthy-snacks-for-kids-college-students-h-L-QCZ3rvCollege life starts in the next week or two for most Colleges. It is tempting to grab quick fix foods to help get you through the day and give you some energy for those study and learning needs. Advice and experience from those who have gone before is valuable. Choose a diet (not go on a diet) that will give you long lasting energy. Chuck out the late night chips and energy drinks and restock with great snacks.  See some great ideas such as a downloadable shopping list and 20 super snacks at  Keep Your Diet Real. There is also great advice from a experienced College Student.

From Health Services

Monday Mash – Wellness Links – August 19

August 19, 2013


It’s that time of year! If you have a garden, or are a frequenter of your local farmers market, you are sure to be wondering, “What the heck am I going to do with all this stuff!” Here are some of my favourite recipes, and resources, to tackle your vegetable growing and hoarding habit.

Have fun and eat your fruit and veggies!

Going Fishing? Catch a prize!

July 4, 2013

FishPlanning to fish this summer?  Travel Manitoba has a photo contest with 3 great prizes. You can enjoy your hobby, get great sun, enjoy a day or a camping trip! The first time I went fishing, it felt like I caught a whale. It turned  out to be a tiny little sun fish but that didn’t change my opinion of the battle!

Here is a great recipe from Canola Growers of Manitoba Be Well  e-newsletter for Pan Fried Pickerel fillets. HMMMMMMM

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (60 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
1/4 tsp pepper (1 mL)
2 lbs pickerel fillets (1 kg)
3 Tbsp canola oil (45 mL)
4 lemon wedges(4)

1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. 2. Lightly coat one side of each fillet in flour mixture. Turn each fillet over and coat second side of each fillet. 3. Heat canola oil in large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When oil is heated, fry the fillets for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side. 4. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately.


Calories: 180 Cholesterol: 105 mg
Total Fat: 7 g Carbohydrates: 3 g
Fibre: 0 g Protein: 24 g
Saturated   Fat: 0.5 g Sodium: 135 mg


Getting Rid of the Globs

May 17, 2013

Back in the 1940s, did lentils hold real estate in my Grandma’s cold room?  Were they included in any of her German dishes? This is one question Google can’t answer for me, unless there is a Time Machine Camera App which can take a photo of my Grandma’s Lowe Farm pantry circa 1940.  Passing on information between family members through story-telling and through sharing memories & traditions is one of the most fundamental and purest ways humans pass on knowledge.

German Spaghetti

I do know that Canned Tomatoes coloured my Grandma’s shelves & globs of everything fat was put into casseroles. See the recent post on German Spaghetti as a gooey example.

Let’s give our arteries a breather &  use canned tomatoes in a heart happy recipe.  It takes no time at all to make, is colourful, and will absolutely make you the potluck star at your next picnic.
Middle Eastern Salad


  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 19 oz can of lentils (drained & rinsed)
  • 1/2 English Cucumber
  • 2 chopped tomatoes (Roma)
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1 minced garlic glove
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • Feta


  • Whisk together:  olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard & salt
  • Stir in:  lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, garlic & dill
  • Crumble feta over the top


RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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