man and woman hiking with backpacks

5 Ways to Build Your Summer Body Confidence

The skies are clear and blue, the temperatures are on the rise, and outdoor activities are calling your name. There’s no doubt that summer has arrived, and it’s likely that you’re thinking about your fitness routine. Fitness and wellness guru Caroline Jordan has some advice for you: “There is no better time than right now to get started on some serious body love. I encourage you to practice your body love push-ups daily and build your body confidence strength.”

Let’s take a look at some ways you can make Jordan’s advice and your fitness goals your reality this summer:
  1. Hold yourself accountable.

Make a workout schedule and stick to it. Use an app, a fitness tracker, or even just a simple notebook to record your activity. Journal the accomplishments you make. Burn a high number of calories? Increase your speed or your weight load? Feel successful after trying a new exercise? Reflect on these experiences in your journal. Doing so can not only help you see how much you improve from week to week but it can also keep you motivated to do even more.

  1. Appreciate food as fuel.

Eating for comfort may lead you to eat too much, but seeing food as the enemy may cause you to deprive your body of the nutrients it needs. Question your relationship with food and why you make the decisions to eat what you do. Read about the science of nutrition and how different foods can do different things for your body. Do your body a favor by complementing your workout with the fuel it needs; don’t cancel out your efforts by treating yourself to foods that work against your goals.

  1. Try something new.

Is there a dance or fitness or yoga class you’ve always wanted to try? Is there a new sports league forming at your work? Have your friends or coworkers invited you out for a hike or a bike ride? Schedule it, sign up, and say yes! You could find something new that you enjoy and that you want to invest your time in. You could also give your body a chance to surprise you with its ability and strength. Who knows – it could even lead to a new project or a new connection in your professional life.

  1. Build confidence in yourself.

Wouldn’t it be nice if building confidence in yourself were as easy as hanging a motivational poster in your workspace or on your fridge and looking at it every day? Building that confidence and staying motivated to do more for yourself and for your fitness goals take time and concerted effort, but small steps can lead to a significant shift in how you see yourself. Tell yourself how proud you are of your accomplishments every day. If you’re new to fitness and you’ve just committed to climbing the stairs every day instead of taking the elevator, pat yourself on the back. If you’ve walked back into the gym this week or you’re back in the kitchen to do meal prep after a vacation full of treats and time off, give yourself some applause.

  1. Learn how to make your healthcare coverage work for your goals.

Explore your options when it comes to different types of coverage. In addition to major medical coverage, there are short-term medical plans and health benefit insurance plans (commonly known as limited medical coverage) that may help you meet your coverage needs and come with features that help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Check to see if the coverage you choose has the following:

  • Deductibles that meet your budget needs
  • Affordable doctor’s office visits so seeing your doctor is within your budget
  • Mental health coverage to provide resources, support, and/or benefits for you or your covered loved ones in need
  • Wellness initiatives to provide nutrition and/or fitness resources and/or programs
  • Telemedicine feature to provide you with video and/or phone access to doctors when you need it
  • Patient advocacy feature to help you navigate the healthcare system
Here are some features of several different types of coverage to help you decide what works best for you and your goals:

Short-Term Medical Coverage

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are facing life-altering transition periods such as pre-Medicare retirement, change in employment status, rolling off parental or student insurance, bridging a gap in major medical coverage or if you missed Open Enrollment (This coverage is designed solely to provide healthcare coverage during unexpected coverage gaps)
  • Flexibility in coverage length and cost (coverage duration varies by state and is non-renewable)
  • Variety of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Low copay options for in-network benefits
  • Limited preventive care available
  • Ability to cancel at any time without penalty (benefits may be limited and subject to exclusions and restrictions)
  • Does not cover pre-existing conditions
  • Coverage is not guaranteed
  • Not intended to be a replacement or alternative to ACA or other major medical plans and does not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required; may result in a tax penalty.

