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Posts Tagged: Wellness Committee

Call for 5-minute 'Wellness Spot' leaders

"Wellness Spot" Leaders

Are you interested in leading a 5-minute "Wellness Spot" for your colleagues in the coming months?  What is a wellness spot? It is a presentation/activity that you provide that shares how you incorporate wellness into your life. How do you keep healthy? Emotionally balanced? Resilient? Do you have a particular mindset that helps? An activity? A process?

Wellness in the human experience can be in any of these areas: Finances, physical fitness, environment, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual. (Dimensions of Wellness; (

Wellness spots will take place during our Third Thursday ANR Davis All Staff Meetings. You can provide one either in person or via Zoom.

Please fill out this survey to show your interest in leading an activity, short learning session, or your experiences of a wellness activity/process either in-person or via Zoom.


Posted on Friday, March 6, 2020 at 4:21 PM
Focus Area Tags: Health

Placer-Nevada wins Healthy over the Holidays group challenge

Congratulations to Placer-Nevada UC Cooperative Extension. The office's Staff Assembly Ambassador, Annette Cosgrove, submitted the winning entry to the Healthy over the Holiday's photo contest.

UCCE Placer-Nevada Healthy Over the Holidays Challenge 2019 by Annette Cosgrove.

Cosgrove led the staff and academics at Placer and Nevada UCCE in taking five group walks, two Zumba sessions, a holiday party using reusable utensils and a hallway chair race on a rainy day. The prize is an assortment of California-grown healthy goodies from Circle K Country Store in Fowler.

First runner-up in the contest was a photo collage of members of the Houston Wilson lab at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Staff research associate Jessia Maccaro (pictured in the lower left corner of the photo collage) leads staff in a daily yoga practice in the winter to get everyone in the right frame of mind for working together inside the lab.

Members of the Houston Wilson lab at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center practice yoga.

"Healthy over the Holidays was designed to remind us that wellness should encompass all pieces of our lives from mindfulness practices to dedicating time for meaningful relationships,” said Kaela Plank, chair of the UC ANR Staff Assembly wellness committee. “The feedback we have received from this year's program has been overwhelmingly positive. Our committee is excited to continue to improve this program in order to meet the needs of the ANR community.”

Individual participants took home prizes, while all 168 UC ANR staff who signed up to be Healthy over the Holidays were winners. They received weekly emails with encouragement to eat healthy, get physical activity and take care of their mental health during a time when many people set their health goals aside until the New Year.

Almost half of the participants submitted the completion survey. Of those, 87% reported making one positive change – such as practicing mindfulness, making time for their hobbies, choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables, and getting more sleep. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they enjoyed the holistic approach and 72% enjoyed the newsletter. One office has committed to continuing their weekly walks in 2020. 

The individual winners of Healthy over the Holidays were picked randomly from the participants who filled out the completion survey. Javier Miramontes and Keilani Cordero won Fitbits and Elizabeth Gong won a bamboo cutting board.

Posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 9:37 AM

Healthy Over the Holidays begins Nov. 25

Dust off your holiday hats and bring your holiday cheer because Healthy Over the Holidays begins Nov. 25! Join UC ANR Staff Wellness Committee in this four-week program and end your year on a wellness high note.

Participants will receive weekly emails with hints and strategies for adopting healthy behaviors throughout the holidays. The program will also provide tips and support for improving nutrition, physical activity, and mental/emotional well-being.

The first 100 individuals to sign up for the program will receive a small gift for choosing to participate. At the end of the four-week challenge, program participants who complete a survey will be entered into a raffle for one of three prizes – 2 FitBit Charge 3s or a bamboo cutting board. 

Additionally, one site will be selected to receive a group prize. Sign up by Nov. 12 at Check with your Staff Ambassador for further program details! 

- UC ANR Staff Assembly Wellness Committee

Posted on Monday, October 28, 2019 at 4:22 PM
  • Author: Kaela Plank

Healthy Snack Day winners show their creativity

Thanks to all who participated in Healthy Snack Day 2019! The Wellness committee was very impressed with the level of creativity sites brought to this event.

Many of you enjoyed local fruits and vegetables from your home gardens and even gardens at your sites (shout out to Placer and Nevada Counties, Kearney REC, UCCE Orange County, and South Coast REC).

Other sites used Healthy Snack Day as an opportunity to connect with other departments in their building and to test out recipes for future community nutrition classes. Great ideas!

We were so excited to hear that you all are using this team building opportunity in creative ways and we are thrilled to announce the winners for both the photo and recipe competitions.

We had 13 sites participate in the photo competition and three sites in the recipe competition.

Photo competition winners are as follows:

First place: Kearney REC

UC ANR staff at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center took first place for Healthy Snack Day 2019.

Second Place, UCCE Contra Costa

UCCE Contra Costa won second place.

