By Melissa Lafrance on March 2, 2017
We’ve all read the articles or heard from a friend about the transformational powers of choosing certain foods over others. With all the hype, it can be hard to determine what’s true and what’s not.
This article, written in honour of Nutrition Month, takes a critical look at seven popular myths. Read on for the real facts on everything from whether you should avoid fats entirely to whether white sugar really is worse than alternative sweeteners.
Disclaimer – The information in this feature is meant to encourage you to think critically about the information we are bombarded with. It is not meant to cause worry or make you revamp your diet. At the end of the day, we all need to make the food choices that make the most sense to us at the time.
Food for thought: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. – Michael Pollan
Myth 1: Avoid all fats for overall health.
Fat, often villainized, is a necessary macronutrient that each of us needs to consume. It’s true that not all fats are equal and that some are important for overall health while others should be limited.
There are four different types of fats: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated and trans fats.
Unsaturated fats (both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) are liquid at room temperature and are considered “healthy” fats because they improve blood cholesterol levels, offer cardiovascular health benefits and play other positive roles. They are mainly found in foods from plants, such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. Foods with high concentrations of monounsaturated fats include olive, peanut, and canola oils; avocados; nuts like almonds, hazelnuts and pecans; and seeds (such as pumpkin and sesame). Foods with high concentrations of polyunsaturated fats include sunflower, corn, soybean, canola and flaxseed oils; walnuts; flax seeds; and fish.
Saturated fat is mainly found in foods from animals (such as fatty cuts of meat and poultry) and full-fat dairy products. However, a few plant foods are also high in saturated fats, such as coconut, coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil.
Trans fats are made from liquid oil that is transformed into a solid fat, adding texture and flavour to food. They are found in commercially baked goods, fried foods and processed foods. Some meats, milk and butter naturally contain small amounts of trans fat.
To lower your risk of heart disease, it is best to limit saturated fats and aim to have no manufactured trans fats in your diet.
Myth 2: It’s impossible to make sense of the nutrition facts table on packaged foods.
Actually, it is possible to make an informed decision on the foods you should limit, based on the nutrition facts table included on all packaged foot. Don’t let the nutrition claims on the front of packages sway your decision: head to the back of the package and get the facts.
Start by finding out the serving size right under the header “Nutrition Facts”. For a quick check, use the % Daily Value on the right side to determine if there is a little or a lot of a particular nutrient. If it says “5% Daily Value” or less, that’s considered a little, and 15% or higher is a lot.
You may want to look for low amounts of nutrients like saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugar. You may want a lot of fibre, vitamin A, calcium and iron. To take it one step further, look at the weight of each nutrient and make an informed decision based on your preference, nutritional status and health goals.
Myth 3: You need to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store to get healthy foods and avoid the not-so-healthy options in the middle aisles.
While each grocery store is designed differently, in general, most of the fresh items that are minimally processed (like produce and meat) are placed on the perimeter of the store. But you’ll also find many highly processed and less nutritional foods, such as those in the bakery and deli meat sections.
Don’t ignore the inner aisles, as that’s where you’ll often find dried items (nuts, seeds, legumes), grains (rice, barley, farro, quinoa), oils, vinegars, and frozen fruits and vegetables. Avoiding these sections may limit your purchase of healthy items.
Did you ever notice that the common food staples like produce, meat, dairy and bread are at completely opposite ends of the store? Store designers do this on purpose to make us spend more time in the grocery store and perhaps add a few more unplanned items to our shopping baskets. Developing a meal plan ahead of time and preparing a grocery list can help you limit your purchases to what you actually need.
Myth 4: Alternative or other forms of sugar are better for you than refined white sugar.
Nutritionally speaking, all sugars are pretty much the same. While some people consider brown sugar, honey or agave syrup to be more natural, they are still sugars. All are concentrated sources of calories with very few other nutrients. Your body can’t tell the difference between white sugar and any other type of sugar.
In fact, your body handles naturally occurring sugar in food or processed sugars and syrups in the same way. If you are looking for the least-processed options, then yes, stick to small amounts of honey and maple syrup.
Myth 5: Organic foods are better than non-organic foods.
Bottom line: there is not enough scientific evidence to conclude that organic food is more nutritious than non-organic food. Regardless of being organic or non-organic, foods usually have a similar amount of nutrients. Some studies have found slight differences in nutrient content, although the results have not been significant. The factors that do affect the nutritional content of food are soil quality, growing conditions, harvesting methods and timing, and the species of the animal and what it ate.
