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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!

FUEL the Community: Our First Year in Review

Furman’s Department of Health Sciences has taught a plate based approach to healthy eating called FUEL for many years.  State of the art assessments of blood work and body composition have suggested that this easy eating pattern can help to 1) improve nutrient intake, 2) facilitate weight management, and 3) improve health outcomes associated with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

During the 2017-8 academic year, eighteen of our Health Sciences and Pubic Health majors carried this message of health and wellness to underserved members of the Greenville Community.  Here are a few highlights from our first year in review:

Fall of 2015:  Our initiative began several years ago when Miracle Hill’s Greenville Rescue Mission contacted the Furman Department of Health Sciences for assistance.  Many of the men at the shelter battled high blood pressure, diabetes, or mental health disorders. The Rescue Mission was interested in serving healthier meals but didn’t know where to begin.  With an extremely limited food budget and rotating volunteer kitchen staff, they reached out for help.   We shared the results of our FUEL program and suggested that they try to fill each plate 1/2 with vegetables and fruits, 1/4 with whole grains or potatoes, and 1/4 with lean proteins.  Registered dietitian Courtney Lee Ellen and I (Kelly Frazier) began training the kitchen staff and managers about building healthier plates.  We also sought assistance from other community partners such as Loaves and Fishes food rescue program, Harvest Hope emergency food bank, and Gardening for Good.  Interestingly, we learned that many of our underserved community members have access to an abundance of food.  The problem is that the majority of these foods– white bread, sugary drinks, fatty meats, and processed foods– don’t support a healthy lifestyle.  Healthful foods were in short supply and many people didn’t know how to prepare these healthful foods in ways that were delicious to eat.

Spring 2017:  As our community partnerships grew, Furman Health Sciences and Public Health majors became eager to become involved.   Sarah Mixon (’19) and I worked together to develop a pilot internship program curriculum called FUEL the Community.  The premise was simple:  students would be trained in the FUEL healthy eating program curriculum and then receive internship credit by implementing it directly with our local non-profits in need.

Sarah taught healthy eating and wellness classes at Miracle Hill’s Renewal Center which is a six month residential addiction recovery program for women.  She began implementing regular walking programs with the women to help them improve their physical health, mood, and addiction recovery process.  Sarah also taught basic health education and cooking workshops geared toward low income individuals at Greer Relief and San Souci Church.

Fall 2017:  The FUEL the Community Internship Program was officially launched with nine Health Sciences and Public Health majors: Gabe Silveria, Catherine Jones, John Vangellow, Meg Lingo, Jose Morales, Meera Jairath, Sun Lee, Becca Bosch, and Helen Hardy.  Students worked as a team to assist twelve local agencies.  This experience helped them to observe and assist with a large food system.  Gabe and Catherine (pictured below) assisted Loaves and Fishes Food Recovery Program as they rescued food from local grocery stores and delivered it to community members in need.


Students also worked with the Miracle Food Warehouse to help organize food donations, display healthful foods in prominent areas, and assist clients with healthful choices.

Becca, Catherine, and Helen worked closely with Miracle Hill Shepherd’s Gate to lead healthy eating and wellness classes and assist with healthful meal preparation. Shepherd’s Gate is a homeless shelter for women, many of whom are waiting to be admitted to Renewal’s Addiction Recovery Center.  Students worked side by side with these women to provide support and encouragement.

Helen and Becca (below) help to prepare healthful meals at Miracle Hill’s Renewal Center.  A major focus of the the initiative was the increase vegetable and fruit consumption at each meal.

Students co-led wellness classes for the women to address their questions and needs.  Below, Becca is teaching about eating disorder consequences and treatments as well as promoting healthful body image and wellness habits.

Students also assisted Miracle Hill’s Overcomers Center which is an addiction recovery program for men.  Below, Sun Lee used his training  and experience through the FIT Rx program to demonstrate correct form in the facility fitness center.

Sun, Gabe Silveria (below), and John Vangellow worked together to provide the men at Overcomers with a training resource manual to provide them with general exercise advice during their addiction recovery process.  Many of the men were interested in exercising but needed some guidance to begin.

Gabe also led regular nutrition and wellness classes for the men at Overcomers– many of whom were eager to learn everything that they could as they worked toward a healthier body, mind, and spirit.

