End of Year Wellness Initiatives to Drive Employee Well-Being

Category: Workplace Wellness

End of Year Wellness Initiatives to Drive Employee Well-Being

Posted On: November 24, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

End of Year Wellness Initiatives to Drive Employee Well-Being As we near the end of the year, don’t let your wellness program slip through the cracks. With the holidays approaching, flu and germ season here, and 2021 planning in full effect, now is the perfect time to evaluate your organization’s end of year wellness initiatives in order to keep your team healthy and off on the right foot in 2021. Consider these 8 tips as you approach the end of year: Educate employees on how to reduce the spread of illness and encourage them to receive a flu shot (provide education and coverage information when possible) With the number of COVID-19 cases rising across the country, we must try to prevent the spread of the flu.  Not only do you want your team to be healthy, but this also ensures that proper resources needed to treat critical COVID-19 patients will…


The CDC Redefines “Close Contact”

Posted On: November 23, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

The CDC Redefines “Close Contact” As the number of reported cases of COVID-19 continues to rise, employers are increasingly confronted with questions and obligations regarding their workforce.  With that being said, employers should be aware that as of October 21st, the CDC revised the definition of “close contact” to include the following: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over 24 hours* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to testing specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. * Individual exposures added together over 24 hours (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact…


Healthy Thanksgiving Side Swaps

Posted On: November 18, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Healthy Thanksgiving Side Swaps Who doesn’t love the tasty sides that come with a traditional Thanksgiving meal? Why not try something a little healthier this year along with your staples! Tangy Glazed Brussel Sprouts Ingredients: 3 tbsp olive oil ¼ tsp ground cardamom ⅛ tsp crushed red pepper 1 lb trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts ¼ cup pomegranate juice 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar Optional: 1 oz crumbled feta cheese and 3 tbsp chopped toasted pecans Directions: Heat olive oil, ground cardamom, and crushed red pepper in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Add pomegranate juice and white balsamic vinegar. Cook until sauce is syrupy, another 5 to 6 mins. Top evenly with feta cheese and toasted pecans. Serves 4 (serving size is ¾ cup) Skillet Green Bean Casserole Ingredients: 1 lb green beans 2 slices whole-wheat bread ¼ cup chopped…


Better Sleep for Better Health

Posted On: November 12, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

woman sleeping peacefully on white bed

Better Sleep for Better Health As we approach the holiday season, it is important to remember to take some time to care for yourself. The holidays can be extremely busy, stressful, and even draining at times. Don’t forget to make yourself a priority. Self care is about taking time for yourself, and one way to ensure you are dedicating some time to yourself is to work on improving your sleep and sleep habits. Research shows that as many as 60% of Americans suffer from poor quality sleep. It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per night because sleep plays a vital role in promoting physical health, longevity, and emotional well-being. Take some time to read these tips provided by Innovative Benefit Planning's Nurse Advocate in order to improve your sleep during these stressful times. Stick to a sleep schedule. Set aside a minimum of 7 hours of…


Vegetable Chili Recipe

Posted On: October 14, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Vegetable Chili Recipe As the weather starts to turn, there’s nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of chili.  This recipe is loaded with lots of vegetables but it’s tasty too! You can certainly add to it if you’d like such as rice, quinoa, barley, small pasta or even shredded chicken.  You can swap in your favorite vegetables and beans as well. INGREDIENTS ¼  cup olive oil 2 zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice 2 onions, cut into ½-inch dice 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 large red bell peppers, cored and cut into ¼-inch dice 1 can (35 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, with their juice 1½ pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1 inch dice 2 tablespoons good-quality chili powder 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon dried basil 1 tablespoon dried oregano 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon fennel seeds ½ cup Chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley 1 cup canned dark red kidney beans, drained 1 cup canned chick-peas (garbanzos), drained ½ cup chopped fresh dill 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 cup sour cream 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese 4 scallions (green onions), white bulb and 3 inches green, sliced…


How Employers Can Show Support on World Mental Health Awareness Day

Posted On: October 7, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

How Employers Can Show Support on World Mental Health Awareness Day World Mental Health Day is recognized annually to promote education for global mental health, as well as create awareness and advocacy against social stigma.   This yearly observance has occurred since 1992 and carries with it a yearly theme.  It falls on October 10th, and the goal of this year’s theme is increased investment in mental health, with a focus on expanding the availability of mental health resources for all. Statistically, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. have a mental health disorder, while 1 in 22 adults live with a serious mental illness such as bipolar, depression, or schizophrenia. This COVID-19 pandemic has only led to increased mental health problems due to isolation, fear, and social distancing.  With that being said, it is imperative that we support the World Federation for Mental Heath’s view that, “ there is no…


