Beware: New Medicare Scam

Patients with diabetes are being targeted in the latest Medicare scam—one that’s especially worrisome because the fraudsters appear legitimate since they actually know the name and address of doctors who treat their intended victims.

“We have no idea how they have this information,” says Tamra Simpson, program director of the Senior Medicare Patrol at the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging (IAAAA). “But in each call we know about, the caller knows the name of the [recipient’s] doctor—and they usually cite the [doctor’s office] address.”

Such information could come from stolen medical records or from records of patient conditions kept by pharmaceutical companies and other medical product suppliers—records that have been accessed by scammers.

The bait behind these calls is nothing new—an alleged offer for free medical supplies, which in this case is a promise of diabetes testing equipment and other medical goods. And the hook is the same: to get the beneficiaries’ Medicare number, which, of course, is that person’s Social Security number.

In the past two weeks, at least eight residents from across Indiana—all with diabetes—reported to the IAAAA that they had received phone calls asking for their Medicare numbers. Complaints of similar calls have been reported from every area code in Indiana.

At least one Californian also received a similar phone call.

In each case, Simpson notes, the caller specifically asks these Medicare beneficiaries if they have diabetes.

In some cases, the callers—who also already know the recipient’s name, address and phone number—also request the maiden name of the patient’s mother, allegedly to “verify” their identities.

So far, the phony calls have originated from Florida, but as of Thursday that number was disconnected. The callers appear to have a foreign accent, says Simpson, and have sometimes identified themselves as calling from “Med-care.”

This new scam comes on the heels of others tied to the $250 “doughnut hole” rebate checks, which are now arriving to eligible Medicare recipients. The first batch of those checks was mailed June 10, to about 80,000 people, and will continue monthly throughout 2010. Those checks are sent automatically—with no forms or other action needed—once Part D enrollees have spent at least $2,830 out of pocket on prescription medications since Jan. 1.

Some scam callers posing as government workers say the checks will be issued only after Medicare numbers are confirmed with them. Other scams involve false claims from unscrupulous insurance agents who say additional policies are needed under health care reform. The bottom line: Never provide your Medicare number or other personal information to an unknown caller. And don’t be fooled into buying a supplemental policy tied to the rebate checks. Such policies can be useful but aren’t required in order to receive the $250.

If you are contacted about this new scam, or any other Medicare inquiry, report it to that agency at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) as well as your local Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-986-3505.

Courtesy of AARP

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Water and Beauty

Everyone always says water is good for you and to drink 8 glasses per day or else, but rarely do they explain the manner in which water contributes to your overall health. The following paragraphs describe how water makes you feel and look better in the most subtle of ways.

To Calm Hair
For years, hairdressers have been saying a cool-water rinse leaves hair glossier. Is it true? Yes! The chilly temp constricts the cuticle layer of your hair so it lies flatter; making strands smoother and more reflective. Even though too much seawater can dry out your locks, oceans are good for something—their nutrient-rich waters support marine botanicals (like sea kelp) that can cleanse, repair, and detangle strands. As an alternative, soft shower water leaves hair more manageable because there are few mineral salts (pesky molecules that can make strands rough and prone to tangles). If you have hard water, install a water-softening shower filter. It can stop your color from fading, too. You probably know from firsthand experience that chlorinated or salty water can turn healthy hair into a frizzy mess. But the fix is easier than you think. “Just rinse your hair in the shower or under a hose before swimming,” says Laini Reeves, owner and creative director of Essensuals London, a salon in Los Angeles. “The strands will absorb their fill of clean water, so they won’t be able to soak up as much of the damaging water.” After your dip, coat hair with conditioner for extra protection from the sun.

To Style Hair
Ever heard of setting lotions, those old-fashioned solutions that help hair hold a curl? Well, water is truly the most natural setting lotion available. Each of your strands is made up of hydrogen bonds that separate when hair is wet, according to Jeni Thomas, PhD, a Pantene senior scientist. If you manipulate hair’s texture while wet, “the hydrogen bonds reform as it dries, holding the new shape.” Here’s how to use that little bit of chemistry to your advantage: Mist hair with water, separate it into four sections, twist each into a small bun, and secure with a pin. Blow-dry (or air-dry), then unravel for soft waves. Using conditioners that contain ingredients like dimethicone and plant oils can smooth and detangle your strands, but that nice slippery feeling they leave behind can actually make your hair harder to style. Reeves says you can fix this problem by misting on a water-based primer after detangling but before applying styling products. “It absorbs some of the oil and rebalances the moisture level of your hair so the style you create will hold longer,” she explains.

