Promoting overall wellness for our youth

Article by Micheal Rios; photos by Micheal Rios and courtesy of Sarah Sense-Wilson

Promoting the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of today’s youth, especially teenagers, is largely a labor of love. It’s difficult enough getting them to give their social media accounts a break, put their cellphones away, and actually focus on educational activities, let alone holding their attention long enough to get them to interact in a group setting. Yet, it is in the commitment to our youth, to their well-being and personal growth that brings about positive changes in lifestyle, relationships, and overall wellness.

Enter the Tulalip Tribes 5th Annual Wellness Conference and its dedicated day, May 16, to promoting overall wellness to our community’s youth.

“Our youth flourish when provided guidance, tools, resources, and encouragement. They thrive when we set good examples of self-care, and live by example. Our individual and collective actions are always far more meaningful and impactful when we are embracing challenges, and having an open mind for learning and taking the time to nurture healthy relationships,” eloquently states Sarah Sense-Wilson, Wellness Conference Coordinator. “I believe our conference really embodies these values and the presenters and workshop leaders exemplify traditional and cultural values we want our children and youth to follow.”

Approximately 90 students from Heritage High School, Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Totem Middle School, and Marysville Middle School were shuttled to the event hosted within the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Orca ballroom. The adolescent youth were treated to a large and healthy buffet-style breakfast after filling out their registration cards and putting on a name tag. As they settled in keynote speaker Layha Spoonhunter (Eastern Shoshone, Northern Arapaho, Oglala Lakota) took center stage.

Layha is a youth consultant, motivational speaker, Two Spirit Native citizen, and vocal advocate for Two Spirit people. He provided honest, open and engaging discussion on LGBTQI (a common abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersexed community), Two Spirit, and Allyship advocacy.

Layha describes Two Spirit as a “person who has both masculine and feminine identities.” He says it is a spiritual term that encompasses Native culture, language and history. His expertise and experience as a youth spokesperson and advocate for Native youth empowerment bridges differences and strengthens relationships among groups of community members. Layha offered his story as an example for other young LGBTQI and Two Spirit individuals to express themselves and embrace their identities.

“Build an environment of fairness and openness within your community. Stand up against stereotypes and racism. Stand up against bigotry and discrimination,” resounded Layha to his largely youth audience. “Take pride in your identity and use it to make positive change.”

Following the keynote address, the youth were given the choice of three interactive and experiential based workshops to attend. The three diverse workshop presenters were specifically chosen for their ability to reach our Native youth in a variety of ways.

Credentialed Native American mental health specialist and award-winning artist LisaNa Red Bear offered her workshop attendees the opportunity to create a mural art project. Participants engaged in three experiential learning art exercises that support a better understanding of complications associated with smoking. The hands-on creative art project was a hit, as the Native youth’s artistic abilities shined.

“We see an amazing level of creativity expressed by youth who engage in artistic activities. When they allow themselves to imagine and sit still long enough to allow that creativity to flow through them, the results can be awe-inspiring,” reflects LisaNa on the impact of her art mural workshop. “Young people have creativity inside them, innately, and it just depends on whether or not it’s nurtured or repressed.”

Grammy award-winning artist Star Nayea led a Project R.I.S.E Up workshop. She empowered the youth to create video vision statements that involved creating handheld signage decorated with personalized cultural artwork. Participants then took turns filming their own P.S.A. style videos. Star’s unique ability to reach youth and engage them in expressing their ideas, thoughts and feelings led to some amazing video production both individually and collectively. The youth offered messages of hope, vision and inspiration for believing in yourself and living a drug free life.

“Kids just want to know that we, as adults and teachers, are legit. They want to know that we are there for all the right reasons, that we care about them, and that they can thrive from the knowledge and experience we offer,” says Star. “It’s so important for their voices to be heard and for their faces to be seen as they speak the words. It’s one thing to have thoughts and a whole other thing to rise up and share those thoughts, to inspire. In making the P.S.A. videos they help to inspire one another and their community.”

