Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Autumn Chicken Stew

I’ve recently turned over a new leaf (again), and I’m trying to eat better. I’m also working on the Budget badge, so I’ve recommitted to cooking at home.

When I mentioned my goals to Joann, she recommended checking out the Web site www.eatingwell.com. I love it! There are all kinds of wonderful recipes, and each recipe includes the nutrition information for the final meal. This is brilliant for those of us who are trying to count calories or watch cholesterol or sodium intake.

Last night I tried one of their soup recipes, and I loved it enough to pass it on. It had a really unique flavor! My only tip would be to let the veggies cook a little longer than they suggest (I like it when they’re still crisp, but not too crunchy), and then add the apples halfway through the time you let the soup simmer. The apples ended up a little bit mushy in mine because I cooked them too long. (Picture and recipe from eatingwell.com.)


Vanessa Farley

Media Development

Autumn Chicken Stew



5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces

1 large onion, chopped

4 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped

2 teaspoons cider vinegar


1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2. Add the remaining 3 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add onion, parsnips, carrots, rosemary, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and apples; bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in vinegar.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Per serving: 208 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat , 4 g mono ); 42 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 19 g protein; 4 g fiber; 621 mg sodium; 630 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (68% daily value), Vitamin C (23% dv), Potassium (18% dv).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I love LOVE love a good yummy oatmeal in on a cool fall morning.  I used to hate oatmeal when I was a kid, because it was so mushy and tasteless.  But once I discovered this recipe, I found I really enjoy eating it!  It is so hearty, and easy to make, and will freeze well for later.  I like to make a double batch, and then divide into single serving size portions.

Slow Cooker Oats

1 Cup Steel Cut Oats

4 Cups Water

Other items of your choosing:

1 cup peeled and chopped apple

½ cup rasins or Crasins

1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

2 Tbs. Butter (can substitute with something healthier)

2 Tbs. Brown Sugar

1 Tsp. Vanilla extract

Place the Steel Cut Oats, water, apple, rasins, butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract into a slow cooker, and stir to combine and dissolve the sugar.  Cover the cooker, set to Low, and allow to cook for 6-7 hours (for firm oats), or 8 hours (for softer texture).

Note:  Use only Steel cut oats, or this will be a mushy mess. 

Winco sells Steel Cut Oats in bulk for VERY cheap, or you can find it in the grocery store where the specialty flours/ health foods are)

If your oatmeal comes out dry around the edges, and too soft in the middle, you can try the “waterbath” method in your crockpot.  You can find instructions for this alternate method here:  http://www.mommyskitchen.net/2009/01/overnight-crock-pot-oatmeal.html


Sabrina Woolsey
Provider Relations Assistant

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Mix
Graham Cracker

In a bowl of plain oatmeal, mix ¼ cup of Pumpkin Pie Mix (found on the shelf by cans of 100% Pure Pumpkin), 1 crushed graham cracker, a dash of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg.

Perfect Fall breakfast!

Note: Make sure you don’t buy the Pure Pumpkin instead of the Pumpkin Pie Mix.  It’s kind of gross.

Rachel Abegg

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Listen Seriously - And Show It!

I really thought this would be an easy one. I’ve always felt like I was a good listener and for the most part I still feel that way, however after a long day of listening at work, I found it kind of difficult to listen to my twelve year old go on about his day. I must say, I did do it and it made me more aware of my listening skills. Thanks for opening my eyes or should I say ears. J

LisaAnn Wissler
Retirement Financial Services Team Leader

Friday, October 7, 2011

Since attending the kick-off meeting for this wellness campaign, I’ve been thinking about what to contribute to the blog.  Let me share a couple of the small things I do to help with my own wellness – both physical and otherwise.  They are things you can do, too.
1.  Taking the stairs.  When we started our last company-wide wellness campaign, I had gotten out of the habit of taking the stairs.  However, I saw the list of ways to earn tickets and decided that taking the stairs would be my main focus.  Not only does it provide you with some exercise, but you can get where you need to go without having to wait for the elevator to come.  More than once I’ve made it back to my floor at about the same time as people who chose the elevator.  No, I don’t take the stairs everywhere I go at work, but you will usually find me in the stairwell at some point during the day!  I’ve been able to keep this habit up so far since our “Tickets to Wellness” campaign ended (and telling you all about it will hopefully be motivation to continue).

