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Purpose | Health | Belonging | Security

What does a life well-lived mean to you? It’s different for everyone. Some people put time and effort into developing and nurturing relationships. Others try to manage their emotions and become more relaxed. Some people measure their sense of security by the size of their bank account.

 

 Well-being is personal – your path will be very different from your family, friends or coworkers. The first step on your well-being journey is to understand what’s important to you. Go365 focuses on four pillars of well-being: purpose, health, belonging and security. The interaction and balance of these pillars within your life creates your own personal sense of well-being. What does each pillar mean to you? Think about the goals you set for each of these and how you prioritize each in your life. How do you incorporate purpose, health, belonging and security into your life? Improvement in one area may even lead to improvement in others, leading you even closer to your well-being goals.

Here are some mindful ways to explore what well-being means to you.

 

Find purpose

We all have a purpose in life – purpose is the driving force that helps us grow as individuals and members of our community. One way to find purpose is to discover and embrace what motivates you to enjoy the fullness of life. Being curious and learning about yourself can be beneficial to help you find goodness in helping others. Volunteering at local organizations or meeting with advocacy groups within your community are great ways to support those around you. Making a spiritual connection may inspire a new direction. Dealing with your fears can inspire you to find and achieve your dream. How will you find your purpose?

 

Invest in health

Good health affects both physical and mental well-being. Achieving your best health is a very personal journey. A great place to start is to understand how and when you feel your best. Learn to befriend your body to help build healthy habits that work best for you. Know your wellness numbers – blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol and blood glucose – and work on activities to improve them to help you live your best life. How will you invest in your good health?

 

Elevate belonging

We all want to feel like we belong – to our family, our circle of friends, at work and in our community. Foster connections to the people around you to nurture relationships and improve well-being. One way to strengthen personal connections is to join coworkers on their daily walks (while appropriately social distancing) or sign up for a team healthy eating challenge. You will increase your circle of friends by being more inclusive and inviting others to join activities. How will you elevate your sense of belonging?

 

Feel more secure

The key to personal well-being is simple—identify when and how you feel most confident and secure in yourself, your relationships and even your financial situation. A good way to get started is to be a self-advocate and practice self-care. When you can cool anger and unwind anxiety, you manage stress and gain confidence. Reducing other types of stressors like finances can also help put your mind at ease. Take the time to reflect on the beauty in life, and it will inspire your personal self-worth and build healthier connections with others. How will you feel more secure?

 

A whole new way to think about Go365®

We’re here to inspire, motivate and reward your personal well-being journey. We offer simple steps to start new activities to improve mind, body and spirit. Go365 has the science-based tools, helpful resources and supportive community to guide your path toward purpose, health, belonging and security. Join us at Go365.com.

 

 

Sources

Steve Taylor, Ph.D., “A Sense of Purpose Means a Longer Life,” Psychology Today, accessed February 2020. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201411/sense-purpose-means-longer-life

“Life Purpose, Taking Charge of Your Health and Well-being,” University of Minnesota, accessed February 2020. https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/life-purpose

Tchiki Davis, Ph.D., “What is Well-being? Definition, Types and Well-being Skills,” Psychology today, accessed February 2020. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201901/what-is-well-being-definition-types-and-well-being-skills

“Well-being Concepts,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed February 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/hrqol/wellbeing.htm

“The Twelve Pillars on the Path to Well-being,” Rich Hanson Ph.D., accessed February 2020. https://www.thefoundationsofwellbeing.com/pillars

 

 

Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, financial, or other professional advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. You should consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

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Cottage cheese not only keeps this easy peaches and cream cake moist; it also keeps down the calories.

 

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups sliced peaches, fresh, canned, or thawed from frozen

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" spring form pan.
  2. Beat together the eggs and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the melted butter, cottage cheese, yogurt and vanilla. Beat until well-combined.
  4. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder, stirring or beating gently to combine.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan, and place the peaches evenly over the top.
  6. Bake the cake for about 50 minutes until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, to firm up.
  8. Serve warm.

 

 

 

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

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Consider an alternative to mashed potatoes with fewer calories and carbohydrates.

 

Cauliflower boasts nutrients such as vitamin C, K, and B6.

