Monday, September 24, 2012
What's the big deal about eating healthy at work anyways? We spend most of time at work that's what. Some of us spend breakfast, lunch and dinner at work. What about that 2:30 slump? Do you find it's hard to think clearly? Well, when you eat to improve your health, you think more clearly, solve problems better, lose weight and feel more energetic. Doctors know and inside so do you when you make unhealthy food choices you not only use more sick days, you increase your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar all resulting in you spend money on medications, doctor bills and emergency room visits.
Eating healthier at work doesn't have to be complicated, expensive, or boring. In fact, you could start the next trend towards healthier eating in your office. This new trend will give you the slimmer body and quicker thinking processes that you can use to not only show off but to get ahead at work. Now tell me, who doesn't what that? I know, I know, you're probably telling yourself, "That sounds great and all Cindy but who has time to eat healthy anyways?" No worries, I completely understand, with heavier work schedules, time crunches, and tight time frames many of us end up eating lunch over our desks or racing out for a quick lunch. Now you're probably thinking, but eating healthy means eating boring salads, right? Completely wrong! Not only do salads not have to be boring, but they're not your only options when it comes to healthier eating "Corporate Style."
Monday, September 17, 2012
Stuck behind your desk all day?
Tight time frames?
No time to exercise? Well, join the club!
As our workloads seem to increase day-by-day, busy life schedules and the pressure to cram in as much as we can into the day, we don’t seem to have time for physical activity. Exercise gets pushed on the back burner for another day, except another day doesn’t seem to come. This lack of physical activity leads to stress, immobility, muscular degeneration and obesity causing poor health. Of course, this reminds us that our “health is our wealth”.
We all understand the importance of exercise. We all follow a busy schedule, and it’s possible to keep ourselves active with exercise, even with such a busy life.
You might be asking yourself “Why is exercise so important?” Medical studies confirm that exercise or any regular physical activity reduces the risk of a heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer (especially breast cancer). Exercise not only gives your immune system a boost to keep you healthier, it makes you feel happier, energetic and have clearer thinking. Exercise also helps you stay fit, look younger and remain active. Regular exercise helps reduce stress too!
Why are companies adding fitness to their corporate wellness programs? Because we all know when you feel better, have more energy and think clearly, you are more productive at work. What’s good for you is good for your company. Your good health and dynamic appearance indicates that you’re energetic and industrious; and hence, this is what many companies are pursuing with corporate wellness programs. Whether your company runs a workplace wellness program or not, you must take charge of your health by adding exercise and activity to your lifestyle.
Simple exercises can be done, even if you are in the office, work from home or at a factory. Sometimes you will need a small space but don’t let this hold you back, right by your desk is just fine.
To help you get started here is a 10 minute video you can do at your desk from http://www.sparkpeople.com, a desk workout with there own Coach Nicole!
Forward thinking companies are supporting fitness at work by assisting their employees to
incorporate exercise activities into their work day. Fitness during the work day should be the the expected instead of the exception.
To be fit is to be healthy. A strong body makes for a strong mind resulting in getting more done.
Your partner in health,
Cindy Cohen RN
Monday, September 10, 2012
Remember the speech, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," from your mom?
Your mom isn't the only expert in our midst. According to Mayo Clinic, breakfast fuels the body and gives you the energy to keep you going for hours. The National Institute for Health reports that when you eat a healthy breakfast you are less likely to overeat later in the day. Weight Watchers teaches if you are trying to lose weight, skipping meals may cause you to gain weight. Breakfast is really "breaking" your night time fast. So if you skip the first meal of the day, your body will be running on the energy (food) from the day before. That's a lot to ask of your body, don't you think? But wait, you already know that. So what's the problem? How to do it.
Squeezing in a healthy breakfast
Mornings tend to be hectic for most of us. For some of us the kids, husband, and pets are more than we can juggle. For the rest of us, just getting out of bed is challenge enough. Adding breakfast to the mix and a healthy one at that just seems like too much.
Good planning, change a few habits and you're half way to improving your health. It's equally easy to eat healthy as it is to eat unhealthy. You're just in the habit of eating unhealthy. Now is a good time to develop the habit of eating healthy.
- Start the night before you go to work.
- Think about what you want for breakfast the next day.
