The Wellness Word

January 2018

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Chances are, at some point in your life, you've made a New Year's resolution - and then broke it. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change and then not following through. If your resolution is to take better care of yourself and get healthy, you will have a much better year if your resolution sticks. Here are some tips to help keep you on track.

Be realistic: The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make that goal unattainable. Resolving to never eat your favorite food ever again is setting you up for failure. Strive for a goal that is attainable, such as eating your favorite food less than you do now.

Outline your plan: Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could be calling a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self talk, or reminding yourself how that piece of cake will affect your goal.

Make a pros & cons list: Develop this list over time and ask others to contribute to it if needed. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolution. It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong.

Talk about it: Don't keep your resolution a secret! Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. *Bonus - they can keep you accountable*

Reward yourself: Celebrate your successes by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn't contradict your resolution. If you have been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, reward yourself by purchasing new fitness clothing.

Track your progress: Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to complete, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first 5. Reward yourself for each 5 pounds you lose.

Don't beat yourself up: Do the best you can each day, and take it one day at a time. Obsessing over the occasional slip won't help you achieve your goal.

Stick to it: Researchers say that it takes roughly 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won't happen overnight, so be persistent and patient.

Keep trying: If you've run out of steam by mid-February - that's okay! Start over again. Recommit yourself for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and before you know it, you'll be back on track.


For how little they need to thrive, succulents are remarkably giving. Like other houseplants, research has shown that succulents can help cleanse and dehumidify the air, which helps increase oxygen while deterring illnesses like colds and the flu, boost healing by lowering anxiety, fatigue, and pain, and even lead to increased productivity at work when stationed at your desk.

Unlike other houseplants, Succulents have two superpowers that are extremely unique. 1) Succulents preserve the consumption of water, and 2) they produce oxygen at night while your other plants are producing carbon dioxide, making them perfect for bedrooms.

Interested in starting your succulent collection? Succulent Studios grows their plants in Southern California, using only organic media and fertilizers. They'll send you * 2 * succulents a month, for $10 + shipping! Each succulent comes with care instructions, so you can reap the most benefits.

For more information, please visit: or visit their page on Facebook


Mission: Building a healthier future for our children, families, and communities - mind, body, and emotions

Vision: All children gain the knowledge they need to become healthy, happy adults

Goal: To build a circle of wellness that integrates comprehensive health education into existing curriculum and flows from teacher, to student, to family, to community and back to the classroom. By creating a circle of wellness education that includes the entire community, Shape Up US hopes to energize and encourage individuals and groups to inspire others to seek similar goals

Health & Wellness Expos: These free events promote wellness, create awareness about a healthy lifestyle, and provide a day of fun for the entire family.

  • Heart health: height, weight, and blood pressure readings; interactive assessment for the family; BMI and body fat composition screening,
  • Safety: Child fingerprinting; 9-1-1 demonstrations; water and helmet safety; kids' and families' Q & A about their health and safety; ambulance and fire truck tours,
  • Dental care: Information and demonstrations on proper brushing and flossing techniques; toothpaste, toothbrushes, and tooth floss giveaways,
  • Fitness: Opportunities to participate in boxing, gymnastics, flag football, volleyball, weight training, jump roping, dancing, karate, soccer, batting cages, basketball, yoga, hockey, kickball, obstacle courses, games, challenges, hula-hoops, soccer, tai chi, JUST CLAP FOR LIFE! and much more,
  • Nutrition: Cooking stations; healthy food samplings; the Cook-Off Challenge in which attendees are challenged to prepare delicious, healthy, nutritious food - teams compete to create fabulous dishes and the contestants and crowds learn how to easily prepare great food; a change to create your own granola, and
  • Positive & Productive living: Tools for financial fitness and living in sync with your environment; mini-massages; meditation and stress management techniques

Goals of the Expos: (1) Promote awareness and discussion of health and wellness among family members, teachers, and schools on how to assess and address their personal and community wellness, (2) Strengthen community by connecting attendees with businesses, media, sports teams, schools and universities, non-profit organizations, and city service organizations (fire and police departments, hospitals, and local governments) around issues related to health promotion and wellness, and (3) Introduce Hip Hop Healthy Heart Program for Children, Shape Up US' continuing education program for teachers and their K-6th grade students.

