It's a Blue-tiful Life Part 4: Sign-off

Thank you berry much to everyone who read It’s A Blue-tiful Life!

This blog series was the first time I have been so public about my mental health. It was definitely intimidating and scary to put everything out there for anyone to read, but all of your support has given me the confidence to continue being vocal about my mental health. I hope I was able to inspire others just as you have inspired me.

This will be my last post for the series. On that note, I would love to know your thoughts about my blog series and Mental Wellness Mondays. I would really appreciate it if you could take a moment to give me some anonymous feedback about things you’ve enjoyed and taken away from my posts, here:

Again, thank you so matcha for all of your support and feedback! If you ever need someone to talk to, or just someone to listen, I am always here.

With love,

Taryn, VP Mental Wellness


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It's a Blue-tiful Life Part 3: Relaxation vs. Reality

I had a breakdown 10 minutes before I wrote this.

The irony of the situation though is that I’m supposed to be telling you about relaxation techniques and the benefits of each one. I’m still going to do that to a certain extent; however, I think addressing the reality of mental health would be more beneficial right now.

I’m just an ordinary Sauder student like you. I have classes, group projects, assignments, papers, and midterms just like you. Everything is piling up and it feels like there’s no end in sight. Then on top of that, there are other obligations and responsibilities you have to manage everyday, and it gets overwhelming to the point where even feeding yourself becomes a chore. People tell you to “take care of yourself,” and you have to try your hardest to not just roll your eyes and say, “Yea, I suppose.”

It’s hard. It’s really hard. But at the end of the day, I try time and time again to forgive myself because I’m not perfect and I never will be, and you deserve to give yourself the same peace of mind. That belief is why I’m writing this open letter to you.

You deserve peace of mind.

You deserve to treat yourself with care.

You deserve to forgive yourself and love yourself and celebrate yourself.

You deserve to have your voice heard and be told that it’s okay to feel what you do.

And I will not stop fighting until this happens.

Until then, I will share my tips and strategies for managing my mental health.


Right now I want to share something that one of my mentors told me today:

Find small but unique ways of integrating relaxation into your day. It could be as simple as practicing a breathing exercise on your walk to class and admiring the gorgeous campus around us. It could be putting your head down and closing your eyes for that brief time when you’re sitting in your seat before class starts to clear your mind. It could even be just having a good conversation with a close friend for a few minutes after class to give your mind a break from heavy mental processing.

The possibilities are endless. There is no “right way” for relaxation; what works for one person may not work for another. However, sometimes doing small things like those above are not enough.

If you’re really exhausted and burning out, give yourself the time to do something more. I find that, when I’m so drained that nothing productive is happening and nothing productive will be happening anytime soon, the best thing I can do is accept that nothing is happening and do an activity that I really enjoy – an activity that you would normally think of when someone says “relaxation activity”. Watch your favourite TV show. Eat some delicious food. Take a nap.

Let your body and mind heal.

One of my personal favourites is art. I love drawing, crafts, painting, building…you name it. Art it a fantastic way to help you process feelings that you can’t necessarily express immediately in words, and it gives you an outlet to vent until you can grasp those words.

Fortunately enough, HeWe is holding a paint night this Thursday. There will be yummy food, great company and a bunch of painting supplies to help you relax and de-stress from the term. I know I will definitely be there, and because of everything I just talked about, I hope that you give yourself the time to come as well.

If you have any questions about what I talked about, or just want to talk about life in general, please do not hesitate to message me. I am always more than happy to share my experiences and talk with others that are interested in mental health.

Peas have a soup-er rest of the day, and remember that you are ap-peach-ciated.

With love,

Taryn, VP Mental Wellness

TREAT YO SELF - Best Cafés to Relax and Study at

           Not sure about anyone else, but I always have the munchies when I study: candy, chocolates, and – on occasion – cake or any other type of pastry (along with a nice bowl of instant noodles if it’s late into the night). For now, I’ll hold back on mentioning cheap eats and snack foods and stick to freshly baked goods.

            I’m almost never alone when café-hopping, and I recommend going with a friend (mainly to order more food). My best friend in UBC’s LFS faculty always keeps up with the next trend or hole-in-the-wall shack to study or eat at. Now let’s get started on my favourite places to go!