To Brighten Eyes
A cold compress helps reduce under-eye inflammation, but you can get a similar effect with H2O. “As water evaporates from skin, the surface becomes cooler,” cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson explains, so asplash of water can de-puff temporarily.

To Improve Skin
For centuries, people in eastern Europe have gone to bathhouses for water therapy to detoxify and tighten their skin. The process—which involves a steam-room session to open pores, followed by a cold-pool plunge to shock skin—is easy to replicate at home, according to Eva Scrivo, a New York City-based beauty expert and host of Beauty Talk on Sirius Satellite Radio. Just soak a washcloth in steaming-hot (but bearable) water, then lay it over your face for a minute. Next, wash with your favorite cleanser, and rinse with warm water. For your “plunge,” splash with cold water about 15 times. “It may sound old-fashioned, but it really works to invigorate and tighten your skin,” Scrivo says. Wrinkles are also less noticeable when skin cells are well-hydrated, according to Howard Murad, MD, author of The Water Secret: The Cellular Breakthrough to Look and Feel 10 Years Younger. He suggests using a moisturizer with humectants, which help attract water to skin cells. Hydrating from the inside makes skin more luminous, nutritionist Keri Glassman says, author of The O2 Diet. To see results, drink eight glasses a day. It sounds like a lot but many women need that much to see a difference in their skin, she notes.

To Tone Muscles
Water is about 12 times more resistant than air, so it takes more effort to move while submerged, according to Terry-Ann Gibson, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology at Boise State University. That means exercises you do in a pool are extra-effective muscle sculptors. An easy one to try: Stand in water up to your neck, then move your arms and legs as if you’re cross-country skiing for 1 minute. Losing weight improves the look of cellulite, but hydrating from the inside out is the number-one natural way to plump skin so underlying fat cells are less noticeable. You can hydrate and slim down, by eating water-rich fruits and veggies. One study in Japan showed women who got their H20 this way had smaller waists and lower BMls than those who sipped their fluids. Some of the water-richest foods are now in season!

To Improve Mental Health
Zen Buddhist monks have incorporated water features in their meditative gardens for hundreds of years because of their soothing sounds. And studies show listening to nature—particularly running water and waves—helps reduce anxiety. Soaking in a hot bath before bed can also help you transition into a deeper, more restful sleep, a study at Loughborough University found.

Courtesy of Health.com

Insurance for Those with High Risk

If you have any kind of chronic medical condition and you’ve been shopping for health insurance, you know how insanely difficult it is to find an insurer that will cover you at all, let alone at an affordable rate. For some people, relief may be on the way starting July 1. That is the day when the federal government will start paying for new insurance programs aimed at providing relatively affordable coverage for uninsured people with pre-existing conditions.

Under the new health care law, the government has earmarked $5 billion for states to set up high-risk pools, as the programs are called, for people who have been uninsured for six months or longer. The pools are to provide a bridge for people most in need of coverage until the insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014. The pools will have no restrictions based on pre-existing conditions; coverage starts immediately and comes with no annual or lifetime limits. Deductibles and co-payments will be kept low.

Bekky Jones-Ludwick, 51, a manager for a marine supply store in Waynesboro, Va., is hoping the new system will help her and her husband, Tracy Ludwick. Both work for the same small business, and their employer had provided health insurance coverage for the couple until March 2009. The company canceled insurance for employees just after Ms. Jones-Ludwick, who suffers from asthma, learned she had breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. The couple switched to a more expensive health policy purchased on their own.

Then, in May 2009, Ms. Jones-Ludwick’s husband needed emergency gall bladder surgery. The new policy covered only $1,000 a day for any type of hospitalization. As a result, the couple was left to pay $20,000 in medical bills. The new policy was canceled, too, and now the couple is completely without insurance. “I can’t pay off the debt, pay for my medicine and pay insurance premiums,” said Ms. Jones-Ludwick. “I owe more in medical bills than I make in a year’s salary.”

