Financial Fitness Challenge


The Financial Fitness Challenge (October 25 to December 31, 2016) is a free financial education and awareness program designed to help you take control of your financial future and improve your financial well-being. Offered to Wisconsin state and local government employees and their friends and families, it consists of a confidential and secure online survey to assess and benchmark financial aptitude, habits, and confidence.  After completing the survey you’ll receive a financial fitness score and, based on your results, recommendations for selecting among hundreds of online tools and tutorials (the Financial Fitness ACADEMY), and the option of using a financial advisor from Ameriprise Financial for up to 30 days at no cost. You learn at your own pace in as little as 10 minutes a day.

Step 1. Get centered: Take the free Financial Fitness CHECKUP. It’s a confidential, and secure online assessment of your financial well-being. Receive instant feedback – your personal financial fitness score.

Step 2. Sharpen focus: Enroll in free online Financial Fitness ACADEMY courses. They’re easy-to-follow tutorials designed to help you improve your financial well-being.

Step 3. Zoom in on a bright future: Access an exclusive offer for free financial coaching for 30 days.

Click here to get started, and for more information.

Skin Care in the Winter – Head to Toe


Our skin is constantly working to maintain our body temperature, whether this be done by the dilating and constricting of blood vessels or by the regulation of the skin’s moisture. This is arguably most evident during the winter months when many individuals experience incredibly dry skin.  Even though it seems as though we never see our skin or other’s skin in the winter, it is still vital that we take care of our body’s largest organ (even if it is under multiple layers of clothing).  What is the best way to care for our skin during the winter?  The answer is simple- cover up and moisturize your skin.  By doing so, dry, cracking skin is limited and the risk of infections are significantly decreased.  For those who are immuno-compromised or have comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus, skin care is a constant concern.  Below, you will find tips for winter skin care for various parts of the body with a particular focus paid to diabetes skin care.


Use a moisturizer with sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. You are just as likely to get sunburn in the winter as you are in the summer.


Lips are exposed to the cold air just as much as the rest of the face. Use lip balm to keep the lips moist, however purchase products with only a few ingredients.  Avoid herbal ingredients as they may cause irritation and instead opt for petroleum, mineral oil, or shea butter-based products.


Keep your hands covered as much as possible. Furthermore, moisturize as often as possible (both inside and outside) with the same simple ingredient products mentioned above.


Refrain from itching dry skin which may be covered. This is especially important for individuals who are at an increased risk for infection as skin may be broken open.

Avoid extremely hot showers as these can further contribute to dry, itchy skin.


For those with diabetes mellitus, peripheral neuropathy can contribute to lack of sensation and feeling in the feet. This can become particularly troubling if there is dry, cracking skin, or open abrasions on the feet.  For this reason, particular attention should be paid to moisturizing and caring for feet in the winter months.

While it is important to keep the feet moisturized during the winter, it is wise to avoid moisturizing between the toes. Prolonged moisture between the toes can increase the incidence of fungal infections and lead to further complications.

Tip for home

Use a humidifier in your home to keep moisture in the air.


Work cited: Winter Skin Guide: Head-to-toe tips for cold-weather skin care by Allison Tsai [Diabetes Forecast Sept/Oct 2016]

Article by Ryan Zavodnik, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Ten Ways to Remain Active in Winter

brrr snowcars

As the colorful leaves begin to fall and the weather changes from crisp to flat out cold, countless individuals (dietitians included) stress over weight gain during the holiday season. This is not only due to the various family gatherings centered on food and drinks, but also due to the bitter cold and snow which often make exercise an afterthought.  Below, you will find 10 different ways to remain active in the winter. Regardless of what is logistically and financially realistic for you, there are a variety of simple ways to be active.  Do not only share the holiday cheer this winter; share this list and become more active with a friend or family member.  Having a partner who can hold you accountable and conversely you can hold accountable, is an invaluable asset in achieving your goals.


  1. Walk around and track your steps with your partner at the local mall, grocery store, community center, or school. Slowly increasing your target step total is a tremendous way to stay driven and motivated.
  2. Borrow or buy exercise DVDs. If exercise DVDs seem too pricey, split the cost with your partner or ask for them as a gift.
  3. Take the stairs at work and make time for walking breaks. Oftentimes, simply getting away from your workspace and walking around for a few minutes helps immensely in regaining focus.
  4. Stay active while cleaning. It sure can be rewarding to work up a sweat and have a clean house.
  5. Join a local gym. If weight lifting or using machines is intimidating, consider getting involved in a fitness class such as cycling or yoga.
  6. Join a sports league with your friends or coworkers. Weekly indoor sports games are not only keeping you active, but also helping you relieve stress.
  7. Bundle and layer up for a scenic walk with your partner or the dog. Whether it be a stroll around the block or a trek through the woods, there is beauty to behold in the wintertime.
  8. Get outside and shovel after those big snowstorms. Being careful not to overexert yourself or strain your body, treat shoveling as an opportunity to get your heart rate up.
  9. Try something new. Depending on what is available near your home or what you can realistically afford, consider taking up ice skating, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing.
  10. Get outside and play with your kids, nieces or nephews, friends and family members, neighbors etc. Who doesn’t love building snowmen or forts, making snow angels, and having snow ball fights?


