Welcome to the Live Well Furman blog!  This blog is designed to help support healthy behaviors in the Furman community and beyond.  Be sure to sign up for our email subscription to have the latest campus wellness offerings, wellness news briefs, healthy meal ideas, and exercise tips delivered straight to your inbox each week!

Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner: Monday, November 23, Hartness Pavilion

D4L Special Thanksgiving


On Monday, November 23, Dining Services will be offering a Healthy Thanksgiving meal at 5:30 p.m. in Hartness Pavilion.


The event is FREE for the Furman community.


The tentative menu will include many delicious and healthy items.  Plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free items will be available for those on special diets.


Example offerings may include:



Quinoa Stuffing

Roasted Rosemary Carrots

Wild Rice “No Meat” Loaf

Cranberry Sauce

Stuffed Mushrooms (Grain Free)

Whole Wheat/Multigrain Dinner Rolls

Apple Cranberry Crisp

Sweet Potato Pie (Vegan)



Space is limited so be sure to click on the link below to reserve your space today:



Furman Culinary Club cooking workshop: “Farm to Table”

Furman students are invited to attend the next Furman Culinary Club cooking workshop:  “Farm to Table”.  This event is a celebration of local foods from the Furman Farm and Upstate community.

The workshop will be held from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 7 in the Plyer Hall Kitchen (by the greenhouse).

Students will work in small groups to prepare a dish.  Then we will share a healthy meal together.

Space is limited and reservations are required.  To reserve a space, please visit:


farm to table


Furman Dining for Life: Dinner & a Movie “Fed Up”



Furman Dining Services presents a Dining for Life event:  an educational dinner and movie.  On Wednesday, October 28, we will screen Katie Couric’s documentary “Fed Up”.  Fed Up discusses the obesity epidemic and particularly examines the influence of sugar in the diet.

Aramark Regional Dietitian Kelley Magowan and I will be facilitating discussion throughout the event.

Furman students and employees are invited to attend.  Space is limited.  To sign up, please click on the link below:



Fed Up promo

Meet the Fall 2015 FIT Rx Trainers!



This fall, thirteen Health Science majors are participating in the FIT Rx Internship in Individualized Exercise Prescription.  They will receive academic credit for learning how exercise is medicine and applying the fundamentals with our faculty, staff, and spouses.  As you can see, they are excited to help you begin or improve your exercise program.

I am pleased to introduce our Fall 2015 FIT Rx Trainers:

From left to right (top row):  Sarah King, Haley Holan, Molly Vernon, Kalie Hicks, Kelly Humes, Olivia Downing, MacKenzie Gaines

From left to right (bottom row):  Paige Bartholomew, Ashley Trice, Ashley Cookey-Gam, Bethelyn Brown, Jordan Ellis

Not pictured:  Macy McRaney

Paige Bartholomew (Senior)

Intended Career Path: Public Health

Favorite Healthy Food(s): Peaches

Exercise History: Running, basketball, soccer, swimming

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “I want to help people become healthier and achieve their fitness goals.”

Bethelyn Brown (Senior)

Intended Career Path: Nursing or Physical Therapy

Favorite Healthy Food(s): Carrots

Exercise History: Dancing for entire life, currently on Furman dance team, began running in college

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “I want to learn how to explain and prescribe exercise.  I want to instill the same passion I have for exercising in others.”

Ashley Cookey-Gam (Junior)

Intended Career Path:  Physical Therapy

Favorite Healthy Food(s): Salmon

Exercise History:  Various sports, weight training, currently on Furman’s lacrosse team

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “I love working out and I knew I would enjoy sharing my love for fitness with others.  It is also extremely rewarding to help and support people as they reach their goals.”

Olivia Downing (Senior)

Intended Career Path: Dentistry

Favorite Healthy Food(s): Carrots, apples

Exercise History: Various sports growing up, currently exercises in the PAC

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “I am interested in learning more about exercise and diet and the application of both of them.”

Jordan Ellis (Senior)

Intended Career Path:  Dentistry

Favorite Healthy Food(s):Very colorful salads and black bean cakes

Exercise History:  Basketball, football, sports, started a regimented weight training program in college

Why he wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “I am interested in helping the Furman community and giving back to the school that has given so much to me.”

