How Does Food Affect Your Mood?

Apart from life circumstances, the food you consume each day affects your mood, which may explain why you’re feeling angry or elated. Let’s explore a few ways food can help improve your demeanor.

You may be familiar with the slang term “hangry”, used to describe being simultaneously hungry and angry. Experiencing extended periods of hunger after a large, high carbohydrate meal may cause your blood sugar levels to drop, increasing the odds of feeling irritable. This is why it’s so important to eat small portions of healthy foods as part of a balanced diet throughout the day.

Omega-3 fatty acids play essential roles in keeping the nervous system running smoothly. You’ll find them in foods like walnuts, certain types of fish, flaxseed, and more. They are part of a healthy diet. They may also help with treating the effects of depression.

Serotonin has been described as the “happy hormone” that is released into the brain resulting in positive feelings. As with omega-3 fatty acids, consuming certain foods rich in this compound may help with increased levels of serotonin. Bananas, almonds, and yogurt are a few examples.

The setting in which you enjoy a meal can also contribute to your mood. For example, a meal enjoyed with your loved ones has been correlated with increasing levels of the hormone known as oxytocin, which can decrease anxiety, apprehension, and contribute to a feeling of caring and affection.

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A Pain in the Back

Among the many issues people deal with, back pain is a common one. As many of us have to sit for hours at a desk often using poor posture, taking care of your back now can mean less pain as you get older.

If you have a regular full-time job sitting at a desk, make sure to get up now and then. Using a standing desk, or just regularly adjusting your work/body position, can help with easing back pain. Stretching is also a good way to ease tension in  the back muscles.

Regular exercise can help. You don’t necessarily have to start lifting weights to build back muscles. Simple running, biking or walking will improve postural tone. Yoga is another fantastic option where many of the exercises focus on strengthening the back muscles as well as the spine. With the right nutrition, exercising regularly will inevitably lead to weight loss, which can also help with easing stress on the back as well.

How about your body position at night? Your sleep posture may cause back pain. For example, sleeping on your side with the proper mattress or pillow support, or flat on your back can help keep the body aligned alleviating daytime back discomfort.

This blog is brought to you by Total Med Discount Plan LLC. We are a licensed Discount Plan Organization offering healthcare plans in Florida and access to a wide variety of healthcare services at discounted rates with participating providers. For more information on our medical discount plan Florida, visit our website at www.totalmdplan.com.

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Staying Hydrated

The body is made up of approximately 60% water. Large amounts of water can be lost each day through normal bodily processes and sweating in response to exercise or summer time heat. Adults that don’t drink enough water are more likely to consume food or beverages packed with sugar. Focusing on hydration can result in a host of benefits. Dehydration can produce many symptoms including a  “foggy” feeling in the head or overall  sluggishness. The best way to stay hydrated is to have a bottle of water handy at all times.

A healthy diet with sufficient vegetables and fruits can help with bodily hydration. While the majority of produce you see in the market has significant levels of water, consuming them in large quantities may add significant calories to your daily diet due to their natural sugars. Diabetics looking for hydration especially need to be aware of their total calorie intake (including sugars from drinks, juices or fruits).

While using water exclusively for hydration can be bland, squeezing some lemon into the water will give it a slight taste and the lemon water can also provide some vitamin C while potentially assisting with digestion -and minimizing unnecessary calorie consumption.

This blog is brought to you by Total Med Discount Plan LLC. We are a licensed Discount Plan Organization offering healthcare plans in Florida and access to a wide variety of healthcare services at discounted rates with participating providers. For more information on our medical discount plan Florida, visit our website at www.totalmdplan.com.

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Why Is It Important to Wear Masks?

As the public is being encouraged or required to wear masks when in proximity to others, you may be curious to know what experts believe they can and cannot do.

Masks can shield others from becoming infected if you have the virus. Such masks may avoid transmission to others, and this is their greatest social utility.  Protecting the wearer is much more involved. Masks of a certain quality, construction  and proper fit, must be worn, and  taken on and off carefully. If a mask reduces a person’s risk of infection, the effect may be substantial. Fortunately, it is much easier to block transmission at the source, and even a simple cloth mask can prove beneficial.