The third workshop option was called In the Spirit of the Story. The tradition of storytelling is a way of passing down, teaching vital lessons, and of course entertainment with a purpose. Gene Tagaban (Tlingit) is an incredibly skillful, knowledgeable and talented storyteller who led this workshop. Using story as a medium for empowerment and self-expression, Gene connected with participants in a deep and meaningful way which transcends all generational differences. The power of storytelling was illuminated through his interactive workshop as a tool for teaching, healing and growing.

“Offering our youth a range of different interactive workshops was intentional and purposeful. We are always wanting to reach our youth for supporting their interests and appeal to their generational issues,” explains Sarah on the importance of workshop variety when working with youth. “Community wellness requires positive action, not passive existence. Some have to work harder because we are up against more barriers, walls, and obstacles. Nonetheless, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our youth, and our community to strive to do better and be better.”

Concluding the youth wellness day was a very special Native Hoop Dance

performance by Tulalip tribal member Terry Goedell. Several youth were brave enough to join Terry on stage and receive a tutorial on hoop dancing basics.

There’s a popular saying in Native communities, “be careful in the decisions we make today as they will impact the 7th generation – our grandchildren’s grandchildren, grandchildren.” Respect for this wisdom continues to guide events like the annual Wellness Conference, where a commitment to preparing Native youth for a brighter future is on full display.

Family Voices: Building Support to Achieve Goals

Family Voices facilitators Ashley Tiedeman and Sasha Smith.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Family Haven recently introduced a new program to the Tulalip community known as Family Voices. The program implements the WrapAround process while catering to Tulalip youth and families. Initially introduced nationwide in the 1980’s, WrapAround is a four-phase process that helps struggling individuals and families set, define and achieve personal goals by setting up proper support systems, or teams. These teams consist of two types of support, natural support (friends and family) and professional support (counselors and/or therapists), who work together to ensure clients remain steadfast on achieving their goals and also that the entire team is on the same page, much like a multidisciplinary team.

Family Voices is open to all tribal members from the Tulalip community and works primarily with youth facing adversity, around the age of thirteen and older, who are in the system or are frequently truant from school; as well as families who are looking to reconnect, heal and rebuild together.

The program empowers their clients by allowing them to create their own team, comprised of the various trusted members who will assist them throughout the process, such as beda?chelh caseworkers, school counselors, coaches, friends, parents and siblings. By creating a team, the client is held accountable and has the ability to consolidate multiple meetings, which would normally be held on various days throughout each week, into a few meetings per month. The meetings allow the support team an opportunity to find ways each member can assist the client achieve their goals and meet deadlines as well as continue to promote positive vibes and encouragement.

Family Voices facilitators, Sasha Smith and Ashley Tiedeman, explain that the program focuses on the client’s interests and strengths while setting goals. For example, if a client is interested in art or music, the facilitators encourage them to use their creativity as a tool or outlet to reach their ambitions.

“That’s what our position is – to bring everyone together but also make sure the client is getting listened to and that their voice is the one leading the WrapAround process,” said Ashley. “The really cool thing is, especially for clients who are working with multiple programs, they often have people telling them what they need to do. Family Voices is the exact opposite of that. We ask, ‘what does the client want in their life?’  Then we bring in all these people that are saying what they can and cannot do. And often for the first time, they get to listen to the client’s needs, allowing us to meet half way and get things done, but still make sure it’s done with the client’s say-so and make sure it is getting done their way. Because it can be tough having people tell you what to do all the time.”

The program’s length varies as the WrapAround process is client-driven and based on the individual’s goals and needs. Clients typically utilize the program until their personal goal is met. Currently Family Voices has clients on WrapAround plans from nine months up to three years. The team meets on a regular basis, wherever the client is most comfortable such as schools, homes and even Starbucks – initially around twice a week, switching to monthly meetings around six months into the process.

Sasha states, “We are here to guide rather than tell [the client] what to do and make sure they are being heard and supported.”

