Randy Roberts | Health and Life Insurance Agent | Allentown, PA 18109

What The Fish?

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Fish isn’t talked about as highly as beef or chicken.

Most television commercials we come across would rather show a triple stacked bacon burger or a double crusted full toppings pizza. 

A restaurant’s fish sandwich commercial might be shown if it’s on sale for $1.

The odd thing is that fish has so many benefits in comparison to beef and chicken, yet it is seldomly promoted.

Perhaps it’s too healthy.

Which is perfect for this post because now I’m going to take the time to celebrate fish and talk about how consuming it can be beneficial for you.

The Benefits of Eating Fish

For one, they are very nutritious. They generally contain many of the vitamins and minerals that are vital for a healthy individual. Particularly Omega-3 Fatty Acids. We’ve talked a lot about what to eat in order to craft yourself into a more health individual.

You may have heard of Omega-3 Fatty Acids (FAs). Well Omega 3 FAs are important for improving body and brain function. Omega 3’s benefits are all the rave, which is why you’ve probably seen it on the Fish Oil labels in the vitamins section of your local supermarket. 

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Omega-3 s can also decrease inflammation throughout the body. This is a plus as inflammation can cause serious damage to your blood vessels.  

So by increasing your omega 3 intake, you reduce your chances of heart disease and stroke. 

Not sold yet? What if I told you that fish is super easy to prepare? If you are feeling tired and want to avoid eating something heavy, fish is the way to go. 

You have the option to quickly bake, fry, or broil. Once finished cooking, you can eat with veggies or rice. 

In the end, you’ll be left with a light nutritious easy to make meal. Did I mention healthy too?

Types to Choose From

There’s a variety of fish with plenty of omega 3 FAs for you to choose from. See the list below:

  • Salmon
  • Sardine
  • Pilchards
  • Kippers
  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Cod
  • Herring
  • Canned, light tuna
  • Trout
  • Eels
  • Whitebait
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Tuna

***Warning: Avoid constant consumption of larger fish to avoid mercury contamination.***

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Thanks to many different industries that have polluted our lakes, oceans, and rivers over the years, the risk of mercury contamination from consuming fish has increased significantly.

The reason we are told to avoid eating the larger ones is because they eat the smaller ones that have low traces of mercury in them. The larger fish tend to live longer so they are eating these smaller ones all day and everyday and as a result a higher concentration of mercury builds up within them.

For that reason, you won’t see a shark or a king mackerel on our list above.

The Amount You Should Eat

The recommended amount of consumption varies based on your age and circumstance. Make no mistake, the benefits are suitable to everyone who isn’t allergic. Those benefits derive from the Omega 3s.

Other benefits from Omega 3s include possible protection of your vision in old age, enhanced sleep quality, possible prevention of asthma in kids, and a strong source of vitamin D. The pros of consuming fish applies across the spectrum of ages. 

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For the average adult, the recommended amount to consume is 8 ounces/ two servings. 

If you are a pregnant women, it is recommended that you consume 12 oz of seafood that is low in mercury contamination. 

If you are a parent, it is suggested that you feed your children fish, approximately 1-2 times per week at your own discretionary amount. 

All in all, it is highly suggested that we all add fish to our diets. Hamburgers, Chicken Sandwiches, and Pulled Pork are delicious but those are not your only food options. Maybe tonight you can try some tuna and let us know how you like it in the comment section below. As always thanks for reading.

Sources: 

(September 2019). Omega-3 in Fish: How eating fish helps your heart. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/omega-3/art-20045614

Leech, J. (June 2019). 11 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Eating Fish. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-health-benefits-of-fish#section1

Nordqvist, J. (July 2017). Health Benefits of Oily Fish. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9978.php

Get My Nuts, Get My Nuts!

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If you understand the nuts reference in the title, kudos for being aware of one of the funniest videos on the internet. 

If you aren’t familiar I’ll link the video for you to enjoy a brief laugh (here).

On a more serious note, if you haven’t already, you should definitely consider adding nuts to your diet. 

Why? 

I’m glad you asked. In my typical fashion, I will now provide you the benefits of eating nuts.