Ms. Jones-Ludwick is hoping insurance in the new high-risk pools not only will have premiums affordable enough that she can resume coverage but also will help eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for asthma medication, regular mammograms and other health care costs.

Even as the deadline for their debut approaches, however, questions remain about the new risk pools. The law mandates that premiums for the new coverage must be the same as the standard rate for a healthy adult in that state. (Currently insurance for someone with a pre-existing condition, when available at all, can cost as much as 200 percent of the standard rate.)

That sounds reasonable, but it’s not necessarily affordable. Depending on where you live, premiums could still be several hundred dollars a month. In addition, many experts worry that the $5 billion won’t be enough to last until 2014. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has estimated that the $5 billion will last for only two years.

“We just don’t know how many people will sign up for the new pools,” said Deborah J. Chollet, a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research, a public policy research company, who has studied existing state risk pools and the new plan. “Until we see what happens, there’s no way to know how long the money will last.”

Another concern is that only people who have been uninsured for six months or longer are eligible for the new pools. That means the newly unemployed or those paying exorbitant premiums because of a pre-existing condition — perhaps in their state’s existing high-risk pool — cannot simply switch to the more affordable high-risk pools.

The idea was to provide the stopgap measure for the neediest until 2014. If everyone took advantage of the new pools, it was feared, the government would have even more trouble financing the program. “There’s an inherent unfairness there that’s going to be difficult to explain to consumers,” said Sandy Praeger, state insurance commissioner of Kansas.

But for those who may, at long last, have a chance to get decent coverage for a relatively good rate, one question is more pressing than any other: How do I sign up? Here’s information on how the new risk pools are expected to work and what you should do if you think you might benefit from this new coverage.

WHO’S IN CHARGE?
Under the new law, each state can decide whether it wants to run the new high-risk pool or have the federal government run the program instead. At last count, about 30 states have opted to run their own programs. Those states have filed a proposal with the government outlining a list of pre-existing conditions that will help define who is eligible for each pool. Many states already have high-risk pools that provide an infrastructure; nevertheless, the existing risk pools will be run independently of the new ones.

Most states are waiting for approval of these guidelines from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, which is administering most of the health law changes. About 18 states have opted for the federal government to run the high-risk programs instead. The department has not yet provided details about how these pools will work.

GET THE PLAN DETAILS
Even with so few details, it’s not too early to contact your state insurance department for information on your state’s proposed plan. Some states may be taking applications as soon as July 1, although many are expected to miss that deadline and begin taking applications in August or even in the fall.

The Web site of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, http://www.naic.org, has a directory of state insurance departments under “States and Jurisdictions Map.” Even states that are opting for the federally run pools are expected to post information on their insurance department Web sites to help consumers apply, said Ms. Praeger.

Also on July 1, the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to introduce an online portal at http://www.hhs.gov that will include information on available health insurance in each state, including coverage provided by high-risk pools, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

GATHER YOUR RECORDS
While you are waiting for the deadlines to kick in, get copies of your medical records, advised Cheryl Fish-Parcham, director of health policy at Families USA, a consumer advocacy group. You may need them to show that you have a pre-existing condition and are therefore eligible for the pool.

APPLY EARLY
Each state has been allocated a portion of the $5 billion, but just about everyone agrees that the money will not be enough to last until 2014. Down the road, Congress may appropriate more money for the program, said Ms. Praeger — but there’s no guarantee. As a result, if some states receive a deluge of applicants, they may establish waiting lists until they determine they have enough funding. That is why it is important to sign up as soon as your state or the federal program allows.

CONSIDER AN ALTERNATIVE
If you have recently lost your job, your Cobra coverage has run out or you’re without health insurance for any other reason, waiting six months until you are eligible for the new risk pools may not be your best option. Under a federal law known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, your health cannot be taken into account if you are moving from one qualified insurance plan to another, as long as you have no more than a 62-day gap in coverage.

The new premiums may be higher, but many people would be better off finding another policy before that 62-day deadline passes than they would continuing without coverage for a full six months.