For additional information about the program please contact the Family Voices Facilitators Sasha Smith (360) 716-4404 or Ashley Tiedeman (360) 716-5719.

Health Clinic program recognized for excellence

\Veronica Leahy (Diabetes Program Coordinator), Monica Hauser (Diabetes Nurse Educator) and Natasha LeVee (Clinical Pharmacist) accept a Recognition of Excellence award on behalf of the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program.
Photo/Tulalip News

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing federal health services to 2.2 million Native Americans belonging to 567 federally recognized Tribes. IHS is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate for Native people, and its mission is to raise their physical, mental, social, and spiritual health to the highest possible level.

On the Tulalip Reservation, the Karen I. Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic is an extension of IHS. The Health Clinic makes it possible to ensure comprehensive, culturally acceptable personal and public health services are available and accessible to tribal members living on or around the reservation.

On Friday, May 12, the IHS Portland Director’s Recognition of Excellence Ceremony was held in downtown Portland, Oregon. Among the very deserving awardees in attendance were familiar faces from the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic. They were there to be recognized for excellence and to accept a Portland Area Director’s Award on behalf of the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program.

The IHS Portland Area covers all federal and tribal health clinics servicing Native Americans within the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Among all those health clinics and programs therein, only fifteen groups were recognized and given a Director’s Award.

“Personally, I feel very humbled and honored to receive this award and am grateful to [Director of Clinical Services] Dr. Cooper for taking the time to nominate our team,” said Monica Hauser, RN, CDE, and Certified Diabetes Educator. “I am extremely proud of our diabetes prevention team and am so happy this team has been recognized for everyone’s hard work and dedication to the people of this community.”

“I thought of all of the people who worked in this program before us. I felt their presence in this ceremony and I thank them for their efforts,” added Veronica Leahy, Diabetes Program Coordinator. “My hope is more of our people will come and receive the care and teachings from these truly caring and knowledgeable providers.”

The Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program is a culturally-grounded, comprehensive program for the treatment of diabetes, and promotion of long-term holistic health. Increasing community participating in health promotion activities has been a staple of the program. Components including individualized case management by certified diabetes educators, continuing education provider-led classes, support groups, Diabetes Day events, and Wellness Trail activities have all achieved the goal of increasing community awareness and engagement in healthy activities.

The Wisdom Warrior program tailored to local community needs has become a major hit. Wisdom Warriors includes a 6-week Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Plan as well as monthly Provider Classes on holistic health related and medical topics. Activities include field trips to the mountains for low-impact day hikes, Medicine Wheel garden classes, support of six tribal department gardens, cooking demonstrations and classes for all ages.

Upcoming Diabetes Prevention Program events include:

  • Garden Day – June 3rd (at Youth Services)
  • Monthly Wisdom Warrior Provider Class – June 8th
  • Diabetes Day – June 15th
  • Medicine Wheel Garden Day – June 21st

For more information about the Diabetes Care and Prevention Program please contact Monica Hauser, (360) 716-5725, or Veronica Leahy, (360) 716-5642,

AgriCULTURE: Growing produce to promote healthy eating habits

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

At an amazing vantage point overlooking Tulalip Bay, community members met behind the Karen I Fryberg Health Clinic, on April 29, to attend the first Tulalip Bay Garden and Trail Class of the year.  The class is hosted by the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program and unites community members, youth to elders, to educate as well as promote both healthy eating and living habits by planting a variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

For centuries, Native American ancestors practiced sustainable agriculture as they incorporated the crops into their everyday diet. Due to events such as the Indian Removal Act and Assimilation, many tribal nations lost the tradition of passing down ancestral knowledge, regarding the growth and harvest of produce. This resulted in poor diets in many Native communities as they transitioned to the modern western diet of high saturated fats and empty carbohydrates. This diet often leads to diabetes, a disease that unfortunately continues to spread throughout Native America as studies show Indigenous People are twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease, as opposed to other cultures.