Third Place: UCCE Humboldt-Del Norte

UCCE Humboldt-Del Norte took third place.

The Recipe Contest winners are as follows:

First place: South Coast REC and UCCE Orange County for their fabulous recipe book.

Find a pdf link to the whole booklet at the end of this article. Here's a sample recipe:

Spicy and crispy garbonzos


1 cup dried garbanzos, soak overnight then cook until tender. Lay on paper towels to dry
4 T olive oil
Maldon salt
Thyme leaves
Spanish paprika


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the cooked garbanzos with olive oil. Put on a cooksheet in a single layer and bake until brown and crispy in oven.

Toss with a touch more olive oil, thyme, salt and Spanish paprika. 

Second place: the Nutrition Policy Institute for their radish cucumber salad recipe.

Radish cucumber salad - Source: Simple Veganista

  • cucumber (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch radishes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/8 red onion (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt, or to taste
  • freshly cracked pepper, to taste


Use the freshest ingredients possible. With only a few ingredients in this radish cucumber salad, try to source the best and freshest possible. Use your favorite kind of radishes and cucumbers.

Prepping tips: If your cucumbers and radishes are the wider side cut them into half moon shapes. It makes it a little easier to eat. But if they are thinner side leave them in whole circles if you like. No need to peel the cucumbers, the skin adds fiber and nutrition.

Use as much dill as you like. For myself, the more the merrier – it's such a refreshing herb!

Season well: Use plenty of salt and as much pepper as you like. The radishes are peppery, but once the salad is mixed all together, they aren't as noticeable, so a little extra pepper is nice.

Planning on making your radish and cucumber salad ahead? Keep the cider dressing separate from the salad until ready to serve. The zucchini and radishes will soak up the dressing and start to soften and pickle. It's not a bad thing, but if you prefer a crisp presentation mix the salad with the dressing just before setting on the table. It won't hurt to mix up to 15 minutes ahead of time.


  1. Wash the cucumber and radishes well, scrubbing as necessary.
  2. Trim the ends from the cucumber and radishes and thinly slice, using a knife or mandoline.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  4. Add the cucumber, radish, chickpea, dill, apple cider vinegar, oil, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl, toss well to coat.

And all that's left is to enjoy as is or chill before eating. Enjoy!


Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 – 5 days in a covered container.

Third place: UCCE San Joaquin for their Fruit Pico de Gallo recipe.

Fruit pico de gallo (Source: CDPH Public Health)


1 cup peeled and chopped fresh mango
1 cup chopped fresh watermelon
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple in 100% juice
1 cup peeled and chopped fresh papaya
1 cup peeled and chopped jicama
Juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon chili powder


Mix together all the fruit in a medium bowl and sprinkle with lime juice and chili powder. Serve immediately.

Congratulations to all six site winners! We hope that the first prize winners enjoy their healthy snack boxes, the second place winners feel refreshed when using their spa water container and recipe book prize and the third place winners use their apple slicers for years to come.

Thanks for participating in Healthy Snack Day 2019. We hope you all had a blast.

If you are interested in seeing all the entries for the competition, check out the the Wellness Committee's webpage

Link here:

Happy snacking,

UCANR Staff Assembly Wellness Committee

UCCE Orange County and South Coast REC recipe book (pdf)

Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 9:38 AM
  • Author: Kaela Plank

UCCE Tulare County wins Healthy Snack Day contest

UC Cooperative Extension in Tulare County won first place in the UC ANR Staff Assembly Wellness Committee's contest on Healthy Snack Day, Aug. 29. All UC ANR facilities were invited to hold Healthy Snack Day activities and submit one photo.

Tulare County staff creatively submitted a photo collage to tell a story about their Healthy Snack Day activities. Before Healthy Snack Day, the staff appear fatigued and lethargic; afterward, the staff are all smiles and enthusiasm. The Tulare County office won a water dispenser/infuser to serve healthy and appealing beverages. 

UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County

Second place went to UC Cooperative Extension in San Diego County, where the staff took the opportunity on Healthy Snack Day to "play with their food." Cut-up fresh fruit and vegetables were fashioned into elaborate artwork and sculptures.

UC Cooperative Extension, San Diego County

The UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center came in third with a collage and food art, plus plenty of fruit and vegetables.

UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center

Healthy Snack Day was the first event sponsored by the UC ANR Staff Assembly Wellness Committee, which is dedicated to supporting and improving the health, well-being and quality of life of ANR employees. The committee promotes initiatives and programs that foster healthy workplace environments, empower employees to adopt healthy habits, and strengthen our sense of community.

In all, eight UC ANR facilities entered pictures in the contest. They are shown below.

UC ANR Second Street Building, Davis
UC Cooperative Extension, Capitol Corridor MCP
UC Cooperative Extension, Placer and Nevada counties
UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center

UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center
UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center

Posted on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 11:51 AM
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