Katie McKilligan on Managing Diabetes

Diabetes Awareness

Katie McKilligan led a Nutrition Education Session on using food to manage diabetes for youth in the Eastside After School Program at the East Side Boxing Club.

With our Nutrition Education Sessions, Good Food aims to educate and empower youth to lead healthy lives and inspire others to create the same change.

Diabetes rates have spiked across Canada in the last 20 years, disproportionately affecting Indigenous people and low-income populations. Diabetes rates are 3 to 5 times higher among the Indigenous community compared to the rest of the population. Indigenous and low-income populations are most commonly affected by type 2 diabetes.

Youth at the Eastside After School Program have friends, family and community members with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Our goal with this session was to empower youth with information on how to manage diabetes.

Nutrition, Education, Involved youth, diabetes
Katie McKilligan at the Eastside Afterschool Program.

About Katie

Katie McKilligan grew up in Vancouver. Her passion for soccer started at a young age and led her to play for the University of Calgary. During this time Katie started experiencing symptoms including hormonal imbalances and energy crashes which affected her overall quality of life and ability to play soccer. Doctors failed to diagnose Katie for the first year she experienced symptoms. She was eventually diagnosed at age 22 with type 1 diabetes.

Katie has overcome many challenges with diabetes.Through these challenges she’s learned how to properly manage the disease for herself and still plays soccer. She’s inspired by helping others understand how to manage the disease for themselves. She’s driven to spread awareness amongst a variety of communities to broaden the overall understanding of the diabetes epidemic and its need for support.

Katie now works for Roche – a leading medical research company. She’s passionate about advocating for reliable access, knowledge and support for people suffering from diabetes.

Katie created a website that is dedicated to supporting Jamaican youth suffering from type 1 diabetes as well as advocating for awareness of the disease. Katie has committed to raise $63,000 over the course of three years for Life for a Child. Life for a Child is a program supporting the medical needs of children in developing countries living with diabetes.

Key Points

  • Diabetes is a terminal and metabolic disease.
  • Diabetes can affect people in different ways.
  • Ask the diabetics in your life, what symptoms they experience when they have low or high blood sugar. Understanding their symptoms helps you identify when they happen.
  • Living with diabetes means managing a chronic illness 24 hours a day. You must understand how much insulin you’ll need for everything you ingest, and consider the symptoms in everything you do.
  • Diabetics need more self-care in order to maintain their mental and physical health.
  • Diabetics need to administer, test and monitor insulin throughout the day. There are different methods of doing this and it depends on the individual’s needs for the most effective option.
  • Make yourself aware of foods that spike blood sugar levels.

Understanding Diabetes: The Basics

During Katie’s session, one of the youth asked a very important question:

‘How can we support members of our community who have diabetes?’

Katie said one of the biggest ways to support people with diabetes is by understanding it.

Nutrients and Absorption

In order to understand diabetes, we must first understand insulin and its relation to how food is processed in our body.

Image 1.

Nutrient Groups

Breaking down the different nutrient groups to a molecular level helps us understand how it affects our body. Youth in our programs have already been introduced to different nutrient groups from past sessions.Taking the next step to understanding how nutrients are  processed was a smooth transition.

We started by collectively identifying foods that belonged to each group. For instance, chicken is a healthy protein and avocados are a healthy source of fat. When it comes to carbohydrates quinoa, yams and brown rice were all shouted out. It’s important to understand carbohydrates contain three different molecules; sugars, starch and fiber. Most carbohydrates have all three however, contain different levels of each.

Nutrient Processing

The next steps to understanding nutrients is understanding how the body absorbs them. Image 1 represents how proteins, fats and carbs are absorbed and used for different bodily functions.


Protein molecules attach to enzyme molecules and are carried throughout the body for the purpose of muscle growth as well as providing the energy needed for bodily functions, especially healing injuries.


Fat cells attach to bile acids and transmit a long-term energy source to our brain and entire body.

Foods with high amounts of fat take longer to digest, resulting in your blood sugar progressively spiking at a slower pace.


