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1 week ago · by · 0 comments

Six Ways to Enjoy a Healthy Thanksgiving Feast

Juicy turkey, creamy mashed potatoes and sweet pumpkin pie tempt your taste buds this Thanksgiving. However, you might need to watch your weight or follow dietary restrictions for health reasons. You can enjoy the holiday treats but stay healthy this year when you follow six tips.

1. Drink Plenty of Water

When you’re hydrated, you feel full and are less likely to overeat. So, sip water as you prep the meal, watch football and hang out with friends. By meal time, you won’t be tempted to stuff yourself.

2. Fill Your Plate With Vegetables

Crunchy and healthy vegetables make the perfect appetizers, side dishes and game time snacks all day. Plus, raw and cooked veggies satisfy your hunger and offer numerous health benefits. Before dinner is served, fill your plate with a large salad or a selection from the veggie tray as you satisfy your hunger with healthy foods.

3. Hide Veggies in as Many Main Dishes as Possible

No matter how your favorite dishes have been prepared for years, alter the recipes to make them healthier. Substitute cauliflower for at least half of the potatoes in mashed potatoes, shred carrots into the meatloaf and add extra celery, squash and carrots to the stuffing. No one will notice the extra veggies, but your waistline will.

4. Ask for the Recipe

Some of your favorite holiday dishes may be prepared and served only at Thanksgiving. Instead of overindulging in them, ask for the recipes. When you can make these dishes throughout the year, you’ll be less likely to overeat this one day of the year.

5. Serve Fruit-Based Treats for Dessert

Pie, cake and candy don’t have to take center stage on the dessert table. Fruit, whether fresh, frozen or in smoothies, provides a sweet and healthier alternative to sugar-laden treats.

6. Focus on Family Fun Instead of on Food

While food is an important part of Thanksgiving gatherings, focus on fun. Play cards, football or board games, look though photo albums or go shopping with your family members and friends. You’ll enjoy a healthier holiday when your focus in on the fun rather than the food.

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast, implement these six tips that help you maintain your healthy lifestyle. Talk to your doctor or health insurance agent, too, about additional ways you can stay healthy this holiday.

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2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Job Search Tips You Can Learn From Political Campaigns

If you tuned in to the coverage of the recent election, you could learn a few tips from political campaigns that help your job search succeed. While some candidates may not have been entirely civil, in general candidates conduct themselves in a positive manner (they are, after all auditioning for a job). Other job candidates can learn from the campaign trail.

  1. Be Friendly
    Rarely will you see a political candidate frown. That’s because they know they need to be friendly. So smile, make eye contact, use your manners and call people by the right name when you print resumes, talk to hiring managers and interview for jobs. These actions show that you’re friendly, likeable and nice, and they attract people as you demonstrate that you’re a team player.
  2. Keep it Simple
    Of course you are familiar with product names and technical acronyms associated with your industry, but you risk turning off hiring managers who is not familiar with those terms. Stick with simple language on your resume and during interviews as you share your skills and wow potential employers.
  3. Enlist Superdelegates
    Every successful job search is achieved with help from a team. Ask former co-workers to be a reference, ask friends to share potential job openings, and ask a career center to proofread your resume. All of these people can support your job search, boost your morale and help you land a job.
  4. Answer Questions
    Some job interview questions are hard, including why you left your previous job or why there are gaps in employment. Anticipate the tough questions and prepare answers that are direct. Skirting issues only shows that you are not trustworthy or ready to tackle tough challenges at work.
  5. Use Social Media
    In addition to finding jobs on social media sites, you can use Google Plus, Twitter and LinkedIn to build your brand and image. Share relevant news articles, discuss trends and talk about your opinions as you gain credibility it the field, engage your audience and stay visible to potential employers.
  6. Share a Short Message
    You are passionate about your experience and may even have a vision for what you want to do in a new position, but use fewer words not more. A short message is more likely to hold a hiring manager’s attention and allows everyone to get a turn to talk during interviews.
  7. Be Trustworthy
    Employers are looking for team members who tell the truth, follow ethical behavior and live with integrity. Tell the truth about your qualifications and during interviews as you demonstrate your trustworthiness.

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3 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Consider Seven Facts During National Epilepsy Month

Epilepsy is a disease that affects 2.3 million adults and approximately 467,711 children in the U.S. In the epileptic’s brain, certain nerve cells send out erratic signals that cause the person’s body to seize for a few seconds or a few minutes. Whether or not you know someone with epilepsy, November is National Epilepsy Month and a good time to learn seven facts about this condition.

