Health and Wellness Newsletter Archives

  • Fall, 2017 Newsletter

    Diet verse Healthy Eating Plan: You Take Your Pick!

    A diet is defined in the dictionary as a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons. According to the government, the dietary guidelines for healthy eating is described as eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat free dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. Avoiding or lowering products with saturated fats, trans fats, salt, cholesterol, added sugars, and staying within your caloric needs. (“Health Weight.”2016)

    Some popular diets include Weight Watchers, Atkins, Slim Fast and Jenny Craig. These diets typically consist of tracking points, buying and eating certain foods, or meal replacement shakes. These “diets” are used to lose weight quickly and for a short amount of time, it’s not a lifestyle change. Healthy eating is for a long term, healthy lifestyle. A certain diet program might work for you, but remember your health is more than a quick fix, it’s a lifestyle change. If you have tried different diets for a long time, maybe it’s time to start healthy eating instead. You can have a lot more variety, and not so many rules. For more ideas and information go to the CDC Healthy Eating page.

    Example of a Day in a Diet verse Health Eating Plan.

    Diet Plan
    Meal Replacement Shake
    Meal Replacement Shake
    Apple and Almonds
    Grilled chicken, steamed vegetables and brown rice.
    Health Eating Plan
    Whole grain oatmeal, with almonds, dried fruit, and a little bit of honey drizzled on top.
    Strawberry, apple, grilled chicken salad with feta cheese and quinoa.
    Apple with almond butter.
    Grilled chicken tacos with whole wheat tortillas, side salad (corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado).


    “Healthy Weight.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 Sept. 2016.

    Get Outside and Get Moving Workout

    Working out outside not only helps you get your daily vitamin D, but can also boosts your mood. Try the following exercises outside with a bench to mix up your workout.

    • Bench Incline Push-Ups
    • Bench Step Ups
    • Bench Tricep Dips
    • Bench Leg Raises

    Tackle Tailgates the Healthy Way

    1. Switch white buns for whole wheat buns.
    2. Use leaner meat for your protein. Try lean hamburger, turkey, or chicken. You can even try veggie burgers.
    3. Grill wings, instead of frying them.
    4. Switch up your side salads.
      • Use non-fat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise in potato, or macaroni salad.
      • Make your coleslaw dressing with a healthier alternative such as non-fat Greek yogurt.
      • Try healthy salad dressings. One of my favorite is Bolthouse Ranch Dressing found at Hy-Vee.
    5. Choose fruit over sugar-filled desserts.
    6. Try drinking water, or low-sugar and low-calorie drink options. If you are 21 years old or older, keep your alcohol intake to a moderate amount (one or two drinks), and choose lower calorie options.
    7. When at a tailgate event choose your favorite food. Don’t fill your plate full of unhealthy foods. Decide what your favorite treat is, and indulge in that while keeping the rest of your plate healthy.
    8. Get active with outdoor games at tailgates.
    9. Have fun, and enjoy the social interactions, and the game during tailgates more than the food.

    Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte

    Cut the calories and fat with this healthy pumpkin spice latte.


    1. 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    2. 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
    3. 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    5. 2-3 drops of liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
    6. 8 ounces brewed coffee (or 1-2 shots of espresso)
    7. Sprinkle of cinnamon


    1. In a cup or saucepan, mix together almond milk and pumpkin. Cook on medium heat on the stovetop or microwave for 30-45 seconds.
    2. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, spices, and sweetener, place in a cup and use a frother to foam the milk. You can also use a blender — just process for 30 seconds or until foamy.
    3. Pour coffee into a large mug; add the foamy milk mixture on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon.


    Summer, 2017 Newsletter

    6 Weeks to a Fitter You!

    Take on one, two or as many fitness challenges as you want. Start at your current fitness level and build from there.

    Weekly Workout Challenges


    • Walk over lunch break, three days a week.
    • Perform a plank for one minute, three days this week. (Break it down into 20 seconds at a time if you need to.)
    • Perform 20 push-ups, 20 squats, 20 crunches, three days this week.
    • Stretch for 10 minutes, three days this week.
    • Perform physical activity for 30 minutes, three days this week.
    • Go to a group exercise class, one day a week.


    • Walk over lunch break every day of the week.
    • Perform a plank for one minute, five days of this week.
    • Perform three sets of 20 push-ups, 20 squats, 20 crunch, three days this week.
    • Stretch for ten minutes, five days of this week.
    • Perform physical activity for sixty minutes, three days this week.
    • Go to a group exercise class, two days a week.


    • Walk 60 minutes, four to give days this week.
    • Perform a plank for 1-minute, six days this week.
    • Perform three sets of 20 push-ups, 20 squats, 20 crunches, five days this week.
    • Stretch for 10 minutes, six days this week.
    • Perform physical activity for 60 minutes, five days this week.

    Making Fitness a Lifestyle, by Allie Buesing

    In today’s world we live crazy, chaotic, and busy lives that we hardly have time to work out. We have kids, jobs, families, events, hobbies, and don’t forget sleep. We know the importance of working out, but how do we get that work-out in, with a life so busy? With little tricks of the trade, you can get a great workout in, even with a busy schedule.