For more information on Shape Up US and the Wellness Expos, please visit their website at: or visit their blog at:


By: Sophie Egan, The NY Times

In terms of health impacts, it is better to cook with olive oil. Compared to a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of coconut oil contains about six times the amount of saturated fat, nearly meeting the daily limit of about 13 grams that the American Heart Association recommends. High saturated fat intake has been tied to increased levels of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol, which raises the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, olive oil, a main component of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, contains beneficial polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

“Between the two, olive oil is a better choice, since monounsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your heart when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated and trans fats in your diet,” said Annessa Chumbley, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the A.H.A., in an email. Earlier this year, the organization issued an advisory that firmly reiterated its guidance to consumers to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats to help prevent heart disease. Consumers were also urged to keep in mind the bigger picture of an overall healthy eating pattern.

While some research has linked the main type of saturated fatty acid in coconut oil, lauric acid, to increased levels of HDL, or “good,” cholesterol, it still appears to raise LDL cholesterol. Yet, coconut oil may be a better choice than some other sources of saturated fat. A recent, large study found that lauric acid didn’t appear to raise heart disease risk quite as much as other types of saturated fatty acids, such as palmitic acid, which is substantial in butter.

Proponents of coconut oil point out that it is rich in phytochemicals that have healthful antioxidant properties. While it’s true that extra-virgin coconut oil, like extra-virgin olive oil, contains phytochemicals, most of the coconut oil on the market is refined and provides few of those antioxidants, said Dr. Qi Sun, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. But even if the coconut oil you are using is extra-virgin, “the saturated fat effects outweigh any beneficial effects of the antioxidants,” he said.

But of course, we don’t eat fats or cholesterol or antioxidants — we eat food. So while coconut oil certainly isn’t the magic bullet some claim, there’s no need to avoid it completely, especially if it is used instead of butter or shortening in baked goods or to impart flavor in something like a curry dish. As a general rule, though, cooking with olive oil is the better choice for overall health.


"Meals in a bowl" are becoming increasingly popular, providing both sweet and savory options. Look around at your local restaurants or browse through Pinterest and you're sure to find burrito, rice, salad, and even smoothie bowls.

Bowls are a good way to incorporate a variety of food groups, but the calories can add up quickly. Consider these tips to help you build a tasty, healthy bowl:

Bulk up the 'bowl' with fruits and veggies
  • Fruits and veggies are naturally low in fat and calories, and eating them can reduce your risk for chronic disease
  • Aim to have at least two color groups represented in your fruit and veggie selection

Incorporate a whole grain

  • Whole grains pack a nutritional punch by providing fiber, B vitamins, and phytochemicals (compounds produced by plants that may help prevent disease)
  • Easy whole grain options include brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, kamut, quinoa, or bulgur

Chose a lean protein

  • Protein in your bowl means you will stay full longer
  • Eggs, lean meats, tofu, beans, Greek yogurt, and nut butters are great go-to options

Top wisely! Don't undo all the healthy choices you've made by topping the bowl with loads of sugar and sodium. Instead, top it with foods such as dried fruits or plain nuts and seeds


"In my early twenties my Grandma told me that a woman should have four sizes in her closet. I never really thought much about that statement until last year when I realized I do have four sizes in my closet. A size eight at my smallest, ten, twelve, and a fourteen at my heaviest. I told myself years ago that I would never buy a sixteen, and to this date, I have not. I might have borrowed a few... but never purchased one. I've always struggled with my weight, mostly because I just love food! It's a good thing I like activity, too. Physical activity has always been a constant in my life. I played a lot of sports in High School, and continued to do so into my late thirties, but I ended up retiring from sports (due to a softball injury). After that, I started group exercise classes and eventually became an instructor for the Y. After a decade of teaching, I retired as a ZUMBA instructor from the Y. I then joined Anytime fitness and I workout several times a week. I get a good mix of cardio and strength training in each week and I absolutely LOVE it! I'm feeling pretty strong and healthy at fifty. I eat my veggies, my blood work is spot on, and most importantly, I feel good."

Thanks for sharing, Vickie!


As a parent or teacher, you invest a lot of time, money, effort, and love into your children, with the hope of eventually launching a happy, healthy adult into the world. Because you are one of the most important influences on your child(ren), here are some tips to be the best role model you can possibly be.

1. Show by example: Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with meals or as snacks. Let your child see that you like to munch on raw vegetables.

2. Go food shopping together: Grocery shopping can teach your child about food and nutrition. Discuss where vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein foods come from.

3. Get creative in the kitchen: Cut food into fun and easy shapes with cookies cutters. Encourage your child to invent new snacks. Make your own trail mixes from dry whole-grain, low-sugar cereal and dried fruit.

4. Offer the same foods for everyone: Don't make different dishes to please each child; it's easier to plan family meals when everyone eats the same foods.

