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This site is an archive of our Well Written Blog posts until April 2020. For the most up-to-date content visit NWIJournal.com.

The opinions and thoughts expressed here those of the authors and do not necessarily correlate with those of the National Wellness Institute. Read more.


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Healthy Holiday Treats: Gingersnaps (December 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

What a wonderful time of the year it is! No sooner than most finish their Thanksgiving turkey, and they’re out the door to begin the holiday shopping. As fun as shopping can be, my favorite part of the holiday season is spending time with my family and making holiday desserts.

There are many more treats you can make this season that are not only delicious, but healthy too!

One of my favorite traditional holiday snacks are gingersnaps. My grandma’s recipe is definitely not the healthiest, with one serving containing about 120 calories and 2.5g of fat. However, through a quick search online, I was able to find a recipe that is a lot healthier, and tastes just as good. If you have a favorite holiday recipe, try searching online for healthier versions: you can combine healthy eating with nostalgia in a holiday win-win relationship!


  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 4 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 cup sugar (used to roll dough balls in)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Sift together flour, ginger, allspice, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and 1 ½ cups sugar. Stir in applesauce and molasses.
  4. Add dry ingredients to molasses mixture and mix together.
  5. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls. Roll the dough balls in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar.
  6. Place the dough balls on a greased cookie sheet and flatten slightly.
  7. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies, or 12 to 15 minutes for crispier cookies.
  8. Allow cookies to cool on wire racks.
  9. Enjoy!

Yields 48 cookies

Nutrition Information:

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories/serving: 63
  • Total Fat: 0.3g
  • Cholesterol: <1 mg

Recipe found at allrecipes.com

By Amber Stieve, NWI Intern

Tags:  December 2010  Diet  Nutrition  Physical  Recipes  Social 

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Beat the Winter Maladies: Four Good Ideas (December 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

Along with the winter season comes cold and flu season. This is the time of year when drinking plenty of fluids, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and dressing appropriately are extremely important. Although these three suggestions are helpful in avoiding the winter maladies, there are many more things you can do to remain healthy.

Not only is it important to drink enough fluids during the winter season, but it is even more beneficial if those fluids are hot. So, you don't drink tea? That's okay! This suggestion also includes hot liquids such as soups and warm fruit drinks (i.e. apple cider). It is said that warm liquids not only keep you hydrated, but also help to loosen any congestion.

Getting plenty of vitamin C is also important during the cold winter months. Eating fresh oranges, grapefruits, and other foods high in vitamin C (or drinking them in juice form) can aide your immune system functioning.

Aside from everything you can do to prevent illness, one of the most important things you can do is something you were probably taught as a child: Wash your hands. Using soap and water to frequently wash your hands is one of the easiest steps you can take to help avoid becoming ill.

If you do happen to get sick during winter, it benefits everyone when you think in terms of sanitation. Be sure to sanitize your toothbrush (or buy a new one) after getting over an illness. This will provide you a fresh start, free of any contagious bacteria that may have been left on your toothbrush while sick. Also, be sure to wash any pillows and pillowcases you used in order to avoid spreading viruses to other people. Plus, consider treating surfaces such as door knobs, cabinet handles, the refrigerator door, and other commonly touched services with anti-bacterial washes. These easy steps will help to keep you, as well as those around you, healthy.

Winter has only just begun. For the benefit of yourself and others close to you, make every attempt possible to have a safe, happy, and healthy season!

Source: www.health.com

Milena Damjanoy: "How to Sick-Proof Your Winter"

By Amber Stieve, NWI Intern

Tags:  December 2010  Depression  Diet  Health  Physical 

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Declaration of MY Independence (December 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

Every year millions of Americans set new goals, write down their wants, and decide that this year, is a new year. Every year millions of Individuals set New Year's Resolutions. This saying has lost all true meaning when analyzed. After asking family and friends, most people could conclude that last year's resolutions have gone unresolved and unnoticed. That is why this year things are going to be different. This year were starting the Declaration of MY Independence.

