News

Fall 2021 Newsletter

The fall 2021 newsletter of the Small Steps for Big Changes program has now been released! Check out the newsletter here.

Read about the latest research on artificial sweeteners, learn about PhD student & health trainer Tineke’s fidelity research, and try a tasty new autumn-inspired dessert!

World Diabetes Day recap

DPRG team at Rowcliffe Park with SSBC tent and banner
Small Steps for Big Changes at UBC Okanagan hosted a series of events last week leading up to World Diabetes Day on Nov 14, 2021. Thank you to all who participated, watched, learned, & played with us last week!

We hosted the following free community events from Nov 8-14:

  • “Holiday Eating 101: Tips, Tricks, & Toasts” seminar at the public library
  • Try the Y at our local YMCA of Okanagan
  • YMCA@Home – virtual fitness classes
  • Zumba with guest instructor Kaleigh Hole online
  • Pickleball with guest instructor Carlos at Kelowna Family YMCA
  • Cooking class with guest instructor Kelsey Oudendag at Okanagan College
  • Finale event at Rowcliffe Park

Thank you to all of our generous sponsors who helped make these events possible, including:

  • Lululemon
  • Okanagan Bike & Ski
  • Telemark Nordic Club
  • Play Kelowna
  • Ron Mayne Massage Therapy
  • KeenFit Pole Walking
  • Funktional
  • Okanagan College
  • Central Okangan Food Bank

The support from our local organisations in Kelowna means the world to us!

Thank you as well to all of the people who volunteered their time and energy to make these events happen, including: Kelsey Oudendag (cooking class), Coach Carlos (pickleball), Kaleigh Hole (Zumba), and our AMAZING partners at the YMCA of Okanagan. We appreciate you all!

Dr. Mary Jung behind a UBC booth with a prize wheel

Dr. Mary Jung at Small Steps for Big Changes pickleball event during World Diabetes Day 2021

Chef Kelsey demonstrating portion plates at cooking class

Chef Kelsey Oudendag at Small Steps for Big Changes cooking class during World Diabetes Day 2021

Dr. Mary Jung presenting on self-compassion

Dr. Mary Jung at Small Steps for Big Changes seminar during World Diabetes Day 2021

World Diabetes Day 2021!

 

1 in 3 Canadians have diabetes – do you know your risk of developing type 2 diabetes? Are you tired of being inactive at home? Are you ready to improve your health? Want to try a new activity?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we invite you to take part in this years’ World Diabetes Day events sponsored by Small Steps for Big Changes at UBC Okanagan.

We’re hosting a week of FREE online and in-person events in Kelowna to promote healthy living. EVERYBODY is welcome! Attend a free cooking class, try pickleball, come listen to our expert speakers, dance Zumba, and more!

Also, did we mention there will be prizes?! We have some amazing swag and generous sponsors from local businesses… and a prize wheel!

Stop by Rowcliffe Park (on the corner of Rowcliffe Ave and Richter St.) on Sunday, November 14th between 11am – 3pm to spin the prize wheel and join in on our free beginner exercise classes.

Convinced yet? Here’s how you can participate:

  • Step 1: Pick up your ACTIVITY PUNCH CARD at one of our events or download here!
  • Step 2: Attend FREE events online and throughout the City of Kelowna from Nov 8-14
  • Step 3: Every event you attend gets a free spin on the PRIZE WHEEL on Nov 14!


We’re hosting the following activities online and in Kelowna from Nov 8-14:

Mon Nov 8: “Holiday eating 101: tips, tricks, and toasts!”

Help us kick off our week-long extravaganza with a special seminar on how to eat healthy during the holidays!

Where: Great Room (upstairs) at the Okanagan Public Library (1380 Ellis St) OR join us virtually on Zoom!

When: Mon, Nov 8, 5-6pm

Space is limited so make sure to register ASAP by emailing us at small.steps@ubc.ca!

 

Tues Nov 9: Try the Y!

Ever wanted to try aqua aerobics, group strength, yoga, cycling, and more? Sign-up for a 7-day FREE trial at your local YMCA and explore everything the Y has to offer!

First, sign up for “Try the Y”! Head to https://www.ymcaokanagan.ca/join/membership and click “try the Y” for your free 7-day pass – no credit card required!

Then, reserve your space for a class by calling your local YMCA! See full schedule of classes by clicking the following links:

 

Wed Nov 10: YMCA@Home

Did you know that you can attend a YMCA class without leaving the comfort of your own home? Complete this activity by checking out the FREE content on the YMCA@Home platform. Simply head to https://www.ymcahome.ca/fitness, choose a class, and work up a sweat without leaving your house!

Choose from a huge selection of on demand classes ranging from gentle fit to cardio – there’s something for everyone!

 

Thur Nov 11: Zumba

Dance like nobody’s watching! Join us on Thursday for a virtual Zumba class with special guest instructor Kaleigh Hole!

Where: From the comfort of your own home! Join here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87302465284

When: Thurs, Nov 11 at 4-5pm!

