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7 Healthy Eating Tips for Thanksgiving



Thanksgiving is one of the hardest times of the year to eat healthy. With all the abundant food choices tempting you, it’s almost a tradition to overindulge. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can set reasonable portion sizes and serve healthier dishes so you won’t have to deprive yourself during Thanksgiving dinner.

These healthy eating tips can make you enjoy a guilt-free feast:

Trim off the turkey skin. Turkey makes a good choice for its protein content, but the skin is very high in fat (not the good kind). As you grab for a slice of turkey, toss the skin before you start eating, or else you’ll be tempted to nibble.

Eat breakfast and lunch. And even in-between snacks! Don’t show up at dinner starving, otherwise you'll be more likely to eat heavy meal which takes longer to digest.

Create healthy sides. It’s easy to get carried away with classic sides such as mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.  Be sure to come up with guilt-free, flavourful sides without breaking your diet. For an instance, you can serve sweet potatoes instead of the traditional mashed potatoes.

Eat veggies. To keep you from overindulging in unhealthy food, fill two-thirds of your plate with veggies.

Stay hydrated. Drink enough water before and during your meal. This will help your stomach stay full preventing you from overeating. Also, you won’t get any additional calories from soda and other beverages.

Eat sweets in moderation. You can satisfy your sweet tooth the healthy way. For example, you shouldn’t drown your turkey with cranberry sauce, instead aim for just a teaspoon or two. Or if you are craving for more, get a small portion of ice cream or pies.

Leave the table after eating. There are a lot of things to do during the evening. So once you’re done eating, go to another room to spend time with friends and family. Hanging around the table will make you grab some leftovers.

This Thanksgiving, the only thing that should be stuffed is turkey! May your day be filled with great friends, family, and healthy food!

How Obamacare Affects Your Diabetes Care


 November is American Diabetes Month, a time to bring greater awareness and attention to issues surrounding this condition. If you are diagnosed with diabetes and have existing coverage, you may be wondering how the health care reform affects you and your health care. You may see improvements in your plan – and even lower costs.

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, here are some of the ways the law can benefit you:

  • Adults with diabetes cannot be denied of coverage because of their condition. This is also true for individuals with other chronic conditions.

  • New health plans won’t be able to charge premiums based on your health condition.

  • All plans now provide essential benefits and preventive care including type 2 diabetes screening, obesity screening and counselling, nutrition counselling, blood pressure screening, and gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women. If you have private insurance, you can get these preventive services without paying a copayment or coinsurance.  You can even get these before you pay your deductible.

  • If you are enrolled in a grandfathered plan, or plans that existed before March 2010, your plan has not substantially changed. Review your plan’s summary of benefits to see if you can get free preventive care services.

  • New health plans can no longer limit the amount they spend toward your care. They also can’t cancel your policy to avoid paying for your care.

The Affordable Care Act also benefits children. The new law no longer allows carrier to turn away children under the age 19 with chronic conditions such as diabetes. Families with children who have diabetes can get coverage. Young adults with diabetes or other pre-existing conditions can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26.

You can buy insurance through the Marketplace or work with a certified insurance agent. You may be eligible to get help to pay for your insurance when you enrol through the Marketplace. Compare plans and premiums and ask questions before making any purchase. You may also qualify for Medicaid depending on where you live and how much money you make in a year.

2015 Enrollment Choices: Change or Keep Your Plan

Starting November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2014, you can update your application or change plans.

If you have health coverage for this year, you can renew your current plan or enroll in a different plan for 2015. You’ll most probably be enrolled in a similar plan or your current plan and even if you’ll be automatically enrolled, you can change to a new plan.

You’ll receive notifications about your health coverage before the 15th of November. These notices will come from the Marketplace and from your health insurance carrier. It’s very important to review them carefully and keep it in a safe place as you’ll need the plan identification number that appears on your insurance company notice.

