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The Wellness Committee
Dr. Haendigas Wellness Newsletter
As we embrace a New Year, I want to ask a personal favor of you. This favor is for me as your physician and as your link to health care, but more importantly, for you.
I want you to take charge of your health, but it has to start NOW.
If you feel great now, I am very happy for you. However, if you are playing Russian Roulette with your health by not eating well, not taking proper supplementation and not getting plenty of rest and exercise, this will catch up with you. Maybe not this year or next, but it will catch up with you
I love to talk and teach in analogies. This helps me to learn and to remember. If you are not taking care of yourself it is very simliar to jumping out of a building. If you were able to speak to each passing window, you would tell them that you actually felt fine. No problems for me, I feel great. However, you have chartered a course of "bad health" that will manifest itself clearly when you hit the concrete on the street. You felt fine all the way down so it was hard to see where your course was going.
What I want you to be able to do is to open a parachute and slow your descent. You will be able to land on your feet but only if you know enough to open the parachute. I am wanting you to open your parachute before you hit the concrete.
It starts with eating and also includes proper supplementation of nutrients, rest and exercise. I am not advocating a gym membership but you can exercise 5 minutes a day sitting on your couch. I am going to address some of these issues over the coming months.
Let's start with first things first. First of all don't jump off the building. So, if you have children and they are eating fast foods, high fructose corn syrup and junk food, please change their diet. This is the first generation of kids that is NOT expected to outlive their parents. Of these children, 17% are obese and there is a huge increase in diabetes in our youth. Let's keep them from jumping off the building.
If you have already chartered your course for hypterension, diabetes, high cholesterold or any of the various other diseases that are related to lifestyle in combination with environment and genetics, you can throw open your parachute. Please make 2010 your year to get your parachute open.
I have some basic tips to help you get started:
Eat every 3 hours, smaller meals with protein
Have protein with each meal. This will lessen the glycemic spike of carbohydrates that we eat with our meals. It stabilizes our blood sugar and helps reduce your risk of diabetes over the long haul. Protein is like oxygen, you don't just breath at dinner time, right?
If you eat carbohydrates, try and eat the more complex carbohydrates such as whole grain and whole vegetables. Whole grains contain fiber and this helps with your bowels and your blood sugar. The more complex the carbohydrate, the more calories you will burn with digestion.
Guarantee yourself success by setting short goal time frames. Take it a month or two at a time. Don't set up long term goals such as "I am going to work out for 60 minutes a day for the next 12 months." You should say, "I am going to do resistance training, or strength training, for 5 minutes a day for the next 2 weeks." You set yourself up for success.
Develop more motivation and a positive attitude. Read personal development literature or the Bible. You need to surround yourself as much as possible with positive material and positive people. I am a big fan of Stephen Covey and John Maxwell writings.
Don't dwell on the past. If you are concentrating too much on history, you can not plan for the future. If you remember the movie Pay It Forward then you know the process of paying for positive things ahead of time. Make each mistake a learning process and I call this "Failing Forward." You will move in a positive direction with each failure, or unsuccessful attempt. If you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right. Think positively because it does make a difference.
Eat breakfast. This is really important because we have the genetics of a hunter or gatherer. When you go long periods without food your body will slow down it's metabolism. Many people skip breakfast because they don't feel well mid-morning when they eat. Their blood sugar will drop because of the reactive hypoglycemic effect of traditional high carbohydrate food such pancakes, donuts, waffles or toast. Again, you must have protein. Sometimes you have to make the extra time and try and stay away from the convenience foods.
Try to regulate your choices by not bringing junk food home from the grocery store. Make the choice to bring home almonds, cheese, fruit, vegetables, tuna and other good protein sources. This will be a much better choice.
Identify the differences between hunger and food cravings. If you just ate an hour ago, most likely you are really not hungry. You might just be having a craving. Try and change your environment for 15 minutes and see if you still want to eat. Fill your stomach with 8 ounces of cool water and see if that eliminates your hunger. If you still want it, then get it. Limit yourself to just a taste of pie and not 2 pieces and if you want to really increase your chance of success, don't eat a full piece. Just take a bite. A whole piece will not give you any benefit except gratuitous calories. Does that piece of pie move you closer to your goals?
In closure, remember that now is the time to change the course of your medical history. In today's current state of major health care reform you must be in charge of your own health. Remember, do not jump out of the building but if you already did, open your parachute. You have the chance to signifcantly improve your health. If you lose 10% of your body weight if you are obese, you will decrease your all cause mortality risk by 50%.
There is no time like the present. If you don't monitor your health, nobody else can help you. I think the urgency is much more pronounced in the current health care reform environment. If you have already jumped off the roof, you have two options: Either hit the concrete (death and disease) or open your parachute and slow down or change your path (actually prevent or reverse disease). There is no other choice.
May you all have your best year ever in 2010.
Happy New Year!To your Health,
Dr. Michelle Haendiges
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Wellness Committee (Faculty)