ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
March 2020
The shareable link (printable) for this issue:
Financial Wellness - Build an Emergency Fund!
Why should you consider building an emergency fund? An emergency fund protects against unexpected expenses such as:
  • Job loss
  • Medical or dental emergencies
  • Home repairs
  • Car troubles
  • Unexpected travels

Do most people have an emergency fund?
  • 44% of Americans said they would have difficulty with an emergency expense of $400.
  • 140-million Americans state they have little or no savings at all.

What is recommended?
  • Work on starting your emergency fund with $1,000.
  • From there, make a goal of saving 3-6 months worth of expenses.

A sound financial base is good for your mental well-being!
  • ESHCA members have "free" access to the financial planners at QCI, contact them with your financial questions including steps you should take to build an emergency fund!

Click here to read the QCI article and get their contact information!

March is National Nutrition Month...
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) designates March as National Nutrition Month, stressing the importance of a balanced diet and exercise while promoting the transformative power of healthy food choices. AND encourages you to commit to the following steps for the month of March:
  • 1) Move your body!
  • Exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Be active!
  • 2) Find inspiration!
  • What inspires you to be healthy and motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle? Long-term, intrinsic goals (such as eating healthy to control your blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and weight) are ideal. However, short-term goals (losing weight for reunions, weddings, etc.) can also be powerful motivators to initiate healthy habits.
  • 3) Consider meeting with a dietician!
  • It may be pricey but a little focus and education is a worthwhile investment. Also, consider the ESHCA 49-Day Nutrition Challenge, we provide it twice per year (January and November).

5 Realistic Ways to Eat Healthier this Month...
  • 1) Drink H2O!!!
  • 2) Choose food over supplements!!!
  • 3) Opt for color!!!
  • Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables of all colors.
  • 4) Pack your lunch!!!
  • Even the best restaurant choices don't provide the nutrition you can get from a DIY meal. Search "healthiest restaurant meals", you will have trouble finding one meal that does not exceed the RDA for sodium.
  • 5) Shop the perimeter!!!
  • The outside of the supermarket tends to have more natural, "whole" foods as opposed to the highly-processed foods found in the center aisles. However, be cautious, grocery stores have figured this out and more of those "family friendly" meals put together for your convenience (often filled with excess fat, sugar and sodium) are finding shelf-space on the perimeter.

Recipe of the Month...Fish and Chips!!!
Baked Not Fried!!!
Fish and Chips is a popular meal and maybe even more so during the Lenten season. It is common to see Catholic churches and American Legions advertising their weekly Friday night "fish fry".

Is it a healthy choice?
  • Fish and potatoes both have good nutritional value. For example, a serving of cod is an excellent lean protein; low-fat yet rich in heart healthy omega-3 fats (providing 9% of men's and 13% of women's RDA). It is also a good source of vitamin B12. Potatoes are loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals including potassium (a mineral that lowers blood pressure).
  • However, fried foods are higher in fat and calories. On the outside, foods are coated in batter or flour, which hold in oil (absorb fat). On the inside, food loses it's water content and absorbs additional fat.
  • Heating oils to high temperatures can result in them being converted to trans fats (hydrogenated). Trans fats are difficult for your body to breakdown increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Additionally, acrylamide (a byproduct of fried starches) increases the risk of cancer.

What is the comparison?
  • Fish...according to Healthline, 3.5 ounces of baked cod contains 105 calories and 1 gram of fat. The same amount of fried fish contains 232 calories and 12 grams of fat.
  • Potato...a small baked potato contains 93 (3.5 ounces) calories and 0 grams of fat. French fries have 319 calories and 17 grams of fat.

What does research show?
  • One study found, women eating one or more servings of fried fish per week had a 48% higher risk of heart failure, compared to those who consumed 1-3 servings per month. In contrast, women eating 5 servings of baked or broiled fish per week lowered their risk of heart failure by 30% compared to women who did not eat fish on a regular basis (less than 1 serving/month). Conclusion, fish is good for heart health if prepared appropriately.

Healthier cooking oils include...
  • Coconut, olive and avocado.

Healthier cooking methods include...
  • Oven-frying (high temperatures, 450-degrees) and air frying (uses 70-80% less oil).

Click Here to See the Recipe for Baked Fish and Chips!!!

Strength Exercises - $25 Incentive Challenge
The goal for 2020, is to emaphasize strength exercises that develop the core muscles and support the low back. The General Health Assessment is a constant reminder that, regardless of job type, a significant number of us suffer from low back pain. In 2019, the newsletter focused on stretching exercises to combat that pain. Stretching and strengthening exercises should be combined to provide complete conditioning.

What should you know about strength training? Newton's Third Law ..."for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction". The muscles surrounding the spine should be of equal strength, therefore, for every muscle trained there is a muscle on the opposite side that also requires attention. Each exercise will be combined with an "opposite" exercise to ensure conditioning is balanced.
Strength Combo #1: Partial Crunch/Superman:
  • 1) Partial Crunch
  • "Engage Your Core" (meaning, pull your belly button tight to your spine).
  • Gently roll your upper torso forward (breathing out in the process) until you can no longer go any higher.
  • Pause at the top of the movement keeping your stomach "sucked" in and your lower back pressed into the floor (feel tension in your abdominal muscles); slowly return to the start position.
  • Repeat for 10 repetitions.
  • 2) Superman
  • Lye on your stomach, slowly tighten the muscles in your lower back, glutes and upper hamstrings.
  • Lift your head, chest and upper thighs off the floor.
  • Pause at the top of the movement (feel tension in the mid back, low back, glutes and upper hamstrings); slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10 repetitions.
  • To make it more challenging extend your arms above your head.
$25 Incentive Challenge - Low Back Strength Training
  • Complete 12 Partial Crunch and Superman workouts (minimum 10 repetitions each) in the month of March.
  • Download and record on the Partial Crunch/Superman Log (click and print). Upon completion of 12 workouts (must be done on 12 separate days) email (cell phone picture works), mail or fax me a copy. If you are unable to print, make your own log, I will take it!
  • Every member of the household is encouraged to participate but only 1 incentive card can be issued to each member-household with the exception that more than one employee-member lives in the household. Let me know if you have questions.