Strive 2 Survive | Brown Clinic » Strive2Survive: a Watertown Wellness Program

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Life is all about choices–both good and bad. You can choose to be happy, sad, grumpy, depressed, or whatever you choose. Or you can be excited like our run club group is when we go out on a run on Sunday mornings. The choice is yours!


By no means does this mean that our choices are easy. Far from it. We make a decision, and then have to work at it so as to make something of it. It is not just going to fall in our lap because we want to chose something. Same thing when it comes to our health. We have to work at the diet and the exercise. Just because we may want to be more healthy, the choice is ours as to how we are going to achieve it.


It is a two way street! You choose how you are going to work at something to achieve what you want. If it is worthwhile, then be prepared to work at it. As I have said before, anything worth having is worth working for…the benefits come later.

Here is our group as we were getting ready to start the Twin Cities Marathon this past October. We spent the last 4+ months training together, encouraging each other, pushing each other. We were working together to accomplish a goal of completing the marathon. We may have all had different goals as to how we wanted to finish, but we were all working on finishing. It is great motivation working as a group. We each put in the miles individually, but we were doing it together. Words don’t describe that bond that is achieved when you are working as a group on a similar goal. You take a chance, make a choice, and change comes about.

The 3 C’s of life. What better way to sum it up! Things in life in general are about this. You take a chance because you made a choice, with the hope of making a POSITIVE change. Are those changes always positive? Probably not. But, that does not mean you don’t learn from them. We learn from everything we do, both the positive and negative. If something good happens, we keep doing similar things. If something bad happens, or some outcome we did not like, then we learn from it, and change!

You rely on not only your friends, but those closest to you…namely, your spouse. Sarah and I motivate each other, push each other, depend on each other! This too is a two way street. You take chances, and work on the things you choose together, which brings about continuous change. It also brings about consistency, dependability, a bond that can’t be broken…love!

Your attitude goes a long way in regards to how changes in life will affect you, and the resulting choices you make. Keep your goals in mind, and the purpose for which you chose them as goals. It was a choice made by you for some reason…a reason important to you. So keep reminding yourself of them. This too will help motivate you, and keep the attitude you have more positive than negative.


Important to remember! There will be bad choices at times. Learn from them, and figure out how to make another change, a change you make based on a choice you make, because you were willing to take a chance! Take a chance on you! Make a choice and do what is right for you! Your future depends on it! Next week I will expand on this further when I talk about priorities…how the choices we make are dependent on our priorities.

Keep moving everybody!

Dr. Dan

Consecutive Exercise Day #: 3355

  • Ann Laurier - December 4, 2016 - 11:12 am

    Depression is a barrier to functioning . The only safe place is home in my chair. It is where I experience the least amount of hurting. Depression is a challenge to decisions.ReplyCancel











We had a fun afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club yesterday! We were able to be a part of a great event that promoted wellness and activity to the children of the Club! Dr.Dan Reiffenberger and Dr.Jon McAreavey talked to the kids about activity and wellness and then we had a jump rope challenge! The kids received some goodies to take home and we donated about 200 jumpropes for the club to use with their kids. What a fun way to promote activity and wellness to the kids in our community! You can read more below from KXLG’s press release and if you click the link, it will bring you to their website where the audio links from Dr.Dan’s and Dr.Jon’s talks can be found. Keep moving everyone!!

“Brown Clinic’s Jump Start Your Health Promotion came alive at the Watertown Boys and Girls Club Wednesday afternoon where more than 200 backpacks with wellness books and jump ropes were handed out to the kids at the club to help jumpstart their wellness. Among the gifts in the backpacks were Subway coupons for all the boys and girls.  Among the nearly one-dozen employees from Brown Clinic who were at the event was Dr. Jon McAreavey who is a family physician at the clinic and Boys and Girls Club Board member.”










Dr.Jon giving his talk.










Dr.Dan giving his talk.










Great presentation and talk to the kiddos.









Jump rope challenge!









Practice what you preach!! Dr.Jon and Dr.Dan jumping rope with the kids!












Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day! Yes, you have probably heard this before, but are you a breakfast eater!? Having a good breakfast is a great way to start out the day. It’s not only important for our body, but our mind too. Many times we’ll have excuses such as I was running late, I didn’t feel like eating, I’m not hungry in the morning, and this actually accounts for about a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the population! Starting the day without breakfast is like driving your car on a low tank of gas. We know we can’t go on forever on a low tank of gas, so we shouldn’t do that to our bodies either! Those that skip breakfast tend to snack more on high fat and lower nutritious foods…and are more likely to overeat at lunch because they are over-hungry. Studies have also shown that those working on weight loss are more successful when they eat breakfast as this really jump starts their metabolism and starts their day off right. In addition, eating a healthy breakfast helps our kids excel in school as it helps fuel the brain!