Spring 2018– During our second semester, eight additional students continued to develop and improve our outreach efforts:  Jen Stephenson, Baillie Steele, Daniyal Roshan, Royall Tyler, Crystal Valente, Tedra Shepherd, Willough Davis, and Tess Lesesne.  Royall (below) taught health education at Harvest Hope Emergency food bank, Greer Relief, and Miracle Hill’s Renewal Center.  Below, she demonstrates how to make a healthful fruit parfait with canned pineapple, plain yogurt, and granola that are all common staples at the food bank.

Bilingual students are a tremendous asset for our community partners.  Daniyal Roshan worked with the health care providers at Greenville Free Medical Clinic and Unity Health on Main to provide health education for Spanish speaking individuals.

Daniyal particularly enjoyed using her double major in Spanish and Health Sciences to help others in need.  In the photo below, she encourages participants to eat seasonal vegetables and fruits because they tend to be the most affordable, flavorful, and nutritious.

The staff at Unity Health on Main were particularly excited to implement the FUEL- based, healthy eating strategies with their clients.

Daniyal teaches individuals at the Greenville Free Medical Clinic about whole grains and provides a sample of delicious two-ingredient Banana Oat Cookies that are always a big hit, even among picky eaters. 

Jen Stephenson worked closely with the Miracle Hill Warehouse to organize food donations, display healthful options in prominent places,  steer clients toward healthier selections, and provide education and direction about how to use them.  She also taught health education classes at the North Greenville Crisis Ministry for community members who desired to improve their health but needed direction to begin.

Baillie Steele, Tedra Sheperd, and Crystal Valente (below) made very special bonds supporting the woman at Renewal’s Addiction Recovery Center.  Each week throughout the internship, students explore scholarly literature about exercise science and nutrition.   They were excited to learn that many simple lifestyle behaviors such as exercise and a healthy diet can promote not only physical health, but also mental wellness.  For example, exercise may help to reduce depression, anxiety, restlessness, and cravings during the addiction recovery process.  In the past, many women had resorted to high sugar foods and beverages to assist with restlessness and cravings.  With the help of the FUEL the Community interns, they learned how regular exercise, such as walking outdoors, can be a healthier coping strategy.  Each week, the students led regular walking groups with the residents and helped to provide support and encouragement.  The women of Renewal eagerly awaited for the students to arrive for each walking session and the students expressed that these weekly walks were a highlight of their entire semester at Furman.

Jen, Crystal, and Baillie (below) also enjoyed teaching young adolescent girls about healthy eating and health education at Miracle Hill’s children’s home.  The  interns were able to provide positive role models and support and thoroughly enjoyed building relationships with the girls.  Below, they taught the girls how to make delicious Green Monster smoothies with  fruit and fresh spinach or kale.  As usual, they were a big hit.

So what is next?  The FUEL the Community internship will continue each fall and spring term .  This partnership continues to be mutually beneficial.  It provides Furman students with an opportunity to use their skills and expertise to serve individuals in the community while receiving academic credit.  Local non-profits receive much needed assistance promoting a wellness lifestyle.  We hope to continue to work together with our community partners to promote health in the Greenville community.

For more information about the FUEL the Community internship program at Furman, please email Mrs. Kelly Frazier at

Summer 2018 Employee Wellness Activities Series

The Furman Fitness Center is sponsoring free activities for Furman Faculty and Staff this summer.  Choose from Lakeside Yoga classes, Dodgeball, Bike Rides on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and Recreational pick up Volleyball games.  Click on the flyer below to enlarge.  We hope to see you there!


Summer 2018 Group Exercise Classes

Summer Group Exercise Classes begin Wednesday, May 9.  Receive unlimited access to boot camp, body fit, yoga, barre pilates, aqua fitness, and more!  Click on the schedules below to enlarge.  We hope to see you there!

Fresh Zucchini Noodle Caprese Salad

Looking for an easy way to use garden fresh spring vegetables? Try this easy zucchini noodle caprese salad.

Use a zucchini spiralizer to make noodles out of 1-2 fresh zucchini.  Toss the uncooked noodles with 2 Tbsp pesto, 1 cup grape tomatoes (quartered lengthwise), 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, 2 oz. chopped fresh mozzarella, a drizzle olive oil, a dash of grated Parmesan, and a pinch of salt.