 

Fri Nov 12: Pickleball

Whether you’re a seasoned pickleball pro or never tried it before, you’re invited to this special event! Coach Carlos has a wealth of experience teaching pickleball at all levels. Guaranteed to be tons of fun!

Where: Kelowna Family YMCA pickleball courts (375 Hartman Rd)

When: Fri, Nov 12 at 1:30-2:30pm

Please register for this event at small.steps@ubc.ca (we have a max capacity of 16)!

 

Sat Nov 13: Cooking class

Yes, a cooking class!! Join us on Saturday in person or virtually to learn how to make delicious and healthy meals on a budget! We are so excited to work with Red Seal Chef & Culinary Arts Instructor at Okanagan College, Kelsey Oudendag, for this unique event. We are offering TWO classes on this date, but register fast because we have a capacity limit of 8 people per class! You will work alongside Chef Kelsey at your own separate and distanced cooking station. In addition to learning how to make healthy food that tastes great, you will also be getting to take home what you cook!

Special thanks to the Central Okanagan Food Bank for generously donating food ingredients for this class!

Where: Okanagan College kitchen (1000 KLO Rd) OR join us virtually on Zoom. Click here to join the 10am class & click here to join the 2pm class!

When: Sat Nov 13th. Choose between 10am-12:30pm or 2pm-4:30pm

Please register for this event at small.steps@ubc.ca (we have a max capacity of 8 per class)!

 

Sun Nov 14: Join us on World Diabetes Day Rowcliffe Park!

Ready for those prizes we promised? Join us for our World Diabetes Day finale on Sunday, November 14! Participate in a special Zumba class from your favourite YMCA coaches, learn about Keenfit and try pole walking, assess your diabetes risk, and spin the prize wheel.

Here’s a sampling of prizes that you could win!

  • Private mountain bike lesson from Okanagan Bike & Ski
  • Snowshoe rentals & day passes from Telemark
  • Goodie bag from Play Kelowna (includes travel mug, water bottle, socks, t-shirt and a Polar watch!)
  • Massage therapy session with Ron Mayne Massage Therapy
  • Walking poles from Keenfit
  • Gift cards to Kelowna Cycle
  • Goodie bag from Funktional
  • Portion plates
  • Small Steps for Big Changes swag
  • And more!

Thank you to all of our amazing local sponsors for generously donating to this event!

Please only plan to attend this event if you have been fully vaccinated against covid-19. We appreciate your help in keeping our communities safe and healthy.

Where: Rowcliffe Park (536 Rowcliffe Ave)

When: Sun, Nov 14, 11am – 3pm, rain or shine!!

 

We can’t wait to learn with you, exercise with you, and see you this Nov 8-14!

Summer 2021 Newsletter

The summer 2021 newsletter of the Small Steps for Big Changes program has now been released! Check out the newsletter here.

Inside, you’ll find an interview with alumni participant Sharilynn, tips for handling the summer heat, and a tasty new recipe

Spring 2021 Newsletter

 

The spring 2021 newsletter of the Small Steps for Big Changes program has now been released! Check out the newsletter here.

Inside, you’ll find a tasty new recipe, interview with alumni Lois, tips on mindful eating, AND a teaser of some BIG behind the scenes announcements. Don’t miss it!

YMCA Pilot Program Report

An SSBC coach works with a program participant who is using an elliptical machineThe SSBC team is proud today to present the findings from the Small Steps for Big Changes in the Community Pilot Program from 2019-2020.

SMALL STEPS FOR BIG CHANGES is a program designed to help individuals at risk of developing type two diabetes reduce their risk through diet and exercise modifications. The Small Steps for Big Changes program offers six, one-on-one diet and exercise counseling sessions over three weeks and a one-month follow-up appointment. This free program has been running for two years at the Kelowna Downtown YMCA since 2017 with coaches from the Diabetes Prevention Research Group (DPRG) running all sessions.

The goal of the pilot project was to transition Small Steps for Big Changes into a sustainable community program by creating a collaborative and mutually beneficial partnership between the DPRG research team at the University of British Columbia and YMCA of Okanagan staff and managerial team.

The key objectives of this pilot program were to:

  • Train YMCA frontline staff and fitness managers to be Small Steps for Big Changes coaches
  • Deliver Small Steps for Big Changes by YMCA staff at two YMCA sites
  • Assess the fidelity, effectiveness, facilitators and barriers of training YMCA staff to become Small Steps for Big Changes coaches, and delivering the program

Read the full pilot program report here.

NEW Small Steps Recipe Database!

Have you ever wished that all the Small Steps recipes we share are were in one central place? Have you ever thought to yourself, “I know they shared a smoothie recipe a while ago… but where do I find it?!”

Today, we’re pleased to share the new Small Steps for Big Changes Recipe Database! Our new recipe platform contains all the recipes we have shared in past In Stride newsletters, as well as from our virtual cooking demonstrations. As we share new recipes into the future, we’ll keep this platform up to date, so that you can always find our recipes whenever you need them!

You can find our Recipe Database along the main toolbar of the Small Steps website, or save the link directly and check back often!

Small Steps Recipe Database Screenshot

Click here to check out the Small Steps Recipe Database!

