Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama for January 6, 2015:
MONEY TUESDAY - Stewart Welch joined us to explain his Debt Pyramid Reduction Card Game. Who doesn't like a good card game? At the same time you are saving and investing under my Reverse Budget Strategy, you need to be attacking your debt. With the Debt Pyramid Reduction Card Game, you can explode your way out of debt by following these three simple steps:
Step 1: Take one index card for each individual debt you owe and record the basic information about each debt:
1. Who you owe the debt to.
2. The total debt amount -how much to pay it off.
3. Minimum monthly payment required.
4. Interest rate being charged.
Step 2: ‘Shuffle' your cards so that the debt with the highest interest rate is first; next highest interest rate is next and so forth…so highest interest rate to lowest interest rate. Alternative: Shuffle the cards from lowest balance to highest balance. My preference is to always be attacking the highest interest rate but some folks like to see that first debt drop off quickly.
Step 3: You pay the minimum payment on all debts except the first card - the one with the highest interest rate. For your number one card, you pay the minimum plus an extra amount that you can afford each month - say $100). Once #1 is paid off, take what you were paying on #1 and add it to the minimum payment on card #2. Each time you pay off a debt - don't forget to celebrate and then add that payment to your next card. Continue this process until you are debt free!
Treat it like a card game where the objective is to eliminate all cards as fast as possible! Get a couple of friends to play the game with you with a little side betting to keep it interesting … ‘you win, I wash your car…'. By following this simple strategy, you can make 2015 your best financial year ever and set yourself up to be on track to becoming financially free! For more information, visit www.welchgroup.com.
BETH K - According to the USA.gov website, weight loss is the number one New Year's Resolution. Losing weight and keeping it off is hard. While there are several good FDA-approved medications that help people lose weight, not many doctors prescribe them. UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin joined us to explain that another weight loss drug was just approved by the FDA last month. Since 2012, this is now the 4th new obesity drug to hit the market after a decade of nothing new for people struggling with obesity. Before 2012 the only FDA-approved medicine to help with weight loss was Xenical. Xenical is a fat blocker that works in the intestines by blocking the absorption of about 1/3 of the fat you eat. It was approved in 1999. The year 2012 marked the beginning of a new era of fat-fighting drugs. Qsymia, Belviq, and Contrave have all the hit the market since 2012. These three drugs decrease appetite and work by changing how your brain chemistry. Now there is another drug option for helping with weight loss: Saxenda. Saxenda is not a new drug. It is a higher dose version of the diabetes drug Victoza. It is a daily injection – but don't confuse it with insulin. It's not insulin – it works by helping your body better control blood sugar and by telling your brain that you are full. Saxenda is approved for people with a Body Mass Index -BMI- of 30 or higher. A BMI of 30 or higher is categorized as obese. If you have a BMI of 27 or higher with an obesity-related condition like high blood pressure or heart disease, an obesity drug may be right for you. Saxenda has three large studies to back up its effectiveness. But don't expect the pounds to melt away. Like all other weight loss drugs, you still have to eat right and exercise. Over 4,800 obese and overweight people were in the studies. In the study of people without diabetes, 62% of the people who used Saxenda lost at least 5% of their starting weight after a year compared to 34% of the people on the placebo. Of course, for any one person, weight loss can vary a lot. The side effects of Saxenda include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, low blood sugar - hypoglycemia, and decreased appetite. Saxenda may be more appropriate for people who are taking medicines for depression. Several of the other obesity medicines are not right for people on anti-depressants. Since it is used to treat diabetes, if you have high blood sugar, it may help with that as well. But it is an injection that you have to give to yourself once a day. That may be a turn-off to some people. Saxenda is approved but not out on the market yet. So we don't yet know the cost or if insurance companies will cover that cost. So, if you are interested in it, keep an eye out for updates! The bottom line here is that there are now five good FDA-approved medications that help people lose weight. If you have struggled with weight loss in the past and find yourself once again resolving to lose weight in the new year, why not ask your doctor if one of these may be right for you?
JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh teamed up with Dr. Asa for Transformation Tuesday. Dr. Asa Andrew is known as America's Health Coach, MD®. He is also a national best-selling author, radio and TV host, and founder of Diagnosis HOPE, a non-profit dedicated to health education and supporting the uninsured. He has dedicated his life to helping others thrive in their health. Today they went through Jeh Jeh's pantry and refrigerator, they made a healthy smoothie with the ingredients around Jeh Jeh's house, and they went to the grocery store for some healthy shopping. For more information, visit http://www.drasa.com/. You can follow him on Twitter - @drasa.
NEW IN BOOKS - Susan Swagler writes about about books at her "Turn the Page" blog and in Birmingham Magazine. She introduces us to books that are looking back. They are local and regional history books will appeal to large, far-reaching audiences. Today she introduced us to
Alabama Barbecue: Delicious Road Trips by Annette Thompson with photographs by Art Meripol
The A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham: A Civil Rights Landmark by Marie A. Sutton
Mountain Brook by Catherine Pittman Smith
Through Others' Eyes compiled by Jeffrey C. Benton
GARDENING - Sandra Reaves joined us with a checklist for planning and preparing the vegetable garden.
1. Decide on the purpose of the garden: fresh eating, some food preservation, or stocking a pantry/freezer.
2. Make a list of the vegetables that will be most useful in your household, including how much would actually be consumed. For example, how many ears of corn will the family need? How many cantaloupes can you really consume?
3. Learn how much you can expect to harvest from the crops you choose. The easiest way is to record how many of each vegetable you plant and note whether it was enough or too many, then adjust next year.
4. Seek organically grown seeds/plants or ones grown according to organic standards though they may not be certified as such.
5. Amend the soil with organic matter. January is still a good time to gather leaves to put on the garden. They can be incorporated at planting or you can follow the no till method and plant in the composted material.
6. Go organic from the beginning and preserve the natural balance that supports beneficial organisms in the garden - birds, bugs, worms, and microbes
7. Plant flowers and herbs next to your vegetables to attract pollinators and for the benefits of companion planting.
8. Monitor temperatures both climatic and soil - plant as early as possible, but be aware that soil temperature can determine whether seeds come up or rot in the ground.
9. Have fun and enjoy getting a little dirty! The freshness of the food will be an extra reward to the benefits of working in the garden.
For more information, visit her Facebook page - it includes lots of pictures, tips, how to videos, and info on veggie trials going on in the garden. It's a "real time, real life" look at home gardening and food preservation. You can find her at www.Facebook.com/JosieGladysGardens.
MOMMY MINUTE - Clare talked with Jennifer Walker and Laura Hunter from Moms on Call. They have 22 years of pediatric nursing experience and 8 kids between them. They showed us the essentials for a medicine cabinet when you're about to have a newborn. They say one of the really confusing elements of being a new parent is being able to navigate fever control medicines. Aspirin is no longer recommended for anyone under the age of 18. So babies don't take something you might see labeled baby aspirin. So if this is something you have in your medicine cabinet this is a no-no. We will not give that to our baby. Ibprofuen products like Advil and Motrin are not recommended until the baby is over 6 months old. Tylenol is aceteminophen. It can be used over three months of age. Sometimes it's used under 3 months of age but only with the expressed permission of the pediatrician. They say any fever in an infant under three months of age over 100.4 rectally is reason to seek medical care - not because the fever is so dangerous but the immune system is not fully functioning.
Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, Jeh Jeh gets us ready for the Red Shoe Run and catches up with a special family at the Ronald McDonald House. We take you to the Consumer Electronics Show for a look at the latest gizmos and gadgets coming your way this year! We talk football and the bowl season with Lars Anderson. Are lower gas prices really good in the long run? We talk with an economist about what to expect in 2015 and how it impacts your wallet! We get some gardening advice and check out a new recipe in the Good Day Kitchen! Plus Mickey takes us to the Birmingham Zoo for some fun! Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!