Identifying Different Types of Headaches

If you're reading this, you might be one of the 35 million Americans who suffer from one of several different types of headaches, according to information provided by The Migraine Institute, and you are looking for answers. In fact, you have come to the right place to learn more about this condition and understand how, when, and why your head hurts, and what you can do to avoid it. (more…)

The top five most common accidents in the US

Accidents happen when we least expect them, and most people don't have the savings to face them if they occur. That's why it is important to consider life insurance, which works as a backup in case of an incident. Since these types of situations could be just around the corner, let's take a look at the top five most common accidents in the US. (more…)

Depression After Retirement and What You Can do to Overcome it

According to the World Health Organization, over 20% of adults aged 60+ suffer from a mental or neurological disorder, and among the most common is depression, which is often caused by retirement and the loneliness that it entails. (more…)

Quitting Smoking and Your Life Insurance Premiums

When it comes to smoking and life insurance premiums, they don’t mix well. As any smoker can tell you, applying for life insurance with a smoking habit leads to two things: a denial of coverage or, more commonly, very high premiums. 

While these outcomes are common for smokers in the market for life insurance, there are other options available that can get them the coverage they need easier, mainly no medical life insurance plans. But, in the long run, quitting this risky habit will be better for not only your life insurance premiums but your health overall.

Today we are taking a look at the steps you can take to kick the smoking habit. We’ll provide some easy to follow tips and guides to make quitting smoking easier so you’ll have a much smoother experience when it comes time to apply for coverage. (more…)

Detox cure: lose weight after the holidays

Did you eat and drink well during this holiday season? If so, great! But you may notice that your mouth is dry and find yourself thinking, "Why am I always thirsty?" This is because you have too much sugar and salt in your blood! And it's the perfect time to start a detox after the holidays. So how exactly do you clean your body naturally and lose weight after time off during the holiday season?

This article will give you tips for detoxifying the liver, shedding these holiday pounds, and adopting good new habits. You will learn how to lose weight after the holidays and improve your general health in the long term.

1- Gently revive your digestive system

You may feel that your body is numb, heavy, and you have trouble motivating yourself to move. The thing is, the less you do, the less you'll want to do. The trick is to make you want to move again and energize your body with two simple but useful tips.

Start with a vinegar cure for a few days. It is a simple grandmother's remedy to cleanse the liver very effectively, allowing you to quickly regain energy. Vinegar has the power to activate genes that produce potent enzymes that advise the body to break down fat. So start a little vinegar cure after Christmas. Dilute 15ml of apple cider vinegar each day in a glass of water and drink this each morning on an empty stomach. If the taste is really too strong for you, add some juice of half a lemon, or soak mint leaves in water the night before.

Here is another recipe. Instead of drinking coffee to wake you up in the morning afterwards, you could drink this very energizing and detoxifying drink: the mixture of lemon juice, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a teaspoon of ginger. With its citric acid, lemon stimulates gastric juices. The cayenne powder will increase your metabolism and your body's ability to burn calories and fat. Excellent for the immune system, this herbal tea stimulates the digestive system and will be perfect for eliminating the weight and fat you could have gained during the holidays.

2- Move to lose those extra pounds

Now that you have lightened your stomach and feel more energized, it is time to practice some exercise to help your body shed those extra pounds. The lungs and skin are two waste disposal organs that you can easily stimulate: a simple walk can be physical exercise and make you sweat a bit!

Our body is made up of 70% liquid, and fluid retention can create a lot of discomforts: heavy legs, listlessness, heart problems, cellulitis, swollen limbs... If you work seated, haven’t been very active, or you watch a lot of television in your off time, you should take all the opportunities you can to get moving and increase the circulation of these fluids:

- Dance with the kids during commercials

- Walk 30 minutes a day, even if it's around the house block

- Go up and down the stairs a maximum number of times during your lunch break

Finally, plan a hammam or sauna session to help your skin sweat and eliminate toxins for the less courageous.

3- Choose proteins to lose weight

Supporting your body with herbal tea to eliminate is excellent, but the best thing is to put your strained digestive system to rest a bit during the holidays. Indeed, it is now necessary to reduce the quantity and the heaviness of the food to be digested. And yes, red meats, for example, are heavy to digest for your bowels.

