Categories Health

Medicare privatization, Paul Ryan medicare, Medicare program, Privatization of medicare

There are several posts, news and mainstream media is making a lot of fuss about Paul Ryan’s decision of handing over the Medicare to the private entities. However, all these gossip will be muted if the public poll is taken. The new decision has been taken in order to reshape the Medicare program and Medicaid programs in the US. The decision aims to give leverage to the Medicare program so that most of the benefits are offered as per the discretionary power of the state. The same is on the eligibility of the program which will be controlled by the State as well. The new consensus will make the essential program into a block grant and would radically change the resent system for the good of the people employing it.

The Republicans are strongly in the hope that the new program will attract huge fund from the tax payers and this will prompt the banks to publicize the privatization of the Medicare at a large scale. In fact his idea doesn’t needs to much of campaign to earn the faith of the fellow Americans. Surveys conducted over the common people revealed that they are not against the idea of replacing the government run Medicare with the privatized health care system. The Republicans won’t have a heck of the time to earn the confidence of the common Americans. The public attitude has already changed radically and a large number of people are relying on the privatized Medicare system that has been proposed by the Republicans. In fact the campaign of the Republicans to make the people realize the need to privatize the Medicare system has been executed successfully and the current attitude of the people manifest this truth without a hitch.

The current state of the Republicans in terms of Medicare shows of the immense aid they are receiving from the private insurance companies. Moreover the faith of public over this issue is one more factor that Republicans may win the race. But amidst all the state of economy remains the moot point.

Categories Health

Healthy Classroom Snacks and Party Treats

Whether you’re a teacher planning healthy recess snacks for your students or a parent planning party treats for your child’s class, skip the traditional sugary fare and opt for healthy, delicious snack items. Many schools are now moving away from traditional snack items laden with sugar and preservatives and are requesting parents do the same. Check with your child’s teacher before preparing any home-made items for a classroom party-some districts now have policies forbidding home-made snacks in favor of pre-packed ones.

Begin trading out obvious sugary and fat-filled favorites, like sodas, greasy potato chips and candy bags. Instead, serve natural alternatives to reinforce your child’s lessons on the food pyramid. Skip sodas, even diet ones, in favor of no-sugar added juices, like V8 Splash or Mott’s Medleys. As you serve, give students a lesson in nutrition by telling them how many serving of fruit or vegetables they eat in a day and how many the glass of juice provides. Add a math lesson by letting some students study the nutrition label and report to the class on different vitamins and nutrients provided in the juice. Ask another group of children to read the ingredients and identify natural ingredients from additives.

To spice up juice, make a sparkling punch with juice, chopped fruit and sparkling water. This gives children the fun fizz of cola without the calcium sapping additives.

Choose baked apple chips or vegetable chips over traditional potato chips. Sun Chips also offer a multi-grain, lower-fat alternative. Or make home-made sweet potato fries with natural sugar and cinnamon topping. You can also make your own Burger King style apple fries by slicing fresh apples, and other fruits, into sticks and serving with a low-fat caramel dip or fresh yogurts.

You can also use fresh fruit chunks to make easy-to-serve fruit kabobs. Prepare these in advance for younger children or provide a fruit bar for older children to make their own. Choose colorful wooden kabob skewers, add a pattern of chunked apples, bananas, pears, pineapple, cherries, berries, apricots, and oranges. Add a few marshmallows or gummy snacks to dress them up without letting kids overdo it. Provide some exotic fruits and take time to discuss the vitamins in each one, where it is grown and why it is healthy for you. Encourage children to try at least one chunk of a new fruit on their kabob.

Skip high-fat ice cream for individually packaged fruit yogurt. Freeze Go-Gurt pouches during hot weather and children can eat them like frozen push-pops. Or push a popsicle stick through the top cover of each cup of packaged yogurt. Freeze the package, then pull apart the cups. Children can remove the paper top, pull out their frozen yogurt popsicle, and eat it off the stick.