It's time the millions of people who want to change something about themselves or their lives really make that change. In a recent study, 40-45 percent of Americans make a New Year's Resolution. Of those 75 percent will continue their efforts past the first week, 71 percent past the first two weeks, 64 percent after one month, and 46 percent after six months.

We want to get people away from the idea of a "New Year's Resolution" And move towards real change. Let's face it, this isn't about doing something for 2011, it's about doing something for yourself and making a change in your life. So, we want it to last well past 2011.

The first thing is to set that goal. It might be aiming to lose the first twenty pounds you have been dying to get rid of, or maybe it's losing the last twenty. It may be to quit smoking or exercise more. It may simply be to eat more fruits and vegetables. Every goal, no matter how small, is worth something. But do remember, when making these goals, we do want them to be realistic. Losing 100 pounds may not be the place to start. Think about losing the first twenty and then working from there.

After a goal is set, formulate a plan. Make a Declaration of MY Independence so everything is set in stone. When something is written down, the likelihood of itt happening is much greater. Also, set a time line. Make a calendar or spreadsheet to make dates more concrete. Don't write, Eat more vegetables, instead write, eat a serving of carrots on Tuesday, broccoli on Wednesday, and so on.

Put pressure on yourself, but remember everyone screws up. Don't get down on yourself for not making your morning workout or for eating that extra piece of pie. Just move on from your slip and try not to let it happen again. Many people, after they have a mix up, end up giving up on their entire program and might even forget all the progress that they have already made.

Also, some people find it helpful if they set rewards for themselves if they achieve their goals or if they continue to stay on the right track. Remember, these goals don't have to be, I get to eat an extra piece of pie, they should be something more like, I get to buy myself a new dress, or I get to buy that new kitchen appliance I want. This way the goals are not directly linked with the goal in mind, and they don't undermine the goal, but act as their own reward.

Now it is time to write it down or think about the goal that you have been dying to achieve. Make sure it is something that you truly want and something that is achievable. You can use our attached sheet to fill out some simply questions, or write it down in your journal or planner. This is about you. It's your turn to make a change and it starts today. Take back your independence and give yourself the freedom to make real change! Say good bye to failed New Year's Resolutions and say hello to YOU!

Declaration of MY Independence

I, _____________________, am declaring that I am going to make this change in my life:

The reason I want to make this change is for the following reason(s):

I am going to achieve my goals for doing the following:

I am hoping to achieve my goals by this date:

My reward to myself for achieving this goal is:


Tags:  Behavior Change  December 2010  Emotional  Intellectual  physical  Resolutions  Social 

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12 Tips to Improve Your Emotional Wellness (December 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

Stress can have a negative effect on everyone from time to time. When life gets ahead of you or you're just feeling down, it is important to remember what matters most in your life. The following is a list of 12 tips to help improve your emotional wellness.

The National Wellness Institute suggests selecting one item a day and looking for ways to incorporate it into your life…don't worry about doing them all at once! Sometimes moving slowly in small steps can be the fastest way to achieve a goal!

