Health Equals Wealth (2)


Your Health – Every day we hear more about what could happen if we no longer had the ability to purchase our own health insurance. If only Medicare cut back on coverage for those dependent on it for their health.

In some cases employees are told at work they must pay more for coverage if they want to keep a family plan, or to cover a spouse. Some hear, their health coverage is no longer part of their benefit program, the cost jumped so high the business just can’t afford to pay any part of Healthcare. When an employee is facing an ultimatum; pay more for the coverage to keep it the same or we have to drop the family plan, or the company is going to ditch it all together. Most would pay more knowing a healthy person could have something lurking in their future.

scales - Health Equals WealthIt’s hard to fathom, but the cost of drug coverage has changed drastically. One member of a family who takes expensive medication to remain stable – uses their total amount of coverage before the year is up. And they continue to pay at least eight hundred dollars a month for health insurance. A person shells out another eight hundred dollars a month for one drug. When the New Year rolls in, the coverage begins but in some cases, so do the out of pocket payments, with a high deductible plan. Healthcare is something to look at, closely, and consider a tomorrow.

In the meantime what can you do as a person to make your life easier, and protect your own health? We began in part one with a goal, a plan regarding issues which you face on a personal level. Perhaps you want to lose or gain weight, give up smoking, quit the carbs and cut down on sodium. We are all different, with our own needs – we cannot be a carbon copy of someone else – too many people read something in a magazine, “How to lose thirty pounds before Christmas,” and fail. Instead of losing weight, they gain weight. When one fails at anything, depression sets in, and so do the donuts, and trips to a fast food restaurant. Most of all keep track of the system we are going to talk about in your own personal notebook.

I would like you to focus on a daily food diary. The more we are aware of what we eat, makes us consider, should I have a second helping or a double dip at the ice cream parlor? For anyone to lose a pound per week you have to cut back 500 calories a day, from your current eating and drinking habits, today. If you can’t cut the food immediately, then burn them off by exercising, which means if you eat, you walk, run, swim, use a treadmill – anything that fits into your schedule.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture site is an excellent place to plan your daily routine.
It is common knowledge, the older we are the less we need to eat, so charts lower the calorie intake. A 51-year old woman – can survive on 2,200 calories a day, but someone 18-30 yrs of age – female can eat up to 2,400 calories a day, this is just a guideline. For the male, a 51-year old male – can survive on 2,800 calories a day, but the young man ages 14 – 18 can maintain a healthy weight with 3,200 calories. 

Making smart food choices is one of the facts in dieting we all should abide by.

It is recommended half be whole grains, but you can eat up to six ounces, and it makes a difference when you consume grains, you can’t just cut them out of your diet.

Vegetables (2 cups)
Get plenty of those red, orange, and dark green vegetables. Eat them raw, cooked, or as a fruit juice. 

Fruits (1/2 cup dried fruit, 1 cup of raw, cooked or juice)
The normal person may indulge in two cups of fruit each day – I would recommend as doctors warn us, limit the fruit juice, and don’t use juice as your entire consumption of fruit for the day. 

Dairy Products (3 cups)
The best way to consume diary is by eating non-fat or low-fat products. Protein foods – (5 ½ ounces) Choose a variety. The best source of protein is seafood, and nutritionists tell us the normal adult can consume eight ounces of seafood per week, so be sure to include seafood in your plate during the week. The best type of seafood is cod or haddock since shell fish is loaded with sodium.

NOTE: Green beans, and peas or soybean products like tofu can fit into your vegetable or protein group. 

So when you are ready to build a plate of good food check the labels for those high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Stay away from foods high in solid fats and added sodium, sugars, and refined starches.

Now look at your plate, it’s clean, empty – now we are going to fill it – one side of the plate will be fruits and vegetables – the other side will have your protein. While you are filling the plate, think about fried foods, try as hard as you can to stay away from them, along with red and processed meats but use willpower when it comes to sugars, and this means the sweetness that goes along with an espresso. 

Some of the reasons we overeat is stress – the same is true why people smoke or do other things compulsively. If you feel the day has hit you harder than usual, when you are leaving work, instead of going home, notify your significant other that you will be at the gym to work out. You will be surprised what exercises after a day at the office can do for you, regarding your emotions and attitudes when you return home. In any case, perhaps you can invite your significant other to join you. Make it a habit, if you can – depending on your lifestyle. Some people do this before work, but I believe more stress accumulates at work and needs an outlet before you sit down with your family. The Ys of the day are not like your mother’s Ys. Take advantage of their program that offers professional care of your child while you work out with your spouse.

The most serious problem in a diet and what most Americans do on a daily basis, eat snacks; while watching a movie, before bed, when they return from work, during a work break, hidden in drawers, so no one knows you are eating them and tucked away, so far from human eyes, no one else can eat your snacks.

The problem here is to learn how to control those moments when you are feeling the urge to binge out on something that should not be on your plate. We are speaking of a different plate – one you carry with you, the emotional side of overeating. The notebook I spoke of, grab it, write down what is on your mind at that very moment to slowly identify why you are going to slip away from your plan. Remember, it is okay to go off your daily plan but do not disregard it altogether. Some people have to learn how to cope with their emotions before they can learn to do without ice cream. I mentioned stress; it is part of your body’s hormone – Cortisol, which makes you overeat. It is suggested by many professionals to make sure your body has enough protein, the filler, while doctors add, breathing techniques to overcome stress, and pass the need to grab that second beer. 

We are a social society and tend to join others for lunch and dinner – you will eat less if you eat a protein bar before meals then you won’t be starving and eating things you can do without. Keep these bars at work, or in your car. Remember how much more you purchase at the market when you enter the market starving, the same is true for eating at a restaurant.

One thing about eating out is the type of restaurant you are going to – say Italian, and there it is staring at you Alfredo – you can taste the cheese, covering the pasta – but imagine how many calories’ a dish covered in thick white cheese will be consumed in one sitting. Instead, order something in garlic and olive oil, spices will give you satisfaction.

Losing weight in a group is sometimes encouraging to some, or it can turn you right off. If you are the type who needs encouragement to finish a project, then you may be the type who needs a support system if you are trying to obtain the perfect lifestyle to keep in shape. Those who attend AA meetings because they need to stop drinking and have a person at their side whom they can call at any moment. The same goes for losing weight or quitting smoking, you may need that person whispering in your ear.

There is no quick fix for weight loss – when you fall into pills or shots you eventually will gain all that you lost and then some. It takes time to lose weight, but it will stay off. You are changing your lifestyle and accepting change.

Now go and set up your plate – it is still empty.

We will look next at the right way to exercise and the dos and don’ts – the myths and what is really important for everyone to know before undergoing a drastic change to their life of leisure with a bowl of popcorn and a movie.

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Angie's Diary