To get started w/ this good habit:  take the stairs at least once a day.  Even a little bit helps!

2.  Reading.  The Bookworm badge will probably be the easiest one for me to earn in our current campaign.  Someone once asked me what I give up to read.  I know from economics classes that everything has an opportunity cost, but I don’t think of reading in those terms.  It’s something I HAVE to do.  I love reading books, talking about them, shopping for them, and having them around.  They provide an escape, a chance to learn about random subjects, something to do while waiting, and entertainment.  You will frequently find me wandering a bookstore – for stress relief, for a reward, or for no reason in particular.  My book group has helped me get to know the people of my neighborhood, another way to work on wellness.

To get started with this good habit:  Take advantage of your commute time.  Whether it’s an audio book, an e-book, or a traditional paper and ink book, it counts as reading!

Good luck, everyone!

Carolyn Fish

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Speaking to those book worms out there.  Try reading your next book with a family member or friend out loud.  It is a fun way to share something together and it is also a good substitute for too much TV/computer time.  Right now I am reading a book with my 9 year old son.  It is fun to have something to talk about and to feel the excitement together about what is going to happen next.  Several years ago my wife and I read the Harry Potter books together and that was fun too (although sometimes I would fall asleep after a long day when I wasn’t the one reading J).  I have to give credit to my friend at work who reads with his family who first gave me the idea.

John Hull

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Every once in awhile I will come across a song that just screams “get up and move!”   I love these songs, and when they come on the radio, or I hear them on my Itunes play list, I want to jump up and start doing something.  Yard work, housework, anything to burn some energy.  They just seem to get me motivated like no other song can.  I would love to expand my list of songs, and would love to know what songs get you motivated to get up and move.  Maybe a more extensive list will help inspire me (or others) to get up and move J

Sabrina Woolsey, Provider Relations Assistant

Monday, September 26, 2011

One week ago today I buried my darling mother.  It has been a bitter/sweet time and a chance for much reflection.  She has spent a life-time teaching me so much about living and loving.  About 50 years ago she penned the following words revealing her desires for her children:

“I want them (her children) to be individuals, firm in the courage of their convictions, knowing right from wrong and having the courage and confidence to follow the reasonings of their intelligence regardless of what their associates do. I want them always to remember that their example will be reflected in the lives of those around them. I want them to develop their intelligence, knowing that “The Glory of God” is intelligence. I would rather them be loved for their goodness than honoured for their achievements. I do not want them to use their fellows as stepping stones to gain the esteem of men. I want them to walk upright and proud, yet meek enough to acknowledge God as the giver of all they possess; humble enough to pause, and stoop to help the weaker who may stumble; grateful enough not to condemn those who fall short of their standards.

I want them to love life, to find joy and pleasure in all that they do; to know that even in sorrow, there is the seed of joy. I want them never to grow so earnest in their daily routine that they do not pause to give thanks for the beauty of a sunrise, the smell of the rain, the sound of the kookaburra’s laugh!

I know that during their lives, they will make many mistakes. I want them not too stricken by these mistakes, but to grow through them in knowledge and strength. I want them to know that I love and understand them all, that I want to share heartaches and joys, and if they come to me, I’ll know that my work has not been in vain.”

I hope that I do not disappoint her or any of my loved ones – family and friends.

Laurita Murdock, Accounting

Friday, September 23, 2011

I love this fresh bean salad/dip.  Especially at this time of  year when there is fresh corn, tomatoes and peppers from my garden.  Nothing beats home grown produce. 

You cant buy produce at the store that tastes as good and as fresh as produce you grow yourself or buy from a farmers market.

I love the Autumn weather and harvest time. 

While I was growing up, this time of year meant harvesting peaches, pears and crisp apples from our small family orchard and vegetables grown in our family garden.  It also meant canning a lot of yummy fruit and vegetables for use later in the winter.  I always enjoy working together, making memories and having fun with these family activities.

