Category: Health and fitness

Dressing warmly next winter

This winter of record-breaking lows put our cold-weather dressing skills to the test. We all know the drill: layers, hat, scarf, gloves or mittens, insulated boots with good tread. I usually follow it pretty well but still felt cold here and there on exceptionally frigid days.   • If I didn’t wear a scarf over... Read more »

When insurance will pay, why not?

Last week I wrote about a misunderstanding with an audiologist at the office that sold me hearing aids three years ago. When the hearing aids came back from a factory check, she asked me to get a referral from my primary care physician. I thought that was because the devices needed reprogramming; she thought I... Read more »

Wandering in the health insurance maze

We all have stories to tell about hassles with medical practitioners and insurance companies. Stop reading if you don’t want to hear someone else’s. Humana Gold Plus, a Medicare Advantage HMO, has mostly served me well. It even paid $2,000 toward hearing aids. Those hearing aids caused a recent annoyance — not with them but... Read more »
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An indelicate topic: Is cat poop a health risk to humans?

The headline on Advocate Health Care’s daily health email — “Is poop everywhere?” — made me chuckle. I live with a cat that has inflammatory bowel disease. I had just finished walking around with a solution of Nature’s Miracle, a sponge, and a scrub brush when the email arrived. I wrote about Lizzy a couple of... Read more »

Did red yeast rice lower my cholesterol?

I suspect that most Americans’ attitude toward Chinese herbal remedies is similar to mine: We won’t pooh-pooh curatives backed by centuries of testimonials, but we wouldn’t turn to them first for treatment of a serious condition. At least that was what I thought before my total cholesterol dropped 23 points in a year, and the only change... Read more »

Cold weather + no socks = crazy, imho

This is a post I’d intended to write all winter, but it kept getting bumped by other topics. Even though it’s now spring, you wouldn’t know by how it feels. So, I’ll slip this post in before spring really arrives. What’s with going sockless outside in winter? I see people bundled up in down coats,... Read more »
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Mock meat has its place — in moderation

A couple of weeks ago, a story in the Chicago Tribune food section about “next-generation veggie burgers” annoyed me. My beef (excuse the pun) wasn’t with the reporting; Nick Kindelsperger did a thorough job of finding restaurants that serve great meatless burgers. It was with the premise that the best veggie burgers are the ones... Read more »

Giving up the resolution to diet

If you, like me, thought about making 2018 the year when you really would lose 10 or 15 pounds, New Year’s articles about the folly of dieting were either depressing or liberating. In a January 1 article in the Tribune, psychology professors Traci Mann and A. Janet Tomiyama explained why they concluded from their research... Read more »

Doctor’s orders: back to low-fat diet

You may recall the reports in the last couple of years about low-fat diets being oversold. If they are so healthy, critics said, why are Americans more overweight than ever? I paid attention to books coming out with titles like Eat Fat, Get Thin because I was having trouble controlling my appetite. The authors made... Read more »
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Give up cheese? No way

“Your dairy vice has been vindicated,” the headline said. That seemed reassuring, since I not only like dairy but also rely on it for a good portion of my daily protein. The headline suggested that dairy is like eggs; for years we were told to avoid eggs, especially egg yolks, and then eggs were reevaluated... Read more »