Image
New Year

Surprisingly Simple New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions can feel daunting. Fresh off a holiday high, it’s easy to declare we’ll cut out sugar, run a marathon, or start training at the gym. When January 1 finally rolls around, those promises suddenly feel a little more real, and a lot harder.

That’s why when it comes to your health, it’s important to remember that small, easy changes can really add up. Below is an extensive list of very simple resolutions you can make that can have a significant impact on you and those around you:

  1. Take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators to get some extra steps.
  2. Park farther away than you normally would.
  3. Schedule time to turn off electronic devices and be with your thoughts.
  4. Limit screen time before bed and read a book or magazine instead.
  5. Make it a priority to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
  6. Make your bed every morning.
  7. Increase outdoor time to get more vitamin D. But don’t forget the sunscreen.
  8. Make mealtime phone-free time.
  9. If you don’t usually cook at home, try it at least once a week.
  10. Pack a lunch with healthy foods.
  11. Prepare some simple, yet nutritious items for yourself during the week.
  12. Don’t over-fill your plate. Start with smaller portions and add more if still hungry.
  13. Try going meatless at least once a week. And, try eating more lean poultry or pork versus beef.
  14. Give yourself a cutoff time for snacking. Drink water instead.
  15. Think about your fat intake and reduce it when you can.
  16. Think about your salt intake and reduce it when you can.
  17. Add a serving of fruits or vegetables to every meal.
  18. Try to drink one glass of water every hour during the day.
  19. If you can’t buy fresh vegetables, get frozen.
  20. Have one night where the whole family eats dinner together.
  21. Try flossing more.
  22. Find a day each month to volunteer.
  23. Wash your hands, take a multivitamin, get your flu shots, and take other precautions to keep from catching seasonal illnesses.
  24. Make an appointment with your doctor and dentist.
  25. Plan for holiday, birthday, or anniversary gift giving by looking out for sales.
  26. Put things away when you’re through with them to avoid cluttering your space.
  27. Get rid of things you never use.
  28. Experiment with rearrange your furniture to give your living space a new look.
  29. Try to give more honest compliments.
  30. Call a loved one and ask them about their day.
  31. Focus on controlling what you can.
  32. At the end of each day, write down three good things that happened that day. Try to have three different things each day. This helps you practice gratefulness and look for the good in your life.

We’ve Got You

We are so often our toughest critics. Whether you’re looking to make big changes in 2023, or just want to keep your health on track, AltaMed has you covered. We have bilingual health care professionals in your neighborhood. In fact, many of our doctors live in the communities they serve. We’re dedicated to helping individuals and families get the right care they need to grow healthy.

Call AltaMed at (888) 499-9303 to get started.

Get started with AltaMed

See how AltaMed Health Services can help your family grow healthy.

Learn More

Image
Healthy Foods

Foods with Surprising Health Benefits

Go ahead. Have some chocolate. Drag it through some peanut butter. Maybe wash it down with a cup of coffee.

At some point you read an article or saw a news story encouraging you to give up these foods as being unhealthy. It’s simply not true. Over-indulging in these foods — just like over-indulging in anything — can be harmful over time. But there are plenty of foods you thought you needed to avoid that you can enjoy, in moderation.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol must be done in moderation. One alcoholic beverage a day for women and two for men may help protect from heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. But the moderate consumption must include a healthy diet and regular exercise to get the greatest benefit.

Pork

It’s lean with less saturated fat than 30 years ago. Replacing beef and chicken with pork could help you lose weight and body fat. Tenderloin is a great, lean cut.

Popcorn Bowl

Popcorn

It’s a whole grain that’s loaded with fiber, which helps fill you up and keeps you regular. It also has vitamin B, manganese, and magnesium, and antioxidants, which may protect you against disease and cell damage. Don’t drown it in butter or cover it in salt.

Avocado

They’re loaded with good fat. The kind of fat that is linked to a healthy heart and good cholesterol levels. Eating avocados regularly can help your eyes and skin and may even help with belly fat.

Raw Ground Meat on a Plate

Beef

Lean red meat with the fat trimmed away is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, and iron. Eat it occasionally and in small portions and it’s been shown to lower the bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Chicken (Dark Meat)

Thighs and legs may have more fat, but they also have more minerals like iron, zinc, and selenium. There are more vitamins like A, B, and K. It’s also high in taurine, which breaks down fat and helps with inflammation and blood pressure.

Stacked Pieces of Dark Chocolate

Chocolate

Dark chocolate is the healthiest because it has the least sugar and is made mostly of cocoa and that’s where there are flavonoids. These plant chemicals may help protect against cell damage. They could also lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and make you less likely to have certain kinds of heart disease. Remember, only eat a little bit.

Eggs

They are rich in protein with a full range of B vitamins and amino acids. They also include vitamin D and selenium. They are NOT calorie dense, meaning they help you feel fuller longer.

Cup of Coffee Being Poured

Coffee

This can also be healthy when consumed in moderation. It can help reduce heart disease, help you process sugar, reduce your risk of Parkinson’s disease, help protect your liver, strengthen your DNA, reduce your risk of colon cancer, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and reduce your risk of stroke. Just don’t load it up with a lot of sugar and creamer.