Courtesy of the NYTimes

Yoga for Your Health

Physician and best-selling author Dean Ornish has just two words for older Americans wondering whether they should take advantage of the free yoga classes being offered during September’s National Yoga Month: “Do it!” he urges.

The man who has spent nearly 40 years researching and advocating for yoga as part of a healthful lifestyle, vows that “even in a week, you’ll notice how much better you feel.”

Ornish, 56, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., calls the free yoga classes “a great way to jump start” changes that can dramatically improve your health. Since the 1980s, he has been incorporating yoga and meditation in all his studies on how lifestyle alterations can halt or even reverse the effects of serious diseases. The results, he says, have been clear: Combining yoga’s calming effects with other modifications, such as regular exercise and a low-fat diet, can have rapid and significant effects.

A minute a day helps
“What’s particularly exciting for older people is how quickly they can show improvement when they begin making these changes,” Ornish says. In his studies, patients with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol all improved. Plus, “in all the studies, older patients improved as much as younger patients.”

When he began his research, yoga was considered “weird,” Ornish says. It’s more accepted now, but Ornish notes that his study participants still “think that they’re going to have the hardest time with yoga and meditation.” To their surprise, “it’s often the part they come to value most,” he says.

He has found in his studies that the more yoga and meditation the participants did, the more they improved. But more important than duration, he emphasizes, is consistency. “Even a minute of yoga every day is more important than waiting until you can do an hour a week.”

Last year, Ornish published two studies suggesting that improvements in diet, exercise and stress-management through yoga and meditation could have important benefits in preventing cancer and slowing the effects of aging.

Turning on good genes
One study of 30 men with low-risk prostate cancer, published by the National Academy of Sciences, showed that these lifestyle changes “turned on the good or disease-preventing genes and turned off the genes that cause heart disease, prostate cancer, breast cancer and other illnesses,” Ornish says.

Published last fall in the Lancet, another study of the same group of men with low-risk prostate cancer seemed to suggest that a low-fat diet, regular exercise, support groups, and yoga and meditation might slow the effects of aging by increasing the amount of an enzyme called telomerase, which affects cell growth.

“Nutrition, yoga and meditation, exercise, support groups—the more of these things you do, and the more intensively you do them, the better you get. It’s not a function of age or disease severity,” Ornish adds, but of how much people can change their lives for the better.

What yoga does is give people a more effective way of managing stress. “It makes your fuse longer so things don’t bother you as much. You can accomplish more without getting stressed or sick in the process,” he says.

Reversing heart disease
Ornish established his reputation in the 1990s with a program to reverse the effects of heart disease through lifestyle changes rather than surgery. He himself discovered the positive effects of yoga when, sickly and depressed at age 19, he was introduced to the late Sri Swami Satchidananda. The swami suggested Ornish become a vegetarian and taught him to meditate and practice yoga, which helped him feel better and more peaceful.

While in medical school, he began studies to show that a strict regimen of yoga, exercise and dietary changes could halt or even reverse heart disease. His 1990 book, Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, made the New York Times best-seller list. By 1998, he was on the cover of Newsweek magazine and was a physician consultant to President Clinton, working with the White House chefs on cooking more healthfully. He currently is a clinical professor of medicine at University of California, San Francisco.

Still slim and diligent about avoiding meat, dairy and high-fat food, Ornish says he finds time to meditate, even briefly, each day. He does confess to one occasional splurge: “A small piece of delicious, dark chocolate” that he eats very slowly, savoring every bite. Ornish’s most recent book, The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health, gives people more latitude in choosing what foods to eat or exercise plans to follow. In some ways, it’s an answer to those who felt his original program—especially the restrictive, low-fat diet—was too stringent.

Ornish acknowledges that “change is hard for anybody at any age.” But feeling better is the key to sustaining change, he adds. For people with aches and pains, he suggests using National Yoga Month to “try yoga every day for a week. At the end of that week, most people will feel improvement.”

Even more importantly, the good feeling people will get from doing yoga will make them want to do it more, he says. “And you’ll do it not because some book or doctor told you to, but because it comes out of your own experience.”

