Category Archives: nutrition, food, eating

fresh vegetables-lettuce, tomatoes, radishes

Effective options to control IBS, irritable bowel syndrome

I enjoy meeting other bloggers on blog link-ups and on one of them recently another blogger asked me about IBS. I had not read much about it recently so decided to research and write a post about it . So whether you already know something about IBS, or if it’s new to you,  here is that post. Thanks Kat, from KusKat Studio.

IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, is a common gastrointestinal disorder, of unknown cause.

It is distinct from conditions referred to as inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which I won’t discuss here.

Currently there is no one generally recognized blood test, scan, image, or other diagnostic test that confirms IBS. Your doctor may order testing to exclude other conditions such as celiac sensitivity,  lactose intolerance, or colon cancer.

diagram of the human digestive organs

the human digestive system -irritable bowel syndrome mainly involves the colon and rectum, and probably also the small intestine.

 

The symptoms of IBS are not unique , making diagnosis difficult since it can be confused with other conditions.

IBS is defined by

Recurrent abdominal pain averaging 1 day per week for 3 months associated with

  • Bowel movements
  • Change in frequency of stool
  • Change in form or appearance of stool.

The change in bowel habits can be diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both.

There may be other symptoms-bloating, abdominal distention, flatulence, tiredness, headaches, painful urination, but these are not required for diagnosis.

The Mayo Clinic explains what symptoms may suggest you need tests for other conditions.by your doctor.

The cause of IBS is still uncertain.

At one time doctors believed it was due to overactive muscles in the bowel wall, leading to the once used name “spastic colon.” Current thinking is  the nerves to the bowel are hypersensitive and send signals to the brain which then over interprets them as pain. This hypersensitivity may be triggered by food, bacteria, or toxins in the bowel.

An altered immune response to infections may also precipitate the condition. Changes in the number and type of bacteria that live in the bowel has been identified as a possible cause.

The symptoms of IBS may fluctuate and even go into remission spontaneously, so it can be difficult to definitely know what works and what doesn’t. Management can be divided into two categories.

Effective options to control IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome

photo from the collection at LIghtstock.com, stock photo site (an affiliate link, a commission may be paid to this blog)

 

 

Non-drug treatment options

Regular exercise, such as a daily walk, jogging trail signencourages the bowel to move more efficiently.

 

 

Experts recommend changes of food choices as a first step to symptom control.

 

 

 

The Cleveland Clinic offers these general guidelines on eating with IBS.

  • Limiting alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, fat, and gas-producing foods may benefit many with IBS.
  • Avoiding or eliminating milk products, fiber, and/or gluten may be considered next if symptoms persist.

cup of milk, plate of bread

 

 

Some studies show a low FODMAP diet is especially helpful for bloating whether diarrhea or constipation is the major problem. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that aren’t absorbed properly in the gut.

Stanford University Medical Center provides this  Low FODMAP Diet
(FODMAP=Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols) 

FODMAPs are found in various  fruits, vegetables, cereals, breads, dairy, and sweeteners so it can be challenging to know what’s acceptable and what’s not. Using a list such as this one or working with a knowledgeable dietician can make it easier to find what works for you.

 

Mind based therapies

With IBS, hypersensitive nerves from the gut send pain signals to the brain. Because of this nervous system involvement,  one’s thoughts and emotions can both improve and exacerbate symptoms of IBS.   Psychological therapies are often recommended- CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), hypnotherapy, and psychotherapy.

Drug therapy for IBS

Non -prescription drugs used for IBS include

Both groups may also get help from probiotics.

(These are affiliate links used to support this blog at no additional cost to you.)

Prescription meds available in the United States specifically for IBS include linaclotide, lubiprostone, eluxadoline , and rifaximin. Drugs originally developed for depression, the TCAs and the SSRIs , also are effective.

What to do if you think you may have IBS

Monitor your symptoms carefully, keeping a written record, for 1-2 months. Take this to your doctor for an evaluation. However if you have these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.

  • bleeding in bowel movements
  • unexpected weight loss
  • fever
  • profuse diarrhea
  • persistent failure to pass stool
  • severe, disabling pain

 

A primary care doctor-a family medicine or internal medicine doctor- can evaluate these symptoms initially, and decide if referral to a GI specialist, a gastroenterologist , is needed for more specialized testing.

The American College of Gastroenterology offers these resources for patients with irritable bowel syndrome. 

