Category Archives: Physical

4 Big reasons to fix meals at home instead of eating out

Right now in the US we’re all at a certain level of sheltering in place at home. While we all love to eat out, it might not be as easy to do depending upon your location and what phase of reopening your community is in. So besides the obvious obstacle, what are some other reasons to eat at home or at least put eating at home in a positive light?

Spending some precious quality time with your family.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

In a lot of homes, family dinner was a thing of the past prior to this global pandemic. We were all just too busy doing other things outside of the home. This can be a good time to reconnect with your family, not just around the dinner table but in the kitchen during meal prep.

So many mothers in particular are sharing their frustration with having to make a never ending series of meals during quarantine. Get your kids to get in there and help. As the good book says:

 If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:10

Cooking with kids gives you an opportunity to teach them to make healthy food choices. It also allows them to have hands-on learning with fresh, affordable foods. Just call it Home Economics! (Remember that class?)

Getting a refill on your drink as soon as it’s empty.

We’ve all been there. Even with the best waitress or waiter in the world, you end up sitting for a minute or two looking at the bottom of an empty glass. At home there’s no need to sing like Elle Varner; just get up and get your refill.

Another benefit is if you partake of alcoholic drinks, no worries over whether the drinks are being made with a really light pour. You know what we’re talking about; the barely there tequila in your margarita or the mostly Coke & a whisper of rum in your Cuba Libre. You know exactly how strong (or weak) the drink is going to be when you make it at home AND you don’t have to buy another drink for a refill.

Avoiding that restaurant markup.

Each ingredient at your favorite restaurant has a markup. (Obviously – otherwise they wouldn’t be in business very long.) But how much do you think they mark up their meals? 50%? 100%? Nope. The average markup for each ingredient at a restaurant is 300%! A $9 hamburger (that’s right – without cheese) at a diner would cost you less than $2 to make at home. If you’re trying to stretch your dollars, cutting back on restaurant-prepared meals can make a big difference.

Cooking at home can improve your health.

A recent study conducted by the University of Washington found that those who cooked at home 6 times per week met more of the US Federal guidelines for a healthy diet than those who cooked meals at home 3 times per week. In other words, if you’re eating at home more often than you’re eating out, you’re more likely to be getting in your fruits, veggies, and other essentials of a balanced diet.

Taking better care of your health and saving money? Now that’s a reason to fire up the backyard grill!
Wishing you wellness!

Sources:
Plate IQ: “Should You Get the Guacamole on Your Burrito? A Price Analysis of Your Favorite Foods.” 4.3.2018
ScienceDaily: “Cooking at home tonight? It’s likely cheaper and healthier, study finds.” 3.14.2017

Helping Kids Get Physically Fit

We know that for adults, the benefits of being physically active are myriad.

Reducing the risks of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and obesity are worthy goals we should strive for. But how often do we think of these health concerns when it comes to our kids? They’re just kids, right?

When was the last time your kids exercised for an hour every day during the week? According to the US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, this is the recommended amount of physical activity for children and youth.*

However, statistics show that a large majority (more than two-thirds) of children and adolescents don’t meet this standard. And with so many of us still (hopefully) trying to limit our interactions with others to slow the spread, it’s likely your child or teen is spending a larger amount of time in front of a screen. So how do we change this statistic?

Although it’s typical that physical activity tends to decrease with age, developing an active lifestyle while young will likely influence activity levels into adulthood. For instance, if you used to run half-marathons as a teen, the idea of running a half-marathon now – as an adult – wouldn’t be as jarring as if you had never done that at all.

Photo by Valeria Ushakova on Pexels.com

Studies show that there are several factors that can help increase physical activity in children. The first factor is the parents’ activity level. Simply put, active parent = active child. This is relevant for adults who don’t have their own kids, but have nephews, nieces, or kids they mentor. An adult’s level of activity can help foster the activity levels of the children they influence.

