Category Archives: Health

Boston ranks among the healthiest cities in US

BostonAccording to a study released last week based on data from 2011 and 2012 from the Alliance for Biking and Walking, levels of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are lower in many cities where more commuters bike or walk. Many of these same cities (Boston in particular) also have a lower incidence of pedestrian and bike fatalities as well – the assumption being drivers become more accustomed to sharing the road.

This is all good news as Boston’s bike sharing program The Hubway moves into full swing and we see more bicyclists joining pedestrians and drivers each morning and evening.  Below I’ve included the 5 cities that scored the highest marks for overall city population of commuters who walk or bike to work regularly. Looks like Boston can do more to encourage people to bike to work but achieves great marks for walking.

healthy commute

Source: Alliance for Biking and Walking 2014 Benchmarking Report

Anything for love

When Gerdi McKenna was diagnosed with breast cancer her friends decided they would do a photo shoot and this is what happened.

Thank you for sharing Bobie.

Fenway Men’s Event 2014

Fenway Men's Event 2014Mark your calendars and dust off that tuxedo.  Boston’s gay prom is Saturday, April 26.  Sergio and I will miss this year’s festivities as we celebrate the wedding of our very good friends Ralph & Joao, but I look forward to hearing all about this year’s Men’s Event.

More information and tickets for The Men’s Event here

Hey Ladies – here is info about The Women’s Dinner Paahty – March 29th

Here is a glimpse of The Fenway Men’s Event 2013.  

BosGuy learns a valuable lesson

healthcareChalk this up as an educational post, because simply by making a call to my health insurer I saved more than $170.00.

Like most Americans, each year I am shouldering more of the cost of my healthcare and the lack of transparency for the cost of services can be frustrating.

This past summer during my annual physical my new primary care physician talked me into getting a test.  Despite not knowing how much the test would cost, he successfully (albeit unintentionally) scared me into making an appointment to see a specialist.  Fast forward 18 weeks later, and I received a bill for the visit totaling more than $475.  I was bullshit so I called my physician’s billing office and while the person was very helpful they indicated this was my share of the cost and suggested I contact my health insurer if I had more questions.

In years past, I probably would’ve just paid the bill but the cost and timing – just weeks before Christmas – ticked me off enough to make me call my health insurer.  You know what I learned? My physician’s office overcharged me by more than $150.  Their response, “Oops!”… Curious that when I called my physician’s office I was treated very nicely but told “I’m sorry but this is the cost. Perhaps you can talk to your health insurer.” Yet when my health insurer called changes were made immediately.

Caveat Emptor

This isn’t meant to be a politically charged post nor is it meant to point fingers at any one group since I firmly believe our healthcare system is a mess from top to bottom. The reason I wrote this is because I wanted to suggest that before you pay any of your medical bills you make an effort to contact both your provider and insurer since neither seems to be particularly trustworthy or competent when it comes to billing.

Smoking

SmokingMany people make resolutions at the start of the new year. While I don’t know anyone who has decided to quit smoking, I thought I’d post this as inspiration to stick with it. This is the first Saturday of the year and I know that going out and drinking makes many crave a cigarette so I’m hoping this quick video might give you some added inspiration to refrain and stick with your resolution to quit.  Do you know a smoker? Maybe you’d like to share this.

Meet my friends Miro and Vlad

Milton Hill Sport and SpaEarlier this summer I wrote about my friend and masseur, Miro, in my post Pampering in Ptown.  At the end of summer Miro (shown to the left) did not return to Bulgaria, rather he relocated to Milton where he and Vlad (also from Bulgaria and shown below) provide deep tissue massage at The Milton Hill Sport & Spa.

With the holiday season fast approaching an hour of pampering from either Miro or Vlad might make for the perfect gift.  However, just to make certain I suggest you make a reservation in the name of ‘research’ so you can speak with authority about how good these Bulgarians are with their hands.

Milton Hill Sport and Spa Massage Room

Both Miro and Vlad are hard working, great guys excited to make Boston their new home and I want to wish them much success at The Milton Hill Sport & Spa.  The Milton Hill Sport & Spa is located in the Chocolate Factory along the Milton / Dorchester line at 1 Eliot Street, Milton, MA.  Appointments are available 7-days a week from 9am – 7pm. 

Let me know if you make an appointment and be certain to tell Miro and Vlad BosGuy says “hello”.

Miro and Vlad

Miro and Vlad: Milton Hill Sport & Spa masseurs

Milton Hill Sport and Spa

1 Eliot Street, Milton, MA / (617) 698-0063

This map makes me mad

Affordable Care Act

The map above makes me angry. I feel like it smacks of racism. Not the in-your-face brand of racism that we may see in movies or from the Civil Rights era, but a more insidious type of racism.

How else would one explain how those states with some of the highest minority rates and most in need for access to healthcare – being blocked at every turn by their predominantly white, Republican Governors? While I have no doubt there are many who oppose the expansion of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act on principle, I also think that many more don’t see supporting the poorest among us (many of whom belong to minority communities of color) as a priority and are intentionally doing their best to block access to this sort of care.

The NYT articulates my assertions far better in their article from earlier this month Millions of Poor are Left Uncovered by Health Law.

Jennifer Hudson P.S.A. for “Obamacare”

Jennifer Hudson on Obamacare

Jennifer Hudson stars in this new video to help reach out and debunk myths about the Affordable Care Act through humor. Check out this spoof.