Since 2014, the Wellness Garden and Trail has been the outdoor homeroom to participants, many of whom faithfully attend the once-a-month classes between April and September. During each class, participants are presented with an opportunity to learn how to grow produce and are treated to a spectacular view of the bay while walking along the trail that connects the garden and the clinic. Dietician Susan Adams spoke to the community about the importance of proper nutrition and this year participants planted apple trees, carrots, onions, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, herbs and an assortment of over 14 berries including blueberries and goji berries.

Garden class participants are encouraged to start the day with a good stretch, by means of yoga, in the newly constructed Medicine Wheel Garden. Tulalip community member and Native American Yoga Instructor, Lisa Foster, provides information about the medicine wheel as she guides participants through each pose, making sure to face all four directions through each sequence.

Attendees were treated to a gift box full of fruits and vegetables donated by Klesick Family Farm as well as lunch, prepared during a live cooking demonstration by community member Brit Reed who is currently attending the Seattle Culinary Academy. During the upcoming months of June and July, Brit will offer cooking classes on Mondays at the Kenny Moses Building for the Diabetes Care and Prevention Program.

Dale Jones, Elder Advocate for the diabetes program states, “[The Tulalip Bay Garden and Trail Class] is here to help people eat right, make the right choices for their health and open their eyes to other choices than McDonalds. Teat-mus used to say ‘it’s pretty funny we have a clown that’s killing our people.’ With all the bad choices we make eating, we’re all guilty. But, we can teach our kids to live better lives than us.”

Tulalip tribal member Jose Diaz, who is only ten years of age, offered to perform the opening prayers as well as the meal blessings for each class held in 2017. Upcoming classes will be held on June 16, July 15, August 26 and September 30.

The diabetes program intends to begin weekday classes in the near future, geared towards adults, where attendees will be working exclusively in the Medicine Wheel Garden. The diabetes program also recently purchased the plants for many programs in Tulalip including the Betty J Taylor Early Learning Academy, the Boys and Girls Club, Youth Services as well as the Senior Center as they recently began growing plants and vegetables in their own gardens.

For additional information regarding Tulalip Bay Garden and Trail Classes and the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Program, please contact the Karen I Fryberg Health Clinic at (360) 716-4511.

Come one, come all to this year’s Wellness Conference

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The 5th Annual Tulalip Tribes Wellness Conference will be taking place at the Tulalip Resort Casino conference rooms on May 16 and 17. The entire community is welcome to attend this free event sponsored by the Problem Gambling and Smoking Cessation programs. Breakfast and lunch will be served on both days, along with a variety of speakers, activities, and workshops that focus on positive changes to live a healthy lifestyle.

“The Wellness Conference is such a good opportunity for our people to come together, visit, and enjoy each other’s company while learning new ways to live healthy,” says Frieda Williams, Tulalip elder and Community Relations Coordinator. “There will be so many good speakers and health experts there to answer any questions you might have about health related services the Tribes offers. Many services you may not be aware of so here’s the chance to learn about them.”

The conference’s second day, May 17, has been dubbed ‘community day’.

“Our Wellness Conference has confirmed a bevy of nationally acclaimed artists, leaders, performers and activists for our community day event,” stated Sarah Sense-Wilson, conference coordinator. “In addition, we will be offering ‘Essential Self-Care’ activities on day two of the conference with over 14 health enhancing, fun, rejuvenating and relaxing workshop stations.”

“We’re hoping to get a great response from the community and see many people attend,” adds Frieda. “There will be plenty of entertainers and activities planned, along with cultural workshops by Inez Bill and Virginia Jones from Hibulb and a healing circle by Deborah Parker. I can’t emphasize enough that the whole Tulalip community is welcome to come, registration is free the day of, so please come and enjoy our Wellness Conference.”

For Tulalip Tribes employees, the GM has approved the conference as a training eligible event. Meaning with supervisor approval you can submit a training and travel request to attend the Wellness Conference during work hours.