Another factor is getting children involved in a rec league or team sport. While you may not be able to do this in person, depending upon your location and current mandates, there are virtual options. By adding these into a child’s weekly schedule, each extra hour per week of practice, games, meets, etc., adds nearly 10 minutes to the average daily physical activity for the child. They’ll never have time for exercise if it’s never scheduled to begin with. (This tactic works for adults, too, by the way.)

This much is true: being physically active while younger will affect the health of a child as they grow into an adult. So whether you have children of your own or children you are connected to, your level of activity can help contribute to building a habit of physical activity which will carry on into adulthood. Here’s to building our health, and our children’s, for the future!

Source:
“Physical Activity Facts.” Centers For Disease Control and Prevention*, 6.28.2017, http://bit.ly/2muNrvY.

7 Easy Tips for Living Longer — Dr. Eric Perry

Written by Dr. Eric Perry “Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.” ~Seneca Perhaps like some of you, I have had a few sleepless nights pondering my mortality. I am in love with my life and wish to have as much of it as I possibly can. I believe […]

7 Easy Tips for Living Longer — Dr. Eric Perry

The FULL COST of Smoking Cigarettes

This is how smoking is usually pictured when the cigarette companies used to freely play mind games to convince you to smoke.

Nowadays, not many would argue the fact that smoking is bad for you. It’s linked to lung cancer and heart disease, and is associated with nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States.¹ Yet so many people, even some I know personally still smoke despite the health consequences.  Besides ruining your physical health, smoking can also seriously ruin your financial health.

The upfront cost of smoking
Cigarettes aren’t cheap. Prices per pack vary from $5.25 in Missouri to $12.85 in New York, but the national average comes out to around $6.28.²’³ Smoking a pack per day will run you $44 per week, $188 per month, and $2,292 per year. Over 20 years you’ll have spent $91,671 on cigarettes. You’ve literally burned almost 6 figures!

If you got it like Granny, then ‘burn baby burn’, I guess.

Health care costs of smoking
Besides the up front cost, there are more subtle costs associated with what I’ve heard some say is their way to relieve stress. Extra doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital bills, and other treatments all cost money, and smoking increases your chances of needing those at some point in your future. In total, smoking-related illness costs the United States over $300 billion per year.⁴ Smokers also have to face higher insurance costs because of the health risks presented by their habit. All told, smoking one pack per day costs around $15,000 a year, or $40 per pack.⁵ Having $15,000 go up in smoke sounds pretty stressful to me.

The opportunity cost of smoking
Opportunity cost is a concept covered in economics and business courses. So unless you’ve taken both at the K-12 and collegiate level like I have you might be drawing a blank here. In a nutshell, it’s FOMO realized. In other words, (for my non Gen Z & Millennial readers) what are you missing out on because you decided to spend resources on a different option.

In our smoking scenario it means what could you have done with that $15,000? Did you want to start building a business but found yourself short on start-up funds? Maybe that could be the foundation of your child’s college fund or inheritance. Or is it that vacation you desperately want to take (of course while still keeping your physical distance; not trying to sort out catch dat ‘rona). Is your habit costing you the potential to live on your terms and start building your future?

Anyone who may be reading this and is struggling to quit smoking, I understand that it’s hard but keep trying. I want to see you reach your full potential and stop missing out one life-changing opportunities. Check out these resources from the CDC. And share your story in the comments.

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

(2) https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/cigarette-prices-by-state/

(3) https://smokefree.gov/quit-smoking/why-you-should-quit/how-much-will-you-save

(4) https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/economics/econ_facts/index.htm#:~:text=Smoking%2Drelated%20illness%20in%20the,%24300%20billion%20each%20year%2C%20including%3A&text=Nearly%20%24170%20billion%20for%20direct,due%20to%20secondhand%20smoke%20exposure

(5) https://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/benefits/events/flyers/tobacco-free/hidden-cost-of-smoking.pdf

Wine, Women & Wealth seminar – May 2016

This month we have another first time male (gasp!) speaker, physical trainer Colby Ebanks. He spoke about what to look for in a personal trainer before opening it up to the audience members’ questions.