Winter 2021 Newsletter


The winter 2021 newsletter of the Small Steps for Big Changes program has now been released! Check out the newsletter here.

Fall 2020 newsletter

The fall 2020 newsletter of the Small Steps for Big Changes program has now been released! Check out the newsletter here.

Introducing the Small Steps for Big Changes World Diabetes Day CHALLENGES!

The Small Steps for Big Changes team is sad to announce today that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person November 14 World Diabetes Day event. We have been closely watching the recent covid-19 restrictions put in place last weekend in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser health regions, as well as the rising cases of covid-19 in the Interior area. For these reasons, we cannot in good conscience put ourselves or our challenge participants at risk of virus transmission, no matter how low the risk may be.

For those of you who have been participating in the SSBC World Diabetes Day Challenge – THANK YOU! Together, we can continue to reduce our risk of developing type 2 diabetes safely at home and in small groups.

Even though we cannot meet in person this week, WE STILL HAVE PRIZES!! To claim your #WorldDiabetesDay CHALLENGE prizes, please email us at small.steps@ubc.ca ASAP, and let us know which challenges you completed and your mailing address.

Please continue to engage with us virtually during these difficult times! We love seeing pictures of your walks and your #lowcarb cooking! As well, you can still find our online content right here, on the YHealth YMCA at Home platform, and on our social media platforms.

We look forward to joining you for bigger and better events during safer times in the future.

– The Small Steps for Big Changes Team


This month, Small Steps for Big Changes is launching a month of wellness challenges leading up to World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2020.

We have nine exciting challenges leading up to World Diabetes Day on Nov 14. A new challenge will be revealed every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!

Each challenge will be posted on our blog (right here!) and our social media platforms on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

To participate, complete each challenge leading up to November 14 at your own pace (extra bonus points and bragging rights for anyone who posts evidence of their challenge completion on social media with the haghtag #SmallStepsforBigChanges!)

There will be PRIZES for EVERY CHALLENGE you complete!

Here are your challenges:

CHALLENGE #1: Talk to your doctor about prediabetes! 

When was the last time that you talked with your doctor about your risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes? Has your risk level changed since you last talked to your doctor?

This challenge is a reminder to book that appointment you’ve been putting off and make sure you’re on track to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes!

To complete the challenge, book your appointment and talk to your doctor (and then tell us by November 14 how many and which of the challenges you completed!)

CHALLENGE #2: Bring a friend to a walking group!

Any walking group counts for this challenge, but the Small Steps for Big Changes alumni-run walking group is always looking for new members! The alumni-run walking group runs every weekend on a Saturday or Sunday. Walks are about an hour long followed with a hot cup of coffee! ☕ Location of the walks varies each weekend – find out more by checking out our awesome alumni-run Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/smallstepsubc) or emailing SSBC alumni Lois Hourston (lghourston@gmail.com).

To complete the challenge, bring a friend to a walking group (and then tell us by November 14 how many and which of the challenges you completed!)

CHALLENGE #3: Try a low-carb DPRG recipe!

Have you tried a Small Steps for Big Changes low-carb recipe? Find and try a recipe through one of the following sources:

To enter today’s CHALLENGE, pick out and cook a Small Steps for Big Changes low-carb recipe! (extra bonus points and bragging rights for anyone who posts evidence of their challenge completion on social media with the haghtag #SmallStepsforBigChanges!)

CHALLENGE #4: Watch a video from the YHealth YMCA at Home series!

Have you checked out the YHealth YMCA at Home series?! Today’s CHALLENGE is to watch one (or more!) videos in the series.

To complete this CHALLENGE, watch one or more videos from the YHealth Diabetes Prevention Series! Extra bonus points for anyone posts evidence of challenge completion on social media with the hashtag #SmallStepsforBigChanges. Then, tell us by November 14 how many and which of the challenges you completed!

CHALLENGE #5: Take a walk and post a picture of the evidence!

Staying active by taking a walk can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well increase your physical activity. To enter in this CHALLENGE take a picture during your walk and post on social media using the hashtag #SmallStepsforBigChanges. Then, tell us which CHALLENGES you completed by November 14th!

CHALLENGE #6: Attend a walking group hosted by the DPRG alumni!

To enter in this CHALLENGE, attend a #SmallStepsforBigChanges alumni-run walking group. Location of the walk varies each weekend – find out more by checking out our awesome alumni-run Facebook page or emailing SSBC alumni Lois Hourston. Walks are about an hour long followed with a hot cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shop.

CHALLENGE #7: Take the American Diabetes Association diabetes risk test!

To complete today’s CHALLENGE, take the 60-second Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test. Then, let us know by November 14 which CHALLENGES you completed!

CHALLENGE #8: Listen to a podcast on diabetes!

To complete this CHALLENGE, listen to at least one episode of the following podcasts:

Then, let us know by November 14 what episode you listened to and what you learned!

CHALLENGE #9: Watch a SSBC virtual cooking class!

To complete this challenge, watch one of our virtual cooking classes below:

Bonus points for anyone to shares their meal that they made from one of our recordings using the hashtag #SmallStepsforBigChanges!