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1) They make you feel full

Basically, you can eat a moderate amount of nuts opposed to a full plate of food (carbohydrates specifically) and experience the same satiety (fullness).

This is because they have lots of fats, fiber and protein. These key ingredients tend to make you feel full, even though there is a lesser quantity. Doesn’t this sound like a better alternative than gorging on carbs all day?

2) They have lots of GOOD fats

Good Fats? What are those?

These good fats are known as the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These fats can decrease ldl cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) and lower blood cholesterol in general. 

This is important to know because if you have high blood cholesterol, you’re at a greater risk for developing heart disease.

3) Can you give us a list of nuts?

Of course, I can. There’s plenty to choose from. 

Type of Nut Average Amount of Calories
Almonds 161
Pistachios 156
Walnuts 182
Cashews 155
Macadamia 200
Peanuts 176

Don’t forget to pick these up on your next trip to the grocery store.

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4) How to eat nuts? 

The choice is yours really. There really isn’t a wrong way to eat nuts unless you have an allergy (if you do, stay away from them). 

One option is to snack on them. You can grab a handful and start chomping away. If you decide to buy packaged nuts, I caution you to check the label to confirm that there are no additives (sugar or salt). 

Option two is to scatter them over your regular food. The good thing is different types work well with salads, sandwiches, and cereal. By scattering, you can ensure better taste and increase your chances of consumption.

Lastly, you can substitute them for meat. Yep, if you are looking to reduce your meat consumption, try substituting almonds or pistachios in its place. There are plenty of vegetarian recipes that swaps out meat and replaces it with nuts to create a delicious meal. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

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Are you willing to add these to your diet? Pretty sure they would go nicely with some coffee in the morning? 

Remember the point of these posts is not to just inform you but to help you improve your overall health. Let me know below if you’re finding any of this information helpful or if you have some healthy food suggestions that you would like to share. 

As always thanks for reading.

Sources:

(June 2017). Why nutritionists are crazy about nuts. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/why-nutritionists-are-crazy-about-nuts

Drayer, L. (March 2017). Are nuts healthy? CNN. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/10/health/are-nuts-healthy-food-drayer/index.html

Robertson R. (September 2018). The Top 9 Nuts to Eat for Better Health. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-healthy-nuts

The Benefits of Drinking Coffee

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I know that title grabbed your attention, you coffee addicts!

That’s not an insult as I am an avid coffee drinker myself. 

To put it simply, coffee is awesome and I’d bet a fare wager that many people on the planet agree with me.

Nonetheless, today’s post will be for the non-believers and my fellow addicts that want some scientific evidence to compliment their love for coffee.

So what are the benefits of coffee?


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1) Coffee can actually increase your energy levels

Many coffees contain caffeine, which is a stimulant. 

Basically it’s what wakes you up. How caffeine works is it goes through the blood then into your brain. 

Once in your brain, it will increase the production of neurotransmitters (i.e. norepinephrine & dopamine). 

These neurotransmitters will begin to fire on all cylinders causing a huge burst of energy within you. 

This is the abridged version of how that works. 

2) Coffees reduces your risk for common diseases

Even if you don’t drink this beverage all day like a maniac, moderate doses can still provide benefit. 

Studies have found that people who drink a moderate amount of coffee per day tend to show an 11% lower risk of heart failure, 40-50% decreased risk of liver cancer, and a 28% lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Thank you coffee!

3) Coffee possesses lots of antioxidants

I don’t want to bore you with chemistry jargon, so if you want the full fledge definition of oxidants, the dictionary is still your friend.

In my own words, oxidants (a.k.a. free radicals) are broken down byproducts that can be in the body or outside of the body, which at high levels can break down cells over time.

As we get older, our bodies can’t fight off these oxidants the way they used to resulting in more buildup and greater damage to our cells. This leads to the development of diseases such as heart disease, cancers, and diabetes. 

Antioxidants are molecules that fight off these oxidants either by decreasing the amount that’s built up in the body or lessening their effectiveness. 

This is why you see so many products with labels boasting about antioxidants. 

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Yeah, that about wraps things up. Coffee is great for these reasons and many more. Not that you ever needed convincing but at least now you know why. Short and sweet. If you have more comments to add, don’t hesitate to drop your thoughts below. 

