Meet the Team: Sam & Bianca

Generation Health would not be the fantastic program it is without the hard work of our dedicated team members.

Meet Bianca and Sam! 👋🏽

1. Tell us about your journey with Generation Health.

Bianca: I have been with the program since it began in September 2018. I’ve worked as a graduate student researcher to help evaluate the program, on the delivery team as a physical activity facilitator, and more. In June 2021, I became the project manager.

Sam: I am a professor at the University of Victoria and I have been with Generation Health since 2018. I helped develop and evaluate the Generation Health program. We are constantly trying to improve program delivery based on the feedback we receive from our participants and partners.

2. What are your favourite ways to stay physically active?

Bianca: I enjoy being active outdoors and am fortunate to live in Victoria where nature and the ocean are never far away. Hiking, running, tennis, and yoga are my favorites. I also love walking – with my partner and our dog, or coffee walks with friends.

Sam: I enjoy many forms of physical activity. My favorite way to be physically active is skiing during the winter.

3. Tell us about your favourite go-to meal or snacks!

Bianca: Roasted chicken and vegetables with quinoa. My favorite snacks are Tamari almond and stovetop popcorn.

Sam: Ramen. I love a bowl of ramen during the winter.

4. What are your favourite tips for healthy living?

Bianca: Try carrying a reusable water bottle with you to increase your water intake, challenge yourself to turn off the screens during mealtimes, and aim to fit in physical activity when you can – small changes over time make a difference!

Sam: Try to make physical activity a part of your daily routine. Physical activity can come in many different forms from walking to the bus stop, taking the stairs, or taking a stroll after dinner. It all can add up!

5. Tell us about a memorable interaction with a participating family.

Bianca: As a facilitator, I was able to help families work towards and achieve their lifestyle goals which helped them to feel more confident and motivated to continue. One interaction in particular was with a family who had three generations attend the program – the children, parents, and grandparent all learned and made changes together 🙂

Sam: My most memorable interaction with a participating family was during the initial development and pilot phase. The family offered us helpful program feedback and encouragement for our team to scale-up the program.

6. What has been a highlight for you while working for Generation Health?

Bianca: Seeing the positive impact it continues to have for so many families is incredibly rewarding. I especially love hearing family updates and success stories months after they completed the program. We couldn’t do any of this without our fantastic team members all across BC. I am proud of how we have helped the program grow and evolve since 2018 and am excited to see what the future brings.

Sam: My research program aims to improve the well-being of families through lifestyle changes. Generation health enables me to apply best-practice to help families live a healthy lifestyle. I enjoy learning about how the programs have helped families and working with the fantastic staff and students to make the program delivery and evaluation possible.

7. Lastly, what would you tell families that are thinking of joining the Generation Health program?

Bianca: Generation Health provides a unique opportunity for both children and parents to learn and have fun together, and it’s free! We have a knowledgeable and dedicated team who are extremely passionate about helping families, like yours, make positive lifestyle changes.

Sam: The Generation Health Program is a great opportunity for families to improve their health and well-being by learning about nutrition, physical activity, and healthy habits.

Meet the Team: Rebecca & Amanda

Generation Health would not be the fantastic program it is without the hard work of our incredible team members who support families on their health journey.

Meet Rebecca, our Research Coordinator,  and Amanda, our Generation Health app expert!

1. Tell us about your journey with Generation Health.

Rebecca: I started in September as the Research Coordinator.

Amanda: I started in July working on the implementation of the new Generation Health app. I’m also a PhD student at the University of Victoria.

2. What are your favourite ways to stay physically active?

Rebecca: I have three kids and they’re all climbers, so rock climbing at the beach is always a hit, or exploring new playground climbing walls all over the city. We also enjoy going for walks together around our neighbourhood (especially during blackberry season!).

Amanda: I love being active outdoors! My go-to outdoor activity is biking- either on the road or mountain biking. I have recently signed up to complete my first-ever marathon, which I am excited to accomplish!

3. What is your favorite go-to meal to make?

Rebecca: I’m a fan of quick, simple meals. My favourite supper to make is burritos with homemade wraps and lots of avocado and cilantro. Our tastiest meals are when my dad fires up the BBQ or when I’m lucky enough to have fresh produce from my in-laws’ amazing garden.

Amanda: My go-to meal is anything “dump and bake”. I’ve been making a one dish buffalo cauliflower and chickpea casserole lately that I’ve really been enjoying!

4. What is your favourite thing about working with Generation Health?

Rebecca: The people! I work with an amazing team of incredible people who make it a joy to come to work each day. I also love the opportunity to interact with the families we support. I have been interviewing new families this week, and it’s a privilege to hear their stories and see the impact this program could have for them.

