Health and Fitness

Chicken Parmesan

One of my favorite dishes has to be Chicken Parmesan. It’s one of those dishes, lovingly prepared that just makes you feel good.

I always remind people that to eat healthy and maintain an ideal weight, you don’t have to suffer and you don’t have to avoid foods that you love.

A simple hack is to consume a lot of raw vegetables. A study out of Harvard found that cooking food increases the amount of energy or calories that it provides to your body and raw foods provide less.

This is a strong argument to eat more bulky raw nuts, fruits, grains, and vegetables. The body uses more energy in digesting raw food than it does cooked food. Further, the body expends energy fighting off pathogens that are more prolific in raw food than in cooked.

Cooking food alters the proportion of energy that our body absorbs versus what is lost to gut bacteria, and what is excreted by our bodies. Cooking basically basically starts the digestive process externally and our digestive system does not have to work as hard.

Further, bacteria in the our gastrointestinal track metabolize some of our food for their own energy needs. When you consume more raw foods, more energy is leftover for the bacteria and therefore fewer calories are absorbed by the human being.

It is therefor easy to see how if you’re eating a high amount of raw foods that require a great deal of energy to metabolize, that you can freely eat your fill of some delicious chicken parmesan!

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Drink More Water!

One of the most ingenious water related devices I have ever seen may be the instant hot water faucet in your kitchen sink. When you’re a great cook, this is great to have!

Second to this may be filters that are attached to the faucet to enable fresh, always available, satisfying cold water to drink. Grab a large stainless steel water bottle and fill it up multiple times throughout the day!

Today. I read an interesting article about a lady who has a water bottle with 3 cups of water in it by her bedside that she drinks every morning when she first wakes up. She went on to elaborate on all of the many positive effects this has had on her health.

Many of us start the day with a large cup of strong coffee. It would probably make a lot more sense if we started our day with a large bottle of water. This would help us be more alert and energetic and start our day on the right foot. Because of the diuretic nature of caffeine in coffee, it does a little to provide our needed hydration.

Water further aids significantly in digestion. A great deal of constipation is related to the fact that most people are dehydrated. This is especially important if you are trying to increase fiber in your diet. You need to drink a large volume of water or the fiber may simply make your constipation worse.

Water is also good for your skin and soft tissues. You will notice improved elasticity and fullness of your skin if you keep yourself well hydrated.

There are many other benefits of drinking enough water such as improving your energy, preventing headaches, heart arrhythmias , kidney stones, and many more.

It may not be necessary to drink a full gallon of water a day but at least 8 to 10 glasses may be a reasonable goal. This amount should help you realize all of the benefits of good hydration.

Remember, do not use your thirst as a guide. It is an imperfect mechanism and typically will only kick in when you are way behind on your daily water consumption.

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Colors

This past weekend, it was discussed how red is the appropriate color for Palm Sunday and the celebration of the passion of Christ. It got me thinking how red can be such a beautiful color. It can bring really bring out the beauty in another person, It can enrich your home on the walls of your dining room and is a classic color for your car.

But the most important colors right now may be blue and yellow. I wear them on my coat every day at work to remember the people of Ukraine. Although I feel helpless, I’ll stand in support, kneel in prayer and continue to send a little bit of money. Hopefully, Putin will soon realize the folly of his ways and stop this senseless fight.

On a different but interesting note, I came across a fascinating podcast on Freakonomics radio. The host explained better than I ever could, the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. I have heard so many factually incorrect comments from otherwise intelligent people about the COVID-19 vaccine. People have said things like, “ It may mess with your DNA or they are implanting a chip in you. These statements are simply false.

The technology used in the mRNA vaccine was first developed in the 1970s. The COVID-19 pandemic simply created an urgent need for its adoption. This resulted in the merging of science and medical need with the help of unprecedented resources, to quickly bring this vaccine to market.

In simple terms, this vaccine is able to get the host body to replicate one of the attachment proteins from the virus. This results in an immune response or a “memory” that provides significant protection against serious infection with the virus.

This is exciting technology that may have significant future uses to fight many different diseases.

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Daylight Savings Time

This year daylight saving times begins Sunday, March 13, 2022. Most people in the United States of America spring forward one hour at 2 AM, local time. I for one prefer having more daylight in the evening and wish we could just leave our clocks set an hour ahead. The morning lightness that we achieve when we go back to standard time is so fleeting anyway.

Supposedly, daylight savings time was created to conserve energy. When the sun sets later, it is presumed that people will stay out longer and spend more time outside. The pros of daylight savings time are that the longer daylight savings time promotes safety. It is good for the economy, and It promotes an active lifestyle. An alleged con is that it is bad for your health due to the disruption of your sleep. An obvious solution therefore would be to just leave our clocks set permanently at daylight savings time.

Next week is the start of national sleep awareness week. Much research has been done over the past two decades that clearly spells out the critical importance of sleep on our health. There are many things that we do in our modern lives that may disrupt our sleep. This may involve too much screen time, drinking alcohol or caffeine before bed or too much stress in our lives. All of these may cause us to wake up in the early morning hours and be unable to fall back asleep

Unfortunately, there are many detrimental short and long-term effects of sleep deprivation. Your body compensates for the lack of restorative sleep, by increasing adrenaline and cortisol. In as little as one week, this will increase the level of inflammation in your body. Long term sleep deprivation will increase your risk of multiple health conditions including chronic pain, heart disease, mood disorders and diabetes.

Interestingly, how we eat and exercise affects how we sleep, and how we sleep affects how we exercise and eat. They are intricately related. Simply put, people with lower quality diets are more likely to experience sleep disorders. Unhealthy diets and too much alcohol or caffeine will disrupt your sleep. To add insult to injury then, when tired the next day, your body will crave unhealthy simple carbohydrates. It is a vicious cycle.

An article titled “The effects of physical activity on sleep: a meta-analytic review” published in the journal of behavioral medicine in June 2015, came to the profound conclusion that both aerobic and anaerobic resistance exercises improve sleep, no matter when you do them. It’s no secret also that, in order to have high-quality workouts, you need you need to have had a good nights sleep the night before. They go hand-in-hand.

Sleep well! Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Compassionate Health Care

At the halfway point of my Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship, I felt it was a good time to stop and reflect upon the many invaluable conversations we have had and insightful articles and books that we have read. One of our recent evening discussions involved how medicine has become big business.

If there is one reason for physician burnout, it has to be the fact that Medicine has turned into such a business, such a transactional interaction. Unfortunately, it is easy for patient interactions to be purely clinical and transactional in nature. It takes some effort remember that, like Dr. Patch Adams said, “everyone is human – those giving the treatment, those who are getting treated. What they all deserve is compassion and kindness, as a part of the best care they can get.

I recently completed Dr. Patch Adams book entitled Gesundheit! It is the story of him founding a unique institute to care for patients with humor and compassion. It is clear that he is much more than just the funny doctor that Robin Williams portrayed in the movie. Over his career, he has explored alternative medicine, humor, compassion and many humanistic traits to better treat patients.

He designed The Gesundheit! Institute initially as an eco Community and it grew to a medical center in West Virginia. It’s mission is to reframe and reclaim the concept of hospital. He has been able to bring to the world a new perspective on caring for patients. He emphasizes the importance of simple human traits such as laughter and truly listening to the patients

Dr. Adams defines Doctor as a compassionate person who is able to support the uplifting of patient’s quality of life, by any means. It is a lesson we should never forget.

Stay well!