A New Vision for Tulalip: Everett Optometry Clinic Opens at Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic

The new optometry clinic offers a variety of frames from over thirty brands including Oakley, Ray Ban, Dolce & Gabana, Maui Jim, and the Native American eyewear company Aya.

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The Tulalip Tribes recently welcomed the Everett Optometry Clinic, this past November, to a new office located at the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic. For the past forty years, Everett Optometry has provided eye care services to Snohomish county residents. With numerous positive online reviews, the optometry clinic is a favorite among locals of the Everett area. By bringing their friendly customer service and making accountability top priority, Everett Optometry looks forward to a new outlook in eye care for the Tulalip community.

Eye health is often overlooked. In today’s society of constantly switching between phone, tablet, computer and TV screens it is important to take care of your eyes and visit the optometrist for an annual exam. During a comprehensive eye exam, an optometrist can determine if a patient requires prescription glasses or contact lenses as well detect early signs of diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts.

Diabetes and high blood pressure, both major health concerns across Native America, can cause damage to the eye vessels, and if untreated can lead to complete vision loss. Everett Optometry works with the Tulalip Health Clinic’s medical professionals to provide the best possible care under one umbrella to individuals living with diabetes or high blood pressure.

Dr. Rachel Spillane, Optometric Physician.A new vision for Tulalip: Everett Optometry Clinic opens at Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic

Optometric Physician, Dr. Rachel Spillane spoke of the importance of eye exams, “It’s just so critical at all ages, we are seeing everyone from two year-olds to ninety year-olds. Especially for kids right as they are entering school, we want to make sure they have the proper vision and their eyes are focusing properly so they will be able to learn.”

Children who are nearsighted, vision that causes far away objects to appear blurry, are able to express their visual impairment and therefore can be treated. However, children who see objects in the distance clearly but have trouble seeing closer items, or farsighted, may not communicate that they are having difficulties seeing properly. For this reason, it is important to get children’s eyes checked at a young age, preferably before heading into school. During the eye chart test, when patients read letters out loud from a distance, Dr. Spillane provides fun shapes such as animals for the younger children who may not know their alphabet yet. The optometry clinic also takes the time to discuss proper usage and safety for glasses and contact lenses with children.

In some cases, parents opt to wait to take their children to the optometrist until they are older, preventing the child from unlocking their full potential in school.

“We’ve been finding a lot of kids that are a little further along, I’d say about second grade, they’re really struggling. Their teachers have labeled them as problem children because they’re not able to focus and pay attention. And then I’ll do their exam and find out they can’t see anything. But at that age they don’t say what’s wrong. As an adult we’ll say, I have a headache, or the words are going in and out [of focus]. Kids won’t, they’ll just quit and go do other things,” she stated.

The new office has state of the art technology allowing Dr. Spillane the ability to perform a majority of the procedures at the clinic, with a few exceptions including Lasik Laser eye surgery, which can be performed at the Colby Avenue location. The optometry clinic also sees patients for infections such as pink eye, as well as emergency situations like cuts or eye bleeding.

Dispensing Optician, Dianna Felgar, assists during the process of choosing the perfect pair of frames, lenses, and contact lenses for each patient. The new optometry clinic offers a variety of frames from over thirty brands including Oakley, Ray Ban, Dolce & Gabana, Maui Jim, and the Native American eyewear company Aya.

Qualified patients may receive additional financial assistance through Tulalip’s Patient Assistance program. Gloria Beal, Paraoptometric at the clinic, works with finance and insurance companies to ensure the patient is receiving the funding they are eligible for, therefore allowing them to receive the care they require.

Currently the Everett Optometry Clinic is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. However, through an office cell phone where voicemail and text messages are encouraged, they are available to the Tulalip community at all times. Patients can also be seen Monday-Friday at the Everett location.

For additional information please contact (360) 716-4511, visit, or call/text their office cell phone (425) 314-1312.