Amanda: My favourite thing about working with Generation Health is seeing the impact that this program has on so many families! This program is incredibly diverse, covering many aspects of a healthy lifestyle, so it has something for everyone. Hearing everyone’s feedback after the program is super inspiring and helpful to continue to make Generation Health an awesome program that families want to attend again and again!

Meet the Team: Rebecca & Cam

Generation Health would not be the fantastic program it is without the hard work of our incredible team members who support families on their health journey.

Meet our Program & Research Assistants, Rebecca & Cam! 👋🏽

Both from the University of Victoria, they help to register families for our programs
and many important behind the scene tasks!

1. Tell us about your journey with Generation Health.

Rebecca: I started in July as a Program Assistant for Generation Health.

Cam: Coming from the Digital Health Lab at the University of Victoria, I have been working as a Research Assistant with Generation Health for just over a month now. In the little time I have been working, I have loved interacting with families that join the program, because I know how much what we do means to them.

2. What are your favourite ways to stay physically active?

Rebecca: I love to get out for a hike or go biking around Victoria. My favourite sport to play in the summer is grass volleyball! 🏐

Cam: My favourite activity as of now is surfing, when I can get out! 🏄🏽‍♂️

3. What are some of your favourite recipes or meal ideas?

Rebecca: My favourite recipes usually come from the oldest cookbooks! I love making one-pot meals or anything with an easy clean-up. 🍲

Cam: My favourite thing to make for myself is a breakfast burrito. 🌯

4. What’s your favourite thing about working with Generation Health?

Rebecca: Generation Health is an amazing program and I love hearing how it has helped families all across B.C. I enjoy being part of the process and helping families create healthy lifestyle habits.

Cam: Chatting with the families. All of them are so appreciative of the program, so it makes my job feel fulfilling.

Meet the Team: Kaede & Noah

Generation Health would not be the fantastic program it is without the hard work of our incredible team members who support families on their health journey.

Meet our program assistants, Kaede & Noah! 👋🏽

Both are in the final year of their degrees at the University of Victoria. Kaede comes to us from Pemberton, and Noah is from Cranbook, BC. They help to register families for our programs, put together equipment kits, and many important behind the scene tasks!

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in Recreation & Health Education (Kaede) & Kinesiology (Noah)?

Kaede: I’ve always loved sports and activities so I wanted to pursue a degree in something that would allow me to stay in this field. I’ve always been an athlete but I wanted to see what it’s like on the other side of sport, supporting others!

Noah: My father was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition when I was young. I was inspired by how much the kinesiology treatment helped get him back to active living. As a result, I decided that no matter where I end up, I want to dedicate my life to helping people.

What inspired you to work with Generation Health and what has been a highlight for you?

Kaede: The mission of the organization was very interesting to me and unlike any other job I’d had before.

Noah: I grew up as an inactive child who ate unhealthily and spent a lot of his free time playing video games. I had an amazing role model show me that I can still enjoy those games while also leading a healthy lifestyle. I spent more time in the outdoors, in the gym, and as a result, felt incredible. I saw that Generation Health is about health promotion and couldn’t believe how much it resonated with my past, as well as my values for helping others.

The program is an amazing gateway into healthy living and being able to play a part in a family’s journey to that is incredibly rewarding. Being able to work with a like-minded team has opened my eyes and has given me a lot of values I didn’t know were important to me. Without a doubt, working with Generation Health has been a highlight of the last year of my degree!

What are your favourite Spring activities?

Kaede: I love getting out for walks when the sun is out and the weather is nice again! I also like to get out for some road biking or mountain biking. When the weather isn’t as nice out, I’ve been doing lots of yoga and other activities like climbing and volleyball!

Noah: I absolutely love hiking (and geocaching), skateboarding, and rock climbing! I really like the mind-body connection I get from climbing. It’s like an active puzzle where the wall has all the pieces! I have really enjoyed picking up skateboarding with my friends too!

What are some of your favourite recipes or meal ideas?

Kaede: I’ve been making a lot more Japanese dishes lately. My mom made us so many delicious Japanese meals, and it definitely inspired me. My favourites to make are simple noodle dishes like udon or soba, and Japanese curry.

Noah: Ever since Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”, I was hooked on cooking. My favorite new recipe that I made recently would have to be baked spicy-chipotle broccoli bites (vegetarian replacement for chicken wings). My all-time favorite meal I cook though is a ginger veggie stir fry!

Meet the Team Part 3

Generation Health would not be the fantastic program it is without the hard work of our incredible team members who support families on their health journey. Let’s meet a few more of them:

What’s your role with Generation Health?

Lisa, Coordinator and Group Facilitator in Prince George

Lisa: I have two roles with the Generation Health Program here in Prince George. I am the Coordinator as well as the Group Facilitator and have been involved with the program since 2018.
Lindsay: I am the Physical Activity Facilitator at the Prince George location. I have been in this role since 2018, when the program launched in Prince George.  I really enjoy making the physical activity sessions fun by playing fun games and teaching new sport specific skills.
Rebecca: I’m the Physical Activity Facilitator for the YMCA Tong Louie Generation Health Program in Surrey.

