Why You Should Improve Your Diet a Little Every Day

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Sticking to a diet can be challenging, but not impossible. It’s important to take the right steps if you are considering making an impactful change in your diet. This will not be an overnight process and will take a daily commitment to follow these dietary steps. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide three steps to improve your eating habits.

Step 1: Reflect

In this step you will reflect on all your eating habits that are both good and bad.

  1. Create a list of your eating and drinking habits.
    • Have a food and beverage diary where you can record everything you eat and drink for a few days. Here is an app that would be helpful to track your habits: https://www.loseit.com/
  2. Once you have identified your unhealthy eating habits, then you will pick out a few habits that you would like to start working on.
  3. Identify when and where you are eating when you are not actually hungry. These will be referred to as your triggers. Examples of triggers would be:
    • Swinging through your favorite drive-through every morning
    • Feeling bored or tired
    • Sitting at home watching television
  4. Ask yourself these questions:
    • Is there anything I can do to avoid the situation?
    • For things I can’t avoid, can I do something differently that would be healthier?

You won’t be able to avoid every situation that triggers your unhealthy eating habits. You will need to evaluate your options.

If you want to be successful, you should have a clear vision of what the result will be if you change your eating habits. The long-term benefits of healthy eating include:

  • Living longer
  • Healthier skin, teeth, and eyes
  • Supports muscles
  • Boosts immunity
  • Strengthens bones
  • Lowers risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
  • Supports healthy pregnancies and breastfeeding
  • Helps the digestive system function
  • Helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight

Step 2: Replace

The next step is to replace your unhealthy habits with new, healthy ones. A couple examples of new habits you could implement is eating more slowly, eating only when you’re truly hungry or planning meals ahead of time.

There are a variety of tools you can use to help you along this journey:

  • SuperCook: Finds recipes from cooking websites that match the ingredients that you already have in your pantry.

Step 3: Reinforce

Reinforce these new healthy habits a little every day and be patient with yourself. Starting a new habit will take time and it’s important to not get discouraged! Recognize any unhealthy habits that may still be hard to overcome and ask yourself why it’s hard to quit and how to change that behavior.

We Can Help You

Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. We also have health coaches available that can help you explore different dietary choices.

Resources

Improving Your Eating Habits | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity | CDC

National Pharmacist Day

Today is January 12th which means it’s National Pharmacist Day! The traditional pharmacist was seen as someone who only dispensed pills. However, pharmacists do much more than dispense pills. They are medication experts that have a wealth of knowledge to assist patients with safe medication use, potential drug interactions as well as preventative services and over the counter medications.

Why is Today Important?

Here are a few reasons that the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy gave about why pharmacists are a vital part of our community:

Pharmacists are easily accessible

Pharmacists are accessible to talk to you anytime of the week, without an appointment. They do dispense pills, but they can also provide services such as asthma care, blood pressure monitoring services, cholesterol screening, diabetes disease management, smoking cessation consultation, bone density scans for osteoporosis screening, anticoagulation management clinics and more. 

Pharmacists work alongside your physician

Pharmacists communicate with your physicians to ensure that you are on the proper medications and avoid any harmful effects. They can provide the proper management for chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, etc. 

Pharmacists take a whole patient into consideration

Since pharmacists are medication experts, they can improve medication adherence. They take into consideration many factors that affect a patient’s ability to take a medication. These include diet, lifestyle, transportation, language barriers and much more.

We want to say a big THANK YOU to all pharmacists! Don’t forget to say thank you to your pharmacist today. Today we express to them how much we appreciate their dedication to keep us healthy and educated on our medications.

4 Interesting Facts about Pharmacists

  • Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Ginger Ale were all invented by pharmacists.
  • Benjamin Franklin is considered the founding father of pharmacy.
  • Chris Hemsworth worked in a pharmacy before he became famous.
  • Agatha Christie was a pharmacy technician and used her experiences as inspiration for her mystery novels.

How Tria Health Pharmacists Can Help You

Tria Health was founded on the belief that pharmacists play a vital role in the management of high-risk patients that drive most of the health care spend. Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program provides one-on-one confidential counseling with a Tria Pharmacist. Your pharmacist will review how effective your medications are in treating your conditions. Your Tria Pharmacist will work with you and your physicians to reduce the risk of medication-related problems.

Want to Learn More about Tria Health Pharmacists?

Call us toll-free at 1.888.799.8742 or visit our website at www.triahealth.com.

Sources:

  1. 8 Interesting Pharmacy Facts (pharmacytimes.com)
  2. NATIONAL PHARMACIST DAY – January 12, 2022 – National Today
  3. Top Ten Reasons to Become a Pharmacist | AACP

How to Start AND Finish Your 2022 New Year’s Resolution

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Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution hoping that this year would be different than the last?

Maybe you had a goal to go to the gym every evening after work but have found yourself too tired and indulging in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream on the couch.

It’s a big step to change something about your normal lifestyle. You only become more of the person you are today, so make a change– and let Tria Health help you!

Before You Make a Resolution

Have you ever asked yourself why we make resolutions?

Resolutions originate way back to 4,000 years ago during the Babylonians period. They would hold celebrations for the new year. During these celebrations, they would crown a new king or reaffirm loyalty to the reigning king, then make promises to the gods to pay their debts. The Babylonians believed that if they kept their word, their gods would allow favor on their life for the coming year. Over the years, the term “New Year’s resolution” became a more popular term to communicate how the new year would bring new beginnings and commitments that we want to change.

