Summer Sunshine Loving

Summer Sunshine Loving 

The longer I live, the surer I am that life is about trying to find a balance. Of course, sometimes balance can be defined as the split second that a pendulum swinging from side to side hits the equilibrium and then passes it to keep swinging. But regardless, I do feel like it is a worthy aspiration. Today, we will be looking at the benefits of spending time in the sun. A lot of the messaging that we hear today will point out the evils of the sun and sun exposure leads to skin cancer. I am in no way am I trying to deny this fact. But I do think there is a balance in finding the benefits of being in the sun and also appropriately not over doing our sun time.


Sun exposure helps with mild depression. Most of us have heard of SAD (seasonal affective disorder). This type of depression comes from a sunlight deprivation. Some reasonable time in the sun helps release serotonin which helps you fight off the blues. Also being in the sun can help regulate your sleep. When you spend a proper amount of time in the sun, and then it sets, that will signal the brain to start to release melatonin which helps us sleep.


A new study by the University of Edinburgh is showing that time in the sun can lower blood pressure. Having lower blood pressure can help you live a longer life as well as reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Sun exposure can also contribute to bone health and help improve brain function. Both of these health benefits come from the production of Vitamin D which is produced in the body through sun exposure.


Again, let us stress that we are not promoting a sun-fest binge that will leave you lobster red and very sore. But instead, in finding a balance between sun exposure and protection you might be helping yourself live a mentally, physically and emotionally healthier life.
Summer Mythbusting

Summer Mythbusting (Part 2)

In our last blog, we pointed out a few of the summer myths that we hear so often. Today we are picking that back up. We were surprised how many of these pieces of advice that we have been told our entire lives, but they simply aren’t true.
You can’t get a sunburn on a cloudy day
The myth: It’s an overcast day, and the clouds are blocking the harmful UV rays.
The truth: We don’t know if anyone believes that clouds block the UV rays that cause sun burns.  But we do believe that people are way more likely to forget to put on sunscreen if the sun is not out. Even if there is cloud cover, you still need to put sunscreen on and use adequate coverage if you are out and about on a cloudy summer day.
Wait 30 minutes after eating to swim
The Myth: If you go swimming before the prerequisite 30 minutes your muscles will spasm, and you will drown. Pretty strong warning there!
The Truth: Where the body does send more blood flow to your digestive system after eating it is not enough to cause your other muscles to stop working. As long as you feel well enough to swim on a full stomach, feel free to do so. If you do get a cramp, they are usually not so severe that you would not be able to exit the pool easily.
Peeing on a Jellyfish sting
The Myth: You’re swimming in the ocean and encounter a jellyfish who stings you. You get out of the water and have someone pee on the area that got stung.
The Truth: Jellyfish venom is highly alkaline and can be neutralized with acidic compounds. Urine changes from person to person and has a higher probability of adding more basic compounds leaving the person in more pain. Instead, try using salt water or vinegar and baking soda.
We hope this summer myth-busting has been helpful and that you have a delightful and healthy summer!
Summer Mythbusting

Summer Mythbusting (Part 1)

The summer season is in full swing. Being from Southern California, we will most likely continue to feel the summer heat well into September. Every year you eventually, begin to hear advice or life hacks to survive the summer. But some of these pieces of advice are dead wrong! So here is a blog about which summer myths have been leading you astray:
You can catch a cold from air conditioning:
The myth: You’re in your nice chilled office or storefront, and then you go outside to the scorching heat. Your immune system just can’t keep up with the two extremes back to back leading to you getting sick.
The truth: You can’t catch a cold unless bacteria or a virus is present.  However, you will want to ensure that your air conditioning is not a breeding ground for bacteria. Changing your filters is key! But as long as you are continuing to wash your hands regularly and not spend an inordinate amount of time with someone who is sick, you should have a beautiful sick free summer.
Any drink can rehydrate you:
The myth: If you need some hydration any liquid will do the trick.
The truth: We’re not even sure how this became a summer myth because it doesn’t make any sense. If your body needs to be hydrated, you need to drink water. Drinks that are high in sugar (soda, juice, alcohol…) will dehydrate you. You do need to ensure that you are drinking enough water each day, especially during warm summer months when you are sweating more. A good rule of thumb for water consumption is to drink half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weighed 160 pounds you would need to drink 80 oz of water a day.
Healthcare in the News

It’s hard to write a blog about healthcare in the news when it’s consistently changing. While I sit here and type out these words, I am watching a Senate “vote-a-rama” as the news media is calling it. It’s a live video stream watching the Senate as they debate and discuss healthcare in America. There are still many questions about what is happening with our health care system.  But here is what we do know.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted to debate the repeal of Obamacare. The Senate was split down the middle, but the deciding vote came from Vice President Mike Pence as he voted in the affirmative to pursue the debate.  This would start the discussion of what legislation the Senate would vote on. Those options being a Repeal and Replace Obamacare option, a Repeal Only option or the Skinny Bill. Almost immediately the Senate voted no on the Repeal and Replace as well as the Repeal only options. Leaving us with the possibility of passing the Skinny Bill.

