Choose Well Challenge Support

During the Challenge you will access resources from the employee well-being portal in the Wellness Initiatives 

Click here to access and print the 4-week Choose Well Challenge

Eating healthy ultimately comes down to choosing healthy foods. Choosing healthy foods comes down to knowledge and preparation. The more convenient healthy food is at home, work, play, and when traveling, the more likely you are to eat it. The less convenient unhealthy food is, the less likely you are to eat it.

 

Take steps to create a healthy food environment:

 

  • Stock your home environment: pantry, refrigerator, and freezer with healthy foods that you like and REMOVE all unhealthy items.

  • Learn to read a food label and shop wisely for packaged foods — remember, whole foods don’t have ingredients.

  • Flavor your foods with healthy seasoning.

  • Make healthy choices at restaurants and when eating out at a friend’s home and at parties.

 

Choosing well means finding new foods that you enjoy, making them available in your environments, and enjoying others in moderation.

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Week 1: Fill Your Home with Real Food

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"Keep it simple. Keep it fresh. Stay away from all that processed stuff. Read the labels.” Emeril Lagasse

“Two-thirds of what people choose to eat will be from the first three things they see,” according to Brian Wansink, PhD. It comes down to controlling your options. Put healthy foods front and center, on your counter, in the refrigerator, and in all of your environments. The less convenient unhealthy food is, the less likely we are to eat it. Choosing healthy ingredients is a practice to integrate into daily living at home, at work, and when eating out.

 

Why Choosing Healthy Ingredients is Important:

  • Reduces your risk of chronic diseases

  • Helps you feel better

  • You can’t “out-exercise” a bad diet

  • Helps to keep your weight stable

 

Bonus Activity: Create a healthy food environment in your home.

  • Take an inventory of the food in your pantry, fridge, freezer, and other food storage areas, and organize them into categories:

    • Green – Continue

    • Orange – Enjoy Occasionally

    • Yellow – Phase Out

    • Red – Donate/Discard

 

Consider different strategies to build healthy food environments including a food inventory, learning to shop for healthy foods, seasoning with herbs and spices, and making healthy choices when eating out. Use your Challenge Sheet to record to record your efforts to Choose Well.

“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons." Alfred E. Newman

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Week 2: Shop for Healthy Ingredients

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"Healthy eating is journey that begins at the grocery store.” Anonymous

Shopping is a key to creating healthy food environments — in your home, car, office, backpack, etc. Before you can make high-quality food choices you must learn to read a food label and check for sugar, sodium, fiber, and portion size.

Tip: Decoding food labels is key to selecting healthy foods.

 

  • Create a shopping list of healthy foods and you enjoy and experiment.

    • If you don’t like kale, get blueberries instead.

    • Expand your food palate by trying new foods.

  • Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store where whole foods are located.

  • Stop by the bulk bin section for nuts, cereals, grains, pastas, and dried fruit.

 

Consider different strategies to build healthy food environments including a food inventory, learning to shop for healthy foods, seasoning with herbs and spices, and making healthy choices when eating out. Choose one area to focus on each week of the challenge or incorporate all 4 areas at once…whatever works best for you.

Use your Challenge Sheet to record to record your efforts to Choose Well.

“Fruit is nature’s candy.” Anonymous

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Week 3:  Learn to Use Herbs & Spices to Flavor Food

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“Live life with a little spice!” Anonymous

Spice up your cooking and reduce or eliminate added salt by learning to use herbs and spices when preparing meals and snacks. Herbs come from the leaves of dried or fresh plants and spices come from the aromatic parts of plants such as dried buds, fruits, berries, roots, and bark.

 

Vinegars and broths add flavor without salt or fat.

 

Bonus Activity:

  • Grow your inventory of fresh and dried herbs and spices — add 1 or 2 new herbs or spices a week.

  • Plant an herb garden with a few of your favorites — basil, parsley, dill, fennel, and mint are a few ideas.

 

Consider different strategies to build healthy food environments including a food inventory, learning to shop for healthy foods, seasoning with herbs and spices, and making healthy choices when eating out. Choose one area to focus on each week of the challenge or incorporate all 4 areas at once…whatever works best for you.Use your Challenge Sheet to record to record your efforts to Choose Well.

“If it ain’t natural, don’t eat it.” The Truth About Cancer

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Week 4: Make Healthy Food Choices Outside the Home

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“Eat better. Feel better." Anonymous

Many of us are better when eating at home or in a food environment that we control. However, there are strategies for indulging at a restaurant or at a party that leave you satisfied and in control.

Tip: Remember a restaurant will usually be more than happy to make substitutes — you are a paying and valued customer.

 

Eating Outside of the Home

At Restaurants

  • Use your phone or computer to search for healthy restaurants near you and check menus online

  • Substitute a green salad or fruit for French fries or a heavy side dish?

  • Share a meal or ask the server to box-up half the meal before serving you

At Parties and a Friend’s House

  • Eat before you go

  • Use a smaller plate and only take one pass at the buffet

  • Limit your alcohol

Consider different strategies to build healthy food environments including a food inventory, learning to shop for healthy foods, seasoning with herbs and spices, and making healthy choices when eating out. Choose one area to focus on each week of the challenge or incorporate all 4 areas at once…whatever works best for you.Use your Challenge Sheet to record to record your efforts to Choose Well.

"The foods we choose make a difference." Michael Gregor

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Congratulations!

 

You have discovered new ways to Choose Well by improving your food environments, shopping for healthy foods and ingredients, learning to use herbs and spices, and making healthy food choices outside the home. You are putting into practice new approaches to Choosing Well. We hope that you have learned from the Virtual Exhibit, examined your habits, read the articles and watched videos from the employee well-being portal, and found ways to improve your food choices moving forward. After 4 weeks, you have been challenged to find new ways to Choose Well. Keep up the momentum by continuing to use the Challenge Sheet to make your new habits part of everyday living.

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“The problem is that we are not eating food anymore we are eating food-like products.” Dr. Alejandro Junger

Click here to access and print the 4-week Choose Well Challenge.

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