The real difference between organic and non-organic foods is in the farming practices. Organic foods are grown under strict regulations and requirements laid out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Organic foods must be produced without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms. Organic farmers also use crop rotation, plant compost and composted manure to enrich the soil. Animals raised organically are fed only organic feed that is free of antibiotics, growth hormones and insecticides.
In Canada, both organic and non-organic foods follow strict guidelines and are safe to eat. As with any purchase, it’s a personal choice and often comes down to financial realities.
Myth 6: Sea salt is better than table salt.
Sea salt, just like kosher and gourmet salt, has about the same amount of sodium as table salt. One is not necessarily healthier than the other, and too much sodium can be harmful to your health. The differences between sea salt and table salt are taste, texture and processing.
Table salt is mined from dried-up ancient salt lakes. Some table salts include iodine, a nutrient that helps prevent thyroid disease. Sea salt is made by evaporating seawater and usually involves less processing. Depending on the water source and the trace minerals, different sea salts can have varying flavours and colours.
Myth 7: A raw food diet provides enzymes that are essential to healthy digestion.
The major claim made to promote the raw food diet is that heating food destroys its nutrients and natural enzymes and that enzymes are needed to boost digestion and fight chronic disease.
It is true that cooking inactivates plant enzymes since they are proteins and proteins denature with heat. However, the acids in our stomachs denature those proteins, even when eaten raw. A completely raw food diet is often difficult to follow and can lead to inadequate intake of many essential nutrients, such as protein, iron, calcium and vitamin B12.
Uncooked and unpasteurized foods have been linked to foodborne illness and when foods are cooked, this risk is significantly decreased. Cooking also allows for the transformation of foods and is often needed to allow for proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
If you have questions or concerns about your diet, consider getting nutritional support – see the March 2017 article in the Healthy UBC Newsletter for information on using UBC’s Extended Health Benefits and EFAP services.
By Miranda Massie on February 2, 2017
The UBC Staff & Faculty Travelling Health Fair is here!
The Travelling Health Fair is a free annual mobile health clinic offering one-on-one health assessments and consultations. The 2017 Travelling Health Fair is dedicated to helping you learn about diabetes and how to manage your blood sugar to keep your risk as low as possible.
11 million Canadians live with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Chances are you or someone you know is affected; however, many people do not even know they are affected. Awareness and knowledge are critical.
The Fair is open to everyone, with and without diabetes or pre-diabetes.
What to expect
As part of this free health assessment you will receive:
- Measurement of weight, body dimensions, blood pressure and blood sugars (a small pin prick of blood will be drawn)
- A personalized risk assessment and information about risk factors
- Education about blood sugars, diabetes and what it all means
- Interpretation of results & an individualized action plan
Appointments are available every 15 minutes, in multiple locations across campus and our hospital site locations. Total appointment time runs between 20 and 30 minutes.
UBC’s Health, Wellbeing and Benefits team will also be on hand to provide resources, info and freebies!
Dates and Locations
Feb. 21 | 10:00am – 2:00pm
Location: Henry Angus room 292 (Point Grey)
Feb. 22 | 9:00am – 12:15pm
Location: Diamond Health Care Centre (DHCC) at VGH room 9299
Feb. 23 | 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Location: Brock Hall Main Concourse (Point Grey)
Feb. 28 | 12:00pm – 4:30pm
Location: Centre for Integrative Research on Sustainability (CIRS) Hydro Theatre (Point Grey)
March 1 | 9:00am – 1:00pm
Location: Alumni Centre rooms 222 & 224 (Point Grey)
All screenings are free for UBC faculty and staff, but you must pre-register. Click here to make your appointment.
All services are provided by registered pharmacists and pharmacy students from the Pharmacists Clinic, UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The Fair is part of Move UBC Month!
Posted in Events, Physical Health | Tagged assessment, awareness, check-up, Diabetes, education, faculty, free, health, Pharmacists Clinic, screening, staff, Travelling Health Fair, UBC | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on May 3, 2016
That being said, I always think it’s a great time to talk about sex, but perhaps that has a lot to do with my background as a community sexual health educator. The reality is that talking openly and honestly about sex and sexuality is hard to do and it can make us uncomfortable. This discomfort has historically led to generations of misinformation, shame and silence.
