Health Benefits Program (HBP)

Harmony for Health: Health Benefit Program News

February is Heart Health Month 

Did you know that heart disease doesn’t happen only to older adults? In fact, half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Other conditions and behaviors that affect your risk include obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, and unhealthy eating patterns.

Heart disease and the conditions that lead to it can happen at any age. High rates of obesity and high blood pressure among younger people (ages 35-64) are putting them at risk earlier in life. The good news? It is one of the preventable health conditions.

Making heart healthy choices, knowing your numbers, knowing your family health history, the risk factors for heart disease, having regular check-ups, and working with your physician to manage your health are all integral aspects of saving lives from this often silent killer. You can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease or slow its progress by taking prevention to heart. Making small, gradual changes can make a big difference in your health.

February Tips

Food for Thought

February Thrive Recipe

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year! Xīnnián kuàilè! If you were born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, or 2020, you are a rat according to the Chinese zodiac. There are 12 Chinese zodiac animals used to represent years and the cycle of the zodiac animal repeats every 12 years. The Rat is considered to be the first of all the Chinese zodiac animals.

This month’s recipe is Longevity Noodles with Tofu and Edamame, to celebrate the Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival, which begins this year on January 25th and lasting to February 8th. Noodles are one of the traditional Chinese New Year dishes. Longevity noodles are extremely long Chinese noodles that symbolize longevity. In a multi-course banquet, noodles might be served simply dressed, without additional toppings. To make this dish a complete meal, the noodles are enriched with pan-fried tofu and edamame (young soybeans). This recipe also offers an early taste of spring with the fresh flavors of baby spinach and thinly sliced fennel.

This month, enjoy Tofu Kale Scramble, a second recipe to kick off your day and heart health. Have you been hearing the buzzy diet trend – eating a plant based diet? It’s a diet centered around vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans.

This scramble is a hearty plant-based alternative to scrambled eggs. Tofu is a rich protein-rich food made from bean curd and provides a meatless option that is highly versatile in home cooking. When frozen then thawed, washed, and crumbled, tofu can be used as a substitute for ground beef in many dishes. Tofu is delicious used in stir-fries, burritos, curries, stews, or as an egg alternative as in this recipe. Eating more plant-based meals has the added benefit of being sustainable for the environment and is good for you. Here’s to your health!

More Healthy Living Tips

A Tip to Kick-off the Year

If you haven’t tried a visit to your local farmers market lately, it’s a wonderful time to start.  Buying from your local farmer allows you to support local agriculture, eat fresher produce, select from an amazing variety of produce, and eat locally-grown foods that simply taste better and has optimum nutrients.  It’s also an excellent experience for the whole family.  Meeting your local community and talking to local farmers is an excellent way to learn about the produce around you and feel connected to the world around you, increasing health for your body, mind, and spirit.

Additional Resources

Vision Statement

The CCCSIG Health Benefits Committee vision is for health plan arrangements that provide locally-based solutions, improved quality and access for members, flexibility for school districts and superior cost management capabilities.