The Babylonians had a clear reason behind their promises (resolutions). Before you make a resolution, take time to discover why you want to make this change and what it means to you and your lifestyle.

Where to Start

To start off being successful in your resolution, you should set specific goals. A great method to use is the SMART goals method. SMART goals help you to identify the clear results that you are working to achieve.

S – Specific: What will be accomplished? What actions will you take?

M – Measurable: What data will measure the goal? (How much? How well?)

A – Achievable: Is the goal doable? Do you have the necessary skills and resources?

R – Relevant: How does the goal align with the broader goals? Why is the result important?

T – Time-Bound: What is the time frame for accomplishing the goal?

This layout should give you a clear vision of what you hope to achieve, and a plan mapped out of how to get to that result.

Find a Community

It’s important to not embark on this journey alone. You will want people that will reach out to you and challenge you and encourage you to keep going toward your goal.

If you need an incentive to keep yourself committed to your goal, you can go to www.stickK.com. StickK is a website where you can make a financial pledge that you’ll lose if you don’t reach your goal. They offer communities to join with similar goals and several tools to keep you on track towards your goal.

What If You Fail? Try, Try Again

This is not going to be an easy journey and challenges will arise. You may miss a day, fall back into old habits, or simply just want to give up. Whatever the case may be, try not to be too hard on yourself.

Here are a few ways to be kind to yourself and not put yourself down:

  • Instead of “I blew it. What’s the point now?”

…say, “That was a bad decision, but a good learning opportunity. What’s my next step?”

  • Instead of, “My legs are SO sore. I can’t possibly work out today”

…say, “Let’s give my leg muscles a rest today. What can I do to work my arms?”

or: “Of course my muscles are sore. They’re supposed to be. It will get easier.”

  • Instead of, “This is too hard!”

…say, “Making it through today is going to really build my confidence.”

Tria Health Can Help

Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. Tria Health will assist you in identifying any possible drug interactions or savings opportunities! Your pharmacist will work with you and your doctor(s) to ensure the intended outcomes from your medications are being received.

Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Resources

Exploring the history behind New Year’s Resolutions (trafalgar.com)

New Year’s Resolutions: When Did They Start? | Merriam-Webster

University of California I SMART Goals: A How to Guide

Pharmacist Spotlight: Lainey Ruby

Meet Lainey Ruby! Lainey is one of our talented clinical pharmacists and this month we would like to spotlight her.

Specialty: Lainey’s specialty as a clinical pharmacist is chronic condition management. She also has an interest in mental health and diabetes management.

Favorite part about working at Tria Health: here are many things Lainey enjoys about working at Tria Health. Ultimately, she loves working directly with patients to help improve their medications and health conditions. She especially love educating on non-pharmacologic therapy and lifestyle changes, which are used in conjunction with medications to help improve their conditions.

Career Goals: Within next year, Lainey plans to complete requirements for Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Outside of work, Lainey plans on marrying her fiancé in June, they have been together for about 7-8 years! She also enjoy spending time outside, especially with her german shepherd dogs. Lainey’s favorite part of the summer is taking our dogs to the lake and watching them run and jump off the dock to swim.

National Cholesterol Education Month

Image Source: Canva

Did you know that high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States? In honor of National Cholesterol Education Month, learn about the dangers of high cholesterol.

Good vs. Bad Cholesterol

The two main types of cholesterol are high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Lipoproteins are made of fat and proteins. Cholesterol moves through your body while inside lipoproteins.

  • LDL (Bad) Cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein is known as “bad cholesterol” because it takes cholesterol to your arteries.3 Plaque buildup narrows arteries and raises the risk for heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease.
  • HDL (Good) Cholesterol: High-density lipoprotein is known as “good cholesterol” because it transports cholesterol to your liver to be expelled from your body.3 HDL can help decrease the risk of heart disease.

Causes of High Cholesterol

There are a few lifestyle factors that may cause high cholesterol. Behaviors that can negatively affect your cholesterol levels are an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, smoking or obesity. Unfortunately, high cholesterol usually has no symptoms. It’s important as an adult (age 20+) to get tested once every 4 to 6 years.5

Misconceptions About Cholesterol

  • Misconception: You don’t need your cholesterol checked until middle age.2
    • Fact: The American Heart Association recommends all adults 20 and older have their cholesterol checked every four to six years.2
  • Misconception: Thin people don’t have high cholesterol.2
    • Fact: While overweigh people are more likely to have high cholesterol, thin people can also be affected.2
  • Misconception: With medications, no lifestyle changes are needed.2
    • Fact: Medications can help control cholesterol levels, but diet and lifestyle changes are the best way to reduce heart disease and stroke risk.2
  • Misconception: If the Nutrition Facts label shows no cholesterol, the food is “heart healthy.”2
    • Fact: A lot of times foods that are marked as “low cholesterol” have high levels of saturated or trans-fat, which raise cholesterol.2

Treatment of High Cholesterol

Working with your health care provider can lower your cholesterol, which will reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Lifestyle changes such as eating a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding tobacco and losing weight (if overweight or obese) are all things that can lower your cholesterol. However, these lifestyle changes may not work for everyone, in which case, there are many medications available. Statins are recommended for most patients, but your doctor may consider other options as well.

Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

Sources:

  1. national-cholesterol-education-month-ucm_500458.pdf (heart.org)
  2. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol/common-misconceptions-about-cholesterol#.WaYA_BjMwdU
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/hdl-vs-ldl-cholesterol#hdl-vs-ldl
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/symptoms-causes/syc-20350800
  5. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/how-to-get-your-cholesterol-tested