Sources:

Gunnars, K. (September 2018). 13 Health Benefits of Coffee, Based on Science. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com /nutrition/top-13-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coffee

Nordqvist, J. (July 2019). Health benefits and risks of drinking coffee. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday .com/articles/270202.php

Villines, Z. (July 2017). How do free radicals affect the body? Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles /318652.php

Stop Drinking Sugary Calories

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Friend 1: “Water or Vitamin Water?”

Friend 2: “Water.”

Friend 1: “But Vitamin Water is flavored!”

Friend 2: “That’s because it has sugar”

Friend 1: “Oh?”

Friend 2: “Yup”

Your delicious Frappé in the morning, the sweet taste of Dr. Pepper at lunch, and that Orange Power smoothie at night are filled with sugar. Coffees, sodas, gatorades, smoothies, and all the other drinks that isn’t just plain water has sugar. With sugar comes lots of calories. Being equipped with this knowledge does not mean you should remove these drinks from your diet. Perhaps you can scale back a little or try some alternatives. Without being too preachy, I implore you to remember that not everything that tastes good to you is good for you and everything in moderation.

So What’s Wrong With Sugary Calories

Let’s start with some data:

Beverage  Calories Grams of Sugar
Soda 151 39
Sweetened Iced Tea 143 34
Fruit Punch 175 42
Lemondade 148 37
Sports Drink 118 23

You’re probably looking at the number of calories here and saying oh that’s not so bad. Well, let me put things in perspective for you. If you were to run 1 mile, you would only burn off roughly 130-150 calories. Let me be more clear. Running 1 mile only burns off the amount of calories equivalent to a can of soda. So running that mile does nothing for the other calories that come from foods or the other sugary drinks you’ve consumed that day. It’s easy to see how the calories can add up really quickly. Always remember. the more calories you consumed opposed to burn will lead to weight gain.

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Next, sugary drinks do not make you feel full. What tends to happen more often than not is you’ll consume the sugary beverage with food. The truth is that drinking calories does not cause the body to release fullness signals the same way that food does. So you might be drinking a sugary beverage to avoid eating but your body does not recognize this and as a consequence, you never get that full feeling. Before long, you’ll end up eating and drinking resulting in you taking in more sugary calories than you ever intended.

Do you know what nutritional value sugary drinks offer? None. Flat out zero. In fact, constant consumption of sport drinks and sodas tend to negatively impact your health. You’re essentially filling your body with non-nutritiousness material that causes your health systems to work harder to expel said material. These sugary drinks can cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to rise, while damaging your metabolism. I mean these beverages taste good but the trade off of a tasty drink for irreparable health damage just doesn’t seem fair. 

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What Can You Drink Instead?

You could aways just drink water to avoid the aforementioned problems. Now this seems way too simplistic and obnoxious of an answer, so I looked up some alternatives for you. Perhaps, you can start with teas as they have become a popular beverage of choice in the last few years. Green Teas, in particular, have zero calories. There are other herbal teas, such as peppermint and black tea with zero calories that are tasty alternatives. You can also drink seltzer water or club soda. So please please please, be aware that you have options. I don’t want you to leave this post feeling dejected. On the off chance that switching to these types of beverages seems too challenging a task for you, try cutting back on the sugary drinks. The less sugary drinks means the less sugary calories for you to consume. 

As always, thanks for reading and we can continue this conversation below in the chat box. Tell me your preferred zero or low calorie beverages.

Sources:

(March 22, 2017). Sugar-Sweetened Beverages: Don’t Drink Your Calories! YMW Blog. Retrieved from https://www.yourweightmatters.org/sugar-sweetened-beverages-dont-drink-calories/

Lamberg, E. (January 10, 2018). How liquid calories can sabotage weight-loss success. NBC News. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-liquid-calories-can-sabotage-weight-loss-success-ncna835881

Spritzler, F.(September 28, 2016). Why Liquid Sugar Is the Worst. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/liquid-sugar-calories

Worst Case Scenarios

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What are the worst case scenarios that you could think of for yourself. I’ll give you a moment. Do you know what your biggest asset is? Many people think it is their house, their car, their boat or their investments. Let me challenge you on your perspective.  Or the way you are looking at things. Your biggest and most valuable asset is your ability to earn an income. Warning I’m going to scare you a little. Answer the following questions in your head. How many months would it be before you ran out of money, if you physically could not work?  Do you know what the average amount of Social Security Disability check is? I see far too often people who get sick or hurt and become unable to work anymore. They have to jump through hoops to get help from Social Security and may not even meet the requirements to get it. 

