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Faculty/Staff

Joanne Samuels

Assistant Professor
Nursing
Years Worked at UNH: 
7
Healthy Eating and Active Living
What does health mean to you?: 
Health means that I can do what I want, when I want.
How do you stay fit?: 
I life an active lifestyle. I spin two to three times per week and lifet weights twice per week. On weekends in the summer I bike and kayak, and in the winter I will bike if there is no ice on the roads. I also cross country ski and snowshoe. I try to eat right, especially during the week, but on the weekends I have to admit to a few extra calories.
Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: 
Just do the best you can. I started by weighing and measuring everything to obtain a sense of portion size. Unfortunately, I have to admit that there is more than ½ cup in a large bowl of ice cream. Next I eliminated all saturated fat and salt, and minimized as best I could white flour and white sugar. I also bring my food to work – even coffee. It takes a little bit of planning, but it not only saves calories but a whole bunch of money.
How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: 
Truly, I don’t think I have the strength or courage it takes to be sick. I could never stick to a regime of medications, doctor visits, etc. Rehabilitation is hard work. I also really like the feeling of being strong.
Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: 
Absolutely. After lifting the veil of denial (mirrors lie, pictures don’t) I started to address my eating habits. The fight continues, but I did manage to get my blood pressure down without medications. I also started taking supplements like omega 3 and 6 and daily vitamins. I have been exercising since college, so that was a plus.
Anything else you would like to add?: 
Changing your lifestyle and resisting the ever present temptations requires daily vigilance. The important thing is that people get back on the wagon after they may falter occasionally. Changes happen slowly despite our need for immediate reinforcement, but the rewards and the feeling of accomplishment is great and can fuel future successes. I do some of my best thinking when at an exercise peak. It is very cool. Ride like a girl!

Laura Davie

Project Director
NH Institute for Health Policy and Practice
Years Worked at UNH: 
9
Healthy Eating and Active Living
What does health mean to you?: 
Health is a combination of feeling physically fit, having good “numbers” (like blood pressure and cholesterol), and feeling well mentally.
What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?: 
I consider the cost of services across different providers when I need care, see a chiropractor on a regular bases, take advantage of the exercise opportunities on campus, eat healthy foods, and listen to music when I am getting stressed at work.
How do you stay fit?: 
Right now I am biking a lot but I also hike, use the elliptical machine, lift weights, stretch, Pilates, and walk the dog.
Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: 
The key for me is to not have unhealthy things in the house or in the office. If I can see it, I will eat it.
How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: 
I just feel better when I am exercising and my clothes fit.
Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: 
Recently, I significantly reduced the amount of caffeinated diet soda I was drinking (down to one a day!). While I still drink coffee, I have not increased my coffee intake. I feel more rested in the morning and have fewer energy swings during the day.

Sinthy Kounlasa

Administrative Assistant III
Accounting/Finance and Decision Sciences
Years Worked at UNH: 
29
Healthy Eating and Active Living
What does health mean to you?: 
It means feeling like a billion bucks! You can buy medicine, but you can't buy good health.
What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?: 
I organized a speed work out/running group here at UNH more than 10 years ago. I started with few friends and now my group is growing strong (15 to 25 runners each time.) We meet every Wednesday at 12:00 noon [throughout the year, yes.] We run in the indoor track in the winter, outdoor track, or through town, or in College Woods during summer months. My group consists of runners from different walks of life, different speed/pace and different towns. We don’t judge but we encourage and support one another – either in a group run or in races. We match up with runners who run the same pace. No one need run alone in this group-run unless he/she chooses to. ***** I encourage others to work out at the Swasey Pool regularly. Every time you get in the pool, you get a core workout - even if you can't swim. ***** In order to motivate myself and others, I hang all my medals and trophies in my office where I or others can see. They are good reminders to get out there and train.
How do you stay fit?: 
I am so happy that the “Wildcat Workout Project” is now available to all employees. This workout helps me to become a stronger person physically. And it helps reducing/minimizing my injuries [since I hardly stretch before my runs or my races]. It is a good way to make new friends and meet old friends from different departments. And it is the best way to start my day with a workout like this with a great group of people! THANK YOU Wildcat Workout Project! ***** I've done running races ranging from 5Ks to 100k trail races and have even run some mountains: Loon, Cranmore, Mt. Washington, Pack Manadnock, and Jay Mountain. I have done 4 sprint triathlons, one international triathlon, and one Half Iron Man triathlon (4 times). I also enjoy snowshoe running/racing, have qualified for National and I went to it (Bend, Oregon in 2013).
Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: 
I avoid eating out - especially at fast food restaurants. The best thing about eating at home is that when I cook, I know that what I'm eating is healthy and clean because I am in control of the ingredients.
How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: 
Motivation comes from being a grandmother. I need to set a good example to all of my children and grandchildren. I want to be healthy so that I can help take care of my grandchildren and to live long enough to see them in college and have their own families.
Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: 
Yes! It shows and I can feel it!
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