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Health Minds Healthy College

Healthy Minds Healthy College


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.

Rebels Rec Services present new Lunch and Learn Series: Women and Weights

April 7, 2016

Women and Weights

Are you a female that wants to start a fitness regime but don’t know where to start? Does the idea of learning a bunch of new equipment intimidate you? Are you already active but want to bring more focus into your workouts? You are not alone! Join in this 4 week session to become more familiar with the gym setting. Together we will discuss training myths, where to start, benefits of exercise, and learn more about gym equipment. Bring an eagerness for a lifestyle change and lot’s of questions!

Week 1 – classroom setting
Week 2 – gym walkthrough learning about various equipment
Week 3 + 4 – workout

Instructor: Amanda Pilloud

NDC- 4 Sessions

Wednesday’s April 20 – May 11 12:00-12:45PM

EDC- 4 Sessions

Wednesday’s May 18 – June 8 12:00-12:45pm

AmandaJoy_Yoga_06About the Instructor: Amanda is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. With thirteen years of ballet, years of curling, hiking, biking, marathons and exercising, Amanda is no stranger to physical activity. Wanting to share her passion for movement with others Amanda completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training through YYoga, followed by her 300 hour yoga teacher training in India. She has attained her Personal Training certification to coach people in a one on one setting.  You can expect from her sessions; encouragement to move to your full potential, a focus on body alignment, a chance to calm your mind from the stresses of daily life, challenging sessions that match your ability and a quirky sense of humour.

To Register: contact Cole Skinner @ or 2397. Participation is Free, however limited spots available. Participants are expected to attend all 4 sessions.

Boost your mood with healthy food

March 25, 2015

two bagels

It may sound simple, but one way to help maintain a balanced mood is to eat healthy. Just as there is a relationship between food and our bodies, there is a connection between food and our minds.

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is always good for us, but there are also other foods containing important vitamins and minerals that contribute to our overall mental health. Here are some to be sure to grab the next time you’re out grocery shopping!

  • Beans, peas and lentils 

Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that’s linked to the “feel good” chemicals in the brain — serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. This is why people with a folate-deficiency have been found to experience symptoms such as irritability, fatigue and depression.
B vitamins including folate are destroyed by substances such as alcohol, refined sugars and nicotine and are not stored in the body long-term so you have to make sure to consumer them regularly.

  • Nuts and seeds

People with low levels of selenium, an important mineral for overall brain functioning, tend to feel more anxious, depressed and tired. Brazil nuts as well as pumpkin and sunflower seeds are a great source of selenium, so head out to Bulk Barn this week and stock up! Your mood will thank you.

  • Whole grains

Zinc plays a role in modulating the brain and body’s response to stress and a zinc-deficiency can lead to symptoms of depression. Whole grains such as whole wheat bread and pasta, wild rice and quinoa contain high levels of zinc.

Whole grains are also naturally rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, which your body needs to produce serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin, the “feel-good hormone,” improves mood and relaxes brain and body, while melatonin helps establish and maintain steady sleep cycles. All in all, whole grains are pretty awesome so make sure you’re getting your three to five servings per day!

  • Salmon and tuna

Studies suggest that Omega-3 Fatty Acids have a mood-stabilizing effect and may protect against depression and other mood disorders. Other sources of omega-3 Fatty Acids include canola, flax seed or walnuts.

Click here for more information on the relationship between food and mental health.

Thanks to Kathleen McClinton, registered dietician, for sharing information and insight that helped to create this blog post.

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!

Janelle Head Shot 1 (1) (3)

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.

2015 Winter Fitness Classes

December 19, 2014

Red River College Athletics and Recreation Services offers Group Fitness Programs suited to all interests and fitness levels. Our highly trained and enthusiastic instructors will lead you through a fun and challenging workout suited to you.

Registered Programs For 2015 Winter Term

boot campBoot Camps with Cameron on Mondays from 11:05am to 11:50am

Yoga with Amanda on Mondays from 4:15pm to 5:15pm and Thursdays from 4:15pm to 5:15pm

Rapid Revolution Spin with Lesley on Tuesdays from 11:05am to 11:50am.

Dynamic Core with Lesley on Tuesdays from 12:05pm to 12:50pm and Thursdays from 12:05pm to 12:50pm.