Sugar and starches

Sugar and starch start off as different molecules, our bodies break them down before they can absorb them to use as an energy source. After our body breaks them down the end result for both molecules is sugar.

As the sugar we process enters our blood stream for energy and travels to every part of our body, our pancreas goes to work to produce insulin. Insulin is what naturally lowers are blood sugar in order to keep a healthy balance. High blood sugar causes damage to blood vessels, nerves, organs and vision. High blood sugar is a leading cause of heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and diabetes.

For more information about the magic of fibre check out Fibre Fundamentals.

Fibre is the other part of a carbohydrate. Our bodies don’t absorb fibre for bodily functions, but rather use fibre as a bodily function.

There’s two different types of fibre and they both help us out through the digestive process.

Soluble Fibre

When trying to understand soluble fibre, think about chia seeds.When it’s exposed to water in our intestines, it swells up like a chia seed and forms a gel.This gel maximizes the health benefits of food by slowing down nutrient absorption.

Insoluble Fibre

Insoluble fibre benefits the digestive process by helping digested food move through the intestines proficiently.

How Diabetes Affects Us

Diabetes is a disease that impairs the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin.

Insulin is used to process and manage the sugar in our bodies. Our bodies cannot function properly without it.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Food hangover (feeling groggy, tired and uneasy after a meal)
  • Physical and mental anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Rage blackouts
  • Unusual thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Tingling in the hands and feet


Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are both caused by issues with insulin.

Insulin Insensitivity

Insulin insensitivity happens when your cells become less or non-reactive to insulin.This makes your body less effective at processing sugars, resulting in high blood sugar, resulting in diabetes.

How it works

If your body has to produce and process an excessive amount of insulin to make up for excessive sugar intake, the cells eventually become desensitized to insulin’s effect on them, resulting in high blood sugar. When your body becomes desensitized, it needs more insulin than your pancreas can produce.

Exhausted pancreas

If your diet demands a large amount of insulin to break down the sugars, eventually your pancreas will get tired.

How it works

When your pancreas gets tired, it lowers or stops its ability to produce insulin. Which results in high blood sugar leading to diabetes. This issue is typically what type 2 diabetics experience.

Type 1 vs Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is more likely to stem from one’s diet and habits. Enough exercise, a healthy diet and managing stress levels are important factors when it comes to protecting yourself against it.

The reason why people get Type 1 diabetes is not clear but scientist, believe it stems from genetic and environmental factors such as viruses that trigger the effect.

Affects OF Diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetics have a 40% greater chance of developing clinical depression.
  • Food hangover.
  • Blindness.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Coma.
  • Limb amputation.
  • Physical and mental anxiety.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Rage blackouts.

Awareness and Advocacy

It’s important to note that although type 2 is affiliated with lifestyle choices, many people who suffer from it don’t have access to healthy food or activities, resulting in a lower quality of physical and mental health. We as a community must stop stigmatizing type 2 diabetics for being at fault for having a chronic disease. Advocating for justice when it comes to access and education of proper nutrition and physical activities is what will make the biggest impact.

Managing Diabetes


Managing diabetes is expensive. It can be extremely difficult for a large number of individuals and families living in Vancouver to maintain on a constant basis.

Vancouver General Hospital has youth programs aimed to educate youth around insulin maintenance.

The cost of managing diabetes on a daily basis is not the same for everyone. How much insulin needed and how many times one needs to test their blood sugar differs from person to person.

PharmCare supplies free insulin for BC citizens if they’re covered by the following programs

When it comes to the testing and monitoring process, resources are more limited. Pharmcare supplies needles and test strips and insulin pumps for the following plans.

There is no coverage available for nutritional food or physical activities.

 Impact On the Eastside After School Program.

Youth greatly appreciate having a more in-depth understanding of the disease and how to support their community.

Donate here to help grow our Nutrition Education and resources.

Donate here to help support youth with diabetes.

Your contribution creates a difference in their lives.

Youth Led Nutrition Education Session

====student becomes the masteR====

Good Food for All provides a variety of peer leadership opportunities for youth in our programs. Our leadership opportunities are designed to help youth develop responsibility, organizational skills, management skills, public speaking skills, and food skills, all while helping their community.

