Employee Wellness Newsletter
December 2019
It's Do Good December!
Click on the image above for a printable version.
SPOTLIGHT ON SITE: Garfield Gators

Another month, another staff celebrated...this time at Garfield Elementary! Staff enjoyed a hot, healthy lunch brought by the SLUSD school board and administration to show gratitude for Gator greatness. Watch for messages from your principals or directors about when the SLUSD food truck will be unloading deliciousness at a staff room near you!
Staying Active When Weather Won't Cooperate

As these active SLUSD employees know, lower temperatures mean higher calorie burns and fewer competitors on the trail. Winter workouts can be tough to initiate, especially in the morning when contemplated from under cozy comforters. But this beautiful time of year is out there to be enjoyed...don't let an extra layer or two of workout gear keep you from your fitness goals!
(Click the graphic to enlarge and print!)
Staying Cool While Caring for Senior Relatives
Many of us are caring for elderly relatives, while also raising children, working full time, supporting spouses and more. Our needs often fall at the end of a long list of responsibilities. Here are six strategies for keeping yourself composed, along with a quick video with some absolutely timeless wisdom.

Source: AARP
Financial Wellness: Stress Spending During the Holidays

Avoid excessive spending during the holiday season with strategies to slow the shopping frenzy and tune into your real feelings. Read more HERE .

Source: NBC News
November Wellness Wisdom Winner

Thank you to those who shared their strategies for staying balanced and well in an emotionally, and often physically, arduous industry. This month's WWW (Wellness Wisdom Winner) is McKinley Elementary's Georgette Jackson, who will receive a $25 gift certificate from Amazon just for sharing what seems to be second nature for her. Some of her suggestions include:

  • Take time to stand up and move & take a walk at work.
  • Try a protein, spinach & blueberry smoothie for breakfast.
  • Be thankful for what we have in life.
  • Think twice to make wise decisions before spending.
  • Slow down
  • Take time for yourself to take a walk, go to the gym or just relax.

This month's challenge is to share your strategies for returning refreshed and ready from winter break. Respondents will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate from Amazon . Entries are due by Friday, December 13 at 3pm. The winner will be announced in the January Employee Wellness Newsletter. Remember you have to play to win!
SLUSD Pets of the Month
Meet the December poster girls, courtesy of Mamatha Moorthy, school psychologist and Danielle Felicien, Madison kindergarten teacher. These gorgeous gals will receive special gifts for their owners to share with them, so if you too have a snuggle buddy who wants a treat, send in photos and bios of SLUSD furry friends to to be featured in future newsletter editions.
Say hello to Taji Moorthy. She was adopted after a trip to India when Mamatha's daughter was heartbroken at number of stray dogs she saw on the streets, she asked rescue one of them. Since that wasn't feasible, the next best solution came from a shelter in the US. With India as inspiration, this sweet girl was named Taji (after the Taj Mahal).
Meet Bebe Felicien. She’s an 11 year old sweet, spunky, and loving toy poodle. This little girl is no joke in the snuggle department. When she’s not sleeping and snuggling, she’s enjoys walks, car rides, back scratches, and playing with her stuffed toy “Scruffy”.
Sitting is the New Smoking
When you think of something that could threaten your life, you probably don't think about your chair at work. But according to many researchers, it’s one of the biggest potential threats to your health.

Research shows that you can reduce your chances of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and back pain, all with one simple lifestyle change: reduce the time you spend sitting. Read more about ways to get moving HERE .

Maple Roasted Beets and Carrots

A gorgeous, healthy side dish for your holiday table!

  • 5 large carrots peeled & sliced
  • 4 medium beets peeled & diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 425F and move the rack to the middle position.
  2. Cut the beets and carrots into pieces that are roughly the same size, and place the pieces on a large baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil onto the beets and carrots and add salt & pepper. Toss until they're coated. Spread them out in an even layer. 
  4. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until they veggies are tender-crisp (this will vary depending how big the pieces are). 
  5. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and add the butter and maple syrup directly to the baking sheet. Let the butter melt then toss it again until everything is coated. 
  6. Return the baking sheet to the oven for another 5 minutes. 
  7. Serve immediately.

4 Servings
Vegan Peppermint Patties

Looking for a healthier homemade treat to bring to your next holiday party? These vegan peppermint patties are made with almond flour, coconut, and peppermint extract. They taste just like the real thing without those filler ingredients!

  • 1/2 cup super-fine almond flour
  • 1/2 cup shaved coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, dairy free
  • Himalayan sea salt, to taste

  1. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Then, place all ingredients into a small food processor and process on high until combined. It should be similar to cookie dough consistency.
  2.  Next, scoop out nickel-sized pieces of dough and roll them in between your palms. Flatten slightly to form your patty and then place on cookie sheet.
  3. Place sheet into the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  4.  Once the patties have frozen, melt about 1/2 cup of dark chocolate in the microwave. Using two forks, dip each patty into the chocolate, fully covering it. Place on parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Repeat.
  5. Place the cookie sheet back in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until fully frozen.

4-6 Servings
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