Tuesday, January 18 2011 / Published in Tips

Pre-Tax Health Savings Accounts Will Still Cover Weight-Loss Programs

This coming January, people with certain health problems may be able to use doctor’s orders to help with work out expenses. Weight-loss programs managed to remain on the list of medical expenses eligible for pre-tax health savings account coverage, after the IRS made revisions to the U.S. tax code. In order to qualify as a medical expense, the weight loss must be for the treatment of a specific disease (i.e., hypertension, obesity or heart disease) diagnosed by a physician.

Activities for the improvement of appearance, general health or sense of well-being are not considered a medical expense. Additionally, though consumers cannot include gym membership fees, they can include fees paid separately for a weight reduction group or program.

You can find more information on IRS Publication 502 online at

Monday, November 29 2010 / Published in Tips

It’s the holiday season, and along with the gifts and giving, also comes big meals and weight gain. But you don’t have to gain the weight! You can still eat all the yummy food and not gain the typical holiday pounds. Just follow these tips:

  1. Don’t skip breakfast and avoid overeating at holiday meals – Eat breakfast and do not attempt to fast going into these meals, or you will overeat for sure.
  2. Plan what you eat before and after holiday meals to avoid weight gain – Lighten up on your calorie intake a couple of days before and after. Your weekly average intake is more important than one day’s intake, and you can balance it out if you are careful.
  3. Small plate = smaller portions = reduced calorie intake – Use a small plate: This keeps your portions in check. Sure, you can still pile high but that tends to get stares from other guests.
  4. Don’t deprive yourself of food, just reduce the amount you eat over the holiday season – Go ahead and get a dab of everything that you want to try; this will keep you from feeling deprived later.
  5. Make wise food choices so you enjoy the holidays – Do, however, choose between the bread and dessert. One or the other, your choice.
Wednesday, September 29 2010 / Published in Tips

Try to keep your kitchen stocked with recipe basics:

  • Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
  • Recipe and soup starters such as garlic, onions, carrots, and celery.
  • Healthy staples like brown rice, white Basmati rice, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa, and wild rice.
  • Whole wheat bread and tortillas for healthy sandwiches and wraps.
  • Beans such as lentils, black beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, fava beans, and lima beans.
  • Frozen corn, peas, and other vegetables to add to recipes or for a quick vegetable side dish.
  • Frozen fruit and berries to make smoothies or frozen desserts.
  • Dark greens for salads, plus salad add-ins like dried fruit, nuts, beans, and seeds.
  • Fresh and dried herbs and spices.
  • Healthy fats and oils for cooking, such as olive oil and canola oil. You can also try specialty oils like peanut, sesame, or truffle oil for adding flavor.
  • Unsalted nuts for snacking, like almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, and pistachios.
  • Vinegars, such as balsamic, red wine, and rice vinegar for salads and veggies.
  • Strong cheeses, like aged Parmesan or blue cheese for intense flavor in salads, pasta, and soups.
Wednesday, September 29 2010 / Published in Tips

In general, healthy eating ingredients are found around the outer edges of most grocery stores—fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry, whole grain breads and dairy products. The centers of many grocery stores are filled with overpriced, processed foods that aren’t good for you. Shop the perimeter of the store for most of your groceries (fresh items), add a few things from the freezer section (frozen fruits and vegetables), and the aisles with spices, oils, and whole grains (like rolled oats, brown rice, whole wheat pasta).