A common way COVID-19 is transmitted is through the droplets that come out of the mouth and nose after coughing, sneezing, or even speaking. A portion of these droplets quickly evaporate, becoming tiny, easy to inhale particles. This is especially important for physicians and nurses that are exposed to sick individuals each day. Health staff are often at risk from procedures such as intubation, which produce very small particles capable of traveling large distances. The gear they wear must adhere to strict criteria to avoid the transmission of these foreign particles to the person wearing the gear.

A simple cloth mask, therefore, serves as an important barrier to keep from infecting others.

This blog is brought to you by Total Med Discount Plan LLC. We are a licensed Discount Plan Organization offering healthcare plans in Florida and access to a wide variety of healthcare services at discounted rates with participating providers. For more information on our medical discount plan Florida, visit our website at www.totalmdplan.com

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What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

With the incessant influx of bad news regarding COVID-19 and orders to stay at home straining personal relationships, you may have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Chronically poor sleep can lead to a host of problems that will manifest themselves in multiple ways, from making you more irritable to lowering your immune system defenses. There are a few steps you can take that may help.

Did you know coffee can linger in the body for as long as eight hours? If you’re enjoying a late cup of Joe, the caffeine could be keeping you at night. Consider opting for something like decaf in the afternoon or other caffeine-free beverages in the evening.

Working out is a highly effective way of fighting anxiety and staying active while quarantining. However, it’s all about when you’re doing it. A morning or afternoon aerobic activity can reduce stress and aide sleep at night. A late-night session may seem like a good idea but it will affect your sleep. If you do want to get some physical activity closer to bedtime, yoga is great for both the body and mind.

If you go to bed and can’t fall asleep, remaining in bed isn’t going to help as it will only result in stress and cause the mind to continue racing. Instead, do something such as reading a book.

This blog is brought to you by Total Med Discount Plan LLC. We are a licensed Discount Plan Organization offering healthcare plans in Florida and access to a wide variety of healthcare services at discounted rates with participating providers. For more information on our medical discount plan Florida, visit our website at www.totalmdplan.com.

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Staying Healthy while working from home

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are working from home. While convenient, working from home can make it harder to ensure you’re staying on track with your nutrition. It’s easy to start consuming junk food or consuming too much caffeine, for example.

One important thing that may get overlooked is remaining hydrated. Doing so will decrease the chances of unnecessarily consuming snacks as it’s easy to confuse being thirsty with being hungry. Furthermore, failing to hydrate can lead to fatigue and potentially affect your ability to remain productive.

Breakfast remains the most important meal of the day. Since you’re working from home, you can use the time you would normally spend commuting to work to prepare a healthy meal. This should include protein and fiber-rich foods along with fruits and oats.

With the extra time you have, resist the urge to work through your normal lunch hour. Besides allowing your brain to “recharge” for the remainder of the workday, focusing on your meal will help with mindful eating and overeating.

Watch your caffeine intake. A cup or two is fine but too much may negatively affect your sleep cycle or it could lead to increased anxiety and headaches.

This blog is brought to you by Total Med Discount Plan LLC. We are a licensed Discount Plan Organization offering healthcare plans in Florida and access to a wide variety of healthcare services at discounted rates with participating providers. For more information on our medical discount plan Florida, visit our website at www.totalmdplan.com.

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Eating Healthy in Quarantine

Being indoors for prolonged periods due to COVID-19 may lead to eating more often due to reasons like boredom or anxiety. While it’s tempting to use this time to snack on goodies, it’s imperative that you pay close attention to what you’re consuming as these habits may stick around even after the pandemic is over.

Being at home all day increases the odds of eating snacks that may not provide you essential nutrients and are packed with sugar. Planning out your meals and snacks can help you stay on track as you’ll know when to eat versus eating out of boredom. On that note, designate a spot for your meals. Eating only at the dinner table reduces the chances you’ll feel inclined to eat when you’re in bed.

You may be inclined to stick to canned products with other food items being scarce but do not ignore fresh food. While canned and frozen food can offer similar levels of nutrition as fresh, they do have their inconveniences. Canned goods may contain a lot of added sugar and sodium and the details on nutrition are often not read by people. The same happens for frozen foods. Ideally the fruit or vegetable, or a combination, would be the only ingredient. Consider adding fresh fruits and vegetables on your list when you next visit the supermarket.

