Meet Jax: The 4 Year Old Who Loves to Play

Jax HansonLittle Jax loves cars, trucks, dinosaurs, cartoons, and was an avid visitor of Family Wellness, specifically the drop in Childcare with his mom Brook. Early this summer the childcare staff noticed that Jax hadn’t been in, and through his Caring Bridge site found out why.

Doctors at Sanford discovered a non cancerous tumor on his brain stem. After a plane ride to Minneapolis, 4 year old Jax has spent 10 weeks in the hospital and had numerous surgeries, including one that resulted in an induced coma for 8 days with brain swelling and a feeding tube. After a long summer, Jax is finally back home.

Jax in the HospitalHis rehabilitation will take up to 12 months, as Jax needs to relearn all of his motor skills through visits with occupational and physical therapists 3 times a week. He will also need to have quarterly MRI’s to see if what’s left of the tumor has started to grow again. If it does, then he will have to undergo chemotherapy. His parents are optimistic however, as his MRI last week showed no signs of growth and recovery is going well!

Jax in the Family Wellness Childcare

Jax is back!

Throughout his hospitalization and treatment, Jax asked if he could go “play at the gym.” We’re pleased to report that Jax is back, and excited to play on the indoor play structure in Childcare. We are so excited to have him back running and playing, and wish Jax and his family a speedy recovery into winter and beyond!

If you would like to make a contribution to help Jax and his family, please stop in any Gate City Bank branch and reference the “Jax Hanson Benefit Fund” or visit his CaringBridge page at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jaxhanson.

Halloween Safety Tips & Tricks

Family Wellness wishes everyone a happy and safe Halloween! To help, we thought we would put together some safety tips from organizations in our community. Below are 1 or 2 sections from each organization, be sure to click the link for the full story. Happy Halloween from our family to yours!

City of Fargo Halloween Safety Tips (Read Full Story Here)

Motorists

  • Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Before Tick or Treating

  • Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
  • Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions.
  • Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route. 
  • Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger’s home. 
  • Establish a return time.Tell your youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home.  
  • Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.

West Fargo Police Department – Halloween Safety (Read Full Story Here)

Treats

Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.
     
Costume Design

Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists. For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores. Children should also carry flashlights to increase visibility

  • Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
  • Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes . Mother’ s high heels are not a good idea for safe walking. 
  • Hats and scarves should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children’s eyes. 
  • Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
  • Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.

Humaine Society of America via KVLY – Pet Safety (Read Full Story Here)

  • This holiday is for humans. Don’t let your pets roam when friends are coming over for a party, or when trick or treaters are at the door. Costumes are confusing and often frightening to pets.
  • Hide the sweets. Candy can be harmful to animals and sweeteners used in many foods, chocolate, and gum are the most hazardous to your pet.
  • Decorate safely. If you are dressing up your home for the big day, do so with minimal impact to your pet. Changes to their environment make animals nervous and anxious. 
  • Never leave pets alone with decorations. Many are toxic and chocking hazards.

 

A Note From Jenna: Thanks for an Inspiring 2 Years!

A brief thank you note from Jenna Johnson, Director of Family Wellness:

Family Wellness celebrated its 2nd birthday October 17th, 2013, and what a great 2 years it’s been! Every day we have the privilege of seeing hundreds of people come through our doors that are choosing a healthy lifestyle, and it is truly inspiring.

Our Marvelous Members

Over the past year we’ve had the privilege of connecting with so many inspiring individuals of our local community, and are honored to call them Family Wellness members. From marathon runners to mall walkers, body builders to yoga enthusiasts, lap swimmers to ball players, all share the common thread of making health and wellness a priority. The combination of these unique qualities has created a culture of support and inspiration, and we couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it.