Dairy

The full-fat variety isn’t likely to raise your risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes if it’s part of a balanced diet. Foods like yogurt, whole milk, and brie can be good for you. Just watch the calories or they will pile up.

Pasta Served in a Bowl

Pasta

Pasta fills you up, it’s a good source of energy, is low in salt, and low in fat. Just don’t cover it with heavy sauces. Try whole-grain pastas for an even healthier alternative.

Potato Salad

Cooled potatoes have something called “resistant starch,” which acts like fiber and can help keep you regular and your gut healthy. Potatoes — whether hot or cold — have lots of nutrients, like potassium and magnesium. Choose low-fat, low-calorie mayonnaise for potato salad.

Toasted Bread with Peanut Butter and Honey

Honey

It may be full of sugar, but it’s a natural sweetener with plenty of antioxidants to protect your cells. It’s also good for inflammation. It mixes well with the bacteria in your gut which helps with digestion. Local honey can also help with allergies.

Peanut Butter

It may have saturated fat, but it’s 80% unsaturated fat, which isn’t bad. Eating nuts or peanut butter regularly reduces the risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetes. It also has potassium. Get it unsalted for a healthier option.

Frozen Veggies

They’re affordable, convenient, and they have the same benefits as fresh vegetables. They may even be better because you can store them, so stock up when you can.

Dietician Consultations Available

No matter your age, what you eat has a huge effect on your overall health. Healthy eating isn’t hard – especially when you have someone to empower you to make good decisions and teach you how healthy food can be delicious. Our registered dietitians provide individually tailored nutrition plans to members of every age.

Patients with the following are encouraged to see a dietitian: diabetes, heart-related conditions, those considering bariatric surgery, pregnancy, gastrointestinal-related conditions, and patients with any other nutrition-related condition.

This program is available to all AltaMed patients at no cost. Ask your doctor for a referral or call (888) 499-9303 to enroll.

Image
Girl Putting her Headset to Run

How Women can Make Sure Their Health is on Track

COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. But neither are breast cancer, cervical cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.

We have focused so much of our attention on protecting our families and ourselves from the coronavirus that we may have neglected the vital screenings necessary to protect us from these other potentially deadly diseases.

Health screenings have plummeted since the start of the pandemic according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women have foregone or delayed important screenings for breast and cervical cancer. The expectation is this could lead to more cases at later stages.

The same is true for screenings of heart disease, diabetes, and other preventive screening procedures. But it doesn’t have to be that way. AltaMed is going above and beyond to protect your health, including telehealth visits and keeping facilities clean and sterilized according to the highest standards put forth by the CDC.

While some common conditions and issues can be taken care of with a telephone or video chat with your doctor, there are still many preventive treatments and services for women that need to happen in person including routine mammograms, Pap tests, blood pressure screenings, and evaluations to determine if you are taking the right dosage of medication.

Many of these visits are covered at no charge by your health plan, so call us for details and to schedule!

Woman in Mammogram X-Ray Test

Why You Need a Mammogram

Women have about a 1 in 8 chance that they’ll develop breast cancer in their lifetime. A mammogram — an X-ray picture of the breast — is the best way to spot potential breast cancer early.

Your unique family history and personal risk factors will determine when you should start getting mammograms. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends healthy women of average risk, get a mammogram once every two years from age 50 to 74. Your doctor could recommend getting a mammogram as early as age 40 if you have a parent, sibling, or child who has had breast cancer.

It is also recommended that you become familiar with what your breasts normally look and feel like. If this changes, make an appointment to see your doctor.

How Often to Screen for Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer used to be one of the most common causes of death for women in the United States. Advances in Pap tests, including increased usage, cut cervical cancer deaths dramatically.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends:

  • Get a Pap test every three years if you are between the ages of 21 and 29.
  • APap smear with specific HPV testing every five years is routine if you are between the ages of 30 and 65.

Your doctor will make recommendations based on your own unique health history and your family history.

Doctor Explaining the Results Analysis

Schedule Your Well-Woman Visit

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends the first visit happen at age 13 – 15. Well-woman visits are essential and should be scheduled in addition to your mammograms and Pap tests.

Because well-woman visits focus on preventive care, each visit may be slightly different based on your age and unique health needs. Your visit may include:

  • Age-appropriate immunizations (for example, the flu vaccine or a TD shot, if needed)
  • Age-appropriate health screenings, which could include checking your blood pressure or a pelvic floor exam
  • Recommendations for additional testing to screen for cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or depression, as needed

Your doctor will likely ask about your health history and any health goals. They will offer recommendations to help you achieve those goals. To make the most of these visits, come prepared: think about any health questions you have, in advance, and take notes.

We’re Here for Every Age and Every Stage of Your Life

Trust AltaMed to support your unique health needs. From primary care and specialists to dentistry, behavioral health services, and pharmacy, we are dedicated to caring for women and those they love. Schedule an appointment today.

Surprisingly Simple New Year’s Resolutions