Posted by: Miranda Massie | March 5, 2013
March is Nutrition Month and UBC’s EFAP provider, Homewood Human Solutions has issued a 30-Day Nutrition Challenge!
How to sign up:
Call 1-800-663-1142 and let them know that you are a UBC staff or faculty member interested in the 30 Day Nutrition Challenge
You will be connected with a registered dietitian and provided practical tips, recipes and online resources.
Homewood Human Solutions has also released a Nutrition Resource Kit to get you started.
Make March the month for better nutrition for you and your loved ones.
Filed under: Food, March 2013, Physical Health | Tags: EFAP, healthy eating, healthy recipes, Homewood Human Solutions, Nutrition, nutrition month
Posted by: Miranda Massie | March 5, 2013
alive Magazine has developed a new free online version of their print offering called alive Interactive.
Engage with other readers, writers and editors through multiple and interactive features all related to health, food and lifestyle.
Expand your online health resources and check out the latest issue here.
Explore more health and wellness information through their back issues here.
Filed under: Food, March 2013, Mental Health, Physical Health | Tags: alive interactive, alive magazine, health, lifestyle, Nutrition, online resource
Posted by: Connie Deschamps | September 10, 2012
I’ve had a great summer. Lots of socializing, hiking, travelling, rollerblading, walking or just enjoying the incredible sunshine. With that came the usual summer 10 pound weight gain. I’m the person that loses weight in the winter and gains in the summer, weird right, it’s usually the opposite. Well I’m happy to report that the 10 pounds is now gone and it was very easy due to the fact I’ve now become a raw food vegan.
I’ve been researching the idea of raw food vegan for awhile. It’s an interesting concept and I really liked the philosophy behind it. I’ve been doing it now for about 10 days and I’m enjoying it, I feel great and have tons of energy. I’m sleeping soundly through the night for the first time in months, my skin has a glow to it and I’m in a really great mood. You can make some great raw food dishes and I’ll be taking the Raw Food Cooking course offered by UBC Continuing Education in November, which I’m very excited about.
I’ve change many things about my life over the past six years, diet, exercise, weight, how I view life and to me this is the next step to self-improvement. I believe it’s important to sit back sometimes and think about how you’re living your life and what areas you can improve upon. I’m not saying everyone should be a raw food vegan but for me I believe this is my next step.
When I told my sister I’ve made the change to raw food vegan well her comment was “you are really trying to make yourself undateable” :) We shall see.
I’ve included a link if you are interested in some recipes….enjoy.
Filed under: Connie's Stories, Food | Tags: health, Healthy behaviour, Nutrition, Recipes, workplace health
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | September 4, 2012
I was recently asked by a colleague on campus about resources for weight loss. There is just so many different options and it’s hard to find good, research-based resources that help with the day-to-day. We have successful WeightWatchers at Work groups on campus, as well as great resources (including a 12 week coaching program!) with our Employee Family Assistance Program. But we all need a little something different to meet our individual health needs so I like to offer as many options as possible.
Filed under: Physical Health, Suzanne's Stories | Tags: anorexia, bulemia, eating disorders, food, Nutrition, weight, weight at work, weight loss, weight management, workplace health
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | September 4, 2012
Today I presented a workshop on healthy catering for our Healthy UBC workshops. It’s a topic that I’ve wanted to talk about for a long time because as a community, we have some real opportunity to impact the health of our population, simply by being more mindful when offering food at meetings and events on campus. Here’s a copy of the presentation, in case you’re interested in reviewing it: http://prezi.com/vdjqdd8hc1ui/healthy-catering-at-ubc/
As part of the discussion during the workshop, a few people pointed out about the birthday cake tradition that goes on in their workplace. Everyone rushes once a month in the afternoon to get a huge piece of cake. If I were a researcher, I’d like to monitor the presenteeism and engagement of workplaces and how they transition after their once a month cake splurge. My hypothesis would be that we would see the ability for focus and engagement increase for an hour (maximum) following the cake, but after that, we would see the energy of that workforce falling well below expectations. I would also imagine that over time, we could watch the levels of diabetes and cardiovascular disease rise above other workplaces with healthy choices as part of the culture. Perhaps I’m giving a bit too much credit to one piece of cake, but I tend to see that one piece of cake is a slippery slope (trust me, don’t bring it around me!).
Having lived through this workplace tradition for the first year at UBC, I can understand why we see workplaces encourage the monthly cake tradition. It’s easy to get people to gather and share some camaraderie and celebration over some cake. It’s generally part of our society: anytime we celebrate we imbibe in something that’s unhealthy (from beer and wine to cake and cookies). But why do celebrations require us to set ourselves up for illness later? Why can’t we create celebrations that contribute to more good times?
