Wellness Programs



Conversation with Chef Vrinda Quintero & Chef Andrea Mollenauer was on March 2nd on Zoom on how good foods can FUEL and HEAL your body, mind & soul. 

2020-2021 Wellness Challenges 

SummeR Water Drinking Challenge

With summer upon us, we are keeping this month’s challenge simple . . . DRINK WATER. 

You know you’re supposed to drink water. You’ve been lectured about it since you were a kid. But sometimes it can be difficult to make sure you’re drinking enough water. 

Drinking more water can increase energy, relieve fatigue, promote weight loss, flush out toxins in your body, improve skin complexion, boost your immune system, naturally relieve headaches, and even prevent muscle cramps and sprains. The amazing health benefits of water are endless! 

This challenge is designed to help you make a daily habit of drinking enough water by challenging you to drink eight cups of water (8oz = 1 cup) each day this month. 



may is mental health awareness month


The aim of May’s Wellness Challenge is to reduce stress and anxiety caused by the over-use of technology. By taking time to reflect on our use of technology, and consciously change our habits, we will create more space for meaningful connection (to ourselves, the people around us, and our environment).



April: Plant-based eating challenge

Related Classes:

Join our own “Farmer Jake” on April 16th, from 4:00-5:00, for a free Zoom cooking class. Please RSVP by emailing Kim Corneille.

Also, mark your calendars for April 23, 3:00-3:30, when Farm Fresh to You will be demonstrating a smoothie presentation. Attendees will be eligible to win a raffle for one of two gift certificates- a $35 box of Farm Fresh to You organic produce and groceries!

The Challenge:

In case you were wondering, plant-based eating is exactly what it sounds like, eating a diet that is made up of food that comes mostly from plants, including whole grains, fruits, veggies, oils and legumes. So, why plant-based eating? Incorporating more plants into your diet supports your physical health in many ways- it reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers cholesterol, is beneficial for your gut health and may even increase longevity. 

To help kick off this challenge, we are partnering with Farm Fresh to You, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) that brings fresh produce and groceries to your doorstep. There is no commitment, no contract, no delivery fee, and you can pick which items you want. 

Special offer for COE employees- receive 20% off on your 1st 5 Produce and Grocery Boxes (no requirement to order more than 1 box) using the code: PLANTBASED. 

See what a farmbox looks like or learn how to customize your box. Please see the attached flyer for more details. Also attached is the plant-based recipe of the week. Each recipe will be shared again every week so collect them all!



Resources and Events:

March: Community Engagement Challenge

For this month’s Wellness Challenge our goal is to actively engage in our community. 

We invite you to use this opportunity to help serve our community’s most vulnerable who are facing hunger in Santa Cruz. Please participate in raising funds to provide 4 meals for every dollar donated to Second Harvest of Santa Cruz. Go to www.thefoodbank.org/wellness to donate.

People are fulfilled and “engaged when they play a meaningful role in the deliberations, discussions, decision-making and/or implementation of projects or programs affecting them.” We also see that engaging in random acts of kindness benefits our wellbeing.  


· Sign up on the March tab of the Wellness Challenge Accountability Log, and remember to log your daily reflections or goals.  


· HERE are the instructions for the challenge. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!


· For this month there is no raffle prize but rather an extra challenge! Set aside a mason jar on your kitchen table and every time you drink water, or your dog barks at the UPS person delivering your Amazon purchase, or after your yoga session with Phoenix, or mindfulness session with Bruce - put a quarter in the jar. At the end of the month, donate the amount collected to Second Harvest. Please share a picture of your Giving Jar with us!!


Something for the whole family:

· The Arts Council of Santa Cruz 

· Students Rebuild - encourage young students to take the challenge of helping others with their creativity.

· Volunteer to help at Community Bridges sites


The aim of this month’s Wellness Challenge is . . . 

to get moving! If you are like many of us, winter brings a particular challenge when it comes to moving your body. However, it is important to remember that movement, even in small amounts, can have an impact on our health and well being. Physical activity can keep our brains sharp, give us more energy, keep our bodies strong, help us sleep better, and improve our mood. 


RESOURCES to enhance your challenge:

January 2021: Financial Wellness Challenge

Welcome to the COE Financial Health Challenge!  

The aim of this month’s Wellness Challenge is . . . 

Building knowledge of budgeting and keeping track of your personal finances are part of your overall wellness.  Whether physically through exercise and annual check-ups, or meditation and regular check-ins, Financial Health such as our wealth creation, debt management, income, liabilities are all fiscal structures that have a huge impact on what options we may have throughout our lives.  Money is a tool and not a value of one’s worth. The income amount someone makes does not determine their worth but it may impact the options they have. 


RESOURCES to enhance your challenge:

December 2020 Challenge

The aim of this month’s Wellness Challenge is . . . 

to get outside! Fall is here, and with it, colder weather. Wouldn’t it be nice to just sit inside all day? The truth of the matter is that getting outside, even when it’s chilly, is beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing by improving memory, reducing stress, and boosting our immune systems. Need an energy boost? Get outside for a quick walk, run, or even just eat your lunch on the porch.  Now . . . let’s get outside!


RESOURCES to enhance your challenge:

NOVEMBER mindfulness Challenge

The aim of this month’s Wellness Challenge is to either start a mindfulness practice or incorporate more mindfulness into your daily or weekly routine. Research shows that having a regular meditation practice helps reduce stress, increase self awareness, promotes emotional health, focus on the present, and increase creativity and patience. As we head into the holiday season, a regular mindfulness practice can support our well-being during this sometimes stressful time of year. It’s also a nice month to focus on gratitude and “taking in the good”, which is related to mindfulness.

Here are some examples of goals for this month:


October Sleep Challenge

Improve your sleep routine

September Social Challenge

Learn and engage in social change

the Art Collective 


Radical Self Care

MAY 1 5:  Radical Self-Care Zoom Recording

you can listen to the recording if you missed the first workshop

MAY 22:  Guided Meditation Zoom Recording

you can listen to the recording if you missed the second workshop

Routine, Ritual & Rhythm worksheet

daily habits & rituals to help us thrive