ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
August 2020
The shareable link (printable) for this issue:
For complete member services visit us at: www.eshca.org
Fight Chronic Disease by Adding Dessert
Dessert: the "Ugly", the "Bad" and the "Good"!!!

The "'Ugly": Poor nutrition is a leading cause of chronic disease (cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer). Fewer than 10% of US adults eat the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables and only 5% get the daily recommended amount of fiber. Correlation: if your diet is low in fruits and vegetables, it is going to be low in fiber.

The "Bad": Desserts tend to be high in calories, saturated fat and sugar; increasing the risk of developing chronic diseases and making existing conditions difficult to manage.

The "Good": With a little bit of education, awareness and planning, dessert can be a contributing part of a healthy diet! Try this month's recipe for a "Healthy Strawberry Shortcake Milkshake"!

Compare this shake to a McDonald's Strawberry shake, click here. What makes this a healthy choice?

  • 1) Fresh fruit
  • Fruit is nutrient rich, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants (fight cancer).
  • The RDA for fruit is 2 cups/day.
  • 2) Nonfat Greek yogurt and almond milk form the base.
  • Less sugar and fat, plus more protein (compared to ice cream)
  • 3) Oat flour
  • Gluten free, fiber rich and nutrient dense.
  • Benefits of oat flour include: reduces risk of certain kinds of cancer, treats diabetes and heart disease, reduces cholesterol, strengthens bones and aids weight loss.
  • 4) Uses natural sweeteners
  • All sweeteners should be used in moderation, however, some "natural" (not artificial) sweeteners (such as stevia, Truvia, etc.) are lower in calories (weight management) and have antioxidant (cancer fighting) and anti-diabetic properties (suppress plasma glucose and increase glucose tolerance). Article: The Best Sugar Substitutes for People with Diabetes
  • 5) Added fiber (homemade Metamucial recipe)
  • Fiber reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
  • Women require 21-25g and men 30-38g/day; yet the average American gets only 10-15g/day.

Special offer:
MVP virtual cooking class through Albany Cooking School (ACS)!!!
Health Insurance: MVP "Action Plan"
In July, MVP provided ESCHA with the annual "Population Health Report". The PHR is an assessment of how well we are using our health insurance as a group compared to benchmark data (groups of similar demographics). Based on the report MVP developed the following "Action Plan" aimed at maximizing our coverage:

1) Choose Urgent Care and myVisitNow (telemedicine) over the Emergency Room
  • The ER is expensive for the member and the health plan, MVP determined 40% of ER usage in 2019 was unnecessary and could have been done at an Urgent Care.
  • 2020 solution: use Urgent Care Centers ($25 co-pay) or myVisitNow ($0 co-pay)

2) Use Behavior Health Services
  • 46.6 million Americans (18.9%) suffered from mental health issues in 2019 (NIMH). According to the CDC, 50% of Americans will have a mental health issue at some point in their lifetime, only half will receive treatment.
  • 2020 solution: SEEK HELP!!! myVisitNow offers telemedicine appointments with mental health professionals in the privacy of your own home!

3) Participate in Care Management Programs
  • This service is available to members requiring hospital stays of 7 days or more. An MVP representative will be assigned to coordinate services ensuring you get the services you need.
  • Scenario: imagine you or a dependent has a serious accident requiring multiple specialists and services (rehab, physical therapy, in home nurse visits, etc.). This program provides an individual to assist in coordinating those services.
  • Click to review the details.

4) Low usage of the following services:
  • a) Colorectal Cancer Screenings
  • Colorectal cancer is the third deadliest form of cancer for both women and men.
  • Discuss colorectal screening with your doctor at your annual physical.
  • Typical screening begins at the age of 50 but should be done earlier if you have a family history.
  • Routine screenings are done at a $0 co-pay.
  • b) Diabetic Care
  • Assessment (glucose and HbA1C tests) and discussion should take place with your PCP at your annual physical.
  • If diagnosed - one should continue to be monitored by their doctor including evaluating the health of your kidneys (nephropathy), eye exams and consistent glucose and HbA1C monitoring.
  • c) Child Well visits
  • We were below benchmark when evaluating children 3-6 years old. Child Well Visits are a $0 co-pay.

If you have questions concerning your medical please contact Donna at the ESHCA office.

Special offer: MVP Virtual Smoking Cessation Program - "The Butt Stops Here"
  • Click here for details
  • Providing documentation that you completed this program qualifies you for the $50 smoking cessation incentive - contact me with questions.
Financial Wellness:
Your Annual Retirement Plan Checkup
1) Review the past year!
  • Any financial changes over the past year: raise, inheritance, marriage, job changes, etc.
2) Set a goal!
  • What do you want your retirement to look like?
3) Gauge your risk!
  • Based on life changes, risk tolerance may change as well.
4) Ask for help!
  • QCI oversees your retirement account and offers ESHCA members complimentary financial services, reach out to them with your financial questions.

Read the full article: QCI August Update
$25 Challenge - Alleve Low Back Pain: "Piriformis and Quadricep Stretch"

Strength Exercises - Core Combo #5
Test your arms and upper body strength with this challenging core workout! For a complete core workout add Combo #1 or Combo #2.
Mountain climbers
Plank Hip Extension
1) Start in pushup position.
2) "Engage your core" (suck your stomach in pulling your navel tight to your spine).
3) Lift your left foot and move your left knee close to your left elbow, pause, then return to the start position.
4) Repeat the same motion on the right side.
5) Complete 3 to 15 repetitions on each side.
1) Start in the pushup position.
2) "Engage your core".
3) Keep your left leg "locked" straight, use your glutes and lift your foot pushing the heel away and keeping your body (spine) perfectly straight and still.
4) Pause at the top of the movement then return the foot to the floor - you should feel tension in your left glute and down the front of your right thigh.
5) Repeat the same motion on the left side.
6) Complete 3 to 15 repetitions on each side.