 

This mashed cauliflower recipe would work for those on a paleo diet, as well as anyone who wants to avoid high-glycemic foods.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower (approx. 3 lbs.), trimmed and cut into florets
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnish ideas: Salt, freshly ground black pepper, chopped thyme, extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Boil a large pot of salted water. Put in the cauliflower and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes or until you’re able to stick a fork through the cauliflower.
  2. Drain the water from the pot. Return the cauliflower and garlic back to the hot pan. Let it sit 2-3 minutes with the lid on.
  3. Combine the cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Purée until smooth. If you don’t have a processor, you can mash the ingredients together by hand.
  4. When smooth, taste-test the mashed cauliflower and add further seasoning as needed.
  5. Before you serve, as an option, garnish with salt, pepper, chopped thyme, or olive oil.

 

Sources

1 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-cauliflower

2 https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/glycemic-index-good-versus-bad-carbs

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The constant stream of news surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak is causing heightened stress and anxiety for many. This isn’t an unusual reaction. It’s actually part of a natural built-in survival mechanism known as the “fight or flight” or stress response. Humans are wired to scan their environment for potential threats. When people perceive a dangerous situation, their bodies react in ways that are designed to help them survive imminent danger.1  

While the stress response is very effective for helping us survive an immediate threat – reacting quickly to avoid a collision when someone cuts your car off on a highway, for example – it can be counterproductive when facing uncertainty in an ongoing situation.

 

During this challenging time, it’s important to take appropriate action to protect your health. It’s just as important to manage stress and anxiety so you can avoid causing harm to your physical and mental health. Information therapy is a technique that can help you do both.  

 

What is information therapy?

Information therapy is formally defined as, “supplying patients with health information, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health and care,” and to participate in their own well-being.2  

Information therapy can help you feel a sense of control in an unpredictable health situation. In the case of COVID-19, access to reliable information is critical to ensuring that you know what to do to prevent spreading the infection.

The key is to stick to accurate, useful information from reliable sources while avoiding media reports that are alarmist and contain misinformation. Some reputable, up-to-date websites you can go to for factual information about the coronavirus include:

 

·       World Health Organization

·       The Centers for Disease Control

·       National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

·       Harvard Medical School

How to tell if you’re on information overload

As communities deal with the coronavirus pandemic, they are bombarded with breaking news reports, emails, social media posts and news articles about the crisis. Immersing yourself in the constant news cycle can create intense feelings of dread and even panic. In fact, studies show that people who are repeatedly exposed to negative, sensationalist news stories experience acute stress, symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder and other long-term consequences to their well-being.3  

 

A constant diet of bad news can lead to overreactive decision making, like hoarding food, toilet paper and protective masks. It can also lead to excessive worry, debilitating anxiety and physical symptoms.3

While everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, there are some signs that they are struggling with a high level of stress and anxiety.4

 

  • Constant fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Irritability
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Worsening of mental health conditions
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs

 

Practical ways to manage anxiety and nurture your well-being

Controlling your reaction to information during a pandemic is no easy feat, especially since there is a heightened level of anxiety and concern throughout our communities. However, there are practical steps you can take to help reduce stress and take care of your well-being during this difficult time.5  

  • Stick to only certain credible websites for information
  • Limit the amount of time you spend consuming COVID-19 coverage each day
  • Make a concrete plan about how to get through the next weeks and months that focuses on things you can control
  • Stock up on a reasonable amount of food and medical supplies and avoid hoarding
  • Stay in touch with family and friends by phone, video or social media
  • Carve out time every day to do something around the house you enjoy
  • Prioritize sleep, a healthy diet and exercise
  • Take breaks from electronic devices and play board games or cards or work on a creative project with your household members

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Go365 program has ways to support you while earning Points. You can keep a mindfulness log for 10 Points per week or download one of our compatible apps like Unwinding Anxiety or Stop, Breathe & Think to learn new coping skills or find peace in your day. Engage your mind and body for your well-being while getting rewarded.

