The Wellness Word

December 2016

Holiday Health Hazards and How to Avoid Them

Choking: Nearly 3,000 people in the U.S. die each year from choking according to the National Safety Council. During the holidays, the amount of food you consume tends to increase, and the chances of choking do as well. Remember to chew each bite slowly and avoid talking while eating. It's polite to do so, and you'll feel fuller, quicker when you savor your food. Remember to watch out for the kids as well! For information about how to help someone that is choking, visit

Heart Attacks: Heart attack season goes right along with the holidays, with December 25th as the deadliest day. But why? Holiday stress, heavy meals with lots of sugar and fat, ignoring the symptoms of a heart attack, skipping medications, and understaffed hospitals. Take care of your body this holiday season by trying to stick to your normal routine. Take your medications, stick to your workout schedule (or even add more workout time!), don't overeat when meal time comes around, and don't be afraid to speak up if you think something is wrong. To learn more about heart attack symptoms, visit

Car Accidents: Road conditions, distracted drivers, and drivers under the influence contribute to the spike in car accidents during the holiday season. Make sure to have a sober driver that won't be distracted by other passengers or their cell phone. If possible, don't drive on the mornings after a holiday. There is an increase in traffic, and many people are still under the influence or drowsy.

Plan your route ahead of time, and check your car out before traveling. Load a shovel, jumper cables, tool kit, and a bag of salt/kitty litter, water, snacks, flash light, first aid kit, and extra blankets in case you get in trouble. Visit to learn how to make your Winter Car Kit!

To read about other holiday hazards, visit

Healthy Cooking Substitutions

This month, challenge yourself to making minor changes in your diet that will stick around for the long run. Don't attempt to cut out all carbs or sugar, but instead make small changes in your everyday recipes. The health benefits over time will be much better, and you won't even notice the difference!

  • Soy sauce: Sweet-and-sour sauce, hot mustard sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
  • Sugar: Half sugar in baked goods; add vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon to intensify sweetness
  • Syrup: Pureed fruit, such as applesauce, or low-calorie, sugar-free syrup
  • Pasta, flour, and rice, enriched (white): Whole-wheat pasta/ flour/brown rice
  • Fruit canned in heavy syrup: Fruit canned in its own juices or in water, or fresh fruit
  • Butter, margarine, shortening or oil in baked goods: Applesauce for half of the called-for butter, shortening or oil
  • Butter, margarine, shortening or oil to prevent sticking: Cooking spray or nonstick pans
  • Bacon: Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, smoked turkey or lean prosciutto (Italian ham)

December's Staff Spotlight is Lori Leichter from EIS!

"In January of 2009, Vickie Coffey had Weight Watchers offer an At-Work program for RBB employees. Weight Watchers clicked for me and I lost 50 pounds before my son's wedding that July. Soon after that, the leader of that meeting told me that I should look into becoming a Weight Watchers leader, so I did. One of the first meetings that I led was the At-Work program at RBB. During that time, Weight Watchers wanted every meeting to sponsor a 5K walk, so Steve Ennis designed a 5K route for me to use for this race, and then Lynn Uhls and I started walking this route several days a week after school in preparation for this upcoming 5K. Walking then became a social time for Lynn and I and something that we both enjoyed. We started competing in a lot 5K races through the Mag 7 Series and made a lot of friends along the way. Since that time, we have competed in many races including several half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks. We also recruited other friends and family members to join us for several of these events, as well. Just this past summer, we did an Inflatables 5K and the Rugged Maniac. Both of these were team events and we were joined by other RBB employees, as well as family.

I've stayed active and enjoy it more and more all the time because it makes me feel good about myself, gives me a sense of accomplishment, and provides a different social side to my life. Last January, the Hoosier Hills Council of Hikers put out a challenge to hike at least 200 miles on 10 different trails in the state of Indiana from January 2016 to June 2017 as part of the bicentennial celebration. I started in January with a First Day Hike at Lake Monroe, and then I would either go with my boyfriend, and or a group of friends every chance I got to hike in a new location. This summer, a group of us including Lynn Uhls, and Sue and Larry DeMoss and some friends that we've met through Mag 7 would meet at least once a week in a different location to hike. I reached my 200 miles in mid-July.

I love being active and seeing how far I can push myself, but if it weren't for Lynn and/or Doug Uhls coming up with "ideas" for us to do, I wouldn't have tried a lot of the activities that I've done. I always know that when Lynn tells me that she's found us something new to try or that she and Doug have been talking that I'm in for another challenge and I will end up being glad that I agreed to join in.