MacKenzie Gaines 

Intended Career Path: Undecided

Favorite Healthy Food: Avocado and blueberries

Exercise History: Pure Barre, running

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “I love to be around people and hope I can help others love exercise as much as I do.”

Kalie Hicks (Junior)

Intended Career Path: Physical Therapy/ Sports Conditioning

Favorite Healthy Food(s): Any type of kale salad with salmon/ tilapia and steamed vegetables

Exercise History: Currently on Furman Softball team

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “I would like to gain more experience as an exercise trainer and I also love working with people.”

Haley Holan (Junior)

Intended Career Path: Public Health

Favorite Healthy Food(s): Strawberries

Exercise History: Club soccer, varsity cross country and track

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “Exercise is something that not only makes me strong and better physically, but also mentally.  I love that I will be able to share my passion with others!”

Kelly Humes (Senior)

Intended Career Path: Physical Therapy

Favorite Healthy Food(s): Avocado, apples

Exercise History: Various sports (volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, soccer), recently completed a Pure Barre and Group Exercise Certification class

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “I want the opportunity to work one on one with other people and learn more about the process of individualized training.”

Sarah King (Senior)

Intended Career Path:  Public Health

Favorite Healthy Food(s): Squash and spinach

Exercise History:  Various sports such as basketball and softball, currently exercises in the PAC, participates in intramural sports, and training for a half-marathon

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “I want to meet others who are striving for a healthier life and help them to obtain that goal.  I also hope to learn how to develop health programs for individuals.”

Macy McRaney (Junior)

Intended Career Path:  College Strength and Conditioning Coach

Favorite Healthy Food(s): All kinds of fruit, beans, grilled chicken

Exercise History:  Various sports such as softball and volleyball, currently on Furman Golf Team

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “I love fitness and want to help others.  Fitness can be hard if you don’t know where to start and I want to encourage people.”

Ashley Trice (Junior)

Intended Career Path: Public Health or Occupational Therapy

Favorite Healthy Food(s): Fruits, vegetables, peanut butter

Exercise History: Lacrosse since age 6, volleyball, currently on Furman’s lacrosse team

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “Exercise is a big part of my life since I am an athlete.  I want the opportunity to learn more about health and exercise and share my knowledge with others.

Molly Vernon (Senior)

Intended Career Path: Doctor, Pediatrician

Favorite Healthy Food(s): Any fruit and roasted vegetables

Exercise History: Various sports, varsity soccer, volleyball, basketball, Pilates, Barre, recently ran a half marathon

Why she wanted to participate in FIT Rx:  “FIT Rx is a good opportunity to learn more about exercise.  I love people and exercise so it seemed like a perfect fit.”


FIT Rx will be offered in the Fall and Spring semesters.  It is open to Furman faculty, staff, spouses, and dependents and no cost.  To learn more, please contact Kelly Frazier at kelly.frazier@furman.edu.


FUEL: Improve Your Health– One Plate a Time

FUEL 2015 Fall  promo

Interested in improving your eating habits?  Join us on Fridays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. in the Physical Activities Center for a 10 week healthy eating program.  Learn how diet affects health, how to prepare healthy items quickly and affordably, and sample many new healthy recipes.

FIT Rx: Free Individualized Exercise Training for Faculty, Staff, and Spouses


FIT Rx Fall 2015

Would you like to begin an exercise program but don’t know where to begin?  Or are you bored with your current exercise routine and interested in making it more effective and enjoyable?

Furman Health Sciences majors are eager to help you meet your goals.

This fall, twelve HSC majors will learn how regular exercise can improve dozens of health outcomes.  They will be available to work individually with 48 Furman faculty, staff, and spouses/ partners at no cost to implement exercise programs that improve health outcomes.

The students are available at various times throughout the day from 6 a.m.- 7 p.m. and occasionally on weekends.  They will meet with each participant to discuss health history, limitations, preferences, and goals.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to apply to participate, please contact me via email at kelly.frazier@furman.edu.


FIT Rx:  Exercise.  Is.  Medicine.


To learn more, click here:

FIT Rx:  Exercise is Medicine.

Think exercise is just about burning calories?  Think again.  Discover 15 ways that regular exercise can improve your health.

