Posts Tagged 'Lifestyle'

Local produce for a healthy you

Hello everyone! I hope you have enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating first few weeks of summer vacation! I am back to bring you some awesome blog posts for the rest of the summer! Summer is such a great time to make sure you are living a healthy lifestyle. With the beautiful, warm weather and plenty of summer produce, there are so many ways to take great care of your body through exercise and eating right.

One of my favorite things to do in the summer to take care of myself is to go to farmer’s markets! It is the perfect opportunity to look for some delicious and nutritious foods, get some exercise, and support your local farmers all at the same time. You can load up on fruits and veggies to eat as a snack, or plan to make a healthy recipe with the colorful, fresh produce. There are farmer’s markets all over Milwaukee on four different days of the week so there are plenty of options to make it fit into your schedule!

You can find a list of the times and locations here. If you aren’t located in Milwaukee you can just search for farmers markets in your area, you are bound to find something. Hope to see you out at the markets!

Alicia Diedrich

What’s “wellness” and how can I get it?

PrintHello to my fellow Golden Eagles! My name is Ben Eccles and I am one of the brand new Wellness Program interns for this school year. I am so excited to get involved with everything our wellness program has to offer, but first let me tell you all a bit about myself.

I have just started my junior year in the college of health sciences studying exercise physiology. I work as a desk receptionist in Carpenter Tower and as a campus tour guide. My hobbies include playing volleyball, soccer and basketball with my friends and trying to teach myself how to cook because I can’t rely on the meal plan anymore.

As interesting as I might seem, that is not the main focus of today’s post. I wanted to share some insight on how I view wellness. Many people (including myself at times) think that they are too busy to eat well, live well and feel well, but I believe a great way to fight this misconception is with knowledge. Allowing yourself to learn is the first step you can take to become the best version of you.

So what does wellness mean? Most people believe wellness is going for a run every day or eating green vegetables with every meal. While those things can nurture a healthy life style, not everyone has the ability or the option to do them. Being asked to define wellness as I am studying to be a wellness professional is something that can’t be done in simple terms.

Wellness, the way I have learned it, has 8 dimensions. Meaning there are 8 different facets of life for us as individuals to be well in. These dimensions are emotional, financial, social, spiritual, occupational, physical, intellectual, and environmental. I’m sure that at least half of these are fairly simple to understand in terms of wellness, but what on earth does occupational or intellectual wellness mean? I have provided a list that I found from samhsa.gov of brief definitions for all of these dimensions to give you an idea of what each of them mean.

Emotional Wellness – the ability to effectively cope with life and create meaningful relationships

Financial Wellness – satisfaction with current and future financial situation

Social Wellness – developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system

Spiritual Wellness – expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life

Occupational Wellness – personal satisfaction and enrichment derived from one’s work

Physical Wellness – recognizing the need for physical activity, diet, sleep and nutrition

Intellectual Wellness – recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills

Environmental Wellness – Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulation environments that support well-being 

That is all I have for today! I will be back soon to expand on these ideas and cover new topics in health and wellness.

 

Ben

New year, new us

IMG_3267Welcome back, MU community! It’s the second day of the school year and Employee Wellness has lots planned for this semester. We are really excited to share it all with you! First off, yes, it is still me, Sarah, but we have a new face on the team. Her name is Alicia Diedrich, and she is excited to start spreading some wellness news, too. You’ll be hearing from her more next week.

Last January, I started a little bit of a redesign of the structure and content on our webpage. You may have noticed. Get ready for some more future updates and cool upgrades to where you are finding wellness information through us. We hope to have more helpful facts ready for you more often very soon.

I’m also pretty stoked to let you know that we will be working more with the Office of Marketing and Communication. Hopefully this will allow us to become a full service wellness desk, able to answer all your questions and bring you details about tons of cool and health-centric events on campus and throughout Milwaukee.

Speaking of cool events on campus, we already have plenty of fun classes planned to help you get in your daily fitness. From yoga to crossfit, we don’t want you to forget to have fun every once in a while during the work day. Getting fit at the same time is a plus. Be sure to register here to check out our calendar and take another step toward a healthier lifestyle.

So get excited and get moving, MU! Let’s make this a great and healthy semester.

Committing to a long and well life

IMG_3164As the summer is wrapping up, I knew that I needed to get some last minute things finished before I have to go back to the world of school. One of those things was visiting my grandparents. So this weekend I road tripped out to the great state of Iowa to hang out on the farm with my grandpa and grandma.

