It's National Nutrition Month and throughout March the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) will be inviting people to join our Food is Medicine challenge, a wellness initiative aimed at nourishing our minds, bodies and spirits.
This year, the FNHA is partnering with the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC), an organization that leads a variety of wellness activities and initiatives supporting Indigenous people's wholistic well-being.
Rachel and Fiona
The Food is Medicine Cooking Show is a four episode YouTube series featuring registered dietitians Rachel Dickens and Fiona Devereaux as hosts. Rachel is originally from Prince Rupert, from the Lax Kw'alaams band, and Fiona is a white settler of Irish ancestry. Both have extensive backgrounds working with Indigenous communities and are passionate about nurturing our bodies through mindful nutrition and connection to land, water and each other. In each episode, Rachel and Fiona explore recipes that are accessible and nutritious while celebrating traditional foods. The four-part series travels from Ahousaht to W̱SÁNEĆ, with our hosts sharing their knowledge while also learning cultural and culinary teachings from community members and inviting guests to reflect on food.
Grab yourself a cup of tea or get ready in the kitchen to follow along with Fiona and Rachel as they take us on a cooking journey across Vancouver Island that celebrates the people and foods of this land and learn how food is medicine to our bodies, minds, and spirits. You can make all the meals seen in these videos by downloading this recipe book made in partnership with the FNHA and I-SPARC!
We want to Hear from You! We encourage you to join our Food is Medicine journey, lasting throughout the month of March, and get your friends, family, and co-workers to join in these reflections too! We will be sharing community Food is Medicine stories and sharing youth perspectives. Using the hashtags #FoodisMedicine, #isparc and #isparchealthyliving, share your Food is Medicine journey by posting nutrient packed meal photos, recipes, cooking adventures on Facebook, Instagram, or email us your story or recipe to Active@fnha.ca to be entered to win an Instant Pot, an air fryer or a cookbook!
Where to Watch
Episode 1: Food is Medicine: The Gift of Water (37 minutes, 6 seconds)
In episode one, The Gift of Water, Rachel and Fiona were welcomed to the beautiful community of Ahousaht where they shared simple and nutritious recipes using ingredients from the land and sea such as salmon, fresh greens and Kwakmis (herring roe). Join our hosts as they cook salmon cakes with a garlic and lemon aioli, as well as a special Kwakmis recipe from Rachel's mother.
Salmon Cakes; Photo Credit: Rachel Dickens
Episode 2: Food is Medicine: Camp Style Cooking (39 minutes, 49 seconds)
In episode two, Camp Style Cooking, our hosts give us a special twist on camp style cooking on the traditional territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. They walk us through how to cook a nutrient dense elk chili with a variety of vegetables, a quick stove top style cornbread and fruit crisp that you can make on your Coleman stove. The episode includes four community guests to share the meal and reflect on their connection to food as medicine.
Episode 3: Food is Medicine: Wild About Snacks (38 minutes, 14 seconds)
In episode three, Wild about Snacks, our hosts journey to Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ (Ucluelet First Nation) to share some snack food favourites with special guests. This episode features nettle pesto, smoked salmon dip and seaweed salmon rolls great for sharing and connecting with friends, family and community.
Nori Rolls; Photo Credit: Rachel Dickens
Episode 4: Food is Medicine: Protein Power Recipes (41 minutes, 16 seconds)
In episode four, Protein Power, our hosts journey to the Quw'utsun homelands to share their teachings on protein with two Métis youth – one past North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) athlete Jakob Edgar-Neufeld, and one aspiring NAIG athlete, Coleman Edgar-Neufeld. Join them as they explore the endless recipe possibilities of overnight oats and take fish and chips and roasted vegetables to the ultimate challenge - the air fryer vs. the oven baked method!
More I-SPARC initiatives