Archive for the 'Wellness' Category

The Royal Treatment

Hello Marquette Employees,

Due to Alicia moving on to the next chapter of her life and finishing up her time with us at Employee Wellness, I am pleased to announce that I will be taking over for this summer season! It was gratifying to see her develop and grow throughout her wellness journey, and I am more than thrilled to continue sharing mine. I will be posting about all aspects of health and wellness motivated by what intrigues me and what I genuinely find useful. I could only hope that my content has the potential to let us all grow in our wellness journey together.

Anyways as promised, today’s blog is an inside look on the diet preparations Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had to go through in time for their royal wedding that recently took place on May 19, 2018. Since June is just around the corner, that only means one thing. Wedding season is upon us! Whether you are attending a wedding this coming month or summer as a guest, a part of the entourage, or as the celebrant yourself, there has never been a better excuse to look your best, since the pictures that will be taken that day will remain as a long-lived memory for whoever takes part in it.

Meghan Markle is a firm believer in the concept of balance and moderation. Although she supports a more plant-based diet and limits her meat intake, she allows herself to a little more flexible in the weekends. In correspondence to her plant-based diet, she relies on fresh food to keep her fueled throughout the day such as smoothies, mixing it with beneficial ingredients such as almond milk, chia seeds, to really boost its nutrients. She likes to resort to green juice as alternative source instead of coffee to kickstart her day. Diet aside, she couldn’t have gotten into the shape she is today without sweating. The fitness routine she swears by is Lagree Fitness Method on the Megaformer machine. The regimen gives you a full body workout with quick and effective results that incorporates cardio, strength-training, and flexibility. To change her routine up a bit, she likes to alternate with yoga. Her consistency is responsible for how she was able to maintain the shape she has today, without feeling the need do much work in preparation for the big day.

As for Prince Harry, his preparation did not vary too much from Meghan, since she has been cracking down on staying within a routine. His diet involved a lower carb and meat intake and cutting out unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking. Meghan’s influence has led to his new smoothie obsession. He has been supplementing his diet by working out every day to stay toned and fit for the wedding.

Diet is not a one size fits all. You don’t need to be royal to have access to a life of health and wellness. Although Meghan has influenced Harry to make some improvements when it comes to eating habits, she encourages that “It’s not a diet; it’s lifestyle eating.”

Long live the Duchess!

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Diana Banzon

 

So long Marquette

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It is so hard to believe that I am writing my last blog to all of you right now. I remember writing my first blog almost two years ago when I started at Marquette as a transfer student. And now, it’s already all coming to an end. It is time for me to graduate!

Looking back over the time I have spent blogging for MU Employee Wellness, I realize how much I have grown myself. I knew right from the start that being well is more of a journey than anything else. It is not something you can just do overnight, but it is something we all have to work at. And although that can be hard sometimes, it is absolutely, 100% worth it. Being well means everything from physical, emotional, mental, social, intellectual, occupational, financial, spiritual, and more. Basically, wellness is anything that you want it to be. To me, wellness is anything that gives you life, not just simply surviving. My wellness is eating healthy, exercising regularly, creating a balance in life, making time for friends and family, spending time with animals, making art, enjoying the outdoors, and yes, relaxing too. Sometimes my relaxation includes binge watching Netflix, don’t tell anyone. But the point is, wellness is not quite what it first seems to be. It is not just about eating healthy and exercising, wellness is anything that makes you a better you.

My wellness journey has been anything but smooth, but I always manage to somehow motivate myself to get back on track. Wellness has played such an important role in my life, especially when trying to deal with health issues. And I am so thankful for everything in life that lead me towards always trying to better myself and to be well. I am especially thankful for having had the experience of sharing my journey and everything I have learned along the way with all of you. I am looking forward to continuing my wellness journey after I leave Marquette.

