Hello from your Care Management team at Community Health Plan of Washington(CHPW)! We’re here to help you to live a full and active life. Half of what makes you healthy depends on your health behaviors.
Developing a good-health mindset, a well-balanced diet, and regular physical activity doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work, every day, but you are not alone. Our team of Care Managers is here to work with you to create a plan to help meet your health goals based on your specific situation and needs.
Food Plan: 3 Ways to Increase Immunity During Flu Season
It’s winter, which means it’s cold and flu season. Try this immune-boosting food plan to help you steer clear of the bugs:
- Eat nutrient-rich foods to help boost your immune system. Include more whole grains and brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
- Eat fewer foods that increase inflammation. Limit foods like white flour or white rice, sugar, and saturated fats found in butter and other animal fats, such as chicken skin.
- Drink more water. Water helps flush out toxins from your body.
A new treatment is available for hepatitis C (hep C) and covered for CHPW Apple Health members. Check with your doctor to see if hep C treatment is right for you.
Make this season Immunity Soup
Ingredients (Adapted from Cooking Light)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1-1½ cups onion, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
- 1lb pre-sliced mushrooms (if available and affordable, try vitamin D enhanced mushrooms such as Monterey Mushrooms)
- 10 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 8 cups unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 (15-oz.) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2lb skinless, bone-in chicken breasts (or 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken)*
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
*Using rotisserie chicken will increase sodium content
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook, stirring often, 3 minutes.
- Stir in stock, thyme, bay leaves, and chickpeas; bring to a simmer.
- Add chicken, salt, and red pepper; cover and simmer until chicken is done, about 25 minutes.
- Remove chicken from Dutch oven; cool slightly. Shred meat with 2 forks; discard bones.
- Stir chicken into soup; cover and simmer about 5 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
Winter Indoor Workouts
Ways you can stay active and exercise at home when it’s cold, rainy or snowy outside
Dancing: Dancing is an excellent way to burn calories and get your heart rate going while having fun. Studies show that dance can help you lose weight, stay flexible, and reduce stress. So, turn on your favorite song and get moving!
Cleaning: Yes, house cleaning can be very physical – especially vacuuming and mopping. If you are unable to go outside one day, clean the house instead. To increase the intensity, try putting on some fast-tempo music and dance while doing the dirty work.
Jump rope: If you are looking for a good cardio workout in a matter of minutes, get a jump rope. Jumping rope burns calories, increases bone density, and strengthens muscles. It also improves your balance and coordination.
Tai chi: This low-impact exercise has its roots in ancient China and combines martial arts moves with slow motions and deep breathing techniques. It’s said to help improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve balance.
Beat the Winter Blues!
Follow these tips to beat the blues when the days are shorter and sunshine is scarcer.
Stimulate your senses and soak
Buy a large bag of Epsom salts for cheap and add your own essential oil to a bathtub of hot water. Scents can add to your feeling of well-being. Try citrus or peppermint for an energizing scent.
Check vitamin D levels
It’s not uncommon in the Pacific Northwest to be deficient in Vitamin D, especially in the winter. Check with your doctor to see whether a vitamin D supplement is right for you.
Slow down and curl up in a cozy chair with a good book and hot tea or write in your journal.
Bundle up for a walk, swim indoors, or head to the gym. Exercise boosts levels of serotonin, a chemical in our brains associated well-being and happiness.
Meditation is a powerful practice for the mind and proven through scientific studies to better emotional health. There are free apps you can download that have guided meditations, including The Mindfulness App and Calm.
To read more wellness tips, click on the link below.
Download or print our winter newsletter.