Courtesy of AARP

Grilled Zucchini Rolls

Ingredients
3 small zucchini (about 1/2 pound each), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/16 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 1/2 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 ounces bagged baby spinach (2 cups lightly packed)
1/3 cup basil leaves

Preparation
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium. Discard the outermost slices of zucchini; brush the rest with oil on both sides. Sprinkle the zucchini slices with salt and pepper. Grill until tender, about 4 minutes per side. You can prepare the zucchini a day ahead and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, parsley, and lemon juice, mashing together with a fork. Put 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture about 1/2 inch from the end of a zucchini slice. Top with a few spinach leaves and a small (or half of a large) basil leaf. Roll up and place seam side down on a platter. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices. You can make these up to a day in advance; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Courtesy of Health.com

“Make Your Family Stories Come to Life” by Amy Goyer

When my granddaddy, C.V., was a young man, he was quite the tough dude. He grew up on a farm in Kokomo, Ind., and worked at the Haynes Auto Co. But he had an adventurous soul.

He joined the Army in World War I (and later the Army Air Corps, which became the Air Force), worked on the railroads, homesteaded in Wyoming, was a bodyguard for the owner of the Studebaker Corp., ran a Civilian Conservation Corps camp during the Great Depression, and had a career in the Air Force, which took him to Germany and Japan.

In retirement, he considered himself an armchair coach for Notre Dame (when I was young, I really thought he had some sort of an official role with the Fighting Irish coaching staff), shoveled a heck of a lot of snow in South Bend (when he was 96, one of his neighbors told me he went to shovel a foot of snow on Granddaddy’s walk at 8 a.m. one day, but Granddaddy had already done it), and bowled in a league into his mid-90s. He was bigger than life, and stories flowed from him like milk from a cow, as he would say. At the drop of a hat, he’d launch into a spirited description of one adventure or another.

Granddaddy passed on many years ago, but I still remember many of his stories. I learned about my family history through them. Why did they stick with me so well? In addition to the colorful language he frequently inserted, he had a way of painting a picture with his words and really getting our attention with his voice, his face and his actions and a few props thrown in here and there. And he had fun with it.

He didn’t just tell me that he worked on the railroad. He described how fast the train between Chicago and Pittsburgh went and showed me how he’d stand up—plastered against the wall—while trying to sort the mail. He included just enough detail to make it real but not so much that it got boring. Believe me, no one could ever describe Granddaddy as boring.

When he told me about the time he and his family went across the creek to visit friends, and he and a neighbor girl snuck out to the summer house to eat all the whipped cream, I asked him if they hightailed it ‘outta there to avoid getting in trouble. “Oh no,” he said, “We stuck around … but I bet that girl got in a heap of trouble after we left!” And he’d hoot and holler. He got such a kick out of his stories that no one else could help but have fun with them too. And from his description, I could taste that fresh whipped cream and feel how he must have felt to get away with eating all of it!

But he also taught me lessons about life.

When he was a soldier in World War I, describing how hot it was in training camp one day, he remembered that one of his buddies wasn’t keeping up with the platoon, so he carried his buddy’s gun for him. In telling the story, he grabbed a wooden spoon and acted the whole thing out. I could just see the sweat pouring down their young faces.

Did he lecture me about being a loyal friend? No way. But you’d better believe I got the message from his story.

He taught me about “family values” when he proudly told me about the way his family took my grandmother in when he brought her back to Indiana from Wyoming by joking about the fact he thought they were happier to see her than him. He taught me about tenacity and not giving up by describing the way he had to hang from the wing of an early airplane to balance it out when it landed on a dirt field with a blown tire—although he always said he wasn’t sure if it was survival instinct or stupidity.

And he taught me about love when my grandmother developed Alzheimer’s Disease. He told me stories about how cute she was when he met her at 17 and that she was just as cute at 82—and stories about the way he had just recently figured out how to coax her up the stairs at night more easily, or about the night he figured out that she could still sing hymns with him even though she couldn’t talk. Granddaddy never stopped telling me stories until he died at age 98.

I’m lucky to have a strong tradition of storytelling on all sides of my family, and I’d bet you do, too. Storytelling traditions are common across all cultures and ethnicities. Through stories, we can share family history, talk about things that are difficult or scary to address, and share good or even sad memories.

