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

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  • What Dr. Dan is doing:

  • What Kelsey is doing:










The Watertown Intermediate School recently added Girls on the Run to their list of school activities. Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum, which creatively integrates running. This program is a nation-wide non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

The program in Watertown specifically involved a group of 19 5th grade girls ages 10-11 led by a group of 6 women from the community. Meeting twice a week for 10 weeks, the girls were given great opportunities to build relationships with their coaches and peers.

Each week focused on one of the following themes: empowerment, Responsibility, Intentionality, Diversity, Connectedness, Joy, Optimism, Gratitude, Nurturing, Healthy, Open-hearted, and Compassion. The themes are then used to create a warm-up, lesson, activity, and motivation for that session. All of these themes fall under one main goal of the program: self-confidence.

The girls would spend a large portion of the sessions learning to run a 5K by running laps around the school. For each lap they ran throughout the 10 weeks, they were given a bead. At the send off session, the girls were given a bag with all of the beads they had earned and string to make jewelry that represented their accomplishments. In addition to jewelry making, the girls were each given an award unique to them in celebration of their individuality.

At the end of the 10 week program, the Watertown coaches held a local 5K for the girls to show off their progress. Families, teachers, and peers came to the event to cheer on the girls. In addition to the local 5K, the girls were invited to attend the state-wide Girls on the Run 5K in Sioux Falls. However, the state-wide 5K was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

Girls on the Run-Watertown plans to continue this program in the coming school year, however, they are unsure of age groups and session dates at this time. To learn more about this program you can contact Michelle Achterberg at This is an awesome program to encourage wellness and fitness along with self confidence and individuality! Thank you Michelle, Jill Makepeace, Paula Nurnberg, Erika Zink, Jennifer McElroy, Dr.Sarah Reiffenberger, and many others for getting this program up and running and inspiring these young women! You rock!!































-Written by Kala Nurberg, SDSU Dietetics Student

-Kelsey Raml, MS, RD, LN






The official kick off to summer and picnic season is this weekend: Memorial Day Holiday! This time of year always bring great cookouts and picnics. Typical picnic foods consist of burgers, brats, hotdogs, chips, and high calorie salads such as macaroni and potato salads. These are all very tasty foods, but they are also all very high in calories, fat, and sodium. Cookouts don’t have to bust the calorie bank. Choose your foods wisely and plan your menus to include a few healthy options and make substitutions like the meal examples below to help you fully enjoy each cookout while aiding in a healthy heart and waistline.

Choose This

90% lean hamburger with whole wheat thin bun

Grilled chicken breast

Grilled shrimp

One small tossed Salad with 1Tbsp light dressing

Fresh veggies with light ranch dip

Baked chips

½ c fruit salad

One small slice of angel food cake with light cool whip and strawberries

Unsweetened Tea with Lemon


Not That

80% lean hamburger with white bun

Hot dogs


Excess portions of: macaroni salad, potato salad, baked beans



Regular pop












We live in a wonderful time of technological accessibility. Nearly all the information we could ever need is one search away. This wealth of information paired with today’s unprecedented realm of convenience has been shown to cause a conundrum of sorts in the field of healthcare. We see the line between a trained medical expert and a thorough internet researcher becoming treacherously blurred. This abundance of information can be dangerous without the expertise to provide accurate interpretation. One example of this seen in the nutritional field is the Body Mass Index.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) was developed to be a very simply calculation to quantify body composition. Though it is a common tool used by medical professionals, it can also be used by anyone who can crunch a few numbers on his/her calculator. Medical professionals have varying opinions on the tool; some see it as an excellent resource, while others fear its convenience and ease creates a means to a potentially inaccurate self-diagnosis.

The calculation was created to be a tool that very simply offers an idea of one’s body composition by creating a weight to height ratio and comparing it to a scale ranging from underweight to obese. The problem is, as all professionals will agree, there is much more to a person’s body composition than their height and their weight. This becomes a problem when the public, though well-intended, begins to punch in their own numbers into this equation. Without the interpretation of an expert, they could come to some extreme conclusions.

Humans possess an enormously varied spectrum of body shapes and sizes, and yet the BMI scale tries to standardize it. Variance is an idea that is being lost in this age of standardization. While the BMI scale can be very useful as an initial tool, it is flawed. The best example of this are athletes. LeBron James, widely regarded as one of the top athletes in the world has a BMI of 28. At the 2014 Olympics, the average BMI for participating athletes was found to be over 26. In 2016, the World Champion Denver Broncos had a collective average BMI of over 30. The healthy range for BMI? That would be 18.5-24.9. According to the scale, LeBron James and Olympic athletes are overweight, while the entirety of the Denver Broncos is obese.

The BMI scale can be dangerous without proper interpretation. As with WebMD and many more, these easily accessible tools have evolved from something designed for convenience to something that has led to insufficiently educated self-diagnosing. We see people without any medical education jumping to their own medical conclusions far too often. While a useful and convenient tool, the Body Mass Index can be problematic for the growing number of people who are turning to the internet to assess their health. As a general public, we lack the understanding and education to properly interpret BMI results. If you would like to learn more about your own BMI and/or your body composition and what it means, please schedule an appointment with Kelsey Raml, dietitian at Brown Clinic. She can assess, review, and educate on your individual needs and help you reach your goals!