If you have an existing Marketplace coverage, you will be enrolled automatically in your 2014 plan or a similar plan. Even if you don’t do anything, you’ll get coverage that will start on January 1, 2015. You’ll either have the same premium tax credit and other savings you had in 2014 or you’ll be enrolled without any premiums or savings.

For those who will receive a notice that you’re not enrolled automatically, you’ll need to take the necessary steps and enroll in a plan by the 15th of December for your coverage to start next year. On the other hand, you are allowed to pick a different plan for 2015 coverage even if you are enrolled in a plan automatically. If you didn’t get a notice from the Marketplace by the end of November 2014, you can log in to your account after November 15th and update your application for 2015 coverage or you can call the Marketplace directly.

Plans and estimated prices are available for your review on the Marketplace. If you have questions about your policy or coverage, call 503-972-4285. I can assist you when you apply, select a plan, and enroll for coverage.

2015 Open Enrollment: Is Your Business Ready?

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) offers a simpler way to get health coverage that fits the needs of your staff and your business. You must have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and meet other requirements to qualify in SHOP coverage.

For coverage starting January 1, 2015, there are major changes that you should know about. These include applying, comparing plans, and enrolling in a SHOP plan online. Your employees will also be able to enroll in your plan online too, making the process easier for both of you.

Moreover, in some states, you have the option to offer more than one plan to your employees. This allows them to find a health plan suited for them. Registered health insurance agents and brokers will now have access to special online features making the process smoother. New SHOP online application will have the option to search for agents and brokers by zip code so you can work with a representative near you.

To get ready to enroll in the SHOP Marketplace, talk to your employees to assess their coverage needs. You can also use the SHOP Full-time Equivalent Employee Calculator to determine if you qualify based on the number of employees. There’s also a Tax Credit Estimator Tool to find out if you may be eligible for a tax credit.

If you still have questions about your options, do not hesitate to call me at 503-972-4285, find coverage that fits your needs, or explore helpful resources at

5 Tips for a Healthy and Safe Halloween

Halloween is a fun holiday for everyone. But sometimes, the excitement shifts the focus away from potential hazards. You should be aware of health and safety issues that may arise and should take the necessary precautions.

Here are some tips to make the most out of your evening and make it far from frightening:

Costumes cautions. Costumes, wigs, and beards must be made of flame-resistant materials. Choose bright colors as it can be clearly seen by motorists, otherwise add some reflective tape to increase visibility. Make sure that your child’s costume is not too baggy or oversized, and shoes are tied appropriately to avoid tripping. You can place a name tag with your contact details in their costume and keep a small flashlight in their pockets or treat bags.

Safety musts. Instruct your kids not to enter the house of a lone occupant or any stranger and remind them to stay on sidewalks. As much as possible, advise them to stay inside your neighborhood vicinity, approach well-lit houses only, travel in groups, and keep their phones handy so they contact you for any concerns. It is also a good idea to set a reasonable curfew.

Be sure to clear the path and remove objects that could cause your kids to trip or fall and keep pets away from the door as they might scare your little ghouls.

Decorations. While you’re carving the pumpkin, keep kids at a safe distance to avoid injuries from sharp objects. You can let them draw and design the pumpkin so they can have fond memories of the activity. Lighters, matches, and candles should be stored in a place where your kids can’t reach them.

Adult parties. If you’re throwing a scary-good party, don’t let drinking get out of hand. Take car keys away from anyone who may be driving. Offer to drive your guests home, especially those who may be too intoxicated.

Health concerns. You can make trick-or-treating an exercising event for your kids by setting a goal of how many houses they will walk to. Before your kids head out, make sure they eat healthy dinner so they won’t get tempted to dig into their loots. Inspect all edible treats to ensure they are sealed and remove anything that could be a potential choking hazard. Manage the amount of treats that they are going to eat. Moreover, you can set an example to your neighborhood and pass out healthy treats like pretzels and raisin.

We wish you all have a happy, healthy, and safe Halloween!

The Water Tower 5331 SW Macadam, Suite 260, Portland, OR 97239 Email: Phone: 503.972.4285 Fax: 503.972.4284