Zumba with Melissa on Wednesdays from 11:05am to 11:50am

Back Care with Andrea on Wednesdays from 4:00pm to 4:45pm yoga

20/20 Stack Training with Lesley on Thursdays from 11:05pm to 11:50pm

Cardio Fusion with Ming on Fridays from 11:05 to 11:50

Soccer Boot Camp with Jordan on Fridays from 12:05 to 12:50

Regular classes will start January 19th and run until March 30th.

A “Free Week” of Classes will occur starting Monday January 12th. Classes will be held in their normal time slots and locations. A great way to try a new and different class before signing up!

Drop in cards for 5 or 10 classes per term can also be purchased. An unlimited Full Fitness Pass can also be purchased, allowing to attend as many classes as you want.


Registration Starts on Monday January 5th. To register for a class download the attached form, fill it out and take it to the Student Service Centre to make a payment. 2015 Winter Fitness Classes Registration Form

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A festive couscous dish for the holidays

December 11, 2014

Recipe-Box_Chickpea-Cranberry-Couscous-Salad_141204_02-725x483Enjoy the fun of trying new dishes and tastes for the holidays. Try it and share with friends or friends to be!

This dish is festive and nutritious using whole wheat couscous, chickpeas, flax seeds, canola oil, and garden vegetables. Being an excellent source of vitamins and iron it can be served as a meal on its own. Enjoy!”

From Health Services


Chickpea & Cranberry Couscous Salad


1 ¼ C chicken stock

1 C dried whole wheat couscous

¼ tsp each of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, salt & pepper, cayenne

1 C dried cranberries, 1 medium diced zucchini, carrot, red/green/yellow peppers

3 chopped green onions

2 C cooked chickpeas

1 tsp roasted flax seeds

¼ C each of lemon juice & canola oil

Zest of whole lemon


Combine stock and spices, bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Break up any couscous lumps with fingers and add the cranberries and chickpeas. Sauté zucchini and carrots in 1 T canola oil for 4 minutes on high, then add to couscous, cranberries, and chickpeas. Add green onions and flax seeds. Optional: chop in bell peppers for colour (I sometimes add chopped black olives and cherry tomatoes). Add lemon zest and juice with canola oil. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Garnish with fresh parsley

Energy drinks -Use with extreme caution !

October 22, 2014

What are energy drinks?

Energy drink is a term invented by the beverage industry. It is not FDA approved and describes a drink that includes caffeine combined with various herbs or vitamin products. In Canada, caffeine does not have to be listed on labels unless it has been added to the product separately as a pure substance. That means that consumers of energy drinks, especially young people, can develop serious side effects from unrealized high caffeine consumption, and become dependent on such products.

“Caffeine loaded energy drinks have now crossed the line from beverages to drugs delivered as tasty syrups,” wrote Drs. Paul Hebert, Noni MacDonald and Matthew Stanbrook, in their editorial, published in the CMAJ’s July edition. “However, because energy drinks are regulated as foods, the manufacturers are only required to list ingredients according to standard food formats. The total caffeine content or equivalent in cups of coffee are nowhere to be seen. There are no health warnings.”

Stimulants such as guarana and ginsing are often added and these increase the effects of the drink. More than 100mg/day of caffeine has been shown to increase blood pressure. With guarana alone 1g is equal to almost 40mg of caffeine.

Should energy drinks be consumed before or during exercise?     

Karrie Heneman, PhD,Project Scientist and Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr, PhD from Nutrition Science Specialist Department of Nutrition,University of California tell us.

If you experience any of the following AND drink “energy” drinks-stop. It could be caffeine toxicity. Acute caffeine intoxication can cause a multitude of symptoms. They can include the following:

  • Nausea
  • VomitingEnergy%20Drinks%20Danger
  • Heart palpitations
  • GI (gastrointestinal) upset
  • Potential heart arrhythmia (irregular heart beat)
  • Feelings of anxiety and nervousness
  • Feelings of being hyper-energized
  • Irritability
  • Loss of sleep

What can you do?

  • Read the labels of all health products you consume, including energy drinks.  Some cans/bottles contain more than one serving so you need to multiply the per serving dose to know the amount of ingredients you are drinking.
  • Even better! Make healthy beverage choices, especially when playing sports or exercising. Water is always a better choice than an energy drink, real fruit or fruit juice, and chocolate or other milk drinks.

From Health Services