1. Breka Bakery


           One of the best places to study is Breka – if you can find a seat that is. This 24/7 café offers a wide range of desserts and savoury treats to satisfy any and all appetites. For a refreshing bite to motivate you to study, the mango passionfruit mousse is a tiny cake that packs a nice punch. If you want a good post-studying treat, the filled donuts are inexpensive desserts that are delicious and a great way to spend under $2.00. I think your only dilemma when going to Breka is trying to choose which of their desserts you want to try. With three locations in Vancouver, you’ll know why people love to study or relax in this café.



2. Pappa Roti

    My absolute favourite place for coffee buns. Free wi-fi, a good number of tables, and delicious desserts and drinks? Count me in! I can’t deny how amazing “The Classic” coffee bun is: Nutella, banana, with a bun that’s crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. I can’t recall the hours I’ve spent studying here as it is also near numerous restaurants if you’re hungry and want a long break to eat. Pappa Roti is my go-to place in downtown if Breka (the location off Robson) is busy and it’s generally a quieter location as well.

 Credits to my friend, Jessie Kwan for the photo

Credits to my friend, Jessie Kwan for the photo


3.     49th Parallel Coffee Roasters and Lucky’s Doughnuts


To be honest, I went here for the first time last week (sorry that my only photo is actually from studying). I had heard about this place for the longest time, and what better excuse to go than to study for an exam! Between my friend and I, we bought two doughnuts: the original sourdoughnut and the cinnamon sugar old fashioned doughnut – both were fantastic. If you enjoy the yeast doughnuts from Cartems, the sourdoughnut is similar in texture and comes with a couple different glazes on top. Price-wise, the best deal would either be their coffee + doughnut combo or their tea of the day + doughnut combo. I had their cold brew iced tea which was a black tea that was naturally sweetened with stevia. As someone who doesn’t enjoy their teas super sweet, 49th Parallel’s cold brew iced tea is quite sweet when you first sip it, but it follows with a nice refreshing taste.


Sidenote: Waves Coffee (Lynn Valley location)

A perfect place in the quiet suburbs of North Vancouver; the Lynn Valley location has some of the comfiest chairs and sofas to relax on. The area is perfect as it’s close enough to Lynn Canyon if you ever need an outdoor break from studying – or an excuse to take a new Instagram photo! Though the location is far from UBC and is part of a chain, the Lynn Valley location is a place that is worth it to go study and relax at. Favourite drinks to try are any of their frappes, their matcha latte, or their Belgium hot chocolate. If this place is busy, Lynn Valley is home to Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, and Delaney’s within a couple minutes of each other.

How to Veggie-fy Your Life

   You’ve always wanted to go vegetarian, but something has been stopping you from doing it. Maybe you’ve been making excuses, not doing the research, or have concluded that it will be “too hard”. Luckily, you are in Vancouver: one of the most vegetarian-friendly cities in Canada! No more excuses - follow these simple steps to have a happier and healthier life!

My Journey

    I started out just like you, and finally decided to make a change in my life in September when I became vegetarian (and hopefully, vegan in the near future). I have learned that being vegetarian is a lifestyle: it isn’t merely a change in diet, but a part of who you are. It benefits both the body and the soul, making me feel happier, in better shape, and more fulfilled than ever. Many of you have asked me about how I managed the change, so here it is: my guide to going vegetarian and finally making that improvement to your life!


Step 1: Mindset

    First and foremost, to stick to your new lifestyle, it’s important to understand why you want to change it. Having a solid understanding of your reasoning helps to ground you and keep you on track. Think positive: don’t think of this as “losing” meat, but as making a positive impact on yourself and the world around you.

    Personally, I have 3 primary reasons for going vegetarian: health, animals, and the environment. I assume you’re reading this because you already have an interest in this lifestyle, so I won’t go into depth explaining. On top of this, vegetarian options will usually save you money too - more textbook dollars for you! To learn more and educate yourself, check out Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, Cowspiracy, Earthlings, The China Study, and follow inspiring vegetarians and vegans on YouTube/Instagram like @bonnyrebecca or @thrivingonplants.


