AccessElite Well-being

Nurturing a Heart-Healthy Workplace Culture (Bonus: Recipes Included)

February is American Heart Month, a perfect time to focus on cardiovascular health and to spread awareness in the workplace of the steps needed to lower risk factors for heart disease. Since employees are the heartbeat of your company, it is integral to nurture a heart-healthy workplace culture.

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States? About 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease each year (that’s 1 in every 4 deaths). It’s important to adopt healthy habits at home and work to preserve and improve your heart health.  With these tips and resources, you can nurture a heart-healthy workplace culture and foster a team of healthy, motivated, connected employees!

Get Moving

Staying active is one of the best ways to improve and maintain a healthy heart and overall health and well-being. As an employer, it is important to offer your employees time and flexibility within their schedule to stay active and moving. Taking a walk during your break is a great way to incorporate more activity into your day while boosting cardiovascular health.

Build Connections

Did you know social relationships can improve your health and longevity? Connecting with others is vital for mental and physical well-being. This is why it’s so important to foster strong workplace relationships! AccessElite offers a variety of events to make engaging with employees easy. Whether you’re in the office or remote, we provide the resources your employees need to stay connected and thrive. Employees spend a good portion of their time working. It’s important to offer opportunities for connection, not only for employee health and well-being but also for a stronger team and healthier work environment.

Reduce Stress

Stress can affect your mental health, but also your physical health. Stress is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and a host of other health problems. Reducing stress is easier said than done, but there are a variety of tools that can assist you both in and out of the workplace.

It is important to offer your employees time and resources to focus on their health and well-being. Employee health should be of top priority! At AccessElite, we offer a corporate wellness platform to provide employee well-being resources at the tip of their fingers. With an AccessElite Anywhere membership, your team will receive exclusive access to virtual classes, wellness challenges, and more! We cover everything from fitness to mental health, nutrition, meditation, yoga, leadership, and a variety of other topics to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

Stay Motivated

Keeping your team motivated is a great way to boost morale, encourage employee connection, and improve employee wellness. Offering them challenges and incentives to reach their goals is a great way to boost motivation. AccessElite Challenge offers corporate wellness challenges that incentivize your team to take control of their health and well-being while collaborating and connecting with their colleagues! For example, you can invite your team to participate in a one-month walking challenge and compete in most steps completed, or get their heart pumping for 30-seconds a day when you challenge them to complete as many push-ups or jumping jacks as they can while logging their daily progress.  A little healthy competition can go a long way in incentivizing and motivating employees to participate.

Eat Healthy 

To maintain your health it’s important to eat a heart-healthy diet. This includes a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy protein. Eating a rainbow of colors – from carrots and oranges, red peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, and peaches to purple plums, green celery, lettuce, kiwis, yellow peppers and bananas – also helps ensure a diverse intake of nutrients. And of course, limiting things like processed foods, added sugars, excess salt and how much saturated and trans fats you eat are all important steps towards a healthier heart.

AccessElite works with many nutritionists to provide resources, recipes, and advice for employees. Through our live events and on-demand classes, with a variety of topics including nutrition and cooking, employees can easily (and realistically) incorporate this into their day-to-day diets, based on their own lifestyle and schedule.

Try these three delicious, heart-healthy recipes from one of our AccessElite partners Paula Sturm of Radically Nourished.

To learn more about how AccessElite can help create heart healthy and happy employees within your organization while boosting your team’s overall well-being and engagement, book a demo with an AE expert and let’s get started!

Strawberry Lemonade Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bananas (sliced and frozen)
  • 1 cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest

Directions: Add frozen bananas, strawberries, and lemon zest to food processor and blend. Occasionally scrape down the sides and continue to blend until smooth (approximately 3 to 5 minutes).

Scoop into a bowl and enjoy immediately as soft serve or for firmer ice cream, place in an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 1 hour before scooping.

Notes: More Creamy: Add 2 Tbsp coconut milk; More Scoopable: Add 1 Tbsp vodka to prevent hard freeze; Make it Chunky: Set aside 1/4 cup of the strawberries before blending and add them to the processor after blending. Pulse until roughly chopped.

Radically Nourished Spaghetti Squash with Kale Pesto

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 ½ Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 tsp Salt Free Italian Seasoning
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup Kale Leaves

Directions: Preheat oven to 375oF (191oC). Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and carve out the seeds. Place the halves on a parchment paper- lined baking sheet flesh side up. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle and pepper.

Toss the cherry tomatoes in a bowl with a splash of olive oil, Sat-Free Italian Seasoning, and pepper then place these on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook the squash and tomatoes in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Keep an eye on the tomatoes, they may be done before the squash. If they are browning too much pull them out of the oven and set aside covered with foil to keep warm.

In the meantime, prepare your kale pesto. In a food processor or magic bullet, add the kale, basil leaves, garlic cloves, lemon juice and zest, vegan parmesan, remaining olive oil, salt, pepper and pine nuts. Blend until a creamy pesto forms. Add a very small splash of warm water if the mixture is too thick. Be careful with this as adding too much can completely ruin the pesto!

Remove the spaghetti squash and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then stand each half up vertically and scrape out the flesh of the squash into a large bowl using a fork. It should come out as string-like noodles.

Divide spaghetti squash into portions on plates. Top with a large spoonful of kale pesto and roasted tomatoes. Enjoy!

Notes: Salt: If you are watching salt intake, eliminate all use of salt; Add protein: To make this a complete meal, add a serving of protein. Either a baked chicken breast, a serving of seared tofu, or fish.

Grilled Halibut

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive OIl (divided)
  • 1 Lemon (cut into wedges)
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt (Optional)
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 ¼ lbs Halibut Filet

Directions: Brush both sides of the halibut filets with olive oil and season with sea salt (if using) and pepper. Heat your grill (outside grill or indoor grill pan) over medium heat. Grill the halibut for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until it flakes with a fork. Remove the fish from the grill.

Plate the fish and squeeze some lemon juice over it and serve with a lemon wedge alongside your favorite side dish. Enjoy!

Notes: No Grill: Pan sear the halibut in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 4 minutes per side or until cooked through

 

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