Archive for the 'Wellness' Category

Well, it’s been good, MU

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Hey, Marquette Wellness community. Sarah here. And I would just like to let you know about what’s coming up for us here at Employee Wellness.

First off, our school year is almost through, which is great because summer is great and outdoors activities are great. But also it’s a bit sad, considering I graduate and have to take on real-world things instead of college-world things. That being said, I have to leave Marquette Employee Wellness behind. But don’t worry, I’ve left you in good hands with my protege, Alicia.

With the end coming near for me, though, I thought I would take this post as a chance to talk about moving forward and how it opens doors. I don’t have scientific evidence or research studies to back this up, but it’s something that my mom always said to me and your probably said this to you too. When one door closes, another one opens.

So if you’re like me and looking to move up and on from where you are in life right now, believe me I know that fear you may be feeling. Let this serve as a reminder though that it is all part of a plan. And while it can be tough to let a door shut behind you, remember that if you forward, there is probably a new door waiting to open right ahead.

I know I am writing this a little bit for myself, just to keep my anxiety at bay, but it’s not like what I am saying is useless. If your day or week or month or semester is scary because it involves moving on to unknown territory, hold fast. It will all work out.

“And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him.” Romans 8:28

Over and out – Sarah Schlaefke

How pets can make you happy and healthy

petsI cannot stress enough how much I would love to have about 20 dogs and 15 other animals living with me. Unfortunately, I live in a tiny little studio apartment, and I am only allowed to have fish. Maybe in a different lifetime this crazy dream of mine will come true. One can only hope.

While you do not need to be as crazy about animals (especially dogs) as I am, having even one pet will add something to your life you never knew was missing in the first place. Although, I have always had a pet at home since the day I was born, I know what it is like to live with and without pets, and my life is always better when there’s an animal in it. One thing for sure is that they make me a happier and healthier person.

One of the best benefits of owning a pet are the social and emotional benefits. While you can’t really take a cat or a fish to a park to socialize like you can with dogs, each pet will bring its’ own benefits to you. And with the recent emerging of things like cat cafes, there are options for you to get out in the world and socialize with a cat as well. I don’t think I can say the same thing for fish… yet. Along with improving your social life, pets can improve your overall mood and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Having my fish around my apartment definitely does help put me in a better mood. Another great thing about having a furry companion around is that they will encourage you to be more active. You can go for walks, hikes, runs, or bike rides (if you’re brave enough), my dog and cat will even do yoga with me when I go home to visit. Sadly, I haven’t yet been able to get my fish to do yoga with me. 

Having a family pet will put everyone in happier and healthier state of mind, and is a great step towards living a life of wellness. You can find more information on how pets will make you a healthier person here. If you decide that you want a pet, make sure you do your research on how to care for your new friend because they aren’t always easy, but they are always worth it.

Alicia Diedrich

Earth Day, Horray!

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Hello friends! I hope that you all had a great Easter celebrating with family and friends. Hopefully the nice weather was a good refresher and reminder that spring is here!

If you didn’t know already, one of my favorite holidays is coming up this next weekend – Earth Day. Now, I won’t bore you with a bunch of hippy-dippy stuff, but I wanted to bring to light how Earth Day is really a day to bring awareness to our health and wellness, as well.

When it comes to our planet and how we humans survive and function, it is pretty safe to say that most everything we do or need revolves around the Earth, literally. We eat plants and animals that grow off of the planet’s resources, we drink water (that can only be found on Earth) and we breath the air that our planet offers us everyday. If Earth isn’t happy and healthy, it is safe to say that we won’t be happy or healthy either.

So, I challenge you this Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017, to get involved with something that helps our Earth stay well. A few of my favorite events are the fun runs and the river clean ups. Here is a link to a good compilation of Earth Day festivities, mostly free and family friendly! Hope to be seeing you there!

https://www.eventbrite.com/d/wi–milwaukee/earth-day-events/

 

Eggs aren’t just for Easter

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We all know that eggs are good for us because they are a great source for protein. And with Easter coming up this weekend, I have had eggs (and bunnies) on my mind. Besides their protein, there are plenty of other reasons to make sure eggs are a part of your diet on a regular basis. Since I am leaving for vacation today, I have spent the last few days trying to use up all of food at my apartment. All I have been eating is fruit, vegetables, and eggs. I even referred to myself as a rabbit the other day because I have been eating so many plants. So there’s the bunny rabbit thing again!

