How to (not) eat like a doctor

Our diets may be the most important factor affecting our health but we physicians are notorious for eating poorly. We don’t intentionally make poor food choices, but we fail to intentionally make good food choices. Most of the time, poor eating habits are tied directly to our training and work

sketch of a stack of books with an apple on top

Our diets may be the most important factor affecting our health but we physicians are notorious for eating poorly. We don’t intentionally make poor food choices, but we fail to intentionally make good food choices. Most of the time, poor eating habits are tied directly to our training and work.

a large hospital

too busy to eat well

Doctors in training- medical students and residents- have no control over their schedules so they often don’t know when, where, or what they will eat. We don’t do much better when we start practicing.

When we are an hour behind schedule (yes, we are well aware that we run late and we don’t do it just to ruin your day) and an emergency patient walks in, we just accept “there goes a decent lunch”, if we get to eat lunch at all.

I’ve learned from my patients that physicians are not unique this way. In the midst of busy lives with work, school, kids’ activities, church, clubs and just maintaining life, food often gets low priority on our schedules

a vending machine with snack food
Too often, doctors’ meals are something we eat from one of these.

.

planning to eat well

So, to help you with this dilemma, I am sharing advice from another physician blogger, Mary L. Brandt, MD who writes wellnessrounds. She is a Professor of Surgery, Pediatrics and Medical Ethics at Baylor College of Medicine and pediatric surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital .

Her blog mostly addresses issues pertinent to medical students and residents but in this post she outlines a 5 step plan for healthy eating that anyone can use.

5 steps to healthy eating

  1. Make a plan
  2. Make a shopping list
  3. Shop once for the week and (when you can) prep ahead
  4. Use your day(s) off to cook things that might take a bit more time and freeze some for other days
  5. Keep a few “instant” healthy meals in your pantry
bottle of olive oil
Olive oil is a healthy choice for cooking at home.

Think this sounds like a lot of work? Well, it is, but so is being sick, or trying to lose weight after you’ve gained too much. Or as Dr. Brandt says in her post (speaking to medical students and residents remember)

“If you can learn how to take out a gallbladder or care for ill patients in the ICU don’t you think you can learn how to sauté a few vegetables???”

Dr. Mdary Brandt

Here is a link to her plan to help you start eating well-like a doctor.

Eating Well at Work 

exploring the HEART of eating well

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                              Dr. Aletha 

Here are some affiliate links you may find helpful. Thanks for considering and using, which helps me fund this blog’s mission-to share the HEART of health.

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Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

I am a family physician who loves to write about the HEART of HEALTH. On my blog, Watercress Words, I inform and inspire us in healthy living. My ideas come from my training, experiences, medical practice, personal life, and medicine in the media. There's always something new and interesting to explore in the world of health and medicine.

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