Why not take a break from animal protein? How about adopting a vegetarian diet just for a week? Choose leguminous plants:

- Green and coral lentils

- Split peas,

- Chickpeas,

- Red beans,

- Gourgane,

- Doliques,

- Mung bean,

- Lupine.

Rinse them very well for several minutes underwater and cook them well so that they are easily digestible. You can cook them Asian style with a wok, smash them with vegetables or sprinkle them in your soup.

Here is a tip: dried fruits or vegetables cut into cubes will give a tangy flavour to the dish. I will enhance the taste and provide some pasty texture to the sauce.

Other sources of vegetable proteins are available you may not know:



- Cashew nuts.

It is essential to increase the portions of proteins to quickly reduce the amounts of slow and fast sugars. Proteins give a feeling of fullness more quickly. Cutting back on sugars will ease your stomach, help your liver cleanse itself, and shed the holiday pounds.

In general, increase the portions of steamed vegetables to replenish vitamins and minerals. The fibres contained in the vegetables will promote transit.

Avoid any quick sugar and replace them with seasonal fruits. For complex carbohydrates, slow sugars, you can eat them in the morning by opting for whole or semi-whole bread and cheese. They will provide you with fibre and protein to start the day on a healthy basis.

In the evening, remove all starchy foods and opt for soups and vegetable purees. Go for green vegetables as they fight acidity. You will wake up more energized day after day.

4.Fantastic flavonoids and where to find them

As you know, vegetables contain fibres, which fill the stomach while activating disgestion. But some vegetables contain flavonoids, which are your allies for your shape. Flavonoids are naturally present in plant based foods, and these molecules help burn body fat.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who consumed the highest amount of flavonoids saw better stabilization of their BMI (Body Mass Index) over 14 years, compared to those who consumed less.

Flavonoids can also increase energy expenditure and the absorption of glucose by the muscles.

Where can you find these magic substances? You'll find them in garlic, spinach, broccoli, artichokes, onions, and leeks.

And good news, you will also find these slimming molecules in certain fruits, which will help you with your sugar cravings:

- Apples,

- Grapes,

- Red fruits (pomegranate, blackcurrant, strawberry, blueberry)

- Oranges,

- Pears.

Finally, drink more tea. Tea is rich in flavonoids and very good for your shape after the holidays. You will discover it in the rest of this article.

5. Stimulate your liver, a critical organ of our metabolism.

Do you know that the liver is a vital organ as essential as our lungs and heart? It performs over 800 functions and is the key organ to a successful detox. It filters the blood, synthesizes protein and stores vitamins and iron as well as your excess fat.

We don't talk much about taking care of the liver ... until we are sick. Yet, it is perhaps the organ that suffers the most during the holiday season.

To relieve your fatty liver after the holidays, take a break from alcohol. Alcohol is loaded with fast sugars and blocks the assimilation of minerals, which would nevertheless be good for your body during this winter period!

So drink plenty of water and green tea. And here is a little tip that will delight tea lovers. A study published in May 2015 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that green tea is not only an antioxidant but helps you lose weight faster, especially if you exercise right after. "Catechins speed up metabolism and the rate at which the body burns fat," says Kevin C Maki, director of this study. So drink a large cup of non-decaffeinated green tea before going for a walk!

Certain foods will stimulate your liver and protect it if you deviate from your diet:

- Garlic,

- Broccoli,

- Beets,

- Artichoke,

- Black radish,

- Lemon,

- Basilic,

- Turmeric,

- Spinach,

- Calf's or beef's liver.

Another tip: the liver works better with heat. Place a hot water bottle on it to support it in its efforts. For your information, this essential organ for losing your pounds is located right below your right breast.

6- Sleep well to lose weight. 

Adequate sleep is restorative: this is the time when your body is fully regenerating. And if you sleep poorly, your body cannot eliminate the materials it no longer needs, and it cannot do its renewing job.

Watch the times when you wake up at night. According to Chinese medicine, it can give you an indication of the organ that is suffering:

- Between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., it's the gall bladder.

- Between 1 and 3 a.m., it is the liver.

