Monthly Archives: May 2017

Skinny Celebrities Can Afford the Health Costs

One of the issues we face dieting is learning how to manage hunger. Whether its that mid afternoon slump, or mid morning cravings, being hungry for too long is a fast way to derail all our good intentions to turn over a new lettuce leaf.

Different strategies have in the past been proposed to deal with hunger. Some people find drinking a glass of water every time they are hungry helps. The model Gisele Bundchen is a real advocate of this approach. And judging by her stunning figure, she’s a good poster girl for increasing your fluid intake. Water has many benefits for the body, and people often simply don’t drink enough. There’s even a book on the subject that presents the view that many diseases in old age are related to a kind of entrenched state of dehydration (“Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” by F.Batmanghelid,MD).

Whilst diets composed mainly of soups are fairly common (think the Cabbage Soup diet and Liz Hurley’s favorite, the Watercress Soup Diet), this is not the healthiest way to approach soup. Nor is it likely to lead to long tern success. Diets that focus on just one vegetable or type of food are not only very boring to go on, they do not provide the range of nutrients that the body needs to function well. Could hunger actually be the body’s way of saying, ‘I need some nutrients’. Sustainable weight loss is not achieved by setting up an unrealistic eating plan that is painful to follow for more than a week and leaves you fantasizing about food all the time. Unless of course you don’t mind going to bed hungry for two years like Liz did after her son was born.

Starvation and nutrient restriction lead to loss of muscle mass and bone density. Not to mention fatigue and other possible health problems if followed long term.

The irony is that soups, including cabbage soup and watercress soup, are really good for you. They are easy to digest, and can be prepared ahead and frozen. That way you have a low kilojoule snack that is often high in fiber ready at the helm as a quick pick-me-up when hunger strikes between meals.

And some soups have surprising health benefits. For example, the Japanese Miso soup has been linked with preventing liver cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer, with theories also proposed about a benefit to skin due to linoleic acid. Whether this is found to be true, it is a delicious base for your favorite vegetables, and very easy to prepare from scratch. It takes only about ten minutes to prepare, and when garnished with grated ginger is a fantastic energizing soup when you are tired.

Neither soup nor water alone will lead to weight loss, and neither should these strategies be used to extremes and become a substitute for following a healthy, balanced diet. But they provide a way to minimize excursions into old habits we are trying to change as we address the lifestyle choices that led to gaining excess weight in the first place. And by providing the nutrients your body actually needs, you’ll be creating a change in the quality of life experienced day to day.

Saving Money Is Becoming Easier

Every once in awhile there will be front page news about the health care crisis. The escalating costs for hospital and physician services are making it more difficult for the insurance companies to stay competitive and at the same time take care of the needs of their policyholders. A family health insurance plan in today’s marketplace is evolving into something quite different from years past. The employer group health insurance insures the majority of Americans but there is a trend developing. There are more folks leaving their employer to start their own business. When you add that group of people to the folks that leave their employer because of lay-offs, illness, and terminations then you are creating a great demand for family health insurance.

Insurance companies are working hard to develop new solutions. The federal government has great interest in health care insurance. The hospitals and physicians are deeply affected by the insurance industry.
There has been a major shift in thinking about health insurance. It has become increasingly clear that higher deductible health insurance plans are much more cost efficient in the long run compared to the low deductible plans of years past. The higher deductibles reduce the cost of health insurance dramatically. The lower deductibles are no longer in vogue. The high premiums for the low deductible no longer justify the premiums.

Today’s Trends

1. High Deductible Major Med – The insurance professionals are encouraging people to take the higher deductible major medical policies. You are well protected for a major illness or injury in exchange for self-insuring the smaller claims.

2. Health Savings Accounts – This is the federal government’s contribution to the health insurance dilemma. These savings accounts are established by the individual for medical expenses only. They are tax deductible similar to an IRA and are great vehicles to use for the out of pocket expense from the higher deductible.