1. What Causes Epilepsy?

Doctors can’t identify the cause of almost two-thirds of known epilepsy cases. However, genetics often plays a role. Other causes include oxygen deprivation during childbirth, stroke and brain infections, traumas, injuries or tumors.

2. How is Epilepsy Diagnosed?

Doctors review a patient’s medical history and examine the results of a full neurological exam, EEG and CT or MRI.

3. What Epilepsy Treatments are Available?

Most insurance pays for medication that controls many epileptic seizures. Doctors prescribe specific medications based on the seizures’ type, severity and frequency. Patients may also benefit from brain surgery, nerve stimulation and a ketogenic diet that’s high in fat and low in carbs.

4. How Many Types of Seizures are There?

While seizures can vary from mild to severe, they’re typically separated into two groups. Primary generalized seizures start in and involve both sides of the brain. Partial seizures start in one side of the brain and spread to the entire brain.

5. Can an Observer Tell When Someone is Experiencing a Seizure?

Petit mal seizures are small and the sufferer will only blink fast or stare into space for a few seconds. Complex partial seizures cause a person to be confused, dazed and unable to respond for several minutes. A person, who falls down, loses consciousness or experiences muscle jerks is experiencing grand mal seizures.

6. How Can You Help Someone During a Seizure?

If you see someone having a seizure, don’t restrain the person. Loosen his or her shirt collar, and remove nearby sharp objects. Roll the person to his or her side after the seizure ends, and remain close by.

7. Is Epilepsy Fatal?

Fortunately, many epileptic people live full lives. Patients who die often suffer other health conditions like strokes or tumors or suffer fatal injuries during a seizure. Prolonged seizures or suddenly stopping medication can also cause death.

Have these facts taught you something new about epilepsy? Learn as much as you can during National Epilepsy Month and be prepared to assist the epileptics you know.

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4 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Tips on Getting a More Comfortable Night’s Sleep

Get a good night’s sleep, and you’re more likely to wake up alert, energetic, happy and able to function. Since November is National Sleep Comfort Month, implement six tips that help you sleep better and more comfortably.

1. Invest in a Quality Mattress and Comfortable Bedding

Your sleep comfort depends largely on your mattress. If it’s lumpy, hard or scratchy, you’ll toss and turn instead of truly resting. Visit a local mattress store today and invest in the best mattress and bedding you can afford. It will quickly pay for itself as you sleep better and enjoy greater productivity and happiness.

2. Lower the Temperature

Because your body heat rises slightly as you sleep, you’ll be more comfortable when you lower your bedroom temperature by a few degrees. Opening a window or turning on a fan produces the same results.

3. Limit Big Evening Meals

Visiting the buffet for dinner tasted good at the time, but a large evening meal increases overnight discomfort. It will keep you awake and give you indigestion and heartburn. Step away from the kitchen at least two hours before bed. If you need a snack, indulge in a small portion of cereal with milk, fruit or granola.

4. Skip Alcohol and Caffeine

Your late-afternoon coffee affects your sleep 10 to 12 hours after you drink it. Your nightcap might make you drowsy, but the alcohol will wake you in the middle of the night. To boost your afternoon energy level, grab an apple, walnuts or cheese. If you want an alcoholic drink at night, enjoy it at least two hours before bedtime.

5. Relax

When you’re anxious, tense or stressed, your body won’t be able to relax. Practice yoga, deep breathing and visualization. As you relax your mind, your body will follow, and you’ll enjoy more comfortable sleep.

6. See Your Doctor

If you still can’t get comfortable at night, talk to your doctor. Discuss physical or mental issues that might be preventing you from getting adequate rest. Check with your insurance agent, too, about whether chiropractor visits or specialty pillows are covered by your insurance.

With a good night’s sleep, you wake up in a good mood and ready to tackle the day.

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1 month ago · by · 0 comments

When Your Electricity Goes Out

Nearly 13,900 PG&E customers in Santa Cruz County woke up today to a dark Monday morning, as the utility shut-off power to over 350k customers in 36 counties beginning Sunday night.This is a preventive/safety measure to reduce the chances of utility equipment sparking a wildfire as the State of CA is experiencing unprecedented strong winds and low humidity levels.

The next time you experience a power disruption, take these steps to protect your home, valuables and family.

