Welcome to our November update!    

Hooray for November! Time to focus on giving thanks and giving back. Time to enjoy family, friends and, of course, pie!  


In recognition of the Great American Smokeout, which happens every year on November 17, I'd like to remind folks about MIIA's smoking cessation program. We have highlighted the EX Program below in the newsletter - it is a helpful resource available to MIIA/Blue Cross employees interested in quitting a nicotine habit. For those employees on a MIIA/Blue Cross health plan, you have access to a digital tobacco/vape cessation program in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic that includes nicotine patches/gum delivered to the home, active online community (peer support), and live-chat coaching from experts. Click to get started!


Not a MIIA/Blue Cross member? Try the National Quitline 1-800-QUITNOW (available to everyone).


Wishing everyone a very wonderful November.

— Courtney Hernandez, Wellness Manager

The Well Aware Self-Directed Activity Challenges

Now there are TWO ways to earn gift cards while staying fit and well! Find our Wellbeing Smorgasbord and Webinar Buffet in each Monthly Newsletter like Stressing Down Through Mind-Body Strategies and Balancing the Benefits and Risks of Alcohol. We offer a variety of exercise, diet and wellbeing activities in self-directed and webinar formats. Each program includes educational information, tips and strategies. Only MIIA/Blue Cross subscribers are eligible for $125 worth of gift cards.

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Program of the Month

Stressing Down Through Mind-Body Strategies

10-day Self-Directed Challenge Starting November 14

Unchecked, unmanaged and constant triggering of the stress response contributes to disease and ill-health. So, how can we stress down or stress better? Learning to cultivate the capacity to stress better can have a significant difference on our physical, emotional and mental health. With regular practice of mind-body techniques we can rewire our brains to new healthy habits and improve our overall well being. Let’s change our stress response! Earn cool prizes as well.

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Webinar of the Month

Balancing the Benefits and Risks of Alcohol

Understanding the risks and possible health benefits of alcohol often seems confusing; that's because the evidence for moderate alcohol use in healthy adults isn't certain. Watch our webinar to learn more and decide for yourself, how much, if any, is the right amount of alcohol for you. Available November 1 through 30, 2022.

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Looking to Quit Smoking? 

The Ex Program

The Great American Smokeout is November 17. This time quit for good. Register for the EX Program, a digital program to help you quit tobacco--cigarettes, chew, or vaping. Live chat with experts, get free quit medication at your home, and more! The EX Program is available to those on a MIIA/Blue Cross health plan.

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The Fitness Court

Town of Chelmsford

We are highlighting the Town of Chelmsford who partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield and The National Fitness Campaign to build an outdoor fitness court that is free to all town employees and town residents.

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Being Thankful Is Good for You

Learn to Live

Grateful people may have better sleep, healthier hearts and fewer aches and pains. This is the perfect time of year to learn more about being grateful and our partners at Learn to Live are offering an informative webinar this month called Retrain Your Brain: The Case for Gratitude 

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Walking in Massachusetts

Mount Tom Reservation

Every month we will feature a different walk highlighting the beautiful nature paths throughout Massachusetts. We will make some trail recommendations and suggestions on proper foot attire. We hope you enjoy these walks by yourself or with family, friends, or furry friends. This month visit Mount Tom Reservation in Holyoke.

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Ask the Nutritionist

What is Monk Fruit and Can I Use it for Baking Instead of Sugar?

Do you have questions about what to eat or anything related to nutrition and food? Our new "Ask the Nutritionist" column will answer these for you. Sandy Sarni, MS, RD, MIIA's Integrative Nutritionist, will answer a question each month to help you make healthy choices for you and your family. Please submit your questions to:  ssarni@mma.org

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Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole


This healthy sweet potato casserole is a lightened-up, sugar-free version of the classic recipe!  Consider making it for your Thanksgiving dinner.

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