Smoothies with john

John Graham has been an active member of the Eastside Afterschool Program for the last two years. He’s the first youth to participate in one of our peer leadership opportunities. In 2017, John was Good Food’s Foodie of the Year, an award given out annually to a youth who excels in our nutrition education sessions and incorporates the lessons into their daily life.

John took initiative and offered to share his food skills with his peers by teaching a nutrition education session. He reaserched smoothie recipes, made a shopping list and presented his smoothies to the class using the magic bullet he was awarded as Foodie of the Year.

John demonstrated a variety of options using his favourite ingredients. He encouraged his peers to experiment and discover their own favourite smoothie recipe!

Johns smoothie Ingredients
  • Pineapple
  • Frozen berries
  • Coconut milk
  • Almond milk
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Hemp hearts
  • Bananas
Quote from john

“I was happy to share what Good Food for All taught me about nutrition with my friends. Good Food has helped me develop the skills I need to lead a happy and healthy life and I think everyone deserves that chance.”

– John Graham, 18

Good food for all and FOREVER
John and Gracie at the Eastside Afterschool Program Year End Party

Good Food is passionate about helping young leaders develop their food and professional skills. We aspire to inspire a creative mindset and provide a positive space for youth to develop their passions.

Donate to help fund our peer leadership opportunities.

Breakfast of Champions

=====================Morning routines=====================

Good Food shines a light on morning routines to youth in the Eastside Afterschool Program,  helping youth get a healthier start to their day.

Breakfast is key for achieving success in school, work and physical activity by improving brain function and energy levels. Practising a routine every morning teaches youth self discipline, improves confidence and most importantly nourishes them.

Our program’s youth

In the Eastside Afterschool Program,

  • 73% eat breakfast 3-5 times a week.
  • 20% of youth’s parents prepare breakfast for them.
  • 60% have the groceries needed to eat breakfast.
  • 20% rely on breakfast programs
  • 27% never eat breakfast.
Healthy breakfast foods

We frequently stock the food pantry which youth have unlimited access to.

We asked the youth what they like to eat for breakfast. They stated foods including recipes from previous nutrition sessions and options we frequently provide.

  • Smoothies with juice or almond milk
  • Granola bars
  • Yogurt+ granola
  • Chocolate chia pudding
  • Fruit
  • High fibre cereals
  • Whole wheat toast
  • Eggs + veggie omelet
  • Green tea or hot lemon water instead of coffee
  • Rice

Greene Tea, antioxidants

Greene tea is high in antioxidants, improves brain function and helps the metabolism. It also lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.






Hot lemon water provides high levels of vitamin C helping the immune system. Drinking it on an empty stomach improves digestion by stimulating the intestines. Also  stimulating the liver which helps to remove toxins from their body.

If you’re fighting off a sickness add some fresh ginger to give your immune system an extra kick.

Note: use a metal straw while drinking lemon water to avoid decalcification of the teeth.

Morning routine tips

We opened up the discussion to help youth achieve success in their goals.

  • Think about 5 things your grateful for. Focusing on gratitude sets your perspective to a positive one.
  • Practise meditaion and mindfulness instead of going on your phone first thing.(40% of our youth go on their phone first thing in the morning.)
  • Make your bed and start the day off with a sense of accomplishment.
  • Stretch or do yoga to naturally wake up your body and mind. Physical activity is a stronger stimulant than caffeine and decreases anxiety.
  • Run or bike to school.

The best morning routine is dependant on the individual. When you’ve found one that works for you make it a goal to practise it 2-3 times a week for starters.

Canada’s youth

An article by The Georgia Straight states that 20% of youth in Canada are at risk of going to school hungry. In the Indigenous community, 50% of youth go to school hungry every day. Educators hosted a study on the importance of breakfast and 95% of teachers stated that students who did not have breakfast engage less and perform worse in school.

Good food for All provides healthy breakfast options for the youth to make at home. Including vegan, gluten and dairy free options. Our snacks always include a take home item typically fruit, granola bars and yogurt.