Have A Happy Harvest and enjoy the crisp Autumn weather! J

Mexican Salad

Prep: 15 minutes

3 cups raw or cooked fresh corn kernels (I use fresh)
1 can (about 15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
3 ripe tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 each green and red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp each minced garlic, salt and pepper
(I also add finely chopped onion -- purple, yellow or green)

Stir all ingredients in a 2 ½ quart serving bowl.

Make-ahead note: As much as 36 hours in advance, I have put the first 5 ingredients into a bowl (corn, beans, tomatoes and green & red pepper, and cilantro) and stored them in the refrigerator. Then I have separately combined the olive oil, lime juice and seasonings in a separate container and chilled. Several hours before serving I combine these ingredients all together in a serving bowl and chill again.

This can be served with warm tortillas or tortilla chips.

Shauna Parcell, Provider Maintenance Team

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I used to shop at the grocery store and buy those pre-made meals that are full of sodium. I learned that sodium helps keep water weight and avoids loosing those unwanted fat cells. One thing that has helped me eat better and healthier: I have forced myself to buy foods that make me prepare a home-cooked meal. It has ended up being cheaper actually and I feel better! I also then make my meals for dinner and I cook a little extra so that we have lunch for the next day instead of going out.

Angela Ratliff, Health Benefits Representative

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Utah Is Awesome.

I love the outdoors. Once I moved to Utah, I realized that this state has limitless potential when it comes to hiking, biking, backpacking, climbing, and pretty much anything else you can think of to do outside. At first, I was overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. I feel like this blog is a great place to share passions and experience. It could be that someone is in that same "I don't know where to start" phase. We are all in that phase with something in our lives and I hope that these ideas will spark a journey for someone.

I started with the Utah National Park website and searched through all the national parks. They are fairly cheap to get into these parks and they are full of hikes for all skill levels. If you decide to go this route, I would recommend Zion National Park because it has a little something for everyone. If you are ever in a backpacking mood, my favorite spot in Utah is the Lower Red Lake Canyon trail in Canyonlands National Park. The sights are like nothing you have ever seen.

If you want something a little closer to home, the Dog Lake hike is amazing this time of year. There are many hikes listed on the Utah website. It will show you the distance and difficulty of each trail, where to park, and if you can camp in the general area. Whenever I am looking for a place to hit the trail, I always start there. 

The trick is to just get out there. Bring your friends, family, even your dog and I guarantee you will have a great time. We live in an area where people come from all over the world to see. Let's take advantage of it! As always, remember to bring plenty of water and a good, sturdy pair of shoes. If you ever have questions about hikes, equipment, or how to get started, come talk to me. The journey to well-being is all about finding a balance. The prize in this journey is not tangible, it is what we make of it, and experiencing outdoor Utah is a great place to start!

Matt Blum
Healthcare Systems

Friday, September 16, 2011

Living In the Present

I always feel a sense of renewal and rededication when these challenges start up.  It becomes a “New Year's resolution"… again.  Sometimes it's hard to get motivated or we feel defeated because we haven’t hit some personal goals.  I say live in the present – forget about what is holding you back and start today.  Achieve your goals.  Don’t let another day go by.  Become your very best self.

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us."

Make today the day you begin your own personal well-being journey. 
I've started my rededication to achieving my goals and look forward to the life that is waiting for me.

See you along the way on this Deseret Mutual wellness journey and HAPPY NEW YEAR – who says it has to be on January 1!
Donna McReavy, Manager of Customer Service and Enrollment

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spinach Scramble

1 cup Roma Tomato, diced
2 cups Spinach Leaves, cleaned and dried
10 Egg Whites
4 ounces Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons fresh Basil, chopped

1.      In a small nonstick pan coated with vegetable spray, sauté tomatoes and spinach until slightly tender. Remove and set aside.
2.      Whisk the egg whites together in a bowl and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, over low heat until almost set. Add the vegetable mixture, cheese, and basil. Cook to desired firmness.
518 Calories
25 g Total Fat
55 g Protein
19 g Carbohydrate
101 mg Cholesterol
1877 mg Sodium

Bryce Gardner, Customer Service/Enrollment

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friends and Colleagues

I have this awesome recipe to share with you. My wife was out of town and I was able to cook me up a healthy meal (Yes, it was my choice).