Health Benefit Insurance Coverage 

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are anticipating rising medical expenses, are unable to afford major medical, are not eligible for short-term medical, and/or are looking for supplemental coverage to major medical plans
  • Guaranteed issue coverage if eligibility is met and available in state
  • Premiums often lower than major medical
  • Benefits such as $50-$100 paid toward doctor and specialist visits available
  • Not required to use a network of doctors – freedom to see any doctor or visit any facility of your choice (*Note: you may still exceed eligible benefit)
  • Preventive care available for as low as $50
  • Next day coverage available or little to no waiting periods for accidental injuries or sickness
  • 12 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions (limitations and exclusions may apply)
  • Not a replacement for major medical coverage
  • Does not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as sole medical coverage

ACA Coverage

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are seeking major medical but may not be able to afford it, have a pre-existing condition, and/or need a broad array of health benefits
  • Option to change plan every year and to stay on policy as long as needed
  • Renews annually
  • Provides coverage for pre-existing conditions; you can’t be rejected based on health
  • Provides preventive care
  • Provides the option for subsidies to lower costs
  • Provides minimum essential health benefits
  • Must enroll during the Open Enrollment period, the Special Enrollment period, or when a qualifying life event occurs

Note: It is important to keep in mind that while short-term and health benefit insurance coverage can provide valuable benefits, neither one is intended to be a replacement nor an alternative to ACA or other major medical plans. These types of coverage do not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required and will not help to avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

handheld fitness equipment and water bottle

Break Out of the Office Space with Fit Play

When temperatures begin rising and the trees begin to bring the colors of spring to life, it can be difficult to stay inside during the workday, especially if you work in a sedentary job. The Centers for Disease Control recommend adults partake in1:

  • At least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity; or
  • 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity; or
  • An equivalence combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.

Also recommendedis that we focus our daily nutrition and fitness routines on what Dr. Michael Greger calls The Daily Dozen, including foods such as beans, berries, cruciferous vegetables, and whole grains and exercise such as 90 minutes of moderate activity or 40 minutes of vigorous activity. (You can download The Daily Dozen app free for the iPhone and Androids.)

While you stare out your office window and daydream about how to make time to improve your activity levels and nutrition, here are some tips to get you started:

Get outside with coworkers

A walk in a nearby park can easily relax and refresh us, allowing us to be more productive and maintain greater focus. Start a walking club with coworkers, and plan to get your spring strides in for at least 20 minutes. Hold your next department meeting outside as well and enjoy the cardio and fresh air as a team. Ask management to host a walk or a meeting of their own outside so they can have a chance to see how fitness and wellness help your team become more productive.

Make small strides (they add up!)

Proclaim every Friday to be email-free; instead of emailing your colleagues, walk over to have a chat with them. Take the stairs to get there and to get back to your desk. Walk while you’re on that conference call; instead of taking it from your office phone, dial in from your cell phone so you can stretch and move while still working. Don’t snag that highly prized front parking place each morning when you arrive; instead, park at the far end of the parking lot or even a few complexes away if possible. If you take public transportation, get off a couple of stops before your place of work and walk the rest of the way.

Hold a fit feast

Work with your company’s event and/or wellness teams to host a lunch highlighting healthy foods. (If your office doesn’t have one or both of those committees, start one or both yourself!) Ask employees to bring in their favorite plant-based dishes and/or healthy seasonal fare or coordinate several choices from a local restaurant. Work with management to award fun fitness and health related gifts for the coworkers who bring in the most brightly colored dish, the tastiest dish, the most creative dish, etc.

Nix nibbling

You likely have your desk organized in a way that allows you to work efficiently and quickly. You may also have it arranged in a way that is conducive to snacking. Avoid storing high calorie junk foods in your desk that may tempt you throughout the day, especially if your workdays are stressful. Also, avoid using your desk as your lunch space; instead, get away from your desk to enjoy your lunch. Move around a bit before and after as well.

