Are You Ready For Swimsuit Weather?

Give the Low-Carb Diet a Try

It’s almost summer, and that means more time outside doing things that you enjoy. If you own a boat, you need a swimsuit so you can participate in all your favorite water activities. Swimming and waterskiing are great options for exercise, but you may not feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit.

When you can pinch more than an inch, it may be time to think seriouosly about losing some weight and keeping it off.

It seems like everyone I know is on a diet, and the low-carb diet is gaining in popularity. If you’re a meat lover, this diet will make you think you have died and gone to heaven. Steaks, hamburgers, pork chops, eggs and bacon are all low-carb foods. Wow, sign me up!

But just like everything else in life, you have to take the bad with the good, and you can’t live on meat forever. Some of your favorite side dishes may pack a hefty wallop of carbs, so here is the low-down on the low-carb diet.

Cereals

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that breakfast cereals such as Frosted Flakes™ or Lucky Charms™ have too many carbohydrates. What is surprising is that whole-grain cereals such as Grape Nuts™, pack a whopping 46 grams of carbs, with 5 grams of fiber.

You would think that steel-cut oats would be a healthier choice, but you would be wrong. A half a cup of cooked steel-cut oats have 29 grams of carbs, with 5 grams of fiber.

Breads

When I eat out, I can hardly wait for the bread basket to be delivered. Wheat rolls, white rolls, bagels or croissants oozing with butter, are a must in my book.

If you have more willpower, you can refuse the bread basket, and save yourself calories and carbs in the process. One slice of wheat bread has 17 grams of carbs, and only 2 grams of fiber.

Some Fruits

The nutrition gurus have always advised people to eat more fruit, which can lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. However, most fruits have a lot of carbs. Of course my favorite fruit is bananas, and that is one of the fruits you want to avoid. Dried fruits are also high in carbs.

You can’t even enjoy a small apple. I was very surprised that something this tasty packs a wallop of 21 grams of carbs. At least if it does contain 4 grams of fiber.

Now for a bit of good news. Berries are tasty, lower in carbs and sugar, and you can eat them plain or incorporate them in other dishes.

Beans and Legumes

I was raised on beans and cornbread, and had no idea that a one-cup serving of beans contained 45 grams of carbs. On the plus side, the fiber count clocks in at about 15 grams. You can cut down your portion size and work them into your daily carb count.

Peas have always been one of my favorite vegetables. Yes, surprisingly, one cup of peas has 25 grams of carbs.

Eating a low-carb diet can definitely help you shed excess pounds, but make sure you’re still eating a nutritious diet. Eating smaller portions of your favorites may be just what you need to avoid being so discouraged that you give up and go back to your old eating patterns.

 

Are Your Joints Aching With Painful Arthritis?

A Walk-In Tub Offers Relaxing Relief

 

As I have aged, I have noticed that my joints are more painful. Fingers that want to point outwards, knees that creak and crack when I finish exercising, and let’s not forget my painful back and neck.

Each person will have a different experience, but one thing you may notice is that you’re having a harder time getting into the bathtub. Since your joints are not what they used to be, there is a greater chance that you may suffer a fall, or at the very least pull a muscle or two.

This is where a walk-in tub can make your life easier. Instead of swinging your leg over the edge, a low step entry allows you to walk right in. The floor is made of non-skid material so you won’t have to worry about purchasing a bath mat. If you have trouble standing, purchase a tub that has a shower seat.

The tub is deep enough to fully submerge your body, so if you like to take a bubble bath, you can have a nice long soak. The warm water can relax your whole body, and may help you sleep better. When you’re finished, grab the safety bars to pull yourself into an upright position.

Your walk-in tub usually comes with a faucet head in case you would prefer to take a nice warm shower.  Some tubs also have a bidet so you can clean those hard-to-reach places.

Now, to the not-so-good news. All this comfort can put a big hole in your budget, and tubs range from $5,000 to $7,000. Don’t count on Medicare or Medi-Cal to pick up the tab, but check with your private insurance to see what is covered.

One reason an insurance company may deny coverage, is that they are not sure how many of your family members may also be using the walk-in tub.

One trick that may turn the tide in your favor, is to ask your doctor to write a note stating that the tub is a medical necessity.

If your insurance refuses to cover, there are some other options you can try. It’s possible that you may qualify for grants or a low-interest loan from the Department of Agriculture. You’ll have to meet income requirements, but if you’re not eligible, they can refer you to other resources.

Contact the National Home Modification Action Coalition to find out if you’re eligible for grants or loans. If you’re a veteran, check with the Veteran’s Administration.