Partnerships

Our success is most certainly a reflection of our partners, Sanford Health and the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties. Sanford health continues to pioneer programs and initiatives that reshape the way we think about health and fitness, and will be a critical partner as Family Wellness explores exercise as medicine. The YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties has served our community for over 125 years, and Family Wellness will continue to look up to its example of excellence through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

Community

Family Wellness is fortunate to be in a community that is regularly recognized on a national level, and not just for the threat of spring floods. Whether it’s for the happiest community, best place to own a business, or one of the nation’s best places to live, we know it’s because our community is made up of great people. Events like the annual Fargo Marathon not only help to bring our community into the national spotlight, but promote an active, healthy lifestyle that we’ve become known for.

As Family Wellness looks to the future, we are excited about becoming a leader in health and wellness for our surrounding communities. We are well on our way, and want to thank our members, partners, and community for letting us be a part of something great.

Thank You, and Be Well!

Jenna Johnson, Director

#RunToRaise Sponsors and Participants Raise Over $1,400

Family Wellness’ second annual #RunToRaise ran (pardon the pun) October 7th – 13th in support of Breast Cancer awareness month. During that week, local businesses donated $5 for every mile traveled on the “pink” treadmill while our members racked up the miles. 100% of the dollars raised went to the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation. Here’s how we did:

Monday:Absolute Marketing  39 miles = $195

Tuesday: Dawson Insurance  40 miles = $200

Wednesday: ServiceMaster  40 miles = $200

Thursday: Bremer Bank  45 miles = $225

Friday: Cybex  48 miles = $240

Saturday: Scheels  47 miles = $235

Sunday: Push Pedal Pull  36 miles = $180

 Grand Total= 295 miles = $1,475

A huge thank you to our business sponsors for their willingness to partner to raise funds and awareness in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to our marvelous members for putting in the legwork!

Workout with your Valentine!

Take a break from heart shaped candy this Valentine’s day by trying this quick workout built for two! Perform 10-12 reps of each exercise, moving from one exercise to the next. When complete, repeat!

1. Partner Bosu Squat to Row

Wrap two resistance bands around each other. Step onto your Bosu’s with enough distance between you for adequate tension. Simultaneously squat until the tops of your thighs are parallel with the ground. As you stand, pull the bands into your chest, releasing as you begin your next squat.

2. Partner Hip Raise Hold with Bicep Curl 

Wrap two resistance band around each other, and lay opposing your partner with feet towards the center. Bridge your hips off the ground, making a straight line between your knees and shoulders. Maintain this position while simultaneously curling the bands to your shoulders then releasing back to a straight arm position.

3. Partner Tricep Dips

Using a bench or plyo box, place hands on edge of bench with finger facing outward. Bend at the elbows and lower your body until making a 90 degree angle with your arm, then press back up into the starting position. Adjust the difficulty by having your feet closer or farther from the bench.

 

 

4. Partner Plank with Forearm Taps

Assume a forearm plank position facing each other (can be from knees or toes) and tap opposing forearms with your partner. Reset into the starting plank position, and tap the other arm. Continue alternating until number of reps is complete.

5. V-Sit MedBall Pass on Bosu

Sit on Bosu facing each other with your knees bent, feet up, and one of you holding a medicine ball. Toss medicine ball back and forth while maintaining your balance until total reps are completed.

Super Bowl Snack Success

Family Wellness Healthy Eating Coach It’s that time of year again: wings, nachos, some version of a smoked meat, chips, dip…not to mention the many fizzy beverage options! Why does this splurge-fest have to sneak up on us so soon after making our resolutions to be fit & healthy?! The good news is you can participate in this fun social event while still eating foods you love without totally abandoning your nutrition plan. Here are some tips to help you tackle Super Bowl parties while staying consistent with your health goals:

 1)       Keep food in the kitchen instead of the living room.  The more out-of-reach it is, the less likely you are to continue to graze during the game. And hey, who wants to miss the commercials to get up for more food? They are the best part! 

2)      Have small bowls (1/2 cup or so) with salsa, dips in them and have small baskets or bowls with approximately 30 tortilla chips in them: perfect for 2 people to share!