 

Sources

1 “What Happens to Your Body During the Fight or Flight Response?” Cleveland Clinic (December 2019), accessed XX/XX/XXXX. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-happens-to-your-body-during-the-fight-or-flight-response/

2 D.J. Mitchell, “Toward a definition of Information Therapy,” Proceedings. Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care (1994), accessed XX/XX/XXXX. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2247874/

3 Jill Suttie, “How to Be Intentional About Consuming Coronavirus News,” Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley (2020), accessed XX/XX/XXXX. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_be_intentional_about_consuming_coronavirus_news

4 “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Stress and Coping,” CDC (2020) accessed XX/XX/XXXX. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fmanaging-stress-anxiety.html

5 Yasmin Anwar, “When Coronavirus Anxiety Is Useful and When It Isn’t,” (2020), accessed XX/XX/XXXX. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/when_coronavirus_anxiety_is_useful_and_when_it_isnt?utm_source=Greater+Good+Science+Center&utm_campaign=3283ee616b-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_GG_Newsletter_April_7_2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5ae73e326e-3283ee616b-74267559


Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, financial, or other professional advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. You should consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

From time to time, Go365 may make available items and services from third-party vendors. While some services are provided at no additional cost to you, if you choose to use certain items and services, you may incur additional fees that are not covered by your wellness program. Similar items or services may be available at no or reduced cost under Go365, or your health coverage, if available. You should consult your Go365 program or health coverage documents for more information.  Third-party vendors may provide compensation to Humana. Humana does not endorse the items or services provided by third-party vendors.

 

Discrimination is Against the Law

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sex, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries do not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sex, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.

English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX (TTY: 711).

Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-XXX-XXX-XXXX (TTY: 711).

繁體中文 (Chinese): 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-XXX-XXX-XXXX (TTY: 711).

 

DIN: GCHKSSGEN

Dear Go365 members,

 

This challenging time continues to call us to a different way of interacting with our world, our communities and our own well-being. Everyone at Go365®, myself included, is thinking of you. Each of our members is weathering the COVID-19 crisis in their own way, with unique challenges and struggles. We hear you and see your efforts every day – from those on the frontlines of the crisis to those who contribute by staying home and posting rainbows in your windows. We hear our members sharing encouraging messages for those who must be out in the world, doing the jobs that help the rest of us stay safe.

 

Go365 supports you through all aspects of your well-being: your health, your relationships and communities in which you belong, the feeling of being financially secure and activities that help you connect to bring purpose and joy in life.

Thank you ALL for making a difference in your own way.  

 

Thank you for continuing to look after yourself, your family members and communities, and for keeping health and well-being top of mind as we work through this unprecedented challenge together.

 

 

In wellness,

Jeff Reid
SVP Go365 and Humana Wellness

communitymanager

No negative self-talk

Posted by communitymanager Apr 27, 2020

Negative self-talk can stop you from reaching your goals.  It undermines your self-confidence and often what you tell yourself has a way of becoming reality. In other words, what you tell yourself can support you in achieving your goals, or undermine you.

The good news – there are strategies you can use to talk back to that negative voice in your head, things you can use to flip your thinking to the positive and support you in achieving your goals.

  • Notice negative thoughts when they pop up. Acknowledge them for what they are – just thoughts that you can change if you choose. Writing down your thoughts and flipping them to the positive can help you learn to make the flip more easily.
  • Challenge your thinking. Once you’ve become aware of negative thoughts, begin to challenge them. Ask yourself, are these thoughts really based on truth?  Most likely not. On the off chance they are, ask yourself what you could do to make things different?
  • Use positive statements. Avoid the words “not” and “don’t.” Studies show that your brain doesn’t really grasp the concept of what you are not; it registers what you are. In other words, if you say, “I am not weak,” the brain registers “I am weak.” So instead, be positive and say, “I am strong.”  
  • Use the present tense. State self-talk in the present tense – here and now statements to help you take action. Instead of, “I’ll be better tomorrow,” say, “I am making a choice to be different now.” You may choose to act a different way or feel a different way.  Focus on being different in the moment rather than how you were in the past or will be in the future.
  • Identify what you want to achieve and state it as a fact. Rephrase your statements to see a goal as a reality. Instead of, “I hope to walk three times this week,” say “I am going to walk three times this week.”
  • Focus on behaviors you can control. Use “I” statements. Create positive self-talk that deals with you and your goals. Say, “I am eating healthy foods this week” instead of, “I am losing three pounds this week.” Realize that you cannot control the actions of others, or the outcomes, but you can control the choices you make.

