Make Healthy Choices About Nutrition

Good nutrition is one of the keys to good health. You can improve your nutrition – and your health – by regularly eating foods that have a lot of vitamins and minerals, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low- or non-fat dairy.

Here are some tips for making healthy food choices:

Instead of This:         Try This:
Sugar cereals and regular granola Oatmeal, low-fat granola and whole-grain cereal
White rice Brown rice
Potato or corn chips and buttered popcorn Pretzels (unsalted) and unbuttered popcorn
Fried vegetables or veggies served with cream, cheese or butter sauces All vegetables raw, steamed, broiled, baked or tossed with a very small amount of olive oil and salt and pepper
Pork spare ribs and bacon Lean pork (tenderloin and loin chop) and turkey bacon
Regular ground beef Lean or extra-lean ground beef, ground turkey or chicken
Breaded fish sticks, fish canned in oil Fish (fresh, frozen or canned in water)
Whole or 2% milk Non-fat or 1% milk
Regular ice cream Sorbet, sherbet and nonfat or low-fat ice cream
Cookies Fig bars, gingersnaps and molasses cookies
Regular mayonnaise or salad dressing Nonfat or light mayonnaise or salad dressing
Using fat (including butter) to grease pan Nonstick cooking spray



April 30, 2015 at 7:18 pm Leave a comment

Go Green and Opt-in to the Starmark Document Center

Go green and eliminate paper documents by opting-in to the Starmark® Document Center at When you opt-in, you’ll enjoy convenient, secure online access to your important documents in one location, such as your Plan Document and Summary of Benefits and Coverage. Additionally, you will receive an email notification when a new document is available.

To access your key healthcare benefit documents online, simply go to to register and opt-in. If you already registered on the Starmark website: log in, go to your profile and check “I AGREE.” When registered on the Starmark website, you can also view your explanation of benefits (EOBs), claim history, benefits summary, ID card, pharmacy information and more.

For more information about the Starmark Document Center, click here or view this short presentation.

April 29, 2015 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

Put Yourself on a Paper Diet

Ridding yourself of excess paper can help the planet – and your stress levels. Many studies have shown that keeping your work and living spaces organized can help cut down on stress and anxiety – which can in turn help you sleep better, prevent illness and even look younger.

But paper can be an incredibly persistent source of clutter. Between bills and junk mail that arrive every day, note pads filled with important phone numbers and to-do lists, and documents you feel like you can’t throw out, all those piles of paper can turn an otherwise organized home into an episode of Hoarders., a site that helps you organize all your paperless bill payments in one secure place, encourages people to cut back on paper use by going on a paper diet. Try these three paper diet tricks for getting your paper clutter in check.

  • Leave it outside. Make it a habit to sort your mail in your garage or entryway, before you can set it down somewhere inside. Toss any unwanted paper into a bin to be recycled or shredded. That way, the extra clutter never even enters your living space.
  • Toss your sticky notes. Rather than deal with dozens of little pieces of paper, try an electronic app to keep your notes and reminders organized.
  • Opt out of junk mail. The nonprofit service Catalog Choice helps consumers opt out of catalogs, credit card offers, phone books and other mail you’d rather not receive.


April 29, 2015 at 9:36 pm Leave a comment

Dryer Safety Tips

For many homes, the clothes dryer is an indispensable convenience and necessity. However, damaging fires can occur if clothes dryers are not properly installed and maintained. From 2008 to 2010, fire departments across the country responded to an estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires each year.

The leading cause of home clothes dryer fires is failure to clean them. Use these dryer safety tips to keep your dryer and home safe.

  • Have your dryer installed and serviced by a professional.
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter.
  • Make sure you clean the lint filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum.
  • Rigid or flexible metal venting material should be used to sustain proper air flow and drying time.
  • Make sure the air exhaust vent pipe is not restricted and the outdoor vent flap will open when the dryer is operating. Once a year, or more often if you notice that it is taking longer than normal for your clothes to dry, clean lint out of the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.
  • Keep dryers in good working order. Gas dryers should be inspected by a professional to make sure that the gas line and connection are intact and free of leaks.
  • Make sure the right plug and outlet are used and that the machine is connected properly.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and don’t overload your dryer.
  • Turn the dryer off if you leave home or when you go to bed.

Source: National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration

April 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm Leave a comment

What’s That Floating Around in Your Eyes?

If you sometimes see small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision, don’t be alarmed. They’re called floaters. Floaters are tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear gel-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye. You can often see them when looking at a plain background, like a blank wall or blue sky.

What Causes Floaters?

The most common cause of floaters is reaching middle age. That’s when the vitreous gel may start to thicken or shrink, forming clumps or strands inside the eye. The vitreous gel pulls away from the back wall of the eye, causing a posterior vitreous detachment. This is the most common cause of floaters in people who are nearsighted, have undergone cataract operations, have had YAG laser surgery of the eye and/or who have had inflammation inside the eye.

The appearance of floaters may be alarming, especially if they develop suddenly. Contact your ophthalmologist right away if you develop new floaters, especially if you are older than 45.

How Serious Are Floaters?

Most floaters are harmless and fade over time or become less bothersome, requiring no treatment. However, you should see your ophthalmologist if a new floater appears suddenly or if you see sudden flashes of light.

Floaters also may be a symptom of a tear in the retina, which is a serious problem. If a retinal tear isn’t treated, the retina may detach from the back of the eye. The only treatment for a detached retina is surgery.

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

April 28, 2015 at 5:20 pm Leave a comment

Finding Time for Fitness When You’re Away From Home

Everyone knows that business travel can make it more challenging to fit in a workout.

One way to stay active is to carefully choose your accommodations. Many hotels have a swimming pool and fitness center. Or, consider a hotel near a hiking trail or fitness club. Some hotels even have “fitness kits” that you can use to get a workout in the comfort and privacy of your own room.

With a little planning, you can stay fit on the road. Just remember to pack your swimsuit and gym shoes.

Source: HealthFitness

April 27, 2015 at 6:29 pm Leave a comment

The Benefits of Regular Exercise

Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Adding exercise to your daily routine can positively affect your life. Talk to your physician about improving your fitness and ask your doctor to write a “prescription” for your fitness success.

Regular exercise:

  • Reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes and obesity.
  • Keeps joints, tendons and ligaments flexible, which makes it easier to move around.
  • Contributes to your mental well-being.
  • Helps relieve depression, stress and anxiety.
  • Increases your energy and endurance.
  • Helps you sleep better.
  • Helps you maintain a normal weight by increasing your metabolism (the rate you burn calories).

If you can’t find time to exercise, sneak it into your day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a walk during your coffee or lunch break, doing housework at a brisk pace, or even working in your garden.

Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

April 27, 2015 at 6:22 pm Leave a comment

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