- Set out any dry ingredients and any bowls, blenders, or pans so they're ready for use.
- Make breakfast the night before and put in the refrigerator.
- Make a week’s worth, divide it into daily portions.
- Pack a to-go breakfast the night before.
Quick healthy breakfast ideas
You have plenty of ways to get in a healthy breakfast each day, and it doesn't always have to be your mom's breakfast of cold sugary cereal, fried eggs, and bacon.
Here are some healthy breakfast ideas to get you going in the morning:
- A whole-wheat pita stuffed with organic scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, organic sliced tomatoes.
- Organic egg omelet with chopped vegetables, fruit, and 100% whole wheat toast.
- Breakfast sandwich with 100% whole grain bread sliced and an organic hard-boiled egg.
- Cooked oatmeal, steel cut oats, or multigrain cereal topped with almonds or dried cranberries.
- Whole grain high fiber (at least 8 grams) cold cereal.
- A whole wheat tortilla filled with vegetables and salsa.
- Vegetable smoothies - blended romaine lettuce, kale, spinach, banana, flax seeds and protein powder.
- Carrot, celery, cucumber sticks, and yogurt.
- Celery sticks, peanut butter, and raisins.
- Yogurt with chopped fruit, nuts, and raisins.
- Fruit smoothies-blended from fruits, some low-fat yogurt, a spoonful of wheat germ, and protein powder.
- Trail Mix of nuts and dried fruit.
- Sliced apple and almond butter.
Pancakes - Waffles
- Multigrain pancakes with fruit and yogurt.
- Buckwheat pancakes with pecans.
- A whole-grain waffle with peanut butter.
Bagels - Toast - Crackers
- Whole-wheat crackers, bagels, or 100% whole wheat bread with peanut butter or almond nut butter. Add a banana or apple.
- A whole-wheat vegetarian sandwich on a bagel with hummus, fresh spinach, romaine lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.
A word about food bars, protein powder, and processed soy products. Food bars are not always a good option. Food bars have become a popular to grab-n-go food for a speedy breakfast. However, it's important to read the food labels carefully. Many food bars have as many calories, fats, sugars, and the overall nutrition as a candy bar.
Powdered protein can be a problem. The protein in protein powder is generally from whey, milk, or soy. Many people are allergic or develop gastric distress to milk and whey. The American Cancer Society recommends soy as cancer protective and the American Heart Association recommends it as reducing your heart attack risk. When selecting soy, go with whole food sources, the healthiest option.
Processed soy is used in food bars and substitutes for protein such as veggie burgers. Processed soy like all processed foods is bad for you. Stick with natural genetically modified organic (non-GMO), soy beans, tofu, miso, soy milk, and whole food soy protein drinks. If you're wondering what company to go with, check out Cornucopia Institute's “Behind the Bean” report.
There you have it, breakfast in an egg shell, or well you think about. We'd love to hear about your morning breakfast. Healthy or no?
Your partner in health,
Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Monday, September 3, 2012
You might be asking yourself,
“How do I get more bang for my buck?”
Let’s take a look at the program design that brings the most success.
A successful wellness design includes the following:
- Engages or enrolls your employee in the process of learning how to improve their personal health and wellness by providing educational opportunities and exposures.
- Provides a mix of onsite, and online learning, health coaching and wellness activities.
- Demonstrates that you care about your employees by providing a supportive environment for developing a healthy workforce.
- Connects your company with the greater wellness community by participating as a company with events such as Ride Your Bike to Work Week, American Heart Association Heart Walk, or the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event.
- Provides a mix of services and products to support local wellness companies and national organizations to offer a comprehensive wellness program while supporting local businesses.
- Meets the employee where they are by addressing learning styles, schedule flexibility and access to activities.
- Monitors the progress of your employees down the road to better health. The data will show you where you need to provide the most education, activities, and support. Incentivizes and rewards results through positive reinforcement and celebrations together.
- Meets the standards and is certified in worksite wellness of national wellness organizations such as Wellness Councils of America.
- Most importantly provides consistent wellness programing or activities throughout the year. A wellness survey conducted by Optimum Health in 2010 indicated companies where employees experience eight wellness activities or more during the year have the most rapid ROI.
The wellness plan you are looking for results in healthy employees and a healthy bottom line, not just another thing to do.
Your partner in health,
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