Step 2: Community

    It’s important to have a group of people who support you: find your community to share common values & yummy vegetarian meals with! The vegetarian/vegan community is extremely supportive, and everybody I have met has always been very inspiring. You and a friend can become accountability buddies, and share recipes, news, and advice. Declaring your new lifestyle to others will make you less likely to stray from it, whether it be through social media or in person. If you haven’t met your community yet, check out the Canadian Vegetarians/Vegans Facebook Group as a good starting point:


Step 3: Nutrition

    In your first few days, you may find yourself feeling more hungry than usual. Not to worry! First, make sure to avoid carb-loading to deal with your hunger. Instead, load up on protein to make sure you’re still getting enough with vegetarian alternatives like tofu, tempeh, beans, and nuts.

    If I’m being completely honest, yes, you may get meat cravings! Luckily, when this happens to me, I can cook some vegan “meat” instead. These are healthy alternatives to meat, often made using soy, usually found in the freezer aisle of the grocery store, and are absolutely delicious. One of my favourite brands is Gardein: you won’t even know it’s not real meat!


    Congratulations: you’re now ready to go out into the world as a vegetarian!














It's a Blue-tiful Life Part 2: How to Survive New Year's Resolutions

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New Year’s is a magical time filled with hope, and people all over the world coming together to celebrate. A lot of people use this time to inspire themselves to make improvements to their lives, and reach goals that they’ve always wanted to achieve with New Year’s resolutions. However, I believe that the power of New Year’s resolutions can also be the downfall of our goals. In this post, I will highlight what I believe are the common problems with New Year’s resolutions, and some tips to help you achieve those goals that you set your sights on.

Problems & Tips

1)   Too much for no good reason

People get caught up in the energy and trends of the New Year, and create resolutions that don’t make sense for their current living conditions. Because of this, it is extremely easy for people to get frustrated that things are not going the way they planned. For instance, if you want to do a “New Year, new you” makeover, the operation may not get off the ground if you’re already struggling to make ends meet.

·      TIP #1: Choose resolutions that make sense for your life.

A resolution should be something that will benefit YOU. You don’t have to follow trends – change your diet, start a specific workout regiment, change you hair or wardrobe – if it’s not true to you. Also, you don’t have to force the change if the timing isn’t right; problems happen and it’s okay to wait until you can give the resolution your 100% effort.


2)   Too much all at once

A lot of people get really excited about the New Year, and create a huge laundry list of things that they’re going to change. While it’s definitely good to have goals, you actually lower your chances of succeeding in any of those goals by trying to change so much at once. Think of it like multitasking. When you’re trying to take on so many new things at once, it can be extremely stressful. (Science Behind Multitasking:

·      TIP #2: Try one resolution at a time.

As mentioned above, multitasking can severely impact our resolution success. By taking our resolutions one at a time, we can delegate the necessary focus to fully carry out that resolution, and not worry about forgetting all of the other changes we were planning.


3)   Too much, too fast

If the change you’re trying to make is on the scale of switching your whole diet or workout schedule to “be healthy” – while it may seem simple to accomplish in theory – it can take much longer to adjust than anticipated. It takes humans at least 21 days to create even a small habit like drinking a glass of water with breakfast. () From this, it is easy to see how all of these huge life changes would crash and burn rather quickly, especially when happening all at once. (Evidence About Habits:

·      TIP #3: Start small, then work up to bigger resolutions.

Like I said previously, it takes a long time to even make a small change in our lifestyles. Because of this, it is really easy to give up when it feels like thing’s aren’t sticking. By starting small, you have a better chance of seeing positive results faster, giving you the confidence to tackle bigger and bigger resolutions.


4)   “Oops, I forgot" or “Ugh, maybe tomorrow”

We lead very busy lives, so it is easy to forget things that aren’t in our normal routine, or give up because we’re just too tired to “put in the effort”. With so many other stresses and things to remember in our lives, a lot of things can be lost in the chaos.

·      TIP #4: Write down your resolutions and/or have someone keep you accountable.