Potato Tacos or Tacos de papas. I came across it and it was really good. What is fun with this recipe is that you can change to your liking. You can take away ingredients and add to your liking since it is tacos. I would invite you to follow the recipe once before changing it. It will be amazing.


10 Fresh corn tortillas
2 large red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes
4 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 poblano chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 ear white corn, stripped of kernels
2 scallions, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro - I like lots, but depending on your taste, you might want 1/4 cup chopped
1 lime
Fresh avocado, diced


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a skillet add 3 tbsp of the olive oil and add the potatoes and fry them until crispy and brown on the outside and cooked inside. Meanwhile slice the poblano chiles in half, and while wearing gloves, remove the ribs and the seeds. Add the peppers cut-side down to a baking dish that has been lightly coated with olive oil and roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Chop them up and set aside.

When the potatoes finish cooking remove them to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. of oil to the skillet and cook the onions, garlic, celery, bell pepper, and corn. Add salt & pepper to taste, and juice the lime and add it to the skillet and cook on low for 5 minutes. Stir well.

Heat a large skillet or griddle and warm up the tortillas on each side, about 5 minutes per side. If you don't do this, they will have a hard, rubbery texture. Warming them helps to soften them.

To assemble the tacos, place some potato on the tortilla, some roasted poblanos, then the veg/lime mixture, and top with scallion, cilantro, and avocado.

I got this recipe from the Kitchn.

I hope you enjoy.

Tyler Smith
Med Management

Thursday, September 8, 2011

While on vacation many of us let go of our good eating habits simply because we view the vacation as a time to escape from the stresses of life.

However, when we indulge ourselves to fast food, over-eating, and other unhealthy habits, we are not allowing our bodies to escape from anything. This type of diet-abuse can actually be a breeding grounds for feeling ill or getting sick with something. I know that has happened to me before.

My advice to you is to definitely get out there and enjoy the world, but don’t forget about the importance of healthy eating at these crucial times. By nature, traveling usually takes a toll on the body, and is perhaps one of the most important times when the body should be supported with high-quality nourishment.

Ultimately eating can be made as easy and healthy as you choose to make it, regardless of where you are and what is available to you.

Army the Armadillo
Missionary Medical Mascot

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I hope you all attended a kick-off meeting for My Well-being Journey!  This campaign is really about being healthy and happy.  I just read an article about the habits of happy people.  The article talked about taking ACTION.  Specifically, it said that making a deliberate change for happiness has a longer effect on your happiness than passively experiencing a positive change in circumstances.  Because really, when something good just happens to me, I suppose I take it for granted.  Taking action is key, even if it's a small change.  I appreciate it because I made it happen!

I feel like that idea reinforces what we're doing with My Well-being Journey.  We'll choose to make small changes.  The small changes really add up!  I'm going to start by working on being ON TIME.  If I can modify my day to allow a little extra time getting to work and meetings, I'll earn the "Killing the Clock" souvenir!  I know I'll be a happier person if I'm not always kicking myself for running late!  : )

If you'd like to share with the class, let us know what change you're going to make!

--Vanessa Farley, Media Development

Monday, August 22, 2011

By persisting in your path, though you forfeit the little, you gain the great. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Congratulations on taking the first step of YOUR well-being journey!

This campaign (and blog) is all about YOU and finding what motivates you to become healthier – physically, emotionally, socially, financially, intellectually, and spiritually – and to discover a complete sense of well-being. 

In life, we all have our own story, and we follow a path that is tailor made for us, by us. Your individual journey can be influenced by others, but no one else has the power to define your journey for you. Because of this, it is up to YOU to create a greater sense of well-being for yourself.

So, how do you do this?

External motivation might work for a little while, but to truly be successful, you will need to identify the intrinsic motivation that will keep you moving forward regardless of where you start and what your end goal might be. It will keep you going because it is always with you – in you.

Think about what motivates YOU. Search beyond the external motivators and the road-blocks you may see and, instead, find what empowers you. What DRIVES you? Is it your children, grandchildren, health, longevity … we want to know!

Joann Sparks, Wellness Coordinator