FIT Rx:  Health Science majors promote exercise as medicine

Read participant testimonials and see photos of our students in action.



Encouraging a Lifetime of Healthy Eating

This weekend, my family and I watched Katie Couric’s new food documentary Fed Up.  It examines the obesity epidemic, focusing specifically on the impact of sugar and processed foods on childhood obesity.  The opening story actually features a family from Easley, South Carolina and discusses some of the problems with Southern cuisine.

Like most of these documentaries, Fed Up did present a few half-truths and contradictory statements.  However, overall we enjoyed it.  It provided a sense of the magnitude of the obesity epidemic and how many forces need to be overcome in order to make an impact– political, environmental, social, and behavioral.

My children (ages 6 and 9) found it pretty interesting.  They were particularly awestruck by the animations explaining how sugar negatively affects your body and how junk food marketers specifically try to target children.   They seemed pretty motivated to continue to eat a healthier diet at the end.  As their “nutritional gatekeeper,” I’ll take all of the outside help that I can get. Two thumbs up for that.

One constant theme throughout the documentary was how challenging it is to encourage healthy eating habits if we are raised on unhealthful foods.  Children struggled to swap out their pizza, burgers, and fries for vegetables because they didn’t like the “taste.”

This idea always leaves me scratching my head.  Children can be raised to love healthful foods.  I see it every day in my own home.  My kids love Green Monster Smoothies, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Kale Salad with Avocado Dressing.  They adore broccoli, edamame, carrots, green beans, asparagus, quinoa, farro, steel cut oats, fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh, and every single type of fruit.

Fed Up made me wonder why some children accept healthier foods more easily than others.  And what can caregivers do to encourage healthier eating habits?  After all, it has been estimated that up to 72% of what and how much children eat is influenced by their nutritional gatekeeper—that is, the person who shops for and prepares foods (1).   As parents, grandparents, and caregivers, we can make a significant impact.

How can we encourage children to have a lifetime of healthy eating habits?

Step 1.  Maximize the “Windows of Opportunity”

There are several “windows of opportunity” early in life that can affect eating habits long term.

~ Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Mothers who were instructed to consume carrot juice regularly during pregnancy ended up with children who preferred the flavor of carrots (2).  This is because flavors from the mother’s diet are passed into the amniotic fluid during pregnancy and swallowed by the fetus.

These same flavors from the mother’s diet are also passed through breast milk when she breastfeeds her baby.  Because this is a sensitive period in the lifecycle, it encourages acceptance and attraction of the foods eaten by the mother (3).  Children who are fed infant formula may have more difficulty initially accepting certain flavors, such as those found in vegetables and fruits (4).

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should attempt to eat a healthful diet full of a wide variety of foods for their own health and the health of their little one.

~ Starting Solids and Finger Foods

After 4-6 months of age, infants are typically introduced food purees.  Pureeing real foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, parsnips, apples, pears, bananas, and avocado is an easy way to introduce those flavors.  When my children were little, I used the help of a Blender Baby Food Cookbook and stocked the freezer with little portions of these purees in ice cube trays.  It was cheap and easy and paid off well during childhood since they started eating these foods from the beginning.

After 9-12 months, many infants are introduced soft pieces of finger foods.  As every parent can probably attest, this also occurs during a time when little ones learn to explore the world by putting everything in their mouth.  This can be used to our advantage.  Infants of this age are likely to put anything in their mouth during this time.  So why not put something healthful in front of them?

At this time, we introduced my daughter to foods like roasted golden beets, turnips, asparagus, and carrots (as seen below).  To this day, she still loves to eat these types of foods.

1 food

Step 2.  Encourage through the Growing Years

As children grow, caregivers can continue to encourage healthy habits.

~ Be a positive role model.

The old adage “do as I say, not as I do” just doesn’t work.  We can’t expect children to practice healthful behaviors if they don’t witness us do the same.

Research has clearly demonstrated that children’s food responsiveness, enjoyment of food, and food fussiness are significantly affected by the parental modeling (5, 6, 7).  Mothers seem to play a key role.

For example, mothers who consume more fruits and vegetables tend to have daughters who are less picky and consume more fruits and vegetables (8, 9).

