Happy New Year!

Happy 2019! Although I’m not one to make strict resolutions, I do find that the start of a new year is a good time for self-reflection and a setting of intentions for the coming year. For me, the subtle language shift from resolution to intention allows more flexibility, and when it comes to making behavior changes that stick, flexibility is key. Few of us are able to make drastic changes overnight.

According to a YouGov poll from 2018, “eat healthier” was tied with “getting more exercise” and “saving more money “ as the most popular new year’s resolutions. If you are one of the millions who’s resolved to eat healthier in 2019, first, please read Neal’s past blog post about setting SMART goals, and second, I wanted to remind you that MUS Wellness is here to help. Our next round of the 30-Day Nutrition Upgrade kicks off Monday, February 4th! This program provides a simple way to reshape your eating habits and boost your nutrition.

Unlike the diet plans that abound on the internet, this program is not a diet or a detox. In fact, a previous participant said this about the Nutrition Upgrade in her 2018 Success Story, “I have been tracking my calories in – calories out for years after learning at a young age from my mother. This year, I was able to participate in the Nutrition Upgrade program offered last spring and that gave me a different perspective on tracking my food intake and nutrition.”

Another participant said, “I’ve been looking for a food plan that fits me and my busy life for years. It feels so balanced and realistic. I can still really enjoy eating and cooking. Thanks for sharing it.”

If you’ve attempted to eat healthier in the past, but were not successful, I encourage you to try the Nutrition Upgrade. It provides a refreshing way to view nutrition that doesn’t involve counting calories or strict rules. By participating, you’ll receive access to a live one-hour online kickoff, the Nutrition GPA app for iOS or Android, downloadable handouts, two live check-ins midway through the program, and a private Facebook group for MUS participants. Plus, new for this round: participants will receive a email every day from Monica and me with a helpful tip or tasty recipe!

Even better, program creator Monica Reinagel will be here in Montana for a live kick-off at MSU Bozeman, followed by presentations and meet-ups at UM, Montana Tech, and MSU Billings! Monica is a board certified, licensed nutritionist and professionally trained chef. She’s the author of six books about nutrition including Nutrition Diva’s Secrets for a Healthy Diet and Inflammation Free Diet Plan. She writes the blog at http://www.nutritionovereasy.com, and she’s the host of the popular Nutrition Diva podcast. She’s an incredible nutrition resource, and participants in select locations will have the unique opportunity to meet her and ask nutrition questions in person!

To sign up for the 30-Day Nutrition Upgrade, go to https://nutritionovereasy.com/mus. Email me at cristin.stokes@montana.edu for the discount code to receive $30 off (you pay $10).

Perhaps it’s not healthy eating that you want to focus on this year, but instead you want to get in better shape, become more financially savvy, or start a daily meditation practice. Or maybe you didn’t make any resolutions at all, but are still interested in improving your health and well-being in 2109. MUS Wellness is here to help you too! Our online Limeade Incentive Program kicks off Tuesday, January 15th with daily, weekly, and monthly challenges designed to set you on the path towards better health, and a new tool to help you focus on improving your mental health. Plus, participants can earn a free Fitbit health tracking device, and up to $80 in Amazon gift cards!

To learn more about what MUS Wellness is offering in 2019, please join us for the 2019 MUS Wellness Program Overview Webinar on Wednesday, January 16th at 12PM. We will be focusing on what’s new with the Incentive Program, but we’ll touch on all of the programs available through MUS Wellness. If you are unable to watch at that time, we encourage you to still register for the webinar, and the recording will be sent to you as soon as it’s available.

We hope 2019 is your best year yet, and we at MUS Wellness are here to support you along the way!

Cristin

MUS Wellness Champions Needed!

Can you relate to any of the following statements?

“I care about the health & happiness of my coworkers.”

“I have an idea for a wellness activity that we should offer on our campus.”

“I loved participating in the Take Control program, and I wish more of my colleagues knew about it!”

If one or more of the above statements sounds like something you would say, we need you! We are currently recruiting Wellness Champions on all of our MUS campuses for the 2018/2019 year.

New Wellness Champion application

Returning Wellness Champion application

Wellness Champions are enthusiastic supporters of health & well-being in the workplace, regardless of where they are personally on the path towards optimal well-being. In other words, to be a Wellness Champion for MUS, you don’t need to be the perfect picture of health; you just need to be someone who cares about your colleagues and wants them to lead the highest quality of life possible!