5. Reward with attention, not food: Choose not to offer sweets as rewards, as it allows your child to think that sweets or dessert foods are better than other foods. When meals are not eaten, they do not need 'extras' like candy or cookies as replacement foods.

6. Focus on each other at the table: Turn off the television and save phone calls for later. Try to make eating meals a stress-free time.

7. Listen to your child: If your child says that they are hungry, offer a small, healthy snack (even if it's not a scheduled time to eat!) When planning meals, offer choices, such as "Which would you like for dinner - broccoli or cauliflower?"

8. Limit screen time: Allow no more than 2 hours a day of screen time, like the television and computer. Get up and move during commercials to get some physical activity.

9. Encourage physical activity: Involve your child in the planning of physical activity. Set an example by being physically active and using safety gear.

10. Be a good food role model: Try new foods! Offer one new food at a time at the beginning of a meal, serving something your child likes along with it. Avoid lecturing or forcing your child to eat.


By: Emily Mullin, MIT Technology Review

Ingestible sensors could help doctors keep people from becoming addicted to prescription painkillers. New pill capsules that send a message to a smartphone as they move through the GI tract have emerged as a way to track whether patients are taking their medicine as prescribed. The problem of non-adherence to medication instructions causes about 125,000 deaths a year and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations, according to one estimate.

Soon the ingestible tracking technology could also be used to make sure patients aren’t taking too many of drugs like opioids, which are highly addictive. Researchers at one Boston hospital think the high-tech pills could help physicians prescribe the right amount of opioids, helping patients avoid taking more than they need.

As the opioid epidemic in the U.S. grows, Edward Boyer and Peter Chai, emergency medical physicians and medical toxicologists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, wanted to find out how patients take opioids when they’re prescribed them for the first time.

Chai says being able to detect a pattern in how patients are taking pills can help physicians intervene if there’s a change in that pattern: if patients are taking more pills, for example, or taking them before they go to bed at night, the most dangerous time to take opioids.

They partnered with EtectRx, a company based in Newberry, Florida, that’s developing an ingestible gel capsule with a wireless sensor. The gel capsule fits over regular pills; when swallowed, it’s dissolved by digestive acids in the stomach and emits a radio signal that’s picked up by a small device worn around the neck. The reader detects the message sent from the pill and forwards it to a physician’s smartphone app via Bluetooth.

Boyer and Chai tried out the technology on 15 patients who were admitted to the emergency room at Brigham and Women’s for bone fractures and were prescribed oxycodone, a type of opioid. The technology records how many pills each patient takes and how often they take them. If a patient takes too many of the opioids because pain is persisting, a doctor can intervene.

To read more:


Eating 24 grams daily (women) or 36 grams (men) causes these changes in the body --

Brain: Sugar can rewire the brain's pathways. Diets full of processed and sugar-heavy foods can increase the risk of depression by 58%

Heart: Sugar inflames the linings of the arteries to the heart, increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack

Kidneys: Sugar overload can damage their delicate filtration system. Diabetes is one of the main causes of kidney failure

Joints: High-sugar diets pump inflammatory cytokines into your bloodstream, which can exacerbate arthritis

Skin: When sugar bombards your body, proteins incorporate it as part of their structure, aging skin and causing wrinkles

46 SNEAKY NAMES FOR SUGAR - how many are fooling you?

Agave, Diatase, Lactose
Barley malt, Date sugar, Maltodextrin
Beet sugar, Dextrin, Maltose
Blackstrap molasses, Dextrose, Maple syrup
Brown sugar, Diastatic malt, Palm sugar
Brown rice syrup, Evaporated cane juice, Raw sugar
Cane sugar, High fructose corn syrup, Rice syrup
Cane juice, Fruit sugar, Refiner's syrup
Caramel, Galactose, Saccharose
Carob syrup, Glucomalt, Sorghum syrup
Coconut sugar, Glucose, HSucrose
Coconut palm sugar, Grape juice concentrate, Sugar
Confectioner's sugar, Grape sugar, Treacle
Corn sweetener, Honey, Turbinado sugar
Corn syrup, Invert Sugar, Xylose
Demerara sugar

Top 5 sources of added sugars
  1. Sweetened beverages
  2. Baked goods
  3. Dairy desserts
  4. Candy
  5. Cereal

Side Effects of Too Much Sugar

Obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, premature aging, fatty liver, poor memory, weaker bones, inflammation, kidney stones, acne, depression, belly fat

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RBBCSC has two very exciting events coming up, and we need help!