Sometimes all we need is a little help from our friends. Find a resolution buddy to help you reach your new goal, or try writing out your resolution with a plan and timeline to help you break down the challenge.


5)   “Nothing’s happening!”

One of the most common problems is giving up before you see results. We seem to think that our new workout plan isn’t working because we haven’t lost 20 pounds in a week. However, just because results aren’t visible, it doesn’t mean that things aren’t working under the surface.

·      TIP #5: Give yourself time to see results.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is good health. Instead of throwing in the towel, find a way to track progress to give yourself hope that you aren’t stuck. You might not see very much change right away, but you will definitely see progress in the long run.


6)   Failure

Once we label ourselves as a “failure”, it can be almost impossible to continue trying to reach our goals. The common issue is that once we believe we failed at a resolution, we think our chance is over. Additionally, it feels like if we don’t finish our resolution by the first few weeks of January, our chance is also over. This leads to even worse mental health, and beliefs that we are a failure of a human being.

·      TIP #6: You are not your resolutions, and YOU CAN TRY AGAIN!

Resolutions are meant to be inspirational goals for you to reach. There is no rule saying that you only get one chance to reach your goal or complete your resolution. If you do not reach them in the time you wanted, maybe the timeline wasn’t appropriate or life just got in the way. You have the WHOLE YEAR to reach that goal, and even if you don’t get it by the end of the year, you also have next year. As long as you are alive, you can get up and try again.

Tip Summary

1)   Choose resolutions that benefit you

2)   Try one at a time

3)   Start small and work your way up

4)   Write resolutions down and/or have someone keep you accountable

5)   Give yourself time to see results

6)   You can try again even if you “fail”

Closing & Personal Note

I personally do not believe in doing resolutions because I subscribe to the idea that if you want to make a change in your life desperately enough then you have the power to do it at any time during the year. However, I still appreciate what the meaning of New Year’s does for others. I wanted to do a post about resolutions because I have seen so much hurt come out of the excitement, especially around the point of failure that I discussed. I hope you find these tips reassuring, if not helpful. If you have any questions or want to chat more about New Year’s resolutions, feel free to contact me through the HeWe Facebook page.

On another note, I would really appreciate some input on these blog posts. If you read them, please let me know your thoughts about them and how I might be able to make them better. I'm also always looking for more blog post topics, and I would love to write about things that people want to read.

Best of luck with tackling your resolutions!

- Taryn, VP Mental Wellness

Camino Hot Chocolate

For me, hot cocoa is synonymous with the holidays. When I think of Hot Cocoa, I think of sitting in front of the fire with my hot cup of cocoa in one hand and a good book in the other hand (at the end of the semester, anything that isn’t a textbook is a good book to me).

Or going out with friends, Christmas music playing in the far distance (preferably Michael Buble’s Christmas album as it it’s the best Christmas album ever made), and catching up over a cup of cup of hot cocoa.

The great thing about Camino Hot Cocoa is that their hot coca powder is vegan friendly. So whatever dietary restrictions you have, you can still enjoy it. Not to mention that their hot cocoa is fair trade and organic. They are part of the locally source movement that supports equitable trade in order to foster a local and sustainable movement.  At Hewe, hot cocoa that both does good and tastes good is our kind of drink!!

Longing for some hot cocoa? Haven't opened up your package of Camino hot cocoa yet? Well if you were one of the lucky first one hundred people in line to receive a care package with the package of camino hot cocoa then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Personally I love pairing hot cocoa with almond butter (before you judge me for doing this, I swear its not a crime to hot cocoa and it actually tastes amazing).

If you weren't one of the first one hundred people or if you did receive some and still want more, it's really simple to get some more, just go to their website to find a store nearest you (camino hot cocoa is sold at stores such as Safeway, Save-on-foods and more)!!

Not to mention, what's more Canadian than Maple Hot Cocoa? EH


Thrive Week Mo-mint Round-Up!

Hey Sauder!

Even though Thrive Week was back near the beginning of November, the HeWe Team would like to highlight some of the best mo-mints from the week and share the experiences of some fellow students!

What is Thrive?