It is so bittersweet to be leaving campus and this blog, but I am beyond excited at the opportunity to grow myself and my wellness even further. I will be staying in Milwaukee (at least for a little while yet), so I hope to see you all out being well and enjoying Milwaukee’s summer.

I am off to accomplish some great things in life, I leave you all in the very capable hands of Diana. So long Marquette, it has been a great, although very short, two years with you.

Alicia Diedrich

Sun Fun

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With warmer weather gracing Marquette’s campus recently, it is temping to want to bathe in the sun all day. From being trapped in Wisconsin’s winter tundra for so long, who could blame you? Sometimes being more aware of the sun’s capabilities is the best way to get the most out of every summer, while staying safe. Here are some facts to keep in mind when you are enjoying your time in the sun!

The most notorious negative that is always linked to sun exposure is skin cancer. On the contrary though, the sun and its rays can reduce the chances of other cancers such as pancreatic and breast, in specific. For both pancreatic and breast cancer, those who live in places with more cloud cover are more susceptible to it due to the lack of vitamin d.

Have you been feeling your mood change lately in accordance to the nicer weather and the sunny skies? That is no coincidence! Sunlight itself releases serotonin chemicals that reduces your stress and altering your mood for the better.

Your body makes vitamin D when you are exposed to the sun. Despite the benefits it offers to having healthy bones and brain, it is important to remember that there are safer ways to obtain it through your diets or supplements. It doesn’t take much to get the recommended amount of vitamin D through sun exposure, so don’t risk it if you know that you are tempted to overdo it. Vitamin D has the potential to protect the heart. Research shows that those who have been diagnosed with skin cancer are surprisingly less likely to have a heart attack. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to cardiovascular disease, so having a proficient amount of it in your system can only help benefit the heart.

When you think of lung health, you typically don’t associate its connection with the sun. But sunshine surprisingly has the potential to make the air we breathe dirtier. The UV rays trigger the release of chemicals that form smog that ultimately contributes to air pollution.

The sun has the potential to provide both good and bad results when it comes to our health. So I encourage you to go outside and catch some rays, but to also remember that everything is best in moderation.

Diana Banzon

Brighten your days with balance!

White Blooming Flower Under the Tree during Daytime

Spring time seems to be finally here in Milwaukee! And it is exciting that the weather is finally warming up as the semester is coming to a close. With the end of the semester, I know I have been seeing a lot of stress in everybody on campus. There are so many great ways to relieve stress ranging from healthy eating, to exercise, or to spending time with friends and family.

When people think about dealing with their stress, they often overlook who bonding and spending time with others can work wonders on stress reduction. Spending time with others is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Taking the time to be social and relax with friends or family can help us take our mind off of the parts of life that are stressing us out the most. I know it’s hard to think about carving out time to spend with the people we love when we have an important deadline at work, or when there are stressful situations going on, but it is so essential to make that time!

Surrounding yourself with positive people during the hardest times keeps us balanced. So many times during my time at Marquette and in my internship roles I have seen my students and colleagues that work too much (myself being one of them). However, as a person who is so passionate about wellness, I think I have done a great job of knowing when the extra work I am doing becomes too much. I have learned my limits the hard way, and since then have made conscious decisions to bring balance to my life. When I am in the middle of a bunch of work and I am extremely stressed out, I allow myself the permission to take a break! During crunch times it may seem impossible to take a break, but trust me, in the end you and your mind will be glad that you chose to have some down time.

Creating balance in our lives is important in everything that we do, but time is so difficult to budget in the modern craze of electronics and social media. This just gives us all the more reason to ensure we make time for those that we love. Spending time with friends and family builds our relationships and creates memories. And there are so many opportunities to spend some great, quality time with others, especially once it has warmed up outside. The warm weather invites us all to get out and go for a hike with our family, or to grill a healthy recipes and hang out in the sun, and in the end, it is the perfect opportunity for us to connect with others, create balance in our lives, and to take some of the stress away.

