Reach Your Peak to Enhance Your Well-being
With the arrival of 2022, we are continuing to follow safe social distancing practices, treat patients, provide vaccines, and do our jobs with dedication. Our daily lives have shifted in many ways, and stressors are many, making this the perfect time to focus on our personal wellness.
Journey to Enhance Your Well-being
The Mount Sinai Wellness team invites you to think of ways to enhance your well-being: from exercise and nutrition to socializing (safely). Employees are welcome to enjoy discounted fitness programs through Mount Sinai's Recreation Department as well as our many exercise videos.
Tracking Your Steps
Track steps using a personal activity tracker or a mobile App. Trackers you may want to consider include these 10 Best Step Counter Apps to Meet Your Fitness Goals, or one of these:
- Health App by Apple – An activity tracking app
- Myfitnesspal – A food and activity tracking app
- Lose It – A food and activity tracking app
- Strava – An activity tracking app
- Google Fit – An activity tracking app for android devices
Start by tracking the number of steps you take on a regular day. Aim to improve your step count every day! Any increase to the number of steps you take will benefit your health.
2021 Weekly Step Count Leaderboards
Each week, based on the step counts you report, we generate weekly leaderboards.
Even More Wellness Practices for Your Journey
Your Wellness Reset Journey also may include adding other forms of exercise in addition to walking, and self-care practices such as making healthy food choices and taking advantage of our many Calm offerings such as meditation, yoga and much more.
Watch for invitations to our 10-minutes of wellness Zoom sessions for inspiration from colleagues who will share their expertise and personal experiences.
Wellness and Nutrition Tips Plus Recipes
Each week we will include one our favorite healthy recipes from our 2020 Mount Sinai Fit Cookbook: Recipes that Nourish Body and Soul and a health tip for the week. We hope you find these recipes and tips helpful in your wellness journey.
Week 1: Eating the Rainbow
Add a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to your daily meals. By adding a mix of colors in your diet, you are giving your body an array of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to benefit your health. Phytochemicals are found in plants and they have been studied for their antioxidant functions and potential medicinal benefits.
One great way to “paint your plate” is with our Kale Pesto recipe on page 15 of the 2020 Recipes that Nurture Body and Soul.
This beautiful dressing is packed with nutrients including the leafy greens of dark kale. For breakfast use the pesto on top of eggs or egg whites; at lunch on a turkey avocado lettuce wrap, or with dinner on roasted fish, chicken, or tofu. It is packed with flavor and nutrients to fuel your body as you move forward on your wellness journey. Enjoy!
Week 2: Quinoa - The Super Grain
Quinoa (pronounced "ki:nwa") gets our praise its nutrition quality. It is naturally gluten-free and generally well tolerated by those with a gluten sensitivity. This grain is rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins and minerals. One cup of cooked quinoa has 4 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber, 120 calories. We love to add quinoa to salads, use in soups, in a main dish or eaten as a side dish mixed with vegetables.
Find the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipe on page 16 of the 2020 Recipes that Nurture Body and Soul.
We hope you try it!
Week 3: Eat the foods that energize your wellness practice.
To fuel the daily activities you enjoy, it’s essential to eat the foods that support your wellbeing. You will find in our 2020 Mount Sinai Fit cookbook, Recipes that Nourish Body and Soul, not only some of our colleagues favorite recipes, but each contributor shares their favorite personal wellness practice, too. The combination of food and activities you enjoy is an almost magical formula for wellness. On page 85, discover a recipe for Loaded “Post-run” Oatmeal.” It’s equally good as a “post-walk” recipe.
Week 4: Hydration – Why Is It So Important?
Water is crucial for our bodies to stay healthy, because it helps with carrying nutrients to our cells, flushing out waste, and keeping our digestive system on track by preventing constipation. Hydration can also help to maximize our physical performance for the activities we do. Drinking water is important, and in addition, many fruits and vegetables have a high water content that can help with hydration, such as strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and lettuce to name a few. A delicious way to refresh and stay hydrated this spring is with a Blueberry Avocado Smoothie—find the recipe in our 2019 Mount Sinai Fit cookbook, Seasonal Recipes.
Week 5: What’s for Lunch?