 

References

https://coaching.humana.com/Default.aspx?tabid=5383&lid=1025780&reflid=0&cid=a1400c3c-9947-4576-83ca-2aeb6cd8b0e3&cpid=50001&ctid=10074&cgtid=10000&cvtid=1&coachmgr=1&conly=1&nolog=1&cpidv8=50001&id=a1400c3c-9947-4576-83ca-2aeb6cd8b0e3&rwndrnd=0.7149800296928728

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_95.htm

communitymanager

Keep it safe

Posted by communitymanager Apr 6, 2020

Regular activity is good for all of us, and it’s important to stay safe while becoming more active. Here are some tips for doing so:

·         Talk to a doctor.  Talk to your doctor before engaging in exercise, especially if you haven’t been active recently.  Also consult your doctor if you have any injuries or health conditions, or if you experience any troublesome symptoms during exercise such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness.

·         Pay attention to your body. Start slowly and gradually increase your activity level.  At times you may need to cut back or change your routine.  Physical activity can be challenging, but shouldn’t be painful.

·         Prevent soreness and injury. Take five to 10 minutes to warm up and cool down properly to prevent soreness and injury, and be aware that training too hard or too often can cause overuse injuries.  Shoot for a mix of different kinds of activities that use different muscle groups, and make sure to rest between bouts of activity.

·         Remember the weather. In cold weather, wear layers you can easily peel off. In hot weather, try exercising during cooler hours or in an air-conditioned gym.  Watch for signs of overheating such as headache, dizziness, nausea, faintness, cramps, or palpitations.  No matter the temperature, always drink lots of water!

·         Use good form. Especially for strength training, good form is critical to success. Initially use no weight or very light weights when learning the exercises. And never sacrifice good form by hurrying to finish reps or sets, or struggling to lift heavier weights.

 

Finally, if you have persistent or intense muscle pain that starts during a workout or right afterward, or muscle soreness that persists more than one to two weeks, call your doctor for advice.

 

References

https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/10-tips-for-exercising-safely

http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/PamphletPrint.aspx?token=13017087-e182-44a8-b26a-0bd8976976b3&chunkiid=21333#

With certain events occurring throughout the country, some individuals may be finding it more difficult to find social and community activities to complete within their area.

 

 

We wanted to provide alternative activities to assist in continuing to earning rewards with Go365 and encourage overall well-being. Check out some ideal below! 

 

 

Social or Community Activities -  Will earn $5 per event. You can complete up to 4 social events and earn up to $20 in rewards each plan year.

  • Communicate with friends and family (3 of the following within a week)
    • Phone call with friends and family 
    • Video call with friends and family - Facetime, Skype, Zoom etc. 
    • Video chat with friends and family while playing a game (charades etc.)
    • Write a letter to a few friends and/or family
    • Have your Grandchildren interview you
    • On-line tutoring or teach a class
  • Join an online group or community and write 3 comments or posts within a week
    • Create a Facebook Friends and/or Family group
    • Join an online Community

 

 

Go365 Physical Fitness Activities: Complete 8 Daily Workouts within one month and earn $5 for that month. Earn up to a $60 maximum per plan year!

  • If you are unable to attend SilverSneakers, you may complete items on the list below. Remember to complete them at least 8 times within the same month to be eligible for rewards.
    • Dance to your 5 favorite songs
    • Go for a walk outside (Parks or outside in a less populated area)
    • Body weight exercises please complete 3 sets of 15 - high knees, push-ups against the wall or counter and overhead hand press, step up on the stairs are some examples
    • Stretch for 15 min
    • Stream an exercise video and follow the routine, Silversneakers has an app with videos available
    • FaceTime or video chat with friends and family and follow a routine together
    • Depending on weather and location you can do some yard work or gardening
    • Follow an exercise program on TV or video
    • Walk your dog
    • Continue to complete your Daily Workouts by reaching at least 500 steps per day and fill out the 2020 Medicare Fitness Workout Tracker 
    • Connect your Garmin or Fitbit to Go365 to track your Daily Workouts, see Learn how to connect your device today! for directions. 

 

Please note: Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise activities or programs. Alternatives provided are ideas and guidelines, please be sure to exercise to your best capabilities and limits. 

