Bluenet Log-in
UCC’s Community Portal

Nutrition committee’s health challenge has lasting impact

When Don Kawasoe says he’s experiencing a “warm glow,” it’s more than the College community’s affection as he prepares to retire this month. The head of the Prep and Upper School was just one of seven executive faculty members to participate in the nutrition committee’s four-day health challenge in May.

Kawasoe, like the students and other challenge recruits reported on his experience over the four-day juice-drinking experience. I’m not sure whether it was cayenne coursing through my capillaries or if it was a chemical reaction,” he said after drinking one particularly potent citrus and cayenne concoction.

“My hope for the outcome of the challenge is that community members feel compelled to change one thing, to pick up one good new habit and stick with it,” says committee head Joannah Lawson who co-organized the challenge with Joanna Colville-Reeves.

“Kudos to our students for challenging the executive,” says Lawson. (The efforts of student participants Ryan Sheehy, Johnny Li, Gabe Boucher, Clayton Jeffrey and Charlie Dunn can be watched in the video above. It was originally shown in assembly on June 19 to kick off the challenge.)

If David McBride, vice-president of enrolment and recruitment, is any example, the committee’s work is paying off.

“While I’m still not exercising nearly enough, I’ve given up coffee completely,” he says. “I used to drink four to five per day. The first two days of the challenge were tough and I am sure those who work with me would say I am even more irritable than before, but I feel good about cutting out the caffeine.”

Likewise, Mary Gauthier, executive director of the Wernham and West Centre for Learning, has made a permanent change.

“My goal was to limit myself to one coffee in the morning and then no coffee for the rest of the day,” she says. “I’ve switched to herbal tea and water. I feel great and am going to try to stick to this”

Also to be commended is Julia Kinnear, academic dean. She went without chocolate at the height of the IB2 exam season — rough stuff — although she’s admitted to feeling more virtuous.

Stay tuned for more food challenges to come this fall, including potentially a focus on reducing the amount of sugar we all unintentionally consume each day.