Bake vegetables into holiday breads instead of cakes. Serve carrot bread, banana chocolate-chip bread or zucchini bread. Children may be more wiling to try a new veggie if it is baked into something familiar.

Raw vegetables can be scarier for school children. Make mini vegetable animals with toothpicks and pieces of different vegetables. Or provide a small bowl of cut veggies and toothpicks on each group of desks. Encourage children to make their own veggie animal, show it to the class, and then report on which veggies they liked best. Carrot sticks with dips, celery and peanut butter logs, and broccoli with low-fat ranch are staples that kids still respond to.

And remember, some adult favorites are enjoyed by children as well. Pass out small cups filled with air-popped popcorn, yogurt-covered pretzels, and trail mix. Cut holiday shapes out of thin slices of cheese and serve with multi-grain crackers.

Remind students that a little sugar and sweets are fine once in a while, and allow them some occasional favorite treats. But use these healthy alternatives to fill the bulk of classroom snack time and parties, and reinforce your health-class teaching about the food pyramid and nutrition.

Categories Health

Healthy Barbeque Chicken Lettuce Wraps

A great recipe for a tasty, easy and healthy dinner, featuring fresh vegetables and chicken. Perfect for a twist on traditional summer barbequing.

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 red, yellow, orange, and green peppers (1 of each color); quartered
  • 1 onion; quartered
  • Head of iceberg lettuce
  • Marinade sauce – your choice. I typically use a mango and pineapple chipotle sauce. You can try teriyaki or lemon pepper or whatever you like best.

How To:

  • Quarter vegetables
  • Marinade chicken and cut vegetables for at least 4 hours. Use enough sauce to coat the vegetables and chicken thoroughly. Save extra sauce for serving.
  • Wash iceberg lettuce and keep leaves in tact.
  • Grill chicken and vegetables directly on the barbeque on medium heat for approximately 20 minutes (or until chicken is done)
  • Once done, remove from grill. Dice chicken and vegetables into small, bite-size cubes. Mix together in a large bowl. Add extra marinade sauce to lightly coat.
  • Assemble lettuce wraps by adding chicken and vegetable mix to lettuce leaf. Add extra marinade sauce if desired.

To change this recipe up, try using other vegetables, such as eggplant, broccoli, zucchini, or yellow squash. You can also substitute whole wheat tortillas for the lettuce.

Categories Health

Tips for Keeping Your Bathroom Healthy

It can really be a challenge to keep your bathroom clean and healthy. This is especially true when you have children. Bathrooms are one the most difficult locations in the house to keep clean, and fresh. Below you will find some simple ideas and suggestions on how you can keep your bathroom, healthy, and clean.

The first thing you will want to do is get the right cleaning supplies. This means that you will need cleaning supplies, that is healthy for you and your family. Homemade cleaning materials are often the best type of cleaning materials to use. You can find plenty of articles online on how to make your own cleaning products. Many of these mixes including baking soda, which is usually the main ingredient. Once you have all of your homemade cleaning items all mixed you can get started by placing them in well labeled plastic jars and lock them into a cabinet. Be sure that you still lock the cabinet up so that no little hands will get into the cabinets.

To make sure that your bathroom is always clean and healthy you will need to clean it in the morning. I prefer to clean it after everyone has finished getting up and washing up for the morning. Since most families have to be out of the home by a certain time, this is pretty simple to do. Just schedule a bit of time, in the morning to clean up the bathroom. You will probably only need about fifteen minutes to get the bathroom neat and tidy in the morning. Be sure to hang up any towels so that they can completely dry. The same goes for washcloths. Avoid putting the washcloths on top of the towels. This will cause the washcloths to hold their moisture, which can cause mold to grow. Each item should have their own separate spot, to dry. Next on the must clean list is the tub. It will not take much time to scrub down the walls in the tub, as well as the tub itself. Mold certainly grows in the bathtub. The shower curtain and decorations that you may have on the outside of your tub should only be cleaned once a month. Most of these items can be placed into a washing machine and cleaned quite easily. The soap dish should be wiped out and dried, so that no moisture is left. Many choose to use the hand soap dispensers instead of the bar soaps to avoid this type of problem. Last but certainly not least you will need to make sure the toilet is nice and clean, inside and out. This is where most of the germs tend to stay for the day, so you will want to make sure that it is nice and clean before you leave the house.