In our workplace, it came around to August (my birthday month), and I had to ask the question: “Couldn’t we try something different?” I think it helped that I asked the question and pointed out that my colleague who shared my birthday month also was on a diet. I also pointed out that I couldn’t even eat the birthday cake (so that helped). (more …)
Filed under: Suzanne's Stories | Tags: catering, food, food choices, Nutrition, office culture, potlucks, workplace culture, workplace health
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | June 28, 2012
Catering in your workplace is a great opportunity to positively impact the health of your health and the health of your colleagues. Food choices- even in the short term- impact your mood and your ability to focus, for example. We’ve developed a printable card of healthy catering tips, and we have also included sustainable catering tips from the UBC Sustainability Initiative and Campus Sustainability. Click here to review, save or print the postcards. We recommend saving and emailing it as a digital document to save paper!
Filed under: July 2012, Physical Health | Tags: catering, food, healthy food, Nutrition, nutritional health, UBC, ubc catering, workplace health
Posted by: Miranda Massie | June 28, 2012
Based on this App’s description I was really excited to try it. It is designed to help you make better choices when buying pre-packaged foods at the grocery store. The App starts by having you fill out a quick personal profile based on age, gender, your health goals and any food intolerances or allergies you may have. I listed my main goal as eating balanced meals with preferences for fiber, whole grains and vitamin C. I also listed that I wanted to avoid refined and processed sugars.
Perks: The main feature is that while shopping, you can scan the bar code of a product and the App will give it a rating based on how the nutritional content fits in with your health goals and in comparison to other products. If the cereal you chose got a failing grade, it will suggest other products and brands with better nutritional contents.
Peevs: I am a food label nut so this had me super excited. PROBLEM: the App only works with US barcodes. I discovered this only after two failed attempts to use it at the store and after trying to scan every box of food that I could find in my kitchen. Nothing would scan and it kept telling me that it ‘could not find the product code that I was looking for’. A bit of online research later revealed that Canadian and American bar codes are different and that the App does not recognize the Canadian codes.
Overall Rating (Worth Keeping or Deleting?):
DELETING. It has amazing potential but is of no use to anyone above the 49th parallel unless you tend to do a lot of cross border grocery shopping.
Filed under: Food, Miranda's Stories | Tags: Apps, blog challenge, health challenge, iphones, Nutrition, shopping
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | March 28, 2012
A friend of mine has been mentioning since December that she thinks she might have a food sensitivity to dairy. So when I visited her recently and she asked me about the symptoms I experience when I eat dairy, I realized that while food sensitivities may seem like one of those crazy health fads, my life has greatly improved since the day that I cried when I found out about the need to cut dairy from my diet.
Yes, that is right, I literally bawled like a baby when I found out about my food sensitivity. Why? Because being able to eat whatever I wanted, being the friend who encouraged others to indulge in desserts, and having cakes and muffins and glasses of milk were all a part of who I was. I was the gutsy, non-picky woman (who was lucky enough to have a great metabolism, I might add, so I could stuff myself full of dessert and barely gain a few pounds).
I was unfortunately also the woman who struggled with constantly bloated belly, chronic fatigue, a sore stomach, constant nausea and mood swings. I spent at least one weekend a month on the couch, with a body that felt heavy and drained. I could barely walk up a hill, let alone climb a mountain. I caught every flu and cold that could be caught, taking two weeks to get over each one, only to have a few days reprieve before I caught the next one. My life as I know it would never be possible if I hadn’t been educated about food sensitivities, and surrounded by friends who helped me avoid what was essentially poisoning me.
Mind you, I’m certainly not perfect. You may have even caught me devouring an Easter sugar cookie this week on my way to the office from a meeting (that’s not very nice you have them beside the till where I have to pay, you know). I may have also spent the weekend eating one piece (okay, let’s be honest, two pieces) of this amazingly delicious coconut lemon cake that a friend made.
So in an attempt to get back on track, and avoid poisoning my digestion further, as well as encouraging my friend to try the dairy-free life for at least a week, I will share with you my tips and a few recipes:
- Don’t be afraid to ask! Restaurant menus often don’t disclose all the ingredients so be sure to ask about what you’re ordering. They love to sprinkle cheese on top of everything, or include a slice of cheddar in a wrap. Be sure to ask also about whether they cook it in butter (for example restaurants’ “steamed” side vegetables require being doused in butter it seems).
- Don’t be afraid to send it back. Stop being so nice and stop paying for food that will make you sick. If you ask for no dairy, and they serve it with dairy, then it’s their loss. (It’s hard to be tough on folks, but their job is to serve food that you order!).
