Have You Asked Yourself, "How Are You DOing?"

Understanding how nutrition affects, how you are DOing.

hamburger and a red and green appleHow are you DOing? Or, should I say, “How are you EATING?” During our medical training we spend hours learning about cardiac disease, pulmonary disease, blood disorders, diabetes and surgical emergencies, but relatively little about nutrition. Nutrition, unless properly balanced, has a negative impact on all organ systems!

The lack of proper nutrition can lead to heart disease, worsen lung disorders, cause blood disorders and diabetes, and prevent the body from properly healing following surgery.

Several years ago, I was severely malnourished. You wouldn’t know it, given my more than abundant silhouette – but my albumin level was 2.2 g/dL! Skipping meals, eating on the run, devouring a portion of a meal without even tasting or realizing what I was consuming resulted in unhealthy weight gain, protein malnutrition, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbance and exhaustion. After a forced medical leave in my late forty’s – one would have thought I would have made drastic changes. My eating habits improved, but the changes didn’t endure. When I pressed the issues with my physician, I was told my weight was “fine”. It wasn’t fine. A BMI of 31 is never fine.

When I decided to stop making excuses for myself, and to myself, I enrolled in a diabetes prevention study, recruited my life’s partner to join me, and amazing things happened. The weight started to come off. Sleep got a bit better, communication with my spouse improved and I was more forth coming with my patients.

I can now give practical advice regarding what to eat, how to eat, when to eat and what nutrition each body truly needs. A three-minute discussion about the “My Plate” method (https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/myplate) and a primer on label reading may be just the prescription for disease prevention and modification.

Be honest with yourself. Be honest and kind with your patients. Eat well – it will truly affect how you are DOing!

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