***This Article is an Insurance Plug***

Even if they do get the help it is at a fraction of what they were earning. This in itself can be considered a life altering event. Who can live on a ¼ of their income? Not the majority of people in this country. Let’s continue down this funnel of fear, how long would it be till your dreams started to fade away?  Your ability to earn a living is the only asset you have to provide a future. Are you willing to let it go unprotected? This is not a gamble anyone in their right mind should/would want to take.

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This is my attempt to touch on as many worst case scenarios so that I drive home these points and employ a slight amount of mental torture to nudge you into taking action. Imagine you were suddenly are diagnosed with some type of cancer or another critical illness? Do you have the short term covered with some supplemental protection? Again how soon would it be before you had to look for a new place to live? On the worst day of your life do you want to worry about the bills or do you want to put your efforts into recovery?  There are plenty of things you can do to protect your family when these events occur. No one wants to thinks about these things. If you knew what day you were going to get sick, you would you do something about it now. Remember, these illnesses do not discriminate against age, race, color or religion. We all want to think we are immune, but reality says we are not. Health insurance only covers the doctors and the hospitals. So my question to you is who is protecting you? 

***This Article is an Insurance Plug***

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It’s time for the last morbid scenario…God forbid you do not come home. How long will it be till your spouse and kids have to sell the family home? How long will the other assets last? Will the kids have to change their plans and dreams for college? Again if you knew what day you were going to die, you would ensure protections are there for them. There is significant cost t planning a funeral or a cremation. We are talking somewhere on average between $10,000-$30,000. After your savings is blown through on that, how much is remaining for the monthly bills to be paid? If you love your family, you will protect them when you are gone (i.e. leaving money behind).

You were warned in big bold letters about the purpose of this week’s article.  Hopefully this blog post served as food for thought and allows you to look at things from a different perspective. How will you protect you and your ability to provide for your family? How will you protect and preserve your assets on during the time of illness? How will you preserve your dreams if you don’t come home? There are plenty of insurance options available to you whether this be Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, Burial Insurance, Medicare. At the Randy Roberts Insurance Agency, we can help you acquire all of the right insurances for you in the event of these worst case scenarios happen to you. 

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below if you’ve thought of the any of the above and if you need insurance today.

If You Don’t Move…(Exercise Piece)

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What is wrong with you? This is oftentimes the question many ask themselves when it comes time to exercise and they can’t just get up and go. It’s time to not only acknowledge this problem but challenge your thought process.

We’re always told that we need to be active. It’s recommended in the health books. We were required to be active in gym to get a good grade, which happened in elementary school, middle school, high school and in some cases even up until your freshman year of college.

I get it. It’s a simple concept, but hard to execute for many.  Remember, just because something is hard to do, does not give you permission to avoid it. So let’s discuss why you need to get up off your tooshie,  get moving. get active. start exercising.

What’s Your Problem (Exercise Avoidance)?

First, let’s address the elephant in the room. This big elephant is called Excuses. Ask yourself, why do you think you’re so special? You’re not the only person that has to go to work. You’re not the only person that has kids. You’re not the only person has to go to school. You’re not the only person with two jobs. But you are the only person with one life; your life. You need to protect that life with all your might. 

Timing Matters (I don’t have time to exercise)

It is best to start easy. Do you know how many minutes there are in a week? Don’t bother calculating. The recommended amount of exercises most days of the week is a minimum of 30 minutes. There are seven days in a week. So at bare minimum, you should exercise 210 minutes; that’s 210 minutes out of 10,080 minutes in the week. This leaves you with 9,870 minutes for yourself. What can you do with that time? No, better yet ask yourself what are you going to do with that time?

