Tag: wellness

Book Review: The Cure For Everything by Timothy Caulfield

Building on District Priority #4 (Promote health and wellness for all students and staff) and our Ward F&H gathering (Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities) I had a chance to sit down with Timothy Caulfield, a local Ward F resident, parent, lawyer, academic, and author of the book “The Cure for Everything” (available online or at your local bookstore: http://www.penguin.ca/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780670065233,00.html)
Tim has seemingly boundless energy and gets to do some really neat work on everything from yoga to genetics. I read his book recently and I quite enjoyed it. Unlike other diet books, TCFE is a narrative journey through a personal health and wellness journey with a collection of funny anecdotes, scientific findings, and interesting recommendations.
It’s not a gimmicky “lose weight through X-fad” book, but rather an important reflection on what it means to be healthy and an analysis of some of the misinformation and myths that sabotage good intentions. Without giving out too many spoilers, Caulfield has some surprising findings on the most effective exercises, tough diet advice, and challenges yoga, genetic testing, and various other wellness trends. It’s done so in a fun and accessible and the book made for a short read.
The book is targeted at an adult audience but many of the lessons are important for children and families. I wish I had read this book when I was in high school, especially the bits about the best exercise. Topics range from stories about the psychology of eating, how we make decisions, and how vulnerable we are to placebos and marketing manipulation.
Tim and I talked about the importance of wellness education in our schools.
One of the important points Tim raises in the book is we as a society need to recalibrate our relationships with eating. Many of us are overeating and have no conception of how many calories are in many of our portions, and the madison avenue forces of advertising and marketing have very effectively upsold more eating and more portion sizes to us. Do children know where food comes from? Are they exposed to what proper portions are? And can they share these lessons with their family?
His book reinforces the need for daily physical activity for our students and the importance of playing hard– vigorous exercise is where the most effective gains are.
Check out the book and the video above. I’d be interested to know your thoughts so please comment below!

To see all posts related to health click www.michaeljanz.ca/health

Ward Gathering #4: You are Invited! Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities November 3rd

Ward Gathering #4: You are Invited! Please RSVP michael@michaeljanz.ca

Further information on Walk to School Week October 3-7th

This post contains information sent to me from SHAPE- Safe, Healthy, Active, People Everywhere! Happy Walking!

International Walk to School Week

Every year over 40 countries participate in walk to school events during International Walk to School Week (October 3 – 7, 2011).    SHAPE provides ideas, posters and participant stickers for participating schools.

The majority of adults surveyed walked to school.   They don’t always remember the details but do remember the fun, adventure and companionship they felt.  They walked with siblings, neighbors and often stopped to pick up friends along the way.

Today in Alberta over 50% of students are driven to school.  Parents drive them for convenience, unsafe drivers and traffic concerns.  The result is traffic congestion in and around schools, unsafe crossings and students getting less physical activity.

Parents said they would let their children walk/cycle to school if there were safer/improved routes, reduced traffic dangers and they were not alone.  This is where SHAPE can assist schools with School Travel Planning, Event Days, Walking School Busses or Walking Buddies.

For more info visit us online at www.shapeab.com

“Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities.” ‘NSTEP, and student health in the summer media

Do you know how many sugar cubes are in one “Big Gulp?”    Answer at the end of the post.

Did you hear about this kid? CJ is a 10 year old fitness guru.

Healthy schools, healthy communities…

When I think back to high school, I know I was in the best shape of my life, and I know the school environment played a significant role in reinforcing healthy living and healthy eating.

I’m pleased to say that wellness is one of our five district priorities #4: promote health and wellness for all students and staff.

Health and Wellness is a topic I hope to be writing more about over the next few months, especially as the subject of my next Ward Gathering will he “Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities.” (The last Ward Gathering was on attracting more families to our neighbourhoods. Click here to read the summary.)

Details are unfolding but this event will likely be in the south portion of our ward in November, and will be a joint gathering with Trustee Ripley who represents the neighbourhoods south of us. With so many events going on in the city, we want to make these gatherings as effective and efficient for all of our community and school leaders!

‘NSTEP: Nutrition, Students, Teachers Exercising with Parents

A few weeks ago I had the chance to take in a joint presentation to Alberta Health, Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Catholic Schools representatives from the N’STEP program. ‘NSTEP and other programs like it are simple, practical, and can not just improve the lives of students, but can also help bring healthy living home for the whole family!

To learn more about ‘Nstep, check out this video and their website:

Healthy Schools in the Media:

Considerable discussion has been happening in the letters section of the journal about childhood obesity.

Nationally, the student health issue has been attracting some concern and is seen by many as a proactive investment to keep our health care costs down.

Ontario report examines new and better ways to improve health care system while ensuring accessibility and affordability; urges government to expand or introduce mandatory nutrition and physical education programs for students in grades 1 to 12.

Also in the Globe & Mail:  Why aren’t our kids out playing?


Locally, check out these letters for two different points of view about the role of the school in the wellness of our community:



Got feedback? Please leave a comment below!

What do you think about the importance of health and wellness in our school system?

What partnerships do you think should be emphasized between Alberta Health Services and our school system?

How can our communities do more to support health and wellness?

What can we do to reclaim our public spaces and encourage citizens of all ages to just get out there and play?

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Oh and that Big Gulp? 53. 53 Cubes of Sugar. The good folks at  ‘Nstep taught me that. Yikes.