Breakfast and snack programs supplied by Vancouver School Board and Breakfast Club of Canada  provide cereal, toast, begals, juice and occasionally fruit, pancakes and sandwiches. Youth noticed no vegan, gluten or dairy free options are provided at these programs except the occasional side of fruit.


Good food for all AND FOREVER

We’ve recognized the need of long term healthy eating habits for the youth in our programs. We strive to educate and reinforce the habits that will last them a lifetime.

Donate to help youth develop healthy habits.


Foodie Field Trip- Get to know your local groceries stores

==================nutrition adventures ===================

Good Food for All hits the streets of East Vancouver for a grocery store field trip!


Cheryl Chang guided a tour of East Vancouver food spots – including a produce market, butcher, vegan store and bakery – with peer coaches from East Side Boxing Club’s Afterschool Program. The tour familiarized youth with the healthy and affordable grocery stores and produce markets in  their community.

Over the past 3 years of Nutrition Education Sessions, youth  most frequently request sessions on developing food skills. This field trip taught youth the skills to plan, purchase, and prepare healthy meals sourced from stores in their neighbourhood. They had a blast at this hands on, cognitive and visual learning experience.


Noah is going into Grade 8 and always brings a positive and welcoming energy to Good Food’s Programs

” I liked learning about my community, produce and being with my friends. I learned the riper the fruit is, the heavier it is because there’s more juice!’

John is going into Grade 12 and has been regularly attending  the program for the last 2 years. He’s dedicated a large portion of his life to improving his health and is passionate about helping better his community. He’s also passionate about ensuring that everyone’s spirits are lifted by giving a good laugh.

“On the field trip I learned a variety of things. Some examples are taro is a type of potato that makes my favourite bubble tea flavour. I also learned to not buy the fish sitting on ice, but to ask for the fresher stuff! learning about the healthy food in my neighbourhood has prepared and inspired me to buy local groceries.”

Good Food is passionate about empowering and educating youth to make healthy decisions. We recognize preparing healthy meals at home is a much more affordable option then buying pre-made meals. Good Food seeks to decrease long term food insecurity by providing food skills training and creating  long lasting healthy eating habits.

Donate to help fund the young leaders healthy lifestyles.

School Lunch Meal Prep: Quinoa Salad

====School lunch survival guide====

With school starting up after a long hot summer, our latest food skills class targeted one of the hardest parts of school for many young local individuals: school lunch.

Many youth living in East Van face high levels of food insecurity. Between homework, projects, extra curricular activities and a part time job, planning and preparing a lunch every night is sometimes too much for many independent youth.

In the Eastside Afterschool Program:

  • 20% of youth rely on free school lunch programs
  • 35% regularly don’t have a lunch to eat
  • 40% make their own lunch every day
  • 5% of youth have a parent or guardian prepare their lunch for them

Gracie taught the youth a meal prep solution to their lunchtime needs: Quinoa Salad.

Meal Prep Class

Eating a balanced and sustainable meal midday improves student performance in afternoon classes. Eating a proper lunch reduces the energy crash youth often experience around 3pm.

Quinoa Salad is a game changer when it comes to school lunch meal prep. One big batch made on Sunday night will last until Friday. Prepping eliminates the need for making lunch every morning. It is also cost effective.

Quinoa salad, protein, health

Gracie’s quinoa salad


  • Prepare 1 cup of quinoa according to package instructions (add turmeric to water while cooking)
  • 1 pepper chopped
  • 1/4 onion diced
  • 1 can of corn or 1 cup frozen corn
  •  1-2  celery sticks diced
  • 1/2 broccoli head chopped
  • 1  carrot chopped
  • 1 can black beans or chickpeas
  •  1 cup steamed edamame beans
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar for preservation

Mix all ingredients in a large container. Store in fridge up to 5 days.


For the presentation, we used lighthouse Sesame Ginger dressing. A simple  balsamic and Greek dressing also pairs well. Gracie encouraged the youth to try making their own dressing if they had the time, otherwise store bought does the trick!


