Tag 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.

BosGuy cooks cauliflower

BosGuy cooksCauliflower is affordable to buy and very healthy, but people seem to rarely purchase it.  I have a quick, easy recipe that is great as a side dish or snack that takes 20 minutes to make.

Ingredients: head of Cauliflower, 1/4 cup of bread crumbs, handful of grated Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and salt.

BosGuy cooksCut the cauliflower florets and put them in a pan with only a little olive oil over medium low heat. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and pepper then cover.

Let the vegetable cook for a few minutes to soften then put the cauliflower into a glass oven-safe container and sprinkle 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and roughly half that amount of grated Parmesan cheese.  Cover the cauliflower with foil so the moisture won’t escape and bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and let it cook for another 5 minutes.

BosGuy cooksI like to take out of the oven when they are slightly golden. Let them cool slightly and eat them like on would popcorn (you’ll need napkins) or serve them as a side dish for dinner.

Did you know? Cauliflower is exceptionally rich in Vitamin C and also has a significant amount of Vitamin B-6 and Potassium.

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.

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.

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 Men’s Event tonight

Mens EventLater tonight I’ll be dusting off my tuxedo as Sergio and I make ready to attend the annual fund raiser for Fenway Health Clinic – The Men’s Event. The Fenway as most refer to it here in Boston is one of the largest most comprehensive clinics focused on GLBT health issues in the country.

I’ve often jokingly referred to this annual event as the “gay prom” but it does serve an important purpose to help The Fenway raise unrestricted dollars to help fund research and programs that are important to our community here in Boston and beyond. I’ve included a video from last year’s party to share a bit of what is in store tonight. 

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?

Gates foundation annual letter

Bill GatesEach year Bill Gates writes his annual letter from the Gates Foundation and this year’s letter is entitled, How We Measure Impact to Improve Lives.

This world needs more men like Bill Gates.  If I were to name a business leader who I admire above all others, I think Bill Gates would top that list.  It is difficult to articulate all the good Bill and Melinda Gates have done and continue to do here in the United States and around the world through their foundation.

BosGuy reviews The Foodery

My Foodery

Last week I wrote about The Foodery, a food preparation and delivery service in  metro Boston that only uses organic ingredients locally sourced. Mike and John, the business partners and buddies who conceived the idea, were kind enough to surprise me on Sunday with a delivery of two meals.  So on Monday evening I fired up the microwave and tried out the dinners. The following is my review.

This service is not going to be for everyone. However, professionals, couples and families on the go who want a respite from kitchen duties  may find this a helpful service. Additionally, those watching what they eat but in need of help preparing healthy meals will also find this service tempting since it makes calorie counting so easy.  The portion size looked small when I opened them but they were satisfying and later in the evening when I was tempted to grab a bite I opted for a cup of tea rather than the bag of chips I had been eyeing.  

If you are curious about the food check out next week’s menu at The Foodery; filet with spinach, watercress salad and blueberry dressing; whole wheat shrimp veggie pizza; lamb with porcini mushroom, butternut squash and cous cous. All orders must be placed by Thursday evening for delivery on Sunday night.

In my quick video I show you the packaging, prep and try my best to describe the food. I hope you enjoy. I certainly had fun reviewing the dinners.