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Campus Well-Being

News and Events

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

Well-Being Throughout News of War

March 4, 2022

While war and strife are not new or rare occurrences, Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has evoked a great deal of concern in our community. Perhaps due to Manitoba’s deep connection to Ukrainian culture or the blatant disparity in power between these nations, many are feeling distressed, angry or generally troubled. This is understandable, given the situation. So, how do we take care of ourselves and our communities during such tragic times, when violence and war are so clearly on our minds? Here are some ideas:

  1. Be a good friend. It would be good to check in with your friends, classmates, and coworkers who have connections to Ukraine. Let them know that you’re thinking of them. Offer practical support and help. Let them know you stand in solidarity and speak out against the invasion.
  2. Take media breaks. Sometimes, in our efforts to remain informed, we become glued to news, radio, and social media updates. While it’s important to know what’s going on, taking breaks from media is key to maintaining our well-being. Select certain times of the day when you will be media free. If images of war keep you up at night, get your news from radio to reduce that impact.
  3. Practice self-care. When times are hard it’s even more important to practice good habits like getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals regularly, and being active. Find a bit of time to do something to nurture yourself. It can be as simple as chatting with a friend, sipping a cup of tea, or playing your favorite game. Self-care may feel selfish when horrible things are happening, but we need to care for ourselves so that we can maintain our strength, stay well, and support others.
  4. Act in solidarity. When things happen that remind us of the bad or negative in the world, we can act in ways that support peace and good. Attending a rally or gathering of others can be helpful. Donating money or time to organizations assisting people impacted can help ease the suffering of those individuals, while also increasing our own feelings of well-being. Consider attending the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ rally at the Manitoba Legislature on Sunday, March 6. Or, you may wish to contribute to a registered charity that is assisting affected people.
  5. Limit ruminating thoughts. If you find thoughts about the war are keeping you from sleeping or concentrating on other tasks, take a few moments to write your thoughts down and then put the piece of paper away. Alternatively, you could imagine the thoughts being placed inside a balloon and floating away. Limiting your ruminating thoughts doesn’t mean you don’t care, it simply means you’re protecting your own mental state and are saving your energy for other ways to show you care.
  6. Reach out for help. Tragedies and uncertain times affect us all differently, depending on our personal circumstances, relation to the tragedy, and our coping skills at the moment. If you could use some support in coping, reach out.

In addition, members of the RRC Polytech community are invited to attend a live Connection Session to mutually support one another.

#BreakTheBias - International Women’s Day 2022

March 1, 2022

Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow

Gender and sexual identity play a significant role in mental wellness across the globe. International Women’s Day (IWD) brings awareness and challenges the stereotypical discourses surrounding gender identity. The goal of IWD 2022 is to promote access to affordable mental health programming, adequate medical services, and create a world that is free from gender discrimination.   

 Explicitly and implicitly, gender bias influences behavior and attitudes, leading to discrimination that reinforces the experience of inequity and oppression against women. Since the mind and body are connected, to be well we not only have to take care of ourselves, but also critically analyze the systems we interact with. On IWD we can discuss and deconstruct the stereotypes that affect women’s experiences and work to find ways to honor our wellness while challenging the status quo. This might include assessing your boundaries, practicing self-care without guilt, asking for what you need, rejecting diet culture, and identifying the values that ground you.  

Below is a list of FREE virtual events, organized by individuals across the world in celebration of International Women’s Day

Find out more about IWD 2022 and the theme #BreakTheBias here. 

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!

February Paint Night- Paint Night Creations

February 7, 2022

In January, we asked staff, students, and faculty to share the art they created at our January Paint Night- Below are the wonderful creations!

Art can be used to decrease cortisol (stress hormone) levels in our brain and releases endorphins that help us manage the experiences of anxiety. Creating art is a fantastic stress reliever! Paint night can mean taking care of yourself in a different way than what we usually do for ourselves. Keep an eye open in the staff news/student news for our next paint night updates.

Painting is just one way that creativity can promote stress management, but if painting is not for you that’s okay! We curated a list of accessible and beginner friendly crafts, take a look at the list below.

Creative Projects

February Paint Night

With a Cold and Dreary winter, we may be searching for hobbies or ways to help promote our own self-care. We will be holding another paint night for folks to join in and tune in to their creative side. Practicing art and embracing our creativity can help us to feel grounded, assist with managing stress, and an opportunity to focus on creating with our hands. Please join us for a free Paint Night to tune in to that part ourselves as we approach spring.

The Details

Date: February 17th, 2022

Time: 6-8pm

Platform: WebEx

Register Here

About the Artist

Kisa MacIsaac, RRC grad and owner of Power of Painting, will (virtually) lead you through an evening of self-care as you create your very own painting.

THRIVE events encourage balance and self-care that in turn supports good mental health. All THRIVE events are offered at no charge to participants and are open to staff, students, and faculty.

Need Supplies?

For this virtual paint night, you’re welcome to use your own supplies or sign up to borrow a supply pack. Supply packs will include the canvas, paint, and brushes and can be requested when you register. Brushes and unused paint must be returned to your campus so they can be reused.

We have a limited number of supply packs, so be sure to register early.

There is abundant evidence that taking time to express ourselves through creativity in a social group improves mental health and overall well-being. Don’t miss this chance to make yourself a priority.