Organize a day of activity

Work with your events and/or wellness teams to organize a field day with friendly competitive events such as kickball, relay races, soccer, and an obstacle course. You could also include activities such as yoga and a walking challenge for your coworkers who would rather relax than compete. Not only will such a day help morale but it will also3 help you and your coworkers by boosting your alertness and productivity and alleviating stress.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

Sources:

 

1: “Current Physical Activity Guidelines.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/prevention/policies_practices/physical_activity/guidelines.htm

2: “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist.” Michael Greger, M.D. NutritionFacts.orghttps://nutritionfacts.org/video/dr-gregers-daily-dozen-checklist/

3: “How Does Exercise Improve Work Productivity?” Julie Boehlke. https://www.livestrong.com/article/422836-how-does-exercise-improve-work-productivity/

runner jogging down paved road

Spring Training Tips: It’s Time to Reclaim Your Fitness

Spring is in the air – or certainly will be soon for those who live in colder locales. With the flip of the seasonal switch often comes the interest to get outside, get moving, and get in shape. If you’re ready to come out of your fitness hibernation or if you’re looking for ways to spring clean your fitness routine, check out the following ideas for inspiration to get in the spring swing of things!

  1. Nourish your body with plant-based whole foods.

Add more plant-based, unprocessed food to your diet to give your body the wholesome fuel it needs to help you meet your fitness and wellness goals. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tempeh, lentils, and beans are all examples of simple, clean foods that give you the protein, vitamins, and minerals needed to treat your body well. Learn more about spring cleaning your diet here and here.

  1. Make fitness fun.

Ask a buddy to talk walks with you around your office building each day. Check out that new park in town and mix up your workout with some sightseeing. Join a step challenge on FitBit (you can download the app for free and use it to track steps or join challenges and communities without buying the fitness tracker). Get creative in the kitchen by trying new veggies or new combinations of food. If you make your fitness journey enjoyable, you’re more likely to stick with it.

  1. Get active every day.

It’s easy to say “I don’t have time to work out today,” but it can also be easy to find a physical activity you love and focus on it for just a few moments each day. Like to take a break and get outside during the workday? Take a quick stroll around the building. Want to try some exercises with weights without joining a gym? Try an at-home workout with water jugs. The idea is to get your body moving on a consistent basis and learn to get into the routine of making fitness a priority.

  1. Set achievable goals.

Whether you’re getting back into fitness after this winter or you’re new to fitness, it’s important to pace yourself. If you like to walk/jog/run, start off this spring with a 20 minute walk every other day. Increase it each week by 5-10 minutes and/or gradually increase your speed. If you like to include weights in your training, start off with low weights/high reps and gradually increase the weight each week. If you want to join a gym but aren’t sure you’re ready to commit to it, establish a workout routine at home and add new exercises each week.

  1. Learn to say no.

Your coworker may come in with donuts for the team while you’re working hard to establish new, healthier habits. Your significant other may suggest going out to that one restaurant with that one menu item you love the most when you’ve already prepped your meals. Your best friend may text you to see if you’d like for her to pick you up your favorite latte topped with chocolate and whipped cream. While it’s certainly acceptable to treat yourself now and then, your fitness goals may involve you saying no to frequent indulgences. Discipline and willpower will go a long way in helping you realize your goals both with food and with fitness level.

  1. Stretch.

This activity of lengthening your muscles gives your body time to warm up and decreases your risk of soreness as well as injury. It also promotes flexibility, which is important to your overall fitness performance. Start by holding stretches for 15 seconds and gradually increase to at least 30 seconds per move. Breathe freely with each stretch, and be sure to incorporate stretching in the beginning and in the end of your workouts.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

 

 

Holiday safety with construction hat

Protect the Children in Your Family this Holiday Season with Safe Toys and Gifts

As you prepare to hit the stores this holiday season, Prevent Blindness America, encourages you to consider your choice of gifts. This non-profit group is dedicated to advocating for healthy vision and has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month to help adults make smart purchase decisions.

Consider these stats:

  • Hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 265,000 toy-related injuries in 2012 throughout the United States1.
  • 72% were people less than 15 years of age1.
  • Close to 90,000 were people less than 5 years of age1.
  • Each year, thousands of children aged 14 and younger suffer from eye injuries and even blindness from toys2.

Understandably, you are likely excited to indulge your children as well as children in your family.