Let your child see you eat healthful foods because they taste good.

~ Encourage and support.

Parental encouragement and modeling of vegetable and fruit consumption has been associated with lower Body Mass Indices in children (10).

Encourage your child by offering several types of healthful foods and letting your child choose.  For example, “would you like broccoli, carrots, or green beans tonight?” or “would you like an apple or a banana for a snack?”

Take children to the grocery store or farmer’s market and let them pick out a new produce item to try.  Invite them to cook with you in the kitchen.  They are more likely to try something that they have invested their time and energy in.

Many children will experience stages of pickiness.  Just continue to offer healthful foods and be a positive role model. One study found that nearly half of children were picky eaters at some point during early childhood.  However, many eventually outgrew it (11).

Positive suggestions may also improve a child’s attitude and eating behavior about healthful foods.  For example, encourage your child with statements such as “you loved asparagus the first time that you tried it” (12).

If children seem a little resistant to a new food, don’t give up.  They may need to be exposed to it multiple times before it becomes familiar.  You can also try different preparations and recipes to see which they like best.

~ Be careful with pressure and over-restriction.

Parents tend to adapt their controlling feeding practices in response to their child’s weight (13).  For example, mothers of identical twins reported that they exerted more food restriction toward the heavier child (14).

When we are concerned about one of our children, it seems natural to exert more effort to try to regulate their food intake.  However, these efforts may have negative consequences (15).  When children feel that their food choices are overly restricted, they tend to display more emotional eating and excessive snacking (16).  I guess we always seem to want we are told we cannot have.

Healthy eating habits are important for the entire family.  No one should be singled out or treated differently due to excess weight.  Try to stock a wide variety of healthful foods in the house and purchase little to no junk food.  Visit fast food establishments less regularly.  Make the healthy choice the easy choice.

Because many healthful foods tend to be low energy density (click here to learn more), it is not necessary to be over-restrictive on these foods anyway.

~ Try not to use food as a reward. 

When we reward children with food, it may encourage them to seek those foods during stressful times.  For example, if a child is rewarded with a cookie for good behavior then he may associate the cookie with comfort and pleasure.  The next time he seeks feelings of comfort, he may choose to eat cookies to cope.  This was suggested in a study of children ages 5-7.  Children who were exposed to a mild stressor tended to consume more calories if their parents reported using food as a reward (17)

~ Encourage Children to Honor Hunger Cues

Babies tend to have a keen sense of their hunger and satiety cues.  When a baby is hungry, he will cry.  When he is full, he will stop eating, turn his head away, or even stick his tongue out to thrust unwanted food out of his mouth.  Between the ages of 3 and 5 years, children may become less responsive to internal cues of satiation and more responsive to external cues (18).  This means that children can learn to override their natural cues and eat when they are not hungry.

It is important to try to teach children to honor their hunger cues.  Learn to distinguish between appetite (a psychological craving) and hunger (a physiological craving).  Eat when you are hungry.  Don’t eat when you are not hungry.  (Learn more about the hunger scale here)

~ Seek support of health care providers.

Health care providers can provide additional information and education about the health status of your child.  They can also help to monitor growth patterns during childhood and let you know if your child is on track.  One study found that the majority (80%) of preschoolers who were classified as overweight were perceived as normal weight by their parents.  This incorrect assumption led the parents to provide more high-sugar/ high-fat foods because they did not perceive a problem (19).

~ Seek support of others.

It is important that parents, grandparents, extended family members, and caregivers play a positive role.  Regular indulgences in unhealthful foods may interfere with efforts to maintain a healthy home environment (20).  Together, we can all make a difference.

Furman Fitness Center Summer Bike Rides, 5K Training, Hikes, Dodgeball, and Rollerblading

The Furman Fitness Center will be hosting a variety of activities this summer– beginner and intermediate group bike rides, 5K training programs, hikes, dodge ball, and rollerblading.  The fitness center has 5 bikes & helmets that can be used on a first requested, first reserved basis.  Informed consent forms must be completed prior to participation.  See the details below!

