January 2015

Time To Be Accountable For Your Health!

 

Medical treatment this day and age has become quite complicated.  There is a ton of information out there. Doctors are expected to wade through new studies and information on a moment-to-moment basis AND see an overwhelming number of patients on a daily basis. That makes for frustration on the part of doctor’s and patients.

Adding to this is a pervasive attitude that if something goes wrong it is someone else’s fault.  If a patient is overweight or obese, it is the fault of the food industry, which has gotten them addicted to sugar and fat. If someone is injured on the sidewalk, it is the city’s fault. If medication doesn’t work, it is the doctor’s fault.

It is time that we all stop blaming everyone else and start looking at ourselves. When it comes to your own health I have some suggestions.  If you have a weight problem, it is time to start eating healthier foods, eating less and moving more. No excuses! If you have a medical condition, become knowledgeable about it.  There are some excellent academic websites on the Internet. Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, and the Cleveland Clinic are great places to look. Once you know what you have, find ways to improve things. It could involve changes in diet and exercise patterns and/or taking medication.

If you are prescribed medication, know the name and the dosage.  Keep a list. It always amazes me when patients have no idea what they are taking or how much. Take your medication as prescribed. If you have side effects or it is not working let your doctor know.

Think about how you got into your health situation and change it for the better. It is estimated that 80% of medical illness is due to lifestyle choices. You can take your statin drugs to lower your cholesterol and keep eating donuts or you can eat a healthy Mediterranean style diet and exercise. You can use your inhalers for asthma and COPD and/or you can quit smoking. You can wait for the miracle weight loss pill to come on the market or you can start taking care of yourself. It is amazing what a few simple changes can do.

It is time to be accountable for you health.  You and you alone are responsible. It is time to stop finding blame and start looking for solutions. Take control of your health. The time is now.

Fight Colds and Flu with Food and Exercise

 

There are many ways that you can improve your immune system and ward off colds and viruses. It can be as simple as eating the right foods and exercising!

Foods that Boost your Immunity

Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in fish, flaxseed, and walnuts reduce inflammation and help strengthen the immune system. You might want to shoot for at least two servings a week.

Protein

Zinc is important for white blood cells to function properly. The white blood cells are the cells that fight infection. Zinc is found in protein such as lean meats, chicken, eggs, and tofu. It is also found in fortified foods. It is important to eat adequate amounts of these zinc containing proteins.

Fruits and Vegetables

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are loaded with phytonutrients. Phytonutrients improve the immune system and can help to fight cancers as well. Not to mention, they are just plain good for you!

Citrus

Citrus fruits contain vitamin C. This vitamin can help ward off colds. Although you can find it in supplements, it is probably more effective if you can get it in food such as oranges and grapefruit.

Nuts

Nuts contain vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin that helps to fight colds and upper respiratory infections. The best nuts for vitamin E are sunflower seeds (1/4 cup), almonds (1/4 cup) and 2-3 brazil nuts (they also contain selenium).

Garlic

Garlic has immune boosting properties that fights bacteria and viruses. If you have a cold, the best way to use garlic is to chop it up and swallow it. You can use it as a paste on bread or mixed in applesauce. Don’t chew it if you don’t want your breath to smell!

Chicken Soup

The hot liquid of chicken soup clears the nasal passages. However, something about most chicken soup helps boost the immune system and helps to fight colds. Whether it is the soup or the love with which it is cooked, chicken soup works!

Mushrooms

Mitake, shitake, and reishi mushrooms are among the mushrooms that help boost the immune system. You can stir fry them or get them in capsules (fungi.com). Better yet, put them in your chicken soup!

Exercise

Regular, moderate exercise allows the cells that fight viruses and bacteria to circulate more quickly throughout the body. While they are getting an energy boost, they give your immunity a big boost. The more you exercise, the longer lasting the immune effect. That is another reason why exercise is so important.

In Summary

By eating well and exercising, you can increase your odds of having a healthy cold-free winter!

Is Facebook a Good or Bad Thing?

