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Stepping into wellness

First-year students learn about eating green, thinking healthy.

November 29, 2017

On Nov. 28 & 30, the Mount Wellness movement offered “Stepping into Wellness” events at both campuses – a practical health and wellness seminar for first-year students that featured an “Eat Green” healthy food fair and a healthy habits conversation with Chief Wellness Officer Bryant Adibe, MD, and Wellness Manager Alison Halpern, RD.

StepppingIntoWellness2 At the food fairs, students sampled a wide variety of nutritious and delicious snacks and meals. During the healthy habits conversation and Q&A, the two wellness leaders talked about taking a balanced, confident approach to making healthy eating choices. That begins, Halpern says, with knowledge and self-belief.

“You’re in control of your food choices and what you put into your bodies,” Halpern told students. “So, it’s really empowering that with this one aspect of health you’re in the driver’s seat, you’re in charge.”

And the emphasis, both speakers agreed, should not be on dramatic diet changes or short-term, difficult-to-follow plans. It should be about a bigger-picture, wellness-focused approach.

SteppingIntoWellness3“It’s not what we do during those once-in-a-while periods of time that matters,” Adibe said. “It’s what we’re doing consistently, over the long-term. That’s why Alison and I both believe that in order to be successful over the long term, you have to have flexibility. You have to be able to eat the things you love and not feel bad about having a sugary item from time to time. It’s all about balance, moderation and adding in the healthy items your body needs.”

Those items include fruits, vegetables, grains and, yes, plenty of greens. “A good rule of thumb is to make sure you’re eating food every day that looks like food,” noted Halpern, a registered dietician and certified health education specialist. “If it’s hard to know what your food is made of – what foods, animals or plants it came from – then you probably shouldn’t be eating a lot of it.” 

The “Stepping into Wellness” events are part of the University’s broader Mount Wellness movement, which encourages the entire Mount community to eat green, de-stress, sleep well and move more. To do so, Mount Saint Mary’s is providing a steady stream of activities, seminars and resources that are centered on inclusion, empowerment and personal wellbeing. Learn more at