Benefits of Exercise on Your Health

Now that we’ve elucidated the amount of free time you have, it’s time for a little education. One of the biggest benefits of physical activity/exercise is it can help you reduce stress, which can reduce the development of chronic diseases that could weaken your immune system. Exercise can remove bacteria from the lungs and other airway passages. This is beneficial for decreasing your chances of catching the flu or the common cold. Another perk of exercise is the increase of body temperature both during and after physical activity which helps fight off infections by stopping bacterial growth within the body.  As mentioned earlier, exercise assists with stress management as well; this is a major selling point in a stressful day to day. Physical activity can hinder stress hormones from being released and less stress means less illness in theory.

The Rest Is Up To You

Ultimately, no amount of scientific evidence provided is going to make you move if you do not want to improve your health. This is a personal decision. This is a personal test for yourself. You’ve heard most of this information several times before and maybe it didn’t sink in.  Maybe this will be the time that it actually does. At the end of the day, you have to want this change for yourself. You have to want your body to be better, you have to be thinking, how can I prevent myself from getting sick? How can I become a stronger version of myself? How can I prevent illness from taking over my body?

So this is a challenge to you!  Don’t ask yourself anymore what’s wrong? You already know what’s wrong. You also know what’s right. So go do the right thing. Get moving, get active! If you are already active and would like to share tips for beginners, please leave them in the comment section below. Also, if you have any concerns or questions about how you can get over that initial hump to start getting physically active today, leave a comment below. Remember, we’re all here to help one another.

Source: (July 31, 2019). Exercise and immunity. Medlineplus. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm

Put It In Your Mouth

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Let’s KISS. That means Keep It Super Simple. What you eat matters and not in an existential, this will affect me when I get old kind of way. Your diet has an effect on you every single second of each day. This includes the way food can strengthen or weaken your vehicle. No, I don’t mean your actual car. I’m talking about your immune system vehicle. So who likes grapefruit? Don’t try to figure out the connection, just read below as I highlight the importance of being aware of what you put in your mouth on a regular basis.

Before anything else, I make no claim that one food or supplement will boost your immune system. There is no quicker fixer upper (unlike Bounty) when it comes to the body. While I will focus on individual foods you can consume to boost your immune system, know that only in coordination with one another will you experience improved health. Teamwork makes the dream work so let’s assemble the ‘Put It In Your Mouth’ team.

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FRUITS

Player 1-Citrus Fruits

The citrus family is a good starting player as most people recognize these fruits. They include oranges, tangerines, clementines, lemons, limes, and grapefruits. That’s right the next time you visit the grocery store push your cart all the way to the produce section. It is here where you will find these citrus fruits known for having vitamin C, which are extremely helpful for building up your immune system. Vitamin C consumption can lead to the increased production of white blood cells, which is helpful for fighting infections. This is why people take Vitamin C for colds. Here’s a little fun fact for your next cocktail party—your body does not naturally create nor store Vitamin C so you need to get it from outside sources. This is one of the reasons Orange Juices display a bright label indicating that they have Vitamin C. Yep, this little detail will make you the life of the party.

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Player 2-Papaya

Vitamin C isn’t only present in citrus fruits. This delicious fruit known as a papaya has lots of Vitamin C as well. Also, it contains vitamins such as your B-Vitamins, Potassium, Magnesium, Copper, & Folate. Papayas contain an enzyme known as papain which has anti-inflammatory properties. Less inflammation means less work needed to be done by your immune system. 

Veggies

In recent years, there has been almost a scientific consensus, that eating more fruits and vegetables, that have vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc can improve immune health. Since we covered some of the top fruits, time to talk about some of those great veggies you should either add to your diet or consume more.

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Player 3-Garlic

What type of vegetable is garlic? You’re thinking hard about it. I can feel your frustration through the screen. Do you give up? It’s part of the onion family! You can also add this to your knowledge bank. So it turns out that garlic is useful for more than warding off vampires. Garlic has a high concentration of allicin, a compound with lots of sulfur. This allicin compound in the garlic helps boost your immune system. An added benefit of garlic is its ability to lower blood pressure and reducing atherosclerosis.

