The Return of the Veggie Bracket!

Last year in the fever of March Madness, we created our very own “Veggie Bracket.” One of our regular bloggers, Kenny, tried every vegetable on the bracket and went through the pain staking process of picking broccoli as his winner. Check out the final chapter of his saga here: The Veggie Bracket: The Final Four.

Well guess what? It’s back!

Veggie_Madness_Bracket

This year, we teamed up with our pals at Oregon State to bring “Veggie Madness” to the OSU campus. “Oregon State University’s Healthy Campus Initiative looks for entertaining and engaging ways to educate students and staff about living healthy, and Veggie Madness ties in great with two popular programs: National Nutrition Month and March Madness,” said Lisa Hoogesteger, director of Healthy Campus Initiatives for Oregon State University.

Here’s the best part, you can vote too! From March 3-5, you can weigh in by going here: Veggie Madness. Or, if you can make it to Corvallis, OR, you can vote on campus at the MU Quad on March 4-5. So you tell us what’s better, artichokes or asparagus, cucumbers or bell peppers, kale or broccoli. These are heavyweight battles, it’s going to get tense.

So get ready for some true March Madness. We hope to see you in Corvallis next week, and most importantly, good luck with your bracket.

The Art of Snooze Boosting: Take the Sleep Quiz!

Sleeping Cat

Photo courtesy of dominiqs

Consistently getting a great night’s sleep is a game changer when it comes to your overall health. Your weight, ability to fight illnesses, blood pressure, and a boat load of other health factors are directly impacted by your sleep patterns. So, if you aren’t a solid sleeper, it’s time to get back on track.

To help you out, we have a “Sleep Quiz” that can identify some of the usual sleep destroyers. If you have a hard time getting a restful eight hours on a consistent basis, take this quiz, and when you answer “No,” think about adjusting your behavior. With a few tweaks, you’ll be sleeping like a baby.

  1. I wake up at about the same time each morning. □ Yes   □ No
  2. I exercise most days of the week. □ Yes   □ No
  3. I exercise earlier in the day, or at least three hours before bed time. □ Yes   □ No
  4. I avoid stimulants such as caffeine, energy drinks, and certain medications after noon. □ Yes   □ No
  5. I eat a small, low-fat evening meal. □ Yes   □ No
  6. I don’t eat right before bedtime, usually at least two or three hours before bedtime. □ Yes   □ No
  7. In the evening I avoid large portions, high-fat or spicy foods, or other foods that trigger heartburn. □ Yes   □ No
  8. I drink most of my fluids during the day and before dinner. □ Yes   □ No
  9. I limit alcohol to special occasions. I don’t use alcohol to help me sleep. □ Yes   □ No
  10. I do a strength training exercise routine at least two times per week. □ Yes   □ No
  11. I do yoga or other gentle stretches in the evening. □ Yes   □ No
  12. I turn off all my electronic screens, and dim the lights at least one hour before bed time. □ Yes   □ No
  13. I take time to meditate or just sit quietly each evening. □ Yes   □ No

If you have any other tips to get a great night’s sleep, we’d love to hear them! Just post them in our comments, and we’ll share them with the world.

Happy snoozing!

A Workplace Wellness Success Story: Oregon Medical Group

Conquer WellnessHere’s the deal; we spend A LOT of time at work. On a standard business day, the average American working adults spends about 8.8 hours at their workplace. That’s more than half of your waking hours! While that might be a little super depressing, if you look at it with a “glass half full” point of view, there’s a big time opportunity; to get healthy at work!

Since we spend so much time at work, workplace wellness has become more important than ever. For most of us, our post-work obligations trump things like exercise, preparing healthy meals, and stress management. But if you can use those 8.8 hours and incorporate healthy activites into your routine, you can make some big strides toward healthy living.

If you’re looking for an organization that has embraced this concept, our pals at Oregon Medical Group are a perfect example. Oregon Medical Group is a medical provider that has clinics throughout Eugene and Springfield (Oregon), and their motives for workplace wellness go beyond just having healthy employees. Since they’re caring for patients and asking them to make healthier lifestyle choices, they felt a responsibility to serve as an example in our community.

take-a-walking-breakWhat is Oregon Medical Group doing to promote healthy living among employees?

Oregon Medical Group’s primary focus is about as simple as it gets; they’re encouraging employees to walk more. Using pedometers and incentives for tracking their daily steps, they created a culture of competition, teamwork, and fun within the organization. The goal for a healthy adult is to take about 10,000 steps every day. While the primary focus of Oregon Medical Group’s wellness promotion is around walking, any steps can count. So if employees wear their pedometers for things like sports, Zumba, running, hiking, etc. they’ll increase their chances at earning incentives.

Is it working?

You bet it is! Their success stories are phenomenal, and their walking program has garnered some attention in the media. Eugene based newspaper, The Register Guard did a full profile of the program. Check out the article here: Good business moves: Companies help employees stay in motion to improve health.

We’re so thankful to have partners like Oregon Medical Group, and we were thrilled to see their walking program get the positive attention it deserves. Let’s hope their positive example spreads throughout Eugene/Springfield.

Keep on stepping, Oregon Medical Group!