Mindful Miles Marathon starts March 17!

Webster Wellness, Webster Staff Alliance, Tau Sigma Honor Society AND Sodexo Mindful invite you to be a part of the 2014 MINDFUL MILES MARATHON!

What is this?  It’s simple – by signing up, you commit to the distance of a marathon (26.2 miles) from March 17th-April 27th.  You can walk/run or perform other cardio by yourself or with a group on the designated path at your campus or design your own path.  The point is to commit time and energy to being deliberately active outside of your everyday routine.

Who can participate?  This is open to ALL students, staff and faculty at all campus locations.

See more information hereRegistrations will be accepted through March, but plan to pre-register before our Kick-Off on Monday, March 17th.  At the Webster Groves campus, check-in at the kick-off will open in the Sunnen Lounge from 11am through 1pm.  Registrants will have a chance to browse at information tables sponsored by Sodexo Mindful, Big River Running Co., Tau Sigma and others and stretch out before taking an initial one-mile walk on campus.  Extended sites – contact your director to host your local kick-off.

We also encourage you to have fun with this walk/run on March 17th!  It’s St. Patrick’s Day!  Wear green and lots of it!  Feel free to make it a costume!  Pictures will be taken  at all campus participating and there will be prizes for the most creative St. Patrick’s Day Mindful Miles Marathon costume.

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New Employee Reimbursement Program

Webster Wellness has revised the popular employee reimbursement program and is able to fund continuation of the program for wellness activities and events between January 1 and April 30, 2014.  See complete details here.  New provisions include:

  1. Full-time AND part-time faculty and staff are eligible
  2. Employees DO NOT need to be a part of United Healthcare
  3. Employees may request reimbursement of 50% of their cost for wellness events/activities between January 1 and April 30, 2014 not to exceed $100 overall
  4. There is no application.  Employees who want to be reimbursed must submit their request with the following information to wellness@webster.edu:
    • Full Name, Employee ID and Full/Part-time Status
    • Proof of purchase and registration (if applicable)
    • Proof of attendance/participation
  5. The approved budget is $3,000 for full-time employees and $1,000 for part-time employees.  Once funding is exhausted, the program will cease unless we are funded in the new budget year.
  6. Reimbursements will be made on a first-come/first-serve basis, so they can be sent in at any time and will be processed in order of COMPLETE SUBMISSION of the above components.

We hope that we will see a lot of employees working towards their wellness goals!  Contact us at wellness@webster.edu if you have any questions.

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Go Red for Women!

This year’s goal is to raise $1,000 to raise awareness in the fight against heart disease in women. By wearing red and making a donation of any amount, you can be part of raising awareness of what the American Heart Association (AHA) calls “the silent killer.”

Wear Jeans with a $5 Donation on Feb. 7

Friday, Feb. 7, is your chance to join your Webster colleagues and people from all over the country in fighting heart disease in women. Make a donation of $5 and wear jeans with your red! For donations of $10 or more, you will receive a red dress pin that you can wear to show your support for the Go Red campaign. Of course, donations in any amount are welcome.

Donation Collection Volunteers Needed at Each Campus

The Webster Wellness committee is coordinating the effort to get volunteers on the home campus and at extended campuses to collect donations in person on Feb. 7. If you are interested in helping, please contact DeLyle Bowen at 314-246-7476 or delylebowen08@webster.edu.

Visit Webster’s Go Red for Women Fundraising Page

Also, check out our National Wear Red Day Fundraising Page where you can make donations online that will go directly to the American Heart Association and will count towards Webster´s fundraising goal.

According to the Go Red for Women website, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. Funds raised by Go Red support educational programs to increase women’s awareness about their risk for heart disease and critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health.

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Welcome 2014!

Hello Readers!

As we begin a New Year, most of us will begin New Year resolutions and looking for fresh starts.

As fitness and food trends continue to change, our interests change with them.

