Annual Benefits & Wellness Fair

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Thank you to everyone who attended the Annual Benefits & Wellness Fair on Friday, October 21st.  Over 30 vendors were on hand to answer questions and provide information.

Cooking Demonstration Lunch ‘n Learn


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On October 18th, we watched Chef Corey Arndt prepare apple butternut squash soup with cinnamon creme, and learned about nutrition, cooking and preparation tips from Registered Dietician, Jolene Sell, and Chef Corey.  The soup was delicious and healthy, and everyone enjoyed seconds!  Thank you to Chef Corey Arndt, Jolene Sell, and Chartwells for presenting and sponsoring this cooking demonstration!

Campus to Campus Challenge – Week Two Results


During week two, 34 employees participated in the Campus to Campus Walking Challenge, and as a group we logged 2,402,582 steps!  A team member suggested that we try to walk to each Horizon League school next.  During week two, we walked from UW-Green Bay to UW-Milwaukee to the University of Illinois at Chicago to Valparaiso University to Northern Kentucky University to Wright State University to Youngstown State University to Cleveland State University to the University of Detroit to Oakland University and part of the way back to UW-Green Bay!  The average steps per team member per day was 10,095, which is about five miles!  During week two, Ron Kottnitz, Jayne Kluge, Barb Tomashek-Ditter, and Jeff Krueger had the highest number of steps.  Great job team!

Cooking Demonstration Lunch ‘n Learn


Please join us as Chartwells Chef Corey shows us how to prepare apple butternut squash soup with cinnamon crème.  Chef Corey will provide preparation and cooking instructions, and Registered Dietician, Jolene Sell, will share nutritional information.  We will also get to sample the soup!

When: Tuesday, October 18th at Noon to 12:45 p.m.

Where: 1965 Room, University Union

This lunch ‘n learn is limited to 30 attendees.  Please click here to RSVP.  

Sponsored by Chartwells and the Wellness Committee


Campus to Campus Challenge Update


So far, 37 employees are participating in the Campus to Campus Walking Challenge, and just in the first week, as a group we logged 2,330,484 steps, which is enough steps to walk from UW-Green Bay to UW-Oshkosh to UW-Milwaukee to UW-Parkside to UW-Whitewater to UW-Madison to UW-Platteville to UW-LaCrosse to UW-River Falls to UW-Superior to UW-Stout to UW-Eau Claire to UW-Stevens Point to UW-Green Bay and most of the way back to UW-Oshkosh!  The average steps per team member per day is 10,498!  During week one, Lea Truttmann, Jayne Kluge and Ron Kottnitz had the highest number of steps.  Great job team!  Keep walking and exercising!



October is Brain Health Month

One in four people suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. That person may be a close friend, relative, acquaintance, or maybe you are the one suffering from anxiety or depression. The important thing to know is that you, or your friend, are not alone.

The month of October is an awareness month for many things, including breast cancer, SIDS, domestic violence, etc. The first week, however, is dedicated to Mental Illness Awareness. Mental illness affects millions of individuals which in turn can affect their families and friends.

What exactly is mental illness? It encompasses a wide range of conditions that affect mood, thinking, and behaviors. These conditions include anxiety, depression, dementia, Attention Deficient Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, PTSD, OCD, and others. It can lead to difficulty functioning during social, work or family activities.

How can you help? The short answer…be aware that those suffering from a disorder need understanding and care, not judgement. Long term elevated stress is detrimental to most of us, but can be negatively life changing for those suffering from a mental illness. Individuals may feel hopeless and alone; provide them with empathy and consideration or referral to a professional, when appropriate.

What can you do? There are some things you can do for your own mental well-being.

  • Exercise.  Exercise has been shown to raise endorphin levels which contribute to a feeling of happiness. Endorphins are hormones in your body that make it function properly. After moderate to rigorous exercise they are able to activate opiate receptors, giving you that amazing, healthy feeling.
  • Relaxation. Engaging in relaxing activities such as meditation, yoga, reading, etc. contributes to coping skills when dealing with stress. Without those coping skills your stress hormones and blood pressure stays elevated, your muscles stay tense and can contribute to pain, and you experience fatigue.
  • Nutrition. There are some foods that have been known to help.
    • Cold-water fish. Consuming higher amounts omega-3 fatty acids found naturally in cold water fish (like salmon, sardines and herring), seaweed, flaxseed and walnuts has been found to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies have shown that certain parts of the world, like Iceland, have very low rates of depression and seasonal affective disorder even though it is gray and gloomy often.  Residents of Iceland tend to eat higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and engage in physical activity.
    • Limiting alcohol intake
    • Nuts and seeds. So many to choose from: pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin, sesame, and more! They are a good source of magnesium, fiber, and omega 3 fats.

Other dietary habits that may help prevent depression and similar disorders are avoiding excessive alcohol intake, staying hydrated, eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (oats, barley, rice, etc). Black coffee and dark chocolate, in moderation, have also been shown to decrease risk for depression. Try to avoid foods that are fried, highly refined and full of added sugar. These cause extra stress and oxidation in the body.