3 mickey

Training for the Red, White, & Blue Shoes 5K -limited to 25 participants

Participants will be given a 10 week training program and discounted entry fee for the Red, White & Blue Shoes 5K run.  The race is held on Furman’s campus on July 4th, 2015.  Registration is normally $30, discounted rate is $20.  Mickey McCauley (USATF Level II Certified Coach) will develop the running program and be available for unlimited training advice and questions.  Click the link for race details and map of the course: http://RWBSrun.com

Level:  All fitness levels welcome- beginners are encouraged!

Dates:  Saturday, July 4th at 8:00am- RACE!!

Contact:  Mickey McCauley at mickey.mccauley@furman.edu or 294-2420.


4 heather

Rollerblading on the Trail– limited to 6 participants

Level/ Distance:  Moderate pace for approximately 8 miles.  Need to be able to stay on your feet but looking graceful doing it is definitely not a requirement.

Dates:  Wednesdays, May 27th & June 17th

Time:  8:00 am- Meet at the Swamp Rabbit Trail near the softball field.  Must have your own rollerblades & any desired protective gear!

Contact:  Heather Newman at heather.newman@furman.edu or 294-3586.




Dates:  Thursdays- May 21st, June 11th & June 25th

Time:  12:15pm- PAC gym

Contact:  Heather Newman at heather.newman@furman.edu or 294-3586.


Paris Mountain Hike– limited to 14 participants

Level/Distance: Walkers, hikers and trail runners welcome- different routes offered.

Dates:  Wednesdays, May 20th, June 10th, & June 24th                               

Time:  7:30am- Depart; 9:30am – Estimated return time

Contact:  Heather Newman at heather.newman@furman.edu or 294-3586.


Cafe Ride– limited to 15 participants

Level/ Distance:  Moderate pace for approximately 15 miles on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.  The ride will include a bakery or coffee shop stop-special discounts for the group will be offered!

Dates:  Thursdays- May 28th, June 4th, June 11th, June 18th & June 25th

Time:  7:45am- meet in front of the PAC; Depart- 8:00am

Contact:  Heather Newman at heather.newman@furman.edu or 294-3586.


2 glenn

Road Ride– limited to 15 participants

Level/ Distance:  Advanced pace- rolling 25 mile course.  Appropriate riding gear  required.

Route:  http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/667821960

Dates:  Wednesdays- May 27th & June 17th

Time:  12:00pm- meet in front of the PAC; Depart- 12:15pm

Contact:  Glenn Thrift at glenn.thrift@furman.edu or 294-3425.


1 owen

Swamp Rabbit Relaxed Ride– limited to 10 participants

Level/ Distance:  Easy pace for 6-8 miles

Dates:  Thursdays- May 7th, May 14th, May 21st, June 4th, & June 18th

Time:   12:00pm- meet in front of the PAC; 12:15pm- depart

Contact:  Owen McFadden at owen.mcfadden@furman.edu or 294-2414


Summer Group Exercise Classes

The Group Exercise Program will be offering morning Boot Camp, lunchtime Body Fit, and evening Mindful- Movement based yoga classes this summer.  Click on the images below to enlarge the schedules.

Hope to see you there!

GROUP EXERCISE May 2015 for blog


GROUP EXERCISE June, July 2015 for blog



BOOT CAMP- An energizing blend of aerobic and resistance training exercises to train your entire body.

BODY FIT– Strengthen, reshape, and define your entire body using barbells, dumbbells, tubing, and stability balls.

MINDFUL-MOVEMENT– This class is a combination of mindful yoga poses, breathing/meditation exercises, and relaxation.


Please note:

Due to the observance of Furman holidays, there will be no classes offered  on the following dates:

Monday, May 25…………………………………..Memorial Day



The Furman Group Exercise Program is open to all students, employees, dependents, and community members. Program participants may attend any class on the schedule.

All classes are geared toward beginners and more advanced exercisers.  No experience or equipment is needed.  If you have any special limitations please discuss them with the instructor prior to class.

Acknowledgement and Release Form

All participants will be required to complete an Acknowledgment and Release Form prior to participation. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.


Passes may be purchased at the Fitness Center Desk.  Cash, check, and credit card payments are accepted.


Group exercises classes are located in the Herman W. Lay Physical Activities Center.  Most classes are held in the dance studio on the second floor.

For additional information

please contact the Furman Fitness Center at 294-3581.