But what is the Skinny Bill? The Skinny Bill takes away some of the most unpopular aspects of Obamacare. Namely, it would take away the mandates that state that every American have health insurance as well as the mandate that business owners with over 50 employees must provide health benefits for their employees. It would also take away the tax on medical equipment. The idea of this pared down bill is that they can convince more Republicans to vote on this bill and pass it so that they can then bring it to the House where it can be more clearly laid out and shape the health care system. As of today, we have very few definitive answers. But we will be keeping you informed.

Value of Health Insurance

Value of Health Insurance

Having health insurance provides real tangible benefits. It also provides more abstract benefits. With any insurance that you are purchasing you are essentially investing in your peace of mind. There are always What-if’s that run through our minds. But insurance promises to be something that will help you if any of those scary what if’s come to pass. You get in a car accident – you have insurance for that. Your loved one passes away – you have insurance for that. You get sick – you have insurance for that.


Health insurance comes with mandated benefits as well. Every insurance plan that you can purchase will include:
Outpatient care
Emergency services
Mental Healthcare
Prescription drugs
Rehabilitative services
Laboratory Services
Preventive Care
Pediatric Services.
Some plans that you purchase can have more services. But under the Affordable Care Act, which is still the law, though that may change soon, these benefits are all mandatory.


Without health insurance, there is a higher possibility of suffering from debilitating debt due to high medical costs. No one plans on breaking a bone or needing to stay in the hospital. If it were up to us, we would all be healthy at all times. But these things do happen, and the cost of fixing a broken leg can be up to $7,500.  A three-day stay in the hospital can be upwards of $30,000. These are astronomical numbers in comparison to what you pay in premiums and co-pays.


Another important aspect to look at with health care is the preventative care. Most of these services have no cost to you. Receiving shots or getting specific screening tests allows you to catch anything early or prevent illness from ever getting a foothold. Our health is one of our most valuable assets. And keeping our health as a priority through proper preventative care will save you in the long run. Speak to us today about which health insurance will be the best for you, your family or your business.
The Power of Giving

The Power of Giving

One can find many quotes about giving:
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of other.” – Mahatma Gandhi


Or maybe you’ve heard this one:
“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill


The fact of the matter is that giving changes something inside of us and changes the world around us. But how can this one simple act create that much change?


Scientists have started to study the biological changes in humans through the act of giving. Darwin’s survival of the fittest would initially lead one to believe that as humans we are not intrinsically designed to give or nurture. But that is not the case. Studies have shown that when a person gives their money willingly that the prefrontal cortex of the brain lights up. It is the same region that is engaged when we experience pleasure from food or relationship. Their studies showed that our brains are hardwired to respond to this very basic concept.


There are also examples and bountiful testimonies of people who experIenced emotional changes in their lives when they started giving financially. They describe it as before they started giving they were reinforcing the idea that they never had enough, that they must continue to strive for more. But in the act of giving they not only found peace in their circumstances, but they also had a better view of money and were able to grow their wealth as well as their physical health.


At Bernardini & Donovan, we are always looking for ways to grow in our appreciation of all that we have been given. We know that looking beyond ourselves is vital to be a greater service to others. We hope to help our community not only through our service but by giving back to the countless others who have helped us and giving to those who are in need.
How To Stay Young Part 2

How To Stay Young – Part 2 

In our previous blog, we discussed some basic ways to help your health and to keep your body working as well as possible. But we just scratched the surface. Below you will find some more helpful tips to keep your body working and youthful.
Stop overeating 
This piece of advice comes from centenarians – yup, that’s people who are living into their 100’s. One common factor that these centenarians have is that they do not overeat. Overeating was considered wasteful, so many of them eat until they feel 80% full. At that point, they stop. They have developed an excellent system to actually understand their body’s cues of when they are hungry and when they are not.
Wine is your friend
The key to this piece of advice is moderation! Drinking too much leads to a whole host of problems. But wine has a compound called resveratrol which seems to slow aging. It can help in good heart health, but studies are being done on the effect of good bone health, less inflammation and lessening the probability of cataracts. Cheers to that!
Try for a plant based diet
If you’re anything like us, this seems the hardest tip of all! We just love some good BBQ! But, studies show that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, and strokes. As you get older, the animal proteins you ingest seem to accelerate your aging. So by replacing the protein with beans, soy, and nuts; it seems to slow the aging effect.
These are of course just suggestions, and you should talk to your doctor before making any grand changes to your lifestyle or diet. Gandhi once said that “It is health that is real wealth. And not pieces of gold and silver.” We have to say that we agree. We want to value our health and find the wealth of living a full life. Even making small changes to your health can have lasting effects.
How to Stay Young

