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2019


If you think food labels and packaging are confusing, you are not alone. Many Americans have questions about what terms like “fortified” or “natural” mean and how to make sense of the nutritional information on the back of packaging. We’re here to help! Here’s the “skinny” on food labels…

 

The nutrition facts label (hint, it’s on the back of food packaging)

 

Begin by looking at the serving size. Surprised? Many people don’t realize that what’s in a package may be much more than one serving. One pack of Twinkies, for example, is two servings.  A serving of Pringles is just 16 chips.

 

Pay attention to the type of fat on food labels. When focusing on fat, avoid foods with these ingredients on the label: hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, and trans fats. Trans fats are particularly heart-unhealthy, and even foods claiming to have “no trans fats” can contain .5 grams of trans fat per serving. 

And don’t forget to look at the amount of added sugar. American Heart Association guidelines recommend no more than 25 grams (around 6 teaspoons) of added sugar a day for women and 38 grams (around 9 teaspoons) for men.  Sugar can also hide in the list of ingredients, given the various forms in which it comes, so look for any of the following ingredients: agave, cane sugar, carob sugar, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, or maltodextrin.

 

Marketing labels

 

Often the front of food packaging can be just as confusing. Here are some of the most common misleading marketing statements:

·         “Natural” can mean something different to every manufacturer because the description “natural” is not regulated by the FDA.  “Natural” does not equal healthy.

·         Whole grains are healthier than more processed white breads or pastas, but unless they are labeled “100% whole grain,” it’s impossible to know how much of the good stuff is actually in what you’re buying.

·         Foods labeled as “low-fat” are often high in sugar, so be sure to check the sugar content on the label.

  • Foods described as     “Made with…” may only contain a small amount of what is being advertised     as healthy.  Investigate and find     out the amount of organic ingredients, real fruit, or whole grains     actually in the item. Reading the food label on the back can help you     decide whether the ingredients in the item are healthy.

 

References

 

https://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/labelingnutrition/ucm274593.htm

http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/PamphletPrint.aspx?token=13017087-e182-44a8-b26a-0bd8976976b3&chunkiid=22787

What made you decide to work on your weight now?

 

 

This may be one of the first questions you ask yourself,  because knowing your motivation is one of the keys to successful lifestyle change.  It energizes us and focuses our attention on our priorities.

 

 

Motivation can be challenging to harness at times, so here are some tips for making the most of it.

 

 

  1. Identify your reasons for change. Get really clear on who or what in your life is driving you to make a change right now. Do you want to feel more energetic?  Dance like never before? Keep up with your kids? Once you understand your underlying motivations for change, write them down and keep them front and center – in a place you’ll frequently see them.
  2. Make sure lifestyle changes aren’t drudgery. Watching what you eat and exercising aren’t always the most intrinsically satisfying, so choose activities you enjoy or pair them with other things you like. Savor the flavors of healthy foods and recipes, and feel how they nourish your body. If you’re social, invite friends to join you for a workout.  If you enjoy a challenge, train for races or beat your own times. And then mix up the activities every so often to maintain interest. Lacking for ideas? Talk with your coach!
  3. Plan for when motivation wanes.  As hard as we might try to maintain it, there are times when motivation lags.  What to do? Use your environment to set you up for success. Keep unhealthy foods out of easy access. Lay out your exercise clothes before you go to bed so they are waiting for you in the morning. That way you’re ready when motivation weakens – and know it’s only a matter of time before it returns.

 

 

Remember, a little motivation goes a long way – so use it to your advantage!

 

 

References:

Elliot AJ, Harackiewicz JM. Goal setting, achievement orientation, and intrinsic motivation: a mediational analysis. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1994;66:968-80.

Ntoumanis N, Biddle SJ. Affect and achievement goals in physical activity: a meta-analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 1999;9:315-32.

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By Shannon Spence

To get the best quality of sleep, experts recommend turning off technology at least an hour before bedtime.1 Research has shown that the blue light from our devices inhibits our bodies from producing melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep, and may even be a contributing cause of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.2

Ironically, some of the latest and greatest tech innovations actually offer solutions that may help us sleep better by teaching us more about our sleep habits. The idea is that we take the data we receive from these various technologies and use it to take specific steps that can help us sleep and live better.

Here’s a look at some of the latest technology and gadgets promising to help us get more (and better quality) shuteye.

