Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Nov 25, 2014

Healthy Employees are Happy Employees: article by Kathy Stevens

“A healthy workplace benefits both businesses and their employees,” writes Kathy Stevens, Business Director of Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce, in an article for the Winter 2014-2015 issue of Longmont Magazine. “The Longmont Chamber of Commerce has embraced worksite wellness by participating in wellness programming from many sources.”

In her article, Stevens explains that, as a non-profit, finding programs to promote healthy choices, active living, and physical safety that don’t cost a bundle is a priority. She goes on to share a sampling of helpful resources that go a long way in supporting healthy goals and making a meaningful impact. These include Healthy Hours, held at the Chamber and put on in partnership with LiveWell Longmont; Pinnacol Assurance, which partners with the Chamber to offer a workers’ compensation safety group program to members; and LiveWell Longmont’s worksite wellness seasonal media package, a free, customizable resouce that the Chamber has taken full advantage of.

To see so many local businesses recognizing the benefits and importance of workplace wellness in the way the Chamber does highlights the vibrant present and promising future of our town. We at LiveWell Longmont are so thankful to be partnering with the Chamber and other committed partners supporting a healthy and happy community. Please check out Kathy’s article in the Winter issue of Longmont Magazine, which you can find freely available at recreation centers and numerous other sites throughout Longmont. Thank you, Kathy and co, for your amazing enthusiasm and partnership!

chamber_food drive

Longmont Chamber supports the Healthy Food Drive put on by the LiveWell Longmont Coalition each year!

Nov 21, 2014

Healthy Holidays: simple slimming swaps

sweetpotatopieMmmm…nothing quite rounds out the glow of the holiday season like the tempting scents from the kitchen. Brimming with holiday cheer, this special time of year gets everyone in the mood to cook. Good thing, too, with all the gatherings to bring food to, from lavish holiday parties to neighborhood cookie swaps. Holiday food is typically associated with rich ingredients like heavy cream and lots of sugar, making time to trim the tree a trial for a trim waistline. Delectable dishes don’t have to be unhealthy to be festive, however. With a few simple substitutions, you can turn any traditional recipe into a healthier, equally taste version.

Get out your rolling pin and celebrate a healthier holiday with these tips!

  • Go Low. Swap the sour cream in your dips, appetizers and casseroles with low- or nonfat Greek yogurt. You can also swap full-fat cheeses for low-fat cheese. No one will even suspect!
  • Bring Backup. When attending the next holiday party bring your favorite healthy dish; this way there will be at least one healthy dish on the table.
  • Brighten the table. Replace one heavy starch dish with a bright and colorful vegetable one.
Nov 18, 2014

Healthy Holidays: Winter nutrition guest post from Sue Heikkinen

Do the winter months have you longing for garden fresh tomatoes?Kicking yourself because you didn’t can those summer peaches to enjoy now? No wonder this is a time of year comfort food can call to us.
Don’t despair—winter brings it’s own culinary delights, not just eggnog and sugar cookies. It’s time to revisit some of our winter nutrition superstars:
Beans are about as close to being vegetables without actually being a vegetable. These protein packed gems have even more cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber than oatmeal. Rich in blood pressure lowering potassium and magnesium and with a long shelf-life, what’s not to love? Puree white beans in soup to add a creamy texture. Throw kidney beans in a chili for a color and nutrition boost.Toss lentils or red beans with rice or quinoa to make a tasty pilaf.
Hearty greens like kale, collards and chard are nutrition powerhouses. They are called “superfoods” for good reason. Packed with disease fighting phytochemicals, they are always at the top of the charts for vitamin and mineral content. Chop these greens and add to a soup or quiche. Try “wilting” kale (by sautéing with a bit of oil in a pan for a few minutes) as a simple salad.
Beets, rutabaga, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips and turnips: humble as these go-to winter veggies may be, they take on a sweet, delicious flavor when roasted and can be pureed for a savory side. Don’t overlook onions and garlic, as these cancer-fighting alliums are vegetables in their own right. Caramelize onions or roast garlic for a gourmet pizza topper.
Despite never being local to Colorado, citrus fruits are a highlight of the season and a juicy gift from warmer climates. Add sliced grapefruit slices to a spinach salad. Throw a tangerine in your bag for a portable snack.
FROZEN, CANNED, DRIED… They all count!
While fresh and local is the ideal, we can be hard-pressed to find passable tomatoes this time of year. Don’t shortchange yourself on your fruit and veggie servings if it can’t always be fresh. Canned tomatoes and beans are the last minute meal-savers of your pantry. Keep many varieties on hand for soups, chili, and sauces. Canned fruit won’t have the same texture as fresh, but still contribute to your daily servings. Just be sure to rinse off the sugary syrup. Think beyond raisins for dried fruit. Try dates, figs, dried apricots, cherries and prunes (now often called “dried plums”). Mix with nuts and a few chocolate chips for a customized trail mix. Add to granola or muffin batter. Just remember, the dried fruits are more concentrated than whole fruit…a little goes a long way. Frozen produce is often a better choice than what has been sitting on in the produce shelf this time of year. Picked at their peak, freezing then locks in their nutrients. Keep frozen chopped spinach to add to spaghetti sauce and frozen mixed veggies to round out a quick meal. Frozen berries are a great add-in to oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothies.
Take comfort—colder weather and shorter days often bring us back to the kitchen and the warmth of home. Use this time to try a few new healthy recipes with your family. Still not convinced? Then it’s not too early to start daydreaming about next summer’s garden.
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RD, CDE, is a registered dietitian at Kaiser Permanente and serves on the LiveWell Longmont Steering Committee.
Nov 6, 2014