Everyone, of any age, deserves the right to access accurate and unbiased sexual health information in order to make informed decision about their health. The challenge is often knowing where to find it.
Our newsletter theme this month is health literacy and if there is one area that I think we could all benefit from more well-sourced information, it is sexual health.
A crash course in sexual health information:
Beware of search engines
My advice when it comes to sexual health and Google: just don’t. There is a lot of bad information on the internet, and pulling up a google search makes it difficult to decipher where the information is coming from and what potential biases or ulterior motives might be at play. Learn more about The Dangers of Dr. Google here.
My top 5
A list of the best sites for unbiased and non-judgmental sexual health information are as follow:
- Sexuality and U: Rated one of the top 10 health websites in Canada.
- Options for Sexual Health: Similar to Planned Parenthood, with services available for free to all residents of BC
- Scarleteen: Don’t be fooled by the teen/20’s label: This site has accessible information and advice for all ages.
- Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights: Like the World Health Organization, but for sexual health in Canada. Policy, research, advocacy and information.
- Sex is good for your health: Last year in my S is for SEX article, I outlined the physical, psychological and emotional benefits of being sexually active.
Brush up on the research
UBC has some amazing folks doing some interesting research on sexual health and sexuality:
- Dr. Lori Brotto and the UBC Sexual Health Laboratory
- The UBC Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice
- UBC Faculty of Medicine Youth Sexual Health Team
Increasing your sexual health literacy is a learning process, one that includes being both critical and curious. Even as an adult, it is okay to not have all the answers – as long as you keep looking.
Talking about sexual health as a parent can add another layer to a tricky topic, one that can provoke both anxiety and stress. For any parents or guardians out there looking for tips on how to talk about this topic with your kids, consider registering for our upcoming workshop:
All my best,
By Miranda Massie on April 5, 2016
It is no secret that we live in one of the most expensive cities on the planet. The draw of delicate cherry blossoms, crisp ocean breezes and gorgeous mountain views are only some of the reasons that keep us here, despite the costs.
The stark reality however, is that we can’t count on the ocean or the view to pay the bills, and, the stresses associated with finances can be overwhelming and at times suffocating.
I often hear from people that items related to personal health and wellbeing are the first things to be sacrificed in times of financial strain. What we sometimes forget is that keeping well doesn’t have to break the bank.
At the end of the day, if we don’t have our health, how are we to enjoy and appreciate our wealth?
Top health hacks to boost your wellbeing while keeping money in your wallet
Participate in free events:
Register now for UBC’s annual Staff and Faculty Sports Day on May 6, 2016. This free UBC Centennial event is designed to build teamwork and celebrate the end of the school year. With your team of 4-6 people, you will take part in four physical or intellectual challenges and enjoy a free lunch, prizes and more!
Take advantage of discounts:
As a staff and faculty member at UBC, you have access to a wide range of corporate discounts for local fitness, yoga, and recreation programs. Already covered for physical health? Don’t forget to explore the arts and culture as well as family event discounts available too. Discounts include both on and off campus options.
UBC offers free pension plan workshops on a wide range of topics intended to help you make informed decisions for your family and future. Topics include Pension Plan 101, Understanding your Pension Plan, Retirement Information and GetEducated Seminars. Available for individuals, departments and larger groups.
You also have access to a wide variety of online learning tools through UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider, Shepell. Visit workhealthlife.com to find out more.
Find the right incentive:
Canada’s first wellness rewards program has launched in the form of Carrot Rewards. BC residents who make an effort to lead healthier lifestyles can now be rewarded with loyalty points such as Aeroplan, PetroPoints, Scene and MoreRewards. Users who sign up (it’s free) for Carrot Rewards will be able to earn loyalty points for completing activities centred on making healthier lifestyle choices.
As we set foot into a fresh fiscal year, I want to leave you with one last hack, or perhaps just a fun fact:
People often assume that eating healthier costs more money. Well, Harvard did a study to see if this was really the case. They found that the difference in price between the healthiest diets (rich in fish, nuts, fruits and veggies) and the least heathy diets was $1.50 per day. For the cost of a daily cup of store-bought coffee, you have the potential to re-allocate your funds in a health boosting way.
All my best
By Melissa Lafrance on January 12, 2016
This month’s Thriving Faculty member is Dr. Joy Butler, an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at UBC.