This salad is protein packed, thanks to quinoa, edamame beans, chickpeas and broccoli. Add more protein with a hard boiled egg, a couple pieces of cheese or half an avocado to ensure a balanced meal.

Adding in fresh spinach, micro greens, and grape tomatoes is extremely beneficial to your health and delicious!

Easy as 1,2,3!

Now you’re set! It’s best to prepare your lunch container the night before or morning of to keep all the ingredients fresh.

Every morning or night add the base, salad dressing, protein and greens in your lunch container and your lunch is done for school! It won’t take longer than 5 minutes.

Eastside food skills

The youth witnessed the salad being freshly made during the education session. After their workout, they enjoyed it as a protein-packed post workout meal.

We’re grateful we can help impact the nutritional needs of the youth in our programs, and we encourage they share the knowledge they learn with their peers at school.

We frequently provide non perishable food in our  food pantry such as canned corn, beans and quinoa.

Help us keep our food pantry stocked:

Donate to our Programs

Fibre Fundamentals

====Fun fibre friday ====

Our latest nutrition session was on one of the most important parts of a healthy diet: fibre.

Fibre facts
  •  Fibre is one of the three molecules that make up a carbohydrate, the other two being sugar and starch.
  • Our bodies don’t absorb fibre for bodily functions, but rather use fibre as a bodily function.
  • There’s two different types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Both aid in the digestive process.

Chia, fibre, health


Soluble Fibre 

When trying to understand soluble fibre, think about chia seeds. When fibre is exposed to water in our intestines it swells up like a chia seed and forms a gel. This gel improves nutrient absorption and keeps us fuller and fueled up for longer.


Insoluble Fibre 

Insoluble fibre benefits the digestive process by helping digested food move through the intestines proficiently by adding bulk to the fecal material.  Insoluble fibre helps healthy gut bacteria flourish. Healthy gut bacteria helps promote the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, especially sugar, dairy, and starch.

Reading Nutritional labels

Fibre is listed under the carbohydrate section of a nutrition label along with sugar.  Nutrition labels rarely say the amount of starch found in a product. To calculate the starch found in a product, deduct the amount of sugar and fibre from the total carbohydrates. The remainder will be the starch.

(total carbs-fibre) – sugar = starch

Fibre, digestive health,

Average Recommended daily fibre intake
  • 38 grams for men under 50
  • 30 grams for men over 50
  • 25 grams for women under 50
  • 21 grams for women over 50
  • 26 grams for female youths ages 9-13
  • 30 grams for male youth ages 9-13

*try attaining roughly 14 grams for every 1000 calories you eat.

It’s important to prioritize high levels of fibre in our diets to maintain healthy digestion resulting in a healthy body. Fibre helps lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar, which protects against heart disease and diabetes. Studies show fibre is a key factor of achieving weight loss.

East side Afterschool programs

Good Food for All is dedicated to providing wholesome, organic, minimally processed and raw foods to the youth programs we partner with. Here’s some examples of what we bring in for the youth to enjoy.

Hummus, fibre, health, body, energy

High fibre Snacks
High fibre Food pantry options
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • lentil soup
  • bean soup
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Protein powder


Recipe for fun


Good Food incorporates a hands on cognitive learning experience in our Nutrition Education Sessions. This helps to develop team building and leadership skills while building relationships amongst youth in the community.

In our latest session the youth were involved in a game, working together to brainstorm which foods have the highest percentage of fibre.  Keep reading to learn how to play.


  • 6 flash cards (per team)
  • 6 fibre packed foods (scroll for suggestions)
  • pen

-Foods we used-

  • Popcorn 14.5%
  • Almonds 12.5%
  • Chia Seeds 34.9%
  • Quinoa 28%
  • Broccoli 2.6%
  • Bananas  2.6%

*%=Percentage of Fibre


  1. Write down one food item per flash card, leave out the percentage of fibre.
  2. Split group up into 2-3 teams


Each team works together to list out all the foods from lowest percentage of fibre to highest. The team that gets the closest gets first pick of the food items supplied.

The youth had a great time working together and there was enough food for everyone who wanted to bring something home.