Exercise with a Fitness Trainer

Even in the case of general fitness, training has its own well established rules. These rules refer to different aspects of doing the exercises: dosing (the number of series), repeating, intensity, rhythm, etc; but considering all these aspects is not enough. It is very important for the exercises to be performed correctly.

It is not easy at all for a beginner who has read something about fitness or to whom somebody described exactly how to do an exercise, to do it impeccably starting with the first sessions of training. Many times he has the impression that he does a movement correctly, even when he can see himself in a mirror from the gym. But only the experienced ‘eye’ of an instructor who has worked many programs for beginners is able to correct him effectively.

On the other hand, it is possible for the beginner to have the feeling that his modality of doing the exercises is wrong. If this is not the case, he needs, again, the instructor, to assure him his performance is correct. It is dangerous for the fitness practitioner’s health and body state to self-educate from the first sessions. There are many positions, angles, programs of the machines which could be unadvisable in different situations, determined by every person’s characteristics. Some examples of these particularities are: deformations of the spine, old accidents, operations, limits of the mobility of the joints, etc.

Another advantage of working under the supervision of an instructor is a good choice of exercises, machines, movements, which helps avoiding any risk of accidents.
The role of the fitness instructor is not limited to working with beginners. Even the advanced might have the tendency to ‘cheat’ in doing some exercises or to introduce really difficult exercises, necessitating closer supervision. Also, an experienced sportsman might need, from time to time, a look ‘from the outside’, which could help him perfect his technique.

Another aspect closely related to the fitness trainer’s assistance is the conception of the training programs. While for beginners the impossibility of creating their own training programs is obvious, the advanced could lose themselves in the jungle of possible choices, getting not to see the wood for the trees. In the same case of the advanced, the dangers of routine can be avoided much easier with help from the outside.

Maintaining the motivation and the interest for training is also one of the tasks the fitness instructor must face. He needs to show tact, intelligence and even diplomacy when working with the sportsmen or with the ones who practice fitness just for pleasure or for maintaining their health.

There could be some disadvantages of the involvement of the fitness trainer. His presence might be felt as patronizing, stressing, or unpleasant. Some cultural or social incompatibility between the trainer and the practitioner could make their communication, which is so important in this relation, really difficult.

However, the benefits we can have from working with a competent trainer are much bigger than the possible disadvantages and they make the effort of the sportsman more effective.

Fast And Healthy Family Favorites

Fast food can be healthy food if you know where to look. And the easiest place to find healthy fast food is in your kitchen.

The new “Pillsbury GOOD FOR YOU!” cookbook can help families with the daily challenge of making fast, healthy and flavorful dinners despite today’s busy schedules. The book features 170 healthy, delicious recipes that contain less fat, sugar and salt than regular recipes. All can be prepared in 35 minutes or less, with more than half of the recipes taking 20 minutes or less. Here’s a tasty “Super Express” sample:

Spicy Chinese Chicken Tacos

Start to Finish: 20 Minutes

1 box (4.6 oz) taco shells (12 shells)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (3/4 lb), cut into thin, bite-size strips

1 teaspoon grated gingerroot

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 large green onion, sliced

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

11/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

1. If desired, heat taco shells as directed on box.

2. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, gingerroot and garlic; cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned.

3. Stir in soy sauce, honey, onion and pepper flakes to coat. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center.

4. To serve, place scant 1/4 cup chicken mixture in each taco shell. Top each with lettuce. Serve immediately.

6 servings (2 tacos each)

Serving Size: 1 Serving

Calories: 180, Calories from Fat: 60% DV, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 1.5g, Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 260mg, Total Carbohydrate 18g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 4g, Protein 14g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 4%, Iron 6%, Exchanges: 1 Starch, 11/2 Very Lean Meat, 1 Fat; Carbohydrate Choices: 1

Besides delicious recipes, the cookbook also contains quick tips for better nutrition, on-the-go dinner ideas, easy-to-assemble fruit desserts and a pantry makeover. Look for it wherever books are sold.