Action for Healthy Kids Community Health Fair is April 25th, 3:45 - 7:45 and Hoops for Heart is May 9th, during the school day.

If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering, please contact Rachel Pfafman at


Bloomington Winter Farmer's Market

Saturday, Jan. 6th 2018 at 9am to Saturday, March 31st 2018 at 12:30pm

909 East 2nd Street

Bloomington, IN

The Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market occurs every Saturday and has over 30 vendors with a diversity of produce, meats, eggs, dairy, soaps, flowers, plants, mushrooms, honey, prepared foods, and holiday items. Come for breakfast, enjoy live music, and take home great food and gifts.
Free parking at Harmony, on city streets, and at Atwater garage.

For more information:

This event is free to attend.

Dive Deeper with a Marine Biologist

Saturday, Jan. 6th 2018 at 2pm

308 West 4th Street

Bloomington, IN

Join a marine biologist to dive deeper into the science of WonderLab’s coral reef. These 30 minute talks, from 2 - 2:30 pm, feature hands-on exploration, tours of our coral reef aquarium, insight from an expert, and time for questions. This event recurs weekly on Saturday and Sunday.

This event is free with museum admission.

Sunday Morning Meditation

Sunday, Jan. 7th 2018 at 10:30-11:30am

406 South Walnut Street

Bloomington, IN

To bring abut well-being for ourselves and others, we must first create peace within our own hearts. These Sunday morning classes emphasize integrating essential, positive states of mind, such as patience, universal love, and compassion into our daily life. They offer true wisdom advice to bring happiness both to ourselves and others. Come and enjoy guided meditations and practical instruction to help cultivate peace not only in our own hearts, but in our world. Everyone is welcome.

For more information:

Julius Caesar

Friday, Jan. 19th 2018 at 7:30pm to Saturday, Jan. 27th 2018 at 10pm

275 North Jordan Avenue

Bloomington, IN

Julius Caeser brings the epic glory of the Roman Republic to the stage, with a treacherous assassination that causes Rome to erupt into a warzone. As a doomed rebellion led by the noble Marcus Brutus and the cunning Caius Cassius unfolds, blood spills and loyalties waver.

Open dates: 1/19, 1/20, 1/23, 1/24, 1/25, 1/26, & 1/27

For tickets:

Cost: $20 General Admission, $10 Student

Rhonda Vincent

Friday, Jan. 19th 2018 at 8pm

Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Bloomington, IN, United States

Bloomington, IN

World-class musicians and an award-winning voice come together for a breath-taking, must-see performance that reaches beyond the boundaries of bluegrass music! Breaking the stereotypical image of a bluegrass performer, Rhonda Vincent takes the stage in designer gowns and stiletto heels. Her take-charge manner is far from the image that Hollywood portrays for acoustic musicians. “We’re changing the landscape of our music in many aspects; to show we are sophisticated, educated, and hold a deep respect for the tradition of our music, keeping the roots embedded within the perimeters of our songs, to create a balance of tradition mixed with a contemporary flare, and present our own unique brand of music,” Rhonda explains. Vincent is known for playing breakneck riffs on the mandolin but her voice is the centerpiece of her performance. Combining with the rhythms of the world class musicians that make up The Rage, the result will be a performance you won’t want to miss.

To purchase tickets:

Cost: tickets range from $25 - 40

Eagles Over Monroe

Friday, Jan. 26th 2018 at 4pm to Sunday, Jan. 28th 2018 at 5pm

Monroe Lake Fairfax State Recreation Area

This unique special event dives into the lives of eagles and other raptors: tour the lake to see eagles in the wild, learn about recent research, meet live raptors, explore bird biology, and explore new ways to enhance your enjoyment of birds at Monroe Lake. Programs are accessible to both beginners and experienced birders, adults, and children.

[Adults 16+: $15, Children 6-15: $10, Children 0-5: FREE]

Spun: A Brother/Sister Rock Musical

Friday, Jan. 26th 2018 at 7:30pm to Saturday, Jan. 27th 2018 at 10pm

107 West 9th Street

Bloomington, IN

Back by popular demand, one of BPP's most beloved musicals returns with 6 new songs and some new surprises in store. Don't miss this encore performance as it prepares for an anticipated NYC run!

Following their father's death, Molly and her estranged brother Jesse come home to pick up the pieces. But as they begin to recount their childhood together, two very different stories are revealed... and rock-n-roll tears through the past to uncover wounds that still must be healed. This high-octane musical pulsates through the rhythm of time, as the siblings' attempt closure—once and for all—with comedy, wit, and rock.

For tickets:

Cost: $10 - 20

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