Whether you brown-bag it to work or eat lunch at home, “what’s for lunch” can be something delicious and nutritious and most of all enjoyable when you prepare it yourself. Making your lunch can be a simple process that involves all of your senses and takes a bit of planning that pays off in saving money and in the quality of what you eat by using your own fresh ingredients. The lunch you make in advance may actually leave you energized and with more time for you. Time you can use to go for a walk, meditate, or relax. Two great lunch recipes that you can make in advance come from our 2020 Mount Sinai Calm and Fit cookbook, Recipes that Nourish Body and Soul. Flip through the pages and read online here, or open, read, and print here to find Black Bean and Avocado Salad on page 39 and Turkey Chili on page 70.
Week 6: How to Improve Sleep plus a Spring Recipe
It's important to focus on sleep and how improving our sleep allows our mind and bodies to recharge. If you get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, you may see improvement in your athletic performance, concentration and overall productivity throughout the day.
A few tips to develop better sleep are:
- Avoiding or limiting caffeine late in the day
- Being more physically active and spending more time outside during the day
- Keeping a consistent sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends
- Optimizing your bedroom environment by:
- Reducing noise
- Eliminating artificial light and blue light exposure from phones, computers, and TV
- Setting a comfortable room temperature
And, if you are looking for some new side dishes to cook up this spring season, check out our Mount Sinai Fit Cooks! cookbook recipe on page 13 for Roasted String Beans recipe along with many other perfect starters and side dishes that have fresh/seasonal ingredients perfect for this time of year.
Week 7 Tip: Engaging Our Senses Through Mindfulness plus a Spring Recipe
Mindful eating allows us to bring awareness to our table and to the foods that we consume. It invites us to be present while cooking or eating and reminds us to remove distractions in order to better savor the flavors and aromas of the food.
A guide to mindful eating:
- Put away all electronic devices.
- Pause, take a conscious breath, and give yourself a few minutes to be with yourself and the food you are about to eat.
- Observe the shapes and colors of the food and acknowledge its journey from its origins to your plate.
- Smell the food and invite thoughts of gratitude, adding them to each bite.
- Let the food sit on the tongue for a minute or two and then begin to chew while identifying tastes and textures.
- Set the fork or spoon down between bites and fully savor each bite of food.
At each meal, allow this practice of mindful eating to truly nurture your being on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
If you are looking for recipes to try out the mindful eating approach, check out page 36 of our Recipes That Nourish Body and Soul cookbook. There is a recipe for White Bean Kale Soup, which has a wonderful aroma and is nourishing for cool spring days or evenings!
Week 8 Tip: Enjoy Nature by Taking a Stroll Outdoors and Purchase Fresh Local Produce
Take a stroll outdoors and stop to enjoy the beautiful smells and colors of the early summer season! Indulging in the nature around us may elevate our mood and outlook.
Purchase fresh local produce from the Mount Sinai GreenMarket hosted by GrowNYC located on 99th and Madison Avenue. The Greenmarket is opened on Wednesdays from 8am - 3pm. Use this link to find other green markets near you. At every location, you can find a variety of fresh produce at great prices! This is a great way to stay healthy and support a small business!
Avocados are in season! Scroll through this site for more than 50 recipes that use avocados - a great source of potassium and vitamin C. The Creamy Avocado Smoothie is a healthy way to start your day!
Our Mount Sinai Wellness website includes several recipes that use avocados and other fresh produce. The Baby Kale, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad is a healthy, refreshing option! To view this recipe, click on the link and scroll down to page 16 of the cookbook.
Week 9 Tip: Rest Your Mind before Bed plus Healthy Dinner Recipes
Shut your phone off well before going to bed. Instead of scrolling, you can read a book, write in your journal, do some yoga or stretching, or listen to relaxing music. This will give your mind time to rest prior to going to sleep.
Looking for a quick, healthy meal idea for dinner? At only 270 calories per serving, Dr. James Tsai's Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms and Bok Choy is a perfect choice! You can find the complete recipe on page 25 in our Mount Sinai Fit Cookbook. We recommend pairing this with Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes," and you can find the recipe on page 10 for a complete, hearty meal at just 380 calories!
Week 10: Engaging Our Senses through Mindfulness
This Mindful Eating Recipe Card was created by Mount Sinai Calm, and it includes tips on how to bring awareness to our table and the foods that we are consuming. Mindful eating invites us to be present while cooking or eating. It reminds us to remove distractions in order to better savor the flavors and aromas of the food. Print or save this card as a reminder of the mindful eating approach.
If you are looking for recipes to try out the mindful eating approach, check out our Mount Sinai Fit cooking – Recipes. There is a recipe for White Bean Kale Soup that has a wonderful aroma and nourishment served warm or as cold dish.