In the Kitchen with Quinoa

Article and photo by Kalvin Valdillez

The word about Wellness Wednesday is spreading throughout the Tulalip community. Hosted by SNAP-ED every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at the Tulalip Administration Building, the event alternates weekly between live-cooking demonstrations and quick and effective workout regimens to promote healthy lifestyle choices for the busy workaholics with full schedules.

During the last week of March, SNAP-ED Coordinator AnneCherise Jensen whipped up a delicious southwest quinoa dish, to much approval from the Wellness Wednesday participants.  AnneCherise shares the many benefits of quinoa as well as the southwest quinoa recipe. Enjoy!

Quinoa: Quinoa is one of the oldest grains and has been around for centuries! Its history traces back to South America and South Africa, and has only been introduced to the United States as a “super food” within the last decade.

Quinoa is especially healthy because it is high in protein, healthy fats, insoluble fiber and various vitamins and minerals.

Protein: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of all tissues in our body. Some of the amino acids are referred to as “essential” because of our body’s inability to produce them, making it essential to acquire them from the diet. Quinoa contains more protein than both corn and brown rice, making it an excellent source of plant based protein. Quinoa is even considered a “complete” protein source, meaning it provides all the essential amino acids needed in our diet. For those who are vegetarian or vegan, Quinoa is an excellent way to get an adequate amount of protein through your diet.

Fat: Quinoa contains healthy fats, such as omega-3’s and omega-6’s that are extremely heart healthy! Consuming a diet high in omega-3’s and omega-6’s help lower bad cholesterol and prevents against heart disease.

Carbohydrates: Quinoa contains more fiber than brown rice. Quinoa is an excellent source of insoluble fibers which are great for keeping you fuller longer, keeping you regular, and can even help you lose weight.

Vitamins & Minerals: Quinoa is a good source of antioxidants and minerals, providing more magnesium, iron, fiber and zinc than many common grains.

How to COOK with Quinoa: Quinoa is easy to cook! It’s the same procedure as rice. Boil two cups of water for every 1 cup of dry quinoa. Add quinoa to boiling water; simmer heat with lid for 10-15 minutes until water is fully absorbed. Once it’s cooked, the possibilities are endless!

  • Quinoa is mild in flavor, and is a great addition to any salad!  Quinoa adds texture and an overall higher nutrient profile to any fruit or vegetable salad.
  • Quinoa is a great main ingredient for any casserole!
  • Quinoa is great in stir fry’s! Just substitute the rice in any of your favorite dishes!
  • Add quinoa to your morning egg scramble or omelet for even more super fuel!
  • Try baked Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and your favorite protein!
  • Bake with it! Add some quinoa to your zucchini, banana and carrot bread for extra health benefits!
  • Make it into a snack! Try Peanut Butter Quinoa Balls – only 2 ingredients, Peanut butter and Quinoa. Great after school snacks for your kids!

Southwest Quinoa


  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Black beans
  • ½ cup Cilantro, fresh leaves
  • 1 cup Corn, canned or roasted frozen kernels
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Lime, Juice of
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can Tomatoes,
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil or Canola oil
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)


  • Precook quinoa in a separate pan. Boil two cups water for one cup quinoa; simmer heat to low after adding in quinoa. Let sit until water is fully absorbed.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté’ garlic and onion, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add in drained and rinsed beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder into large skillet; season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Add the cooked quinoa into the large skillet. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro. Add cheese to the top for your liking (optional).
  • Serve immediately.

15-minute bodyweight workout for the win

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Whether you are a busy professional, student, or a stay at home parent, a 15-minute bodyweight workout can be the perfect solution for your exercise needs. Designed to be done pretty much anywhere with no fitness equipment and in enough time to squeeze into a customary work break, super short but non-stop workouts can be very effective for building strength and cardio endurance.

It may just be 15 short minutes, but the key is to make the workout intense by getting through each exercise as quickly as you can with minimal rest. If you want to make the workout longer, simply add more sets.