Thriving Faculty is a monthly column that highlights UBC faculty who exemplify the integration of health and wellbeing into their classrooms, research, departments and communities.
What are central challenges you face in your role as Faculty?
I believe that we all face the same major challenge, which is to find balance in our lives as we juggle our efforts to be effective professionals, informed citizens, caring partners and family members, and at the same time, take care of our own bodies and psyches. Aboriginal culture offers the medicine wheel as a symbol of the kind of balance we need to strike between the various parts of our lives and our identities. (See wellness wheel on the walkabout website.) It can be hard to find this kind of balance as the world heats up, becoming increasingly more intense and ‘wired.’ In the pressurized world of academia, we are subject to information over-load, competing demands for action and compassion burn-out. When this overwhelms our defenses and our immune systems compromised it is even more important to pay attention to our health.
Based on your experiences, please describe the relationship between student mental health & wellbeing and learning.
In general terms, to be better educated puts us at an advantage when it comes to health and wellbeing, in that better educated people usually earn more, and thus enjoy better access to such things as health care, healthy diet, and safe, comfortable housing. Speaking more specifically about my own discipline, Physical Education, I would argue that the relationship between health and learning is more conscious and more direct. The current PE curriculum aims to educate the whole human being through the physical, as they reject the separation Descartes set between the body and the mind. This stands in contrast to older, more traditional approaches that focused on educating the body through techniques and drills. My own research looks at the social dimensions of PE and sport education. I believe that team games provide important opportunities to learn about and practice healthy equal relationships, and to develop the qualities we need to be effective citizens – attributes like fairness, empathy, and sound decision making. We don’t become or stay healthy and well in isolation, but in the cultures and relationships in which we are situated.
Please describe the role of your own mental health and wellbeing in your teaching, research and service to the community?
To state the obvious, no one enjoys a crabby, worn out professor, and no one can be creative when they haven’t had enough sleep or fun! Though it’s hard to maintain self care at the same time as keeping up with grading, class preparation, research, committees, writing and reading, it’s important not to let oneself get into a downward spiral. I’m not perfect in this regard, by any means, and have found my wellness wheel to be quite bumpy at times but I do try to take stock regularly and make adjustments.
What strategies do you use in your own life, that help you thrive as Faculty?
I exercise every day. In the morning, I begin with a short but intense physical workout that I have practiced for so many years I could do it in my sleep! Good habits are crucial when it comes to exercise, and my workout is perhaps a good illustration. I don’t think about whether or not to do it, I just roll out of bed and begin. I like early morning exercise because it kick starts all those interrelated systems, such as the brain, the digestion, and the cardiovascular neural networks. I have two dogs and subject them to a pretty vigorous walking regimen! It helps to live close to campus, and I always cycle or walk to work, whatever the weather (I’ve even managed to cross country ski in on a few occasions). I also enjoy yoga and working out at the gym, and include both of these activities on a weekly basis. Finally, I’m about to join a dragon boat team in March. We all know what happens when we work and don’t play. Although it’s tough to fit a social life in to the busy UBC semester, my partner and I do have a good circle of friends, and enjoy going out to dinner or movies, as well as joint hikes, skiing or snowshoeing. We also make sure that we have time to talk to each other. We eat breakfast and dinner together on a daily basis, and often process and plan our lives on walks at Jericho Beach.
Are they any specific initiatives and/or research you are involved in that promote health, mental health and wellbeing?
An initiative I’d like to mention in this context is the Walkabout Program. Walkabout is a nine-week health and wellbeing challenge that promotes regular exercise in social settings and allows for the annual check in and goal adjustment I mentioned earlier. It is hosted by the Faculty of Education and this year has invited opened up the invitation everyone on campus.
Essentially, staff, faculty, students and community members join teams of five members, log their daily steps (using fitbits or pedometers) and engage in a ‘virtual race’ with other teams. The competition element makes it fun and interactive – the research shows that people are more likely to maintain exercise when they work out in groups – but an important goal is to make people individually aware of just how far they do walk each day when they take everything into account, even teaching, shopping or cooking. We include a conversion table of other activities into step counts when the type of activity cannot be recorded by step count (such as yoga or gym training). People are quite surprised to find out how many steps they actually take in a day, for better or worse! But in either case, participants begin to get a sense for what a healthy level of activity looks or feels like. The World Health organization has defined this as 10,000-11,000 steps a day, and by the end of the program, many people are achieving that level and more.