I encourage all of you to grab your friends and family, and get them all outside enjoying the weather, doing something active, grilling something healthy, and overall creating a balance in your life! Enjoy the last couple weeks of the 2018 spring semester, Marquette!

Alicia Diedrich

 

Workin’ it in the Workforce

Image may contain: 1 person, smilingRecently, I was able to land an internship back in my hometown of Rochester, Minnesota! As it being one of my first steps leading me into my future career path, I want to really soak in all the benefits it has to offer. Despite working having a busier schedule this summer, health should never be disregarded. There are ways to go about being a strong force to be reckoned with in the work force, while maintaining motivation to overall wellness and success! 

Making habit of a routine is the foundation for results because it encourages overall consistency! That is one advantage of being able to work 8-5pm and find ways to implement eating, snacking, working out into a daily routine. 

Limit your caffeine intake! I know that it is tempting to view coffee as a fix all to morning tiredness, but maybe resorting to a cup a day is a better option for those who REALLY need it. When it doubt, ditch the unhealthy sugar and cream and take it black or go for tea!  

Creating a daily routine that skips breakfast is a total no no! Breakfast is what gives your body that kick start to boost that metabolism and maintain the energy you need to function throughout the day! Here are some quick and healthy recipes to have a little something extra to look forward to in the morning: https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/healthy-meals/breakfast-to-go#quinoa-breakfast-bowl

Something as simple as making habit to parking farther than usual and resorting to the stairs instead of an elevator is approach to getting those extra steps in before sitting your life away at the dungeon you call your desk.  

Packing a lunch sounds self-explanatory enough right? Having the ability to control what you are eating instead of playing a guessing game for where your appetite is going to take you when heading to the cafeteria is more beneficial for yourself because all the portions are controlled, along with your wallet! Who said work lunches have to be boring! Despite me mentioning the benefits of a routine, this is a great opportunity where I would advise to change it up! Here are some recipes to get you through your day, without resorting into eating just a boring salad on the daily: https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/healthy-lunch-ideas/view-all/  

As you can see, many of the lunch options provided were filling, but light! Do you expect that to have that lunch and breakfast alone sustain you throughout the day? Possibly, but not really. Indulging in healthy snacks is seen to be more beneficial than going heavy for any of these meals! Here are some suggestions on what you can munch on if you need a mid-day pick me up: https://www.self.com/gallery/14-healthy-snacks-that-you-can-and-should-keep-at-your-desk 

Staying trapped in a cubicle or a desk may sound limiting right? Well it doesn’t have to be! I introduce to you: DESKERCISE! It is a great way to change up that sedentary lifestyle to one where you are being productive to both your work and your health! Here are some exercises suggested that can done at the comfort of your own desk: https://greatist.com/fitness/deskercise-33-ways-exercise-work 

Now this must sound like I am lecturing a kindergartener, but don’t forget to wash your hands before ever meal and every time you use the bathroom! It sounds like common sense, but the workplace is crawling with germs from a bunch of co-workers being cramped into the same vicinity. Being sick is one road block that can hinder a day of productivity. Prevention is key! 

Step outside! The weather is hopefully only getting better from here on out. There is nothing worse than feeling trapped in a stuffy space. Go out and catch some rays and that vitamin D! 

AND THEN REPEAT! Like I said following a routine is key! By no time, these healthy habits will become second nature. So why not start today!  

Diana Banzon 

Be the difference: reduce

adventure, ball-shaped, blurEarth Day is coming up next weekend, so I am a little bit early with this post. But it’s never too early to start doing our part to save the earth. Earth Day is just one day and while doing something resourceful on that day is great, it is not enough to combat all of the problems that we are experiencing with the environment.

One way for us to be the difference for our earth is participating in cleanups, planting trees, or doing other “Earth Day activities.” However, we can do so much more that will make a greater difference in the end. And surprisingly some of the actions we can take to combat pollution lies in making very small changes in our everyday lives. On average, Americans produce 1,606 pounds of trash a year. That is a lot! And while we can do our part by picking up maybe 10 pounds of trash during a highway cleanup once a year, that doesn’t even make a dent in the amount of trash we are producing during that year.

