Tag Archives: healthy eating

5 Steps to Wellness: A Commonsense Rx


Wellness without any pills, potions, or procedures? It can be possible according to CAPT George Ceremuga, DO.

Before his current assignment, Dr. Ceremuga was the Chief of the Integrative Holistic Medicine program at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. He led the inpatient substance abuse program where they had a saying:

“Just for today, do the next right thing and good things happen.”

New health data released late 2015 shows that we need this advice now more than ever.

A Generation in Distress

For the first time in decades, mortality rates have increased for middle-aged non-Hispanic white men and women.[i] Mid-life distress is on the rise as can be seen by “declines in self-reported health, mental health, and ability to work, increased reports of pain, and deteriorating measures of liver function” (Case et al., 2015, p. 1).

But in the midst of this distressing news is a kernel of hope.

Overwhelming evidence shows that good lifestyle choices in diet, physical activity, tobacco and alcohol use, stress management and social connections improve overall health and reduce the impact due to chronic illness and mental disease.[ii]

This means that the choices you make today matter.

5 Steps to Wellness

Dr. Ceremuga’s prescription for wellness includes 5 simple and common sense choices. But choosing healthy habits takes discipline especially since our medical system can make you feel that your health is outside of your control. But most of this time, that’s not true. Studies have shown that up to 70% of health comes from everyday decisions.

As the New Year brings a moment of reflection, consider Dr. Ceremuga’s 5 Pillars of Wellness:

1. You are what you drink.

The human body is made up of 60-70% water. Sufficient water intake impacts weight loss, muscle fatigue, skin health, kidneys, bowel function and more. Remember to drink water by carrying it with you everywhere you go and drink it with every snack and meal. Continue reading “5 Steps to Wellness: A Commonsense Rx” »

Building Confidence in the Kitchen

TK SAT-32 vegetables

TK SAT-11 Fennel“How many of you know what this is?” said Chef Woods, the instructor of the Samueli Institute’s Teaching Kitchen program at Joint Base San Antonio, as she held up a bulb of fennel.

A few tentative hands went up and the rest of the room was befuddled. Many of them had just unknowingly devoured a dish of poached tilapia with fennel and white beans. That is, after they had whipped out their iPhones to take photos of the beautiful healthy feast.

Learning about healthy ingredients as well as how to cook them, is part of a multi-faceted approach to lifestyle education that focuses on building culinary, nutrition, exercise and mindfulness skills to increase health, resilience and wellness.

Making Food Approachable

Expert chefs, one military and one civilian, make ingredients and cooking approachable. Participants learn the whys and hows behind previously intimidating cooking techniques like sauté, short-poach and en papillotte; dishes/ingredients like homemade stocks, aoli, court-bouillon and chia seeds; and kitchen tools like fish spatulas, cartouches and immersion blenders. Continue reading “Building Confidence in the Kitchen” »

Mind Tactics for Better Sleep, Nutrition and Performance

mindful eating TK

Can eating a single dried strawberry improve your overall health? As part of Samueli Institute’s Teaching Kitchen, a 12-week experiential learning program, service members and their spouses learned how eating consciously is part of a healthy lifestyle.

Too often, because of the hustle and bustle of daily life, food is consumed without even a thought. You eat what’s put in front of you without thought to whether you are hungry or when you become full.

This is especially true for the high-speed lives of service members and their families. Continue reading “Mind Tactics for Better Sleep, Nutrition and Performance” »

Cooking for Health in the Military


Samueli Institute, in collaboration with the office of the U.S. Army Surgeon General, embarked on a pilot project to investigate whether an integrated training approach involving culinary skills, nutritional science, behavioral coaching, mindfulness and exercise is feasible to implement and impactful in a military environment.

“If large numbers of possible recruits are ineligible to serve, and poor activity and nutrition discipline impacts the readiness of those that do enter military service, then the issue is not just a matter of National health; it is a matter of National security.” U.S. Army Surgeon General Lieutenant General Patricia D. Horoho

Continue reading “Cooking for Health in the Military” »

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