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Senior Games

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

Look out for the 2011 Senior Games! Capital Health Plan will once again support the active seniors in our community at the Capital City Senior Games on February 10-14, 2011. Registered athletes can be 50 years young and compete in events like track, swimming, softball, basketball, archery, billiards, and even table tennis. Prizes are awarded to winners in each of five age categories.

Check for more information.

Reducing Fat in Your Holiday Recipes

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

Whatever you celebrate, the holidays are a time for feasts. Many of us dig out favorite recipes for cookies, pies, soups, and holiday meats. Delicious as they are, these recipes do not always have the healthiest ingredients. Luckily, there are things you can do to improve your holiday diet while still enjoying your favorite dishes.

Cut down on saturated and transfats

The first step toward making holiday recipes healthier is to cut down on saturated and transfats. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and are found in butter, lard, and most animal products. Transfats are found in partially hydrogenated oils.

Eating too much of these fats leads to high cholesterol and can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Plus, high-fat foods are also high in calories, so reducing the fat content of a dish usually also makes it lower in calories.

Here are some recipe changes that can help cut down on fat:

If a recipe calls for… Replace it with…
Sour cream Plain low fat or nonfat yogurt, or nonfat sour cream
Cream or whole milk Reduced fat or skim milk
Whipping cream Imitation whipped cream (made with skim milk)
Cheese Low fat or nonfat cheese
Ground beef Extra lean ground beef or turkey
Bacon or sausage Canadian bacon or lean ham
Chicken or turkey with skin, duck, or goose Skinless chicken or turkey
Beef (chuck, rib, or brisket) Beef (round or loin; trimmed of excess fat)
Pork (spareribs or untrimmed loin) Pork tenderloin
Whole eggs Egg whites or egg substitutes
Chorizo sausage Turkey or tofu sausage

Replace Bad Fats with Good Fats

You can replace saturated and transfats in your recipes with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Mono- and polyunsaturated fats are plant based fats such as canola, safflower, and olive oil. Monosaturated fats protect against heart disease. If a recipe calls for butter or lard, try substituting it with a “good fat” oil.

More tips for making holiday recipes a little healthier:

  • When making soups and stews, prepare them ahead of time and then chill them. The fat will float to the top and harden. Remove the hardened layer of fat before reheating.
  • When making muffins or quick breads, use 3 ripe, well-mashed bananas, instead of ½ cup of butter or oil. Another option is to substitute a cup of unsweetened applesauce for a cup of butter, margarine, oil, or shortening.
  • When making pie crust, use only ½ cup of margarine for every 2 cups of flour. Use soft margarines (liquid or tub types), because they tend to have less transfats than hard or stick margarine.

CHP Health Coaching Can Help

For more information about improving your overall diet, call a CHP Health Coach. Health Coaches are specially trained healthcare professionals, such as nurses, dietitians, and respiratory therapists. They are available by phone, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at no charge to you.

To talk to a Health Coach, call 850-383-3400. You can also get information online at and scroll to login to Health Coaching.


Live Active for the Spring!

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

As spring approaches, it is a perfect time to kick those fitness goals into high gear! Here are some tips to help you start and maintain a healthy spring fitness plan:

  • Become more active. Pick three simple ways to become more active and write them down. Examples might be taking the stairs at work, taking the dog for longer walks, or cutting out time spent in front of the TV or computer.
  • Set realistic goals. Committing to too much at once can lead to frustration. Try starting with 15 minutes of cardio exercise a day, and then increase the time each week until you reach 30 minutes a day.
  • Don’t overdo it. Overly ambitious workouts can lead to injury. Start small and stop if you feel pain. When in doubt, consult your primary care physician to determine what activity level is safe and most effective for you.
  • Enjoy Living Well. Choose activities that you enjoy. Your fitness plan will be easy to follow as long as it is enjoyable and fulfilling.