 

If you would like to keep track of your activities and submit them to Go365, please fill out the forms linked below.

 

 

2020 Medicare Fitness Workout Tracker 

Go365 Medicare Social Activity Form  

Learn how to connect your device today! 

 

 

Keep up the great work! 

 

****Members can begin redeeming gift cards in the Go365 Mall once they have accrued $25 in rewards. Rewards have no cash value and must be earned and redeemed within the same program year. *****

When you’re physically active on a regular basis, your body gets more efficient so what was once challenging is now easier. The upside – you’re stronger and healthier. The flip side – your body is now burning fewer calories.

To keep up the calorie burn, follow the exercise guidelines of the FITT principle. FITT stands for: 

 

·         Frequency - How often you’re active

·         Intensity - How hard you’re working

·         Time - How long you’re active

·         Type - The kind of activity

 

Changing just one of these areas at a time helps you get better results, minimize boredom, and avoid weight loss plateaus.  For example, if you’ve been walking the same 30 minute route three days a week for the past few months, instead you might add an extra day of walking, walk longer, walk faster or even add a few short bursts of jogging into your walk, or switch up your routine altogether by adding a Zumba class or 30 minutes of swimming.

 

Only increase one area of the FITT principle at a time, not all at the same time, to avoid overuse and injury. As always, see your doctor for guidelines and recommendations specific to your current physical condition.

 

References:

 

https://coaching.humana.com/Default.aspx?tabid=5383&lid=1025471&reflid=0&cid=015985f6-14b2-4195-8d2d9d2b0370c8e4&cpid=50001&ctid=50002&cgtid=10000&cvtid=1&coachmgr=1&conly=1&nolog=1&cpidv8=50001&id=015985f6-14b2-4195-8d2d-9d2b0370c8e4&rwndrnd=0.4568419243863251

http://teams.humana.com/sites/Coach2Coach/SiteAssets/Coaching%20Resources/Coaching%20Resource%20on%20Fitness.pdf

Is being excessively competitive or too self-critical stopping you from reaching your goals?

 

Recent research shows that self-criticism actually makes us less resilient and less likely to learn important lessons from failure. Instead, in the face of adversity, self-criticism can make us more anxious and defensive, and can lead to isolation or unhealthy competition. The better alternative to self-criticism is self-compassion.

 

We’re learning that self-compassion is a way to improve your emotional well-being and help you achieve your goals. Self-compassion involves being as kind to yourself as you would to a friend or loved one, understanding that mistakes are a normal part of everyday life, and not getting stuck in the downward spiral of negative emotions that can come along with failure.

 

What if self-compassion does not come naturally to you? You’re not alone and you can learn it! The first step is to recognize how you respond to life’s challenges and failures. For example, how do you respond when you’ve overindulged at a special event?

 

Instead of beating yourself up, acknowledge your mistakes and any feelings of self-doubt or failure. Then let it all go. Recognize that any failures or perceived weaknesses from overindulging do not reflect your worth as a person, but are just a moment in time to be overcome. Ask yourself what you would tell a friend in your situation. Perhaps you’d tell her we all have those moments. Maybe you’d help him figure out what he’d do differently in the future. You’d let your friend know that one night of overeating does not make him or her a failure.

 

With self-compassion, you reach just as high for your goals. And, in the face of adversity, you’re better able to stay focused and work toward your goals. Be your own best friend.

 

Not sure how to practice self-compassion in your life? Your coach is always there for you.  

 

 

Reference

http://ccare.stanford.edu/uncategorized/the-scientific-benefits-of-self-compassion-infographic/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/self-compassion-fosters-mental-health/

communitymanager

Time for a reset?

Posted by communitymanager Mar 10, 2020

Despite our best intentions, we all get off track sometimes, right? When working on weight management, the most important step is to “hit the reset button” and keep moving forward. Here are the steps you can take to help you get back on track.

  • Don’t dwell. Remember, self-acceptance and self-kindness are key to moving forward. Think about what you can do in the future instead of what happened in the past.  Remember you are only one meal – or workout – away from getting back on track.
  • Ask yourself what you learned. Reflect on the situation. Is there something you’d do differently next time? Maybe it’s a new strategy such as scheduling physical activity into your calendar or putting sticky notes on your fridge to remind you to eat fruits and vegetables.
  • Add a little structure. A little additional self-monitoring will help ensure successful “reset” efforts. Try using a food log or measuring cups for a couple of days, weighing yourself regularly, or incorporating an activity tracker into your physical activity.
  •  Remember why you started. Reflect a bit on your motivation. Ask yourself how you can help keep your motivation front and center.  