Call the power company. Report the outage and any downed lines, and sign up (online) to receive alerts when the power returns.

Check the circuit breakers. Be sure they’re turned to the “on” position so the power will automatically turn on when it’s restored.

Never touch downed lines. They’re deadly.

Use battery-operated flashlights or lanterns. Candles or oil lamps can be fire hazards, so rely on battery-operated light sources.

Stay warm during winter power outages. Bundle in layers, gather your family and pets in one room and shut the doors. You can also use your wood stove as a heat source if it’s clean and functions properly.

Stay cool during summer outages.
 Dress in lightweight clothing and hang out in the basement. You’ll also want to stay hydrated. If the power outage lasts for an extended time, drive to a mall, movie theater or other cool location.

Preserve foodIn general, food will stay safe in the refrigerator for up to four hours and in the freezer for up to 48 hours, but try to avoid opening these appliances. Wrapping these appliances with blankets might provide further insulation and food protection during short outages.

Fill your water jugs if possible. Grab your spare containers and fill them with water to sustain you during the outage.

Turn on the water. Let your spigots drip to prevent freezing water pipes during winter outages.

Unplug major appliances. Your appliances could be damaged by the surge that sometimes occurs when the power comes back on, so unplug all your appliances and electronics except your fridge or freezer. Consider keeping a single lamp or other electric device plugged in so you know when the power is restored.

Use your generator with caution. Only turn on your generator if it’s installed outdoors, properly connected to your home and fueled properly.

Don’t grill indoors. The carbon monoxide could kill you.

Check on your neighbors. Verify that your neighbors are safe, especially if they’re elderly or disabled, and share any water or food with them.

Stock an emergency supply. After the power returns, prepare for the next outage. Stock non-perishable food, water, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, and pet and baby supplies, if necessary.

Review your homeowners insurance coverage. Your policy may cover food losses, power surge damages, burst pipes, and even hotel expenses that you incur because of a power outage. Contact your insurance agent for more details.

A power outage can occur at any time, so be prepared. These steps help you protect your home and your family.

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1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Tips to Protect Your Home and Property This Halloween

Halloween is fun for many kids and families, but vandalism, property damage and insurance claims increase during Halloween. Protect your property this October with these tips.

Turn on the Lights

Reduce the risk of a burglary when you turn the lights on and make your home look occupied. Consider installing motion sensor lights, too, to deter criminals.

Install Security Cameras

See what’s happening around your property with security cameras. You can also install a doorbell camera to determine if trick-or-treaters or tricksters are on your porch.

Lock the Doors and Windows

Even if you’re home to pass out treats, lock your doors and windows. Don’t give burglars the chance to enter the back of your home while you sit out front.

Hide Valuables

Don’t keep valuables in plain sight. Remember to hide your new TV box and similar items, too.

Talk to Your Neighbors

Make friends with your neighbors to improve security on your block. You can watch each other’s homes and deter or report suspicious behavior.

Remove Tripping Hazards

Loose branches, kids’ toys, extension cords, and other debris can cause trips or falls. Spend time cleaning up your yard and porch as you reduce this risk.

Light Walkways

Install lighting along your sidewalk and porch to prevent trick-or-treaters from tripping. A well-lit property also deters criminals.

Use Flameless Candles

Jack-o’-lanterns are traditional decor, but open candle flames can start a fire. Use flameless or battery operated candles instead.

Lock Outbuildings

Protect your shed, garage and other outbuildings, along with the items they store, from vandals and thieves. Padlock the doors, lock the windows and tie down valuables inside.

Sit Outside

Greet trick-or-treaters from your front porch or yard. While friendly, this action allows you to watch your property and prevents visitors from entering or casing your home.

Secure Pets

Prevent your pets from escaping or running away when you secure them in a crate or interior room.

Seal your Mailbox

If vandals target mailboxes in your area, bring yours inside. You may also wish to tape your mail slot closed to prevent unwanted mail in your home, such as smoke bombs.

Park in the Garage

Protect your vehicle from vandalism and theft when you park it in the garage. Lock the doors and turn on the alarm, too. Alternatively, use a local parking garage or park in a populated or other secure space.

Update your Homeowners Insurance

If your home is damaged during Halloween, you can file an insurance claim. Update your policy now. Be sure it covers vandalism, fire damage and liability.

With these tips, you protect your home this October. They can improve the safety of your property during Halloween.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

Contact details

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(831) 661-5697

Available 8:30am - 5:00pm