However, Prevent Blindness America urges you to keep important safety guidelines in mind as well as the age range for toys you purchase:

  • Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
  • Consider if the toy is appropriate for your child’s ability and age.
  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
  • Check the lenses and frames of your children’s sunglasses; many can break and cause injuries.
  • Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
  • Look for the letters “ASTM.” This designation means the product meets the national safety standards set by ASTM International.
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
  • Inspect toys for safe, sturdy construction.
  • Fix or throw away broken toys.
  • Keep your young children away from toys meant for older children.
  • Make sure your children store toys properly after play to avoid risks or falls.
  • Supervise your children’s craft projects (scissors and glue can be extremely dangerous to a child’s eyesight).
  • Have your children wear the right eye protection for sports (face shields, helmets, eyeguards).

Make recommendations to your family and loved ones this holiday season when it comes to toys and gifts you feel are safe and appropriate for your children. It may feel as if your concern is gratuitous, but taking extra precautions may help prevent an injury and will help you enjoy the holidays in your home, not in your local urgent care center or emergency room.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

Sources:

1: “Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.” Prevent Blindness America. https://www.preventblindness.org/safe-toys-and-gifts-awareness-month

2: “Safe Toy Checklist.” Prevent Blindness America. https://www.preventblindness.org/safe-toy-checklist

This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide any purchasing recommendations. Before making any purchasing decisions, review any policy exclusions, limitations, benefits, and costs. We encourage you to speak with a licensed insurance professional regarding your specific needs.

Butt Out for the Great American Smokeout

Each year on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society invites smokers to participate in the Great American Smokeout, an event focused on preventing disease and death caused by cigarettes and tobacco.

Smokers are encouraged to:
  • Give up the use of cigarettes/tobacco for the day;
  • Use the day to make a plan to quit; or
  • Quit smoking that very day

According to the American Cancer Society1, “by quitting – even for 1 day – smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.” While quitting smoking can be difficult, it has both immediate and long-term benefits to your health as well as the health of loved ones who smoke2:

  • After 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop
  • After 12 hours, your carbon monoxide levels return to normal
  • After 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease
  • After 1 year, your excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone who still smokes
  • After 5 years, your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half
  • After 10 years, your risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of those who don’t smoke
  • After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is that of those who don’t smoke

With the consistent rises in costs for medical care and insurance, it’s likely that you are worried about potential financial battles you’ll face or your loved ones will face whether you smoke or not. Quitting smoking is a lifestyle change you or your loved ones can make to prevent and/or lower risk of the conditions noted above as well as to lower the risk of diabetes and to extend life expectancy2.

When considering quitting or talking to loved ones you’d like to see quit, visit these resources from the American Cancer Society. Quitting isn’t easy, but when smokers know how to do it and know where to go for help, it’s more likely the lifestyle change sticks. Smoking is lifestyle choice that is among the largest preventable causes of disease and premature death1, and you and/or your loved ones who smoke deserve the support to be to make a different choice.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

Sources

1: “The Great American Smokeout.” American Cancer Society.

https://www.cancer.org/healthy/stay-away-from-tobacco/great-american-smokeout.html

2: “Great American Smokeout: Free help for those who want to quit smoking.” Dr. Janna Kroiss. http://www.htrnews.com/story/life/2017/11/06/great-american-smokeout-free-help-available-those-who-want-quit-smoking-cigarettes-ask-doctor/836503001/

Family sitting by fire during Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is Coming to Town: Holidays and Your Loved Ones’ Health

The holiday season and Open Enrollment have arrived, and so have opportunities to spend time with your loved ones. Food, laughs, and gifts are likely on your agenda, but something else – something more important – may be as well: protecting the health of your loved ones.