This year, we celebrate our 10th anniversary of the walkabout program and do so alongside the 100th UBC anniversary by incorporating the Great Trek as our virtual route. Teams will be able to mark their weekly progress through the number of laps achieved.
To encourage the social element of the program, members can record the numbers of steps taken with any other member of the program to achieve a social bonus, and weekly walks have been organized by the committee. The first walk will include our four-legged companions.
We celebrate the end of the nine-week walkabout with an awards ceremony that celebrates the winners of categories such as ‘most social steps’ and ‘most actual steps’, as well as less serious awards such as ‘best team name’.
Dr. Joy Butler is an Associate Professor in the Dept of Curriculum and Pedagogy (EDCP) at UBC, Vancouver. Joy’s research and teaching have developed around constructivist learning theory, teacher education, complexity thinking, situated ethics and community wellness. She is active in international scholarship, organization, and advocacy for Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU).
By Miranda Massie on January 11, 2016
UBC Events and Activities
Our list keeps growing! Be sure to check out the list of on and off-campus corporate discount partners for savings towards your wellbeing.
Yoga at MOA: Starts Jan 11
Looking for an on-campus yoga class with flexible hours, affordable costs and a beautiful location? Try MOGA. Yoga in the Great Hal of the Museum of Anthropology returns again this spring.
Fit Mix Challenge: Jan 15
Come back down to earth after the winter holidays and compete against yourself in a series of fun fitness challenges! Hosted by professional Bird Coop staff and the UBC Recreation Events Team. Register now!
10th Annual Walkabout: Jan 18-March 20
Walkabout is an annual nine-week health and wellbeing challenge that promotes regular exercise in social settings. All community members (staff, faculty, students, alumni, and the community) are encouraged to walk a virtual journey to improve their wellbeing!
UBC Suicide Awareness Day: Jan 27
Reaching out early and preventing suicide requires everyone’s help. Show your support for suicide awareness and prevention: Attend an event and wear orange on Suicide Awareness Day.
On the Button Curling Bonspiel: Jan 31
Sweep those winter blues away with a fun night of curling. Whether it’s your first time on the ice or you’re a seasoned sweeper, this tournament is a great way to try a national pastime. Register now!
30 Day Online Mindfulness Challenge: Registration open
Now is your chance to participate in an innovative online training focused on reducing stress, while increasing joy and peak performance in all areas of life including leadership, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and decision-making in the workplace. Click here for more info.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month: January 2016
Sexual assault affects people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations. Join the conversation, keep learning, and stand up against sexual assault. You can help end the violence.
- Wear denim and a Denim Day sticker (January 20) to show that you’re standing up against sexual assault.
- Attend an event
‘Step It Up’ Walking Programs: Ongoing
Join the movement! The Step it Up campaign highlights walking programs that are free or inexpensive, and designed for all students, staff, faculty and community members. Check out upcoming guided walks including a Dog Walkers Stroll and an Art Lovers walk!
Toonie Swims at the Aquatic Centre: Ongoing
Get your swim on and join in for Toonie Swims on Saturday and Sunday evenings, 6:30pm – 9:00pm. $2 admission for everyone!
Off-Campus Events and Activities
Run to Quit-smoking cessation program: Register from Jan 6-March 31
Try a new 10-week smoking cessation program of the Canadian Cancer Society and Running Room Ltd. Smokers who join (in-person/on-line) are coached in a step-by-step way to use running to help quit. Use of running while quitting increases the likelihood of success by helping smokers cope with discomfort, cravings and establish new habits.
Monthly Birding Walks: Jan 16 (Surrey)
Join a local naturalist for a series of free monthly walks to discover how these amazing creatures are adapted to their habitat and why our local urban parks are so important for their survival. A great way to get out and explore Surrey’s parks! Get the Free Birding Walks Brochure here.
Steveston Icebreaker 8KM Run/Walk: Jan 17 (Richmond)
Join this fun, flat and fast 8k to kick off the year on a scenic course along the river. Hot soup, pizza and door prizes headline the indoor post-race festivities at the Steveston Community Centre.
Arthritis and You – Understanding Arthritis: Jan 17 (Richmond)
Get a clear picture of what is really happening in your body when we talk about Arthritis. This will aid you in understanding the importance of self-management (pain management, medications, exercise and complementary therapies, etc.) and learn about the tools and aids to make life easier.
