ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
June 2020
The shareable link (printable) for this issue:
For complete member services visit us at: www.eshca.org
Use Your Physical to Improve Your Health
Five years ago a combination of events convinced me I needed to participate in my annual physical:
  • 1) I was aware (but ignoring) that my blood pressure was elevated.
  • 2) Two individuals in my town, both in their late 40's, suffered sudden cardiac events. One passed away immediately and the other was without a heart beat long enough to cause severe brain damage. Both were physically active and appeared healthy.
  • 3) A family member was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Using my doctor's member portal , I can access my "Numbers" at anytime. Below are my "Numbers" for the past 3 years and the "action plan" used to improve my health (click here to see healthy ranges):
2017 (47 years old)

  • BMI = 29.5 (5' 8" / 194 lbs)
  • Blood Pressure 140/90
  • Cholesterol 210
  • HDL 44
  • LDL 133
  • Ratio 4.8
  • Blood Glucose 120 (HbA1C 5.4)
  • PSA 1.3
  • Vit D 28.1

2018 (48 years old)

  • BMI = 28 (184 lbs)
  • Blood Pressure 130/85
  • Cholesterol 183
  • HDL 43
  • LDL 113
  • Ratio 4.3
  • Blood Glucose 95
  • PSA 1.83
  • Vit D 40.0

2019 (49 years old)

  • BMI = 26.5 (174 lbs)
  • Blood Pressure 125/80
  • Cholesterol 190
  • HDL 50
  • LDL 127
  • Ratio 3.8
  • Blood Glucose 84
  • PSA 1.88
  • Vit D 39.0

"Numbers" I am attentive to (it looks like a long list but focusing on good nutrition, a little activity and losing a few pounds made a big difference):

  • High BMI (body weight in relation to height)
  • High blood pressure
  • Low good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Blood glucose (family history of type 2 diabetes)
  • PSA (family history of prostate cancer)
  • Low vitamin D (links to bone strength, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain kinds of cancer including prostate cancer)

Action Plan (2018 - 2019):

  • Exercise:
  • 150 cardiovascular workouts per year, minimum of 20 minutes each (walk/jog up and down the stairs).
  • objective: improve blood pressure, control blood sugar, increase HDL
  • note: HDL improved when cardio was added
  • Nutrition:
  • eat 5 servings of produce each day
  • focus on lean proteins (chicken, fish and egg whites)
  • limit starches to 3 servings per day focusing on high fiber options
  • overall, reduce sodium, sugar and saturated fats
  • take vitamin D as directed by my PCP (1,000 IU) - over the counter, not prescription

Action Plan for 2020:

  • 1) Lower my LDL (bad cholesterol)
  • Eat less saturated fat
  • Example: in 2019, I ate 3 whole eggs (yolks) fried in butter each day; in 2020, I have switched to oatmeal with a banana and berries.
  • Eat less red meat and more plant based meals (more beans and legumes).
  • 2) Start taking a vitamin D supplement again, I did not take it in 2019 and my numbers dropped slightly.

$25 Incentive - click here to fill out your 2020 General Health Assessment
  • note: this is not a newsletter challenge
  • Member and member-spouse are eligible if you have not already filled it out in 2020.
  • Email (good cell phone picture works), mail or fax it to me.
  • Click here or contact me if you have questions.
Financial Wellness:
Time in the Market or Time the Market?
What does history teach us about investing in challenging economic times? This month QCI answers the question; is it better to "stay the course" or try to "time the market"?

Click here to read the article.

Recipe of the Month...Do You Know Jack(fruit)?
What is jackfruit? Jackfruit grows in the tropical regions of southeast Asia, Brazil and Africa. It is a fruit but has the texture of shredded chicken or pork making it a low-fat, nutrient-rich meat substitute. Like other fruits, jackfruit is rich in vitamins and minerals including antioxidants, additionally, it is high in fiber and protein. These attributes make it an excellent food to fight chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Obviously, jackfruit is a popular with vegans and vegetarians. While I am not a vegetarian, one of my goals for 2020 is to lower my ldl (bad) cholesterol by cutting back on saturated fats. Making an effort to eat a few more plant based meals is beneficial. Try these recipes, I can assure you will not be disappointed!!!

Click here to download the recipe for Jackfruit Fajitas!!!

Prefer pulled pork? Click here to get that recipe!!!

$25 Step Challenge (June Newsletter Challenge)
  • Click here for details!
Strength Exercises - Core Combo #4

The side bend is a great core exercise that targets the internal and external obliques. It is also beneficial in strengthening the arms, shoulders, chest and back. While it is beneficial to do just this exercise alone, add either Combo #1 (crunch/superman) or Combo #2 (twisting crunch/bird dogs) to get a complete core workout.
  • 1) Start in a side plank position (Figure 1) with your right hand (or elbow) on the floor and your left foot either on top of your right or set forward in front of your left.
  • 2) Drop your hips down (Figure 2); stretching the oblique muscles between your ribs and your hip on your right side.
  • 3) Contract the stretched muscles (pushing your ribs closer to your hip), returning to the side plank position.
  • 4) Repeat for 5-10 repetitions and complete 1-3 sets.

Muscles worked: internal and external obliques, arms, shoulders, chest and back.