Zucchini Bread Recipe

Posted On: September 22, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Zucchini Bread Recipe Ingredients: 1 ½ cup shredded zucchini ½ cup honey 2 eggs ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 cups whole wheat flour 1 tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp nutmeg ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted Optional: ½ cup walnuts or ½ cup chocolate chips Instructions: Preheat oven to 325°. Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine zucchini, honey, eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. Next, add in coconut oil and mix. Fold in walnuts or chocolate chips if desired. Pour in to prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Nutrition Information: Serving Size: 1 slice Calories 202 Total Fat 8.9g Saturated Fat 4.5g Protein…


Innovative’s 2nd Annual Well-Being @ Work Summit

Posted On: September 21, 2020 | Categorized as: Events, Workplace Wellness

Innovative's 2nd Annual Well-Being @ Work Summit On September 15th, 2020, Innovative Benefit Planning hosted the 2nd Annual Well-Being @ Work Summit, which is dedicated to making workplaces healthier (but with a twist)! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team had decided to create a virtual event in order to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.  However, going virtual this year ended up opening up many doors, including the opportunity to welcome a total of 8 speakers! Attendees even received a “registration box” which included a shirt for the day of the summit, promotional items from sponsors such as cups, mints, tooth brushes, and hand sanitizer, as well as a drink kit and Innovative face mask.  The event had a wonderful turnout, including HR professionals, C-Suite decision-makers, health and well-being professionals and top well-being vendors in the industry. The morning started out on the right foot with a…


Fresh and Healthy Fajitas

Posted On: August 18, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Fresh and Healthy Fajitas Ingredients: 16oz boneless skinless chicken breasts 1red bell pepper, cut into strips 1green bell pepper, cut into strips 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips 1medium red onion, cut into strips 3tbsp lime juice salt and pepper to taste 3 TBSP of fajita seasoning 2tsp olive oil 8reduced-carb whole wheat flour tortillas, or corn tortillas for gluten free Fajita Seasoning: 1 TBSP cornstarch 2 tsp chili powder 1 tsp salt I tsp paprika ½ tsp onion powder ½ tsp garlic powder ¼ tsp cayenne powder ½ tsp ground cumin Instructions: Marinate the chicken with lime juice, and season with fajita seasoning. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and toss with olive oil. Use a large skillet on the stove over medium heat and saute veges, cover with a lid until they are soft, then remove from skillet. Cook chicken with a tablespoon of olive oil until cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board…


Skinny Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Posted On: August 3, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Skinny Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Makes 12-15 cookies    Ingredients: 1 cup quick oats 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned and leveled 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons butter, melted 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 large egg 1/2 cup honey 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In one bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Melt the butter in another bowl. Whisk in the vanilla, egg, and honey. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to stir. Save about half of the chocolate chips. Use a sharp knife to roughly chop the remaining chocolate, then fold it into the dough. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes, or freeze for 15 minutes. Use your hands to shape the dough into roughly 15 cookies…


Caribbean Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Posted On: July 8, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Caribbean Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple Salsa Ingredients: Cooking spray 1 tablespoon salt-free Caribbean jerk seasoning ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and halved crosswise 4 (½ inch thick) slices of fresh pineapple ¾ cup diced red onion ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced Directions: Step 1: Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Step 2: Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Rub jerk seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt evenly over pork. Add pork to grill; grill 12 to 14 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145°, turning occasionally.  Place pork on a platter. Cover with foil; let stand 5  minutes. Cut across the grain into slices. Step 3: Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Arrange pineapple slices on grill; cook 3 minutes on each side or until well-marked. Remove…


Becoming Sun Sensible This Summer

Posted On: July 8, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Becoming Sun Sensible This Summer According to skincancerprevention.org, every year in the U.S. nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer.  Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is a major risk factor for most skin cancers, so sun safety is extremely important. Skin cancers start when UV rays damage the DNA of genes that control skin cell growth. There are two types of harmful UV rays: UVA rays age skin cells, causing brown spots and wrinkles. They are also thought to play a role in some skin cancers. Remember that tanning beds give off large amounts of UVA rays. UVB rays are the main source of sunburns and are thought to cause most skin cancers. Reduce your risk by limiting your time in the sun, wearing generous amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 (or protective clothing) and avoid tanning salons. To be Sun Sensible you…


Barbecue Lime Shrimp and Corn Recipe

Posted On: June 11, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Barbecue Lime Shrimp and Corn Recipe Ingredients: 1/3 Cup of fresh lime juice 1/4 Cup of fresh orange juice 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 2 Tbsp honey 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp grated, peeled fresh ginger 1 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp ground coriander seeds 1/4 tsp black pepper 2 ears of corn cut into 4 pieces 1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined 4 Cups cooked couscous   Directions:  Combine the first 9 ingredients in a heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag, add raw, cleaned shrimp and corn pieces to marinate (approximately 30 minutes). While the shrimp and corn marinate, prepare couscous according to package directions and set aside. When finished marinating, place lime mixture, corn, and shrimp in foil and seal along the edges. Place foil packet on grille and cook 10 minutes. Serve over couscous.  


Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Salsa Verde

Posted On: May 20, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

chicken tacos

Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Salsa Verde Ingredients:  8 Corn Tortillas 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (skin removed) 1 1/2 cups bottled salsa verde 2 limes, quartered 1/2 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese 1 medium onion 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro Directions:  Heat the tortillas in a large skillet or sauté pan until lightly toasted. Combine the chicken with the salsa in a large mixing bowl, then divide evenly among the tortillas. Top with crumbled cheese, onion and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges. Nutrition: 345 calories, 12 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 800 mg sodium, serves 4


Mother’s Day Frittata

Posted On: May 8, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Mother's Day Frittata Hats off to all Moms - Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10. Eggs are always a healthy go-to breakfast. This easy to make frittata-like veggie casserole will sure to be a fast favorite for your Mother's Day brunch. Ingredients:  2 Tbsp coconut oil 1 yellow onion, diced 2-4 cups of chopped green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale or spinach ½ cup chopped fresh basil 1 tsp salt ½ tsp ground black pepper 6 eggs 2 Tbsp canned coconut milk Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375°F and grease 8” square or 9” round baking dish In large skillet, heat the coconut oil, add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes Add the vegetables and cook for 5 to 7 minutes (until softened). Add the basil and cook for 2 seconds more Whisk together the salt, pepper, eggs and coconut milk Transfer the cooked vegetable mixture to your prepared…


Stuffed Pepper Recipe

Posted On: May 4, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Stuffed peppers

Stuffed Pepper Recipe Ingredients: Sauce 1 onion, diced 1 TBSP olive oil 2 cups marinara sauce1 cup beef broth 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes Peppers 6 medium peppers, any color, cut in half lengthwise (seeded) 1 lb ground lean beef or turkey 1 cup brown rice or cooked quinoa 10 oz can diced tomatoes 1/4 cup fresh parsley or 1 TBSP dried 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp salt 1 tsp fresh ground pepper Pinch cayenne pepper 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese Directions: Preheat oven 375. Cook rice or quinoa according to directions. Cook onion in olive oil until soften then transfer half of onions to large bowl for pepper mix. Stir into remaining onions the sauce, broth, vinegar and pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Pour sauce into 9 x 13 baking dish. Arrange peppers into dish. Combine ground meat (Can be raw) with diced tomatoes,…


Healthier Mac and Cheese Recipe

Posted On: April 15, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

mac and cheese in a bowl

Healthier Mac and Cheese Recipe Ingredients: 2 Cups Elbow Macaroni, Fusilli or Cavatappi Pasta 2 Tbsp Butter 2 Tbsp Flour 2 Cups 2% Milk 1-1/2 Cups Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs Directions: Cook pasta according to package directions until just al dente. Drain and reserve. While pasta cooks, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Slowly add milk, whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Simmer for 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken to the consistency of heavy cream. Stir in the Cheddar and a ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, cook until completely melted. Cut the heat and stir in the yogurt. Add the pasta and toss evenly to coat. Preheat the broiler. Pour the macaroni and cheese into an 8” x 8”…


Stress Management Tips

Posted On: April 8, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Stress Management Tips Maintaining your mental and emotional health is essential, and it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself and embrace activities that will help bring you a sense of calm and well-being. Here’s some practical tips which will help: Sleep. Make sure you are getting enough rest each day. Go to bed at a regular time each night and aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep to help boost your mental well-being. Eat healthy. It’s easy to grab a snack or two more frequently when you’re working in your own home and the kitchen is just steps away. Though it’s difficult to go out to the supermarket as often as you did before, keep fresh fruits and vegetables handy. Prep them early in the week and set up snack-size portions that you can grab whenever you are feeling the need to snack. Exercise. Get up…


COVID-19: Tips and Prevention

Posted On: March 16, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

COVID-19: Tips and Prevention Employees may have questions about what they can do to help manage the situation, and as an employer, you want to be proactive in communicating how to prevent the spread of the virus in the workplace. Innovative has created an easy to download infographic that can be shared with employees to assist with stemming the spread of COVID-19 through helpful tips and what signs and symptoms they need to be aware of.


COVID-19: 7 Important Employer Considerations

Posted On: March 16, 2020 | Categorized as: HR Consulting, Workplace Wellness

COVID-19: 7 Important Employer Considerations As employers prepare for COVID-19 accommodations, Innovative has developed a checklist that offers specific considerations for employers in planning for emergencies like COVD-19. Examples include policies to review, communication strategies to consider and benefits that may be impacted. The Innovative team is here to support any organizational policy needs to ensure you and your team are prepared and protected.


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