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival: Jan 19-Feb 7 (Vancouver)
This festival features groundbreaking work in live performing arts and is a broker of international partnerships, a meeting place for creative minds, and an incubator of brilliant new work.
Personal, Family & Community Emergency Preparedness Training: Jan 20 (Coquitlam)
This session uses an earthquake scenario to help you become better prepared at home. Topics include, earthquake damage/hazards, how to protect the inside and outside of your home/place of business, family communication and reunification and assembling emergency supplies.
Alive@Work Online Magazine: January 2016
Cold and flu myths, winter skin care secrets, how to pick a personal trainer, brown bag lunch ideas and more!
The Wellness Show: Feb 12-14 (Vancouver)
Attend the 24th Annual Wellness Show. Cooking stage, fitness demos, organic market, Healthy Families Area, lots of exhibitors and more! View a 2016 event poster here. Entry Fee is $12.50 per person.
Posted in Community Health News, Events, Mental Health, Physical Health | Tagged Arthritis, arts, community, curling, education, events, festival, health, Mindfulness, smoking, swimming, UBC, Walking, wellbeing | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on September 15, 2015
Free recreation and fitness, UBC’s Movement Co., Weight Watchers @ Work, Continuing Studies programs, Alive @ Work Magazine, YWCA open house, U.Sask sedentary study, and lots more! Find out what is happening in and around the community this month.
UBC-based events (Vancouver campus)
Free Trial Period- at UBC BodyWorks Fitness Centre: Sept. 8 – 18
Visit Bodyworks for free group fitness classes and access to the fitness centre. Meet the knowledgeable and friendly Kinesiology undergraduate and graduate student staff who provide a unique and positive environment for making lifestyle changes. View programs and services here.
Free Week at UBC Recreation: Sept. 14-20
Take advantage of UBC Recreation’s Free Week, and try out any instructor-led classes in the SRC Studio, SRC Dojo, Ponderosa Studio, Aquatic Centre, and the Tennis Centre. Or, check out the NEW Movement Co.
It’s a new social club designed to help UBC community members find new ways to move their bodies. It’s about fun, not being the fittest or the fastest. It’s an inclusive, encouraging and motivational environment to try out new opportunities to build on our wellbeing. All staff, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students and members of the University Neighbourhoods Association* are welcome to join this free social club. Find out more!
New Session-Weight Watchers @ Work: Sept. 22
The UBC At Work Weight Watchers group is set to start a new series on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Take part in an Information & Sign-up Session on Tuesday Sept. 15. Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions and/or come to the Information Session.
Share a meal, share a story and join 1,000 other guests in celebrating 100 years of UBC at this outdoor community feast! Chefs from UBC Food Services and AMS Conferences and Catering will be preparing a three-course meal that is inspired by everything UBC, including fresh, local produce from the UBC Farm. All staff, faculty, students and community members welcome. After dinner, the fun continues with Arts Night Out! Feast guests are invited to enjoy free shows and exhibits in UBC’s Arts and Culture District.
Tickets are $20-$30 and can be purchased at www.planning.ubc.ca/harvestfeast. Last year’s event sold out so be sure to get your tickets soon!
Join the Men’s Depression and Suicide Network, in partnerships with the Movember Foundations, UBC Speakeasy and the Crisis Centre for a free, public documentary film screening. The screening will be followed by a discussion panel. For more information or to reserve tickets, click here.
UBC Continuing Studies Life and Career Programs help you take charge of your career and personal success, and gain the knowledge and skills you need to embark on a new path.
- Learn more about personalized and individual one-on-one career development and testing.
- Learn core counselling and interpersonal communication skills. Peer Counselling Certificate Program (Apply now. Starts Oct 16th)
- Learn to use coaching skills to influence positive change for individuals, group and teams. Organizational Coaching
UBC staff and faculty can use their tuition waiver s for these courses.
Connect with Respect Conversations (UBC Equity and Inclusion): Sept 30-Dec. 16
Connect with Respect Conversations are a series of four informative and interactive discussions about how we can all contribute to a respectful environment at UBC. These free, lunchtime sessions, facilitated by Equity and Inclusion Office staff address concerns you may have working or studying at UBC – come prepared to ask questions! Join us for one conversation or for all four. Click here to register or learn more.