Maybe you’re catching up with Aunt Linda who is facing an illness after losing her job. Maybe you’re hanging out with your roommate Ruben who has a pre-existing condition and can’t afford major medical coverage. No matter who you’re talking to, the topic of healthcare is likely to arise . What do you know about your available coverage options? Let’s take a look at some of the features you and your loved ones can take advantage of:

Limited Medical Coverage

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are anticipating rising medical expenses, are unable to afford major medical, are not eligible for short-term medical, and/or are looking for supplemental coverage to major medical plans
  • Guaranteed issue coverage if eligibility is met and available in state
  • Premiums often lower than major medical
  • Benefits such as $50-$100 paid toward doctor and specialist visits available
  • Not required to use a network of doctors – freedom to see any doctor or visit any facility of your choice (*Note: you may still exceed eligible benefit)
  • Preventive care available for as low as $50
  • Next day coverage available or little to no waiting periods for accidental injuries or sickness
  • 12 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions (limitations and exclusions may apply)
  • Does not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as sole medical coverage

Short-Term Medical Coverage

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are facing life-altering transition periods such as pre-Medicare retirement, change in employment status, rolling off parental or student insurance, bridging a gap in major medical coverage or if you missed Open Enrollment (This coverage is designed solely to provide healthcare coverage during unexpected coverage gaps)
  • Flexibility in coverage length and cost (coverage duration varies by state and is non-renewable)
  • Variety of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Low copay options for in-network benefits
  • Limited preventive care available
  • Ability to cancel at any time without penalty (benefits may be limited and subject to exclusions and restrictions)
  • Does not cover pre-existing conditions
  • Coverage is not guaranteed
  • Not intended to be a replacement or alternative to ACA or other major medical plans and does not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required; may result in a tax penalty.

ACA Coverage

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are seeking major medical but may not be able to afford it, have a pre-existing condition, and/or need a broad array of health benefits
  • Option to change plan every year and to stay on policy as long as needed
  • Renews annually
  • Provides coverage for pre-existing conditions; you can’t be rejected based on health
  • Provides preventive care
  • Provides the option for subsidies to lower costs
  • Provides minimum essential health benefits
  • Must enroll during the Open Enrollment period, the Special Enrollment period, or when a qualifying life event occurs

Critical Illness Coverage 

  • Helpful if you (or a loved one) are seeking an added layer of financial protection in the face of critical health concerns
  • Pays benefits directly to you or your designee(s)
  • Benefits can be used to pay living expenses such as mortgage, rent, and car payments as well as prescriptions, copays, medical bills, and a myriad of other costs
  • Benefits available up to $50,000
  • Limitations and exclusions may apply
  • Little to no waiting period

Talk to your loved ones this holiday season about Open Enrollment, their health concerns, and their current coverage. You’re already adding extra layers of clothes to stay warm; now may be a good time for you and your loved ones to consider adding extra layers of coverage to stay protected from potentially costly health events.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

 

 

child weighing food options during National Childhood Obesity Month

Make Healthy Choices to Combat Childhood Obesity

One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services1. That means obesity affects approximately 12.7 million children and adolescents2. The month of September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about this epidemic and to highlight simple steps parents, teachers, communities, and health professionals can take to combat it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, children with obesity are at a higher risk for3:

  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Bone and joint issues
  • Type 2 diabetes

They also have more risk factors for3:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

In addition to the emotional toll obesity may take on children due to bullying and social isolation, they are also more likely to have obesity as adults. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers3.

So what can we do to prevent obesity in children?

  1. Be role models. Make healthy choices when it comes to nutrition and fitness. Fill your plates with colorful fruits and vegetables. Stick to a fitness schedule. See your doctor regularly for checkups.
  2. Get kids involved. Let kids help in the planning and preparation of meals and in workout routines.
  3. Make creative choices. Prepare snacks and meals that are creative and colorful. Plan fitness routines that involve being in parks or fun recreational areas.
  4. Make small changes. Keep fresh fruit within reach or go on a family walk after meals.
  5. Talk with teachers and school administrators. Ask them to provide healthy food options and daily physical activities for students. 
  6. Communicate with health professionals. Learn how they show leadership within their communities and which programs they support that prevent childhood obesity and encourage improved nutrition, fitness, and wellness. 

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

Sources:

1: “September: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/SeptemberToolkit.aspx

2: “YCMA Offers Health Tips for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.” Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/glenview/community/chi-ugc-article-ymca-offers-health-tips-for-childhood-obesity-2017-08-30-story.html

3: “September is National Childhood Obesity Month.” Centers for Disease Control. https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html

 

Fruits and Veggies - More Matters Month

Pack Your Plate for Fruits and Veggies Month

“Eat your spinach!”

