DMC Health & Wellness

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Try, and If You Don’t Succeed, Try Again

For many of us, sticking to a routine is important; we take the same route to work, park in the same parking spot, eat the same foods, talk to the same people. The list goes on and on and really becomes second nature. It is estimated that you need to repeat something at least 20x for it to become part of your routine. This means whether or not the habit is good or bad, it takes repetition. Once that repetition is set, it can easily become a habit, allowing you to do without actually having to think about it.

Learning new habits or trying something new can be refreshing and may lead to trying other things. Many people have bucket lists of things they want to accomplish or see, and most require you to change something or try something new. One major key to learning new habits is to be aware of your current habits and what will need to change to get you going in the direction you want. You also want to find support from family and friends that can encourage you and support your changes.

This month’s Healthy at Tenet challenge is to Learn New Habits with these simple steps:

1. Identify the obstacle- Acknowledge that an unwanted habit exists.

2. Become mindful- Stop what you are doing when you do the unwanted habit.

3. Envision the new- Take the time to stop and envision your new habit.

4. Clear the space- Set a date to end the habit and remove anything associated with the habit.

5. Fill the void- Once you remove the unwanted habit, fill it with the new habit.

6. Surround yourself with healthy people- Support, support, and more support.

Stick with these tips from this month’s Healthy at Tenet newsletter and you will be on your way to ending unwanted habits and routines, and on your way to checking off those bucket list items you have always wanted to do.



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No Winter Lasts Forever, and Spring Never Misses A Start

Opening Day is upon us in just a few short days, even with the lingering effects of Winter still grasping on to much of the nation. With Spring comes longer days, warmer temperatures, and new beginnings. For some, these alone will bring a smile to your face and brighten your day. For others, the still cold temperatures, the threat of more snow, on top of the stressors of family and work still tend to bring you down.

Happiness comes in all shapes and sizes, from finding a good comedy show, spending time with loved ones, or even listening, better yet, singing along to your favorites song. One popular social media tactic that is popular right now is #ThrowbackThursdays. Simply put, you find pictures from your younger days and post them to your social media sites. Finding childhood pictures of yourself will immediately bring a smile to your face.  Often times, doing good deeds for others will help to boost your mood, like donating to charities, or helping a neighbor by bringing their trash can in on trash pickup day. Leave a co-worker or a close friend a joke on their voicemail and wait for them to respond.

The possibilities are really endless when you begin to think of things that make you smile, but often times get lost in the hustle and bustle of managing work and life. For those of you that are still under the winter blues, there are many small things that may add up to help you find happiness. And, as our Detroit Tigers will take to Comerica Park this upcoming week, just remember that Spring never sits the bench and your happiness shouldn’t either.

In good health,

Craig DeLeon


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New Year, New Workspace

As the new year is upon us, also comes renewed promises to get back to a healthier lifestyle, by making the promise to exercise more and eat better. Most often the eat better means going on a diet, and there are so many diets out there. The word diet in itself makes most health professionals cringe. Why? A diet is a restriction of calories by avoiding foods, and although diets often do work short-term, long-term success on a diet just does not exist. So what can you do?

A great place to start is where you spend a large majority of time; your workspace. Today, for the most part, many are constantly connected to a screen whether it is a computer screen, a mobile phone, or other device. This allows you to complete more work, but it also sets you up just shovel anything and everything into your mouth that you can. Eating while you work doesn’t allow for you to connect with how much and what you are eating. This leads to overeating, and overeating the wrong kinds of foods.


Try these tips for improving your workspace in relation to food intake:

1. Pack your food the night before– preparation will lead to better choices

2. Step away from your screen– utilize break rooms, cafeterias, or other common areas

3. Turn your computer monitor off– disconnect for 20-30 minutes a day

4. Moderation– do not store bulk foods, only have snack sizes on hand

5. Drink water– staying hydrated will help you feel less hungry throughout the day


In Good Health,


Craig Deleon is Corporate Director of Health and Wellness and Detroit Medical Center. Craig can be reached at

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Trending Now

Trending Now: Sales of Diet Soda Down Year After Year

When DMC announced the 61 Day Challenge of saying no to soda and fried foods, there were two immediate responses; I can’t give those up, and what about diet soda. The goal was to give up all soda even diet, and there was even a push to try and eliminate energy drinks altogether.

 A recent report just announced that for the 9th straight year, diet soda sales continue to decline rapidly. This year alone diet soda sales are down 7% from last year. Regular soda is also down this year by 2%. So why is this trend occurring?

 Last week, we learned about the 4 Pillars of Healthy Eating. At the center of the 4 Pillars is to consume foods that are made by nature, not convenience foods made in factories. There seems to be growing concern about where our food comes from and what is added to it. This also includes beverages, and diet soda has long used ingredients like aspartame to add that sweet flavor without the calories. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener, so by definition of the 4 Pillars, this does not meet the first pillar.  

 So with year after year declines in sales for almost an entire decade, what are people drinking now? Energy drinks have been on the rise for quite some time, but there has also been a surge in something very simple. Water is crucial for our body to perform essential functions such as digestion, proper brain function, and to regulate body temperature. Currently at Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, there is a challenge going on for all employees to drink at least 32 ounces of water a day. This may seem like a lot of water for some, but there are many ways to get in your 32 ounces of water in a day. Try these 4 tips for drinking more water and join along with the staff at RIM for December’s Water Challenge.