I became a grandma this summer and I'm so happy that I will get to run and play with my granddaughter and not just be the rocking chair kind of grandma."

Thanks for sharing, Lori!

Brain Breaks

Order up!

This game is very similar to Simon Says. Have the kids stand up and be ready to follow the teachers directions. Just like Simon Says, a word must be said before an action. That word is "Order". Students should touch their ear lobes, the elbows, nose, and toes when the teacher says "order" before the command. See below for an example.

"Order bows"

*students should touch their elbows*

If students touch their lobes/bows/nose/or toes when the word "order" doesn't proceed it, they are 'out'. Instead of having them sit down when they are out, have them do calf raises, jump and try to touch the ceiling, or anything else you can think of!

To make it more challenging, try a 'do as I say, not as I do' tactic. See below for an example.

Teacher says "ORDER TOES" while touching their ELBOWS

*Students should touch their TOES*

"Childcare Teachers as Role Models"

"Teachers who role model healthy behaviors in their classrooms can have an enormous impact on choices children make related to healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. Children are more likely to embrace and adopt habits if they see adults in their lives demonstrate these same healthy behaviors. Modeling healthy behaviors expands direct education to influence individuals’ behavior.

Here are a few examples to promote role modeling behaviors by childcare teachers:

  • Model healthy eating behaviors by consuming healthy foods and beverages.
  • Make a point of eating healthy snacks with students.
  • Participate in nutrition education classroom tasting activities.
  • Plan and conduct taste tests of fruits and vegetables with students on a regular basis (first Friday of each month, etc.)
  • Share positive out-of-the-classroom healthy eating experiences with students.
  • Eat lunch with students.
  • Schedule a lunch bunch as an earned reward. Ask parents to provide healthy foods to eat that day.
  • Lead and participate in active play in the classroom throughout the preschool day.
  • Discuss the benefits of healthy food choices with students during snack and meal times.
  • Walk during recess and before lunch time with students.
  • Create a “healthy behaviors” section on the classroom bulletin board. Enter your healthy behavior along with the students to continue to motivate each other to make healthy behavior changes.
  • Encourage development of a classroom walking club; teachers, students and classroom volunteers can all track how far they walk every day.

Teacher to teacher communication is powerful in influencing health behavior change in the childcare setting. Working together and sharing experiences will help to strengthen the activities and may provide an increase in the number of teachers who promote healthy behaviors."

CHAMPPS December Meeting

Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 3-3:45pm

601 Edgewood Drive

Ellettsville, IN

Like many other school districts across the country, we have formed a school health council. The purpose of the council is to bring together individuals and groups from our community to address issues affecting the health and well-being of our children and families. We welcome your participation, it is vital to our success.

Please report to room C115A. If you plan to attend or have questions about the council, please contact Vickie Coffey, the Nutrition Services/Healthy Schools Director, or Carlee LaRue, the Coordinated School Health AmeriCorps member at or

We believe more can be accomplished together than alone. The complex social problems our young people face require a united effort if we are to improve the quality of life for children and families living in the school district.

6th Annual Wrestling "O' Christmas Three" Point One Run/Walk

Saturday, Dec. 10th, 2pm

7600 West Reeves Road

Bloomington, IN

New course that stays on the school property! All proceeds benefit the Edgewood Wrestling team.

Cost: $18 prior to race day; $20 on race day. Make checks payable to: Edgewood Wrestling

Mail Entries/Information Contact: Greg Ratliff

601 S. Edgewood Dr.

Ellettsville, IN 47429

Register: Race day registration is from 12:30-1:45. Entries should be mailed by December 4th, 2015.

Snowman T-Shirts are guaranteed to all early registrants.

Join us for hot chocolate and snacks following the race. Winners will receive a “Champion” Christmas ornament!

All participants will earn a free entry to Edgewood vs. Bloomington North Senior Night January 10th!

Time to dream of Sugar Plums Cooking Event

Saturday, Dec. 10th, 11am-1pm

200 Daniels Way

Bloomington, IN

Chef Davenports celebrates the holiday season with a class filled with desserts from all around the world. Together you will make a Swedish tea ring, cherry rugalachs, homantoschen filled with fruit jam, linzer cookies, and American pumpkin pie. A dinner will be served as we can’t live on sweets alone. $59 Registration is through Ivy Tech.