Written By: The Women’s Center staff
To help those we serve and those who work here make long-lasting nutrition and lifestyle choices that also enhance their well-being, The Women’s Center has established a variety of programs and initiatives related to health and wellness.
For our clients, we offer eight-week nutrition workshops several times a year through a partnership with the UW-Extension FoodWIse program. Provided in both English and Spanish, each session is taught by a trained Nutrition Educator and includes topics like “Plan, Shop, Save,” “Go Lean with Protein,” “Build Strong Bones,” and more, all focused on improving wellness and nutrition with music, movement, and fun activities.
This is a group that my clients really enjoy because [while] everyone talks about eating healthy and exercising, it’s different when someone actually takes the time to show you what that looks like. It’s a time for clients to come together and share their recipes, what works for them, and how they deal with picky eaters at home.The Women’s Center Bilingual Advocate
At the start of the workshop, participants document their health trends relating to food and exercise, then track their progress over the eight weeks, completing a form at the end of the program to see the impact their changes have had. Nutritional gifts are given out each week, and participants who attend all eight sessions receive a grocery gift card.
Additionally, we’re adding raised bed gardens to our outdoor area as both a sensory therapy for adult and child clients, as well as for the healthy vegetables the gardens will produce. Easy to water, harvest, and care for, the beds allow for a large yield of vegetables in a small space. Clients are encouraged go out for fresh air and fresh produce! For staff, wellness has become an important component of day-to-day work life. We have an active, staff-directed Wellness Committee, which plans on-site team building activities, coordinates off-site outings to help relieve stress, and identifies ways for the agency to support wellness, like providing healthy snacks and prizes for a Steps Challenge. Beyond the committee, our monthly all-staff meetings open with chair yoga or guided meditation, and each employee has a personal self-care plan, outlining ways to de-stress and stay healthy in body, mind and spirit.