This workout style was demonstrated at the latest Wellness Wednesday, which takes place every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in room 264 at the Tulalip Tribes Admin Building. The 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month are designated to healthy cooking demonstration, while the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month are to teach the basic fundamentals of everyday fitness. Brought to you by SNAP-ED Coordinator AnneCherise Jensen, this free fitness demonstration is great exercise for anyone regardless of fitness level.

“Getting at least 15-minutes of intense exercise every day is one of the best ways to prevent chronic diseases from developing over time. Like they say, exercise really is the best medicine!” proclaims AnneCherise. “Getting in a 15-minute exercise will help you burn more calories throughout the day that will help you maintain a healthy body weight. Fifteen minutes of exercise will help stimulate various brain chemicals making you feel happier and more relaxed throughout the day.

“Studies have shown that exercising regularly helps manage both anxiety and depression.  A 15-minute exercise will get the heart rate up, which will naturally help prevent against heart disease and regulate good blood cholesterol. For those who are sedentary throughout the day and generally sit at a desk all day, getting in at least 15-minutes of exercise is especially important for obtaining good health.”

Among the Wellness Wednesday participants were tribal members and sisters, Shelbi and Celum Hatch. Following the short, intense workout Shelbi’s reaction was, “It was fun. The convenience is pretty ideal to have this offered at work because my issue lately is I can’t make it to the gym after work, can’t make it before, and if I do make it at lunch there’s barely enough time to get a workout in.”

Cooling down from the workout and feeling the immediate effects Celum added, “Yeah, my heart is racing pretty good and I have a good sweat going, so that proves the workout was effective. I thought it was a good class. It was convenient with location and time.”

This particular 15-minute workout will hit many of the different muscles in your core and legs. Get ready to work your obliques, lower abs, triceps, calves, hammies, and glutes. Working the muscles of your legs and the abs helps you maintain balance, good posture, and an overall strong physique. Plus, bodyweight exercises can challenge more of the body than a supported weight workout might. Here is a breakdown of the workout completed during the Wellness Wednesday fitness demo.

Warm Up: (2-3 minutes) 

  • 5 jumping jacks
  • 5 push ups
  • 5 sit ups

Routine: (8-10 minutes)

  • 60 seconds: Stretching
  • 30 seconds: Marching
  • 30 seconds: Stepping side to side with torso rotations
  • 30 seconds: Stepping side to side, kicking high knees, bringing arms up and down with each high knee.
  • 30 seconds: Step Touch, moving arms up and down with each step.
  • 30 seconds: Squat in place, keeping your spine and shoulders back.
  • 30 seconds: Marching with hands moving back and forth
  • 30 seconds: Stepping feet back to back while doing bicep curls with arms.
  • 30 seconds: Stepping feet back to back while doing triceps curls with arms.
  • 30 seconds: Marching with hands moving back and forth
  • 30 seconds: Stepping side to side, taking left elbow to right knee, and right knee to left elbow.
  • 30 seconds: Marching at a fast pace with various arm rotations.
  • 30 seconds: Step to step, tapping right hand to inside of your left ankle, then left hand to right ankle.
  • 30 seconds: Stepping side to side, pulling arms back at all times, with left calf back then right calf back.
  • 30 seconds: Multiple Squats while reaching your hands up and down.
  • 60 seconds: 20 jumping jacks

Cool Down: (2-3 minutes)

  • 30 seconds: Marching slowly in place
  • 30 second: Toe touch, head down, stretch the hamstrings.
  • 30 seconds: Standing side to side torso rotations
  • 60 seconds: Various yoga stretches


  • Always remember to breathe in and out. Good breathing is key to a successful workout
  • The more you move your arms throughout workout, the better the cardio workout. Remember, don’t stop moving!
  • Do this at your own fitness level; feel free to modify it to whatever you feel comfortable with. You don’t want to overdo it and hurt yourself.
  • Be sure to put on some up-beat music to get the energy flowing.