Thrive is a mindset and a week-long series of events focused on building positive mental health for everyone at UBC. -

Where can I learn more about Thrive?

Head over to the Wellness Centre in Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Room 183, visit their website at, or explore posts from the latest Thrive Week using the #LetsThriveUBC hashtag on social media to learn more.

Events on campus:

  • thrive information booth @ Lee Square (outside of the bookstore)
  • pop-up Wellness Centre lounge @ Brock Hall
  • movie screening & chill night @ Seedlings Café
  • meditation & yoga @ CIRS
  • get moving events @ the SRC

Thrive themes!

Photos taken from the Thrive UBC Facebook event page.


Quotes from Sauder students. Congratulations on winning Thrive stress balls! Message the HeWe Facebook page to claim your stress ball.

Sauder Involved

On Thursday, November 2nd, the Undergraduate Office (UGO) and the Commerce Engagement Ambassadors (CEAs) partnered with Thrive UBC to bring Sauder students Wellness On The Go!

Wellness On The Go provided hungry Sauder students with a healthy, portable snack, and mental wellness resources to help them manage midterm stress. Students happily filled their shiny new mason jars with yogurt parfaits, veggies, mixed oats, and more! Once they had filled their jars and to the brim and read over the wellness resources, students shared what they were thankful for on a community board, highlighting all of the small things that bring light to our ever-busy lives.

Overall, Wellness On The Go brought positivi-tea and sunshine to Sauder on what would be a normally wet and cold Vancouver day.

HeWe approves!

- The HeWe Team

Message From VP Mental Wellness:

Thank you so much to everyone that participated in Thrive Week and the social media contests! It is incredibly important for us to look after our mental health, and awareness events like Thrive are helping us making huge steps toward breaking the stigma surrounding mental health.

That being said, just because Thrive Week is over (for now), that doesn't mean we should stop Thriving! I encourage you to take the practices and activities you learned about or tried during Thrive Week and incorporate them into your daily life. For example, if you tried yoga for the first time, see if you can keep it up! Or, if you practiced meditation or reflection exercises, try to do these activities once per week to keep the good habits rolling.

Mental health awareness is an on-going battle, so our fight against the stigma and the fight for better mental wellness for all should continue on as well!

Peas have a wonderful rest of your term, and I wish you all the best during finals!

- Taryn, VP Mental Wellness

Mental Wellness Mondays: It's a Blue-tiful Life


Hi everyone,

This is Taryn, your VP “Blueberry” Mental Wellness here. As you may have heard already, one of the parts of my Mental Wellness Mondays project is a blog post. What is special about the blog posts though is it’s a more personal look into the world of mental health. While it is great to hear up lifting messages and see what others are doing in the community to help break the stigma surrounding mental health, sometimes it’s also helpful to hear the stories of others. This is why I’ve decided to open up a little more and share my story, as well as my day-to-day struggles with my own mental health. Along with some coping tools and insights I’ve gained over the years, I hope I can give you all a sense of solace that you are not alone, and that there indeed is a brighter future ahead.

If you have read this far, thank you very much for your support, and peas enjoy the first instalment of It’s A Blue-tiful Life.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


I’m exhausted.

It’s only been 3 weeks since the start of school and I already feel the burnout sinking into my bones.

My calendar is stuffed like Thanksgiving turkey with classes, events, meetings, deadlines and other commitments to the point where I don’t even have a choice in where I go during the day.

My mind never sleeps, even when I close my eyes to dream; I’m reading textbooks and taking tests until the sun comes up.

Then when I try to enjoy some time with family or friends, I’m suddenly stung in the heart with panic because I could be working.


I’m stressed.

But I’m not letting it stop me.

I make sure I get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, because I know that, without rest, my body won’t be well enough equipped to deal with the challenges of tomorrow.

I schedule dates into a calendar and write exhaustive check lists of all of the things I have to do so I can manage my time accordingly, and make sure I don’t forget anything important.

I spend as much time on my work as I can, but when the hours start stacking up and I feel myself nodding off, I know that it is time to move on because I did the best I could.

And when anxiety strikes, I breathe. I ask myself “Can I do anything about it in the current moment?” If the answer is no, I breathe…and I come back to the present moment and feel the tension slowly release.