A world of arts and culture is happening at the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey campus. Everything from theatre, film, contemporary and fine art, to music, opera, live performances and a world-renowned Museum of Anthropology are right at your doorstep. Pick your path and discover unique and innovative programming.
Human Resources is excited to open a limited number of spaces to the Managing@UBC Program for any management and professional staff who have direct reports. There are currently three options for management and professional staff to enter the Managing@UBC Program:
1) Managing@UBC Onboarding and Orientation: if you have been in your management role for less than 1 year and are directly responsible for 1 or more staff member.
2) Managing@UBC Evolving Your Leadership: If you have been in your management role for more than 1 year and are directly responsible for 1 or more staff member.
3) Managing@UBC Intercultural Certificate: If you have been in your management role for any length of time and are interested in an intercultural focus and developing the University’s capacity to talk about diversity.
For more information: Contact Chantal Duke
Alive @ work-September 2015
Now mobile responsive! This month, discover cost saving back to school ideas; ways to revamp your work life and yoga for commuters.
YWCA Corporate Open House: Sept. 8-18
Visit the UBC’s corporate fitness discount partner, the downtown YWCA, for free! Over 70 different classes are available, in addition to pool and gym facilities.
Vancouver International Film Festival: Sept 24-Oct 9
The 34th annual Vancouver International Film Festival will once again welcome some of the world’s finest films to one of the most beautiful cities on the planet.
City Centre Block Party-Surrey: Sept 25
The main goal of the event is to bring together residents of the City Centre community, both Canadian-born and newcomers, to have fun and improve a sense of belonging and inclusion to the community.
Culture Days-Lower Mainland: Sept 25-27
Culture Days is a collaborative Canada-wide volunteer movement to raise awareness, accessibility, participation, and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and culture life of their communities.
The University of Saskatchewan needs your help! The purpose of this research is to understand sedentary behaviour (sitting) in office workers. Participants will be asked to complete four online questionnaires within an approximately two-week period. Click here to participate in the study.
We are interested in studying the effects of exercise on brain health and function. Volunteers between the ages of 19 and 45 who are interested in participating in a 12-week exercise program should contact the researchers by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Colin Hearne on July 6, 2015
This month we are featuring UBC Philosophy Professor Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins. Carrie recently wrote a Globe and Mail article on ‘What’s love got to do with Sex-Ed? Maybe everything’– and is currently working on a book on the nature of romantic love. If that is not enough to grab your attention then maybe hearing about her philosophy rock band will! Interested? Read on.
Thriving Faculty exemplify the integration of health and wellbeing into classrooms, research, departments and communities.
What are the central challenges that you face in your role as Faculty?
Teaching is very challenging for me, because it comes with so much responsibility. I know that how good a job I do as teacher impacts other people, in potentially huge ways. Being aware of this often means I find it hard to set boundaries on my time when it comes to teaching: what if putting in more hours makes all the difference to one student? This problem hits even harder when I’m teaching large classes, and/or multiple classes at once. I’m also quite an introvert. Face-to-face interaction is generally exhausting for me. A three-hour class can leave me feeling like I’m about to melt into a puddle.
What strategies do you use in your own life that help you thrive as Faculty?
Evening yoga practice helps me calm down; it serves as a kind of physical and mental release valve. My dog takes me outside for daily walks, which are a good idea if you have to spend most of your working day at a computer or reading books. Talking with my husband (who is also a professor) helps me be more reflective about balancing my time and responsibilities. Agreeing to DO ALL THE THINGS can sometimes be the default setting for me, so I need reminders that I’m actually not doing anyone any favours when I agree to take on more tasks than I can complete to a good standard. (I’m working on internalizing this moral, but in the meantime it helps to have an external source of reminders.) My latest work hack is “prioritizing my priorities”. I know it sounds obvious, but until I started thinking about it in those terms I wasn’t doing it. For example, this summer my priority is to finish a draft of my new book about love. Every morning, I spend my first working hour on the book. It’s very rare that I have a day in which I can’t spare one hour for writing. But until I thought about it in these terms, I was just trying to “fit it in” when I could, which invariably meant that I’d try to get everything else out of the way first. But there’s a never-ending stream of everything else! That approach wasn’t working. As soon as I started putting my priority first in this very literal sense, I started making progress on it at a much faster rate. It’s also meant that I can spend the rest of the day on other things without feeling constantly frustrated about the progress I’m not making on the book.