Formal “duties” of a Wellness Champion include:

  • Keeping up to date with current Wellness program offerings.
  • Reminding your coworkers of the opportunities offered through Wellness, and promoting participation. As much as your MUS Wellness Team tries to get the message out about the programs we have available, inevitably, emails are overlooked, blog posts go unread, posters go unseen. Word of mouth remains one of our most powerful tools of communication! We cannot tell you how many times someone asks about the Take Control lifestyle management program because a coworker mentioned something about it.
  • Assisting in the implementation and coordination of wellness initiatives as able. Examples may include reserving a space for a Wellness-related activity, volunteering at an information table, or suggesting topics of interest. Wellness initiatives vary from campus to campus, and again, your level of involvement will depend on what your schedule allows. Some campuses have a group of Wellness Champions who meet on a regular basis and plan activities.
  • Representing coworkers by collecting ideas and feedback about the program. Although we consider all feedback that we receive from MUS plan members, we specifically solicit opinions from our Wellness Champions on occasion.
  • Being respectful of others’ privacy and compliant with confidentiality standards.

Before you dismiss the idea of becoming a Wellness Champion because you feel swamped already with job responsibilities, keep in mind that serving effectively as a WellChamp can mean as little as reminding your coworkers that a WellCheck is coming up, and encouraging a new employee in your office to participate in the MUS Wellness Incentive Program. Or, it can mean leading a campus walking group, or organizing a monthly social event, or writing a brief grant proposal to gain funding for a campus-specific program. The beauty of serving as a Wellness Champion is that you can define what being a Wellness Champion looks like to you, and we are here to support your efforts!

As a Wellness Champion, you will receive:

  • Bi-monthly email newsletters from MUS Wellness
  • Special swag item for MUS WellChamps only!
  • Recognition as a Wellness Champion
  • Opportunity to offer feedback about the Wellness Program

A person’s work environment can have a tremendous impact on overall health & well-being. Becoming a MUS Wellness Champion gives you the opportunity to make a real difference in your workplace, and have a positive impact on your coworkers. Sign up to be a 2018/2019 MUS WellChamp today!

New Wellness Champion application

Returning Wellness Champion application

Video: MUS Wellness Success Story

Last month, Limeade paid us a visit to chat with a few of our employees about MUS Wellness. Here’s how it turned out:

Your MUS Wellness team feels privileged to work for and with such amazing people like the ones featured in this video. This is just a small sampling of what’s happening all over Montana! As always, thank you to our MUS employees for committing to your personal health & well-being as well as to the culture of wellness on your campus!

Be Well!

Whole Grain Goodness

Your Wellness Team is right in the middle of the 3 W’s:  Wellchecks, webinars, and workshops.  Here’s a fun peek at a recent workshop from Montana Meals, and what’s coming up on your campuses in the weeks to come.

Montana Meals presented the first of four “Whole Grain Goodness” Spring workshops last week at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell.  Here’s a look:

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Oatmeal toppings, including basil! Basil and fruit mixed with oatmeal was a surprise hit of the workshop.

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Some of the whole grains demonstrated, clockwise from top: quinoa, millet, sorghum, and hulled barley.

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Tabouli salad with kamut, parsley, cucumber, grape tomatoes, green onion, lemon juice, and olive oil. Mmmmm.

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Workshops with taste samples are the best.

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Cristin presenting her delicious tabouli salad.

Here is a list of our April workshops. We’ll be posting registration links in the upcoming days to this blog. You’ll find the links at the right-hand sidebar of the page, under the title: “Upcoming Live Workshops”

  • 4/1   Meal Planning Made Easy, MSU Northern
  • 4/2   Strong Back, Healthy Back, MSU Northern
  • 4/3   Exercise Room Workshops, Great Falls College
  • 4/9   TBA, Montana Tech, Butte
  • 4/15   Whole Grain Goodness, MSU Billings
  • 4/16   Strong Back, Healthy Back, City College, Billings
  • 4/17   Whole Grain Goodness, Dawson Community College
  • 4/17   Beyond Crunches, Dawson Community College
  • 4/29   Strong Back, Healthy Back, MSU Bozeman
  • 4/30   Whole Grain Goodness, MSU Bozeman

Hope to see you there!  If you follow along from Missoula, no worries, we’ll see you in May!