  1. Make more friends: Keep the friends you already have close to you, but be open to meeting new people and forming new relationships.
  2. Enjoy alone time: Take advantage of opportunities to meditate and listen to nothing other than your thoughts.
  3. Exercise: Studies have shown that physical activity can improve your mood and enhance your quality of life.
  4. Seek pleasure: Don't let your responsibilities control your life. Take time everyday to do something you enjoy.
  5. Find a passion: Create a bucket list of things you want to do and accomplish in your lifetime. Developing a list of things you want to do gives you something to strive for each and every day.
  6. Prepare for problems: It is a false hope to believe that everything in life will go smoothly every day. Plan for some things to not go well from time to time. Being prepared reduces the impact of when things do not necessarily go as planned.
  7. Seek constructive criticism: Ask others around you for their input about the work you are doing, who you are as a person, etc. Do not take offense to their opinions, but embrace them and use what they say to improve your self.
  8. Take risks: Encourage yourself to step out of your comfort zone and take healthy risks. Accomplishing tasks you never thought you could is extremely gratifying.
  9. Manage your success well: Embrace your successes and be proud of yourself when you do well, but do not let it overwhelm you. Instead, use your success to help others.
  10. Remember, you are never alone: Adulthood can be difficult for everyone; never think you are the only one struggling. It is very healthy to discuss your emotions with friends and/or explore therapy options to share your stresses with an expert. They are here to help.
  11. Write!: Instead of letting stress and fear overtake your mind, write them down on a list. Then, write a list of things you are grateful for. Your list of stress and fears will become nothing more than words on paper, and your list of positive things in your life will remind you how blessed you really are.
  12. Protect yourself from "Debbie Downers": Most everyone knows someone who is always in a bad mood, upset about something, frustrated with life, etc. It is important you do not let these people have a negative impact on your mood. Listen to what they have to say, and try to help if that is something you are comfortable with, but if the situation becomes too much, don't be afraid to walk away and take some time to preserve your own happiness.

Source: www.medicinenet.com

By Amber Stieve, NWI Intern

Tags:  December 2010  Emotional  Social 

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What is Drunkorexia, and why should you care? (December 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

Drunkorexia is not a medical term. It's not even in the dictionary (yet), but if the trend continues to grow, it just might end up between "drunk-o-meter" and "drupaceous"in Websters. It is currently defined as swapping food calories for alcohol calories. It is also being compared to eating disorders like anorexia nervosa.

It's safe to say that this "trend" is most common in college females (according to a 2008 Sunday Times article) but men can also fall prey to the philosophy of simply skipping lunch to save room for more alcohol calories.

Not only does this lead to quicker intoxication, it can result in serious health implications and risks.

If there is no food in the body and an individual consumes alcohol, especially in high amounts, the body absorbs the alcohol faster leading to intoxication and rapid impairment of judgment.

According to an article in The Sunday Times, nutritionist Ian Marber explains a possible reason for the unhealthy growing trend, "It's socially acceptable to be drunk, but it's not okay to be fat. Marber also notes that he has seen signs of a drunkorexic lifestyle in clients he knows understand the consequences of this type of behaviour.

And although those with this condition believe they are still getting their daily calories, it's not in the way nature suggests they do so. The body is starving itself which leads to malnourishment, and problems with metabolism.

It's important to eat before drinking alcohol to slow to affects it has on the body and mind and to make sure the body is getting what it needs to survive. From a health and wellness perspective, it's better to eat a big dinner and have extra calories for the day, than to starve and live off of alcohol.

This is also where moderation of alcohol intake comes up quite clearly again. Not only is drinking on an empty stomach that much worse for you, those that try this new "diet" are most often drinking more than the established "heavy" drinking limits. Remembering moderation is essential in ensuring personal safety and making sure drunkorexia isn't a trend that catches on.

Spicer, K (2008). Drunkorexia - too much booze and too little food - is affecting more and more women. The Sunday Times. Accessed November 29, 2010 from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/features/article3570712.ece

By Jackie Lutze, NWI Intern

Tags:  Alcohol  December 2010  Diet  Emotional  Nutrition  Physical  Social 

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Fun Facts (December 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

Because wellness is sometimes about change, this month's fun facts are dedicated to the things that change around us!

US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world's presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.

Those lighting candles for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa contributed to the $1.3 billion worth of candles shipped in the United States in 2002.

The world's tallest Christmas tree at 221 feet, was erected in a Washington, D.C. shopping mall in 1950.

The bestselling Christmas single ever is Bing Crosby's White Christmas, shifting over 50million copies worldwide since 1942.

The Beatles hold the record for most Christmas number one singles, topping the charts in 1963, 65 and 67.

Holidays then and now

Source: From http://fun.familyeducation.com

Then: The original ball lowered in Times Square on New Year's Eve in 1907 was made of iron and wood and decorated with 100 light bulbs.