In closing, it is important to know that just like some physical ailments require a visit to a professional, so do mental ailments.  If you or someone you know struggles with a mental health issue, be kind and supportive. You can do your part by fighting the stigma that is attached to mental illness and provide hope.

For more information please visit: http://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Illness-Awareness-Week

Article by Cathleen Malone, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Coconut oil and MCT’s: Health craze or here to stay?

In the last few years, coconut oil seems to be an ingredient in many beauty products and also promoted extensively for cooking and health benefits. It seems to have moisturizing and naturally antibacterial properties which make it great for skin while also having a high smoke point which makes it ideal for high heat cooking. It is white when its solid and melts at around 75°F.

But does it really have any health benefits? Coconut oil contains Vitamin E (probably why it is in beauty products), fatty acids, minimal protein, and very little else. So what are the MCT’s I mentioned earlier? They are fatty acids, specifically medium length chains of triglycerides, or fats. Of course they are all saturated and we have been told over the last 40 years that saturated fat is bad. We need fat in every cell in our body to survive, but what do you believe?

Ultimately, scientific research is inconsistent. Some scientists say they are terrible, some say they are great for you, others say they are ok in moderation. Current research tells us that MCT’s are absorbed differently than other fats. This can have both benefits and consequences and each person’s body works differently.


  • Not usually stored as fat in the body like long-chain triglycerides
  • Utilized by the brain as an energy source called ketones
  • Metabolism is increased and burns fat more efficiently
  • Suppress appetite
  • Can have an antioxidant effect on your heart and veins


  • Essential fatty acid deficiency
  • Irritability
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, when taken as a supplement
  • Stomach discomfort and intestinal gas
  • Diabetics can have dangerous reactions to ketones in the body
  • Liver problems

Using coconut oil for your skin and hair can have great antioxidant benefits and using coconut oil for cooking can add flavor and fun to your kitchen. It can be substituted for other oils or fats you are already using. Vegans may also enjoy using it as a substitute for butter while baking. When buying coconut oil opt for the extra virgin, unrefined options.

If you are thinking about taking MCT’s as a supplement, please talk to your doctor. Only they can determine if it would be ultimately helpful for you. If you remember anything after reading this article, I hope it is this: coconut oil is a naturally occurring food that has been around for centuries. It can be incorporated into your diet and may offer some health benefits but do not believe everything you hear or read! Do your research and develop an opinion for yourself.

Article by Cathleen Malone, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Coconut Avocado and Lime “Cheesecake”

This luxurious dessert if free of dairy, wheat, eggs, and other potential allergens. For a nut allergy, substitute toasted sunflower seeds in the crust.

Serves 12



  • ¼ cup coconut, unsweetened and shredded
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • ¼ cup dates, pitted (about 12 each)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1-2 teaspoons lime zest
  • Pinch of sea salt


  • 2 cups avocado flesh (about 3 large avocados)
  • 3/4 cup lime juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 6 ½ ounces honey
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature


  1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Line the base and sides of a spring form pan with parchment paper.
  2. Toast pecans and shredded coconut on a lined baking tray until golden brown, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. Transfer the pecans and coconut to food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until the mixture is crumbly and holds together when pinched (it should not be completely smooth).
  4. Pour the mixture in the prepared springform pan. Press down firmly and evenly with the back of a spoon. The base should be neat and flat where it meets the sides of the pan. Store in refrigerator while preparing the filling.
  5. Place all ingredients for filling in clean food processor and blend until smooth and silky. Taste test to determine if more honey or lime juice should be added. Flavor should be tangy and lightly sweet.
  6. Remove base from refrigerator and pour filling into springform pan. Cover with a plate and return to refrigerator overnight or a minimum of 4 hours to set.
  7. To serve, run a knife around the inner edge of the pan and release the sides. Transfer to a plate and slice into 12 pieces. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap.

Recipe provided by Cathleen Malone, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Autumn Good Mood Trail Mix

This snack is versatile and delicious. You can take it on a hiking trip or serve it at a party. It travels well in a ziplock bag and goes well with any lunch. Feel free to add or subtract ingredients you feel might add flavor and texture.


  • 1  cup  slivered almonds
  • ½  cup  cashews
  • 1 ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¾  cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • ½  cup coconut flakes, unsweetened (optional)
  • 6 tablespooons maple syrup or agave nectar
  • ¼  cup chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries (or cherries)


1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil or wax paper.

2. Mix together nuts, seeds, cinnamon and syrup in a bowl. Pour onto both baking sheets, diving the mixture evenly between them.

3. Toast for 10 minutes and stir. Toast another 5-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on the color and smell. You do not want the seeds or nuts to get too dark.

4. Remove from oven and mix in cranberries.

5. Cool completely before mixing in chocolate.

6. Store in an airtight container or bag.

7. Keeps for 3-6 weeks, depending on storage.

Recipe provided by Cathleen Malone, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Wellness Webinar – Holistic & Alternative Medicine


This presentation provides an overview of the different types of Holistic and Alternative Medicine options that specifically address common chronic health conditions and stress management.  Participants will learn about common alternative practices along with potential risks, side effects as well as potential interactions with Western medicine care plans.

When: Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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

Location: CL 735

No need to RSVP – just show up and bring your lunch!