- Between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., it is the lungs.

- Between 5 and 7 a.m., it is the large intestine.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published in November 2014 found that a lack of sleep impacts our metabolism and eating habits negatively.

First, if you are tired, you will tend to eat sugary foods. And that sugar craving is precisely what you need to fight and prevent!

Imagine that sleep and relaxation are like food for the brain. Lack of sleep leads to a spike in cortisol. This hormone born from stress ignites the signal in your brain to keep fat to cope with the unexpected.

Lack of sleep also interferes with insulin management. And when your body doesn't respond well to insulin, it has difficulty processing the sugars in your bloodstream. And it ends up storing them as fat.

Sleep well to let your body do its job at night, have fewer food compulsions, and lose weight after the holidays.

To let go of all the tension and slip into sleep more easily, take a shower before bed, cleaning your skin well (face and feet included) to relieve the skin, which also does its cleaning job every night. Turn off all screens a few hours before going to sleep and read a book instead.

7. To lose pounds, we keep good habits!

After all, alcohol or sugar are not vital food. We can live without those 2 ingredients. We recommend you to eliminate them once and for all because the problem with detox cures is that after cleansing the body, we tend to overindulge! Keep on taking care of yourself and enjoy the positive effects in the longer term. And don't forget, summer is coming soon. So now that you've made some good habits stick to them. Especially since you have a reward. Indeed, by showing your willingness to take care of yourself and remain healthy, you could benefit from lower life insurance rates. And you have undoubtedly seen the difference in a few weeks in your physical form: prettier and clearer skin, stronger nails and hair, more energy too ...

We encourage you to embrace this new lifestyle for good and enjoy the long term positive effects. And again, the immediate positive impact is savings because you pay lower premiums.

8- Help your mind to lose weight

One of the easiest ways to gain weight is neglecting our mental state. Stress produces cortisol, the hormone you read above that can be very harmful to your metabolism.

Have a look at what is stressing you and how you could fix it. After all, the New Year is the perfect time to make new resolutions! By becoming aware of sources of stress around you, you can make better choices.

Start this New Year by mentally preparing yourself for success. For this new year, choose to see the glass half full, that this year will be much better than the last. Also, acknowledge your efforts to lead a healthier life.

A positive outlook on life will impact your brain chemistry, which you now know can handle your ability to gain weight or lose weight.

Recognize also all the positive aspects of your life. A happy body will be more able to cope with illness, and you will have much less craving for treats.

So to release stress and prevent the production of cortisol, you have five allies:

- Breathing,

- Contact with nature,

- Sport,

- New perspectives,,

- Act and take action.

But one of the most significant sources of stress you can have is the unknown. This year has brought its share of difficulties and has undoubtedly proved that it is good to have a plan B. Do you have a plan B? Do your personal finances allow your family to be safe for some time if something happens to you?

Our advisors can give you a free estimate once you have completed the short form. We wish to serve you for the rest of the year and beyond in helping you protect your loved ones and be sure that everything will be fine, even if you are no longer there.


Written by Diane Taes

8 Tips to stay healthy during cold weather

As the first snowflake falls, there is a top priority on everyone’s mind: staying healthy during cold weather. And this year, in the midst of a global pandemic, it seems even more important than usual.

If we are often worried about catching viruses that cause colds and the flu, this year we have COVID-19 to add to the list. Considering that, prioritizing both our physical and mental health is a must for the next months, just like staying vigilant of our family’s well being.

While the cold settles in the streets little by little, making concerns grow with it, it is normal that you find yourself meditating on some questions.

Should I take special supplements to boost my immune system?
Should I exercise more often?
How can I boost my physical and mental wellbeing during these next months? 

In addition to avoiding risk factors, many preventative health practices can boost your immune system and keep you feeling wholesome. Here is our list of eight tips to stay healthy during cold weather:

1. Follow a healthy diet

We know that Winter makes comfort food feel more tempting than ever. Chicken and waffles, mac and cheese, pizza, cheeseburgers… All these sound like the perfect dish to warm up a movie night at home. However, during this season, it is essential to commit to a diet that boosts your immune system.