If you have been diagnosed with IBS

Your doctor likely has already recommended some of the measure I have listed above. If not, and your symptoms are not controlled, then you might want to discuss to see if they are appropriate for you.

 

Remember, this information and links are provided for your information and are not endorsement,  advice ,or treatment. I  encourage you to seek care from your personal physician. 

 

I appreciate your sharing  this post on your social media pages.

And please follow Watercress Words for more information and inspiration to help you explore the HEART of HEALTH.

Thank you for  viewing  the advertisements and using the affiliate links  that fund this blog; with your  help, we can grow, reach more people, and support worthy causes that bring health and wholeness to people around the world.

26952564_10213093560871954_4239554644472378905_oSincerely, Dr. Aletha 

 

 

Advertisements
wooden letters WMAS

Healthy holiday eating made easy

We all enjoy our holiday traditions of eating and drinking special foods and beverages.  But these  can cause problems for people who need to manage what they eat and drink for medical reasons.

sliced Stollen

Nutritional management is a major part of living with these conditions-

  • diabetes and high cholesterol
  • celiac disease/gluten sensitivity
  • nut and other food allergies
  • lactose intolerance
  • overweight/obesity
  • alcohol dependence
  • heart, kidney, and liver dysfunction
  • pregnancy
  • migraine

PRACTICAL TIPS ON PARTY FOOD AND MEAL PLANNING

Planning ahead to manage holiday stress also applies to cooking, entertaining and eating during the holiday season.

If you  plan and prepare holiday meals and parties, remember  some attendees need to avoid or restrict certain types of foods.  a dining table decorated for Christmas

Offer an ample variety of types of food and drinks so  your guests will find something that works for them.

If you have houseguests, they will appreciate your asking them about dietary needs or restrictions so you can  have food available to meet their needs.

If you have special needs in regards to food, it may be wise to offer to bring a dish to an event , or take food to eat if you will be someone’s houseguest.

According to The American Diabetes Association

“Holidays can be a time of great anxiety for people with diabetes because it is so focused on food.

Don’t let questions about what to eat, how much to eat, and meal timing dampen your holiday. Plan in advance, so you can fend off stress and fully enjoy the day and keep your diabetes management on track.”

Here are the ADA suggestions for Holiday Meal Planning.

Are you worried about gaining weight from holiday meals, or trying to maintain a weight you have worked to achieve? Then try these

Top Holiday Healthy Eating Hacks

from Charmaine Gregory, M.D. at Fervently Fit 

“There is a huge amount of power in being mindful with your eating during this holiday season. “

brightly decorated table for Christmas

Try these Edible Christmas Gifts from Dr. Diana, an allergy doctor who blogs about cooking.

decorated Christmas cookies

 Delicious gluten free recipes from PositiveHealthWellness

apples, oranges, and walnuts

Addiction Hope 

offers advice for those with eating disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and EDNOS)

” Eating disorders are not about food, it is about the underlying issues which can be triggered by anxiety and stress. Holidays can bring on both increased stress and anxiety and can be difficult for individuals to manage. When a person is in an active eating disorder, there are various ways to cope with the holidays.”

  Read more at

Navigating the Holidays with a Food Addiction: 

 Splurge-Worthy Gifts for tea lovers everywhere at Mighty Leaf. (affiliate link)

 

Christmas jazz piano album coverChristmas music on iTunes

HEALTH in red capital letters

7 questions about health you need to ask now

What does “health” mean to you?

Health- flux and adaptation

Let’s continue exploring the heart of health by looking at a couple of interesting books. In a previous post we considered the WHO (World Health Organization)definition of health

“a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being

and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Or you could also say

There's a Lot More to Health than Not Being Sick by Bruce Larson

“There’s a Lot More to Health than Not Being Sick”

So, what is “a lot more”? 

I’m introducing you to two medical writers who believe  health is multifaceted and not centered around the presence or absence of disease.

(Note: this post uses affiliate links to sites where you might make a purchase which will help fund this blog; your help is appreciated. )

Enjoying life to the fullest

Despite the author’s  impressive credentials, I was skeptical about a health book called “The Lucky Years”, as if health is just a matter of the luck of the draw or throw of the dice.  book cover- The LUCKY YEARS by David B. Agus, M.D.

The author is David B. Agus, M.D. , Professor of Medicine and Engineering at the University of Southern California , , author of two bestselling books and a CBS News contributor.