Work cited:

Article by Ryan Zavodnik, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Brussel Sprout and Kale Salad



For dressing:

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1 Tbs dijon mustard

1 tsp shallot, finely minced

1 small clove garlic, finely minced

1/8 tsp kosher salt

Pinch black pepper

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

For salad:

2-3 c thinly sliced kale (approx 1/2 a bunch)

1 lb brussels sprouts, finely shredded using a mandolin or sharp knife

3-4 slices turkey bacon, baked and chopped

1/4 c roasted almonds, chopped*

1/2 c Pecorino cheese, finely grated


Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix. (Alternatively, I sometimes throw everything in a mini food processor and let it do the chopping.) Add in olive oil, whisking (or processing) until combined.

Mix sliced kale and shaved brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Throw in bacon, almonds, and cheese. Pour dressing over the top and toss salad until all ingredients are distributed throughout.

Recipe provided by Carese Walczyk, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Lentil Chili



  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag of brown lentils
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans no-salt diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 (32 oz.) cartons vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • ⅓ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese, croutons, tortilla chips, avocado


  1. In a large heavy duty dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and red bell pepper; saute the vegetables for 8 minutes or until soft and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in garlic and chili powder; cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf and stock. Season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
  4. Transfer 3 cups of cooked chili into a food processor and process until pureed; add the pureed chili back into the remaining chili and stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Recipe provided by Carese Walczyk, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Stress Management Lunch ‘n Learn



Almost 30 employees attended the Stress Management Lunch ‘n Learn on Thursday, November 3rd and learned about positive and negative stress, three types of stress (physical, chemical and emotional), and the ‘snowball’ effect of changing one behavior for the better.  For example, eating healthier can lead to having more energy, which can lead to exercising more and sleeping better at night, which can lead to a healthier body which can handle stress better and has less dependence on prescription drugs.

The doctor also promoted the benefits of drinking plenty of water.  Did you know that we should drink half our body weight in ounces?  So, if your body weight is 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water per day.  Assuming you have 16 waking hours per day, that is just 5 ounces per hour.  If we only drink when our body tells us it is thirsty, our body would be in a persistent state of near dehydration, which doesn’t lead to a healthy body.

We also learned that drinking one alcoholic drink per day can be beneficial, and our emotional stress depends on how we percieve a situation and respond to it.  Everyone has a go-to destressor, such as relaxing with a glass of wine or a beer, going for a run, reading a book, watching a movie, browsing Pinterest, etc. It is important that we know what our destressor is, and use it when our body is maxed out.

Thank you to Dr. Logan Andera, D.C. of Cornerstone Chiropractic and Kendall Howard of Wellness Champions for the interesting, helpful and funny presentation, as well as buying us lunch!


Wellness Webinar – Healthy Eating for Effective Weight Loss


Maintaining or losing weight is not an easy task, especially as we age and your metabolism slows down.  While there are no “silver bullet” remedies for effective weight management, understanding how your metabolism works, balancing a healthful diet with exercise and establishing realistic goals can provide you with a foundation roadmap for sustainable success.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding BMI and waist circumference
  • Finding the balance: food and exercise
  • Explore how your metabolism works
  • Healthy eating tips and strategies
  • Avoiding holiday pitfalls

When: Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Time: 12:00 to 12:45 p.m.

Location: CL 735

No need to RSVP – feel free to join us and bring your lunch! :)

Campus to Campus Challenge – Week Four Results


During week four, 34 employees participated in the Campus to Campus Walking Challenge, and as a group we logged 2,378,411 steps!  During week four, we walked from Alburquerque, New Mexico to Tulsa, Oklahoma to Nashville, Tennessee to Charleston, West Virginia!  The average steps per team member per day was 9,993. Did you know that not only is walking one of the easiest ways to exercise, but moderate-intensity walking for 30 minutes or more each day can lower your blood pressure, help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your risk for heart disease and stroke, and improve your mood!  During week four, Ron Kottnitz, Jayne Kluge, Jeff Krueger, Lea Truttmann, and Barb Tomashek-Ditter had the highest number of steps.  Keep exercising and enjoying this mild fall weather!

Campus to Campus Challenge – Week Three Results


During week three, 34 employees participated in the Campus to Campus Walking Challenge, and as a group we logged 2,559,863 steps!  A Wellness Committee member suggested that we try to walk across the United States next.  During week three, we walked from Los Angeles, California to Phoenix, Arizona to Alburquerque, New Mexico and most of the way to Tulsa, Oklahoma!  The average steps per team member per day was 10,755. Did you know a typical pair of tennis shoes will last 500 miles of walking?  As a team, we would have worn out two and half pairs of shoes! During week three, Jayne Kluge, Ron Kottnitz, Lea Truttmann, Barb Tomashek-Ditter, and Jeff Krueger had the highest number of steps.  Let’s see how far we get during week four!

Stress Management Lunch ‘n Learn


The Wellness Champions will be presenting a Lunch ‘n Learn on the topic of Stress Management on Thursday, November 3rd at Noon to 12:45 p.m. in the 1965 Room.  They will be providing a complimentary lunch catered by Chartwells to attendees, and this lunch ‘n learn is limited to 40 attendees.  Please click here to RSVP by Friday, October 28th.