You could win an Instant Pot, air fryer, or cookbook!
A joint message from Richard Jock, FNHA Chief Executive Officer; and Dr. Nel Wieman, FNHA Acting Chief Medical Officer
March is National Nutrition Month, and at the FNHA that means it’s time for our annual Food is Medicine Wellness Challenge! During this month, we invite other First Nations people across BC to join us in sharing and learning about the many different foods we eat or harvest in our various communities, and encourage you to explore new possibilities. We also invite you to share your experiences with us at Wellness@fnha.ca or by tagging us on social media @FNHA.
This month, we will be sharing inspiring stories about First Nations people across BC who are enjoying the benefits of good health through nutrition. We’ll also be sharing information about resources and initiatives related to nutrition that were specifically developed for First Nations people in BC.
These initiatives focus on the traditional practice of harvesting and gathering foods, and include Elder/Knowledge Keeper-Youth programs where Elders teach Youth about traditional foods – including moose, deer, bison, wild birds (e.g., quail/grouse/ducks), and all kinds of fish/seafood, berries, vegetables, roots, and other plants. Elders also share information about the lands, waters, and territories. Getting out together on the land and waters provides the opportunity to connect with the land and nurture our spirits. In this way, harvesting food is important not only for nourishment and wellness, but it is a cultural and spiritual activity – a way to connect with each other, our languages, lands, forests, and waters.
With spring on the horizon, our days are getting longer and the weather is beginning to warm up. The animals are waking up from their winter hibernation and the birds are flying back from their months of basking in the sun. This is a good time for us to “stir ourselves” if we have been “hibernating” a bit during the cold months, and reflect on what changes, even small ones, we can make for our wholistic health and well-being as we enter a new season. Remember, consistently making incremental changes for our health over time can add up to big benefits!
Our health and wellness journeys are unique to each of us, so the changes we may want to make will be different. One person may want to cut down on their sugar intake, another may want to get more vegetables or protein in their diet. We encourage you to do the Food is Medicine Wellness Challenge with us, and take whatever steps you feel are appropriate for your own journey. Now is a great time to ask yourself what foods you would like to eat more – or less – often, and what foods would best nourish your body, mind, emotions, and spirit.
Invite your friends, family, co-workers and neighbours to participate alongside you!
Here are some things we can all do this month and beyond:
We hope this challenge gives you the opportunity to share about the foods and harvesting/cooking practices that support your wholistic well-being, to try new foods, to think about any changes you may want to make, and most of all, to enjoy spending time with your loved ones eating healthy meals!
Stay tuned this month and beyond for stories about traditional hunting, berry harvesting, food systems projects, and wonderful new recipes to try from our partners at the Indigenous Sport and Recreation Council (I-SPARC).
Again, please take a photo and share your Food is Medicine creation here, tag us on social media @FNHA and @ISPARC and use the hashtag #foodismedicinefnha – we want to hear from you!
Wishing everyone a mindful March full of Good Food/Good Medicine!
In wellness, Richard Jock and Dr. Nel Wieman