Cheesy Rutabaga Hash

Serves: 8   Serving Size: ¾ cup


  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound potato, grated
  • 1 pound rutabaga, grated
  • 4 ounces shredded low fat cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces shredded pepperjack cheese
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine grated potatoes and rutabaga into a lightly sprayed 9×13 baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine shredded cheeses in bowl
  3. Combine milk and cornstarch to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, continuously whisk for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add ½ of mixed cheese mixture and the yogurt. Stir in thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour sauce over potatoes
  5. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly. Uncover and top with remaining cheese mixture and continue to bake for 15 minutes. Remove when cheese is melted and potatoes/rutabaga are tender.

This is a perfect healthier alternative to a holiday favorite of cheesy potatoes!

Original recipe found on http://skinnyms.com/cheesy-potato-bake/ and altered.

Recipe provided by Maria Anderson, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Chocolate-Peppermint Protein Balls



  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup dates
  • 1 Tbs raw honey
  • 3 Tbs chocolate protein powder
  • 1-2 Tbs chocolate chips
  • 2 drops peppermint extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Place cashews and almonds in a food processor or high powdered blender and process into a fine meal
  2. Add remaining ingredients and process until no large chunks remain. Roll into golf-ball size portions and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Recipe from https://thebalancedlifeonline.com/chocolate-peppermint-protein-balls/

Recipe provided by Maria Anderson, UWGB Dietetic Intern

Fighting Off the Holiday Weight Gain


With the holidays just around the corner, the question on everyone’s mind is “What is for dinner?” Loading up your plate does not have to equal loading on pounds.  Mindful eating and knowing when you are full can help prevent weight gain around the holiday season.

What is mindful eating?

Mindful eating begins with the foods you eat and drink. Dr. Cheung author of the book, Savor Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, describes mindful eating as a full appreciation of the sensory factors of the foods you eat and drink.  During the holidays, using mindful eating can help fend off weight gain.  Begin noticing colors, smells, flavors, and textures of the food you eat during the holidays.  Take your time with what you eat, and leave a little white space on the plate when served.

What Are the Holidays About?

The holidays are a time for family and friends, so turn off the TV when it is time for dinner; focus on family and the food in front of you. During the holidays, food seems to be everywhere, from sweets to rich family-tradition casseroles, temptation seems to be everywhere, but the following tips can help.

Before the Meal:

  • Do not skip meals prior to the main dinner course
  • Skipping meals may result in over consuming during dinner
  • Make sure to eat breakfast, on the same day as the big meal
  • Consume a breakfast high in fiber to help keep you full longer

During the Meal:

  • If filling your whole plate is tempting, then use a smaller plate
  • Filling a smaller plate will look voluminous; try to stop at one plate
  • When it comes to the line-up of food, go for the salad and vegetables first, after these two items are taking up room on your plate, you will have already completed the first step of putting together a healthy plate.
  • Savor the foods you are eating, if you plan to go back for another helping, wait about ten minutes and sip on some water; you may not be as hungry as you think.

After the Meal:

  • Go for a walk around the block with a family member, or take the kids to the park to play catch.

Setting the goal, when are you truly full?

After following these tips, it is important to have reminders to fend off weight gain, and knowing how to gauge your fullness can be that little reminder. The goal in the following chart is to stay within areas 7 to 3.  Once you are able to achieve this status, you are on a smart and healthy way to fighting back that holiday weight gain!

10 = Uncomfortably full or “sick” – “Thanksgiving full”

9 = Stuffed and uncomfortable

8 = Too full, somewhat uncomfortable

7 = Full, but not yet uncomfortable – hunger is gone

6 = Filling up, but still comfortable – could definitely eat more

5 = Neutral – neither hungry nor full

4 = Slightly hungry, mild signals that your body needs food – you can wait to eat

3 = Hungry, not yet uncomfortable – clear signals that your body needs food

2 = Very hungry, irritable, or anxious – you want to eat everything in sight

1 = Starving, feeling weak, lightheaded, dizzy or other extremely uncomfortable symptoms of hunger

Work cited: http://www.move.va.gov/

Article by Raelynn Sampson, UWGB Dietetic Intern


Campus to Campus Challenge – Week Eight Results & Final Wrap Up


During week eight, 22 employees participated in the Campus to Campus Walking Challenge, and as a group we logged 1,330,008 steps.  During week eight, we walked from Rome, Italy to Munich, Germany, and ended up at the Austrian border.  During week eight, Ronald Kottnitz, Jayne Kluge, Lynn Rotter and Barb Tomashek-Ditter had the highest number of steps.


During the eight week challenge, 39 employees participated and we logged a total of 16,978,243 steps, which is about 8,489 miles!  It would be like walking back and forth across the continental U.S. about 2.25 times, or walking around the perimeter of Wisconsin over 6 times!  Great job team!  Team members include Jenny Charapata, Patti Cole, Julie Flenz, Sam Goeller, Erica Grunseth, Brent Haack, Lindsay Hahn, Jamel Heim, Tim Helein, Beth Jones, Jayne Kluge, Ronald Kottnitz, Jeff Krueger, Amy Mauk, Kim Mezger, Karla Miller, Donna Mleziva, Lynn Niemi, Anna Powers, Sarah Pratt, Monika Pynaker, Loretta Rafter, Lynn Rotter, Nate Rusch, Joan Schaller, Lisa Schmelzer, Jeffery Schulz, Stephanie Shepro, Jill Siegmund, Karen Smiley, Tina Tackmier, Barb Tomashek-Ditter, Jolene Truckenbrod, Lea Truttmann, Erin Van Daalwyk, Tracy Van Erem, Kimberly Vlies, Amanda Wildenberg and Crystal Williams.  Jayne Kluge had the highest number of steps with over a million steps logged during the eight weeks!  She was followed closely by Ronald Kottnitz, Barb Tomashek-Ditter, Jeff Krueger, Lindsay Hahn, Jamel Heim and Lynn Rotter. Although we’ve reached the finish line of this challenge, we hope that everyone enjoys the long-term benefits of exercising!  Keep going! :)

