Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Stigma Free UC Presents: Mass Shootings and the Mental Health System

After mass shootings, there is often public discussion about the relationship between mental illness and violence, and outcry that the mental health system does not do more to stop these events.  On Tuesday, April 24, Amy Barnhorst, the medical director of a county crisis unit will discuss the ways in which this response risks both increasing stigma against people with mental illness and drawing the focus away from other groups of people at higher risk of violence.

All UC faculty, staff and students are invited to attend this webinar, sponsored by the Systemwide WellBeing Initiative, on Tuesday, April 24, from 1-2pm.  To view the slideshow online, click here.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Take a Walk!

Did You Know?
Walking is one of the easiest and most convenient forms of physical activity out there. And it really pays to walk as much as you can. Walking reaps fantastic (and perhaps surprising) benefits. For example, research from the University of Exeter found that a short 15-minute walk reduced cravings for chocolate and other sugary snacks. Walking may also enhance your immune system. A 15 to 20 minute walk can trigger antibodies and white blood cells to move through your body faster, which can enable your body to detect illnesses sooner; plus, an increase in circulation may also trigger the release of hormones that “warn” immune cells of intruding pathogens.

Be Well-Inspired
One great thing about walking is that you can get up and walk almost anywhere, at any time. Indeed, even if you’re tied to a desk all day, you can get up and take a few strolls in the hallway—any steps you take count!  Remember that even just a little bit of walking may also help you from giving in to unhealthy choices and habits. So, the next time you want to raid the cookie jar, try taking a quick walk before you give in to the craving. Perhaps you’ll find that you were just bored and/or stressed and some fresh air and movement was all you truly needed.
Source: Hwajung Oh, Adrian H. Taylor. Brisk walking reduces ad libitum snacking in regular chocolate eaters during a workplace simulation. Appetite,, 2011; DOI:

Friday, March 16, 2018

Get Wellness Information on the UC Wellbeing Channel!

Watch videos, series and learn about all areas on wellness on the UC Wellbeing Channel.Brought to you by the University of California TV.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Stigma-Free UC Presents: Positive Psychology Webinar March 20

Positive psychology, with its focus on what makes human beings flourish, offers practical tools for supporting resilience and wellbeing. Robert Bilder, director of the Mind Well pod within UCLA’s Healthy Campus Initiative, will discuss the potential of positive psychology to improve emotional health in the second installment of the Systemwide WellBeing Initiative’s "Stigma-Free UC" effort, on Tuesday, March 20 at 2 p.m.

All UC faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the webinar, which will be held on Tuesday, March 20, from 2-3 p.m. To view the webinar, click below.

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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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