A lot of the trash that we make comes from everyday things such as water bottles, plastic bags, paper products, coffee cups, straws, and the list goes on and on. The thing about all of these products is there are better options out there.

Instead of using plastic water bottles everyday just to throw them out, go our and buy a nice reusable one. I for one believe that a reusable water bottle has the added benefit of helping you drink more water too. Instead of asking for plastic bags at the grocery store every time, buy a few reusable canvas bags and bring them with you every time you shop. They also hold up better, so you can fit more items in less bags, meaning you will have less trips from the car to the house to bring your items in with you. Instead of using paper towels, get reusable rags that will do the same trick. Instead of taking coffee in a to go cup every morning, get a nice thermos or mug that you can reuse. Plus, you can hold a lot more coffee in these and it will stay hot for a lot longer. You can’t say no to lots of hot coffee. Instead of using disposable plastic straws in your drinks, buy a reusable plastic or metal straw. Another pro tip is that drinking from a straw also helps you drink more water. So go out and get yourself some awesome reusable products so you can start reducing the amount of trash that you make.

I want to see you all out doing great things on Earth Day, but I also want to see a lot more reusable products in all of your hands around campus. Be the difference to the earth today.

Alicia Diedrich

 

Fast to last

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With the season of Lent being over, we finally get to indulge on what we gave up on after an excruciating 40-day period. Going without our guilty pleasures for a long period of time sounds crazy, right? Should we be even complaining if Jesus fasted without any food for 40 days? Realistically, going to the extent of 40 days without food is nearly impossible, but there are factors that contribute to how long a person can survive such as how hydrated they are prior to fasting, whether you have access to water, your current location, and fat accumulation. I wanted to go beyond a life or death situation and dig deeper into whether “fasting” is a quick dieting option and weigh out the benefits and risk it can bring to your health.

The method of fasting has been around for thousands of years, but its practice has always been under controversial debate. The thought of it sounds so appealing, and simple – say no to food for quick weight loss results, right? It’s not that easy. Many confuse that the practice results in losing weight, but instead you are opting for quick fluid loss, which is easy to get rid, but just as easy to get back. It has the ability to lower your metabolic rate, that has fattening results after the process of fasting. Muslims who practice Ramadan are highly recommended to consume plenty of water before fasting periods, due to the high risk of dehydration because their bodies are not gaining fluid from foods. Fasting can disrupt sleep, which results to overall stress that eventually leads to a constant cycle.

Now despite all these risks, there are surprisingly benefits to the practice of fasting. For this diet to result in the least amount of risk, the subject must already be in a healthy state prior to fasting. The liver, kidney, and spleen, are meant to remove toxins, which if the body isn’t being introduced to any, makes it a lot easier on these organs. It is believed that fasting once a month has the potential to reduce heart disease and diabetes. In a rodent study published in July 2016 in the journal Cancer Cell, the team found that a fasting diet with the chemotherapy, allowed for the immune system to immediately recognize and attack the cancer cells, in addition to

slowing the rate of cell division. Researchers have linked calorie restriction to healthy brain function but has not found corresponding studies in humans. All these factors are potential studies that could possibly make the thought of fasting more appealing to the general public.

Everything is best in moderation. Studies show that possibly dedicating a day within every month could progressively showcase benefits overtime. Fasting as a daily diet, on the other hand, doesn’t seem practical at all. Food is what unities us all together, whether it be a family during dinner, or a country with all its delicacies they have to offer. I personally see food as a time to take a break for myself in order to fuel up for the long day ahead, or a treat as a sense of motivation if I am trying to get work done. Either way, a diet should cater to our lives. It shouldn’t be seen as a hassle, but more like a lifestyle choice.

 


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