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Player 4-Spinach

If it’s good enough for Popeye, then it should be good enough for you. What do you know, spinach contains lots of Vitamin C as well. Are you starting to see a trend? This veggie is also jam packed with antioxidants and beta carotene, which can improve our immune systems’ ability to fight off infections. Remember to wash your spinach properly and look at the news. The amount of recalls lately is alarming but that’s a topic for another day. 

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Player 5-Bell Peppers

Red Peppers as you can probably tell has lots of Vitamin C, in fact it contains double the amount of the vitamin compared to citrus fruits. Working with Vitamin A, these two vitamins can help reduce cell damage and diseases linked to aging. Bell peppers also have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Tidbit: Bell Peppers with Steak is delicious. You’re welcome for the dinner idea. 

I can write a whole book worth of what you could put in your mouth but that would be excessive. For now, this is a good starting team of players. Hopefully, this list will help get you started on the right path. And if you’re already on the path, let’s continue the conversation below. What other healthy foods would you recommend to not only improve your immune system but overall health?

Sources:

(n.d). EatingWell Editors. Healthy Immunity Diet Guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.eatingwell.com/article/8762/healthy-immunity-diet-guidelines/

(March 21, 2018).  How Your Immune System is Affected by Diet, Stress and Exercise with Dr. Leonard Calabrese. Health Essentials. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/podcasts/health-essentials/how-your-immune-system-is-affected-by-diet-stress-and-exercise-with-dr-leonard-calabrese

Marengo, K. & Schend, J. (January 16, 2019). 15 Foods That Boost the Immune System. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system

Protect Your Mental: Breathwork

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Do you suffer from Anxiety? Depression? Lack of Self Control? You’re not alone. Mental Health has grown to become a very important discussion within mainstream media. Here at Randy Robbers Insurance Agency, we always talk about Protecting Your Immune System Vehicle and a big part of that includes protecting your mental state. In our current society, how we decide to address mental health issues can vary from 1:1 therapy with a trained mental health professional or medication.  While these methods have proven to work we as humans like to have alternatives. We like to have options. Lucky for you, today we focus on one of those alternative treatments known as Breathwork.

What Is Breathwork?

In short, it’s a type of therapy that consists of a variety of breathing exercises and techniques. These techniques work by changing your breathing pattern for the purposes of improving your well-being in a holistic way. This means boosting your overall state-mentally, physically and spiritually. This form of therapy will teach you to how to speed up, slow down, and alter your breathing pattern to improve your focus, instill calmness, and finding your center. 

The rationale behind this therapy stems from the belief that by focusing on your breathing in an intentional manner, you will be able to trigger the healing and calming energies that are within the body. Once you are able to control and instruct your breath you will be able to command many reactions/processes that are often assumed to be unconscious or involuntary. Through these breathing techniques you will be able to consciously regulate your mental, physical, and spiritual states.

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What Are The Benefits Of This Therapy?

There are many different reasons that people have been practicing Breathwork. The most noticeable benefits of this form of therapy includes improved immunity, improved self-awareness, better creativity, a rise in joy and happiness, decrease in feelings of stress and anxiety, a decline in negative thoughts, a stronger ability to cope with emotional pain and trauma and overall improved emotion management. To summarize, an improved emotional state and reduced stress are the biggest advantages associated with Breathwork therapy. So if you suffer from anger issues, depression, PTSD, anxiety, or depression, you might want to consider this alternative style of treatment. 

How Can You Get Involved?

Breathwork’s origins are based in Yoga and Tai Chi body-centric practices (which are Eastern practices) with a blend of Western psychological, therapeutic principles and techniques. There is no one size fits all approach as Breathwork practice can include talk therapy, art, music, bodywork, in addition to breathing exercises. The types of Breathwork available is plentiful as there is Clarity Breathwork, Conscious Breathing, Transformation Breathwork, Zen Yoga Breathwork.  If you choose to get involved, you will be supervised by a qualified Breathwork specialist. There is also the option to attend sessions by yourself, as a couple, or as groups. 

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Can You Start Today?