So what should you eat for breakfast? It’s important to get a balance at your meals and especially include a source of protein and a whole grain as these provide satiety. Here are some examples for you:

  • Ready-to-eat cereal (>3g fiber, <2-3g fat, a ratio of greater than 4 g carbohydrate:1 g sugar)
  • Hot cereal (oatmeal)
  • Bagel with low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter
  • Yogurt Parfait
  • Fruit and yogurt smoothie
  • Peanut butter or hummus on whole-wheat toast
  • Breakfast quesadilla with low-fat cream cheese and sliced fruit
  • Breakfast burrito or taco
  • Toasted whole-wheat English muffin with lean ham and low-fat cheese
  • Toasted pita with scrambled egg and low-fat cheese
  • Low-fat milk and 100% fruit

If you are one who is not a fan of breakfast but understands the importance of it, I encourage you to try a variety of these options and see which one works best for you. I also encourage you to plan ahead. You may need to wake up 5 minutes earlier to fit breakfast in or make your smoothie the night before so all you have to do it pull the bottle or container out of the freezer or fridge in the morning and drink it on your way to work. Starting your day with a full tank will provide long lasting benefits to you and your body!


At this time of year, it is easy to start thinking about what you are thankful for. Here Nick, Sarah, and I are getting ready for the annual Turkey Day 5k held on Thanksgiving. The weather was great, and it is a great way to start off the day exercising…and a great way to make room for all the food we plan on eating that day. It is an annual run and walk, and attendance was the largest yet!


After everybody gets done running/walking, you get treated to a piece of pumpkin pie before everybody takes off to go spend time with family.


Thank you Watertown DASH for holding this event again, originally started by the Hiedeman family. If you have never tried participating before, get out there next year!

We had many of the Watertown Run Club members made it out for the annual run as well. Sarah, Nick, and Jill Makepeace, and Steve Arbogast.


And of course, the McElroy’s…we were just missing Gracie, who was sick that morning. But Jenn, Kate, and Owen made it out.


Paula, Paul, and Jackie ran as well.

It was all worth while. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, watching football, and eating! It was good to get out and move before hand. This way we could earn our food feast for the day. Thanksgiving turkey is one of my favorite meals!


So, now it is time to sit back and be thankful for what we have. Keep in mind your health, your family, and your friends. Spend time with them, appreciate them. We won’t have them forever. Being thankful shows how you become better, and more appreciative as well. We don’t know when things are going to change for us. The next slide sums it up for me!


Thank you! Here is to hoping everybody has great holidays coming, that you keep working on increasing your exercise habits, and working on your healthy eating as well. All of this is important for you to becoming a better you. Keep moving everybody!

Dr. Dan

Consecutive Exercise Day #: 3348









Happy Thanksgiving to you! The Thanksgiving holiday is always a fun one enjoyed by all as we stuff ourselves and then resort to the couch to watch football or the start of the holiday tv shows. Here are some tips for you to get through the holiday without putting on all those undesired extra pounds.

  • Survey the entire table before you take any food. Decide what foods are worth eating and what can be ignored, and then stick to that decision. Why waste calories on foods that don’t bring you pleasure?
  • Eat a snack before you leave home. If you arrive at a party starving, you’ll be more likely to overindulge.
  • Eat your calories instead of drinking them.  Stick to lower calorie or calorie-free drinks (diet sodas, water, light beer, or wine spritzer) instead of punches, eggnogs, and mixed drinks that can have up to 500 calories per cup.
  • Sip a large glass of water between every alcoholic drink or non-alcoholic punch or eggnog. This will help keep you hydrated and you’ll drink fewer calories by the end of the night.
  • When you are the host or hostess, include nutritious and lower-calorie foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats on the menu.  When you are a guest, bring along a lower-calorie dish to share.
  • Try not to hang out near the food.  Find a comfortable spot across the room and focus on people instead of eating.
  • Watch your portion sizes. Don’t cover your plate completely with food.  In most cases, especially when it comes to holiday sweets and alcoholic beverages, less is better. Use a smaller plate or bowl and have just a sliver of pie like the picture shows.
  • Drop out of the “clean plate club”. Leave a few bites behind every time you eat, especially if you are eating something you don’t really care for.
  • Enjoy your favorite holiday treats but take a small portion, eat slowly, and savor the taste and texture of the wonderful foods of the season.
  • Skip the pie crust and go for the filling.
  • Choose light meat over dark meat.
  • Use home-made cranberry sauce over canned cranberries that are jam packed with added sugars.
  • In soups, sauces, puddings, and desserts:  Replace whole milk or cream with low-fat milk, evaporated fat-free milk, or nonfat dry milk.

Lighten up your recipes:

  • To make dips and toppings: Use low-fat or nonfat cottage cheese or sour cream, or non-fat Greek yogurt.
  • To make salad dressings: Use nonfat Greek yogurt or low-fat buttermilk.
  • In place of 1 whole egg in recipes: Use 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg substitute.
  • In place of regular cheese: Use fat-free or reduced-fat cheese.
  • In place of full sugar: replace half with Splenda or reduce half completely.
  • In place of fats: use unsweetened applesauce or oil (1-1 replacement), or prune puree (1 cup of fat=1/2 cup puree).

More importantly is ENJOY your family and friends and all that have to the THANKful for!


M o r e   i n f o