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March 2024 Wellness Newsletter
Happy Spring
March symbolizes renewal and rebirth, a perfect month to start anew and make positive changes for your personal wellness and rejuvenation.
The Wellness Program supports your personal wellness journey by providing resources for various aspects of your life. Each month we provide new opportunities for you to learn from wide ranging webinar topics, such as emotional wellbeing in Mindful Mondays, healthy cooking in the Wellness from the Kitchen series, and financial wellness in the MetLife Financial Wellness workshops. Our Healthy U Wednesdays and Health Focus Thursdays provide opportunities to increase your knowledge on preventing and managing chronic health conditions. Our Unwind Time Friday webinars provide the perfect ending to each week with guided 15-minute meditations that pave the way to a relaxing weekend. And our monthly Wellness Challenges offer just the right amount of motivation and fun to accomplish health goals.
Enjoy this month's bounty of wellness!
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?
In March 1973 the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics declared each March "National Nutrition Month" as an invitation to anyone who wants to learn to make informed food choices. Here are a few helpful tips to try - join our March webinars for more!
  • Find ways to incorporate fiber-rich foods at each meal: Try bran cereal, oatmeal, and even avocado toast using healthy whole grain breads for breakfast Add crunchy veggies to any lunch and try a pasta or rice dish with vegetables for dinner. Register for the March 28 Veggies Made Delicious. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to include fiber-rich tasty veggies in most meals!
  • Tap into your dark side: Dark chocolate has been shown to provide heart-healthy benefits because compounds like flavonoids, polyphenols, and theobromine in dark chocolate improve blood flow throughout the body, helping to lower blood pressure. As a bonus, it has been found to improve mood!
  • Pass on the salt - shaker that is! It's easy to reduce salt usage when you know what tasty herbs and spices to use instead! And there's a big bonus to using herbs and spices because they come with powerful health benefits. Register for the March 14 Herbs and Other Natural Foods to learn more!
March Newsletter Highlights:
  • Work of Art March Challenge - Create Your Own Masterpieces!
  • The Dietitian Explains series
  • Wellness From the Kitchen Spring with Chef Sandra Welcomes Spring -  Hear Chef Sandra's March invitation!
  • MetLife Financial Wellbeing Workshop: Tax Strategies - Basics and Beyond!
  • Friday Unwind Time Series - What Do You Need Today? 
  • Read the newsletter for more!
Join Work of Art, our March Challenge, To Create Your Personal Masterpieces!
Work of Art encourages you to explore social and emotional practices that contribute to overall happiness and wellbeing!
Living an emotionally healthy life enhances mindfulness, gratitude, optimism, and social connections. 
In Work of Art  you'll create a personal work of art each week as you practice activities in each of these areas.
At the end of this challenge, you will have 4 Works of Art - masterpieces - to share with others and keep forever!
March Mindful Mondays: The Benefit of Mindful and Healthy Eating, plus break the Emotional Eating Habit
Mindful Monday
Monday, March 11, 11:00 am - 11:30 am: Healthy Eating Made Easy
Short on time, budget, or healthy foods in your fridge? Join this webinar to learn how to overcome these challenges in an easy and cost-effective way. You'll get healthy meal and snack tips as a bonus in this presentation!
Monday, March 18, 11:00 am - 11:30 am: Mindful Eating Habits
Have you ever eaten food then realized you don't remember its taste? This is called mindless eating. Mindful eating, on the other hand, involves savoring every bite. This practice results in greater satisfaction and eating less! Join this presentation to learn how to enjoy your food more.
Monday, March 25, 11:00 am - 11:30 am: Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is often a stress-relief habit that you may have developed to relieve anxiety, anger, disappointment, boredom, and other emotions. It may have become the go-to tool in your stress relief toolbox. In this presentation, learn additional healthier tools to add to your toolbox that will bring you even greater relief!
MetLife Financial Wellness Workshop, March 19
Tax Strategies - the Basics and Beyond
Tuesday, March 19, 11:00 am - 11:45 am
Just in time to meet this year's tax filing deadline and to learn tax strategies for next year, join this workshop offered by MetLife. A MetLife financial expert will present tips on tax basics, diversification, how to reduce your tax bill, when to call a professional, and more.  Register for the March 19 Tax Strategies Workshop 
Want additional help with your tax strategies and other financial questions you may have? Register for a free personal consultation with a financial professional.
Wellness from the Kitchen with Chef Sandra Lewis
Welcome Spring With These Tantalizingly Tasty Dishes!

Tuesday, March 12, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Risotto
Don't let the exotic sounding name of this dish intimidate you! Risotto, a traditional Italian dish, is a one-pot dish that is so easy you'll want to add it into your weekly meal planning rotation. It's so versatile that it can be your main course or a side dish. Add vegetables and lean protein for a low-calorie nutritional super-food. The possibilities are endless! Register for the Risotto Webinar
Tuesday, March 19, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Herbs de Provence Braised Chicken
Chef Sandra presents a unique blend of seasonings originating in Provence, France, for a perfect pairing with braised chicken. This super simple and satisfying dish, ready in about 30 minutes, is great for any day of the week. Best news yet: Herbs de Provence blend is available in your local food store seasoning section!  Register for the Herbs de Provence Braised Chicken Webinar
Tuesday, March 26, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Cooking Eggs
Hard boiled Easter eggs are not the only way to cook eggs! Eggs are perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because you can poach, fry, and scramble them. And we can't leave out the all-time favorite: the omelet! Learn tips from Chef Sandra for the perfect egg dish no matter how you prepare it