Categories Health

Meal Plans Save Money and Improve Health

With a recession rearing its ugly head in our grocery carts, it’s time for meal planning to make the leap from the frugal and the hyper-organized to the general population. Menu planning can save you money on food while also providing the health-promoting benefits of a nutritious diet and reduced stress, all without killing your creativity or love of food. And hey, that might save you money on medical bills, too!

To start meal planning, all you need is a blank slate, a general idea of what you have on hand, and the knowledge of what your family likes to eat. An empty notepad or calendar page can get you going, or you can employ a printed template, cookbook software, or a spreadsheet.

Sound intimidating still? Here’s a few tips to make the process easier.

Make some meals routine. You may already have Pizza Night or Taco Night established in your house. Other dishes can form the basis for both frugal and healthy weekly meals: Try Pasta Night (with whole-grain pastas and sauces based on lean meats and veggies), Beans Night (a complete protein with rice, cornbread, or another grain, plus you can top beans any way you’d top pasta or tacos), Baked Potato Night (choose either sweet or russet potatoes and go nuts on toppings), Breakfast Night (fun!), or Sandwich Night (which has the bonus of being good for the environment when you’re giving the oven the night off). Pick two or three days a week and assign themes, and then you’ll breeze through planning.

List some standbys. Everyone has go-to recipes they can make in half the time of anything else. Make a list of the recipes that are tried-and-true favorites around your house for when you can’t come up with something new and exciting for that empty Thursday on the planning calendar.

Keep the planner handy. Whenever your reading food blogs, paging through a cookbook, or watching cooking shows, you’re bound to come across some recipe you simply must try. Meal planning doesn’t mean you have to give up giving in to your cravings. When I see Martha Stewart making a mouth-watering chili, I whip out my meal-planning spreadsheet and make a note of said deliciousness. It takes the heat off my urge to eat the meal when I know it will come up soon. Then, when my meal-planning day rolls around, half my work is done: I just plug in a few of the recipes I noted along with the standards.

Meal planning is not just about saving money (or saving sanity, for that matter). Planning meals is a solid step toward making your diet healthier. Check out these perks:

You can rely less on restaurant food. With a plan in hand, you don’t waste time thinking about what to eat every night. Before I started planning, I would arrive home from work low on energy and already pretty hungry. Flopping on the couch sounded far more appealing than researching a recipe and evaluating the contents of the fridge, and with every minute that passed, I became hungrier. Eventually, I became so hungry that conserving my energy by staying as still as possible while I waited for the pizza to arrive became the only appealing option. With a plan, though, I can plunge straight into cooking without any extra research or shopping.

You can afford healthier foods. Planning lets you cut down on impulse buying at the grocery store and restaurant spending. That means more money in the budget for pricier reduced-fat cheeses, high-fiber breads, organic meats, and other premium healthy foods. Plus, you can plan meals around the wholesome items marked down in the weekly store circulars for even more nutritious bang for the buck.

Vegetables can gain a solid supporting role. Planning ahead means not forgetting to include that half a plate’s worth of veggies in your daily dinner. Make a commitment to including vegetables in two ways in every meal (I aim for a salad plus a side) and you will direct your food dollars and appetite in a healthier way. Eating more vegetables also means eating less meat, which is not only healthy and environmentally sound but will save you money. Veggies cost only a dollar or two a pound in season or in the freezer case, compared to $3 a pound or more for most quality lean meats.

Meal planning has made it a great deal easier for me to manage my kitchen. We eat dinner at home nearly every day now, which saves us lots of money and helps us avoid overeating (a problem that led to me packing on 20 pounds back when I got takeout all the time). Give it a try this week