 1. Purchase a reusable BPA Free water bottle

2. When you see a water fountain, stop and take a drink

3. Add fruit to your water to give it flavor

4. Make it a goal to drink one glass of water in the morning and one glass before bed

In Good Health,


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Up and Away-Moving Beyond Fried Foods and Soda Pop

As we move into the final 30 days of the 61 Day Challenge, the urge to grab a soda or order up that fried food favorite should be getting a little easier to conquer. For many people, targeting a specific item(s) to eliminate from their diet will lead to more changes in the way you select, prepare, and eat foods. Educating yourself on the source of your foods, and what they go through before they reach your table will have lasting effects for you and your family.

One great tool to start with is the Whole Foods “4 Pillars of Healthy Eating.” Dr. Akua Woolbright of Whole Foods Detroit, recently presented the 4 Pillars to a group of community members and DMC employees.  Below is a summary of the 4 Pillars and how you can continue moving away from over processed and high sugar foods and beverages to a more nutrient-dense diet.

There are Four Pillars to consider when transitioning to a healthful diet.


Whole Foods: Consume foods that are made by nature, not convenience foods made in factories. Consume mainly foods that your great, great-grandmother would have recognized and been able to prepare in her kitchen. Most instant side dishes, breakfast bars, snack items, cold cereals, and frozen or boxed meals do not fit into this category.



Plant-Strong: Build every meal around a rainbow of colorful plant foods that include green and colorful vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans and peas, and a few nuts and seeds. Increase the number of colors you consume during each meal to boost your overall nutrient intake.




Healthy Fats: It is important to consume healthy fats from whole, plant foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados. The average person, with a largely sedentary lifestyle, only needs about 1 oz. of nuts and seeds, (half a handful), 1 tsp. of flaxseed or chia seed powder or just ½ an avocado per day. While these foods are great sources of healthy fats, they are also very high in calories. Eating too many over a period of time can lead to unwanted weight gain. Remember, the fat you eat is the fat you wear. There is no way around this fact.



Nutrient Dense: By building meals around the first three pillars, the fourth pillar happens automatically, our foods become micro-nutrient dense, meaning exceptionally high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, nutrients known to help prevent and reverse disease, and exceptionally low in calories, fat and cholesterol. When we reach this point, our food becomes our medicine.


So, get the biggest bang for every bite by using these Four Pillars, Whole Foods—Plant Strong—Healthy Fats—Nutrient Dense, when planning and preparing meals for your family. They may help you feel better, look younger, gain more energy, and possibly live longer.

For more information about Whole Foods Market’s healthy eating program, recipes, and tips for getting started please visit: for more health information. 

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Substitute Your Starters This Thanksgiving

There are two things constant with Thanksgiving in Detroit, Football and large gatherings of friends and family for great tasting food. Thanksgiving has loads of favorites from stuffing and greens, to pies and turkey. As we finish out the first month of the 61 Day Challenge, substituting ingredients or changing your method of preparing your dishes is easier than you think. Better yet, most often the flavor will still be plentiful.

It has become largely popular these days to deep fry the turkey. Though this speeds up cooking time and adds great flavor, it also adds large amounts of fat. Per serving you can be adding anywhere from 4-9 grams of additional fat. Doesn’t seem like much? One serving is 3.5 ounces or the weight of 4 quarters. Are you going to have one serving? Probably not. This is where unwanted calories really start to stack up. Traditional roasting of a turkey allows fat to drain off while still maintaining moisture and allows you to keep that old family recipe going by adding flavor while roasting.

If you still plan on taking in that deep-fried turkey and also want to cut unneeded calories, try these tips for limiting excess fat intake during your Thanksgiving dinner:

1. Substitute skim or non fat dairy products in recipes. Regular evaporated milk has 19 grams of per cup compared to a 1/2 gram for non-fat. It will be almost impossible to taste the difference.

2. Make the meat portion, the side dish. High density carbohydrates like leafy vegetables, squash, string beans, and berries are great sources to fill your plate with first. Next make selections of any starchy carbohydrates, followed by a “side” of meat.

3. Save room for desert. You made a commitment with your main dish and now you are on to the really good stuff, enjoy it rather than forcing it down because you ate too much at dinner. 

4. Remember, there is always tomorrow. Some of the best foods are always just as good the second time around, so no need to “stuff” yourself like a turkey.

5. Cheer for your Detroit Lions every chance you get!!!!!!

In Good Health,


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Insight Into Food Cravings

Ask most people the question, “What are your food cravings?” and they most likely are able to rattle off more than just one. Even more alarming, is the types of foods found commonly on food cravings lists. You will be hard pressed to find someone who reaches for a carrot stalk or a handful of grapes when they are trying to satisfy a craving.

 Top food items most common on people’s list are:

  • Potato Chips
  • French Fries
  • Chocolate
  • Ice Cream
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Pizza 

One common theme that you may notice with the foods listed above is that these foods are heavy on the carbohydrates, right? Only part right. These foods actually are in a class alone as providing more calories from fat than from carbohydrates. Often times, food cravings come at a time of stress, boredom, or depression. Why is that? The answer may have something to do with a hormone called cortisol. 

Cortisol is a hormone secreted from the adrenal glands. One primary role for cortisol is to increase blood sugar to be used as energy by the body and help with the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins when stressors are encountered. This may be why when we are stressed, we reach for high fatty foods like those listed above. These foods provide an abundance of energy, usually more than we can burn off. Additionally, prolonged stress can lead to high levels of cortisol in the body which can block the release of leptin and insulin, which help to signal our brain to stop eating.

Food cravings and stress usually go hand in hand, and combating, or, being prepared when we are stressed may help to fight reaching for food to try to cope. Finding the best stress management techniques may be an answer to fighting those high fat cravings. Try these stress management techniques below and be prepared for that next food craving for high fat, high calorie foods:

1. Avoid unnecessary stress

2. Alter the situation

3. Accept the things you cannot change

4. Make time for fun, exercise, and relaxation


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