In your role as faculty, please describe your experience balancing work-life commitments? Is there a metaphor that depicts this relationship?
I guess it’s a work in progress, although I’m not sure what would count as being finished. The UBC campus would be a good metaphor.
Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Philosophy at UBC. She is one of the three principal editors of Thought: A Journal Of Philosophy, winner of the 2015 PROSE award for Best New Social Sciences and Humanities Journal. Carrie did her BA, MPhil, and PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge, and since then has worked at Universities in the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada. Her latest research is on the nature of romantic love. Her book What Love Is And What It Could Be is scheduled to appear in 2016 with Basic Books. Carrie is a member of the Philosophy rock group The 21st Century Monads; you can listen to their music at: http://the21stcenturymonads.net. Find out more about Carrie’s work at http://www.carriejenkins.net or follow her on Twitter: @carriejenkins.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Mental Health, Physical Health, Thriving Faculty, Uncategorized | Tagged Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins, education, love, sexual health, Thriving faculty, UBC Philosophy | Leave a response
By Colin Hearne on June 3, 2015
UBC’s Health, Wellbeing and Benefits team has a great line up of FREE activities and events coming up in June. Sign up today for topics including a 3-Part Summer Career Series, Eldercare 101, Ergo Your Office training, Learn to Meditate, UBC Benefits information, breast cancer risk assessments and more!
Take this opportunity to meet our new EFAP provider, Shepell, and learn about how to access the new range of services for UBC staff and their enrolled dependents. Find out about:
- New ways to access counselling services
- New Naturopathic, Elder care and Legal Advisory services
- The extensive new Family Support programming available to you.
Shepell will also be available to answer any questions you may have. For more information, or to register, click here.
UBC Ergonomics strives to have an Office Ergonomics Representative for each department. We provide the training (one three-hour session) and material required for reps to promote, educate and ensure musculoskeletal health for employees in their departments. Office Ergo Reps are trained by UBC Ergonomics Advisor Abigail Overduin in simple computer workstation set-up, how to notice signs and symptoms of injuries from poor ergonomic set-up, and to control strategies to reduce or prevent symptoms. For more information, or to register, click here.
Join UBC’s Career Navigation & Transition Consultant Pooja Khandelwal in this three-part series to help UBC employees navigate possible career opportunities and create a personalized career development plan. These sessions will provide you with access to thought-provoking questions, links to resources, tools, and web sites within UBC that may support you in your career planning process. For more information click here
Join Breast Cancer Prevention Lifestyle Counselor Bonnie McCoy in this Breast Cancer Prevention & Risk Assessment session with information about how to modify and decrease breast cancer risk via lifestyle changes. For more information, or to register, click here.
Join UBC Ergonomics Advisor Abigail Overduin in this one-hour tutorial combining a presentation and a practical session giving you the skills to optimize your office environment to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury. For more information, or to register, click here
Whether caring for aging parents in the home, or managing elder care plans from a distance, most of us don’t know where to go for reliable answers. Join Home-to Home, seniors advisory and assistance business based in Vancouver, in this one-hour session to learn how to develop an elder care roadmap to plan for your parents’ housing and care needs as they age, and much more. For more information, or to register, click here.
The summer is nearly here and lots of us and getting ready for vacations both at home and abroad. A medical emergency while travelling can be a frightening and costly experience. Join UBC Benefits Analyst Stephanie Mah in this one-hour session on Understanding your Sun Life Travel benefits and ensure that your well-earned break is as stress free as possible. This session will also include a Q & A, so feel free to come with questions. For more information or to register, click here.
This four-session series is designed for both beginners and experienced practitioners of mindfulness meditation. It will introduce participants to the basic concepts of meditation and mindfulness techniques and is specifically tuned to the working environment. Sessions will include instruction, discussion, guided meditation and visualization in a non-religious context. Participants will be provided with handouts, homework practice, and follow up emails and access to downloadable recordings. Cost: $35, payable by cash, JV to KPGK, or by cheque to UBC Human Resources. Payment must be received before registration is confirmed. Click here for more information.
Posted in Colin Hearne, Ergonomics, Events, Healthy UBC Initiatives, Mental Health, Physical Health, Spot Light | Tagged awareness, Benefits, breast cancer, career navigation, education, Eldercare, Ergonomics, meditate, Meditation, prevention, travel, UBC | Leave a response