Wellness Newsletter: December

Putting a Safety Lock on your Health

Big image

Feature Employee

Debbi Zanotti

Brown Deer, WI

Have you heard of medicine that has actually stopped heart disease and put it in reverse, cures diabetes, eliminates high cholesterol and make you feel young again? This medicine can do all of that and more. What is it you may ask? Food. Healthy, nutrient-rich food. Food is so powerful that is can cause disease as well as cause health; it really can be used as a medicine.

Debbi Zanotti has come across some very interesting research done on food and the effects it can have on the human body. She developed an interest in optimal health when she became a caregiver to her parents, came down with pneumonia herself, and was informed by her dentist that she had an autoimmune disease. After this wake-up call, she decided to explore studies dedicated to finding the true secrets behind obtaining health.

The United States spends more on health care than any other country, yet the U.S. has a lower life expectancy, higher rate of people with chronic illnesses and obesity, and a higher infant mortality rate compared to other developed countries.

Curious about these facts, Debbi found a diet that would actually fix this health care contradiction. It’s called “Whole Food Plant Based” (WFPB) diet. It’s the most effective way of promoting health and preventing disease. It’s better than prescription drugs and vitamin supplements.

Research has found that animal based food, processed food, and oils actually promote disease. Animal based foods increase tumor growth while nutrients from plant based foods decrease tumor development. Tests have shown that consuming 20% of animal protein has the ability to turn on cancer growth while cutting back to 5% can turn it off. The WFPB diet has also been proven to stop and reduce heart disease.

All the protein and calcium you need is found in plants. The ideal diet consists of a variety of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and whole grains. It’s recommended to avoid all animal products, salt, oil and sugar.

After only two weeks of implementing the WFPB diet, all symptoms of Debbi’s autoimmune disease had diminished. Her dentist was astonished by what happened and was eager to hear all about how she did it.

It’s crucial to take advantage of all the information and research that has already been done for our benefit. So why not give it a try? Just eat plants!

*Click on the links below for more resources*

Books to Reference

  • The China Study by T. Colin Campbell PhD
  • Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B Esselstyn M.D.
  • Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman M.D.
  • Fasting and Eating for Health by Joel Fuhrman
  • Overdiagnosed by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch

December Theme: Winter Blues

The mind and body are strongly connected. Health in one will effect the health in the other.

  • When our bodies are emotionally and physically out of balance, the body releases hormones that effect all systems and organs within the body
  • When stressed, it's harder for the body to heal itself
  • Mind-body therapies work to reduce stress and strain on the body. Some examples are yoga, Pilates, and Thai Chi

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

  • SAD is depression that occurs in the winter months
  • May be due to reduced sunlight and vitamin D
  • Your diet can have an impact on your mood
  • Vitamin D: Fish, egg yolks, mushrooms
  • Antioxidants: Berries, grapefruit, legumes, kale, spinach
  • Melatonin: Oats, tomatoes, bananas

HumanaVitality Tip!

Reach a higher Vitality Status by earning Vitality Points, you'll get great discounts off of the items you can purchase in the Vitality Mall!

  • Blue and Bronze status: 0% discount
  • Silver Status: 10% discount
  • Gold Status: 20% discount
  • Platinum Status: 40% discount

Recipe! Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd's Pie


  • 8 large or 10 medium potatoes (Yukon gold works well)
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance or other vegan butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened rice milk or other nondairy milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • Two 15-ounce cans lentils,drained but not rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine, optional
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons all-purpose seasoning blend (such as Frontier or Mrs. Dash)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 8 to 10 ounces baby spinach or arugula leaves
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs


  1. Peel and dice the potatoes. Place in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Stir the vegan butter into the potatoes until melted, then add the rice milk and mash until fluffy. Season with salt, cover, and set aside until needed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
  5. Add the lentils and their liquid and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the optional wine, soy sauce, seasoning blend, thyme, and pepper. Cook gently for 5 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with just enough water to dissolve in a small container. Stir into the lentil mixture.
  6. Add the spinach, a little at a time, cooking just until it’s all wilted down. Remove from the heat; taste to adjust seasonings to your liking.
  7. Lightly oil a 2-quart (preferably round) casserole dish, or two deep-dish pie plates.
  8. Scatter the breadcrumbs evenly over the bottom. Pour in the lentil mixture, then spread the potatoes evenly over the top. If using two pie plates, divide each mixture evenly between them.
  9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to turn golden and slightly crusty. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut into wedges to serve.