Sleep apps: Apps are a convenient way to track your sleep and can provide tailored feedback around your sleep patterns and how to improve them. Through the Go365® App, you can earn Points for keeping a sleep diary. Log 7+ hours of sleep 5 or more days per week using a Go365-compatible device to earn 25 Points per week. To get started, sign in to the App and go to the Activities section. You can also check out the Go365-compatible Stop, Breathe & Think app, which can help you fall asleep with a short “falling asleep” meditation. Since its part of the weekly mindfulness log, Go365 members can earn up to 10 Points weekly when the app is connected. Download Stop, Breathe & Think through the app store before connecting to the Go365 App.

Smart light bulbs: Many of us sit under fluorescent lights for most of the day, which emit a lot of short wavelength blue light. Blue light is good for us during the day as it boosts attention, reaction time and mood. However, too much exposure at night can disrupt sleep. Various companies, including NASA, have created light bulbs that generate less blue light and, likewise, facilitate better sleep.

Temperature control systems: Sleep doctors and experts alike agree that a room temperature between 60 and 68 degrees makes for ideal sleep conditions.3 If you’re constantly getting out of bed to adjust the thermostat, consider investing in a temperature control system that offers room by room temperature control. Or, try out a product like this temperature-controlled mattress topper, which cools down or warms up your mattress by actively circulating water through a network of micro tubes.

Scented alarm clocks: If you’re one of many who have trouble waking up in the morning, you most likely detest the sound of your alarm clock. Now there’s a more enjoyable way to wake up, and it starts with your nose. Set your alarm, choose a scent, go to sleep and wake to a scent of your choice, from bacon to coffee to fresh croissants. It’s like one of those wall plugins but so much better!

 

Sources

 

1 Larry Rosen, “relax, Turn Off Your Phone, and Go to Sleep,” Harvard Business Review, accessed January 2017, https://hbr.org/2015/08/research-shows-how-anxiety-and-technology-are-affecting-our-sleep

2 “Blue light has a dark side,” Harvard Health Publications, accessed January 2017, http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side

3 Sarah DiGiulio, “These Gadgets are Designed to Save your Sleep,” Huffington Post, accessed January 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sleep-tech-ces_us_586d15e9e4b0eb58648b5a7f?4w

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This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. Consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you. Links to various other websites from this site are provided for your convenience only and do not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness, its parent company or affiliates (“Humana Wellness”) of these sites, any products, views, or services described on these sites, or of any other material contained therein. Humana Wellness disclaims responsibility for their content and accuracy.

Discrimination is Against the Law

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

繁體中文 (Chinese): 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

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Your decision to join a support group may be one of the hardest decisions that you make. But, once you find a group that fits your needs and personality, it could be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Joining a group is just the starting point. It’s what you do when you are in the group that has the potential to be life changing.

Here are three ways you can get the most from a support group:

Be honest

A big reason people find these groups so inviting is because of the honesty that is expressed between participants. Decide from the start that you will be honest with the others in the group. When you work together to create a safe place to share stories, you begin to build a mutual trust among members.

Be active

Take the initiative to get involved in your support group. A great starting point is by reaching out to meet new people. Building a friendly rapport with those in your group is the quickest way to feel comfortable and a sense of belonging. When newcomers attend a meeting, go out of your way to make them feel welcome. The more engaged you are with the members of your group, the more you will get out of the experience.

Be a supportive listener

From the start, send the message to other members of the group that you are truly interested in them and their stories. The best way of doing that is to be an active listener. That means being attentive, making eye contact, and acknowledging points the speaker is making by nodding your head at various points. It sends a message to the speaker that you care about what that person is saying because you care about him or her.

Lean on the members of your group for support. That’s why they are there. If you work together, you can not only see your own recovery become a reality, but also play an important role in helping others heal as well.

References

Gary Gilles, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

communitymanager

Frittata Primavera

Posted by communitymanager Feb 12, 2019

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Spring isn’t too far off, but that doesn’t mean you can’t yet enjoy a dish with ingredients straight from the garden. Enjoy an omelet with yummy greens and a little yogurt and cheese to start the day off right. It’s proof that a hearty breakfast doesn’t need meat!