In order to better serve the needs of those wanting to make changes or stay motivated, we would like to hear about your interests.  What is your current trend?  What would you like to know more about? What style of learning do you prefer? (lecture, blogs, e-mails, videos, etc.)

Take the time to briefly give some ideas.  Spread the word and ask co-workers and students to chime in as well.

Hope 2013 ends on a great note and the beginning of 2014 is a great start!

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Tips for a healthier Thanksgiving

Ah, Thanksgiving: the air is cooler, the colors are vibrant, and our plates are full – both with busy schedules and hearty fall fare. For many people, the holiday season brings more than joy – it can also bring unwanted pounds. Whether it’s your mom’s special casserole or Aunt Judy’s double fudge dessert, it can be tough to pass up those favorite holiday foods you only taste once a year. So, what can you do to avoid weight gain and stay well – and still celebrate the season? These tips can help.

Get off to a good start. Don’t go to the Thanksgiving table hungry. Snack on healthy, filling foods the day of the big event. You’ll be less tempted by high-calorie options if your stomach isn’t growling. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. If you do, you’ll be more likely to overeat.

Drink water all day long to stay hydrated. It’s easy to confuse hunger with thirst. If you’re going to someone else’s house for Thanksgiving, ask for a glass of water once you arrive to help you feel full and avoid overindulging. And don’t head straight for the food – make a point of greeting friends or introducing yourself to new people.

Watch your portion sizes. You don’t need to fill your plate with every dish on the table. Sample small portions of your favorites and enjoy the indulgence without feeling guilty. It may help to use a small appetizer- or dessert-sized plate and fill it first with healthy choices. Leave just a little space for a small sample of whatever unhealthy treat you’re craving, but eat that last, after you’ve filled up on the more nutritious offerings.

Eat your veggies first. Fill half of your plate with vegetables. They tend to be low in calories and packed with nutrients. Just go lightly on high-calorie vegetable dishes covered in cheese or heavy sauces.

Go easy on the alcohol. Not only are alcoholic beverages loaded with calories, drinking them tends to weaken your resolve to eat better. However, if you do decide to indulge, avoid heavy holiday drinks, and stick with light beer or a glass of wine instead.

Take a post-dinner walk. Don’t head straight to the couch and zone out watching football. Lace up your sneakers and head outside. Spend time with your family while burning off calories.

And remember, a few indulgences won’t wreck your diet. Just try to keep these tips in mind along the way!

Article retrieved from The American Cancer Society:  http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/tips-for-a-healthier-thanksgiving

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Great American Smokeout

Webster Wellness with representation from Webster students, faculty and staff would like for you to join us in the efforts to educate, motivate, empower and stimulate members of the University for the Annual Great American Smokeout.

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. They may use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. The event challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps people know about the many tools they can use to quit and stay quit.

Webster Wellness  and other wellness supporters will provide information tables for resources and facts in order to support students, faculty and staff to ‘Commit to Quit’.  They will also have a balloon challenge at each information table as a fun activity.

Information Tables:

Tuesday, Nov. 19th            11am-1pm      UC lower level commons area

Wednesday, Nov. 20th      11am-1pm      EAB 2nd floor commons area

Thursday, Nov. 21st          11am-1pm      Sverdrup Lobby

For those committing to quit cold turkey, “Cold Turkey Sandwiches” from Monty’s Sandwich Company will be offered on Thursday, November 21st in the Sverdrup Building lobby from 11am -1pm to raise awareness for the Great American Smokeout.  There will also be free #gorlokstrong shirts for those willing to throw their leftover cigarettes in the trash at the table.

For those at the extended campuses, send an email to wellness@webster.edu if you want to receive information or if you plan to “commit to quit”.

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Pumpkins are Super Foods!