In The Lucky Years- How to Thrive in the Brave New World of Health Dr. Agus covers some hefty topics including

  • how the human body ages
  • Innovative cancer treatments with immunotherapy , DNA sequencing, and molecular targeting
  • The use of clinical trials to study new treatments for cancer and other diseases
  • How cancers metastasize (spread)
  • Potential uses for stem cells
  • New insights into the development of antibiotic resistance
  • Proteomics- study of the body’s proteins
  • The relationship of antibodies to common viruses to onset of chronic diseases

Rather than highly technical detail he offers a broad overview of these new technologies and how they may help treat and potentially prevent the main causes of death, that is cancer and chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

He recommends patients understand and use technology to maintain and improve their health and not rely solely on their doctor to do so and to actively participate in the healthcare system.

He believes that health data will be used to prevent, detect and treat disease and to prolong life.

Large quantities of such data, organized in a secure database, will help us predict risk and recommend preventive measures, such as already done with

  • Colonoscopy to prevent deaths from colon cancer
  • Aspirin and statin use to prevent cardiac deaths
  • Management of low grade cancers conservatively, avoiding the use of surgery or chemotherapy

Health is in perpetual flux. 

I agree with Dr. Agus’ views on what health is, or rather what it is not.

“I don’t know what true health is, particularly on an individual basis.

For person A, health can be living totally free of illness and disability.

For person B, however, perhaps health means managing a condition well and enjoying life to the fullest despite some disability.

While we can certainly try to measure health in a variety of ways- weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, blood cell count, hormone levels, markers of inflammation, how you look, and how well you sleep, for example- none of those figures or generalizations will tell the whole picture.

And they won’t reveal how many years and days you might have left on this planet.”

He offers this advice –

“I encourage you to view your total health as a complex network of processes that cannot be explained by looking at any one pathway or focal point. Health is in perpetual flux.

The body is an incredible self-regulating machine. You don’t need to do much to support its health and optimal wellness.”

A constant state of healthy adaptation

Nutritionist Hailey Pomroy, author of Fast Metabolism Food Rx, recommends using food as “metabolic medicine.”  book cover- FAST METABOLISM FOOD RX BY HAYLIE POMROY

“Food integrates with your body to create health in a powerful way.”

She explains health using a formula E + M = H which means

Eating, Exercise, Environment  plus

Metabolism, metabolic pathways, Me  equals

Health, Homeostasis, Harmony

In this formula, E stands for everything we put into our bodies as well as everything around us, including people, your job, the weather.

M is what is inside of you, including your genetic makeup, and what happens when your body processes (or metabolizes) food, nutrients, toxins, medications.

“Health doesn’t always mean you are disease free, It means your body has created a homeostasis or internal balance, …is a constant state of healthy adaptation or flux.”

Considering their advice, think about what health means to you.

Use these questions to get started.

  1. Do you use any type of technology to manage your health and medical care? If so, is it helpful, or just more busy work?
  2. What is your relationship with your personal physician? Do you rely on your doctor to tell you what you should do, or recommend what you should do to stay healthy and treat ailments?
  3. Do you know what  medical conditions you are at risk for, and what you can  do to prevent them?
  4. What health measures are important to you, like blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, BMI, mammogram, and why?
  5. Are you “living life to the fullness” and if not, why not? What could you change to make that happen?
  6. How do you use food?
  7. What factors make up your E and your M? Do they add up to the Health that you want to create?

If none of these questions fit your answer, that’s ok, I want to hear your thoughts on health. Share your answers in the comments, or in a message if you prefer to remain anonymous, I will share and discuss them in a future post. Thank you.

Contact Dr. Aletha

Books also sold at IndieBound

Find them here also

These are affiliate links to support this blog.

the word BLOG

Doctor bloggers you need to know

This post has several affiliate links, for your convenience and to support this blog. thank you!

In a previous series I recommended several physician written health blogs. In this post, I revisit some of those sites, and introduce you to a few more I have discovered.

These blogs are all written exclusively or mostly by physicians, or other healthcare professionals. While personal health blogs can be interesting and helpful, blogs that offer information from people who study and practice health and health care professionally offer extra benefits.

White Coat Pink Apron– good food for busy people

White Coat, Pink Apron web site

Dr. Diana, a Boston allergy specialist, blogs about food and shares recipes that are

“quick, easy, generally toddler-friendly, and sometimes Armenian, that anyone can make.”