My grandparents live in lovely, little Homestead, Iowa in the Amana Colonies. Its functions in the heart of the Midwest’s corn belt and contributes to Iowa’s beef-producing epicenter. Grandpa has lived on this farm all of his life; I’m not kidding, he was born on this land 79 years ago. He grew up doing the hard labor that farming requires and continues until this day to feed all of his cattle and plow his fields himself. Grandpa is the kind of guy who just enjoys his work. Every year when I see him, though, he jokes about how after this upcoming winter, he’s going to quit farming. “Ok, yeah right, Grandpa,” we always say. This time prompted him to bring up his last visit to his general practitioner.

Grandpa got his bones tested, his blood tested and all of that other stuff to make sure that his body was still working well. At the end of the visit, his doctor asked him if he was really 79 years old. He couldn’t believe that he was as old as his birth certificate suggested; his body only suggested my Grandpa could be 60 years old. The doctor attributed my grandfather’s youthful condition to the daily physical activity that he does.

Most doctors recommend that you should be getting at least one hour of physical activity a day, whether it be going for a walk, playing a sport or doing some yoga. Staying active can keep your body young and working properly, and my grandpa can testify to that. I’m not suggesting that we all become farmers, although we could use the boost in agriculture. I’m recommending that we get up and make wellness a priority instead of shoving it to the side as if it were a luxury.

Being active is as important as sleeping. Without it, none of us are going to last very long. As humans, we have the strength and build to move. If we were meant to sit around and do nothing, we’d be sloths or vegetables.

Now, I’m not a carrot or squash, and I am hoping that you are not either. And my grandpa’s story only reiterates what so many other sources say: GET MOVING. SO before it is too late, start making physical activity a priority and necessity. Because really, it is a necessity. I hope that some day I can tell my grandkids that although I am eighty, I can still do all the fun things someone in their 60’s is doing. I don’t want my body to fall apart on me. The main point of wellness is not only to be well now, but to be well always, for the rest of our lives. So get up and get moving, just like my grandpa has done his whole life. It’s so worth your while that it will add years to your life.

 

Purging of the poisonous people

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 2.43.16 PMLife is filled with handfuls of wonderful people. But it also cannot be ignored that there are plenty of Debby-Downers in day-to-day life. Sometimes people are just chronically negative, having a bad day or taking out a personal problem on you. Needless to say, this can ruin a work day, or any day really. We all probably have in mind that one person who constantly picks on our work or can barely spare a compliment when you do happen to do a good job. Usually, I try to ignore the negativity, but it can build up into a pessimistic mountain at times. So recently I’ve taken on the task of separating myself from the people who have just proven to be toxic in my life.

No, I’m not saying rid yourself from every single person who has hurt your feelings ever. You would be one lonely loner, that’s for sure. In life, we all have to remember that we are just human. We cannot be perfect and we cannot expect others to be perfect either. But we also cannot ignore self-care by letting Negative-Nancys take advantage of us. And we can’t let Meany-Mike strip us of our self-esteem on a regular basis. What I mean to say is that if there are people in your life that you are constantly putting yourself out for, relying on or covering for and they just keep using you like that, move on.

Ah, those scary words. Move on. Certainly not an easy thing to do and certainly not one of my favorite things to do either. I always find myself worrying about things like, “Oh, what if they change and see how much I do for them?” or “Maybe they just need a positive influence in their lives like me.” Forget it, man. Letting someone who does not have his or her own self-esteem worked out steel-roll you for all of your I-love-myself points is not fair to you! I fell into this trap of trying to be the bigger person by staying close friends with some people who were quite rude to me on a regular basis and would constantly use me for whatever I had to offer at the time. Not a fun gig. Not a real friendship.

And I know, you might be thinking that God says we should love our enemies. This is true. But He never said let them take advantage of you and toss you around for whatever they want or need. We can go out of our way, as Christians (and frankly as decent human beings) and help our neighbors, whether we like them or not. We should also, though, stand up for ourselves and the precious person that we were created as.

So if there are bullies getting you down, just step away. It is way more possible than you think. I’ve done it, my mother has done it with her friends and my dad has done it with his job. They seem much happier to me. And I can assure you that I’ve never felt better or stronger myself. Like I said, there are tons of fantastic people in the world. Go out there and surround yourself with great influences, others who lift each other up and friends who will always have your back. You deserve it. No one needs the little guys picking on you, and soon enough, they too will realize it themselves.

Wellbeing Biographies: Sarah Schlaefke

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Photo by Nolan Bollier

Recently the news contains headlines that are riddled with devastating events. Dark and dismal happenings like shootings, bombings and corruption cover our TV screens, newspapers and social media feeds. I don’t know about you, but I could use a pick-me-up. Here’s my shot at adding a little positivity to your daily news intake.