Man’s night out at MiniLuxe

PedicureMy friend, Sean Donovan better known by his Twitter handle, @BostonMo, in partnership with Miniluxe hosted a “MANicurious Party” last week and yours truly was invited.

Joining me was an eclectic mix men about town including, Jonathan Soroff, @Jonathan_Soroff, writer at The Improper Bostonian; Alex Weaver, @AlexEWeaver, writer at BostInno.com, Jeff Lahens, pro stylist and founder of @DressCodeBoston; Matthew Simko, @SoTacky33, writer and curator of @Chubstr, and me. 

It was a fun evening watching some of the guys who obviously had never had a manicure or pedicure sit beside veterans like Jonathan Soroff who had opted to paint his toes a color I think he referred to as “St. Bart’s blue”.

I’m not going to try and convince those who are uncomfortable at the thought of splurging on a bit of pampering, but I have a sneaking suspicion there are frightfully few who read my blog who would have such an aversion.  If you’ve not visited MiniLuxe I would suggest giving them a try. The staff at the Newbury Street location could not have been more friendly. If Newbury Street isn’t convenient – note that MiniLuxe has locations in: Brookline, Chestnut Hill, Hingham, Lexington, Newton and Wellesley.

MiniLuxe has generously offered a 20% discount off men’s services and waxing if you use the code: BOSGUY13

Summer diets

Summer dietingThe winter is thankfully a thing of the past and I’ve started obsessing about the beach. The idea of walking around without a shirt is all the incentive I need to do a little extra to try and get into shape.  I’ve already started what I refer to as my June diet which consists of cutting out all meat.  In years past this has helped me drop from what I call my ‘winter weight’ that fluctuates anywhere from 190 – 195 lbs to 185 – 190 lbs.  As I get older it is harder to build muscle but thanks to a great trainer, I’m hoping I’ll be less self conscious walking around this summer.

Do you do anything to try and squeeze off a few extra pounds or bulk up?  I can’t be the only one who goes a bit crazy.

BosGuy P.S.A.

stressI constantly hear friends talk about how they “feel stressed”.  While I can relate, it is not a permanent state of mind the way it seems for many so I thought I’d add this post.  For the record, I’m a big fan of  No.s 3, 6 and 8.

Are you a social farter

Canadian Health Ministry Canada’s Ministry of Health is using humor to raise awareness about smoking. I think it is absolutely hysterical and can’t stop watching / laughing at this P.S.A. What do you think? Witty, funny or just in poor taste?

Squatty Potty

Squatty PottyThis image was recently tweeted and I thought I’d share the advert which was in OK Magazine in the UK. Not only is the image funny, but you have to love the promo code “get going”.

Intrigued, I felt compelled to do some basic market research and found an instructional video from Squatty Potty, which is professionally put together and not the least bit entertaining but actually kind of interesting in a very gross way. However, one can giggle all one likes by watching some of the ridiculous spin-off videos on YouTube from people eager to tell you all about the squatty potty.

Fenway Health Men’s Event

Fenway Men's EventThe Fenway Health Clinic hosted their annual Men’s Event this weekend in Boston.  The event, which raised more than a half million dollars, draws more than 1,300 gay men and their allies.  This year Marc Solomon was recognized with the Congressman Gerry E. Studds award.

Marc is currently the national campaign director for Freedom to Marry but is best known here in Massachusetts for serving as executive director for Mass Equality.

The sold out evening was a success for The Fenway Health Clinic, which will now focus on the upcoming Women’s Dinner Party next month.  If you missed this year’s Men’s Event but would like to make a donation, link here.

As usual, I’ve created a video based on the photos taken by Sergio.  Apologies in advance but it seems YouTube won’t allow this to be viewed on phones :-(

Dinner with the SBN

sbn-massachusetts-logoLast week I was invited to attend an event hosted by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) at The Granary Tavern.  This nonprofit’s mission is to build a Massachusetts economy that is local, green, and fair.  They currently organize several programs but are probably best known for the Boston Local Food Festival held each fall. 

Chef Keenan from The Granary Tavern was tasked by the SBN to pull together a tempting 3-course dinner for a crowd of approximately 50+ people using only locally sourced ingredients (down to the flour and salt used).  For those who live outside of New England you may not realize how difficult this can be during the height of our winter, but I have to tip my hat to Chef Keenan who did an admirable job.  The dinner was both social and educational – driving home the point that even here in the winter, one may buy locally grown foods and prepare nutritionally balanced, delicious meals.

Dinner started with a salad made with assorted lettuce, parsnips, apples, and cheese.  The crunchy parsnip strips, cubed apples and tangy vinaigrette  contrasted nicely with the soft goat’s cheese and buttery lettuce flavors.  And as you can plainly see in the photo below – everything looked fresh.SaladFollowing the salad, I had high hopes for the main course which I had ordered.  The second course was a grilled Angus hanger steak served on a bed of root vegetables with a rich sauce; I believe it was a hollandaise – it was delicious.Angus Hanger SteakThe final course of the evening was a baked Alaska made with maple syrup ice cream and drizzled with extra maple syrup for additional flavoring. I’d never had a baked Alaska before but this was light and sweet.  I love real maple syrup and it was the inclusion of this local ingredient more than any other that tempted me, while I scraped my plate clean, finishing off the baked Alaska. Baked AlaskaIn the past I’ve written about local farmer’s markets and my interest in purchasing food that is locally sourced (for example The Foodery post in January) .  Do you purchase food from a farmer’s market? Do you notice a difference in the quality / freshness of that food? How important is this to you?