This blog is brought to you by Total Med Discount Plan LLC. We are a licensed Discount Plan Organization offering healthcare plans in Florida and access to a wide variety of healthcare services at discounted rates with participating providers. For more information on our medical discount plan Florida, visit our website at www.totalmdplan.com

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Healthy Perspectives in the Age of Coronavirus

The influx of information related to Coronavirus has many people on edge. If you already suffer from anxiety, the pandemic may be affecting your mental health. In between practicing proper hygiene, a few tips may help ease your mind.

Understand the facts. Coronavirus misinformation is rampant, especially online and in social media. Instead of feeding yourself news that may be distressing and inaccurate, stick to regulated news sources. You may also wish to limit the amount of time you spend reading the news or watching it.

Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed. Refrain from comparing your scenario to those of others. As is often said, everyone is dealing with their own unique life situations. Focus on you and your strengths while keeping things in perspective as much possible. Remain vigilant versus over reacting.

Consider the source. The unknown aspects of a pandemic are scary. But there are known concerns for each individual which may be more useful to consider.  Identifying the things in your life over which you may have some control (like food, medication, shelter, personal safety) can help you cope more effectively versus allowing the hype to consume you.

Reach out. Now is an ideal time to connect (if virtually) with your loved ones and close friends. Instead of insisting on a do-it-yourself approach, talk to others and see what they think. You may find their perspective, wisdom, or experiences are just what you need to ease your mind.

This blog is brought to you by Total Med Discount Plan LLC. We are a licensed Discount Plan Organization in Florida offering health discount plans and access to a wide variety of healthcare services at discounted rates with participating providers. For more information, visit our website at www.totalmdplan.com

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Simple Steps to a Healthier You

Part of keeping the immune system in good shape is by eating a healthy, balanced diet that provides essential nutrients to all parts of the body. If you haven’t already made the first steps to a healthier diet, it’s not hard to get started.

A successful path eating healthier and living better can start with making small gains. For example, try and prepare a meal at home at least once a week. Once you’ve become comfortable at that level, you can add more. Making your own meals means you can also avoid that costly lunch and enjoy leftovers. The Internet is packed with  recipes that can help greatly in spicing up your lunch or dinner plans. Should you decide to purchase ready-made snacks from a store, pay close attention to the ingredients. Some snacks deemed healthy may be heavy in sugar or salt. Food without extra added ingredients, such as fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts, are often a healthier. If the label says “low fat”, this could indicate that the fat has been replaced with sugar. Speaking of sugar, if the product says “no sugar added” it doesn’t necessarily mean a low-sugar content. This could mean that depending on the product, it is using fruit juice concentrate to sweeten, avoiding the ‘added sugar’ label despite being a sweetening additive.

Don’t neglect physical activity. This doesn’t mean signing up for a pricey gym membership. Instead, think about simple steps you can take. Maybe do some squats while you’re brushing your teeth. If the distance allows for it, walk or bike to do your errand versus driving.

This blog is brought to you by Total Med Discount Plan LLC. We are a licensed Discount Plan Organization in Florida offering health discount plans and access to a wide variety of healthcare services at discounted rates with participating providers. For more information, visit our website at www.totalmdplan.com

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DOs and DON’Ts of Social Distancing

Today, we’re sharing suggestions on what you should and should not do as people are being implored to practice social distancing as much as possible.

For starters, strongly consider avoiding social gatherings and if you do decide to gather, make sure it isn’t more than the number recommended. The fewer the people, the fewer the chances of spreading the virus to someone else. Don’t forget to keep your six-foot distance.

It’s impossible to tell if someone is infected with the coronavirus by simply looking at them. As it is possible to become infected by someone even before that person develops any noticeable symptoms, and as you alone are ultimately responsible for protecting yourself, take precautions and limit your exposure to others.

There will likely come a time when you do have to step outside, perhaps to go buy some essentials such as groceries or medications. Try to refrain from getting too close to others, consider wearing a face mask and if possible, disinfect objects such as the handles of shopping carts as these are touched by hundreds of people every day.

While keeping your distance from others is critical, this doesn’t necessarily mean locking yourself up indoors and never stepping outside. You may be able to enjoy walking or exercise outdoors provided you maintain social distancing recommendations. Further, there are creative ways to deepen your connection with others through social media, messaging or phone calls in the absence of direct physical contact. 
This blog is brought to you by Total Med Discount Plan LLC, a licensed Discount Plan Organization in Florida, offering health discount plans and access to a wide variety of healthcare services at discounted rates with participating providers. For more information, visit our website at www.totalmdplan.com

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