 

In need of a reset? Try these suggestions out!

 

References

http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/top-10-ways-to-get-back-on-track#1

If you’re not taking advantage of savings programs offered by your employer, you may be leaving money on the table. Plus, the earlier you participate, the more time your money has to grow before you need it for college tuition, healthcare expenses or retirement.

 

It’s always a great time to learn more about the financial programs offered by your employer, which might include:

 

  • 401(k) and 403(b) plans – One of the most popular employer programs, these retirement-based programs help build up a retirement fund at any stage in your career. In 2020, you can contribute up to $19,500, before taxes, through a 401(k) or 403(b) plan (for non-profit companies). Your employer can match up to six percent of your contribution – think of it as “free” money. Your savings grow tax-free until you start taking distributions. 
  • Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) – If you’re paying for daycare, preschool, summer camps or adult care for a dependent, a DCFSA allows a tax-free reimbursement for eligible expenses. Experts predict this could save an average of 30 percent in taxes every year. Ask your employer if they offer DCFSAs and when you can enroll.
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – This is another great way to save money. With an FSA, you set aside funds to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs during your plan’s program year. You are not required to pay taxes on the funds in your FSA account. In addition, some employers make contributions to employee accounts. If your employer offers FSA accounts, they will be happy to provide details about their FSA program, including timing of when funds must be used.
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) – With an HSA, you can save money to pay for medical expenses and reduce your taxable income. You must be enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan to open an HSA. Like an FSA, some employers make contributions to employee accounts. Otherwise, for 2020 individuals can contribute up to $3,350, while families can contribute up to $7,100 annually. Plus, you never lose HSA funds – it’s a savings account that stays with employees with contributions being invested over time.

 

If you think you’re missing out on “free” money or tax breaks, ask your employer how to participate in these programs to optimize your savings.

 

Living your best financial life starts with understanding how to maximize savings opportunities. The earlier you start, the longer your wealth has time to increase.

 

Sources:

Julia Kagan, “401K Plans: The complete guide,” Investopedia, accessed January 2020. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/1/401kplan.asp

“Dependent Care FSA,” FSA Feds, accessed January 2020. https://www.fsafeds.com/explore/dcfsa

“12 things you didn’t know about the Dependent Care FSA,” Employee Benefits Corporation, accessed January 2020. https://www.ebcflex.com/Education/NewsCenter/tabid/1142/ArticleID/413/12-Things-You-Didn’t-Know-About-the-Dependent-Care-FSA.aspx

“Using a Flexible Spending account (FSA),” HealthCare.gov, accessed January 2020. https://www.healthcare.gov/have-job-based-coverage/flexible-spending-accounts/

Liz Davidson, “Considering a financial wellness program for your employees: Make sure you ask these questions first,” Forbes, accessed January 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2019/03/03/considering-a-financial-wellness-program-for-your-employees-make-sure-you-ask-these-questions-first/#5e3094602f3b

Brianna McGurran, “How to build financial literacy–and why,” Experian, accessed January 2020. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/what-is-financial-literacy-and-why-is-it-important/

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Chips and cookies? Banana and whole wheat crackers? Protein bar and nuts? Your snack stash says a lot about you and your work environment. While it might be tempting to stock up on candy and chips, smart snack decisions can boost productivity, keep you engaged and maintain your focus.

 

Here’s a smart snacking strategy to help you get through the day.

10:00 a.m. – Snack time

You’ve got a few options. Healthy or not healthy? The temptation of the yummy vending machine snacks, the fast food next door or the community snacks in the breakroom can be hard to resist. By bringing your own snacks to work, you’re in control of what you eat. Keep healthy options in your desk, locker or backpack to tackle your cravings.