One of the easier techniques that you can begin today is Box Breathing. This technique requires you to take slow, deep breaths. The purpose of this exercise is to improve concentration and performance. Begin by sitting upright and slowly breathe outward to remove all the oxygen from your lungs. Dedicate your focus to this process. Next, you must slowly breathe inward from your nose (while counting to four in your head). Make sure to fill your lungs until the air moves to your abdomen. Now hold your breath, again while counting to four in your head. Then exhale to remove this air from your lungs and abdomen. Lastly, hold your breath again until the count of four. Rinse and repeat. Complete this routine is sets of four during each exercise session.

As a newbie, Breathwork techniques maybe difficult to conquer during the initial attempts. It is not uncommon to experience dizziness but with practice that feeling dissipates, especially with Box Breathing. This is one exercise you will want to repeat multiple times a day to reduce stress and find tranquility. Are you willing to try this Breathwork technique or exploring some of the other ones? Leave your thoughts below. 

Sources:

(n.d.). What is Breathwork? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/breathwork#exercises

Gotter. A, & Weatherspoon. D, (February 22. 2019). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/box-breathing

(June 22, 2018). Breathwork. Retrieved from https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/breathwork

(n.d.). Breathwork Therapy What Is It? Retrieved from https://www.crchealth.com/types-of-therapy/what-is-breathwork/

Questions to Ask Your Health Insurance Broker

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Questions to Ask Your Health Insurance Broker Pic 1

Do you know what questions to ask your health insurance broker? People don’t ask enough questions. This leads to problems because you don’t know what you don’t know. The only way to resolve these issues is to listen to that funny feeling in your stomach saying “uh oh I don’t understand this or I don’t know that”. I see this all the time as a Health Insurance Broker. People come to me for health insurance and we are going through policies/options and it’s clear when the confusion sets in. There’s a distinct look of anxiousness followed up by a facade of confidence. Look there’s a lot of terminology and jargon that the average person doesn’t understand. I get that. So just a piece of advice when dealing with me or any other health insurance broker; put away your pride and ask as many questions as you can. Remember, this is your money at stake and you have every right to know how your money is being spent and by whom it is being spent. 

Here are a list of questions you should ask either myself or other health insurance brokers when looking for better health insurance:

Q1. What are your qualifications/experience? 

Ask questions about your insurance broker’s qualifications. You should want to feel confident about the person handling your insurance. Ask to see the broker’s license or look him/her up to determine legitimacy. Search for reviews of your broker as other customers will tell you all you need to know to determine if this person is trustworthy.  Trust is key for a good business relationship. 

Q2. Can You Tell Me More About Your Company?

First, ask how long the business has been around. Businesses that have been around longer tend to have more experience and longer established relationships with different health insurance companies.  The more information you can gather before working on a policy will give you the confidence to walk away or devote your full trust to an insurance broker.

Q3. What Plans Do You Offer?

You need to have options. If you are not being provided options, you may need to find another broker. Your insurance broker should offer you different plans so that you can compare, in order, to choose one that meets your needs and budgets. Also, ask if indemnity health plans are available as these plans require a percentage of healthcare costs to be paid by you and the remainder to be paid by your health insurance company. Knowing as much as you can about the plans will help you choose the best one.

Questions to Ask Your Health Insurance Broker Pic 2

Q4. Do you charge fees?

Many health insurance brokers’ income is commission based. This means when brokers sell a plan, the health insurance company pays them a certain amount because they sold that plan. The commission amount should already be baked into the price of your policy, so you should not have to pay an extra amount to the broker afterwards. Knowing this, it would be in your best interest to ask your broker if there are any fees for using their services. By asking, you will be aware of any extra costs that will appear down the road or be able to see if you can avoid them completely.

Q5. What is my deductible? What is my monthly premium?

This does not mean only ask the meaning of terms but asking about the numbers too. Remember your insurance should meet your needs and YOUR BUDGET. If this is not the case, you either have/are being offered the wrong plan. Rule of thumb to keep in mind: The higher the price of your deductible, the lower the price of your monthly premium and vice versa. Before deciding on a plan, find out the dollar amount of what you must pay monthly and the dollar amount you must meet before your insurance company begins to cover your healthcare costs. 

