Quarterly LWA Newsletter
LWA Quarter 3 Newsletter
Topics This Issue:
- Symposium Summary
- LWA Updates: Classes and Programs
- Tips to Increase Attendance
- Advice for Hosting Healthier Potlucks
Last June the Living Well Alliance hosted our second annual wellness symposium at the Beacon Hill clinic. With 26 guests, we had an engaging and motivated group that was immersed in our presenter’s ideas and participated in our small roundtable discussions. Topics included diabetes in the workplace, influencing health and health-care costs, healthy potlucks, wellness on a budget, posture dos and don’ts, and learning the ins and outs of your employee assistance program.
Some feedback from our attendees:
“Thank you again for hosting such an aspiring wellness symposium. I just shared the information and resources I gained from the symposium with my colleagues on the wellness committee.”
“Speakers were great!!!”
“I love that additional resources and information were shared in a post-email.”
If you’d like to suggest a topic for the Living Well Alliance symposium next year, please email the LWA team.
LWA Updates: Help Employees Beat Sugar and Make Changes That Last
To help your organization stay on track with health as we approach autumn, the Living Well Alliance has rolled out two new classes! Our on-site classes are convenient and led by medical professionals.
NEW CLASS: An in-depth look at sugar. In this class, we help your employees wade through all the hype to learn the truth about this molecule and what it does to their health. Participants will learn why humans evolved to crave sugar, the consequences of eating too much and how to read food labels to learn your sugar limit. Employees will leave with suggestions on how to reduce sugar intake and cravings. Is a sugar detox in your future?
NEW CLASS: Making successful behavioral changes. This class is an excellent companion to the nutrition counseling program the Living Well Alliance started in June. Many of us know what we need to change, but turning that knowledge into action is tricky. Class participants will discuss theories that evaluate approaches to change, learn effective methods for successfully changing lifelong habits and finally evaluate their own readiness to change while creating an individualized plan.
Still need a push in the right direction? Living Well Alliance can help! Sign up for individual nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian today. Read our nutrition counseling flyer here.
Fall is just around the corner, and many of you have wellness events scheduled to kick off soon. But how do you make sure you get the attendance the event deserves? Try these six tips.
1. Provide food! Light snacks or, if the event is held at lunchtime, even sandwiches can pique people’s interest in attending. Some healthy snack/meal ideas could include:
- Yogurt, fruit and granola parfaits
- Whole-grain crackers, cheese, pita slices and hummus
- Fruit and veggie trays
- Sliced apples, nuts, dried fruit and nut butter
- Salads with a variety of ingredients to keep them interesting
- Instant oatmeal (bonus: offer nuts and dried or fresh fruit for healthy toppings)
2. Hold your event at an “off” time. Rather than holding your event at lunchtime, when most employees are ready to unwind, try later in the afternoon or midmorning. An afternoon event can provide a mental break from the stress of the day. We have seen attendance double at events held in the late afternoon.
3. Consider a raffle. The Living Well Alliance can supply some great Pacific Medical Centers–branded prizes, but also consider something from your company! Ideas for prizes include:
- Gift cards (grocery store, coffee and fuel cards)
- Exercise equipment (e.g., resistance bands, water bottles, pedometers)
- Fruit basket
Don’t have a budget for raffle items? Ask a local company for a donation or create a coupon for an extra hour of PTO or a week’s parking in a preferred lot.
4. Use our posters to advertise! The Living Well Alliance will create a poster about your event, which you can display in your building or email to employees.
5. Personally extend an invitation. Evites and meeting reminders are great ways to remind people about events, but personally inviting someone, either on the phone or in person, encourages attendance by those who may be less apt to respond to electronic invitations.
6. Include a last-minute reminder in your communication plan. Whether it’s a slip of paper on each desk, an email sent two hours before the start time or a colorful flyer near the morning coffee machine, a final reminder is an important part of advertising your event.
Tips for Healthy Potlucks
Potlucks are fun and truly bring your workplace community together. However, if not structured, people may wind up sharing lots of desserts but no other courses, meaning your spread will quickly lack a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Try these tips for your potlucks to increase nutrients and reduce sugar, salt and fatty foods.
1. Shift your culture to focus on health. Use words like fresh and healthy, and encourage swapping ingredients of less-than-healthy comfort foods.
2. Pick a theme—such as a specific culture, common ingredients, a holiday, family favorites—to create a focus. Have some recipe options for people to try.
3. Have a potluck sign-up list with categories (fruits, vegetables, grain dishes, protein options, desserts) to make sure attendees bring different food groups.
4. Encourage creativity with contests! Ideas include:
- At least three vegetables in every dish
- Best fruit-based dessert
- Healthy recipes under $10
- Low sodium/heart-healthy recipe (see the American Heart Association for great low-sodium recipes)
- Diabetes friendly
5. Have a healthy recipe-of-the-month contest for your bulletin board or department; and if someone volunteers to make the recipe for your next potluck, reward them $20 toward groceries to test it out (an idea from Seattle’s own Builder’s Hardware).
6. Ditch the soda and juice. Instead, have the company contribute seltzer water or herb/citrus-infused water if possible.
7. Organize a group activity for your gathering rather than focusing only on food. Consider activities such as lawn games, a group walk or a bring-your-family-to-work day.