- Don’t be afraid to ask them to make it special for you. There’s easy ways to adapt menu items, leave the cheese off of sandwiches, etc. As restauranteurs become more educated, they also are much more likely to have dairy-free options outlined in a list or alternatives developed.
- Call ahead. If you’ve made plans with people you don’t know so well, then it’s a little awkward to come across as a “picky eater.” (Picky eaters, I might add, are likely healthier eaters, but we seem to think of them as “high maintenance”). Call the restaurant ahead of time to determine what you can eat, what they can adapt, etc, to avoid having to educate the waiter or waitress at the table in front of your new colleagues or friends.
- Choose wisely. If you have the ability to choose your restaurant, then don’t go for italian or french cuisine. These cultures love dairy and honestly whenever I go there, I end up disappointed because I can’t order what I really want. I love Japanese and Thai food for this reason; it doesn’t feel like having to eat a carrot at the table while your friends indulge in chocolate cake. Of course there are also great restaurants who support dairy-free eating by outlining ingredients (it’s one of the reasons that the Pendulum Pub in the SUB is my favourite spot to eat on campus).
- If you love coffee with cream/milk like I do, learn to love your new version of milk options and learn to love coffee shops that offer these choices (or stock some in the office fridge to top up your coffee when you return with it). I like both rice and almond milk in my coffee and the vanilla unsweetened versions of both make it a bit nicer.
- Surround yourself with supportive family or friends. You will tire of those folks who always lament or pity you for your “food choices” (a reminder: this is not a choice. I would not choose to miss out on chocolate milkshakes, ice cream or pizza!). So make sure to spend time with those types of folks over coffee or movies or anything that does not involve eating. (Watch out for movie popcorn though!)
- Don’t stock your house with things that poison you. I don’t have milk in my fridge. If friends want cheese on their pasta when I make them dinner, they can bring it themselves. Why tempt yourself with food that harms you? If you start thinking about dairy as a poison for your body, it really helps to better enable you to make the right choice for your body. You will also start benefiting from saving money on the purchase of milk and cheese- both items are rather expensive! You will also lose some weight since they’re both very fatty!
- Stock avocados, and vinaigrettes. I love the creamy texture avocados give sandwiches and wraps, salads etc. I also have gone out of my way to develop new recipes for salad dressings- most of which have to be based on some form of vinegar (my favourite now is Goddess Dressing)
- Focus on what you can eat, as opposed to what you can’t. I learned this one from Adam Hart at Power of Food.Decide that you have a lot of options still available. No, they don’t all taste like cardboard either. In fact, many of them are healthier and delicious. They are better fuel for your body. So let me outline a few favourite options:
I make my quinoa the night before and then just microwave it with some frozen peaches and raspberries, toss in some sunflower seeds and sesame seeds and cinnamon. Pour on some almond milk and then run out the door with it. This recipe looks so much better than mine though!
I sautee some garlic, ginger, red pepper, onions, zuchini and add in some salt and pepper. Putting it over quinoa and adding an avocado is a quick healthy lunch.
My favourite dinners involve tomatoes it seems, so check out my series of favourite tomato recipes (pasta, soup or salad!).
Filed under: Suzanne's Stories, Uncategorized | Tags: dairy, dairy-free, food, food sensitivities, health, Nutrition, Recipes, wellbeing
Posted by: Miranda Massie | March 1, 2012
Homewood Human Solutions, UBC’s EFAP provider, is highlighting nutrition this month in their wellness calendar and newsletter.
Check out some great recipes and helpful tips!
Nutrition Resource Kit
Homewood Human Solutions Wellness Calendar
Homewood Human Solutions is available to take your call at any time for counselling, coaching or support inquiries. Services are available to UBC staff and faculty and their dependants.
Filed under: EFAP, Food | Tags: EFAP, food, Nutrition, Recipes
Posted by: Suzanne Jolly | February 29, 2012
These little fungi are great for soaking up the flavour of marinades and adding some additional nutrition to your meal.
While mushrooms often are included as an addition to meals, one of my favourite mushroom meals actually allows this huge mushroom to be the focal point of the meal: portobello mushroom burgers. I love portobello burgers because they were really my first introduction to “meatless meals,” and their delicious, juicy flavour helped to push away my inner (meat-loving) cynic to eventually come to realize that vegetarian meals are really a delicious option for my breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The Mayo Clinic offers a variety of fresh ideas for healthy cooking, including a great portobello mushroom burger.
Filed under: Food, Issue, March 2012 | Tags: food, Food of the Month, mushrooms, Nutrition