Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Take Charge of Your Health with Check-ups

On this blog I usually discuss health, wellness and disease prevention as a direct result of the foods you choose to eat. However, this week let's review the need to monitor your wellness to determine where you are on the health continuum.

There has never been another time in history when it's more important for YOU to take responsibility for YOUR health and wellness. If you don't, who will? Regular health checkups can help identify disease risks early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting checkups and disease / preventive screenings you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life.

You may not know this ....
Chronic illness is expensive and no one is immune to it. 80% of chronic illnesses are preventable with  healthy lifestyle interventions. According to the CDC annually you could be spending:

    $2,400 sick care doctor visits
    $2,640 prescriptions / OTC medications
    $2,860 untreated high blood pressure
    $13,700 per year diabetes
    $228,030 stroke first year plus 25% for rehab
    $500,000+ cancer

What? Oh, you say you have insurance? Well, depending on your insurance plan you still will be paying out of pocket 20 - 40% depending on your plan. That can be a serious chunk of change!

YES, it's important to know where you are on the sick - wellness continuum. Even if you are symptom free, it does not necessarily mean you are chronic disease free. Not having symptoms could mean you are just not sick enough ...yet.

YES, medical doctor visits are expensive and time consuming and are not your only option for getting checked - up. Many churches, business associations, worksite and community organizations offer health screening check-ups.Some exams you can even "order" yourself, without your doctor such as colonoscopy and mammogram, there are even walk-in clinics who provide blood testing and the results go directly to you.

NO, some medical check-ups are controversial and in some situations can be considered harmful such as cancer screening, genetic testing ... read more click here

Don't forget check to see how your insurance company covers preventive care vs diagnostic care. If you do have insurance from the Marketplace (Obama Care) click here to learn about your coverage.

Do begin your prevention program right away by modifying your lifestyle behaviors to healthier ones then monitoring how you are doing with check-ups. 

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Certified Health Coach
Wellness Consultant

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I am hearing so much about dieting. Which one is best for me?


Q.  I am hearing so much about dieting. Which one is best for me?

Ok admit it. You can admit it too ... you have been victim to those crazy diets. Here are a few I remember ... Ice Cream Diet, Rice Diet, Peanut Butter Diet, Mayo Clinic Diet and all those crazy Celebrity Diets! After years of experience I can tell you none of these really work. Oh wait, you lost weight? Oh course you did ... at first.

You may not know this .... It is a natural tendency for our body to lose weight when any huge adjustment is made. This is your body's way of readjusting. Once your body is adjusted to the food change, back comes the weight this time gaining back more than you originally lost. This is called the YoYo Diet. Are you on that one?

Weight cycling (Yoyo Diet) causes:
  1. Gaining more weight
  2. Losing muscle mass
  3. Increasing fat tissue
  4. Increased low density (bad) cholesterol
  5. More likely to develop type 2 diabetes
  6. Negatively Impacts blood pressure
  7. Increased your risk of heart disease
For the full article click here

A. A diet at the core is fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.

Yesterday the U.S. News World Report published Find the Diet Best for You. In the article the U.S. News evaluated 32 of the most popular diets and identified the best. I have to say it was a great article providing an overview of their idea of the best diets. Here is how it fell out:
  • Best overall diet - DASH Diet
  • Best weight loss diet - Weight Watchers Diet
  • Best diabetes diet - Mediterranean Diet (described as biggest loser)
  • Best heart healthy diet - Dean Ornish Diet
  • Best healthy eating - DASH Diet
  • Best plant based diet - Mediterranean / Flexiterian
All of these food plans have at the core fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds with variations on this theme. Some have beef, chicken, fish others milk products. Healthy choices are included in all these diets, just some are healthier than others. You health like your life is a journey. Enjoy it!  

To read the whole article about best diets click here

right-arrow-icon5.gif DON'T  

Try to make too many changes at once. The hardest eating plan is the one you eliminate foods. It is much easier to fill you diet with healthy foods, and slowly eat less and less of the unhealthy ones.  


Stay away from processed foods by reading food labels such as high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, and sodium. A rule of thumb is if the food comes prepared by someone else, it most likely is the unhealthiest ... unless it's homemade.  

Your partner in health,

Cindy Cohen RN, BS BA
Wellness Consultant
Health Coach

This question appeared as Wellness Wednesday Q & A. To sign up click here