Friday, February 23, 2018

7 Nutrition Upgrades for Your Heart

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February is heart month and one of the best ways you can protect your heart is to eat a healthy diet.  Below are upgrades to seven common nutritional setbacks.  When we have tasty alternatives, it is much easier to feel motivated to make smart food choices.  For access to the full article, including recipes, visit ACE Fitness.

1.  Instead of deep-fried foods, which are often fried in oils that are not meant for high temperatures frying and thus cause inflammation in the body, try:
  • Baked "French fries" with a healthier oil such as olive oil
  • Carrot fries
  • Sweet potato fries
2.  Fast food is mostly fried, high in salt, sugar and calories.  Instead:
  • Plan your meal for the week in advance with emphasis on quality proteins, legumes, vegetables, fruits and dairy
  • If you do go to a fast-food restaurant, opt for healthier when possible, such as grilled chicken or fish (make sure it's truly grilled and not breaded and fried), salads and bean and salsa wraps
3.  Margarine has shown to be quite the heart health villain due to it's abundance of trans fats, which are created by turning a plant oil that is liquid at room temperature into a solid.  Instead, use:
  • Olive oil, including interesting flavored olive oils
  • New flavors such as sesame or avocado oil
  • 100% Grass-fed butter or ghee:  when animals eat the proper diet, there are health benefits such as increased omega-3 fatty acids (you are what you eat ate!)
4.  Processed meats like bacon, salami and cured meats typically have high levels of sodium and cancer-causing preservatives such as nitrates and nitrites added to them.  Steer clear of these with:
  • Fresh and (even better) wild fish
  • Lean 100% grass-fed meat
  • Pasture-raised eggs
  • Beans
5.  Salt can be found everywhere including most packaged foods, chips, canned products, condiments and even prepared pasta sauce is a huge culprit.  Most sodium comes from packaged foods as opposed to salt added at the table.  Instead of sodium-laden prepared foods, try cooking with:
  • Spices and herbs
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • Flavored vinegars
6.  Sugar-sweetened drinks are the highest source of sugar in the American diet.  Sugar increases blood glucose levels, inflammation and triglycerides.  There are many interesting sugar-free options including:
  1. Unflavored or flavored water with lemon, orange or lime
  2. Water infusions such as rosemary-cucumber or lemon-ginger
  3. Sparkling water flavored with any of the above
7.  Sweets and baked goods such as cookies and donuts are another high-sugar source.  But worse, they also contain various unhealthy fats including trans fat in packaged snacks.  Thus, bad cholesterol LDL can rise with an added whammy of inflammatory sugar.  Go for healthier dessert options made from home:
  • Chavocado pudding (yes, avocado whose flavor is disguised by intense chocolate)
  • Skinny chocolate chunk cookies

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Winter 2018 Employee Wellness Newsletter is Out!

In This Issue:
  • Get Up Tritons!
  • Onsite Fitness for You
  • 3 Reasons to Cook Your Own Meal
  • 8 Habits That May Increase Stress 
  • New Myofascial Release Balls
  • Move 3 for Every 30
  • Winter Recipe:  Warm Quinoa Spinach Salad
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Monday, January 29, 2018

Anti-Desk with Get Up Tritons!

Announcing a new and free program!  We know that sitting for extended periods of time is not good for our health and if you sit at a desk, it can be easy to sit for hours without moving.  The solution?  Our program, “Get Up Tritons!,” aims to get the UCSD community to move two times per day through instructional videos at 10am and 2pm, done from the comfort of your desk or office.  In seconds, our fitness instructors will teach you how to reverse the negative effects of sitting.  Even better, it is FREE to you!  All you need to do is subscribe here.
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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Start 2018 with Reduced Stress and Increased Productivity

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Mindfulness has been widely published in the medical literature to help reduce stress and foster a healthy lifestyle amongst patients and is used in Fortune 500 companies, professional athletic teams, and our own US military, to help reduce stress and increase work productivity. 

Redeem the UC San Diego Health Employee Wellness 50% off registration discount for mindfulness classes at the UC San Diego Health Center for Mindfulness.

Click here for more information on redeeming:

New class cycles are starting January 2018:

For more information and to register: 

Other information sources include:  

Center for Mindfulness homepage: 

Free audio/visual links (including mindfulness meditations and body scans of varying lengths):

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Fall Newsletter is Here!
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Here's what's in store...

  • Maintain Don't Gain Begins November 13
  • Aromatherapy Blends for Fall
  • 10 Morning Habits to Start the Day
  • Master the Side Plank for a Stronger Core
  • Autumn Recipe:  How to Roast Butternut Squash
  • Seven Tips for Healthy Workday Nutrition
  • Friday, September 29, 2017

    Healthier Living Classes - Free!!

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    UCSD and Kaiser Permanente are offering a nationally recognized course, developed by Stanford University, to help you to live a healthier life.  The course is full of tips to better manage your health, including ongoing chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure.  This workshop will teach you to:

    • Set goals for a healthier life
    • Control pain
    • Gain energy
    • Communicate efficiently with your doctors
    • Manage your medications
    • Relax and sleep better
    • Lessen worry and stress
    Location:  Stein Clinical Research Building 148, UCSD Campus:  MAP IT
    Dates:  10/23, 10/30, 11/06, 11/13, 11/20 and 11/27
    Time:  5:30-8pm
    Registration:  Contact Maryam Gholami at 858-822-1086 or

    Friday, September 1, 2017

    Introducing...The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Workshop Subsidy

    UC San Diego Health employees are eligible for 50% off the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course at the UC San Diego Health Center for Mindfulness.  New classes start this month.  Program dates are located on the Center for Mindfulness website.  For subsidy details and registration process, click here.

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