How To Stay Young

Our society seems to hate the idea of aging. We see it in the countless hours of ads and commercials spent on selling gray-b-gone hair color, under eye serums and every type of cream to get rid of marks, blemishes or discolorations. This blog is not being written in the hopes of selling you any such miracle treatments. However, We do want to talk about some small habits you can take on to help you feel younger or to help your body age better.
Don’t Stress
Stress has a way of eating away at you. When you worry and stress there are actual physical changes in your body that can accelerate the aging process.
Work out your mind
Have you heard the term use it or lose it? That applies here! Even in children, there are studies that show that over the summer break children lose a significant portion of what they learned over the school year. But as we age, our brains need the cognitive exercise to help stay nimble and alert. Small things like doing puzzles or brain games can make a huge difference in improving memory.
Eat your best fat
For many years marketers enforced the idea that we need to stay away from fat as they sold us low-fat options for all of our favorite foods. However, fat is our friend! Well, the good kind of fat. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and seeds will help you by maintaining bone density, reduce inflammation, stabilize your mood and boost your immune system. All of these are key pieces to help us age better and to not expedite the aging process in our bodies.
Move More
Exercise is just a staple for healthy living. But the more you move, the better your body feels. Exercise helps to tone your muscles and helps your bones. Not only does it help your body it helps your brain! “Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent,” says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Center on Aging.
Some of the best health insurance you can get is by just taking care of yourself. There’s no need to go overboard, but by making small changes, you can have a lasting impact that will change the rest of your life.
Best Tips to Stop Smoking

Best Tips To Stop Smoking

One of the best things you can do for your health is to quit. Over the years we have all seen the effects that smoking can have on a body. From increase to heart disease to developing of lung cancer, smoking causes severe deterioration to your health. Here are some helpful tips to help you or someone you love to stop smoking:
Know why you are quitting. 
You cannot quit successfully on a whim. It’s best for you to know why you are making this choice and that will motivate you to start this journey as well as help you when you feel discouraged and think about picking the habit back up.
Be prepared
Quitting cold turkey is not something to be taken lightly. You want to ensure that you are as prepared as you can be. Cleaning your house is a great place to start. Wash your clothes and clean your carpets. Cleaning anything that could still have the smell attached to it will help you not have any reminders of smoking. Talk to your doctor and find out about alternative ways to help you quit. There are classes, medication, nicotine replacements, or support groups all available to you to help you stop.
Pick up a new hobby
It’s good to try and find something that will take your mind off things while also utilizing the time that you used to put towards smoking. Exercise is a great hobby to pick up because it also releases dopamine which can replace the dopamine release you got from smoking. Studies show that in just two weeks after not smoking your lungs are functioning at a greater capacity than when smoking. This makes exercise more fun, and you can celebrate the markers of your healing body.
You can find more information about quitting smoking here: We hope that these tips will help you as we are all seeking to grow in our health and live our best lives.

Single Payer Healthcare Cons

Part 2

If you have not read our previous blog, please see part 1 to read more about the logistics of single payer healthcare. As stated previously, in an ideal world everyone would love to see every person receive the health care that they need at no cost to them. But to play this idea out in the real world, there are some very real concerns that we have. Some of the cons to single payer healthcare are:

Contributes to Drug Abuse –

Because health care is available to all, it also means that there is more access to prescription drugs which is the fastest growing avenue for substance abuse. There are also many that will abuse the system because they do not see the value. They will go to the doctor any time that they feel a slight itch or discomfort. This wastes doctor’s time and makes more severe cases need to wait even longer for care.

Less Benefit –

One of the ways to pay for this type of healthcare is to impose new taxes. Taxes like these can come out of your income and be bases upon the level of what you are bringing home. For those that make more money that means that they are paying more but will receive no extra benefits.

Less innovation –

Because everyone is getting paid the same rate there are less financial incentives to create, research and develop new treatments or new technologies. This can come at a big cost to us as this lowers the quality of care, not only for Americans but for the world we are are forerunners in many innovative practices.

Health Insurance still needed –

For families that have unique health issuescertain care that they will need will not be covered under this system. That means that they will still be in need of health insurance to cover the costs of the additional services that they require but are not included under a single payer health system.

These are just a handful of issues that can come up with single payer healthcare. As California continues to look at SB 562 we will need to answer these concerns otherwise we will end up with a very broken system.