Healthy Holidays: Mindful Holiday Eating tips from Sue Heikkinen

We had such a positive response to this post from last year, we just had to reprise it for this upcoming holiday season. Thank you, Sue, for sharing your incredible wealth of expertise with us, and your balanced approach that embraces healthy living with fun!

“The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor.”                                                                                       -Chinese Proverb 

This is the time of year that reduced calorie holiday recipes abound. Sure, some of our favorite recipes can be slimmed down without sacrificing much taste, but who wants be “dieting” during the holidays, let alone any other time of the year? Instead of focusing on how you will avoid the numerous potential diet pitfalls at your next holiday gathering, consider a “mindful” approach instead. Mindful eating is not about deprivation. It is about truly experiencing your foods, which in fact can help leave you more satisfied after eating less.
According to The Center For Mindful Eating, mindful eating involves choosing to eat food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste. Mindful eating is also learning to be aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decision to begin eating and to stop eating.
Mindful eating skills take practice. Granted, this can be challenging with all the distractions at a holiday gathering, so you get bonus points for trying! Here are a ways to practice mindful eating at your next holiday get-together:
• Don’t waste the calories on foods that don’t even taste good to you. Seek out two “have-to-have” holiday dishes and skip the dishes or sides that are less appealing to you, or that you could eat any other day of the year.
• Eat off a plate, not directly from the platter or dip bowl. Eat in a different part on the room, not right next to the buffet.
• Take notice of the food on your plate. Before you even take the first bite, let your eyes take in the shape and color of the food; let your nose take in the aromas.
• Even if it isn’t Thanksgiving, take a moment to be thankful for the food in front of you.
• Chew your food slowly; take in the texture and the sensations in your mouth.
• Enjoy your food without guilt or judgment.
• Remember, most of the flavor is in the first few bites. Begin to notice when the food does not have as much flavor because at this point you may be eating more out of habit, not hunger.
• Aim to eat to the point of being “satisfied”, not “full” or “stuffed”.
Remember, eating a few high calorie foods during the Holidays will not undo your yearlong efforts. By eating mindfully, you will be more likely to truly enjoy these treats!
For more information go to
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RD, CDE, is a registered dietitian at Kaiser Permanente and serves on the LiveWell Longmont Steering Committee. 
Nov 3, 2014

Community Spotlight: Louise Hughes

We’ve had such a positive response to Louise Hughes’ profile feature in our November e-news, we had to share it on our blog, too! We can see why this segment made such an impact…Louise is so inspiring, energizing, and simply wonderful! It’s such a pleasure to share her story and remarkable outlook. Enjoy! 🙂