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A Personal Trainer Should:
  1. Focus on your goals more than anything.
  2. Tailor make a fitness program for your specific needs.
  3. Vary your workouts from day to day by how you feel.
Colby mentioned that trainers that he has worked with in the past have their own goals and agenda for their clients and don’t really take into account what the client wants out of their workout plan. If this has been your experience, he suggested to either push your trainer to make the switch or find another trainer.
On the second note, he clarified that you can tell if your trainer ahs made a plan specifically for you based on whether he or she has looked at you analyzing how you are built and what health and physical condition you are in. Lastly, he spoke on how stress and other emotional issues can have a physical effect on how your body responds to your workout on any particular day. Therefore a good personal trainer will be able to vary your workout based on the type of day you’re having.
Here are a few of the audience questions and his responses:
Is there an advantage to vegan/vegetarian diet?
For the average everyday person there is no advantage to being vegan or vegetarian. Those diets are advantageous only for specific physical conditions, like people who have high blood pressure, blood sugar issues, or a hereditary predisposition for certain health concerns.

I have an active job so do I need to work out?
The professional recommendations  are 300 minutes of  light/moderate exercise per week or 150 minutes of high intensity exercise per week.

There were some different types of exercise he mentioned that you may want to add in if your job did meet the 300 minutes of light/moderate exercise recommendation, so check with Mr. Colby Ebanks for the specifics.

The next speaker of the evening was the one and only, the original WWW male speaker, Frank Demeno.

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He began by asking the audience what do you think of when you hear the words ‘financial plan.’ Some of the responses from the audience were

  • Saving money
  • Investing
  • Retirement – IRA/401K
  • And surprisingly, Life Insurance (the topic which Frank was going to speak)

The audience member who mentioned life insurance had a personal story which I found moving. Her family thought they had done the right thing in purchasing term life insurance for her mother. Unfortunately, however, her mother outlived the term &  they only received $1.57 when she died.

People are often sold on term life insurance because of it’s low cost and don’t think about the reality that the majority of these policies expire without paying out (i.e. you don’t die during the term). The common phrase is to ‘buy term & invest the difference’ which is a good idea until you insert people. Americans don’t tend to invest the difference; this is a nation of consumers. That’s why a permanent life insurance like an indexed universal life policy is like a better strategy.

But permanent life insurance is too expensive?
Is it really? Yes it costs more but you can’t outlive your policy as long as you make those monthly contributions and you build cash value. Cash value that you can use tax-free, whereas with the other investment options (savings and retirement plans) you’re paying taxes continually or when you need the cash during retirement. What’s more expensive: sacrificing a little bit now to have a lot later or being in dire need later during your retirement years or during the turmoil of losing a loved one?

Well I’ll just buy term and be very dedicated about investing the difference to build up savings for myself and my family.

Life insurance builds a financial future by saving money, but you get the estate up front. An indexed universal life policy is like buying term and having the insurance company invest the difference for you. But while that investment is growing, if you happen to die your family still gets $250,000.

If you had to spend $70,000 now for a quarter million dollar estate, could you pay it? Most people would answer “No.”  Well, how about if we do it the American way & set up a payment plan $175 a month?

Now if you tried to save $175 each month, how long would it take you to get to $250,000? Frank had the audience calculate it and it would take about 119 years. So let’s say you get the inexpensive $250,000 10 or 15 year term policy and save $175 a month. At the end of the term, 1) you don’t have a $250,000 saved and 2) you no longer have a life insurance policy that pays out $250,000 on the event of your death.  Now you’re 10 or 15 years older making the next term policy a little more expensive and maybe challenging your monthly $175 savings plan. Which do find to be the more sound path to take?

 The last point Frank made this evening was if you take a 1 year old & create a $250K policy, they would be a millionaire by their sixties. So grandparents instead of that trip to Disney World, contribute to your grandchildren’s indexed universal life policy.
Ladies, if you’re in the Jacksonville area be sure not to miss June’s Wine, Women & Wealth seminar with summer travel tips and how to create your own pension. Check back for more details.