In this post she shares two recipes for fish, salmon and cod, that adhere to the Paleo concept- no grains ,no beans, no dairy, and no sugar.

LEMON ROASTED SALMON AND KALE

dinner plate with fish, green beans and rice

illustration only, not actual recipe

Alert and Oriented.com

Dr. Michel Accad continues to blog about health care policies and economics, the doctor-patient relationship, and medical history, philosophy, and ethics.

 

According to Dr. Accad, human health is uninsurable; our bodies are not machines so cannot be evaluated objectively. He argues that health insurance is an income subsidy that helps sick people pay for medical care. In this thought provoking post, he explains why

Health insurance is not insurance

He has also published a book,

Moving Mountains: A Socratic Challenge to the Theory and Practice of Population Medicine

“This book will be of great interest to any reader concerned about healthcare. It will be of particular appeal to medical and public health students, as well as to healthcare professionals, including academics open to a challenging perspective.” Amazon

 

 

2 peds in a pod– (peds meaning pediatricians)

Practical pediatrics for parents on the go

Dr. Julie Kardos and Dr. Naline Lai practice pediatrics together and co-author this blog about infant, child, and adolescent  health issues. Including  “Essentials of Life- eat, sleep, drink, pee, poop, love”

Here they explain how to read food packaging labels accurately.

Deception in Packaging: Navigating the Nutrition Information Highway

Family of 4 sitting at a dining table.

Read food packing labels carefully to create nutritious meals.

Freud and Fashion

by psychiatrist Vania Manipod, DO

…BECAUSE IT’S STYLISH TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, ESPECIALLY HOW WE MAINTAIN OUR OWN.

sketch of clothes, shoes, pants

because it’s fashionable to talk about mental health

Dr. Manipod is active on several social media sites as well as her blog. As a psychiatrist, she focuses on mental health, for both patients and other physicians.

She offers Advice on How To Cope With Burnout,  advice she tries to take herself.

And in an interview post she discusses

how a New York woman fights the stigma of mental illness

Dr.Linda-

Just a family doctor speaking up from the frontlines of medicine

Dr. Linda Girgis, M.D. has published a  fiction book, Pandemic Rising

Pandemic RISING- a book

“The year is 2025 and there is a war of worlds in full swing: pathogens versus humanity. In the antibiotic-resistance era, people are living in a petri dish of toxic microbes. Unfortunately, humanity lost its most powerful weapons, antibiotics, when previous generations of doctors prescribed them indiscriminately. Additionally, the efficacy of vaccines waned when people refused these fortresses based on mythological beliefs. Across the globe, tens of thousands are dying while scientists and doctors race to find a cure and vaccine for these super-bugs. Will the medical community of scientists and doctors succeed in developing new ammunition? Or will humanity die off in the battle against the new world order of infectious diseases and pandemics?” Amazon

 

 

On her blog, she shares a poignant story about a terminally ill patient with an unshakable will to live in this post-

A Lesson a Patient Taught Me about Defying Death 

Please visit at least one of these doctor bloggers, and leave them a comment. They will appreciate  the support and you may learn something new.

Previous posts about  doctor bloggers

10 health blogs you should read- a pair of docs and more

10 health blogs you should read- a family (doc) reunion

10 health blogs you should read- blogs by docs

10 health blogs you should read- 3 blogs by 3 docs

 

Books also available at Barnes and Noble/Nook

$5 Off Your Order of $40+ and $10 Off Your Order of $75+

“How I “broke up” with junk food and fell in love with healthy eating”- top post of 2016

This week I’m sharing my top 5 most viewed posts of 2016. I’m not surprised that any of these were the most popular because a couple of them are among my favorites too. (Well, ok, they all are.)

Here is my most viewed post this year;  it was also my most viewed post of 2015.

I think it is popular because the story is  honest and authentic, and one so many of us can identify with. It would be easy to call it a “weight loss” success  story, but it is so much more. Read about my special friend Pam and you will understand why.

How I “broke up” with junk food

and fell in love with healthy eating.

 

 

Meet my friend Pam. My husband and I met Pam and her husband in a ballroom dance class. I was immediately captivated by her radiant smile and Southern charm. Since then I have learned more about her and watched an amazing transformation in her life.

Pam and I attending a wedding at the dance studio

Pam and I attending a friend’s wedding at the dance studio

Pam graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Mississippi State University in 1980. With a major in Communications, she started her career as a writer and Account Executive for advertising and public relations agencies in Mississippi and in Oklahoma where she moved after marrying.  She was the Marketing Director for a large medical clinic for several years. Since 1995, she has enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom with involvement in PTA, church and community. In 2012, she was named Volunteer of the Year by her community public school system.