                     Louiuse 2
Wife, mother of five, and grandmother to 17 beloved grandchildren, Firestone resident Louise Hughes is also one of the most refreshing, positive, and delightful people you may ever have opportunity to meet. Speaking with her, it’s impossible not to be buoyed up by her enthusiasm and gratitude for life and all it offers, or her resilient, positive energy. She is a true role model, inspiring others in achieving big goals through steadfast commitment and sensible choices that build a healthy lifestyle. THANK YOU, Louise, for sharing your journey with us!
LWL: Louise, you’ve experienced great success in working toward and maintaining your weight loss and healthy living goals. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished so far and continue to strive for! What first motivated you to get started?
Louise: My inspiration first came back in 2006, when my husband and I took a trip to Hawaii and wanted to ride the helicopter. There was a weight limit. I knew I was overweight, but avoided scales because I didn’t really want to know the extent. We went to the health club, and I weighed 286 pounds. That was the moment I realized my weight was holding me back from doing things I wanted to do. I have a goal of taking another trip to Hawaii one day…and riding that helicopter!
LWL: Once that moment on the scales hit you, you immediately took action steps. You had some hurdles, but ultimately found a course of action that works for you, sustainable for the long haul. Can you share what the process of discovery has been like?
Louise: I came home and started tracking food and watching calories. For awhile I became an exercise fanatic; I went to the gym everyday for 2 hours a day. I lost 70 pounds, but then I started having back issues–I stopped exercising, and weight started coming back on. Later I had back surgery, and a new lease on life. But, I had lingering spine issues. I knew I needed to find a new way to be healthy. I could not rely on exercise only, and I needed more balance in my approach. I needed a healthy lifestyle that incorporated changes on different levels.
In the spring of 2013 I went to the doctor, who advised me to lose weight. I started Sue Heikkinen’s class, Healthy Connections through Kaiser, on May 29, 2013. It’s an 8-week long class. At the beginning, Sue guided us in setting manageable goals. I lost 20 pounds, meeting my initial goal. Since then, in the last year and a half, I’ve steadily and sensibly lost weight. It’s not fast, and it’s not a diet–that’s what I love. It’s a lifestyle. I feel so much more energetic. I still have some weight to lose, but I know what I’m doing now. I think I have inspired a few others in the class, too, which feels great. At almost 60, I fear I’ve cheated myself out of a few things having been overweight so long, but I am enjoying life so immensely now.
LWL: Your joy is infectious! What are some of the activities and daily routines that you find fit you best, and do you have any special advice for others seeking to find what works for them?
Louise: Because of back issues, I’ve taken up bike riding–that’s my thing. I love the fact that there are safe and scenic bike paths out here that we can use to stay out of traffic. I don’t need to go longer, I just need to intensify. I go for about an hour and feel satisfied. I go at least 5 days a week. Everyone has a limitation. I’ve learned to work with my limitations and improve. My advice: find what you enjoy and do it consistently.
LWL: You are so motivated. What keeps you motivated best?
Louise: My family, and being able to share with them. There are so many things I couldn’t do before that I now love to do with them.
LWL: You mentioned you have had some challenges along the way. What was that like, and how have you coped?
Louise: There have been challenging times. There was a period where I had whooping cough, then a cruise with my husband, and many other things come up, for example. However, I was able to maintain. And now I have confidence, knowing that I am capable of maintaining even in the face of adversity. What could have been a downer became a success. The positive mindset that comes from that is key to facing challenges when they come up.
LWL: What are some things you do to help prioritizing healthy eating and active living?
Louise: My husband tells me I can’t go a day without a honey crisp apple and a cup of grapes. I love getting acquainted with good food. Starting to chart my food was so helpful for me. It gave me accountability. I also have my own garden. We love eating our own tomatoes, with a little balsamic vinegar. We also have all kinds of squash, through fall and winter.
I do love a good slice of carrot cake on occasion. On the first class with Sue, she told us, “This is not a diet. You should be able to eat anything and everything in moderation.” That’s what I love. It’s so rewarding for me to know that I can just be normal, while doing what I need to do for me.
From Louise’s Kitchen:
Chicken salad
  • 2 12.5-ounce cans white chicken, drained and rinsed
  • 6 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 stalks of chopped celery
  • 2 dashes of celery salt
  • 2 medium honey crisp apples, chopped with skin on
  • 2 cups of grapes
Toss all ingredients together. Serve on a bed of lettuce.
*Yields 13 1/2-cup servings at 74 calories each.

 We’d love to share YOUR successes! Send your stories and photos our way, so we can celebrate with you, and highlight in our newsletter, or here on our blog!

Oct 20, 2014

Healthy Holidays: Sign up for our media package!



Don’t let holiday hurdles keep you from holiday fun when it comes to sticking to your healthy habits and goals: sign your business or organization up for our Worksite Wellness Media Package and join a team committed to helping you health yourself, and having a great time in the process. We want to help add FUN and FUEL to your wellness programs and plans, for FREE!

We’re continuously working on building and compiling helpful resources and opportunities to motivate one another as a community. Supports we offer include: customizable media templates centered on healthy eating and active living; articles for your use in newsletters, email blasts, and other publications; access to a private Facebook page connecting employees city-wide for sharing motivation and info; healthy tips and strategies; participation in fun, healthy challenges (like our holiday holdout, offering supports and incentives to maintain a healthy weight amid a land of tempations) and chances to win cool schwag throughout the year from local vendors; promotional materials and the opportunity to participate in the annual LiveWell Longmont Healthy Food Drive, a chance to promote your organization and win fun prizes while supporting our community; and more! We’re always evolving in our quest to meet YOUR needs. For more info, please contact Erika, at [email protected].

Oct 20, 2014

Healthy Holidays: Weigh and Win’s Challenge helps you maintain!


Have you taken advantage of the convenient Weigh and Win kiosk at Longmont Public Library? With the holiday season just around the corner, now is a great time to start! On average, a person will gain 1-2 pounds every holiday season that they never lose. Over time, those pounds add up! Let’s work together to stick to our health goals this holiday season and maintain our weight instead of gaining. Join the Weigh and Win Healthy Holiday Challenge and if you maintain your weight this holiday season, you’ll receive a $15 Amazon gift card!