3)      Have a pitcher or bottles of water available to grab instead of having additional beers or other high-calorie alcoholic beverages – water will keep you hydrated while also keeping you busy to avoid reaching for more snacks!

4)      FIBER! Fiber provides fullness, so choose high-fiber foods for your Super Bowl spread. For example:

-          Multi-grain chips: pair with this delicious fresh salsa recipe, or try this healthier take on chili con queso dip

-          Fresh veggies: try this awesome Greek yogurt dip for less fat and more satisfying protein! 

 Finally, what’s a Super Bowl party without wings? Intercept those high-fat, greasy wings and replace with these light and crispy delicious alternatives:

 Lighter Buffalo Chicken Wings Recipe (adapted from Ellie Krieger’s “Comfort Food Fix,” makes 4 servings)

2 pounds chicken wings, split at the joint

1/4 cup cayenne pepper sauce (for example: Frank’s Red Hot)

Place wings into a large pot and fill the pot with cold water to cover the wings by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. While chicken is boiling heat your broiler to HIGH. When done, drain and place chicken wings on rimmed cookie sheet.

Broil 6 inches from element or flame for 5 to 6 minutes per side. The skin should blister and brown. You are just trying to get that CRUNCH texture added to the wings.

Drizzle with reserved sauce. At this point you can toss them to make a covered wing or leave a bit uncovered for less messy eating.

For 4-5 chicken wings = 240 calories, 12 g fat, 4 g carbohydrates, 27 g protein, 1 g fiber

—–

Maren Wolsky, R.D., is a Heathly Eating Coach at Family Wellness in Fargo, North Dakota. She helps create individual nutrition strategies for a variety of heath goals.

No Bake Energy Granola Bars

Running kids to after school activites, long task lists at work, and full social schedules keep us all busy. Make these bars ahead of time and store them in your purse, lunch box, or kid’s school bags. Convenience store snacks are high in calories and preservatives. No bake energy granola bars are simple and delicious!  

Recipe from Maren Wolsky Healthy Eating Coach RD, LRD

Ingredients:

1/3 c. natural crunchy peanut butter

1/3 c. honey

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. oats

1 c. brown rice cereal

1/8 c. ground flax seeds

1/8 c. chia seeds (optional)

1/4 c. chocolate chips (you can sub chopped dates or chopped nuts)

Directions:

1. Prepare an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl add oats, cereal, flax seeds, and chia seeds.

2. In a sauce pan, heat peanut butter, honey, and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir often for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Pour liquid into the medium bowl and mix all ingredients together until fully coated. Pour ingredients into pan and press firmly and evenly into pan. Press in chocolate chips on top.

3. Set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to harden. Cut and individually wrap them in plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container.

Be very creative with them by adding some of your family favorite ingredients to them like chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit!

All Natural Macaroni and Cheese

 

Looking for a “grate” way to introduce healthier family-friendly meals while having fun with the kids? This tasty mac-n-cheese recipe not only lets the kids help with grating, measuring, and mixing, but it lets you monitor the salts, sugars, and fats more closely than the boxed alternatives. Having the ability to opt for whole foods (or ever just choosing items with an expiration date) can have a big impact on the nutritional quality of your family dinners, not to mention the fun of cooking together! So the next time you grab for a box of mac-n-cheese think twice. The thing that might surprise you most about this recipe is it is made with ingredients that are already have in your kitchen.

Special thanks to Family Wellness Healthy cooking instructor Elle for sharing this “grate” family friendly recipe.

Ingredients

- 1 1/4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (about 6 ounces) Try to introduce whole wheat pasta or quinoa pasta!

-1 cup 1% low-fat milk or the milk you have on hand in your fridge

-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour- use unbleached not “enriched

-1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese- buy a block of cheese and let the kids shred it!

