6 Tips for Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

Happy Thanksgiving! As quickly as Turkey Day comes and goes, the holiday season is far from over. While this is a time for love and laughter it is also a time for over indulging and too many sweets. With parties taking over your evenings and weekends, and the temptations of cookies and candy, it’s hard to stay on track and stay on top of your health. Today, we’re going to share 6 tips for surviving and staying healthy during the holidays.

Don’t go hungry
This is possibly my number one rule. It is a huge mistake to go to a holiday party or a work function hungry. Go with a full stomach so you can graze and enjoy the food but not over indulge.

Get your workout in
Be sure to get up and get your workout in early. It will help to kick your metabolism in to high gear and burn fat all day. This way you don’t have to worry about having a few cookies while out at night.

Offer to bring a healthy dish
If you’re going to a party where you’re asked to bring something be sure to bring something healthy. Sure, maybe your famous pecan pie isn’t super healthy, but bring something additional to balance it out. This way you know there is at least one option that’s good for you. And get creative, it’s so easy to make little tweaks to make something more nutritious.

Always have water
Water is another really important one when it comes to this. It helps to keep you full but it also helps to be sure you don’t get a little too tipsy. Drink lots of water with your meal and be sure to have a glass between each drink. There’s nothing worse than embarrassing yourself at a company party or waking up with a raging headache.

Mind your portion sizes
Portions are key when it comes to being sure you don’t over eat. Keep protein to the size of your palm, veggies to the size of your fist, carbs to the size of your hand cupped and sweets and sides to the size of your thumb. If you’re still hungry you can always go back for seconds but you’ll feel rude if you don’t finish everything on your plate.

Don’t forget to enjoy
All in all, don’t forget the reason for the season. Obviously your health is important but family and friends come first. Don’t beat yourself up for falling off track.

 

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4 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Insurance for 2018

Believe it or not, 2018 is fast approaching! And if you’re one of the 6.5 million American’s who gets their insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, it’s time to select your plan! Open enrollment for Obamacare starts November 1st and ends December 15th. Enrollment is only open for a short time, so it’s important to do your research now! These are four things you must consider when choosing the best plan for you and your family.
Your budget
This should be first and foremost. Before you even sit down to start looking at policies it’s important to set a realistic budget. Obviously insurance is pricey, so make sure you allow a fair portion of your income to be set aside for your monthly premium.
Key insurance terms
You can’t choose the best policy for you without knowing the key terminology. Important insurance terms to know are: deductible, co-insurance, copay and out of pocket maximum. Need to brush up on these terms? Follow this link. This will make picking a policy a lot less of a headache or prevent you from choosing something that isn’t right for you.
What services you use
It’s important to consider what services you use most when choosing an insurance. Keep in mind that preventative services are currently covered under the Affordable Care Act. This includes things such as colonoscopies and diabetes (Type II) screening. But if you see a chiropractor, or another specialized practitioner, be sure the policy you’re looking at covers that type of care.
Is it an HMO or a PPO
A lot of people don’t know the difference between Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO’s) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO’s). Typically, an HMO plan is going to be a little more affordable than a PPO plan. But they aren’t created equal. PPO’s allow for more flexibility. Typically you can see any doctor you chose, where as with HMO’s you’re more limited. Also, often times with an HMO you will need to have a Primary Care Physician (PCP) who must refer you for specific services (i.e. a routine colonoscopy). Don’t forget to check the type of plan before finalizing your 2018 coverage.
Mark your calendar for November 1st! And if you still have questions about health insurance, you can pick up my book Easy Healthcare: Obamacare.

Breast Cancer Treatment: What Your Insurance Covers

After a devastating diagnosis such as breast cancer, the last thing one thinks about is insurance. But sadly this is a true reality for most. How to pay for it, what your coverage is and what to do if you don’t have insurance are all things that run through one’s mind. Today, we’re going to discuss what your insurance covers when it comes to breast cancer prevention and treatment.
Mammograms are a major diagnostic test used for the detection of breast cancer. Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, all insurance policies are required to cover one routine mammograms for women over 40 years of age per, at no out of pocket cost to them. So take advantage of this tool every year.
If your physician suggests a mastectomy as part of your treatment it will likely be covered. Even better yet, due to an act passed in 1998 any insurance company that has mastectomy coverage must also cover breast reconstruction coverage, if you wish to have it done. Not only does this include implants but it can also include surgery to correct asymmetries (i.e. only one breast was removed) as well as treatment for any surgical complications.
Chemotherapy and radiation are two major treatments for any form of cancer, specifically breast cancer. Coverage for these two types of treatment are going to be plan specific. So make sure you look over your insurance to see what type of coverage you have. Often times they come with high deductibles and copay’s, but it’s better than nothing.
Other prescription medications will be billed the same way as chemo and radiation, which is considered a medication. For instance, cancer suppressing medications, such as tamoxifen, fall under this category.
If you don’t have insurance there are several institutions that can provide you with the care you need. You can head over to www.komen.org to learn more.
Or, if you’re interested in enrolling in a health insurance plan for 2018 stay tuned for next weeks post, we walk you through everything you need to know about Obamacare.