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Take charge of your health to put yourself on the path to wellness. Health and wellness means living life fully with vitality and meaning. Wellness looks different for each individual and evolves as our lifestyles change. 

Our LiveWELL Sustainable Wellness newsletter  is full of encouraging ways you can create sustainable goals for the  year ahead !
Take Charge of Your Life
Create a Wellness Chart to analyze all important areas of your life. 
Rate your current level of satisfaction within each and use the phrase "I know that I ______ better if I _____" to ensure an effective action plan. 

Use the chart below to get started!
Commit to a Long-Term Fitness Goal
Getting started on a fitness plan can be easy. Staying committed is the hard part. Here are eight ways you can get "Hooked on Exercise" to sustain a lifelong journey of health and wellness. 

  1. Set one small goal. People typically would say: "I'm going to exercise every day for an hour, count calories at every meal and lose 10 pounds in 30 days!" Instead, start with an achievable goal, such as: "I'm going to add 10 more minutes of exercise to my day." If you currently get no exercise, any improvement is a great start.
  2. Sign up  for a race. You don't have to be a runner to enter a 5K race. These events are a great way to motivate yourself to exercise and have fun with family and friends. You can get ready for the race at your own pace. You might start by walking for 20 minutes and gradually increase the time. You can also increase the intensity of your workout by alternating jogging and walking.
  3. Make an exercise pact. Put your exercise plans in writing or post them on social media. It makes your commitment real, and people can even offer you encouragement. Making a pact with a friend is even more powerful because there's someone to hold you accountable. Sign up for an exercise class together or schedule workouts on your calendar.
  4. Exercise your own way. You don't have to go to the gym to exercise. Find an activity you enjoy - such as tennis, golf, kayaking or hiking. Or, add more movement to your day by walking, taking the stairs or playing in the park with your kids.
  5. Get inspired by  others. Read success stories and remind yourself that anything is possible. Make connections with people who encourage each other to exercise. Work with a personal trainer or join a running club for a boost of encouragement.
  6. Focus on the benefits. Getting regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. It helps you feel good, control your weight, sleep better, fight disease and live longer.
  7. Give yourself a pep talk. Negative self-talk can derail your plan to exercise. Tell yourself, "I can do this!" Replace worries and doubts with positive thoughts.
  8. Reward yourself. When you work hard and reach your goal, it's time to celebrate. Treat yourself to something special.
What Does Wellness Mean to You?
What Does Wellness Mean To You?
I have worked in the corporate wellness world for 20 years and 13 of those years at Cigna.  At Cigna, our mission is to "improve the health, well-being, and sense of security of those we serve," and I'm dedicated to "walking the talk."  Wellness to me is being of sound mind, body and spirit.  You can't draw water from an empty well. Take care of yourself first.

Do you have a wellness goal?
I am competing in my first Ironman triathlon soon.  It consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run.  The race has been two years in the making and I can't wait to cross that finish line and hear the announcer say, "Kim Lipsky, you are an Ironman."

Which challenges do you face in achieving your goal?
Dedicating two years to a wellness goal is intense.  Some days I have felt like not training or may be sore from training, but I always keep that end goal in mind to push through it.  Learning to swim well has been the biggest challenge, and getting out of the water after 2.4 miles will be quite a relief!  

How has your workplace helped you in achieving your goal?
Cigna's Healthy Life wellness program provides a supportive work environment and culture of health, connecting employees with well-being care and coaching and encouraging personal engagement and accountability for healthy choices. Wellness is ingrained in our culture.  The programs provide employees access to one-on-one coaching, web-based materials, and onsite programs, including holistic health centers and fitness centers. My favorite activities have been Cigna sponsored runs and onsite chair massage.  With this support, I've been able to take charge of my health. With well-being at the core of Cigna, I am proud to share that Cigna just became a Platinum Wellness AtoZ Employer with the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation.
Sustainable Energy with Matcha Green Tea
The Benefits of Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea is the superhero of the tea world. It is high in antioxidants, a powerful detoxifier, has been shown to have antibiotic properties, and improves cholesterol. Matcha green tea is loaded with the amino acid L-theanine which simultaneously increases energy levels (better than coffee!) while enhancing relaxation. It has also been proven to boost memory and concentration.
Matcha tea is sold in a ground powder form in three grades: Culinary, Premium, and Ceremonial. All three are great for drinking, with a moderate change in flavor profile. Culinary grade matcha tea is the most affordable option and great to cook with. You can add matcha to smoothies, make ice cream, pancakes, and more. The best part is, the beautiful green color is perfect for your holiday baking. 
Check out the Matcha Truffle recipe below and bring something healthy and festive to your next holiday gathering!
LiveWELL Green Chocolate Truffle Recipe:
  • 10oz white chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon matcha + more for coating
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoon of hot water (if needed)
  • Freeze dried raspberries
  • Silicone ice cube tray
  • Piping bag or small plastic storage bag
  • Strainer to sift the matcha

1. In a saucepan, warm the heavy cream and butter on low heat just so the butter can melt. Add salt.
2. Slowly add the warm cream mixture to the matcha and whisk or stir until there aren't any lumps. It'll also help if you sift the matcha first. Set aside.
3. Rough chop the white chocolate and put into a large stainless steel or glass bowl.
4. Put about four cups of water in a pot to boil. After the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and place the bowl of chocolate on the pot for the chocolate to melt slowly. Stir occasionally with a spatula.
5. Once the chocolate has melted completely, take the bowl off the pot and pour in the matcha cream into the chocolate. Mix well.
6. If the chocolate starts to separate or look grainy, add in a tablespoon of hot water and the chocolate mixture/ganache will come back together. Add another tablespoon if needed.
7. Pour the ganache into a piping bag or a plastic storage bag.
8. Pipe the ganache into silicone molds.
9. To get a smooth and even surface, scrape off the top of the mold.
10. Put the molds into the fridge for about 4-5 hours to solidify the ganache.
11. Once solidified, carefully pop the cubes of ganache out of the molds.
12. Sift some matcha on a plate and coat each cube of ganache. Crush some freeze-dried raspberries on the same plate and sprinkle on top.

Recipe courtesy of

This Holiday Season Think Sustainable, Service & Donate
When shopping for gifts this holiday season, think sustainable. The best gifts come from the heart so take time to think about what would truly make those special people in your life happy. Find something magical and unique at a second-hand store or yard sale. Has someone admired something of yours that you can part ways with? Why not give it to them as a gift! Is someone you're shopping for passionate about a cause? Donate to the organization on their behalf.

Never underestimate the gift of service - Do you know someone who needs a night off from the kids? Be a babysitter for a night. Pet-sit for a friend or colleague who is going on vacation.  Volunteer your time at a local charity and get to know the people in your community. Continue this trend throughout 2018. 

Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation
201 N. Central Ave. 27th Floor, Phoenix, Arizona 85004 United States