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-Pepper to taste

Prepartion

1. Cook pasta according to package directions- omitting salt and oil. Drain.

2. Combine milk and flour into a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes while constantly stirring with a whisk.

3. Add cheese, salt, and pepper. Continue stirring until smooth.

4. Add pasta and cover with cheese sauce. Let stand for 4 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

6 Tips to Beat Holiday Weight Gain

Written by Maren Wolsky, Healthy Eating Coach, RD, LRD

 The holiday season is quickly approaching, along with the weight gain that tends to come with it.  Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s there is nothing but holiday parties, family gatherings, and temptation everywhere!  Arming yourself with strategies before the time comes can help you prevent gaining a few unwanted pounds.

 

Below are six tips to help prevent holiday weight gain:

  1. Get in extra workouts.  Make time during your week to get in an extra workout to torch a few more calories.  Squeeze in an exercise class, go for an additional run, or fit in another yoga session.
  2. Don’t skip meals.  If you think you will cut calories by skipping meals, you won’t.  You are much more likely to overeat later in the day, especially with tempting food around.  Having a small meal before attending a party will fill you up causing you to eat less.  Aim for a meal or snack every 3-4 hours and include protein and high fiber foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains) to keep you satisfied longer.
  3. Control your alcohol intake.  During the holidays cocktails are everywhere.  Remember that they can contain a significant amount of calories, so limit it to one or choose low calorie options.
  4. Keep track of what you eat.  Writing down all the things you have eaten makes it more real.  If you see it on paper you are likely to notice your habits and from there you can adjust. You can also use handy apps or websites to track your eating, such as My Fitness Pal.
  5. Moderation is key.  You can indulge in your favorite holiday treats, but keep it under control.  If there is a sit down dinner, avoid appetizers and simply limit your portion sizes. Choose your favorite foods or things you rarely get to eat and skip “everyday foods” such as bread, corn, etc. that you can eat any day of the week.
  6. Get enough sleep. Holidays can be a stressful time with work parties, family gatherings, and other functions.  This extra stress can have serious affects on your sleep habits.  Little sleep may help contribute to weight gain, so aim for 7-8 hours per night.

 

Thank You for an Inspiring First Year

Kristy, and the Membership TrailerOn Wednesday, October 17th Family Wellness will have been open for 1 year, and what a year it’s been! Some of you might remember the good ol’ days of the membership trailer while the facility was still under construction and having to imagine the equipment where it is today. Or perhaps you were here opening day, when the sun was so bright in the cardio area we picked up a basket of sunglasses just to make everyone look a little cooler (we have window shades now). We’ve been able to accomplish some incredible things this first year, and would like to give thanks to those who made it possible.

 Community Partnerships

Our success is most certainly a reflection of our community partners, Sanford Health and the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties. Sanford health continues to pioneer programs and initiatives that reshape the way we think about health and fitness, and will be a critical partner as Family Wellness explores exercise as medicine. The YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties has served our community for over 125 years, and Family Wellness will continue to look up to its example of excellence through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

Our Marvelous Members

Over the past year we’ve had the privilege of connecting with so many inspiring individuals of our local community, and are honored to call them Family Wellness members. From the very first membership sold from our membership trailer on September 1st 2011 to our most recent additions, each member contributes a unique quality to our Family Wellness Family. From marathon runners to mall walkers, body builders to yoga enthusiasts, lap swimmers to ball players, all share the common thread of making health and wellness a priority. The combination of these unique qualities has created a culture of support and inspiration, and we couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it.

As Family Wellness looks to the future, we are excited about becoming the cornerstone of health and wellness for our surrounding communities.  We hope and plan to continue to inspire healthy lifestyles by connecting people in a fun environment. We are well on our way, and want to thank our members, partners, and community for letting us be a part of something great. Thank you for making health and wellness a priority, and for sharing that success with Family Wellness.

 Celebrating our One Year Anniversary!