Monthly Archives: March 2012

What’s for dinner tonight? How about the B.B.B… Black Bean Burger!

Homemade black bean burgers make a delicious vegetarian meal that’s cheap, easy and healthy. Black beans are more than just a meat substitute… they are high in fiber and antioxidants to help you keep a good waistline and prevent diseases.  Vegetarian or not — you want to include beans in your diet. The bottom line is that they are a protein rich superfood!

VEGAN BLACK BEAN BURGER RECIPE

Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup of corn, drained and rinsed from the can

2 slices of bread that are crumbled

½ cup of crumbled crackers

¼ cup of finely chopped onion

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

2 teaspoons of chili powder

¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper

2 teaspoons of olive oil

Steps:

Drain and rinse the can of black beans and corn. In a large bowl, mash the black beans but leave half of the black beans in their original bean form (un-mashed). In the large bowl, mix the black beans, corn, onion, chili powder and garlic powder. Then mix in the crumbled crackers. With your hand, divide the black bean burger mixture up into four parts. Form the mixture into 2 inch thick burger patties and set aside. You should have about 4-6 burgers from the mixture.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Carefully place burger patties unto the skillet. Heat each side of the burger patty for about 5 minutes. Be very careful when flipping burger patties. The burgers will hold together, but they have a tendency to crumble if handled too much or too roughly. Make sure each side of the burger patty is slightly brown. Add salt and pepper when burgers are finished.

Place your black bean burger on a bun, of your choice and garnish with your favorite burger toppings. We recommend adding a tomato, lettuce, spicy mustard, ketchup and an onion roll as your bun.

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College Students Should Make Exercise A Habit

Having exercise as a habit means never thinking twice about working out!

Recently the Founder and CEO of Collegiate Risk Management, Vonda White gave advice to Pretty Hard Work on how to get motivated to work out. Working out is very important for being healthy and succeeding in college… so here’s the scoop on exercise motivation.

First off — Here’s some insight on Ms. White. Vonda not only started the successful student health insurance company, Collegiate Risk Management in 1996, she has also become a success coach and author. Her book, Success Against the Odds and Success Planner have helped others turn their dreams into reality. She strives to inspire and help others achieve their goals through her effective goal-getter process. Learn more here!

In the article on Pretty Hard Work, Vonda explains how the best way to get motivated to work out is by making it a daily habit. You want to stop saying that you “should” work out and just start doing it one day. It only takes 21 days to have a new positive habit, after all! So decide right now when, where and how you will work out regularly.

Try looking at exercise like school — you have a set schedule on when and where your classes are that you can’t change. If you skip class, you’ll miss valuable information that may hurt your grade or even worse… your future. Therefore slacking off isn’t even an option — You work hard and finish strong with positive results!

Don’t waste another minute of wishing you were fit. See below how to get motivated and make exercise a habit!

So… what motivates you to work out?

Not all doctors see eye to eye

Not all eye doctors are created equal!

An optometrist, also commonly referred to as an “eye doctor”, is not a physician, but rather a trained professional licensed to examine patients for visual defects, and to prescribe glasses and contact lenses.  The glasses themselves, are made by an optician.  An optometrist usually offers a lower examination fee that an ophthalmologist.  If you’re healthy, have no insurance, and only need a pair of glasses, see your local optometrist (or the one employed at your local superstore).

However, if you have a medical problem, it may cost you less to see an ophthalmologist.  Ophthalmologists are physicians trained in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye, including cataracts, glaucoma, or problems resulting from diabetes or high blood pressure.  Ophthalmologists prescribe eye medications and perform eye surgery, but often prescribe eyeglasses or contacts as well.  Ophthalmologists are covered under your insurance (including Medicare) the same as any other specialist, such as a cardiologist.  (Traditional Medicare does not cover optometrists).  Any person who has high blood pressure or diabetes has a valid reason to see an ophthalmologist.

Physicians and optometrists both refer to ophthalmologists for a variety for conditions including certain infections, injuries to the eye, uncorrectable visual problems, lazy eye, glaucoma, cataracts, persistent styes, macular degeneration, diabetic or hypertensive retinopathy, iritis, and droopy eyelids.

Even if you have no disease of the eye other than poor vision, your insurance may cover a visit to a medical eye doctor.  Again, check your policy first for coverage, and your list of covered physicians (ophthalmologists), optometrists and opticians.  Hopefully this information will help you see your way to savings.

CRM Tip: Most student plans do not cover anything but injury or disease of the eye, so you may need to purchase a separate “Vision Insurance Plan” for help with paying for your glasses or contacts. These are very inexpensive and can cost as little as $15 for a discount vision plan through Co-Health USA. Visit the products page on our website to check it out!

It never hurts to ask

Overall, doctors are a compassionate group.  They became doctors to help people after all.  Given the right circumstances, most would consider granting a discount.  However, before you ask, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, your doctor may have already discounted their fee without you even asking.  Perhaps they only charged you for ten minutes of their time when you have taken thirty. The receptionist may be able to tell you if this is so, or could apprise you of your doctor’s usual and customary charges.

And, a word about co-pays.  Your doctor is required by law and contract to collect these payments.  Under most co-pay situations the fee has already been “adjusted” downwards by 20 to 50 percent.  If a doctor charges you say, $100, insurance often knocks that down to about $65, the remaining $35 simply disappearing as a “negotiated” adjustment.  Of the remaining $65 a good $40 goes to overhead (staff, rent, utilities, malpractice insurance, equipment, etc.).  If your insurance pays $40 of the $65 negotiated fee, that leaves your $25 co-pay to cover the doctor’s time with you.  These “negotiated fees” have dropped so low that many doctors are finding it difficult to stay in business.

In summary, if you have financial concerns, talk to your doctor about a discount.  Some doctors offer small billing discount for cash up front and others allow interest-free monthly payments.

Also, check out your Health Center on campus!  Health Centers have doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners who can care for you at a discount.  Student Health Centers are great place for SAVINGS!

CRM Tip: Be reasonable, but it never hurts to ask!