As a wellness website, I feel that it is important to recognize, celebrate and encourage the sharing of our own healthy lifestyles as well as the lifestyles of those around us. Through Marquette Employee Wellness, I would like to start a little collection of stories amongst our campus of the positive changes, successes and even valiant efforts put forth by our community. This is an opportunity to share with those around us what we have been working on, not to boast and not to be ragged on for it, but to set forth positive examples and inspire each other to take on wellness for ourselves. We are, however, Marquette, and we do, in fact, make quite a difference, even in our own lives.

So to start us off, I’ll let you in on a little more about me.

A year ago, I could not have told you that I would be writing anything even remotely near to “wellness.” I did not really know what it meant to be well. I was struggling with some heavy depression, a not-so-healthy relationship and just an all-over raincloud on the outlook of my life. After a while, and after I had given up on the hopes of being happy, something changed.

I woke up one day feeling like I deserved it, which is true – we all do. I deserved to be happy. I could make that my reality, too. I just had to go at it headfirst. From that moment, I cannot think of a single regret.

I tossed my garbage relationship out the window. I started doing things that I wanted to do again, not things that I thought were out of the way and approved of by everyone else. I quit the job that made me unhappy. I took up rock climbing and full-fledged strength training. I cared more about what I ate, telling myself that my body deserves to be fueled correctly, so that I could go and accomplish the great things I wanted to accomplish.

Yes, I still had a handful of people doubting me, telling me “no,” or putting me down. I actually just decided that life is too short to care what they think. It was a tough pill to swallow, but in the end I realized that at the end of the day, I have to live with myself, so taking care of myself and my wellbeing became very important.

Today I am part of an amazing relationship with a man who makes me really happy and is pretty much my best friend/default adventure buddy. I am extremely excited to start up classes again this semester; I am very much looking forward to working with the teachers I  have. I also just recently began writing freelance articles with OnMilwaukee, one of my journalistic dreams come true. I have been slowly seeing progress in my climbing, which I have been using as inspiration to making new media featuring nature and the outdoorsy lifestyle. My faith is strong. My relationship with my family is full of smiles and laugher. And I am just about done with all of the anxiety and depression treatment that I started when all I could see is dark blue. All in all, I don’t think I could say I have ever been happier than I am right now. I am proud of my wellness and that is why I am here. I am aching to inspire others to take hold of life and just go for it, go for the happiness. And I know I am not the only one.

Here’s the good part. Since I can’t be alone on this wellness adventure, I want to hear from you about the successes, goals and healthy habits that have made you a better person. Your story does not need to be long, and it doesn’t need to be perfect (that’s why I have copy editing experience, don’t you worry). But I do want to hear it.

It is important to support each other in our journeys to wellness. This is why I feel this little project is essential. I hope that you will reach out to me with a story. We are not alone this planet for a reason. Let’s work together on being the difference in each of our lives.

Wellbeing Biography stories can be submitted to me, Sarah Schlaefke, at sarah(dot)schlaefke(@)gmail(dot)com. I will edit them up and let you know when they will be posted! Please feel free to include a photo, too, because the Internet loves pictures.

Thanks for reading, hope to hear from you all soon. Stay healthy, my friends.

Summer Cookout Series: Chocolate Pretzel Bars

original-201202-HD-pretzel-bars

Photo via Julie Craig

Well, would you look at that. We are already at the last week of July! Since this month is coming to an end, I want to share with you my favorite way to end any meal – dessert. And since we are still talking about summer cookouts, I dug up one of my favorite picnic desserts and tweaked it just a tad to make it a little bit healthier.

This gooey, chocolatey, pretzel-filled dessert has all the ingredients to appease any kind of cookout guest. Take on a sweet tooth with the melty chocolate and satisfy the salt-lover with the chunks of pretzels bursting from every bite. These pleasing pretzel bars are the perfect way to end the party.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups of whole grain wheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 sticks of softened unsalted butter
1 cup of light brown sugar
1/2 cup of sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
One 12-ounce bag of bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons of crushed cocoa nibs
1 1/2 cups of coarsely chopped mini quinoa pretzels
2 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9×13-inch metal baking pan with parchment or wax paper, allowing overhang on the edges of the pan.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a larger bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter with both sugars at medium speed until light, so only beat it for about 1 minute. Then add  in the eggs and vanilla and beat again. At a lower speed,  now beat in the dry ingredients. After, stir in the chips, nibs and pretzels by hand.
  3. Spread this concoction in the pan and dust the top with the mini chocolate sprinkles. Bake for a half an hour until golden and the center should still be still be a little gooey. Let cool completely. Just pull on the parchment paper to get the bars out of the pan. Cut them up and enjoy!

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