But if the answer is yes, I just get up, and do my best.

As long as I do my best, there is nothing more I can ask for. 

Before anyone asks, yes I am alright! I am managing and methodically getting through the week; this post was mainly to highlight some of my tools I use to address my common symptoms. If anyone has any questions, or wants to chat about anything I've talked about, feel free to send me a message on Facebook, email or wherever! Even though this blog series started as a way for me to reach out and share my experiences, I am always looking for more ways to make it more engaging and meaningful. I am soup-er excited to see where this goes, so I would be berry grapeful if you would join me for the ride.

Much love,





I know what you're thinking! Where did summer go?? We were thinking the same thing! But fret not because HEWE has been working on some KALER things for the coming school year. Here's some of what you can expect from us!

  1. "DONUT FORGET TO BRING YOUR CONTAINER" reminders for all of the HEWE EATS
  2. More fruit puns (I know that you didn't think that was possible but at HEWE we're all about making the impossible POSSIBLE)
  3. Lots of surprises!
  4. TO MEET THE NEW LEMONS NEXT WEEK!! Starting next monday on our facebook page you will be getting to meet a new LEMON on the daily #blessed
  5. Additional surprises!

Enjoy the last couple of weeks of summer SAUDER and we'll be seeing you soon :) 




Let's be real here.

Being a student at UBC can be tough.


For many of us, food is a source of comfort and a symbol of happiness. Both of us live on campus, and we hate to admit, but sometimes we need a break from cafeteria food (No offence).


We went on a quest to search for delicious, quick, comforting, AND healthy local food in Vancouver, which is how we discovered Tractor Foods. With their mission of providing ‘Everyday Healthy Foods’, we knew we had to try it out.

Walking into the restaurant, we were instantly welcomed by the colourful array of salads on display. The layout of Tractor Foods reminded us of a cafeteria, so it was very welcoming, simple, and easy to follow.


Tractor has a great ‘a la carte’ system that allows you to pick and choose different items from their menu, and combine them to create your customized meal. If you come in the morning, they have a completely different breakfast menu (available at their Downtown and Robson Street locations).


There were at least 10 different salads to choose from, and each unique salad is priced at only $3.50 per serving, making us struggle to make our choice.  After letting a couple regulars pass us in line, we finally walked up to the counter to make our order.


Our Choices for the Night!


  • Mushroom Ditalini-$3.50

    • Wild mushrooms, ditalini pasta, truffled ricotta cheese, fresh herbs, white balsamic dressing

  • Quinoa, Kale, Berries-$3.50

    • Organic red and white quinoa, kale, roasted squash, blueberries, fresh basil

  • Albacore tuna steak with lemon-$9 for 4 oz

  • Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup-$6

  • Housemade Lemonade-$3


Being a self-serve style, we ordered and paid for our food at the counter. After getting our waters and utensils from the side bar we grabbed our seats.


In no time, dinner was served! The salads were crafted with such thoughtful combination of textures and flavours. The truffled ricotta cheese added a heavenly creaminess and a punch of flavour to the Mushroom Ditalini. The white balsamic vinegar cut through the creaminess to lift the flavours even more.


The Quinoa Kale and Berries is a staple salad that you must try. The varying texture and chew from the quinoa, the creaminess of the squash paired with the sweet berries, and aroma of the basil, need I say more. We paired our salads with the seared tuna and the hearty lentil soup. Each dish truly let all its ingredients shine. Such harmonious combination can be only found in the HeWe Fruit Family.


Now we HAVE to talk about that lemonade- it really embodied the saying ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,' but instead, make sure you get it from Tractor.


With such lovely food and good company we totally lost track of time and the stresses of school. Finishing the last sip from our lemonade, we walked out of Tractor refreshed and recharged!


If you are ever in need to get off campus and fuel the body and soul with some quality and nutritious food, give Tractor a visit! The quick and friendly service and the deliciously healthy food cannot be beat! We will definitely be coming back for more another day, but maybe next time we’ll try a grilled avocado or their thai veggie stew! The choices are nearly endless, and each visit can be totally unique and different!