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HealthyUT – March 2017

  HealthyUT – March 2017

Wellness Warrior

Wellness Warrior Award recipient, Dr. Elizabeth Strand (center), leading a Tai Chi session.

Wellness Warrior Award recipient, Dr. Elizabeth Strand (center), leading a Tai Chi session.

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.

The Wellness Warrior  recognition for March 2017 goes to Dr. Elizabeth Strand of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Elizabeth Strand (clinical associate professor, Department of Biomedical and Diagnostic Sciences) leads the success and wellness courses at the College of Veterinary Medicine and is the faculty advisor of the WHO (Wellness and Health Organization) program at the college. She works to ensure students along with faculty and staff have a healthy work/life balance. The success and wellness course stresses healthy eating, time management, ethical decision-making, and stress management. Some of the course sessions focus on the importance of a good night’s sleep, personal finance, and even a cooking demonstration led by faculty and staff. Dr. Strand is also certified in mindfulness-based stress reduction and teaches that technique in an after-hours workshop for faculty and staff.

Dr. Strand has been with the university for nearly 18 years both as a student and a faculty. Some of her favorite hobbies include dancing, sewing, crocheting, rock paper scissors or card game competitions, cooking without recipes, and walking in the sun. She is inspired to live a healthy lifestyle after noticing that when she eats simple healthy food, exercises, and meditates that she is happier person overall.


“When I was a kid I would only eat sugary foods and maybe some peanut butter, much to my mother’s chagrin. You can imagine how all that sugar impacted my well-being! It has been a journey but I have come to have a much wider palette and have discovered not only how wonderful vegetables are but also how great they make me feel! Through healthy food, simple exercise (I love Tai Chi)  and quiet reflection, I have been able to improve my sense of peace and well-being. This is so important to my core values that drive me to love and lift others up! In the past, without these healthy practices, lifting others up resulted in harm to my own well-being. Now I take care of me and others too! My advice- boil some turnips and parsnips together, puree them with a little butter and some salt….put some collards on top with a nice protein of choice and try not to be in a good mood! Then repeat with new vegetables each day. Share the inevitable joy it creates within you! It feels GREAT!”

Congratulations Dr. Strand! 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 a nomination form.

Move More

Upcoming Community Events

BSWO: For the ONE 5K advocacy run– (3/25)
The 2nd annual BSWO “For the ONE 5K” advocacy run centering on issues of sexual assault, domestic violence, mental health, and substance abuse will occur on Saturday March 25th at 12noon at Circle Park (in front of the iconic Torchbearer statue) on the Knoxville campus. Whether you attend this event or not, you can certainly show your support by making a donation through the registration website.


Knoxville Marathon– (4/1, 4/2)
The last day to register for the Knoxville Marathon is March 27th. It’s not too late to join the UT team and help UT in the Fittest Company Challenge. You’ll also receive a $5 discount at registration.


Health Beat Fair– (4/5)
Be Well will be participating in the Health Beat Fair hosted by the College of Nursing. Health Beat 2017   will be held on Wednesday, April 5   7:30 AM to 1 PM in the Panhellenic Building. This is a great opportunity to see some of the local health and wellness resources. Come see us to learn more about what Be Well has to offer.


Run and Walk for Mental Health Awareness– (4/23)
The second annual Run and Walk for Mental Health Awareness will be held on April 23rd, at 1PM. The race will take place on the Pedestrian Walkway at the University of Tennessee, and registration is only $25 which also includes a race t-shirt. All proceeds from this race will go to the Helen Ross McNabb Center to provide mental health services to the undeserved here in Knoxville.

Eat Better 


Whether you are a picky eater or taking care of someone who is, you know that it can be challenging. The main challenge here is making sure to get a well-balanced nutritious diet.  Lee Murphy, a nutrition professor here at the University has some great tips on how help picky eaters. Some suggestions from Professor Murphy include limiting liquid calories, setting a good example, and respecting the child’s hunger queues. Read more...

Be Mindful 

Sleep is a very important factor in our health but often overlooked. Getting a good night’s sleep is part of a healthy lifestyle and vital for good physical and mental health. Here are a few tips for getting a good night’s sleep:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. As creatures of habit, people have a hard time adjusting to changes in sleep patterns. Sleeping later on weekends won’t fully make up for a lack of sleep during the week and will make it harder to wake up early on Monday morning.
  • Exercise is great, but not too late in the day. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days but not later than 2—3 hours before your bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Coffee, colas, certain teas, and chocolate contain the stimulant caffeine, and its effects can take as long as 8 hours to wear off fully. Therefore, a cup of coffee in the late afternoon can make it hard for you to fall asleep at night. Nicotine is also a stimulant, often causing smokers to sleep only very lightly. In addition, smokers often wake up too early in the morning because of nicotine withdrawal.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Having a “nightcap” or alcoholic beverage before sleep may help you relax, but heavy use robs you of deep sleep and REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. Heavy alcohol ingestion also may contribute to impairment in breathing at night. You also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of the alcohol have worn off.
  • More tips

The HealthyUT Newsletter, formerly known as the Wellness Wednesday Newsletter, is a monthly publication where events, information, and resource to support healthy lifestyles will be shared with the UT Knoxville Community.  It will serve as our communication with our campus community as we try to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

 Be Well.