During the colder months, the body needs to fight off colds and flu while also getting a reasonable amount of energy to get through the low temperatures. For that purpose, root vegetables (such as carrots, radish, potatoes, and onions) are an excellent choice that allows you to make delicious soups and stews. Fruits rich in vitamin C are also a must (like oranges, guava, kiwi, and cranberries), along with iron-rich foods, such as beans, seafood, quinoa, and red meat. Finally, to boost your immune system, don’t forget to integrate a lot of broccoli, garlic, spinach, ginger, and yogurt into your diet. In short, ingredients rich in vitamins, zinc, iron, omega-3, and antioxidants should be a top priority.

2. Exercise often

Let’s be honest: shorter days and colder weather is the perfect recipe for staying at home, Netflixing & chilling. But the truth is that, in order to stay healthy in winter, it is essential to exercise regularly. And by regularly, we mean about 30 to 60 minutes per day, as the bare minimum. Besides helping your immune system keep you healthy, exercising is also a great tool to reduce stress and brighten up your mood - two things that are also quite important during the colder and darker months.

If you are not accustomed to exercising, the best way to start doing it is to find an activity you enjoy and incorporate it into your routine. From a brisk morning walk around the park to a small cycling tour after work, there are plenty of options for you to incorporate into your daily life. And if you have no desire to head outdoors for your workout, worry not: the online world is full of resources for people like you! From yoga to strength training and aerobics, you can find all sorts of videos and guides across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. There are no excuses not to get moving!

3. Don’t skip doctor visits

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are avoiding going to the doctor for all sorts of reasons. However, skipping routine screenings and doctor’s appointments can put you at higher risk of becoming ill.

Screenings and occasional check-ups are essential for maintaining overall health and catching problems early when they are most treatable. Moreover, if you suffer from a pre-existing condition (like heart problems, diabetes, or asthma), are pregnant, or have been dealing with symptoms for a while, this is even more important.  It can be challenging to address various health care needs during a pandemic, but you should never skip necessary appointments or ignore persistent symptoms.

If you don’t feel comfortable about making an in-person visit to the doctor, you can make an online appointment as an alternative. This year, prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual health care services got more popular and reliable than ever. From specialist doctors to therapists and nutritionists, you can receive all sorts of remote healthcare services without stepping foot in a hospital or clinic. But remember: not all conditions can be treated online. If a doctor asks you to make an in-person visit or exam, you should follow the instructions.

4. Get your flu shot

It is hard to stay healthy during cold weather. Each Winter, millions are diagnosed with the seasonal flu, causing thousands of hospitalizations and flu-related deaths. As the flu virus mutates every year, it is considerably hard to avoid, especially for those with a compromised immune system. However, there is an effective way to deal with this issue: getting a flu shot.

According to Healthline, “the flu shot works by prompting your immune system to produce antibodies. In turn, these antibodies help the body fight off the strains of flu virus present in the vaccine”. While some people may be more prone to getting the flu and related complications than others, everyone should get the vaccine. Especially now that COVID-19 still represents a serious health threat, getting a shot before Winter can prevent many from getting ill and saturating medical services.

If you didn’t get your shot yet, you can schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine at your doctor’s office or in a local clinic. Flu shots are also available in most cities at pharmacies and grocery stores, with no appointment required. So don’t take the risk: it is better to be safe than sorry!

5. Drink plenty of water

While we are all familiar with the importance of staying hydrated during the Summer months, most of us ignore how water is essential during Winter. In fact, against our common belief, it is even more important to stay hydrated in Winter than during the warm months. The reason is quite logical: central heating causes drier interior environments during the Winter, which leads to increased water loss simply from breathing. As a result, you can develop a wide variety of symptoms, including dizziness, headaches, muscle cramping, and nausea.

As such, to stay healthy during cold weather, it is as important to drink plenty of water as it is to exercise and follow a proper diet. According to the Federal Institute of Medicine, women should drink 2.7 liters and men 3.7 liters of water per day. That might sound like a lot, but it’s because food contributes about 20% of the daily water total. Therefore, eating more fruits and vegetables can also help you stay hydrated, just like drinking tea or coffee. Unfortunately, soda and alcoholic drinks with high sugar content don’t make the cut.

