By Melissa Lafrance on March 2, 2017
March is Nutrition Month, a national celebration focused on healthy eating education and awareness. There’s no better time to take advantage of the many services and programs offered through your UBC benefits that can support you (and your eligible dependants) in the shift to healthier eating and living.
Through UBC benefits, you can:
- be reimbursed for the cost of services from a registered dietitian and/or naturopath under the Extended Health Benefits plan and
- access nutrition support, health coaching, naturopathic services and a healthy weight management program from Shepell, UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider.
Extended Health Benefits: Registered Dietitian & Naturopath
The UBC Extended Health Benefits plan is designed to promote the continued health and wellbeing of staff, faculty and their dependants. There is coverage for a wide range of services, including paramedical practitioners such as registered dietitians and naturopaths.
Registered dietitians provide advice and counselling about diet, food and nutrition. They can help you make healthy food choices and manage any special health conditions you may have, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, allergies and obesity.
Registered naturopaths use a natural and holistic approach to the maintenance of good health and can help you with improving digestion, boosting energy levels and making proper nutrition and food choices.
To learn more about coverage for registered dietitians and naturopaths, visit the Extended Health page.
Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) Services
UBC’s EFAP provider Shepell offers four services that can help you and your eligible dependants with healthy eating. All services are provided by telephone consultation. To book services or for more information on what service is right for you, call the Shepell Care Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765 or visit www.workhealthlife.com.
Nutrition Support Services
Shepell’s Nutrition Support Services can help you make positive changes to your diet and address issues such as weight loss or weight gain, eating routines and lifestyle changes. You can also connect with a registered dietitian who can assess your eating habits, identify dietary concerns and answer nutrition-related questions.
Support is available for a variety of concerns, including:
- Weight loss or gain
- Boosting stress resilience
- Healthy eating on-the-go
- Accommodating shift work
- Well-balanced vegetarian diets
- Lowering/managing cholesterol levels
- Reducing high blood pressure
- Regulating diabetes
- Preventing heart disease
- Preventing osteoporosis
Shepell’s Health Coaching Services teach you about the changes required to be well and stay well, while providing support and motivation to help you reach your lifestyle goals.
Health coaches can work with you to create a risk-reduction action plan targeting:
- Weight management
- Healthy eating
- Smoking cessation
- Responsible alcohol use
- Stress management
- Exercise as a component of a healthy lifestyle
Professionals in Shepell’s Naturopathic Services will provide you with information about naturopathic medicine and how it works. You will learn practical lifestyle practices that you can use every day to improve digestion, boost your energy levels and help you make proper nutrition and food choices.
Healthy Weight Management
Shepell’s Healthy Weight Management program can help you manage your weight by showing you how to make positive physical activity and nutrition changes with the support of a personal coach.
Healthy Weight Management consists of the following components:
- Online assessment
- Interactive online program including trackers, goal setting and challenges
- Smart scale to track progress and outcomes
- Consultations with a coach over the phone or through online chat
By Melissa Lafrance on March 2, 2017
It’s nutrition month so we are featuring two of our resident Thriving Dietitians: Emma McCrudden, Sport Dietitian in Althletics and Recreation and Melissa Baker, Manager of Nutrition and Wellbeing in SHHS.
Thriving Campus features testimonials, contributions and personal experiences linked to health and wellbeing from UBC staff members.
How do you thrive at work?
Emma: I love health, food and sport, and I’m very fortunate that my role at UBC allows me to combine all three! Knowing that I am helping others improve not only their own health and sports performance, but also the health of their friends, family and future clients makes me want to get up and go to work every day. Providing athletes with nutrition resources (which can be found here: http://gothunderbirds.ca/sports/2016/7/5/nutrition.aspx ) and teaching them to cook and really enjoy food is a very rewarding part of my job. I love teaching sport nutrition to my students, who will one day be helping others learn more about how nutrition can improve their health.
I wear a number of hats at UBC, working as a part-time sport dietitian with the varsity programs – looking after 600 athletes – and part-time as a sport nutrition lecturer for the School of Kinesiology and Food, Nutrition & Health programs. It can get a little overwhelming at times.
Being organized helps me stay on top of my workload. My calendar is crazy, but I feel more relaxed if all my reminders are in one place. That way I know nothing gets missed. I have really had to learn to prioritize tasks and be realistic with deadlines. When you keep people informed of your progress and they know you are doing the very best you can, they are assured that you are going to produce some great work in the long term.
Melissa: I thrive on connection, so I feel very lucky to work with so many amazing people in addition to having the opportunity to connect and work with students on a daily basis. I love being out and about on campus promoting wellbeing by encouraging the UBC community to eat well and move more.
I have planned walking meetings, joined colleagues for a lunch-hour bootcamp class or Wreck Beach stair challenge, promoted eating healthy in the dining halls (with thanks to our awesome chefs who are happy to work with me) and work closely with UBC Wellbeing to support various initiatives. Nutrition Month (March) and Dietitians’ Day (March 15th) are sure to be packed with events to help myself and others thrive at work and home, too!