1. Visit and you’ll find the Healthy Holiday Challenge under the ‘Challenges’ tab. Log-in to your Weigh and Win account (or sign-up for free) to join the challenge.

2. Visit a Weigh and Win kiosk and complete your pre-holiday weigh-in any time between November 19-26, 2014. Weigh and Win will provide weekly tips to help you maintain your weight during the holidays!

3. Complete your post-holiday weigh-in any time between January 1 – 8, 2015. If your weight is within 1 pound of your pre-holiday weight you will earn a $15 Amazon gift card!

Weigh and Win is a free program that encourages you to eat better and move more – and will reward you for doing so! Sign-up to receive daily, personalized health coaching by email or text message, track your progress through quarterly weigh-ins and earn cash rewards for weight improvement. For more information, visit

Oct 17, 2014

Healthy Food Makes Healthy Bodies!

The week of October 13 -17 marked National School Lunch Week  nationwide, and was celebrated with colorful flair and sensational style within SVVSD. National School Lunch Week is all about emphasizing the importance of balancing healthy eating and physical activity for students. In the spirit of highlighting the beautiful rainbow that is embodied by healthy eating, Nutrition Services hosted a district wide Art Contest for all students grades K-5. The contest not only fielded a marvelous array of student artwork and inspiration, it showcased how eating each of the major food groups (dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein) can build a healthy body.
As the bright and brilliant, mouthwatering entries rolled in, it quickly became clear what a tough challenge it would be to determine winning submissions. Students were asked to submit their artwork to their individual school; one winner was selected per school and entered into the district contest. District winners were rewarded with a brand new bicycle and helmet.
Many thanks to all who entered! Your art brings joy and wisdom to all who view it. Enjoy the winning entries, below!
From Alpine:
From Blue Mountain:
blue mt
From Hygiene:
From Central:
From Lyons:
From Niwot:
From Red Hawk:
red hawk
From Rocky Mountain:
rocky mt
Oct 13, 2014

Healthy Food Drive Kickoff!

Did you know that last year alone the OUR Center distributed nearly 972,000 pounds of emergency groceries to 15,907 households and served 121,013 meals within our community? That means that almost 36,866 men, women and children from right here in the greater Longmont area relied on the OUR Center for food as they worked toward self-sufficiency.

Just about everyone knows that good nutrition is vital to keeping people healthy, but if you stop to think about it, this is especially true for individuals in need. With that in mind, the OUR Center strives to provide its clients the freshest, healthiest food possible, and the organization counts on community donations to make that happen.

This is why many organizations across the greater Longmont area have joined with LiveWell Longmont with the goal of raising 50,000 pounds of healthy food for the OUR Center in our community’s 4th Annual Healthy Food Drive to celebrate Food Day – a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food. We need everyone’s help to achieve this goal! Here’s how it works:

  • Shop with the Healthy Food Donation Shopping List for fresh and non-perishable items.
  • Bring tems to a collection sight (we’ll be posting more info, so stay tuned!) from October 13th to October 23rd. There will be in-kind receipts available for you there.
  • On Food Day 2014 – Friday, October 24th, LWL will join the other businesses that participated in the Healthy Food Drive to make our collective donation to the OUR Center.

Bonus benefit: you can use the same Healthy Food Donation Shopping List to identify and pick up healthy food items for you and your family when shopping for the food drive!

Let’s work together to see our team collect the greatest amount, and do our part in reaching our community-wide goal of 50,000 pounds of healthy food for those in need. The best part is we will be making a healthy difference in the lives of people who need it the most! For more info, or to sign up your business, please contact Erika at [email protected].



Sep 12, 2014

Food Day Healthy Food Drive 2014 Shopping List!

Boy, the dreary drizzle of the past two days sure make it easier to believe we’re already nearing October! That means, FOOD DAY is on it’s way, and we’re gearing up for another fantastic Healthy Food Drive benefiting the OUR Center!

Did you know that last year alone the OUR Center distributed nearly 972,000 pounds of emergency groceries to 15,907 households and served 121,013 meals within our community? That means that almost 36, 866 men, women and children from right here in the greater Longmont area relied on the OUR Center for food as they worked toward self-sufficiency. 

We’re again teaming together with a growing number of Longmont employers to raise awareness that individuals and families needing food assistance deserve healthy food choices. Working together, we can reach the community-wide goal of raising 50,000 pounds of healthy food! Here’s this year’s Handy Healthy Shopping List to help you with planning and ideas: Food day shopping . For more information about the Healthy Food Drive, contact Erika Wey at [email protected], or 303.678.4917.