6. Get enough sleep

Winter puts many of us in a grumpy and tired mood. Luckily, there are many ways to get around such moods, and one of them is generally easy to practice: get a good night’s sleep. In order to stay healthy during the cold weather, getting undisturbed sleep is vital. According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. However, we all know that every routine is different, just like every metabolism. If you want to know your ideal bedtime, you can use this calculator to find out.

But there is more to sleep than most people realize. To have a good rest, you also should develop a relaxing, consistent bedtime routine. For instance, it is advisable to shut off all electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Too much exposure to light at night can disrupt the timing of the sleep cycle. Aside from that, you can also upgrade your sleeping routine by taking a warm shower or bath to help you relax, drinking a tea (sleep-inducing ingredients like chamomile or ashwagandha can be great options), and creating a quiet, dark, and slightly cool environment to rest.

7. Practice meditation and relax

The shorter and colder days cause many of us to experience seasonal affective disorder as soon as Winter hits. And this year, with a global pandemic added to the equation, looking after our mental health is more vital than ever. But how can we avoid the winter blues if we can’t go out and spend time with our friends and family?

First of all, you must find ways of keeping yourself stimulated, entertained, and serene. It won’t be easy (especially considering potential lockdowns and all sorts of limitations), but it is achievable, as long as you listen to your body.
Then, you should engage in the sort of activities that help people relax and channel their negativity. As you can assume, meditation and yoga are two great options, just like journaling or painting. Even from home, you can follow YouTube videos with exercises and guided meditation.

And here is a crucial thing to keep in mind: if you sense that your negative feelings are aggravating, don’t keep it to yourself. Let friends and family know when you feel emotionally overwhelmed and, if you find it necessary, seek professional help. To that end, you can find helpful resources on this website that even connects you with a crisis counselor for free, 24/7, in case of emergency.

8. Wash your hands

This tip is probably the advice you have been listening to the most this year, but it is always good to drop a little reminder! Not just because of COVID-19, but because it is one of the most efficient ways to stop the spreading of winter viruses such as influenza and norovirus.

And don’t forget: you have to wash your hands properly, not just sprinkle them with a bit of water. To do it the right way, you must apply a fair amount of soap to produce lather and vigorously rub your hands together for a minimum of 15 seconds. Don’t forget to carefully wash the areas between the fingers and under and around fingernails, where bacteria usually gathers.  While soap and water is the best choice for hand washing, a hand sanitizer is a good alternative for when you are unable to use a proper sink. Just make sure your hand sanitizer contains at least 60% ethanol or isopropanol.

Get professional advice

Staying healthy during cold weather is challenging. With all the seasonal viruses, lack of sunlight, and, this year, limitations on our social interactions, getting through Winter might be more arduous than usual. There are many small routine changes you can do by yourself to improve your wellbeing, but, at the end of the day, only professionals can truly help you on this journey.

Whether you want to lose weight, change your eating habits, increase exercise, or find someone to help you deal with a negative mindset, finding the right expert is key. For anything related to your diet, consult a nutritionist. Avoid making crazy changes or taking too many supplements without the guidance of a professional. In the same way, having a personal trainer helping you determine your exercise routine can be of great help. A therapist, a primary medical provider, and even a coach can provide you with the support, information, tools, and techniques you need to reach the best results.

Maybe it is a good time to think about life insurance…

All that’s happened this year made us realize that life truly is unpredictable and difficult to control. One day everything seems like “business as usual” and, suddenly, the world changes radically. Now you are worried about staying healthy during cold weather, getting through the pandemic, and keeping your loved ones as safe and positive as possible.

But how can you face life’s unpredictability and be truly prepared for what’s to come?

Life insurance might be the answer.
After all, the main goal of life insurance is to provide a financial safety net for your loved ones in case something happens to you. It is the most reliable and caring financial tool any adult with dependents can get.

If you are wondering how life insurance could benefit you and what type of plans are more indicated for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We will be happy to show you what our products can do for you and the people you care about the most.

On the other hand, if you want to apply for our plans and find the perfect coverage for your family, complete this quick form to get a free quote. Our friendly advisors will be delighted to walk you through your options and find the perfect solution.


Written by Diane Taes