Donate to help fund our snack programs and nutrition education!

Your contribution will make a difference to many young people’s  quality of life.





Organic Produce: Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

====The ins and outs of organic produce ====

On  July 11th 2018 Beth Fisher (who also goes by Snack Mama) spoke to the East Side Afterschool Program.  She educated the youth about organic produce, including the fruits and vegetables the have the highest levels of pesticides.

The dirty dozen and the clean fifteen is a resource distributed by the Environmental Working Group to help the public choose which foods they should buy organic and when you can go non-organic.

Visit the EWG website for more information on leading a healthy lifestyle.

Top 5 most important foods to buy organic
  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
organic produce dirty dozen
This Photo contains a list of the produce that is most important to buy organic!

If you cannot afford to buy organic produce, please do not let this article stop you from eating the healthy foods listed above.  Instead, thoroughly wash and soak fruits and veggies before consuming them. This will help with removing some of the unhealthy chemicals.

Top 5 safest to eat non organic
  1. Corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pinneaple
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
Organic produce avocados clean 15
This is a list including the safest foods to to buy non organic!


Pesticides, while typically vilified in the media, do have an important role to play in our modern food system.

Pros of pesticide use
  • Pesticides act as insurance against insect  infestations, which can wipe out entire crops. Insuring a more reliable produce source.
  • Pesticides protect produce during travel, when the fruits and veggies we love are under threat against other insects that love them too.
  • Pesticides cost money, but overall make growing food more affordable for farmers, businesses, and consumers.
Cons of pesticide use
  • Genetic resistance: due to evolution, different varieties of insects and rodents are becoming immune to the common pesticides, which calls for harsher and more potent chemicals.
  • The chemicals found is pesticides are harmful to the human body
  • Certain varieties of pesticides contain carcinogens, which are cancer causing.
  • Pesticide use is hard to contain, as organic produce grown in the same area can be contaminated by the chemicals due to pesticides travelling through the air.

The Eastside Afterschool Program’s youth showed interest in understanding why organic food is healthier. Thanks to our donors the kids and young adults have the skills to make healthy and affordable produce shopping decisions and are keen on spreading the knowledge with their families!

Make A Donation to Good Food for All

Foodie Q&A: The Health Benefits of Tzatziki

Good Food for All member Grace Bell taught the Eastside After School Program’s youth a simple yet delicious traditional greek recipe: Tzatziki!

Goodfoodforall, nutrition education, Foods Q&A, tzatziki
She demonstrated how to prepare the dish while explaining the nutrition benefits of each ingredient.

Tzatziki, foodie Q&A, post workout, food sustainability

Click on picture for recipe inspiration

 Healthy tzatziki recipe
  • 2 cups Plain greek yogurt.
  • 2 cups grated Cucumber.
  • 2 cloves grated Garlic.
  • 1/2 cups finely chopped dill.
  • 1/3 cups lemon juice.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • 1/3 teaspoon pepper.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kirkland organic no salt seasoning **optional.
Instructions- easy as 1,2,3
  1.  Squeeze grated cucumber over sink to remove access water.
  2. Collect all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. stir until an even consistency is reached and serve!

**store in refrigerator


lemon healthy

Health benefits
  • Plain Greek yogurt is high in protein and low in sugar making it a perfect post workout snack option.
  • Cucumber has a high source of fibre which is one of the healthiest carbohydrates and helps to sustain energy throughout the day.
  • Dill  helps with digestion, depression as well as menstrual cramps!
  • Lemon juice which is high in Vitamin C as well as helps with digestion and weight loss.
  • Garlic helps boost your immune system, as well as protects against common brain diseases.
  • Salt contains important minerals for our body including potassium, iron, zinc and calcium that assist with fluid balance and muscle function, however some varieties are healthier options such as Himalayan and sea salt.
  • Pepper stimulates the stomach which then produces more stomach acid and helps with the digestion of proteins.
  • Olive Oil is a healthy fat and contains antioxidants which helps to sustain our bodies energy and performance throughout the day.
  • Kirkland Organic no salt seasoning contains onions and tomatoes which both contain Vitamin C and Potassium.
eastSide afterschool program

The Eastside Afterschool Program is dedicated to inspire youth at risk, primarily from the downtown Eastside to become passionate about their mental and physical health. Providing a safe space for youth to workout, feel connected and supported by adults, as well as their peers. Good Food for All insures a continuous supply of healthy snack options as well as nutrition education.  Good Food plays  a large role in creating a program youth can depend on, resulting in initiative for these youth to lead  healthy lifestyles.

