And save money on healthcare!
I’m writing this post on New Year’s Day. Typical of the day, I’m also pondering a few questions.
What did I learn last year about staying healthy? What have I done well in my quest to be healthier and save money? What can I do better this year?
As so many of us know, healthcare is unreasonably expensive. My goal the last few years has been to exercise more, eat sensibly, and stress less. By staying healthy I avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor and save money. Last year my biggest health expense was an … Continue reading
Target BPs are much lower
Last week the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiologists (ACC) published new guidelines in the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure.
What are the new numbers and what do they mean?
Many people will be surprised to find out they now have “elevated” high blood pressure, which could be a reading as low as 120/70, or Stage 1 hypertension at 130/80 rather than 140/90 (the old threshold).
The new blood pressure guidelines are:
- Normal: Under 120 over 80
- Elevated: Top number 120-129 and bottom less than 80
- Stage 1: Top
… Continue reading
Fear-mongering and clickbait
While sipping a glass of wine with dinner last night, my ears perked up when I heard a teaser for NBC Nightly News: “New report links even light alcohol intake with increased risk of cancer.”
Oh, boy, I thought. Here we go again.
I don’t like network news because of this kind of lousy health reporting (I just wanted to see local election returns). Again and again, research is taken out of context or blown out of proportion simply to use as clickbait. Argh.
My favorite health news website, Health News Review, agrees with me, and … Continue reading
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month
October has become the month to pressure women to Buy Pink! and schedule their annual mammograms.
But I’d rather see more women informed about the effectiveness of annual mammograms (not as much as you might think).
And I’d like to see more care providers drop the paternal attitudes and really have a conversation with women about the pros and cons of screening mammograms, and how (or if) this diagnostic tool should be used to meet their health care goals.
I’ve written many posts on this topic, so please check them out!
… Continue reading
More exercise, more soluble fiber
I’ve been posting about my husband’s high cholesterol since it became quite high about a year ago. Last December his total cholesterol was 297, with an LDL (low-density lipoprotein) of 219 and an HDL (high-density lipoprotein) of 65.
Now I’m happy to report that after 9 months of pretty simple lifestyle changes his total cholesterol is down to 240. His LDL (the bad one) is way down at 153, and his HDL (the good one) is way up at 77!
Although he has no other risk factors for heart disease—he’s not overweight, … Continue reading
Carbs vs fats in the news…again
A few weeks ago, a study was published that resulted in a lot of dramatic headlines, such as “Your Low-Fat Diet Could Kill You!”
The media always make a big deal out of these nutritional studies because they know we need to eat, we like to eat, and we’re already confused about what we should eat. Or not eat.
Headlines that the one above are great clickbait.
Nutrition studies are notoriously unreliable because they are usually observational studies, based on questionnaires and food diaries, rather than the gold standard randomized controlled trials. … Continue reading
Do these exercises every day!
Do you spend a lot of time hunched over your phone or tablet? Or sitting at a desk?
These simple exercises will help you fight back against some of the problems caused by too much hunching, slouching and sitting.
I love these exercises from my favorite YouTube physical therapists, Bob and Brad, because I can do many of them while sitting at my desk, they don’t require any special equipment, and I don’t get all sweaty in the middle of the day.
Personally, I’m trying to do the exercises several … Continue reading
Because happiness and health are linked
I read an article over the weekend that resonated with me: 10 secrets of happiness that I’ve learnt from my patients
Most of these tips seem pretty obvious, but it’s always surprising to me how easy it is for people to live for years in various states of misery before trying to fix what’s wrong in their lives.
I remember a primary care doctor telling me that so many of his patients came to his office with nothing physically wrong. They were just lonely, unhappy, bored, or stressed.
All these negative emotions can have … Continue reading
The fermented foods bible
Our niece recently gave my husband a fascinating book: The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz.
He’s already an enthusiastic yogurt maker, bread baker, beer brewer and kombucha fermenter (is that a verb?). But this book has increased his knowledge and his projects several-fold, and by extension I’ve learned a lot about the health benefits of fermented foods, too.
Fermented foods include, but are by no means limited to, pickles, sourdough, yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, soy sauce, kimchi, sour cream, cheese, beer, wine, cider, tempeh, kombucha, kefir, and saki.
Most cultures have some kind of fermented … Continue reading
Learn more about your local water supply
I think the water crisis in Flint, MI, a couple of years ago made everyone question the safety of drinking unfiltered tap water.
A recent report shows that almost 70% Americans believe their community’s water is at risk, especially in more urban areas. No wonder we’re buying more bottled water than ever!
But, despite some significant fails, our tap water is some of the cleanest and safest in the world. And do we really want to spend all that money on bottled water?
Rather than worry needlessly about what’s in your tap … Continue reading