For more Mount Sinai Wellness offerings, take a virtual stroll through this Wellness website, designed just for you, and consider having a personal nutrition consultation with one of our registered dieticians by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. And, to discover how our Diabetes Care Program supports your ability to live well with diabetes, please email email@example.com.
Week 11: Take a Stroll Outdoors to Elevate Your Mood and Outlook
When you stop to enjoy the beauty of nature around you are giving yourself the priceless gift that can lift your spirits and refresh your point of view.
Purchase fresh local produce from the Mount Sinai Greenmarket hosted by GrowNYC located on 99th Street and Madison Avenue open Wednesday’s from 8 am to 3 pm. To find other green markets near you refer to this greenmarket map for a variety of fresh produce, a great way to stay healthy and support local farmers.
And, to get the most from avocados that are a great source of potassium and vitamin C, scroll through more than 50 recipes using avocados.
Check out our shelf of Mount Sinai Calm and Fit Cookbooks for a variety of recipes for making delicious fresh produce dishes.
Week 12: Winding Down Minus Screen Time
As you prepare for a good night’s sleep, shut your phone off well before going to bed. Instead of scrolling, you can read a book, write in your journal, do some yoga or stretching, or listen to relaxing music. This will give your mind time to rest prior for a truly refreshing sleep.
Looking for a quick healthy meal idea for dinner? At only 270 calories per serving, try making this Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms and Bok Choy recipe on page 25 of our Mount Sinai Fit Cooks! 2017 Cookbook. We recommend pairing this with Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes” on page 10 for a perfect flavor combination.
Week 13: Get Up and Stretch during Work
By sitting at our desks all during the workday, we are more prone to tight hips and weakened glutes. To keep your body well-balanced, take a break every hour to get up, stretch your legs, and walk around.
Looking for a healthy, on-the-go snack?
Check out the recipe for Easy Homemade Granola in the 2020 Mount Sinai Calm and Fit Cookbook on page 80 of Recipes that Nourish Body and Soul. It is perfect for sprinkling on yogurt or simply as a stand-alone snack.
Week 14: Eliminate Clutter and Clear Your Mind
Organizing your workspace to get rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control. Clutter makes it difficult to find what you need. It may also distract you. Getting rid of clutter can help you focus better on the task at hand. Read “9 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Office Space | Work + Money (workandmoney.com)” for some good ideas.
Pack your own lunch as often as possible. Taking control of the food you eat is important to a healthy lifestyle. With this in mind, try this delicious Roasted Chicken Salad recipe enhanced by the use of grapes, apples, walnuts, and celery for flavor and crunch and yogurt to reduce the amount of mayonnaise needed. Check it out in the Mount Sinai Fit Cooks! 2017 Cookbook on page 17. This recipe is the perfect blend of savory and sweet and includes protein, fiber and healthy fats.
Delicious Foods at a Discount
Enjoy Epicured’s dietitian-approved delicious freshly prepared meals. Mount Sinai Health System employees receive 20% off every order from Epicured when using this discount code: “MSEMPLOYEES.” Learn more about Epicured.
