Nenana Wellness Coalition
April 30, 2013
The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
There were 14 in attendance today, including: Kat McElroy, David Poppe, Jessica Durtsche, Virginia Young, Bonnie Reed, Miles Martin, Rebecca & Bill Troxel, Harriet Borst, Tim Horn, Jeannie Bennett, Amie Verhagen and Tommy & Therese Titus.
We enjoyed beef barley soup, kim chee, pickled hot peppers, mixed Green salad, and Ritz crackers with sliced cheese for lunch.
WELCOME followed by the READING OF MISSION STATEMENT, by this week’s chair-person: Tim Horn
PRAYER was led by Virginia Young, followed by the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIENCE
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There were no additions to the agenda.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Posted on the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: No new guests today.
Spring into Healthy Habits: Amie Verhagen began her presentation by telling us that she got her degree in Exercise and Health. She said that in preparation for today, she decided to focus on six key healthy habits. She named cardio-vascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes as the four primary causes of death in our nation and indicated that in any given year there are 1.6 million preventable deaths from these our causes that could be avoided if people developed healthier life styles. The six Healthy Habits she would focus on are:
1. Social support
2. Eating fruits, vegetables and while grains
3. Avoid empty calories
4. Regular exercise
6. No food after two hours before bedtime
The number one healthy habit, she said, had to be developing solid social supports for health. If you have social support, it is easier to maintain a healthy life style and you are more likely to eat well, exercise, etc., with support. This support can be your partner, family members, or persons within the community. Solid social support can help you reap the long-term and the short term benefits of a healthy life style, increase energy, productivity and your ability to deal with stress.
The number two healthy habit would be a diet that focuses on whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Only 20% of the USA population reports eating the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Dramatic changes in the American diet have radically increased our consumption of processed foods. For many people, whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables are not available or are too expensive. These foods are nutritionally dense and supply the vitamins and minerals needed for health and vitality.
Her third suggestion was to avoid empty calories. By and large, the more processed a food it, the more caloric it will be and the less nutrients it will actually contain. Processed foods do not have the needed phytochemicals of fresh whole foods and lack the antioxidants required for our bodies to function well. Soda is a particular hazard due to high sugar content. Cookies, chips and pother processed snack foods are obvious culprits.
Suggestion number four was to increase your exercise levels or maintain a high level of physical activity. Avoid a sedentary life style by incorporating movement into your daily life. This does not have to be in the form of trips to a health club. We begin to experience the benefits of physical exercise with as little as 20 minutes of activity. This can include walking, housework, gardening, play. Increased muscle mass will increase your metabolic rate and energy levels, create strength and endurance, boost your immune system and help prevent disease.
Amie’s fifth suggestion was to remember the importance of hydration. “Water, water, water,” she said. Water flushes wastes and supports metabolic processes, prevents constipation and can protect your joints from injury. She warned that caffeinated beverages such as coffee, many teas and some sodas actually act as diuretics and will dehydrate you, so that the more you drink the thirstier you will become and the less fluids you will maintain on board to take care of bodily functions.
Lastly, Amie said, a person should stop eating at least two hours before they go to bed. She said this is no magic number rule, but just good common sense. Fact is, however, the foods we eat any time after supper tend to be junk food, high caloric/scant nutrition. The body has many biological functions it needs to perform during sleep and digestion should not be one. Following this rule will help you to get a full night’s sleep with good rest and resultant stress reduction.
Amie said that she and her sister-in-law Kristi Dugan decided to begin a Six Week Health Challenge for Nenana. People interested in learning more about this may speak with them at the health fair or follow the Nenana Facebook page. The challenge will consist of tracking yourself daily and awarding yourself points for how well you follow each of these six habits from day to day. There is a twenty dollar buy in for this challenge and there will be weekly prizes. Two large prizes will be awarded at the end of the six weeks: one prize will be for number of points accrued; the other prize will be for percentage of weight lost by body mass. This challenge will begin April 1st.
Discussion ensued regarding these various healthy habits and how we might better incorporate them into our personal lives and our communities.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: Here Comes the Sun……. George Harrison
Rebecca: Aerin has been enjoying the Art Club at NCPS which meets each Tuesday and Thursday after school. Emily is transitioning into Head Start. Rebecca took ten chicks over to HS for the students to see. She will bring them back next week when they have grown feathers. They are planning a family holiday for June 2015 to coincide with a mandated conference they’ll attend in Oregon.
Bill: He is just back from LA where he and Adam got to tour the fire station where the old 70’s TV program Emergency was filmed. He warns everyone Don’t Park In The Fire Zones. He said that warning tickets are being issued and in the future people will be issued real citations that cost big bucks to pay off!!!!
David: Enjoyed the 10th annual SARE Conference last week up in Fairbanks. He has attended seven of them. He was especially interested in the workshop by Charles Knight that explained how to cultivate wild blueberries from slips, the session on Yak farming and another about high tunnels.
Kat: Julia Sunnyboy is holding a community dinner to tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 5 PM at the tribal hall for people to come and discuss organizing alternative activities for youth in Nenana. Anyone interested in helping in any capacity is invited to attend. Bring the kids! Kat is making spaghetti and meatballs.
Jessi: The Old Mail Trail Race (first annual) begins this Friday at 10 AM, down on the river by the tripod. It is a two day race, with an overnight layover at Manley Hot Springs. Racers are expected to be returning Saturday. Awards banquet will be Sunday.
Miles: Is reading the final draft report for the Borough study; suggests people get a copy from the city office to read before the public meeting Thursday night at the Civic Center.
Bonnie: We are all sad at the passing of Gilbert Ketzler; there is no funeral planned. He was cremated and the ashes will be buried June 2nd, 3 PM, next to his beloved wife.
Amie: Evelyn’s baby has already been released from hospital and they will be returning early to Nenana. She is helping to organize a fundraiser to take place Friday the 28th at the Civic Center. The cost will be five dollars per person for pizza dinner and there will be a dessert auction.
Jeannie: Everything is coming together for the Health Fair. Set-up will be 4 PM Friday at the Civic Center. Blood draws begin at 8 AM on Saturday and exhibits will be open to the public from 9 AM-1 PM.
Virginia: Spent part of yesterday at Nenana Fabrication, with Hal, designing a refer/chiller trailer he will build for her to haul her peony blooms to market next summer. She is closing on a house on 4th street. The property has a derelict 50 foot trailer she will give to whoever hauls it away first.
Harriet: Her son has completed his first round of chemo-therapy.
Tim: Friday marks the Baha’i New Year. Miles will be presenting next week on horticulture. Don’t forget the blood drive next week at the Nenana City Public School, March 26, 10 AM- 2 PM. The Nenana Book Club has started reading Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantor.
OPEN FLOOR FOR COMMENTS/QUESTIONS/DISCUSSION: None
ADJOURNMENT: 2:00 PM