-David Brown, SDSU Dietetic Student

run club group one
We all need those certain times when it is nice to just go for a walk or run on our own. Time to think, to get away, to relax. But, there are also those times where it is a lot of fun running, walking, or working out in a group. You are all going through the same thing, but you can talk…socialize. You get to know each other a little better. We all are busy, we all have crazy schedules, but for that brief moment, you are like one. You have no other worries at that time. For us, with run club, it is a time to just go for a run. We do not have to be fast, or competitive…you are there because you like to run! That is the only requirement…to like to run! The motto of this club is “we leave no one behind”. Some days some of us go faster, other days not. Some days certain of us like to go farther, others not. Whatever you want to do is what you can do. No pressure. No competition. Just friends gathering to discuss issues, solve problems, and run! We are all there for each other. We cheer each other on. We motivate each other. We CARE about each other. That is what this is all about!

run club group two
We like as many to show up as possible. We are quite the force going down the road when we have a large group show up. If you are free, then show up. If you can’t, then maybe next week. We are now starting again the Wednesdays at 5:30 at Northridge Brown Clinic, and then Sundays at 7AM, now back at Jackson Park again, the North parking lot.

Megan, Sarah, Nate
The good part about all of this is that when some of us can’t make it here, we are running somewhere else. Why? Because we like to run. It is as simple as that. Sarah and I do many races together, but the really fun ones now are the ones I get to do with my kids. Megan and her boyfriend Nate set this run up for us in Fairfax, VA. We were there these last few days for Megan’s graduation from George Mason University. When Megan has been home on vacations, she has joined our run club here as well. Not too bad for someone who loves to swim, not run. But, she is realizing she can run anywhere, anytime.

run club congratulations
The weather these last few days here has not been the best. It was back to the cold again this weekend, but it did not stop these diehards. They made a sign congratulating those of us who ran in Fargo the day before, and for Megan for graduating. Why would these do this? Because that is what friends do! They support you whether you are present there or not. We are always cheering each other on. Encouraging us to keep moving. If we want to run faster at races, we push each other. But the bottom line is encouragement to just keep moving. Keep trying. Keep working. Just like life. We are all “in it for the long run”. So take your friends along with you. Become a better you at the same time.

Jill, Kala, Paula
Here Jill and Paula are at Fargo, with Paula’s daughter Kala. Right Paula…great to run with your kids, isn’t it? Paula a personal best at her half marathon! I am not sure who was happier…Paula…or the rest of us in this run club! We all knew she could do it. We believed in her. But it really did not matter what her time was…it really does not matter that for any of us. The important part is to get out and run. Work on our health. Work on being here longer. Enjoying life better, healthier. I mentioned a sign last time about the race at Brookings the week before…it said “Life is short. Running makes is seem longer.” Yes, some days can be a struggle, but overall, our running will allow us to be around enjoying life longer. Whether running, walking, or exercise in general. It does not matter, as long as it is an activity we like.

5K group
Besides, when it comes to doing these other races, you can never have enough medals! The places we have gone as a result gave us a lot of other adventures to remember, and to have to talk about in the future. What are you waiting for? Get off your butt, and get moving! Don’t let life pass you by. And, remember, if you want to run, come join us at run club. No restrictions. No judgement. No pressure. Just show up! And then you will be like my daughter at the end of this past weekends 5K run…you will be dancing like no one is watching!

megan dancing

Keep moving everybody!

Dr. Dan

Consecutive Exercise Day #: 3523







Everyone is busy and on the run with life happenings so eating out tends to be a part of our lives. We all know that eating out is not the best for us as we don’t have control over how the meal is prepared, ingredients, and portions like we do at home. Despite this, we all still eat out and most of us enjoy it as it means we don’t have to do the preparing, cooking, and cleaning up afterwards…and it’s typically a social activity as well! Restaurants are taking notice of our nation’s desire to improve our health and wellness and there are more healthier options on the menus today, but there are still some very unhealthy ones as well. Below are some tips to help you eat out the healthy way:

  • Go for a smaller portion of the meal such as half of the meal, lunch portion, or appetizer size portion.
  • Look for key words such as baked, broiled, grilled, or roasted. Stay away from descriptive words such as crispy, creamy, crunchy, and crispy as those typically mean fried and more fat added.
  • Substitute the fries for a salad (dressing on the side and use sparingly) or if available a second serving of cooked veggies or fruit.
  • Get a to-go box right away before you start eating and package half of your meal in the box and eat at another meal at home. If it’s on your plate, you’ll be more apt to eat it, so put it away right away so you aren’t tempted and you are more apt to practice proper portion control.
  • Share! It’s ok to share an entree with you friend, spouse, etc to help you practice better portion control.
  • Look at the options ahead of time online or using your smart phone. Many restaurants have their nutrition information included in their websites or you can use the Calorie King app to explore the options and make a healthy choice when dining out.
  • If eating out is a rare occurrence, it is ok to splurge, but keep in mind it should be a special occasion and only every once in awhile, not every day or every week as those extra calories will add up and cause weight gain quickly!
  • To help balance out the extra calories consumed when eating out, be sure to get your activity in and engage in at least 30-60 minutes/day!


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