Pumpkins’ bright orange color may make them a good substitute for traffic cones, but the real power behind their hue is beta-carotene, a provitamin that is converted to vitamin A in the body. Known for its immune-boosting powers, beta-carotene is essential for eye health and has also been linked to preventing coronary heart disease. But there’s no need to choose fresh to get the benefits of pumpkin. One cup of canned pumpkin has seven grams of fiber and three grams of protein— even more than the fresh stuff— and contains only 80 calories and one gram of fat. Plus, canned pumpkin is packed with vitamins and provides over 50 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, which may reduce the risk for some types of cancer.

Still, the real treasure is in the seeds. One ounce (about 140 seeds) is packed with protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Studies suggest pumpkin seeds provide a number of health benefits— such as blocking the enlargement of the prostate gland, lowering the risk of bladder stones, and helping to prevent depression. Plus, they contain high levels of phytosterols, which research suggests can reduce cholesterol and even help prevent some types of cancers. So get scooping!

There are plenty of ways to sneak pumpkin into any meal — whether it’s the seeds or the guts, canned, cooked, or raw, or in a main dish versus a chocolate chip cookie. Canned pumpkin can be added to almost anything and (voila!) out comes the perfect autumn treat. For a hot breakfast filled with fiber, try adding canned pumpkin to oatmeal. And take note: if a recipe calls for canned pumpkin, don’t be afraid to replace it with fresh. Placing a small, cleaned-out pumpkin in the microwave for six minutes will make it easy to scoop out the insides.

And save those seeds— they’re easy to roast. After removing seeds from the pumpkin’s inner cavity (like, say, after carving it for Halloween!), wipe them off with a paper towel. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with some seasoning, and lightly roast at 160-170 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Roasting for a short time at a low temperature helps to preserve their healthy oils. While there’s no such thing as too much pumpkin, eating a lot can actually give skin a “pumpkin-like glow.” Too much beta-carotene isn’t toxic, but excessive consumption can cause a yellowish discoloration of the skin called carotenemia. Don’t worry, though— turning into a pumpkin after midnight is still only for the fairy tales— the skin discoloration is harmless and can be easily reversed.

Article retrieved from  http://greatist.com/health/superfood-pumpkin

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Webster Wellness Week!

Webster Wellness is bringing you a week of wellness September 16th through 19th!   Take note of the schedule posted on our Webster Wellness blog under Events & Programs.    The highlights are:

Monday 9/16 – a presentation of the 2012 employee Health Assessment results presented by our own Eric Goedereis, PhD

Tuesday 9/17 – a yoga demonstration

Wednesday 9/18 – biometric screenings for employees covered by UHC (look for an email this week on how to register)

Thursday 9/19 – PURSUE your wellness goals at Webster Wellness Fair 11a – 1p in Grant Gym:

  • Try out some healthy food samples
  • Enjoy a chair massage
  • Watch fitness demonstrations like boxing, crossfit, yoga and what Fit Club offers
  • Talk to our many vendors and get information on every area of our wellness wheel
  • AND, put your name in for a free prize drawing 15 minutes.  Participants in the fair will also be entered in drawings for six GRAND prizes including a Garmin Multisport Forerunner 910XT Watch or Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Extended Sites – We want you to be included – see the schedule under on our blog for more details.

The goal of Webster Wellness is to help you make positive life-style changes that will help improve your overall health and well-being.

Contact wellness@webster.edu with any questions or suggestions!

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Healthy Labor Day Picnic Ideas

Over the years, Labor Day has evolved from purely a labor union celebration into a “last fling of the summer” festival. But don’t let uninvited guests spoil your fun! Poor planning (or carelessness) can increase the risk of food-borne illness; the sun and hot temperatures can create an environment for food to spoil.

To help keep your end-of-the-summer fling safe and satisfying for all, check out these picnic pointers and tasty side dishes.

Picnicking at home allows the luxury of a nearby refrigerator.

Store burgers, chicken, hot dogs, and cheese in a cool space until you are ready to put them on the grill.

Set up the buffet table in a shaded area.

Do not serve salads, slaws, condiment or other perishables until you are ready to eat.

Away from home festivities require more planning.