Step Winners of the 2021 3-Month Journey
New York Eye and Ear - Ear We Go Team (19 winners)
Individual Winner: Olga Shokh
Team Members: Blair Richlin, Meghan Brady, Nelly Valenzuela, Randi Tepper, Gene Fu, Lorie Singer, Kelsey Ambrose, Melissa Magnolia, Karla Fernandez, Katherine Scigliano, Devon Clark, Jeanette Perez, Laura Lei-Rivera, Santosh Krishnamoorthy, Chanice Sinclair, Jeanette Acevedo, Bryan Hujsak, Angela Acevedo, Dame Westbrook
Mount Sinai Hospital - CPRO On The Go Team (7 winners)
Individual Winner: Patrick Healy
Team Captain: Samantha Weston
Team Members: Gail Jackson, Jane Assael, Ines Velez-Montano, Ritu Kundu, Samantha Weston
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai - Enlighten Up/Lighten Up (4 winners)
Individual Winner: Holly Schnack
Team Captain: Jennifer Brons
Team Members: Jennifer Brons, Mariana Figueiro, Allison Thayer
Mount Sinai Health Network - Sole Sisters 2021 (3 winners)
Team Captain: Daisy Soto-Coppola
Team Members: Daisy Soto-Coppola, Carol Leanzo-Dejesus, Michelle Pulido
Mount Sinai West - The Holy Walkamolies! (21 winners)
Individual Winner: Cheryl Irizarry
Team Captain: Richard Felicciardi
Team Members: Michelle Jablons, Romona Tulloch, Alpha Mansaray, Katrina Hartog, Lisa Grossman, Nancy Miranda, Richard Felicciardi, Virna Morales, Diana Raymond, Stacey Cohen, Mahathi Nagarur, Vanna Chau, Richard Irizarry, Lisa Mazie, Norma Carrasquillo, Yvette Torres, Jessica Zimmerman, George McAlpine, Oladapo Durojaiye, Anita Czarnecki
Mount Sinai Corporate - Legs Miserables (7 winners)
Individual Winner: Kimberly Dale
Team Captain: Alma Azua-Cassady
Team Members: Lorna Radcliffe-Williams, Gillian Harbin, Alma Azua-Cassady, Petra Neckles, Scott Cassady, Lalita Naraine
Mount Sinai Morningside - Farmers Market Flyers (4 winners)
Individual Winner: Anthony White
Team Captain: Hannah Kittrell
Team Members: Jen Muse, Emily Ellis, Hannah Kittrell
Mount Sinai Downtown - Mount Sinai Downtown 14th Street Innovators (23 winners)
Individual Winner: Claire Obrien Landberg
Team Captain: Allison Sherwood
Team Members: Allison Sherwood, Annie Franco, Cody Fung, Dominique Stennett, Jovanne Coterrell, Tricia Cigobin, Cathy Nunez, Charles Mimken, Dawn Brownfeld, Gary Palatucci, Julia Hermos, David Lawe, Lauryn Wint, Lynn Mailloux, Robert Dewar, Nibelkis Francisco, Margaret Clarke, Natasha Grant, Vincent Yen, Lesly Antoine, Sarah Silverman, Alexandra Rogers
Mount Sinai Queens - MSQ Diversity Council (5 winners)
Individual Winner: Rachelle Zazzu
Team Captain: Ana Rodriguez
Team Members: Sara Yuliana Orozco Vanegas, Christian Huff, Carolina Novoa, Ana Rodriguez
Mount Sinai Brooklyn - Lightening Steppers (6 winners)
Team Captain: Samantha Martin
Team Members: Samantha Martin, Jacqueline Callendar, Vernise Griffith, Adana Edwards, Melinda Cotterell-Russell, Donna-Kay Hylton
Mount Sinai South Nassau - Team Cardiac Rehab (3 winners)
Team Captain: Arthur Golbert
Team Members: Arthur Golbert, Melissa Miranda, Lori Brady
Inspiring Quotes from Past RYP Participants
Let their words inspire you during your Wellness Reset Journey.
“It gave me an opportunity to up my walking game daily with my team. I have been walking 5 - 7 miles per day for over 2 years now and I have lost over 30 pounds. Walking consistently has also helped me maintain excellent blood glucose numbers along with healthy eating. I am grateful for the challenge and all the perks that come with it.”
- Valerie Ruffin
Executive Assistant, IT
"This initiative was so fun because I watched the transformation of some of my colleagues. They went from thinking ‘oh this is something I couldn’t possibly do’ to putting up some of the highest numbers in the health system!"
- Bethany Kranitsky, MD
Associate Chief, Division of Hospital Medicine
“I really enjoyed the challenge as a means of motivation to stay active during the colder winter months. As a captain, I found it very encouraging to see how many of my colleagues wanted to participate and how well they did. It’s nice to have a little competitiveness in your subconscious all day long to walk as many routes as you can and never really be idle.”
- Benjamin McCauley
Icahn Institute and Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences
"This was a great experience … to get motivated daily to increase their cardiac workout and to become more fit.”
- Allegra Lee, MD
Mount Sinai Queens
“A great experience and a valuable team building exercise. We learned to be accountable to each other in order to succeed and we really learned a lot about each other.”
- Brian Shih
"Reach Your Peak was a great team building experience for my department and a way to start a conversation about being healthier by moving more and eating better. I felt extremely proud of my team week after week when I saw their step counts and, of course, when we won!"
- Meredith Price, MS, RD, CDN
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai
"It was a lot of fun, it changed our daily routines in a healthy and active way."
- Steve Fecteau
Talent Development & Learning, Human Resources
If you have questions about Reach Your Peak or for more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.