More than 8 million children could face higher insurance costs without CHIP

More than 8 million children enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could be at risk of losing coverage if federal funding for the program is not extended this year. Source: Insurance feed

More than 8 million children enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could be at risk of losing coverage if federal funding for the program is not extended this year.
Source: Insurance feed

The ACA increased coverage and access for the chronically ill, but many still face barriers to care

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased insurance coverage and access to care for patients with chronic medical conditions, but a year after the law took full effect, many…
Source: Insurance feed

4 Ridiculously Easy Diet Changes to Help Kickstart Your Weight Loss

If you want to shed some pounds, but you’re not into the idea of a complicated diet with hard-to-remember rules, you've come to the right place. These four simple changes will help you lose weight fast, and get you back into your favorite jeans in no time. The best part: there's no "cleansing" required.

Make veggies the star of your meals

Time to load up on those vegetables. I’m talking at least one to two cups (a cup is the size of a tennis ball) at each meal, even breakfast. In addition to being low in calories, veggies are rich in nutrients and high in both fiber and water. By making them the main component of every meal, you’ll eat fewer calories without sacrificing nutrition, and you'll still feel full.

For breakfast, scramble a few eggs in extra-virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, turmeric, and black pepper, with a handful or two of chopped veggies, like spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell pepper; enjoy with a side of fresh fruit. At lunch, opt for a salad rather than a sandwich or wrap. And whip up dinners comprised of “noodles” or “rice” made from veggies (spiralized, chopped, or shredded) paired with a lean source of protein (like salmon, chicken breast, or lentils) and a healthy fat (such as avocado, nuts, or seeds).    

RELATED: 16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast

Load up on liquids

If you start your day with coffee, go ahead make it the usual way (even if that includes some sweetener). But limit yourself to just one cup. Then switch to water, or an antioxidant-rich, unsweetened tea (iced or hot); and try to have four 16-ounce servings throughout the course of the day. If you’re craving a little flavor in your water or tea, add fresh mint, basil, ginger root, or a bit of mashed berries.

However, be sure to nix any other drinks that contain sweeteners (even zero-calorie versions) or bubbles. The former may stoke a sweet tooth, or wreak havoc on your appetite, while the latter can leave you bloated. Also take note: To ensure a good night's sleep, stop drinking any caffeinated tea at least six hours before bed. And cut off all fluids, even water, fairly early in the evening to avoid late night trips to the bathroom.

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Streamline your snacks

You should really only snack under two circumstances. The first is when you’re truly, physically hungry (and not just bored or procrastinating or in the habit of nibbling at a certain time of day). The second is when you need some nourishment to tie you over between meals. For example, if you have lunch at noon and dinner isn't till 7 p.m., a healthy snack can keep your metabolism revved, and help stabilize your blood sugar, insulin, and energy levels to prevent overeating later on.

In lieu of processed foods, like chips or sweetened bars, commit to noshing on something more nutritious. Try a golf ball-sized portion of nuts or seeds along with a tennis ball-sized serving of fruit; or a cup of raw veggies (like sliced red bell pepper and cucumber) paired with hummus or roasted chickpeas.    

RELATED: Best Snacks for Weight Loss

Make dark chocolate your sweet treat

Over the next month, try this simple experiment that’s helped many of my clients in a major way: Build what I call a “dark chocolate escape” into your day. That means enjoying a few squares of high-quality dark chocolate (with at least 70% cacao) during “you time,” without any distractions. So no laptop, no TV, and no phone.

Research shows that a small, daily dark chocolate indulgence curbs cravings for both sweet and salty foods. This trick can help you resist temptation for other goodies. Having one square after lunch and one after dinner may be a smart way to break up your treat, and keep your sweet and/or salt tooth adequately satisfied.     

Cynthia Sass is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees. See her full bio here. 

Source: Health bests

Study finds use of hospital emergency departments for dental conditions increased after medicaid expansion in Kentucky

According to a study published in Health Affairs, increased access to adult dental coverage through Medicaid exposed a largely unmet need for oral health care services in Kentucky and the potential…
Source: Insurance feed

How To Do a Post-Holiday Party Detox

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No, you definitely should not do a full 24-hour juice cleanse—but there’s nothing wrong with having an extra-low-calorie day after a night of bingeing on unhealthy food and beverages, says F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, MD, an obesity expert at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "It won’t negatively impact your metabolism. You won’t be starved," he says. "It’s just one day."

Here's how to safely power through your binge and make the most out of your post-party detox, according to the docs:

1. Hydrate. First things first, wake up and de-bloat with a tall glass of lemon or cucumber water (the veggie contains an antioxidant that helps reduce swelling).

RELATED: 5 Foods That Prevent Bloating

2. Eat a healthy breakfast. Have a scaled-back breakfast of Greek yogurt with 2 teaspoons hemp seeds and half a grapefruit. Or make chia seed pudding with a cup of mixed berries; you can prep it in just 10 minutes and leave it in your fridge overnight. When you wake up, the milk-soaked chia seeds turn into a delicious no-cook pudding. If you want to give this dish an even bigger nutrient boost, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of heart-healthy ground flaxseed, which will give you 20% of your recommended daily fiber intake.

3. Schedule an a.m. workout. If you overdid it the night before, there is one silver lining: "You’re likely carbed up from your indulgent meal last night, so you’re going to have a lot of energy," explains Jim White, RD, owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios. “Use that energy and do a little bit of cardiovascular training, a little bit of weight training; keep drinking plenty of water and you’ll feel better.”

Source: Health bests