Everyone has his or her reasons for being on Facebook. For me, I like to use it to post funny or inspirational sayings or medical information.  Over the holidays I noticed that there were many posts of families all together, fun and happy occasions, parents cuddling with their cute little children and everyone looking so happy and well behaved.  People can portray their lives however they like whether it bares any resemblance to reality or not.

 

There are anecdotal reports and an occasional study that have shown there is a phenomenon called Facebook depression and Facebook fueled divorces.  These may be due to seeing the grass as always greener on the other side. People may feel that their lives pale in comparison to those on Facebook and their relationships are lacking.

 

Recent studies have found that there may be an upside with some positive aspects to Facebook.  Researchers at the University of California San Diego found that social media may spread happiness.  Those who put up happy status updates encouraged others to do the same thing. So, using Facebook can be OK.

 

 

Here are some tips to keep you from letting Facebook rule your life:

 

  • If you don’t have time to log on, rather than feel like you are missing out, be happy that you are doing something else. Take time to enjoy yourself and do not get sucked into the Facebook craziness.

 

  • Do not try to keep up with all your friends. Limit your time on Facebook. A well-known psychologist, Robin Dunbar has determined that we are only able to maintain 148 connections comfortably on social media.  More than that becomes overwhelming.

 

  • Keep your true relationships between live people who you actually talk to and interact with in person.

 

  • Remember that what is placed on Facebook is not reality.  It is most often the best version of us. It is not reality.  If you start comparing your life to those on Facebook, stop and remind yourself of that fact.

 

Facebook can be fun, but don’t stop enjoying the activities in your life and what is going on in front of you.  If you see yourself becoming obsessed, it may mean that you need to step away from the computer and the phone and step away from Facebook all-together.

 

 

 

 

How To Lose Weight in 2015

Weight loss is in the top five resolutions for each New Year. Unfortunately, 60% of those who commit to losing weight fail. There are many things that can improve success of a weight loss commitment. First and foremost, it is important to set a reasonable goal.  Expecting to lose 50 pounds right off the bat is unrealistic, but 5 to 10 pounds is do-able.

 

Here are my top five tips for success:

 

  • Exercise will help to accelerate weight loss. One of the most common mistakes that people make is overdoing it.  Unfortunately, high intensity exercise may prompt people to eat more and then they gain weight instead of losing it.  Moderate exercise is the best way to start especially if you have been relatively sedentary.  Another common mistake is that some people eat more after exercise; because they overestimate how many calories they burn.  So, watch out!

 

  • Eat one less bite at each meal. By doing that you can cut out 75 calories a day and lose 8 pounds over a year. Most of us were raised to be part of the “clean plate” club. It is time to give up your membership.

 

  • Water is essential for life. It is important to maintain adequate hydration.  the general recommendation is for 64 ounces or eight glasses of water a day. It will fill you up and help you to burn calories.  Drinking ice water burns even more calories.

 

  • Eating a low-cal veggie soup before a meal will help decrease calorie consumption by 20%.  Add spice and it will further help with hunger. Not only that but, capsaicin, which is found in chilies can trigger the release of endorphins, those feel-good hormones that are also increased with exercise.  So, you will feel happy AND less hungry.

 

  • Eating breakfast is very important to aid with weight loss.  In fact, eating the majority of your calories early in the day can make a big difference. An Israeli study looked at two groups of overweight women.  They were all fed the same amount of calories and the exact same food every day over 12 weeks.  The only difference was the timing.  One group had the major number of calories at breakfast and the fewest at dinner.  The other group had the major number of calories at dinner and the fewest at breakfast. The breakfast group lost an average of 17.8 pounds the dinner group lost an average of 7.3 pounds.

 

 

If you have resolved to lose weight this year be realistic and be reasonable.

Follow these simple tips to successfully lose weight and maintain your weight loss for life.  These are just good principles to follow. Have a happy and healthy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home | Janet Horn, MD | Robin H. Miller, MD | Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife and Beyond | Excerpt | Author Blogs | Audio/Video | Press Room | Contact

Smart Woman's Guide to Midlife and Beyond

Copyright © 2017 The Smart Woman’s Guide Blog. Designed for WordPress.