Live Healthy: Recipe

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

Broccoli Mandarin Orange Salad

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 5 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 Tbsp. almonds
  • 2 - 11 oz. cans of mandarin orange sections, well drained
  • 1 orange, grated peel and juice
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, optional*

Colorful and full of crunch, this salad will please even the non-veggie people! Steam broccoli flowerets in covered saucepan for 3 minutes only. Remove quickly and rinse with cold running water until broccoli is no longer warm. Do not cook further. Place in serving bowl and chill, covered. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, combine almonds, drained mandarin oranges, grated peel and juice from orange, green onions, and remaining ingredients except for salt and pepper. Toss gently and allow to stand at room temperature for about 15 to 30 minutes. When ready to serve, pour marinated orange mixture on chilled broccoli and toss very gently. Season to taste. Each serving provides: An excellent source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of folate and fiber.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 84 Carbohydrates: 13g
Total Fat: 3.4g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g Cholesterol: 0mg
% of Calories from Fat: 33% Dietary Fiber: 3g
Protein: 3g Sodium: 19mg


Credit: Recipe was developed for Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) by Chef Carmen I. Jones, CCP. This recipe meets PBH and Centers for disease Control & Prevention (CDC) nutrition standards that maintain fruits and vegetables as healthy foods.



We’ve Got Your Wellness Covered

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.





Capital Health Plan’s Medicare Advantage (HMO) plans offer wellness benefits that go above and beyond what you’d expect from Original Medicare. We know that preventive services are important to you as Capital Health Plan members, and your wellness is a top priority to us too. That is why we are proud to offer an extensive list of preventive services—some of which are no cost to you.

Although Original Medicare covers one physical when you first become eligible for Medicare, Capital Health Plan Medicare Advantage plans provide you with coverage for one physical exam

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Much of the illness, disability, and death associated with chronic disease is avoidable through known prevention measures. Key measures include practicing a healthy lifestyle (e.g., regular physical activity, healthy eating, and avoiding tobacco use) and the use of early detection practices (e.g., screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers, diabetes and its complications, and depression).” Capital Health Plan is pleased to offer our members colorectal screening exams, mammograms (annual screening), prostate cancer screening exams, and bone mass measurements.

Capital Health Plan also offers health and wellness education benefits including written health education materials, nutritional training, a 24-hour nursing hotline, and a health club membership/fitness class reimbursement up to $150 per year. At Capital Health Plan, we strive to provide you with the tools necessary to Live Well!

Sources: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. May 29, 2009. Healthy Aging for Older Adults. Retrieved from



Ask Dr. Nancy

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

Q: It’s February. Do you know where your New Year’s resolutions are?

We are six weeks out from our New Year’s resolutions, and most of us had a resolution regarding our own personal health. Whether we vowed to lose weight, or to become stronger, or to improve our cardiovascular condition, or to stop smoking, now is the time to decide whether our plans are on track.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, health is “[s]oundness, especially of body or mind; freedom from disease or abnormality . . . [a] condition of optimal well-being.”

Wow! Sign me up. Give me that “health pill.” As we know, health (particularly as we age) is more a product of what we do and don’t do rather than what anyone does for us or to us. The good news is that a lot of our personal health is under our own control. The harder news is that we have to expend effort and make choices that will lead to optimal well-being.

Do these five simple things to Live Well:

  1. Move. Walk fast for 30 minutes most days. You will feel better almost immediately. Take your kids along. Wear them out.
  2. Eat healthy foods. Too much fat and sugar and not enough fruits, vegetables, and fiber are the root cause of many of the chronic diseases that we all want to avoid.
  3. Drink eight glasses of water a day.
  4. Take a multi-vitamin daily, particularly if you don’t eat enough vegetables and fruit.

Get a health baseline by doing an online health survey. If you have any questions about how to proceed with your own plan for health, call a Health Coach at 850-383-3400.

Best of luck in moving forward in good health!