Ingredients

3 eggs or ¾ cup egg substitute

1 tbsp. plain yogurt, low-fat

1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

3 tsp. olive oil

¼ cup onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

½ cup fresh asparagus pieces

½ cup canned or frozen artichoke hearts, chopped

½ cup sugar snap peas, strings pulled and cut in ½-inch pieces

¼ tsp. dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. On the stove, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a skillet and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes or until soft.

2. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.

3. Stir in the asparagus, artichoke hearts, peas, basil, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally until tender but still slightly crisp, 3-5 minutes. Set aside.

4. Preheat the broiler.

5. Beat the egg substitute or eggs with the yogurt and another pinch of pepper.

6. Heat the rest of the oil in a heavy-bottom skillet. Pour in the egg mixture and cook until just set on the bottom but still wet on the top, 1 minute.

7. Scatter the vegetables over the top and set into the oven to finish cooking, 2 minutes.

8. Dust the top with the Parmesan cheese, cut into wedges, and serve.

 

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Whether you’re a serious athlete or a recreational exerciser, it’s important to make sure you get the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. If you’re not properly hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level. You may experience fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, or more serious symptoms.

For most people, water is all that is needed to stay hydrated. However, if you’ll be exercising at a high intensity for longer than an hour, a sports drink may be helpful. The calories, potassium, and other nutrients in sports drinks can provide energy and electrolytes to help you keeping going longer.

Sports drinks have other advantages over water for athletes and exercisers that go beyond better hydration. Specifically, the calories in sports drinks have been shown to increase energy and endurance, limit the immune system suppression that sometimes follows hard workouts, reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, and promote faster recovery.

Water provides no sodium, and sodium helps the body hold onto water and helps fluid get to the right places in the body, like muscles and blood. For training over an hour at medium to high intensity, look for a drink that provides between 13-19 grams of carbohydrate per 8 oz serving, and at least 80-110 mg sodium and even more for longer duration training.

Sports drinks have three basic ingredients:

  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Salt

These three ingredients work to rehydrate, reenergize, and replace lost electrolytes.

The sugars in sports drinks can also help replenish the fuel you use during exercise. The body stores fuel as carbohydrates in the muscles and the liver and releases sugar into the bloodstream for instant energy. But after prolonged exercise – about an hour of intense exercise like a fast run or hard cycling – the carbohydrate stores are depleted and blood-sugar levels can drop. A steady source of sugar during strenuous exercise for an extended period can help fight off fatigue and enhance performance. With lower intensity exercise, such as jogging, it may take two hours or more before energy needs replacing.

If you’re simply an active person who plays social tennis, swims, or goes to the gym a couple of times a week, you don’t need sports drinks. However, for long periods (an hour or more) of strenuous exercise, they may be beneficial.

 

 

 

Brink-Elfegoun, Thibault et al. “Effects of Sports Drinks on the Maintenance of Physical Performance during 3 Tennis Matches: A Randomized Controlled Study.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 11 (2014): 46. PMC. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Alsunni, Ahmed Abdulrahman. “Energy Drink Consumption: Beneficial and Adverse Health Effects.” International Journal of Health Sciences 9.4 (2015): 468–474. Print.

References

Abby Housefield, “Electrolytes for runners: The Definitive Guide”, runnersconnect.net, accessed December 2016. https://runnersconnect.net/running-nutrition-articles/electrolytes-for-runners/

Anna Schaefer, “Is Gatorade Bad For You?” healthline.com, accessed December 2016. http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/is-gatorade-bad-for-you

Kyle Levers, “Nature’s Gatorade: Effectivness of Coconut Water on Electrolyte and Carbohydrate Replacement”, huffinesinstitute.org, accessed December 2016.

http://huffinesinstitute.org/resources/articles/articletype/articleview/articleid/446/natures-gatorade-effectiveness-of-coconut-water-on-electrolyte-and-carbohydrate-replacement

Disclaimers

These non-insurance services are provided by Humana Wellness.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, or financial advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. Consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

Information from other websites or sources is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness or its parent, subsidiaries or affiliates.

This site is only updated periodically; therefore, any information presented may be out of date.

Information regarding third party products is provided for your convenience only and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness, its parent company or affiliates (“Humana Wellness”) of any products or services.

Discrimination is Against the Law

Humana Inc. and its subsidiaries comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.

English: ATTENTION: If you do not speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

Español (Spanish): ATENCIÓN: Si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).

繁體中文 (Chinese): 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電1-866-454-5383 (TTY: 711).