Allow the salad to marinate for about 10 minutes for best flavor.

For a complete meal, top with grilled chicken strips and serve with a baked sweet potato.


Roasted Okra

Looking for a delicious way to prepare okra? Toss whole fresh okra pods with a little bit of vegetable oil, salt, and garlic powder (don’t cut the tops off). Roast at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned, stirring halfway.

Roasted okra are incredibly flavorful and don’t have the “slime” that results from other preparations.  This recipe is even sure to please those who only eat okra deep fried.


FIT Rx: Free Individualized Exercise Training for Furman Employees and Families


FIT Rx is currently full for the spring semester.  If you would like to be added to the waiting list or reserve a spot for Fall 2018, please contact

Mediterranean Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables

Looking for an easy make ahead meal for weekday lunches or busy weekday dinners?  Try this delicious Mediterranean Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables.  It has a generous portion of colorful vegetables that are tossed with shrimp and whole grain pasta.

Mediterranean Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables

I prefer to serve this pasta salad cold and like the vegetables crisp tender.  If you prefer softer vegetables, cook them a little longer in the oven before adding the shrimp.  For variety, swap out the shrimp for chicken, turkey, white beans, or tofu.  You can also use other shapes of whole grain pasta like penne, farfalle, or orzo.


1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and chopped crosswise into 1/2″ pieces

1 yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and chopped crosswise into 1/2″ pieces

1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1 red onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

8 oz. mushrooms, quartered lengthwise

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

4 Tbsp. pesto

8 ounces whole grain rotini pasta

1- 1.5 pounds shrimp, peeled

grated Parmesan


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Bring a large covered pot of water to boil over high heat.

Cook Vegetables:  Combine zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper, red onion, and mushrooms on a large sheet pan with a rim.  In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning, and salt.  Drizzle dressing over vegetables and toss to combine well.  Spread the vegetables in a single layer over the sheet pan; use two pans if needed.  Roast the vegetables for about 8 minutes.

Pasta:  Once the water has come to a boil, reduce to medium high heat.  Add pasta and cook 8 minutes or until al dente.

Add Shrimp:  Remove the sheet pan from the oven, stir the vegetables, and toss in the raw shrimp.  Spread the mixture in a single layer and return to the oven to cook for another 5-7 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through.  Cooked shrimp are completely pink and the shape of the letter “C” (think “cooked”).  Overcooked shrimp will curl up to the shape of the letter “O” (think “overcooked”).

Add Pesto:  Once the pasta is cooked, drain in a colander.  Return it to the pot and stir in pesto and grated Parmesan.  When the vegetables and shrimp are cooked, add them to the pasta salad with the cooking liquid; toss to combine.  This can be served warm immediately or chill it in the refrigerator and serve the leftovers cold.




FUEL Cooking Workshop: Mediterranean Farm to Table

Lori Nelsen (Furman Earth and Environmental Science) and Chef David Porras led another amazing FUEL Cooking Workshop today for Furman faculty, staff, and families.  This workshop featured recipes that were inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and featured local, farm fresh ingredients.

The starter course was a delicious Spinach salad with Strawberries, Feta, and Toasted almonds and dressed with a Homemade Apple Vinaigrette.  To make the dressing, whisk together 2 ounces of olive oil, 1/4 ounce of apple juice, 1/2 ounce of apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

The entree featured a hearty Vegetable Ragout over Whole Grain Pasta and topped with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and oregano.  Start by placing a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add a little bit of olive oil, 2 diced carrots, and 1 small diced onion; saute for about 5-7 minutes until softened.  Stir in 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 Tbsp. tomato paste, and 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar; cook over high heat for 1 minute.  Add 2-4 cups of chopped vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms.  Add 2 (28 oz.) cans of crushed or diced tomatoes with basil.  Bring to a boil over high heat, lower to medium heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook whole grain pasta until al dente about 8-10 minutes in gently boiling water; drain.  Combine the pasta with the ragout, season with salt and black pepper.  Top with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and oregano.

We finished our meal with a Homemade Blackberry Cobbler that featured whole grain flour, freshly whipped cream, and local blackberries.

The next Furman Employee Cooking Workshop is scheduled for Friday, September 8.  The class is full but be sure to check back for photos and recipes.

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