Everyone has stories to tell, and we all need to tell them. Some people, like my Granddaddy, seem to be natural storytellers, some are even professional storytellers. But you don’t have to be either one to be a good storyteller.

Keep it simple, make it fun, paint a picture with your words and actions, and let the stories tell themselves!

Courtesy of AARP

Habits for Healthy Living

Do you feel as good now as you did at age 40? At age 50?
If the answer is no, read on. You might be able to feel as good as you used to (or even better) by picking up a few new healthy habits. It may seem like more trouble than it’s worth to start doing something new. However, even small changes can improve your health. One small change you can make is to add some activity to your daily life. Another is to add more fiber to your diet.

What if I’ve never been very active? Will starting now really make a difference?
Yes! Physical activity is good for people at any age. Among older adults, falls are a common cause of injury and disability. Physical activity makes your bones and muscles stronger. When your muscles are strong, you’re less likely to fall. If you do fall, strong bones are less likely to break. Regular physical activity is also good for your brain. Studies have shown that people who do simple exercises (for example, walking briskly) on a regular basis are better able to make decisions than people who aren’t physically active.

I haven’t been physically active in a long time. I’m afraid I’ll get hurt when I start.
From diabetes to heart disease, many chronic (ongoing) health problems are improved by even moderate amounts of physical activity. For people who have these conditions, a lack of exercise is a bigger risk than an exercise-related injury. Talk with your doctor about your plans before you get started. Your muscles will very likely be sore when you first increase your physical activity, but don’t consider that a reason to stop. Mild soreness will go away in a few days as you become more used to exercise.

What’s the best way to get physically active now?
For most people, walking is one of the easiest activities to do. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week, but you don’t have to do all 30 minutes at once. Try walking for 15 minutes twice each day or for 10 minutes 3 times each day. People who have started being physically active later in life say that exercising with a partner is motivation to stick with it. Some suggest starting or joining a walking group with friends or neighbors. Others suggest getting a dog that needs to be walked. If walking isn’t your idea of a good time, try gardening or dancing. Go fishing or swimming. The activity can be both enjoyable and good for you.

What about strength training?
When your muscles are strong, activities like getting out of a chair or holding a door open are much easier. If you decide to lift weights, start with a 1-pound or 5-pound weight. If you don’t have weights, you can use a can of soup, a book or a full bottle of water. Keep your weights in the same room as your television and do a few exercises while you watch. Another way to build muscle is to use a resistance band (also called an exercise band). Resistance bands are flexible and come in different lengths. They are commonly used to strengthen upper arm and leg muscles.

Why should I eat more fiber?
Fiber can improve your health in 3 ways:
1.It helps your colon work better
2.It reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer
3.It may help lower your cholesterol level

Men over 50 years of age should get 30 grams of fiber per day; women over 50 should get 21 grams per day.

I don’t want to start eating healthy food. How can I get more fiber without changing my diet completely?
You don’t have to change your diet all at once. Try making 1 small change at a time. For example, if you eat 2 slices of white toast for breakfast, replace 1 of them with a slice of whole grain bread. If you drink orange juice every day, eat an orange instead for 3 days of the week. If you prefer salty snacks, try low-fat popcorn instead of potato chips.

Some people find it helpful to focus on adding a single high-fiber food (see the box below) at each meal or snack time.

Foods rich in fiber
•Unprocessed wheat bran
•Unrefined breakfast cereals
•Whole wheat and rye flours
•Grainy breads, such as whole wheat, rye or pumpernickel
•Fresh fruits, such as apples, berries and pears
•Dried fruits, such as prunes, apricots and figs
•Vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots and green peas
•Legumes, such as chickpeas, baked beans and navy beans

Fruits and vegetables are a great healthy addition to your diet. Not only are they high in fiber, but they are also high in other vitamins and minerals.

I often have a hard time sticking with something, even when I know it’s a good thing to do.
How active you are and what you eat are habits. Adopting healthy habits can be tough at first. But by starting small and rewarding yourself for each step you take, you can make a difference in how good you feel. You may find it easier to be more physically active and eat more fiber if you think of every day and every meal as a chance to do something good for yourself.

Courtesy of FamilyDoctor.org