Lindsay, Physical Activity Facilitator in Prince George

What are one or two of your favourite fall activities?

Lisa: My favourite activities to do in the Fall are trail running or hiking to take in the beautiful fall colours and favourable temperatures. I also love to do yoga to help reset my body and my mind.
Lindsay: I love going for walks in the forest and looking at all the different colours of leaves and hearing the leaves crunch underneath my feet.  Fall is also the start of hockey season. I play on a women’s team in the Co-ed division.
Rebecca: My two favourite fall activities are going on hikes and nature walks.


What are some of your favourite fall foods or meal ideas?

Rebecca, Physical Activity Facilitator in Surrey

Lisa: In the Fall, I like to go to quick and nutritious ideas as it is usually a busier time with our family. I make a lot of hearty soups with lots of veggies and lentils and chilli always seems to be a staple in our home during the cooler temperatures.
Lindsay: Homemade soups (Potato bacon cheddar & chicken noodle) and pumpkin loaf.
Rebecca: My favourite fall foods are homemade soup and stews.

Meet the Team Part 2

Generation Health would not be the fantastic program it is without the hard work of our incredible team members who support families on their health journey. Let’s meet a few of them:

What’s your role with Generation Health?

Sharan, Group Facilitator in Surrey

Sharan: I’m the Facilitator for the YMCA Tong Louie Generation Health Program in Surrey and I have been in this role since Fall 2019.

Jennifer: I am the facilitator for the Generation Health Program in Chilliwack.

Paneet: My role with Generation Health is the Program Assistant for the Langara and Tong Louie sites and I am involved in delivering the physical activity component.

What have you done to stay active during this time of isolation and physical distancing?

Jennifer, Group Facilitator in Chilliwack

Sharan: To stay active, I have been going on nature walks and exploring new trails in my area. Working in a clinic required me to be active all day, but since I started working from home it’s been difficult adjusting to desk work for long hours. I now try to go for 15 min walks around my neighbourhood during my breaks, this has helped stay active during my work day and also create a schedule. 

Jennifer: I really enjoy running so I’m been thankful I’ve been able to continue running outside. I’ve also been going for walks and hikes with my family and doing yoga videos via YouTube when it’s hard to get outside.

Paneet: My favourite way to stay moving during isolation has been to follow along workout videos in my backyard. Recently, my mom and I have also set up an impromptu badminton net outside, where we tend to get very competitive!

What interesting meals have you cooked or eaten while in isolation?

Paneet, Program Assistant in Vancouver and Surrey

Sharan: I attempted to bake bread from scratch the first time ever. It turned out amazing and I can’t believe how easy it was. I think we can all agree that isolation has brought out the inner baker and cook in many people!

Jennifer: Hmmm…nothing too interesting. Just lots of canned beans and frozen veg!

Paneet: With the extra downtime I have at home, I’ve been attempting to try out new recipes weekly. I’ve really been enjoying making (and eating) shakshuka, veggie taco bowls, and buffalo cauliflower bites!

Meet the Team!

Generation Health would not be the fantastic program it is without the hard work of our incredible team members who support families on their health journey. Let’s meet a few of them:

What’s your role with the Generation Health Program?

Carol Tickner, Registered Dietician, Group Facilitator Victoria/Westshore

Carol: My role with Generation health is Program Coordinator and Group Facilitator for the Victoria/Westshore program.

Etienne: My role with Generation Health is Group Facilitator – meaning that my co-worker focuses mostly on the physical activity component of the day, while I focus mostly on delivering the content of each session.

Bianca: My role with Generation Health is the Physical Activity Facilitator in Victoria. I am also on the program evaluation team as part of my MSc Kinesiology at the University of Victoria. Being involved in both the program delivery and evaluation components provides me with a unique perspective on the program’s positive impact.

What’s your favourite vegetable or fruit and why?

Etienne Levesque, Fitness & Health Coach, Group Facilitator Kelowna

Carol: Asparagus  – so easy to prepare and always tastes great!

Etienne: My favourite vegetable is broccoli, but only if it’s cooked. It doesn’t need to be cooked a lot, even just a little bit, but I love the way the sprouts crunch when you bite them and they taste amazing!

Bianca: I’m a big fan of most veggies and fruit. Recently the person behind me at the grocery store checkout asked how many rabbits I was feeding! Spinach and bananas are in my constant rotation because they are versatile and keep my body healthy.


What’s your favourite physical activity now and from when you were a kid?

Bianca DeSilva, Physical Activity Facilitator Victoria/Westshore

Carol: Now – trail running & hiking – love nature; As a kid – gymnastics, horseback riding, skipping

Etienne: When I was a kid, I didn’t do a lot of physical activity, but my favourite would have to have been the hip-hop-style dance classes I took part in from when I was 9-13. 