While trying to use up all of my food has seemed kind of like a chore, at least I know I am getting some crazy good health benefits from all of these ridiculously healthy foods. I always try to eat somewhat healthy, but it is not always easy. I have found that buying a bunch of healthy food that will go bad if I don’t eat it really helps. Anyways, the real reason I’m here is to share the other amazing health benefits that you will get from including eggs as a part of your regular diet.

Not only will eggs give you an awesome protein boost, but they will also provide you with vitamins a, b5, b12, b2, folate, phosphorus, selenium, and a handful of other nutrients. Long story short, eggs contain a little bit of all of your essential nutrients and vitamins. And despite common beliefs, eggs will not actually raise your blood cholesterol. It will actually work to raise your good cholesterol though. Having an elevated level of good cholesterol will decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke, along with other health conditions. One of these health benefits that surprised me is that eggs will actually help to maintain your eye health. This is because the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which build protein in the retina of the eye are found in eggs. These are only a few of the health benefits eggs have, and you can find more information about it here.

Bottom line is, eating eggs on a regular basis will provide you with a myriad of health benefits. Another awesome thing about eggs is there seems to be an endless amount of ways to prepare them, so you can’t really get bored from eating too many eggs.

 

Alicia Diedrich

 

Wellbeing Biography: Lauren Scherer and her Crossfit love

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Gym Class (\’jim ’klas\) noun

  1. The most torturous experience in which an awkward, uncoordinated, non-athletic bookworm could be forced to participate in in front of her peers.

At least, that’s how I defined it all of my school-going life. I have never considered myself “athletic” by any means. I only played tennis in high school because there were no cuts and the team t-shirts were cool. When I got to college, however, I started exercising more regularly to get out of my “prison cell” of a dorm room, as well as for stress relief and all of those other health benefits. I tried a little of everything. Running, yoga, elliptical, Zumba, and strength training classes over the years, never really finding anything I loved to do.

CrossFit was being offered for the first time shortly after I started working at Marquette. I decided to try it out after hearing how it could transform your body, and how every workout was different so I wouldn’t get bored. It was like having your own personal trainer every time you work out. I still did not consider myself very strong or athletic, and did not know what to expect, or if I could even finish a CrossFit workout. I decided to give it a try anyway, and I’m glad I did! Three and a half years later, I’m still enjoying it, and have never felt any better, healthier, or stronger!

CrossFit at Marquette is a 45 minute class, twice per week. It starts with a warm up, and then moves on to a lifting set such as a back squat, deadlift, or overhead press. After that, the WOD (workout of the day) could range anywhere from 5-20 minutes, averaging somewhere around 12 minutes (trust me – 12 minutes sounds a lot shorter than it feels!).

The instructor, Ryan, is diligent in providing foundational knowledge behind every movement and lift, and makes sure we all have correct form before starting the WOD. These workouts are completely customizable to fit any level of fitness or mobility, which is evident in every CrossFit class at Marquette. It doesn’t matter if you’re lifting 5 lbs. or 105 lbs., there is no judgement in class, just encouragement (and maybe a little complaining to Ryan J).

While many of us are now considered “veterans” of CrossFit at Marquette, we always welcome new participants to join us for whatever torture Ryan has in store for us that day. I call it torture, and it might feel torturous at the time, but it’s worth it. I have pushed myself through tough workouts, and I have become significantly stronger because of it. The results are what keeps me coming back for more!

 

By Lauren Scherer

Spring recipe: Stuffed avocados

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Over my spring break, I spent a couple nights making deliciously healthy recipes with my family. Along with what seems like everyone, we have had a slight avocado obsession in the past few months. We went from eating avocado toast, to turkey lettuce wraps with avocado, and even to stuffed avocados. Since they were so healthy and delicious I decided to share the recipe! I want to make this recipe again soon (because I may or may not have eaten five chocolate chip cookies while writing this).

