LiveWELL
Four ways to practice gratitude this season
1.    Prioritize Plants. Filling up half of our plates with vegetables is beneficial for our overall health, but it also helps our environment. When we focus on including more plants in our diet, we help to reduce freshwater withdrawals and deforestation.

2.    Minimize Meat. Building a healthy plate often includes eating less red meat. Substituting meat with non-meat proteins like nuts and legumes reduces the greenhouse gas emissions released into the air. Transporting animals also takes a big toll on the environment because it requires more food, water, land, and energy than plants.

3.    Select new seafood. Fish is considered to be a healthy meal option. Nonetheless, overfishing can threaten marine life. Take a look at this seafood recommendations list for making environmentally conscious choices in seafood consumption.

4.    Look Local. Farmer’s markets are a fun place to find locally grown produce. They provide the opportunity to learn directly from growers about where the food is from and how it was grown and harvested. You can even get ideas for different ways to prepare it!

5.    Eat Mindfully. A good way to eating sustainably is to eat mindfully. This means being aware of the food we are eating, where the food came from, and how it nourishes our bodies. As we become more mindful eaters, it may help us to understand portion sizes and how much our bodies need. By preparing the right portion of food, we can help reduce food waste.

*Article adapted from Harvard.edu
PlayWELL
Foundational Yoga Poses
Having a sustainable exercise routine is immensely important for our overall health. There are some days that we may not have the motivation to do a full workout, but it is important to move our bodies in some way, every day. A very simple and efficient way to get moving on those tough days is to do yoga. If you are new to yoga, below are three foundational poses to introduce you to the practice.

1.    Downward Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana.
  • Start on your hands and knees, with your hands stacked under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Spread your hands wide and press your index finger and thumb into your mat.
  • Lift your tailbone and press your butt up and back, drawing your hips toward the ceiling. Straighten your legs as best as you can and press your heels gently toward the floor.
  • Your head should be between your arms, facing your knees, and your back should be flat.
  • Hold for 5–10 breaths.
 
2.    Mountain Pose/Tadasana.
  • Stand with your toes together and heels slightly apart.
  • Spread your toes and place your weight evenly through both feet. Engage your core and tuck your hips under so your tailbone is pointing down toward the floor. Relax your shoulders and roll them back and down.
  • Inhale and reach your arms overhead, while pressing down into your feet. You may also put your hands in prayer position in front of your chest or rest them by your sides—all are commonly used variations. You may choose what feels most natural to your practice., and your instructor may cue one specifically or give you the choice.
  • Take 3-5 long, slow, deep breaths in and out of your nose.
 
3.    Crescent Lunge/Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana.
  • Take a big step forward with your left foot to start in a staggered stance, with your feet almost mat length apart.
  • Bend your front knee and keep your back leg straight with your heel lifted off the floor.
  • Try to bend your front leg so that your thigh is parallel to the floor. Square your hips toward the front.
  • Extend your arms toward the ceiling on either side of your head and stretch up as you also press into the mat and feel the stretch in your hips.
  • Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
  • To move into Low Lunge/Anjaneyasana, simply drop your back knee to the floor, keeping the leg extended long and the shin flat on the mat.

For more foundational yoga poses see self.com
EatWELL
Healthy holiday side dish
SPINACH AND CHEESE STUFFED PORTABELLO MUSHROOMS

The holiday season is here, and we are including a healthy, simple, and warm recipe for you to add to your holiday dinner!

*Recipe and photo adapted from eatingwell.com

Ingredients:
  • 4  large portobello mushroom caps
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided in half
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided in half
  •  2 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¾ cup prepared marinara sauce

Directions:
1.   Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2.   Place mushroom caps, gill-side up, on the prepared pan.
3.   Sprinkle with salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
4.   Mash ricotta, spinach, 1/4 cup Parmesan, olives, Italian seasoning, and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.
5.   Place marinara sauce in a small bowl, cover, and microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes until hot.
6.   When the mushrooms are tender, carefully pour out any liquid accumulated in the caps. Return the caps to the pan gill-side up.
7.   Spread 1 tablespoon marinara into each cap; cover the remaining sauce to keep warm.
8.   Pour a generous 1/3 cup ricotta filling into each cap and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.
9.   Bake until hot, about 10 minutes.
10. Serve with the remaining marinara sauce.

RECIPE SERVES 4
196 calories; protein 13.3g; carbohydrates 13.7g; dietary fiber 2.6g; sugars 5.8g; fat 10.4g, saturated fat 4.9g; cholesterol 28.8mg
WorkWELL
Innovative ways employers are practicing health and wellness
SPOTLIGHT ON PHOENIX CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
On a typical day, working in healthcare is a roller coaster ride of emotions, particularly in a children’s hospital. COVID amplified these feelings and for the past ten months has pushed Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) to figure out meaningful ways to serve our frontline staff, our 2,000 newly remote workers, and our community. To provide hope and healing to our community, our employees need to bring their best selves to work every day. Being mindful of this new and unique environment, our wellness efforts must be innovative and continually strive to provide programs that meet our culture’s unique needs.

Here are 7 steps PCH took to ensure families feel safe and seen through inexpensive, yet thoughtful actions.

1. High Five Peer-to-Peer recognition program and B(Air) Hug, originally known as the "Bear Hug", program. Staff can send a co-workers a High Five e-card showing support and encouragement during this trying time as well as hide a stuffed bear in departments for others to find tagged with an encouraging message.

2. Based on staff COVID survey feedback, hosted Virtual Pet Therapy Zoom parties and Mindfulness Interactive Live Webinar Series.

3. Hosted Special Guest Live Stream webinars with experts in the areas of gardening, home schooling, and virtual fitness.

4. We created a "We See You" Creative Recognition Program which includes a token of kindness and appreciation, our sunshine baskets. With these sunshine baskets, departments can order baskets filled with healthy snacks and mind-game toys to show support and recognition for employees.

5.Hosted recognition events which were made possible by working with community partners. These events included appreciation days that came with gift bag distributions. They were designed so that all staff can participate, including those who were working remotely. 

6. Created Vision Board program – helping staff remain centered and grounded by re-connecting them to their purpose. Participants select images that they identity with while listening to their personal playlists.

7. Cultivated a safe space for staff to go the PCH Wellness Center. The PCH Wellness Center is a relaxation room that also assists departments creating "mini" spaces in their designated areas. 
Health & Wellness
Share with us how your team is practicing health and wellness
Many of our Wellness AtoZ employers have taken steps to implement health and safety efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and we encourage you to share with us!

Email us at info@wellnessatoz.org and let us know the innovative ways your company has supported your wellbeing. Look for us to highlight your efforts on our social sites!
WELLCommunity
Giving hope
The holiday season is always a wonderful time to give back to our community. This season, you can help deliver hope to the community by donating essential hygiene and food items. See the Phoenix Rescue Mission website for what supplies are needed, what you can do to help, and safe ways to deliver your supplies in light of COVID-19.