“Don’t trade your banana at lunch!”

“Yes, you have to clean your plate. Yes, that includes the Brussels sprouts!”

Most of us heard these messages – or something similar – from our parents when we were kids. Fruits and veggies may not always have been the most tantalizing foods back then (and they still may not be now), but there is no denying that we need lots of them in our diet1.

September is Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month, an annual celebration that puts the focus not just on eating more fruits and veggies but also on how they can lower our risk2 of:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain cancers
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure

Did you know that…

…a low-fat plant based diet can control and/or reverse3Type 2 diabetes?

…plants are loaded with protein3?

veggies and fruits are packed4 with calcium, iron, and vitamin D, among other nutrients?

leafy greens5 help protect our tissues against free-radical damage, help keep our nerves, brain, and spinal cord healthy,

and help bone marrow make new red blood cells?

fruits and veggies6 are considered nutrient-dense and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages increased consumption of these plant-based foods?

 

According to the USDA’s Choose My Plate7 program, half your plate of each meal should be fruits and veggies. That may seem like a lot, especially when your diet doesn’t currently meet that recommendation, but here are some tips to help you on your journey to healthier eating:

  • Keep a bowl of fruit on your counter. This keeps it convenient, in your line of sight, and attractive – three qualities that will make it more likely
  • for you to choose a piece of fruit over less healthy options the next time you go to the kitchen.
  • Take a few minutes each week to cut up fruits (or buy bagged frozen options) to store them in convenient – and portable – containers for later use.
    Grab a container when you head out the door each morning.
  • Challenge your loved ones to try a new veggie with you each week.
  • Add (or increase the amount you normally add) veggies to your standard dishes like pasta, soup, or sandwiches.
  • Choose frozen fruit bars (100% fruit – no added sugar) instead of ice cream or yogurt.
  • Add greens to your breakfast smoothie.
  • Replace carbs with vegetables. Instead of making mashed potatoes, make mashed cauliflower.
  • Use lettuce instead of bread for sandwiches and wraps.
  • Make overnight oats and add steamed veggies or fruit to the top.
  • Swap the noodles you typically use for veggie noodles. With a spiralizer, you can make noodles from vegetables such as zucchini and squash.
  • Add carrots, squash, broccoli, kale, or other veggies to your tomato sauce.
  • Slice veggies such as avocados, carrots, or zucchini and bake as fries until crispy.

Looking for a farmers’ market near you for fresh fruits and veggies? Click here8.

Know someone who could use help eating healthy? Click here9 for tips on how to start the conversation:

September is also National Childhood Obesity Month. Click here10 for information on how fruits and veggies can help support healthy growth in children. Click here11 for information on the Salad Bars to Schools project.

 

With our leading edge tools and technologies, we’re upgrading how you experience your choice of coverage.

Stay tuned to our next blog post!

Click here to join our Facebook community for more information about your health and your healthcare coverage.

 

Sources:

1: “Everything You Eat and Drink Matters.” https://www.choosemyplate.gov/variety. United States Department of Agriculture.

2: “September: Fruit & Veggies – More Matters Month.” https://healthfinder.gov/nho/SeptemberToolkit2.aspx. United States Department of Health and Human Services.

3: “What the Health: Facts.” http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/facts/.

4: “Power Sources.” http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate/power-sources. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

5: “Why Eat Dark, Leafy Greens?” http://doctorklaper.com/answers/answers16/. Dr. Michael Kapler.

6: “More Plants on the Plate.” http://nutritionstudies.org/plants-plate/. T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

7: “MyPlate.” https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate. United States Department of Agriculture.

8: “Local Food Directories: National Farmers Market Directory.” https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets. United States Department of Agriculture.

9: “Healthy Eating: Conversation Starters.” https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/nutrition-and-physical-activity/nutrition/healthy-eating-conversation-starters. United States Department of Health and Human Services.

10: “September is National Childhood Obesity Month.” https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

11: “Salads Bars to Schools.” http://www.saladbars2schools.org/.