Use coolers and ice packets (or ice cubes tightly sealed in plastic bags) to keep cold items cold. Packing chilled items together will also help.

Thermal containers or insulated jugs are perfect for carrying beverages and soups; Pack other foods in sturdy covered dishes.

Use common sense when you park your picnic basket and cooler. Do not leave the food in the sun-find a shady spot under a tree or in a shelter instead.

Plan to eat the food you have packed while it is still fresh, preferably within an hour after arriving at your destination.

Don’t bring more food than you need. After food is un-refrigerated for several hours, it is NOT advisable to pack up the remainder for leftovers.




The Perfect Side Dish To WOW your partygoers, add a side dish filled with flavor and nutrition!

Pasta Salad, prepared with whole-wheat pasta, onions, black olives, cherry tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese, and low fat Italian dressing, is loaded with complex carbohydrates, calcium and healthy fat.

Fruit Salad: A blend of watermelon, cantaloupe, white seedless grapes and blueberries makes a colorful centerpiece. It also provides antioxidants and phytochemicals, plus fluids to help hydrate the body.

Baked Beans are easy to prepare and packed with protein and fiber. Go easy on the bacon and added fat.

Spinach-Asparagus Salad with Strawberry Dressing: Combine 1/2 cup whole strawberries, 3/4 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp. raspberry vinegar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 4 tsp. honey, and 1/8 tsp. salt in a blender until mixed and slightly chunky. Place 10 cups trimmed spinach leaves, 1 lb. asparagus (blanched, drained, and cut into bite-size pieces), 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, and 1/2 cup toasted almond slivers in a large bowl. Pour on dressing, toss and serve. Makes 10-12 cup servings, 1-cup each.


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Back to school nutrition basics

The start of the school year is fast approaching, are you ready? Keep in mind these tips to make sure the school year starts off on the right foot!

  • Start each day with a healthy, balanced breakfast! “Studies show breakfast eaters tend to have higher school attendance, less tardiness and fewer hunger-induced stomachaches. They also score higher on tests, concentrate better, solve problems more easily and have better muscle coordination.” Be sure to include some protein that will keep you full for longer, as well as some fruit. Have lots of grab-and-go options available for those crazy mornings. Yogurts, granola and other cereals, instant oatmeal, and prepared ahead boiled eggs are great options. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442471142
  • Have snacks handy! Pre-packaged options are great in a pinch, but don’t forget about money saving options using zip-lock baggies. Buying in larger quantities and packaging your own is almost always a less expensive option when it comes to wheat crackers or dried fruits. Fruit and veggies such as grapes, apples, carrots, and celery are inexpensive, healthy options for an afternoon snack. One good packaged item is pre-measured cups of peanut butter. They can be time savers since you can grab them and go instead of the messier bigger containers.
  • Meal plan! Taking a little time to have set meals and everything prepared can save time and money. If you have set meals planned, there is less “what’s for dinner” conversations that could lead to choosing less-healthy options such as fast food. It also takes some pressure off when you get home late from work and everyone is hungry: there is already a meal planned and all of the ingredients there to make it!
  • Set aside some time on Sunday afternoon or evening to get together the upcoming week’s menu as well as snacks. Having a few grab-and-go options available for those extra crazy days that you just can’t plan for is always a good idea. Quinoa salads are great options to make on a Sunday and have ready for the early part of the week. Visit Cooking Light’s link below to see some recipes!


  • Keep your desk stocked! Keep some healthier soups and snacks stocked in your desk at work for those times when you just don’t have time to meal plan.
  • Keep your fridge stocked! If you keep healthy options such as fruits and vegetables readily available (and ready to eat: cleaned, chopped, and packaged in portion controlled containers), you’ll be more likely to eat those healthy options! If the junk food isn’t there, you can’t eat it!
  • Remember food is fuel! When filling you and your family’s “gas tank” would you rather fill it with options that will promote health, or options that will leave them feeling sluggish and not focused?
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