These are some of the basic questions to ask your health insurance broker when looking for health insurance. Emphasis on the word: basic. There are a plethora of questions that will run through your mind when speaking with a broker, but don’t be afraid to ask them. With that said, please add these questions to your memory to protect yourself from ignorance. These questions will protect you from making simple mistakes because you will not only know more but feel confident that you made the right choice with the right broker. Thanks again from Randy Roberts Insurance Agency-We’re the Insurances Centered Around You.

 

Sources:

(n.d.). 7 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE AGENT. Retrieved from http://classifieds.usatoday.com/blog/services/7-questions-ask-health-insurance-agent/

(n.d.).10 Tough Questions to Ask your Insurance Broker / Agent. Retrieved from https://www.profitableventure.com/questions-ask-insurance-agent/

(n.d.). What You Should Be Asking Your Health Insurance Broker. Retrieved from https://www.bbgbroker.com/health-insurance-broker-questions/

Protecting Your Sleep

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Protect Your Sleep Pic 1

Protect Your Sleep Picture 1

Sleep, is it really needed? Why do you need help Protecting Your Sleep? Allegedly, if you find a way to actually get enough sleep it decreases your chances of developing certain medical conditions and reduces your chance of worsening heart disease. Wow, so impressive. Research has shown that getting adequate amounts of sleep can actually help lower your chances of gaining weight because you will actually be alert and willing to exercise. Here’s another fun fact, if you sleep well your mood will be altered. Such mood alterations will inevitably affect your work and home life as you’ll be more productive and more pleasant to be around. This research is clearly discriminatory to grouches. 

Can you believe this, risk factors for heart disease (i.e. anxiety & depression) and erectile dysfunction are never associated with getting the appropriate amounts of sleep.  Clearly, advocates of good sleep is really piling on the sweet talk. 

But who are we to tell you whats’s good for you? Perhaps you enjoy waking up sleepy. Maybe you enjoy the thrill of being unable to stay awake during work meetings or while driving. And you relish in waking up during the middle of the night taking 30 minutes to return to your slumber. Look no one has the right to judge you. We all like we what we like. 

Now there maybe a small percentage of you reading this and saying to yourself, what if getting a bit more sleep might be helpful? Below, we have reluctantly compiled some tips to help you spoiled sleepyheads:

1. Develop a consistent bedtime routine.

Routines, bleh! Okay, if you want to be a goody two shoes make efforts to go to bed and awake at the same time  every day. Consistency is key. To take things a step further, dress yourself is your own particular sleepwear before going to bed. By changing into your “sleeping clothes”, you are telling your brain that the party is over and it’s time to sleep.

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2. Remove sleep-stealers from your sleeping quarters.  

Where you sleep plays a big factor in how you sleep. No more distractions, the party is over! Turn off the lights and keep away from the electronics before bed. Essentially no fun before bed, the TV must be off and the computer out of the room at least 30 minutes before sleeping. Yes, cellphones are included in this piece of guidance. Don’t bothering trying to find loopholes as it will defeat the purpose. Remove all distractions before bed. 

Protect Your Sleep Pic 2

3. Drink less, exercise more. 

Supposedly you’ve been lied to; alcohol allegedly does not help you sleep better. Also,  my caffeine drinkers, you’re in trouble too. It takes about six hours or more for the body to get rid of caffeine so you should not be drinking caffeinated drinks before bed. It’s recommended that you exercise for better nighttime sleep too. Surprise, surprise the exercise is strongly recommended. 

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4. Stop Stressing Before Bed

Don’t try to manage stressful situations before bed. You’ll just be creating tension within yourself and increase your heart rate before your period of rest. In short, handle your issues long before bed.

Well, hopefully these tips have helped. Remember Sleep is an important part of Protecting Your Immune System Vehicle. Please understand that these articles are meant to be tongue-in-cheek and our intention is to provide you valuable information in a humorous way. Thanks again from Randy Roberts Insurance Agency-We’re the Insurances Centered Around You.

Sources:

(n.d.). Five Ways to Sleep Well and Protect Your Heart. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/five-ways-to-sleep-well-and-protect-your-heart

(n.d.). Getting a good night’s sleep. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sleep-disorders

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