"Blueprint to Wellness 2023"
ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
August 2023
The shareable link (printable) for this issue:
For complete member services visit us at: www.eshca.org
Life's Essential 8 (AHA)

The Amercian Heart Association identifies 8 key measures for cardiovascular health. "Taking Action" on the topics listed below lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other major health problems (click on each to download the 1 page AHA pdf):
The Wellness Paradigm
Ultra Processed Foods:
How prevalent are they?

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is rich in processed food, correlating with weight gain and the increasing incidence of chronic diseases. Foods range from minimally to ultra processed. Ultra processed are the most detrimental containing extreme amounts of sugar, sodium, fat, and potentially dangerous chemicals. A recent study (2021) examined how prevalent ultra processed foods have become in the SAD.

Research findings (NYU study - review):
  • 1) Not surprising: 70% of calories consumed in the US come from processed food.
  • Even some whole foods are "minimally processed."

  • 2) Alarming: Ultra Processed Foods make up 57% of all calories consumed!
  • Ultra processing is linked to obesity and chronic disease.

  • 3) Recognize: Food is "big business", addicted consumers drive profit! Ultra processing improves flavor and shelf-life.
  • Additives include various chemicals along with excessive sugar, sodium, and fat.

Strategies to reduce ultra processed foods...


  • B) Try the "TrueFood Tech" online tool to determine the quality of your choices compared to other products.
  • Web search: "TrueFood Tech"
$25 "Take Action" Challenge: Fasting to Lower Blood Sugar!!!
This is oversimplified but blood sugars "build up and accumulate" in the body over time. Meaning, to lower blood sugar, one would starve it out (nutrition) and burn it off (exercise). What does it mean to "starve it out":

  • Reduce excess sugar in the diet (rda for women < 25g/day; men < 36g/day)
  • 1) Replace sugar sweetened beverages with water!
  • 2) Replace ultra processed carbs with fresh vegetables and fruit!
  • 3) Use "Intermittent Fasting"!


Fasting is measured from the time of your last meal to the time of your next meal. There are several "intermittent fasting" intervals. Review the "16/8 Plan" I used leading up to my annual physical.

For the purposes of this challenge, think of fasting as "eliminating night snacks".
  • For example, a 12 hour fast would mean dinner was at 6pm and breakfast the following morning was at 6am.

  • 1) Record 12 days when you did not eat between the hours of 7pm and 6am.
  • Adjust times to meet your schedule if necessary.
  • 2) Download and record on the Intermittent Fasting Log.
  • If you are unable to print, make your own log or send me the information within the text of an email, I will take it.
  • 3) Challenge note: although all members of the household are encouraged to participate only 1 incentive card can be issued to each member-household with the exception that more than one employee-member lives in a given household.
Get your crew involved!!!
  • Take the lead, be a "Wellness Champion". Encourage the members of your crew to participate in newsletter challenges, have a group discussion and complete the challenge as a team. Complete the challenge, fill out one worksheet, put everyone's name on it, and send it in!!!