 

To make these beautiful stuffed avocados, you need:

1 avocado, halved and pitted

1 (4.5 ounce) can oil packed albacore tuna, drained

¼ cup diced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon minced jalapeno

¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon of lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

 

When I made this at home with my family, we doubled the recipe because there was three of us eating, it worked out perfectly, so you can make this as a meal for your family, or stick to the original proportions above to make a healthy lunch just for yourself.

First, scoop the avocado out into a bowl and mash it with a fork. Then, add the tuna, red bell pepper, and jalapeno to the mixing bowl. (Pro tip: I added about twice as much jalapeno as I was supposed to and still did not find it spicy, so if you like some spice, do not be afraid to add more, a lot more.) Next, pour the lime juice over the top, and mix all of the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper (just like with the jalapeno, I was not shy with the salt and pepper. Then all you have to do is put your avocado and tuna concoction back into the avocado bowls and garnish with cilantro!

The best part about this recipe was that it was easy, fun, healthy and tasty! It was also filling, so there was no desire to munch on unhealthy snacks the rest of the night. You can easily customize the recipe by adding tons of jalapenos like I did, or substituting the jalapenos and red peppers for different kinds of peppers, onions, or whatever else you happen to have sitting around. One of my favorite parts of cooking and putting recipes together is experimenting with them and having some fun! I hope you enjoy the stuffed avocados as much as I did!
Alicia Diedrich

A healthier you and a healthier Earth

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There are so many reasons to adapt a healthier eating regimen, but let me add this one to the list. Eating healthier not only helps you be healthier, but it also helps our planet out, too.

When the New Year rolled around a few months ago, I had to think long about a New Year’s resolution that I wouldn’t quit on after only a few weeks or a month. My final consensus was to no longer eat red meat. And this was not an easy sacrifice to make, either, especially because my grandfather is a commercial beef farmer, and my house is riddled with frozen pounds of delicious steaks and hamburgers. I wanted to start making a positive change and serve as an example, too, so I went ahead and gave it up anyway.

In 2011, a non-profit in Washington D.C., the Environmental Working Group, conducted a study on how the types of meat we consume impacts the environment based on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted through the industry per kilogram of the meat consumed. Lamb meat was ranked the worst for the environment, spitting out about 86.6 pounds of greenhouse gases per kilogram of meat.

I don’t eat a lot of lamb, so giving up that type of meat was easy and not all that impactful in my opinion. Beef came in second worse, according to the study, producing 59.5 pounds of greenhouse gases per kilogram. Then pork, at 26.5 pounds. And chicken showed to be the most environmentally friendly meat, producing only 15. 5 pounds of greenhouse gases per kilogram eaten.

These numbers were enough to make me reconsider my food choices. Along with the well-known fact that chicken is much learner that beef. Since beef is so high in fat and cholesterol, if consumed too regularly, it can lead to heart disease, high cholesterol and other fat-related diseases. It only made sense to me to discontinue my hamburger obsession and turn to turkey burgers.

Along with the greenhouse gas issue, meat also takes a toll on the supply and demand for clean water. Throughout the farming processes, we have to keep in mind the plant side of what goes into maintaining livestock. In order to keep cows, you have to feed them. In order to feed them, you have to grow corn and soybeans. These plants then require watering, and many farmers use pesticides and herbicides in order to ensure their harvest. This creates toxic run off and toxic soil, affecting all living organisms around these plants, eventually dwindling down to affecting us. So when it came to the choice to set aside a steak or poison the ground we walk on, I couldn’t choose the latter.

Now, in no way am I a vegetarian, and in no way do I condemn anyone who just can’t separate from his or her steak. I feel you. But it doesn’t have to be to beef or not to beef. It is more of a how-often-do-you-eat-it kind of ordeal. By choosing beef less often, by only eating it once or twice a week, we could reduce greenhouse gas emission, land and water use by up to 45 percent. On top of that, we’d be investing in our own health, helping us breath in fewer harmful toxins in the air, purifying our water and consuming less fat. Eating less red meat is a win-win — a happier, healthier you and me and a happier, healthier planet and future.


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