Business Finish Line

Wellness Webinar – Primary Prevention for a Healthy Back


Low back pain is one of the most common complaints seen in physician offices today and will pose problems for at least four out of five adults at some point in their lives.  This condition represents the fifth most common reason for all doctors’ visits and will occur at least once in 85% of men and women before the age of 50.  This presentation provides an overview of ergonomic principles and healthy lifestyle choices such as; being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight, to help individuals avoid experiencing back pain issues, relieve stress and discomfort caused by low back pain.

Learning Objectives:

  • Defining the Lower Back
  • Common Causes of Back Pain
  • Explore Signs and Symptoms of Bank Pain
  • Diagnosing the Treating Back Pain
  • Back Pain Self-Care and Ergonomics

When: Wednesday, December 21, 2016

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

Location: CL 735

Please mark your calendar to join us!  No need to RSVP, and feel free to bring your lunch!

Campus to Campus Challenge – Week Seven Results


During week seven, 24 employees participated in the Campus to Campus Walking Challenge, and as a group we logged 1,675,360 steps.  During week seven, we continued our trek across the french countryside to Paris, then to Zurich, Switzerland, and ended up in Rome, Italy!

Eiffelturm Parisrome

Did you know the best way to lose weight by walking is to take a longer, moderately paced walk (40 minutes at 60-65% maximum heart rate). Shorter, faster walks (20-25 minutes at 75-80% maximum heart rate) are best for conditioning the heart and lungs.

During week seven, Jayne Kluge, Ron Kottnitz, Barb Tomashek-Ditter, Jamel Heim, and Jeff Krueger had the highest number of steps. Keep on exercising – your body will thank you! :)

Reminder: Health Plan Wellness Incentives Are Taxable

The State of Wisconsin extended a number of financial incentives to employees through the Well Wisconsin employee wellness program. If you are covered under the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance program, you are eligible for a financial incentive to complete biometric testing and health risk assessment. Depending on your health plan, you may also be eligible for financial reimbursements for wellness related expenses such as gym memberships, fitness classes, the cost to participate in Community Support Agriculture (CSA) programs and rewards for participating in health or wellness programs or challenges. You can learn more information about the benefits available to you by accessing wellwisconsin.wi.gov.

Per guidance from the federal government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), these benefits are classified as taxable fringe benefits. This means that any financial incentive you receive from the program is taxable income for state and federal tax purposes.

What this means for you:

  • Throughout 2016 financial incentives will be reported by your employer as a taxable wage and will be subject to applicable withholdings and taxes. You will see withholdings for all incentives issued in the current calendar year reflected on your December pay stub. This will include incentives issued to your eligible family members.
  • Withholding will include 7.65% for Social Security and Medicare and may include withholding for federal and state taxes, depending on the number of exemptions you claimed on your W-4.
  • Federal regulations requires the payroll center to receive financial data regarding incentives issued to employees and their covered family members. Your health information is protected by federal privacy regulations and is not shared with your employer.
  • These taxable fringe amounts will be processed with the code: XHW (Tax Fr – Health/Wellness) earnings code.

Even with the federal government’s tax regulations, eligible employees are able to receive substantial financial rewards for using the wellness incentives offered by the State of Wisconsin and participating health plans. Benefits available through the Well Wisconsin program are also available to any dependent over the age of 18 who is covered by your State of Wisconsin insurance plan.

Please contact Human Resources at payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu or ext. 2390 if you have any questions.

Campus to Campus Challenge – Week Six Results


During week six, 29 employees participated in the Campus to Campus Walking Challenge, and as a group we logged 1,893,719 steps!  Since we crossed the continental United States during weeks three through five, we thought we’d try backpacking across Europe next!  During week six, we walked from Lisbon, Portugal to Madrid, Spain, and are enjoying the french countryside as we make our way to Paris!



The average steps per team member per day was 9,329.  Did you know the average steps per day for an American is 5,117, which is the least of any industrialized nation?  Australians take 9,695 steps per day on average, so a little more than our team members!

During week six, Barb Tomashek-Ditter, Jayne Kluge, Lindsay Hahn, Jamel Heim and Ron Kottnitz had the highest number of steps. Great job team – hope you can find creative ways to stay active even though the weather has turned quite chilly!

Campus to Campus Challenge – Week Five Results


During week five, 28 employees participated in the Campus to Campus Walking Challenge, and as a group we logged 2,042,512 steps!  During week five, we walked from Charleston, West Virginia to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to New York City to the beautiful Acadia National Park in Maine – right on the rocky coast of the Atlantic Ocean!  So, it took us three weeks to walk from coast to coast!









Can’t find a full 30 minutes to walk? Spread it out throughout your day- 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there will add up if you stick with it.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, breaking your workout into several shorter workouts throughout the day is just as effective as one longer workout session, while also making it easier to fit into your schedule.

The average steps per team member per day was 10,421. During week five, Jayne Kluge, Jeff Krueger, Barb Tomashek-Ditter, Jamel Heim and Lynn Rotter had the highest number of steps.  Two weeks to go – where should we walk to next?

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.