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Wellness Wednesday- December 7

Wellness Warrior

The Wellness Warrior Award is given to individuals across campus who are nominated by their peers for leading by example and inspiring through action to create a healthier lifestyle.

Be Well is excited to announce our December Wellness Warrior- Rachel L. Debuty, is a staff member in the Office of the Treasurer. Rachel, has been with the University for 11 year and enjoys walking, Zumba, sewing, and spending time with family and friends.
rachel-debutyWhen talking about her inspiration to make the healthier choices, Rachel says, “Several of my family members have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other health related problems. This is the onlybody I will have here on this Earth, so I better take care of it and enjoy it!”

Making the healthy choices is not always easy. Rachel describes herself as a very active and high-energy person. Even with her active lifestyle she noticed that her heart “felt funny” at times. With her family history of heart disease and the onset of other symptoms, she was worried that something serious might be at play. So when she brought it up to the attention of her medical provider, the diagnosis was one that she has heard before – acid reflux.  Reflecting on her medical history Rachel says “I did suffer from acid reflux as a teenager (at least I thought that’s what it was) and was even on medicine for a while. Eventually, I no longer had acid reflux and stopped taking the medicine. So, why now after nearly 20 years am I all of sudden experiencing “acid reflux” type symptoms again? Oranges, orange juice, lemonade, lemons, peppermint and other acidic items don’t bother me so what gives?”. Rachel then turned to her diet and started to record  everything she had. “Finally one day, I took inventory of all the things I eat and drink and something hit me….Sodas! Carbonation! Caffeine! TADA!” Starting the food journal was a vital step in identifying the source.

As we all know, Caffeine and caffeinated drinks are not easy to give up. Rachel describes her process, “Cutting way back on my caffeine intake caused me to suffer from some pretty major headaches but after about a week, they subsided and guess what? No chest pain! No strange heart feelings! Nothing! Really? Could it have really been the sodas all along? Some may so no, but I say that that was it. I don’t miss the caffeine or the carbonation, and I certainly do not miss the terrible way they both made me feel.
Today, I have totally quit drinking carbonated beverages, and I only occasionally drink caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea) and I feel so much better!”

Congratulations Rachel, and thank you for being such a motivating model of health and wellness.

Making the healthy choice is not always the easy choice. To nominate someone who you feel is deserving of the Wellness Warrior Award please fill out this nomination form.


Move More

Mary Lucal and Jonathan Ramsey

“Exercise more,” or “Be more active,” are phrases that every person has heard at least once from their doctor at their annual physical. The dreaded advice was given to Mary Lucal explained that although she “does not excessively drink alcohol or use tobacco” and does strenuous cardio by “laundry sorting, grocery shopping, and reviewing her middle schooler’s homework.”  Her doctor was not convinced.  Mary began to reminisce about her days as an avid athlete in high school and began to wonder if she could get back to that person who was once dedicated to fitness. She claims, “I had fallen off that wagon years ago and was not sure where to find the time to get back on.”

The time finally came when Mary’s son, Simon, turned 12. She said that she began to realize that her son was   “becoming more independent” and gradually, she began to “reclaim a bit of [her] own time”.  She purchased a Fitbit on Cyber Monday for a reasonable price, which she claims, “did the trick”.  Mary describes the use of the Fitbit like a game in which she tries to reach her step goal each day, but she does not stress herself if she does not reach it for a particular day. She says that the Fitbit helps her, “get a sense of [her] own activity” and that it pushes her to, “try to do more outside activities (biking, hiking, kayaking) on the weekends”.

Not only does Mary attribute her success in becoming more active to the Fitbit, she also says that she has made simple changes to her everyday routine. For example, she explains that she, “walk[s] to most of  [her] campus meetings, and take[s] the stairs religiously in any campus building in which  [she] has to go to an upper floor. Mary further claims that “P1 to Floor 8 in Andy Holt Tower is a true test of stamina but so worth it!”

Furthermore, Mary likes to participate in one 5K each month with her colleague Jonathan Ramsay. She explains, “It’s about a 2 hour commitment every month” but her dedication and perseverance has allowed her to complete 6 since the beginning this past spring!  Mary would also like to encourage others who would otherwise shy away from physical events like a 5K because she says, “the 5K crowd is welcoming and encouraging”. If anyone would like to take the first step and join Mary and Jonathan on their next 5K journey, she would like for them to feel free to contact via e-mail at mlucal@utk.edu.

The journey to fitness can be difficult and enduring, but Mary has proven that it is possible. She says, “I may never again be a serious athlete like I was so many years ago, but I am having a great time becoming active again.”


Eat Better 

nhld_infographic_4_simple_steps_healthy_lunch_8-5x11Eating healthy can be challenging because of temptations (i.e. that sweet potato pie that was served for Thanksgiving!) and misleading information about certain foods. We know that there is tremendous amount of confusion about what to eat and how much of it we should eat. Fortunately, we are here to help! There are some wonderful resources that can aid you in your preparation for a healthy midday meal. These came in handy for our first observance of National Healthy Lunch Day, which was November 15, but we are sure you can still incorporate these healthy habits into your everyday routine. Our goal is to promote the importance of good nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle, and help people make better food choices. Lunch (a healthy one, of course) is on us!

Here are some free recipes and resources you can use to get started:


Be Mindful 

yogaAs the semester comes to an end, stress consumes our campus community. While we may all have our own stress management techniques, we wanted to share this quick yoga routine as another option. The Sun Salutation can be done in less than 5 minutes and offers a very good and relaxing stretch for the entire body. The Sun Salutation is a series of poses performed in a sequence to create a flow of movement. Each pose coordinates with your breathing: Inhale to extend, and exhale to bend. The combination of poses builds heat in the body and is often used as a warm-up sequence for yoga. Furthermore, the Sun Salutation can also be used as a relaxing and stress reduction technique. For more detailed information about the sun salutation click here! You can also watch the full series completed in the following video:


Be Different. Be Well. 

The Wellness Wednesday Newsletter is a bi-weekly release in which Be Well will share events, information, and resource to support healthy lifestyles. It will serve as our communication with our campus community as we try to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

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