Wellness Newsletter: November
Putting a safety lock on your health
Brown Deer, WI
Aristotle once said, “We become what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” We can either make consistent healthy choices to be healthy or we can live an inactive, junk food-filled life to become unhealthy with multiple medical problems down the road.
It’s easy to turn into a couch potato the second we get home from an exhausting day at work. It may take us a trip to the doctor to realize that our lifestyles aren’t sustainable in the long run. This is what happened to Louis. Since his triglycerides were off the charts and his cholesterol levels were out of range, his doctor gave him the choice of taking medication or improving his diet. Avoiding medication, Louis decided to attempt a more natural remedy by taking Omega 3 vitamins and by following the Healthy Eating program from Humana Vitality.
The Healthy Eating course asked participants to visualize reasons to be around in 20 years. Louis found that visualizing your future helps you stay true to your goals because you want to be around for your grandchildren, etc.
This was just the beginning of the many resources Louis utilized. He also tried the Humana program called Living Healthy: 90-Day Walking Challenge, gradually exposing him to more exercise each day. By doing this, he noticed how much more energy he had. He created a realistic, effective exercise program with a Vitality Coach and began to run during his lunch breaks, keeping his exercise consistent.
He came across a run/walk program in Galloway's Book on Running by Jeff Galloway. This book provided practical information on how to run safely based on the author’s Olympic training. Even though we may not all be training to be in the Olympics, it sure helps to get an expert’s advice!
Louis went from having no running experience to running 20 miles per week! Looking to improve his running, he was inspired by the principals of running barefoot style and has been using this method for the past two years. He had arthritis in his toes, but regularly using Vibram FiveFinger shoes has actually relieved the pain and strengthened his feet.
He has found the Vitality Program extremely helpful and has earned Platinum Status every year. He was successful in lowering his triglycerides and cholesterol to healthy ranges. But the most profound result of utilizing the Humana Vitality resources was that he was able to lose 30 pounds! He needed to buy himself a whole new wardrobe to fit and match the new person he had become. A powerful phrase that inspired Louis’s weight loss was said by Dr. George Sheehan, a runner and author, who stated, “What I have lost, I can afford to lose. What I have gained is something I cannot do without.”
Keeping a positive attitude will help you persevere through the tough times when you feel like giving up. And just like Aristotle said, staying consistent and creating habits out of our exercise and food choices will help us become a healthy person that lives a longer, stronger, more fulfilling life. Who do you want to become through your habits?
Holiday Cooking Substitutes
Humana Vitality Tip
Recipe! Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces 1/3-less fat cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat 24 mini muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and oil until well combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, milk and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, whisk together the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium-size bowl until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting evenly over the cupcakes, or place the frosting in a zip-top sandwich bag, seal the bag, and snip a quarter inch off one bottom corner. Create playful designs on each cupcake – pumpkins, hearts, smiley faces – by squeezing the frosting from the bag onto each cupcake.
Recipe! Gluten- Free Stuffing
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups yellow onion – diced
- 1 cup celery – diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme - minced
- 3 cups uncooked wild and brown rice blend
- 6 cups chicken broth – low sodium
- 15 dried apricots – roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds – toasted
- 1 cup fresh parsley – minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- To toast almonds, spread out in even layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted; set aside.
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions and celery until tender and translucent, about 15-20 minutes. Add fresh thyme and cook for additional minute or two to release natural oils in the thyme.
- Stir in rice and toast over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir once then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes until rice absorbs all of the liquid.
- When rice is cooked, lightly fluff with a fork then stir in chopped apricots, toasted almond slices and fresh parsley.
- Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste before serving.