But despite such a charmed life, there was a struggle, one that Pam shares with many people. In this blog I have discussed the physical and emotional consequences of excess weightyou will be encouraged by Pam’s success story which she so generously shares with me and you.

“Breaking up is hard to do. ” By Pam Whitson

“I was happily married to the love of my life and should have been having the time of my life.   Sadly, my self-confidence and my happiness had been stolen, and I was the thief.

For over two decades, I robbed myself of peak energy, vitality, health and beauty by totally disregarding my intake of food.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I thought about what I should do.  I spent money on self-help tapes, gym memberships and weight loss programs from the practical to the extreme.  I whined and wished about it constantly.  And it didn’t help knowing that I was not alone; almost half of adults are overweight or obese.

And I had occasional moments of success.  Like the time I was within four pounds of leaving the “obese” category. (Obese is a BMI, body mass index, of 30 or higher)  After months of hard work, I ran to Glamour Shots for the mid-1990s version of a sequin and big hair make-over.  On the way home from my triumphant photo session, I stopped by my favorite barbecue place and started eating my way right back to where I was before.  I gained all the weight I had lost back and more.

I joked my way through feelings of depression, because  I had an unhealthy relationship with food.    I thought about it way too much.  I ran to it for instant gratification.  I was too in love with the tastes, the textures, the sheer delight of food.  Even now, I love to grocery shop.  One of my favorite places on the planet is the cereal aisle of the grocery store.

cereal boxes in a store

“One of my favorite places on the planet is the cereal aisle of the grocery store.”

Finally, at age 53, after twenty years of carrying way too much weight for my 5’7 ½” (1.7 meters) (yes, the half inch counts!) frame, I was ready for a change.  Really ready.  Change isn’t easy.  Change hurts.  I walked into Weight Watchers and pretended it was my first time ever.  I read everything.  I listened and participated.  I went to every meeting.  I hung around afterwards and pestered my leader for every little nugget of information I could cling to.

Pam before weight loss

Pam and her daughter

I rejoined Weight Watchers in July, 2012, with 20 pounds (9 kg) still off from a previous Weight Watcher effort. I lost 40 pounds (18 kg) in 4 1/2 months to be at goal before Thanksgiving! I learned to maintain this loss during the required six week maintenance period with Weight Watchers and became an official Lifetime Member before the year’s end of 2012. This meant a lot to me because my birthday is New Year’s Day. How wonderful to start the year at a healthy weight!

At Weight Watchers I learned I could change.  I could change what I put in my grocery basket.  I could change what I ordered in restaurants.  I could change how much I moved.

I could change my relationship with food for good.

I still enjoy food.  Very much.  Maybe even more than before because now I appreciate my food as fuel to live a healthy and active and even beautiful (in the eyes of the beholder) life!  I still enjoy the tastes, even more so because I choose only the best.  My plate is colorful with roasted veggies and fresh fruits and salad greens.  I enjoy grilled lean chicken, steak and seafood.  My carbs are high fiber, full of flavor and texture.  I no longer long for the processed foods full of white flour, sugar and fat.

By pairing healthy eating with increased physical activity, I changed my weight dropped from 226 lbs (102 kg) to 150 lbs (68 kg).  Now 70 pounds (31 kg) lighter and at a healthy BMI of 23, I feel so much happier and healthier.  But once I started eating better, even before I was near my goal weight, my self-esteem and confidence were instantly restored.  Just knowing that I had a plan gave me optimism and excitement.  I’ve been at goal for almost three years and I wouldn’t trade it for the world (or even a crisp cookie). And I now stay about 10 pounds (4.5 kg) below goal as a safety net.

Pam on a well deserved vacation

Pam on a well deserved vacation

In addition to my daily walks, I enjoy ballroom dancing, Jazzercise, swimming and an occasional bike ride.  I wear a Fitbit and accomplish 15,000 steps a day.

I’ve been a Weight Watcher leader for two and a half years and just LOVE it! I never imagined I would do this; you might as well as told me I would become an astronaut. While helping me stay at a healthy weight, I enjoy the privilege of making new friends and helping other people be their most confident and healthy selves. Just for fun, I’ve started a Park Walking group that explores different parks in our city every two weeks. We took a summer break (Oklahoma gets real hot in the summer) but will be back on the trails in September. Along with my awesome Weight Watcher members, I’m enjoying a new healthy relationship with food for good. “

Pam leading a Weight Watchers meeting

Pam is now a Weight Watchers coach

 

 

Weight Watchers may not be the answer for everyone, but Pam’s idea of changing our relationship with food should be a part of any weight management plan.  Our eating habits affect our health in other ways, so even if you are not overweight, using food appropriately is important.

Physical activity also has health benefits beyond weight loss. I joined Pam’s walking group and find it a fun way to exercise and make new friends. (My favorite walking shoe is Go Walk by Skechers.)  In addition to social dancing with our husbands, Pam and I are part of a ladies dance team. We performed a Western theme dance routine to the song “These Boots are Made for Walking” . That’s so appropriate for someone who walked her way from a BMI of 35 down to 25. If she can do it, so can you.

 

And if you are wondering how Pam is doing a year later, read this update –

“in love with healthy eating”

( This post contains affiliate product links; purchase through these links pays a commission to this blog; thank you)

 

 

Thank you for joining me for this year end recap, and for reading these and my other posts this year. I appreciate your time and interest in what I have to share.

Please follow this blog in 2017 as we continue to explore the HEART of HEALTH.

 

Top 5 posts of 2016- #4

This week I’m sharing my top 5 most viewed posts of 2016. I’m not surprised that any of these were the most popular because a couple of them are among my favorites too. (Well, ok, they all are.)

Here is number 4- some advice I borrowed from another physician blogger. Dr. Mary Brandt writes a blog for medical students and residents and I thought this blog post contained good advice for anyone. It’s quite simple- even a doctor can understand it. We’re like everyone else- we may know the right thing to do, but putting it into practice presents a challenge. That’s why I recommend-

How to (not) eat like a doctor.

 

Despite food intake being one of the most important factors affecting our health, if not the most important, 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 education and work.

hospital

Medical students and residents spend more time in a hospital than at home.

 

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.

dinner plate with fish, green beans and rice

Medical students and residents rarely sit down to a lunch like this.

 

I’ve learned from my patients that physicians are not unique in 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.

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 a practicing 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. In summary her 5 points are

 

  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???”

Here is her plan to help you start

Eating Well at Work 

 

vending machine with junk food

What not to eat at work.

Please return tomorrow for the third

most viewed post of this year.

Practical steps to healthy holiday eating

What do marshmallows, pumpkins, eggnog, popcorn, and pears have in common?

They are  foods associated with holiday recipes, and they’re mentioned in songs about Christmas. You’ll also recognize some less everyday foods like chestnuts , figgy pudding,collard greens and wassail.

 

Recipes from Holiday Carols 

sliced orange, orange with cloves

We all enjoy our holiday traditions of eating and drinking special foods and beverages; we even sing about them. But these  can cause problems for people who need to manage what they eat and drink for medical reasons.

Nutritional management is a major part of living with these conditions-

  • diabetes and high cholesterol
  • celiac disease/gluten sensitivity
  • nut and other food allergies
  • lactose intolerance
  • overweight/obesity
  • alcohol dependence
  • heart, kidney, and liver dysfunction
  • pregnancy
  • migraine

variety of party cookies on a plate

PRACTICAL TIPS ON PARTY FOOD AND MEAL PLANNING

Planning ahead to manage holiday stress also applies to cooking, entertaining and eating during the holiday season.

If you  plan and prepare holiday meals and parties, remember  some attendees need to avoid or restrict certain types of foods. Offer an ample variety of types of food and drinks so  your guests will find something that works for them.

If you have houseguests, they will appreciate your asking them about dietary needs or restrictions so you can  have food available to meet their needs.

If you have special needs in regards to food, it may be wise to offer to bring a dish to an event , or take food to eat if you will be someone’s houseguest.

EXPERT ADVICE ON HEALTHY HOLIDAY EATING

BROWNIES“Naughty” Holiday Foods 

from WebMD

Tips for Managing Diabetes  from the Centers for Disease Control

Holiday Healthy Eating Guide  HEART HEALTH

from the American Heart Association

(a printable or downloadable PDF document)

Delicious gluten free recipes from PositiveHealthWellness

walnuts in the shell

Maintaining Sobriety While Celebrating  from Addiction Hope 

Here is an affiliate link to find your favorite holiday music.