    I am going to give you two examples many people can relate to. You have one person that is ready to make changes and lose weight. They decide to work out five days a week for 60 minutes. They are going to follow a workout program, where they need equipment at a gym for those five days. They decided their schedule is so busy they will get up at 5:30 am to work out every morning.  The first two weeks went great! Come the third week, kids were up sick late one night, you only got five hours of sleep. As your alarm went off you knew your body needed the sleep, but you needed to work out. You decided to listen to your body, which is a good thing, because sleep is just as important as physical activity. You feel guilty about not working out, and start to slowly give up on the program because it is too much for your schedule. This is not making fitness a lifestyle.

    Making fitness a lifestyle, this person would have slept in because they know it’s good for their body to get sleep. Instead of feeling guilty and giving up they would instead perform a quick 30 minute workout over their lunch break. That is how you make fitness a lifestyle. You work within your schedule and lifestyle to ensure success in all areas of life.

    Tricks for making fitness a lifestyle.

    • Park your car far away from your destination to get extra steps in your day.
    • Walk over your lunch break.
    • Perform a 10 minute HIIT workout every night. These can be just as good for you as a 30 minute walk.
      • High intensity exercise for 1 minute
      • Low intensity exercise for 1 minute
        • Example: High knees in place for 1 minute, walk in place for 1 minute.
    • Desk Exercises.
    • Workouts with your kids.
    • Workout while your kids are at sports practice or other event. Find a park close, and walk around. Use the benches for step ups, push-ups, or squats.
    • Workout while cooking dinner. Chicken can sometimes take 30 to 45 minutes to bake. Throw the chicken in the oven and do some body-weight at home exercises while dinner is cooking.
    • Workout while cleaning the house. Mop your floors, then follow by 20 squats, or vacuum while doing lunges.
    • Be creative, have fun, and most importantly just get moving.

    Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies this summer!

    Fill up on plenty of fresh fruit and veggies this summer, many of which you can find locally or even in your backyard garden! Here’s a list of the best months to eat the freshest food.

    Fruit: Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, cherries, peaches, blueberries, apricots
    Vegetables: Corn, lettuce

    Fruit: Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, peaches, apricots, kiwi, raspberries, plums
    Vegetables: Cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, green beans

    Fruit: Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, peaches, apricots, kiwi, raspberries, plums
    Vegetables: Cucumbers, corn, eggplant, tomatoes, summer squash, green beans, lettuce

    Healthy Zucchini Bread


    • 3/4 cup roughly chopped raw walnuts or pecans (optional)
    • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil*
    • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup milk of choice or water
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + more to swirl on top
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (you'll need 1 small zucchini, about 7 ounces—if your grated zucchini is very wet, squeeze out the excess moisture over the sink before stirring it into the batter)
    • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour


    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, and grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan to prevent the bread from sticking.
    2. Once the oven has finished preheating, pour the chopped nuts onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake until the nuts are fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and honey. Beat them with a whisk until they are combined. Add the eggs and beat well. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 20 seconds in the microwave.)
    4. Add the milk, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and nutmeg, and whisk to blend. Switch to a big spoon and stir in the zucchini, then add the flour and stir just until combined. Some lumps are ok! Gently fold in the toasted nuts now.
    5. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with additional cinnamon. If you'd like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
    6. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing it with a sharp, serrated knife.
    7. This bread is moist, so it will keep for just 2 to 3 days at room temperature. Store it in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months or so. I like to slice the bread before freezing and defrost individual slices, either by lightly toasting them or defrosting them in the microwave.

    No-Bake Peanut Butter Protein Balls


    • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
    • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter
    • 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
    • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
    • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
    2. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like, usually 1-inch. Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
    3. Makes about 20-25 balls.

    Spring, 2017 Newsletter

    March is National Nutrition Month

    In order to make small changes for a healthier diet, incorporate one of these things into your diet each day. After 21 days, how do you feel?

    Day 1: Eat one serving of vegetables and one serving of fruit.

    Day 2: Drink at least 8 cups of water a day.

    Day 3: Eat at least 1 serving of whole grains.

    Day 4: Eat at least 1 serving of lean protein.

    Day 5: Eat at least 1 serving of healthy fats.

    Day 6: Eat at least 2 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit.

    Day 7: Eat at least 2 servings of whole grains.

    Day 8: Eat at least 2 servings of lean protein.

    Day 9: Decrease or eliminate calorie filled beverages. If currently drinking more than one caloric beverage a day, decrease it to 1. If currently drinking 1 a day try to eliminate to 0 or once a week.

    Day 10: Read labels and start to minimize your consumption of processed food. If you can't pronounce the ingredients list, more than likely it's processed.

    Day 11: Eat at least 3 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit.

    Day 12: Eat at least 3 servings of whole grains.

    Day 13: Eat at least 3 servings of lean protein.

    Day 14: Eat at least 2 servings of healthy fats.

    Day 15: Eliminate or reduce consumption of added sugar. Reduce to one sugar item a day, or once a week based off where you currently are with sugar consumption.

    Day 16: Try a new vegetable and fruit.

    Day 17: Go meatless, try replacing protein with meat with a non-meat source such as beans.

    Day 18: Make a salad for lunch.

    Day 19: Make a smoothie for breakfast.

    Day 20: Eat one serving of fish for your protein today.

    Day 21: Make this challenge a lifestyle, and not just a 21 day challenge.