Now: The modern New Year's ball is made of Waterford crystal, covered with 696 light bulbs, 96 strobe lights, and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors.

Then: Poinsettias were first introduced into the United States in 1828 by the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett.

Now: Poinsettias are now grown in all 50 U.S. states and represent over 85 percent of potted plant sales during the holidays. Over $220 million worth of poinsettias are sold during holiday season!

Then: Hershey's started wrapping their Hershey's Kisses in red, green, and silver foil for the first time in 1962. The success of the holiday-wrapped Kisses led Hershey's to dress up their little chocolates for the Easter, Valentine's Day, and fall harvest seasons.

Now: Hershey's now wraps up to 1,300 Hershey's Kisses a minute. That gives them the capacity to make approximately 33 million Hershey's Kisses a day, or more than 12 billion a year.

Then: In 1949, the tree at Rockefeller Center was strung with 7,500 bulbs.

Now: Now more than 25,000 bulbs are strung on the tree—that's more than five miles of lights!

Then: The first American mention of a Christmas tree was in 1747 and strictly speaking, it wasn't a tree at all but a wooden pyramid covered with evergreen boughs and decorated with apples.

Now: Once the tree idea caught on, it grew by leaps and bounds. Between 34 and 36 million Christmas trees are now produced each year in the U.S. The industry employs more than 100,000 people, and more than one million acres of land have been planted with Christmas trees.

Then: Artificial Christmas trees were on the market by 1900. They were available by mail from Sears, Roebuck and Company, and cost 50 cents for 33 limbs, or a dollar for 55 limbs.

Now: Most artificial trees are now manufactured in Korea, Taiwan, or Hong Kong and contain non-biodegradable plastics and metals. They usually range in price from $200 to $2,000.

Then: The first Christmas card, created by a London businessman, was printed in England in 1843. Three years later, the first commercial Christmas cards were available to the public. One thousand cards in all were produced and they were an instant success.

Now: The holiday season is now the busiest time of the year for the US Postal Service. Last year, more than 20 billion cards, letters, and packages were sent, causing the USPS to hire nearly 40,000 temporary workers and put thousands of additional trucks, trains, and planes in service.

Then: In 1939, an advertising employee at the department store Montgomery Ward wrote the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for a store promotion. That year the store gave away 2.4 million copies of the story.

Now: Ten years later, Gene Autry recorded the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Since then it has sold over 80 million copies. Rudolph has definitely gone down in our holiday history!

By Jackie Lutze, NWI Intern

Tags:  December 2010  Fun Facts  Holiday  Intellectual 

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Quotes (December 2010)

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Friday, October 1, 2010
Updated: Friday, December 28, 2012

December Quotes are dedicated to winter as a good time to slow down, recap, and consider what comes next. The Buddha will be our guide for this process.

Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.

With gentleness overcome anger. With generosity overcome meanness. With truth overcome deceit.

Speak or act with an impure mind and trouble will follow you.

Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you as your shadow, unshakable.

In this world hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.

Better than a thousand hollow words is one word that brings peace. Better than a thousand hollow verses is one verse that brings peace.

There is no fire like passion, no crime like hatred, no sorrow like separation, no sickness like hunger, and no joy like the joy of freedom…

You too shall pass away. Knowing this, how can you quarrel?

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

You are the source of all purity and impurity. No one purifies another.

It is better to do nothing than to do what is wrong. For whatever you do, you do to yourself.

To share happiness and to have done something good before leaving this life is sweet.

Master your words. Master your thoughts. Never allow your body to do harm. Follow these three roads with purity and you will find yourself upon the one way, the way of wisdom.

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.

The mind is everything; what you think you become.

Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.

It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.

Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds.

On a long journey of human life, faith is the best of companions; it is the best refreshment on the journey; and it is the greatest property.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

The greatest prayer is patience.

Never speak harsh words for they will rebound upon you. Angry words hurt and the hurt rebounds.Like a broken gong.

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

Tags:  December 2010  Emotional  Inspiration  Intellectual  Physical  Quotes  Spiritual 

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