Eating well is also essential for me to thrive at work. I start most mornings off with chocolate (using cocoa powder) overnight oats, mixed with nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt, berries, peanut butter and cinnamon. I never get sick of this combination and it is packed with protein and antioxidants.
Eating a healthy lunch at the dining halls or Harvest Market is easy with a variety of nourishing options – from salads and soups to custom stir-fries and grain bowls. My favourite dish is served on Wednesdays at Open Kitchen (Square Meal): spicy lentil dahl with naan bread. It is so tasty, filling and really inexpensive. Try it out and let me know if you like it!
How do you thrive at home?
Melissa: While I thrive on connection and spending time with friends and family, I love “me time” at home in my kitchen trying out a new creative recipe or doing some writing. I write for my blog (upbeet.ca) and for the Huffington Post (Canada Living section).
Doing a yoga class, a hike/snowshoe or jumping on my bike are other things I love doing that help me thrive during my time off. I also enjoy volunteering and am currently putting my efforts into my position on the Dietitians of Canada Board of Directors. Trying new things is fun for me too. I just agreed to play on a beach volleyball team, which I have never done before – so I apologized to the team in advance for my lack of skill!
Emma: Although I love being organized, I have had to be a bit kinder to myself recently and accept that there are going to be really busy times in my life when things aren’t going to be as well organized as I need them to be. And that’s ok. We are living in a perfectionist-driven world and it’s easy to feel like you are underachieving if you aren’t meeting those high standards all the time. It’s important to give yourself a break and prioritize what is important at that moment in your life.
Making sure I have looked after some basic meal planning is also crucial. I believe that good nutrition has the power to impact a lot of areas in life, including sleep (and I love sleep!), concentration, the immune system and energy levels for work and activity. I keep meal planning very simple. I find time over the weekend to plan meals from Sunday night through to Friday lunchtime and allow myself to be more flexible the rest of the time. I always start by picking protein for the meal and once I know what that is, the rest comes pretty easily. I then look at snacks and breakfast foods. I keep grocery lists on my phone so it’s easy to repeat them week after week. I group foods using the layout of my local store, which I know pretty well, so I’m efficient once I get in there. Occasionally, if time is really limited, I will use pickup or grocery delivery services – which I think are brilliant ideas!
Emma McCrudden trained as a dietitian at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland and then obtained a master’s with distinction from Loughborough University, England, in sports nutrition and exercise physiology. She has worked as an Applied Performance Dietitian for the English Institute of Sport and was also the lead dietitian for Leinster Rugby, a decorated professional rugby team based in Ireland. She moved to Canada in 2013, where she joined the Canadian Sport Institute, working mainly with the Canadian Women’s Soccer team and Swim Canada, as well as with multiple winter sports teams. She moved to a combined teaching and sports dietetics role in January 2016 at UBC. Emma focuses on the specialist application of the science of nutrition to performance enhancement in sport, aiming to maximize training adaptation, optimize body composition and minimize risk of injury, overtraining, illness and burnout.
Melissa Baker is a registered dietitian with a passion for health and wellbeing. She strongly believes in choosing food that is both healthful and delicious! Melissa is also a big advocate for taking time to share meals with friends and family, and believes that basic cooking skills are a key ingredient in a healthful diet. After graduating from UBC’s integrated dietetic program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Melissa worked in many different practice areas including clinical, retail, industry, media and consulting. In 2014, Melissa went back to school to do a Master of Health Science in Nutrition Communication from Ryerson University. She loves being a part of the exciting nutrition world and staying up to date on nutrition trends. She is a true food lover, and was named “Canada’s Food.ee of the Year” in 2015 by vacay.ca. Since October, 2016, Melissa has been providing counselling and educational outreach to students in residence, supporting wellbeing initiatives for staff and the UBC community, consulting for the UBC Food Services culinary team to increase the healthy offerings and writing articles for her UBC blog.
By Colin Hearne on February 4, 2015
Welcome to this month’s delicious recipes inspired by UBC Dietetics student Stephanie Dang.
For more of Stephanie’s tasty treats visit our brand new HealthyUBC Recipe Series web page – Bon Appétit!
Thai Turkey Stir Fry– click here to view
Peanut Lime Chutney- click here to view
Easy Burrito Bowls- click here to view
Chicken Lettuce Wraps- click here to view
To keep informed of all new recipes and additional health and wellbeing offerings sign up for the Healthy UBC Monthly Newsletter or become a UBC Health Contact.
Stephanie Dang is a fourth-year dietetics student at the University of British Columbia. When she is not busy studying, Stephanie volunteers at the eating disorder clinic at Children’s Hospital, works at a local bar, and plays soccer. Stephanie believes that living “healthy” means enjoying everything in moderation, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Staying physically active and satisfying your body’s nutritional needs shouldn’t be considered a burden, and if it is, seeing a dietitian is a great way to get advice on how to enjoy healthy living!