More on the Instructor

Kisa MacIsaac (she/her) is Métis, a mother, artist, educator, and a RRC graduate (ECE diploma 2005). She works in a nonprofit early learning and

childcare program in Winnipeg’s inner city and leads wellness painting events as well as creating custom artworks. Making art is medicine –

it has the power reduce stress and anxiety, it is relaxing. Everyone can make art, it’s all about letting go of fear and just creating and going with the flow!
Check out: Power of Painting – Workshops and Art by Kisa
IG: @powerofpainting204

February Fitness Classes: Yoga, Strength and Movement

February 1, 2022

Campus Well-Being Coordinator, Evelyn Carriere, delivering Full Body Strength and Conditioning class to students and staff who are working out at home.

The Campus Well-Being team is here to support your physical and mental health. Until we can welcome you to our facilities in person, we invite students and staff to join our live, virtual classes.

To join, simply register and show up ready to move. Your camera and microphone will be turned off, but you will be able to communicate with your instructor using the chat box. Our goal is to help you refresh and rejuvenate before you get back to your school or work day.

Full Body Strength and Conditioning with Evelyn Carriere

  • Mondays and Wednesdays 12:15-12:45pm
  • Body weight only, equipment is optional for additional challenge
  • Modifications for all fitness levels

Register for each class that works for you:

Functional Moving with Mario De Negri

  • Thursdays 12:15-12:45pm
  • Functional movement and restoring
  • Rubber exercise bands, body weight and light weights are used
  • Modifications for all fitness levels

Register for each class that works for you:

Yoga with Holly Pluchinski

  • Tuesdays 4-4:30pm
  • Fridays at noon-12:30pm
  • Yoga for all levels

Register for each class that works for you:

For any questions or accessibility needs, please contact

To further support your wellness, check out our virtual paint night, cooking night and our free fitness and lifestyle consultations.

Lunch and Learn for Students, Faculty and Staff – Connecting with Your Child Through Art 

January 31, 2022

Are you looking for simple strategies to support the mental health and well-being of the children in your life? Join Lindsay Ruddick, MSW, RSW, Social Worker and Family Therapist who will present on the topic of attachment and connecting with children through art. Lindsay will demonstrate attachment-based art activities that can be used in personal or professional settings and explain how we can use the activities as we interact with the children in our lives. Participants (and kiddos) are more than welcome to participate in the art activities as you learn. Register Here

Event Info

Date: February 10th 2022
Time: 12:00pm -1:00pm
Platform: MS Teams

About Lindsay

Lindsay has a Masters of Social Work from the University of Calgary (2015). She has worked as a family, individual and couples therapist for over eight years within a community setting. She practices narrative based therapy and she is drawn to alternative forms of therapeutic practice such as art-based interventions. Lindsay is an artist herself and enjoys using painting and creating as a form of self-care and expression. She is also a mom to a toddler who keeps her very busy. 

For any questions or accessibility needs, please contact Pamela Villafranca 

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.



Wellness in the time of COVID-19  

January 21, 2022

Many of us feel the continued pressure that the global pandemic has brought into our lives. Many of us are still working and learning from home, which can feel not very reassuring for some. In contrast, others may feel comfortable with the continuation of virtual life. Many of us are also sitting in a place where we feel tired and unsure of what the future has to bring. The Campus Wellness Team curated resources that approach wellness through a holistic lens- meaning the body and mind are parts of ourselves that require care during challenging and difficult times. Prioritizing caring for our mind and body during grief helps us combat isolation. And It gives us the tools to be able to support our mental health.

Below you will find some resources to help maintain physical and mental wellness during a time of social distancing. For additional information, continue to check for updates. 

RRCP Recreation Services

  • Monthly fitness challenges – challenge your friends to see how many you can accomplish at home!
  • New: Weekly Fitness classes facilitated live- Check out staff and student news 

Fitness Apps 

Several are free, but check to ensure before you download. Some examples include: 

  • Tone It Up (Apple and Google Play) 
  • New: BodySpace – this includes an online community component (Free)
  • New: 7 Minute Workout: Fitness App (Apple and Google Play) (Free with paid options) 
  • New: NIKE Training Club App (NTC (Free with paid options)

Fitness Bloggers 

Follow your favorite fitness professional on social media, or check out a new community to share your progress. 

  Many fitness facilities and companies are live streaming classes or providing online content. Check your local yoga studio, gym or other fitness facility to see if they are hosting anything. Alternatively, check out one of the options below. 

Fitness Subscription & Online Classes 

Please note that these options may involve fees. 

Fitness Streaming  

Mindfulness & Meditation 

  Mental Health Bloggers 


Social Connection 

  • Check staff news for events organized by Campus Wellbeing  
  • Connect with mental health coordinator 
  • Schedule a fitness and lifestyle consultation 
  • Schedule an informal coffee break on WebEx. Grab your beverage and just chat about whatever you feel like. 
  • Challenge yourself to reach out to colleagues and friends  
  • Send voice messages or hold video calls with friends and family 
  • Plan a skating day at the Forks 
  • Send in a Cheers for Peers to a colleague
  • If children are home from school, consider creating a daily schedule 
  • New:  Take a course at McNally Robinson 
  • New: Meet friends at the Winnipeg Art Galley- Free and Paid Classes  



Stress and anxiety are normal reactions to abnormal situations. Now more than ever, it’s important to prioritize self-care and finding activities that help us feel grounded.   Reach out to the Campus Well-being Team if you have any questions about campus Mental Health and Fitness resources.