Last year, West Virginia’s Dining Services was awarded a gold level National Excellence in Worksite Wellness honor by the Well Council of West Virginia. WVU Dining Services provides healthy food options, offers stretching and walking breaks, and provides semi-annual employee training and other stress management programs. Another component of making this a Well Workplace is to provide monthly newsletters about pertinent topics for employee wellness.
One of my projects at this rotation was to write an employee newsletter. I chose to focus on one of my favorite foods: beans! In addition, I also did some research and included information onstress management, physical activity, and smoking cessation. I’ve placed some exerpts from the newsletter here on the blog. If you want to see the finished publication, click to access the Wellness Program Newsletter.
Beans and peas are excellent sources of plant protein, fiber, folate, and potassium, and provide other important nutrients, like iron and zinc.
Because of all these great nutrients, studies have shown that eating 1/2 cup of cooked dried beans a day may help to lower total cholesterol levels. Commonly consumed beans and peas include:
Beans are inexpensive, and are available dry, canned, and frozen. If you don’t like the texture of whole beans, try pureeing them in a food processor or blender. Try adding a cup of beans to one of the following foods for variety and nutrition:
Spaghetti sauce → black, kidney, or pinto
Omelets → black beans
Vegetable Salads → chickpeas
And this is one of my very favorite Kitchen Tips:
Cook a large pot of beans, drain, and then spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. After a few hours, place the beans in a plastic freezer bag. Anytime you need beans for a recipe, just pull out a handful or two!
Here are some approaches to help you manage stress:
Get other points of view. Talk with colleagues or friends. They may be able to provide insights or offer suggestions for coping. Just having someone to talk to can be a relief.
Take a break. Make the most of workday breaks. Even 10 minutes of personal time can be refreshing.
Have an outlet. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Make sure to spend time on activities you enjoy, such as reading, socializing or pursuing a hobby.
Take care of yourself. Be vigilant about taking care of your health. Get regular exercise and plenty of sleep, and eat a healthy diet.
Choose activities that you enjoy and can do regularly. Fitting activity into a daily routine can be easy — such as taking a brisk 10 minute walk to and from the parking lot or bus stop. Or, join an exercise class. Keep it interesting by trying something different on alternate days. Every little bit adds up and doing something is better than doing nothing. Try these activities:
Clean the house or wash the car.
Walk the dog — don’t just watch the dog walk.
Do stretches, exercises, or pedal a stationary bike while watching television.
Walk, skate, or cycle more, and drive less
Replace a coffee break with a brisk 10-minute walk. Ask a friend to go with you.
Take part in an exercise program at work or a nearby gym.
Walk to your coworkers desk instead of sending an email.
Walk, jog, skate or bicycle on the Rail Trail.
Take a nature walk.
Play basketball, softball, or soccer.
Play tennis, racket ball, or volleyball.
Swim or do water aerobics
Dealing with Tobacco Triggers
Which action steps are best for your needs?
After a meal:
Leave the table immediately after I’m done eating.
Brush my teeth or use gum or mints.
Get busy with chores or a fun activity.
Before driving my car or when driving:
Remove smoking-related items.
Deodorize my car.
Pay at pump rather than go inside.
At work I will:
Try a new routine at break time, such as a crossword puzzle.
Identify a reward for completing a project or task.
Go for a walk with a co-worker during lunch.