Bianca: Growing up, I did competitive gymnastics which gave me a great foundation for so many other sports and activities. Now, my favorite physical activity is a toss up between hiking and yoga.

What’s the best part about the Generation Health program in your opinion?

Carol: Watching how much the kids enjoy themselves during the activity parts and seeing how special it is

for the kids to have their family all together doing something meaningful.

Etienne: For me, the best part of Generation Health is that it focuses on the child’s autonomy and allows for the participants to grow as a family. Too often I see children just getting dragged along, whereas here they are active participants and get to scheme about how their family is going to have fun and be healthy together.

Bianca: It’s hard to choose only one! I am a big fan of the holistic approach– physical activity, healthy eating, positive mental health, sleep, and reducing screen time all play an important role in healthy living. I also think the family aspect very important and is something that makes this program unique because it allows children and parents to learn and be active together! 🙂 

What has inspired you since becoming a facilitator for Generation Health?

Carol: Seeing the children gain confidence in themselves in lots of different ways. Seeing families walk away having had a positive experience.

Etienne: What’s inspired me since joining the program is every time I break down a preconceived notion about diet or exercise. Such as when I get to say “there are no ‘bad’ foods” and “exercise can and should be fun!” Or “There’s no ‘correct’ body shape for everyone to have.” Those kinds of real teaching moments that allow for truth to break through what people may have been told their whole lives is what inspires me.

Bianca: Really getting to know the families and seeing them make progress and eventually feel successful in their goals. Also watching participants become more confident in their abilities and knowledge. Changing habits and behaviours can be challenging! So, it’s very rewarding to know that you have helped others make positive changes.

Getting to Know Generation Health Group Facilitator Lisa Neukomm

Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting some of the awesome facilitators delivering the Generation Health program across B.C.

This week we would like to introduce you to Lisa Neukomm. Lisa is the Group Facilitator for the Family Healthy Living Program in Prince George. We had the opportunity to sit down with Lisa and learn more about who she is and what she likes about the Family Healthy Living Program.

Lisa tell us a little bit about you.

My name is Lisa Neukomm, I am a BCRPA Registered Personal Trainer and Group Leader. I have worked in the Health and Wellness industry for 27 years in many different rolls and assisting individuals, families and groups adopt healthier lifestyle habits into their lives. I have been married to my husband Shane for 19 years, and have three amazing children ages 16,14, and 10. I strive to promote value in healthy living with my family first and foremost and know just how important and somewhat challenging it can be sometimes, but am passionate about finding ways to help my family as well as my clients lead healthy and active lives.

Why did you choose to work with Generation Health?

I believe and feel passionate about its message. Healthy living encompasses many different things from eating healthy, staying active, implementing healthy lifestyle habits, and practicing strategies to assist in helping us to maintain a positive mental and social health. Generation Health provides great, simple and attainable practices and strategies to help families develop their Healthy lifestyle habits in a fun and interactive way.

What’s your favourite thing about Generation Health? 

Meeting and getting to know the families and then seeing them feel successful in their goals through out the program. It is very rewarding to know that you have helped to make a small positive difference in a family’s life.

What would you tell a family that is thinking about participating in the Generation Health Program?

To know that the program is fun, interactive, and educational, and that they will come away from the program with attainable and simple strategies to help them in their journey to a healthier, more active lifestyle.

What’s your favourite way to be active?

Anything involving the outdoors or in Nature. I love Trail Running, hiking with my family and dog, x-country skiing, snow shoeing and have found a new challenge of skating to keep up with my kids who love to skate!

How do you fit physical activity into your busy life?

I make fitting in physical activity a priority just like eating and sleeping. I make a plan to fit activity of some sort into most of my days whether it is a scheduled class, meet with friends or family members for a hike, or walk my dog. Being on the go I have learned that fitting it in doesn’t always have to be a big performance and that small things count such as parking further away from my intended location so that I can walk, take the stairs, or play in the snow with my kids! I also recognize the importance of modeling this to my children and can see them making choices on their own to move more and talk to them about how it makes them feel to move and be healthy on all levels of health from feeling strong in their bodies, but also in their minds.

What’s your favourite healthy recipe?

Turkey Lasagna with lots of mixed vegetables, whole grain pasta, and ricotta cheese.

What are your top tips for healthy living?

Balance is key in all aspect of life. Take time for yourself by finding the things that re-fuel or recharge you, whether it is reading, doing yoga, spending time with friends, or being in nature. Make your health a priority. Be kind to your body and to your mind. Nourish it with healthy food/drink choices, movement that you love, and patience.

New sessions of Generation Health will be kicking off this month in communities across British Columbia. To find a program near you, click here!