Here are some healthy ideas for munchies:

  • Homemade trail mix
  • Veggie chips
  • Cheese sticks
  • Raw veggies with hummus
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • Protein or granola bars

12:00 p.m. – Lunch time

Be prepared. It’s a simple way to eat healthier and avoid temptation. Prepping lunches for the week puts you in control of your food choices and lessens temptation to grab a fast food meal. Choose recipes that are easy to make and easy to pack so you’re ready whether you’re eating at your station or in the breakroom. Complete the meal prep over the weekend to avoid making lunch after a long day of work or when you’re rushing to get out the door. You may even find your coworkers are a little envious of the yummy lunches you prepared!

Here are some lunch ideas that are easy, quick and downright delicious:

  • Thai tofu Buddha bowls
  • Grilled chicken cobb salad
  • Turkey spinach pinwheels and veggies
  • Taco salad bowls with quinoa
  • Greek whole grain and grilled veggie wrap

Find more tasty recipes here: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/recipes.html

3:00 p.m. – Provide encouragement

Sometimes it’s hard to stay on the healthy-eating track when you face tempting, but less nutritious options at work. Remember, you can be an inspiration to others. When someone comments on your lunches or snacks, let them know how easy it is to make healthier substitutions for that hamburger and fries or share some of your favorite meal prep tips.

You can also encourage your employer to support healthier choices for everyone. Here are some ideas to inspire leadership.

  • Ask your employer to switch out the potato chips in the vending machines for whole wheat crackers or unsalted popcorn. Encourage trading the sodas for carbonated water.
  • Get creative with a team cookbook. Ask your coworkers to share their favorite healthy recipes and compile the collection into a simple downloadable file.  
  • Make suggestions for healthier celebrations and team meetings. Recommend fruit and whole grain muffins instead of bagels and donuts. Frozen banana pops, rice crispy bars or fruit tarts are healthier ways to celebrate a birthday.
  • Join your company’s wellness team, or start one, to show your commitment to making healthier choices. Your involvement can positively impact the culture for everyone in your organization.
  • Create a support circle by finding coworkers who share your passion for eating healthier. Lean on them for support and accountability when you need to stay on track. Share food prep ideas, new restaurant finds and tips on how to eat healthier at workplace events. Hand out the high-fives when someone makes it through the week without giving in to temptation.

 

Sources

11 Quick Lunches to Bring to Work,” Damn Delicious.net, Accessed January 2020. https://damndelicious.net/2018/05/19/11-quick-lunches-to-bring-to-work/

Rodney Goodie, “How to Control Diabetes at Work,” St. Hope Foundation, Accessed January 2020. https://offeringhope.org/control-diabetes-work/

Noma Nazish, “Five Smart Ways to Eat Healthier at Work,” Forbes, Accessed January 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2019/02/28/five-smart-ways-to-eat-healthier-at-work/#29852c61465f

Susan M. Healthfield, “How to Encourage Healthy Food Choices at Work,” The Balance Careers, Accessed January 2020. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-encourage-healthy-food-choices-at-work-1917961

“Ten Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating at Work,” Personnel Today, Accessed January 2020. https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/ten-ways-to-encourage-healthy-eating-at-work/

Did you know the less people sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight? Research tells us sleep is a powerful regulator of appetite, energy, and weight control in multiple ways.  

 

First, when we’re tired, we might not always make the best food choices during the day.  Additionally, during sleep the body works to regulate hunger and satiety hormones – we produce more of the hormone leptin that suppresses our appetite and less of the hormone grehlin that stimulates appetite. When our bodies don’t get enough sleep, these hormones become unbalanced, making it harder to determine when we’re hungry and when we’re satisfied, potentially resulting in weight gain. 

 

How much sleep should you get? It’s recommended you get seven to nine hours of good quality sleep per night to regulate hunger and satiety hormones, keep your metabolism working, and function at your best!

 

But what about when you haven’t slept well?  Some evidence shows that short naps (up to an hour) can be beneficial and can improve mood and work performance. Try not to nap after 3 p.m. or for longer than 20 minutes so as not to interfere with the next night’s sleep. And naps are not a long-term substitute for a good night’s sleep.

 

If you’re finding yourself frequently having a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, or not feeling well rested despite having at least seven hours of sleep, talk to you doctor.

 

 

References

 http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/lack-of-sleep-weight-gain

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd

 

 

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Your Guide Healthy Sleep:  NIH Publication No. 11-5271 Originally printed November 2005 Revised August 2011