Youth programs, downtown Eastside, healthy community

Donate to Good Food for All Programs

Boxer Jillian Brookes on Eating like an Athlete

====eat like a champ, box like a champ ====

On December 17th, 2017 Jillian Brookes spoke to the youth on how your diet affects your performance in the ring, and in overall life.

Jillian Brooke, healthy eating, active youth, boxing, fitness diet

Jillian Brooke is competitive boxer and a respected member of the EastSide Boxing community.  She’s participated in the Aprons For Gloves, a charity boxing match that supports the Eastside Boxing Club. She advocates for leading a healthy lifestyle and is passionate about helping others achieve this as well.

She started off by telling her own personal fitness story, explaining that when she began to eat a diet in relation to her goals, she could reach them faster and more effectively.

She explained how the changes in her diet made her training better, she could hit harder and move faster. Also reflecting on her mental health and how eating healthier gave her more motivation to lead a healthier lifestyle in every aspect of her life, including increased motivation to get to the gym! #eatlikeachampfeellikeachamp

Goals, success, progress, lifestyle

After the inspirational speech of self love, then followed some pro tips on meal ideas for before and after a workout.

Pre workout

1. Oatmeal with blueberries with a bit of yogurt/honey
2. Whole Wheat Toast with Sliced Banana + Peanut Butter
3. Sliced apples with almond butter
4. Sweet potato with steamed broccoli and a bit of olive oil
5. 1 cup of Brown rice or Quinoa

Post workout

1. Boiled egg or Tofu salad with greens, tomatoes and almonds
2. Chicken Breasts with grilled veggies
3. Veggie Omelet (can substitute tofu for eggs) with Avocado, Broccoli, carrots and mushrooms

4. Steamed Broccoli and Carrots with roasted chickpeas or mixed beans (Kidney beans or Black beans) with a couple slices of avocado and \mixed greens.
5. Tuna Sandwich with hummus and vegetables

The youth enjoyed being mentored by someone involved in their community!

Foodie Q&A: Food and Self-Care

How to incorporate food into your self-care routine

Food and Self-Care

At our last Foodie Q&A, we talked with youth about using food as a form of self-care. Youth are nearing the end of their school year, and many are under a great deal of academic stress. Our goal was to teach youth about the concept of self-care and how food can be a great tool to take care of your body and emotional well-being.

We began by reminding them that by simply showing up at the Eastside Boxing Club’s after school program, exercising, eating healthy snacks, taking home food in the pantry, and hanging out with their friends, they are already practicing self-care.

We illustrated ways food can be used for self-care by sharing some of our favourite self-care foods and when we use them:

Sparkling water in a cute can when we are feeling a bit down and need something fancier than regular water. Something about those adorable Perrier cans is an instant mood-booster, and lethargy or sleepyness is often linked to dehydration.  

If we haven’t slept well, we switch coffee for green tea in the morning. It has caffeine, but many other health benefits like antioxidents. In the evening, sleepytime tea and a bath can calm your mind and help you fall asleep easier.

If we need a night on the couch, popcorn and Netflix with a friend or family member. Not surprisingly, we did get called out for eating microwave popcorn and we were reminded that there is some bad stuff in it!

Finally, our all-time favourite comfort food, Annie’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Youth shared their favourite Mac ‘n’ Cheese toppers (hot dogs and broccoli).

As with all our Foodie Q&A’s, homework was to try out some of the self-care foods we brought in. We encouraged youth to listen to their bodies when choosing foods and to eat mindfully. Mostly they were just excited about the Perrier cans.

Support Nutrition Education for At-Risk Youth: Make a Donation