Healthy U Wednesdays: Our Dietitian Explains Series


Join our Registered Dietitian Amy to learn about various eating plans

Register for one or more Healthy U Webinars
Wednesday, March 6, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: What is Healthy Eating?
The concept of healthy eating seems relatively simple, however, it can be confusing due to multiple sources of sometimes contradictory information. Thank goodness we have Amy, our Registered Dietitian, to educate us with correct healthy eating information!
Wednesday, March 13, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has taken the world by storm. Is it the latest fad, is it beneficial, or is it both? Amy will share the answer and explain the pros and cons of intermittent fasting so you can determine if it's appropriate for you.
Wednesday, March 20, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Explore the Mediterranean, DASH, and MIND Diets with Amy
Mediterranean-based nutrition plans such as the Mediterranean Diet have been shown to increase longevity in populations found in South Europe. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was developed to support good heart health. The MIND (Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet is shown to reduce cognitive decline as we age. Amy will dive a bit deeper into the benefits of all 3 so that you can choose the best plan for you.
Wednesday, March 27: 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Plant Centric Nutrition
Amy will present the newest research on plant centric diets such as vegetarianism, veganism, and other plant-based nutrition patterns. Participants will also get tips on how to incorporate plant centric eating into any dietary pattern - something we all should do!

Thursday Health Focus: Meal Prepping Made Easy and More!

Thursday, March 7, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: The Benefits of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are protective compounds found in nutrient-dense foods such as colorful fruits and vegetables, seafood, herbs, teas, and more. They have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, prevent certain cancers, and even slow the aging process! Learn more about the benefits of getting antioxidants from food sources and the downside of relying on supplements to provide antioxidants.  Register for Benefits of Antioxidants 
Thursday, March 14, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Meal Prepping Made Easy - Balanced Lunches and Dinners
Did you know that cinnamon lowers blood sugar, turmeric reduces inflammation, and sage helps memory? Learn specific benefits of many herbs and natural foods and get tips on how to use them when preparing food in this exciting session! Register for Herbs and Other Natural Foods
Thursday, March 21, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Meal Prepping Made Easy - Balanced Lunches and Dinners
Lunches, and especially dinners, tend to be heavier meals. This can have a large impact on your health. It's Amy to the rescue - again! Amy, our Registered Dietitian, will show you how to easily create nutritionally balanced lunches and dinners to fit your lifestyle and eating preferences. As a bonus, she will share fun recipe tips and ideas. Register for Meal Prep Made Easy: Lunches and Dinners


Thursday, March 28, 11:00 am - 11:45 am: Veggies Made Delicious!
Fresh ginger-carrot salad. Roasted red pepper green beans. Minty peas. Feeling hungry now for delicious veggies? Amy, our Registered Dietitian, will share strategies and inventive recipes for these and more! Register for Veggies Made Delicious


Unwind Time Friday Sessions: What Do You Need Today?



Register for one or more Unwind Time Friday Guided Meditations
Friday, March 8, 11:00 am - 11:15 am: Self Compassion
Did you find yourself stuck in a pattern of negative self-talk today? Carve out 15-minutes and join this session to banish negative self-talk for the rest of the day and through the weekend!
Friday, March 15, 11:00 am - 11:15 am: Feeling Strong and Confident
Has life presented larger-than-life challenges to you recently? If so, envision yourself handling whatever life has thrown at you with kindness, patience, wisdom, confidence, and faith in yourself in this 15-minute empowering session.
Friday, March 22, 11:00 am - 11:15 am: Intention to be Happy Today (and tomorrow, and the day after...)
It's truly one day at a time when striving for happiness during stressful periods. For today, tune into your capacity for self-care and self-love that is already present in your heart. This will positively fuel your desire to be happy. Repeat as needed!
Friday, March 29, 11:00 am - 11:15 am: Acceptance
Acceptance of events and emotions, rather than avoidance and rejection, is the key to freedom! Acceptance allows you to explore options for positive outcomes. Experience the power of spacious, non judgmental, and unattached acceptance in this freeing meditation.
BONUS! Healthy Weight Series in March
Healthy Weight

  This four-week March series is designed to help participants learn behavior change strategies for successful weight loss and management.

Register for one or more Healthy Weight Series webinars
Thursday, March 7, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Making Changes Toward a Healthier Lifestyle
In this first session, you'll explore behavior change to support weight loss and management, identify a realistic weight management goal for you, and learn how to set short and long-term goals for successful weight management.
Thursday, March 14, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Building Healthy Eating Habits
Learn how to balance and track calories consumed, review strategies for healthy eating, and develop a personal health eating habit plan.
Thursday, March 21, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Moving More, Sitting Less
Discover the benefits of moving more, discuss barriers to being active, and learn easy and effective tips to build more movement into each day.
Thursday, March 28, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Handling Challenges and Staying Motivated
Learn how to recover from lapses, how to break through a weight loss plateau, and get proven strategies to stay motivated and manage weight long-term.
Smoking Cessation Program

State of MD Department of Health's smoking cessation program: