“Health is such a wonderful gift. If you are in good health, take care of it and treasure your health. Diet and exercise, stress management and meditation all work together to make a person whole, healthy and happy.”
Health and Wellness Philosophy
You want to be physically active because it is basic to life. If you are lucky enough to have legs that can move, you want to walk and you want to do as much as you can. Physical activity has really been taken away from us in our occupations a lot of times. Many people sit all day; I certainly do a lot of sitting in my occupation. But I make it a point getting up a little earlier and doing some physical exercise. I love to go outside, do a brisk walk in the park in the morning. I think for women it has an enormous affect not only on them, but also their children - it’s a wonderful example. Their children will be more physically active and as you know we have a terrible problem with obesity in children.
Diet also plays a big role. Try to stay away from processed foods, try to have real food that you cook yourself. A lot of people say they don’t have time to cook but I think you can do a lot on the weekend. Make a dish that can go a couple days into the week, and then the other nights perhaps something simple.
Classic Make Ahead Dishes:
1. Coq au vin. Julia Child’s recipe is delicious and tastes even better the second day.
2. Beef bourguignon. The recipe is more interesting than simple beef stew. Use grass fed beef or substitute bison for extra health benefit; the tannins in the wine will naturally tenderize the meat.
3. Shepherd’s pie. Use lots of vegetables and lean lamb to keep it healthy.
Simple Dish Suggestions:
1. Grilled chicken or grilled fish and vegetables.
2. A big salad with tuna - Dark tuna that is packed in olive oil rather than vegetable oil or water because the olive oil will enable your body to get the benefit from the omega three fat in the tuna – so that would be a good choice.
3. Baked chicken sliced up some with a big dinner salad and vegetables.
Keep an inviting bowl of fruit on the counter for snacks and a big bowl of fresh crudités in the refrigerator. Having healthy snacks visible will encourage your family to make better choices.
First of all, make no mistake – those foods that you are consuming become part of your body – they become part of the cells in your body. If you are relying on process foods all the time it’s not good for your body.
What is high fructose corn syrup?
It’s made from corn; it’s a sweetener that is sweeter and cheaper than sugar. So it is inexpensive for manufacturers. We have subsidized corn farming in the United States. It is a very large industry. There are farms that depend on corn. There is no question that it is associated with obesity. Where you find it - The majority of it is found in junk food, especially soda. Sodas were sweetened with sugar syrup before 1970, now all contain high fructose corn syrup. In fact, our consumption of high fructose corn syrup has increased 1000 times in the past 30 years! This correlates with the rise in obesity.
“Calories that you drink are different from calories that you eat.”
Solid food requires the mechanical process of chewing and synthesizing the enzymes of the digestion process to break down the food and absorb the calories. Liquid calories are absorbed more quickly. Perhaps you have witnessed this – if you ever seen someone with diabetes whose blood sugar falls very low, causing them to become sedated; after drinking some juice consciousness returns. Well it is the same thing – that is the sugar that they drank going directly into their circulation. That is a dramatic example of how quickly sugar or high fructose corn syrup is absorb from the blood stream. Additionally, high fructose corn syrup seems to be increasing our palates for sweetness. It has developed a drive for sweetness in people in the United States. So if something is not sweetened, it just doesn’t taste right to people. Who would ever dream that we would sweeten water, of all things?
History of Sugar in Our Diets
There was an anthropologic study about sugar through the ages. For prehistoric man it was a quarter of a pound of sugar intake per year, and that sugar would mainly be found in berries when they were in season. We didn’t have granulated sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Now today the average yearly consumption of sugar for an adult is 55 pounds per year! Sugar stimulates the body to produce insulin – insulin cause fat to be stored. High insulin levels is one of the reasons for the epidemic type two diabetes now that we are seeing, and again we are seeing it at a younger age.
My practice is a nutritional practice, and people come here to lose weight. One of the tools that we provide is meal replacements. I decided to make my own by working with a food scientist, and we came up with this really fabulous meal replacement. It is called Everyday Nutrition and they are really complete. Each drink has 20g of protein, 400mg of calcium – which we need for our bones, teeth, and cellular process, and Omega-3 fat. Omega-3 fat is the type of fat this found in fish that protects the heart, the arteries, and the brain. The drink has no sugar and they‘re just ready to drink. Originally, I made them for my patients, but people found out about them and would come to the office asking for Everyday Nutrition shakes. So we began offering them in certain stores in New York such as Graces Market Place.
Are there any supplements that you would recommend for us to include in our diet?
If you don’t eat a healthy diet, take a multiple vitamin. I suggest you get your vitamins by eating plenty of vegetables and fruit. The one vitamin almost everyone needs is vitamin D because it is made within the skin in response to sunlight. There was a study conducted in Africa that assumed that the sun in Africa is so strong that the people in that region would have very high vitamin D levels. While on the contrary, the melanin blocks some of the vitamin D intake. In the United States a study measured vitamin D levels among elderly people in Arizona. They had low vitamin D levels because as Caucasian people get older, their skin thins.
1. Vitamin D3 1000 IU is what I recommend. Take one every day. It’s not expensive and you can get it at your local drug store. But make sure is vitamin D3 1000 international units (IU) because it is what the body uses.
2. Another supplement that I would recommend if you are not eating fish daily is an Omega-3 supplement. Omega-3 found in fish protects your arteries, heart and brain. Our diets are low in omega-3. I would suggest checking out Consumer Reports to get a really good Omega-3 fat supplement. Omega-3 is so important that it is now incorporated into infant formulas. And by the way, the United States was very slow in adopting that recommendation. It happen in Europe two years before it was required in the US.
How do you get the important vitamins from food without a supplement? Eat natural foods and include vegetables and fruit at each meal.
1. Don’t skip meals. Your blood sugar falls and you will get really hungry. You will not feel good and you will not have any energy. So start your day with breakfast. I would suggest having protein in the morning because it will keep you satisfied longer. An ideal breakfast in the morning is some yogurt and berries. If you don’t like that try scramble eggs and whole grain toast, with a side of berries. The berries will give you vitamins, polyphenols, and really healthful things for your body. The yogurt or eggs will give you protein. The whole grain toast will give you some fiber.
2. For lunch, a big dark green salad with protein and a light dressing – but don’t over dress it. The darker the green, the more vitamin A it will have. Add color to your salad with tomatoes, peppers, carrots, red cabbage, etc. The more color, the better. For protein: choose lean chicken, turkey, meat or fish.
3. A snack in the afternoon such as an apple. The honey crisp apples that are out now are really delicious and crispy. The benefit of eating an apple is actually in the skin because that is where the flavonoid compounds are. If you have a Macoun apple, which is smaller, you can actually have two of them – that is the equivalent of one honey crisp and you are getting more skin. I would also have protein – maybe some cheese with apple.
4. For dinner, a piece of grilled fish, spinach, and a whole grain. Avoid white rice or white potatoes, as they have little value to your health, providing little more than starch. Consider choosing a starch that is really going to benefit the body like a sweet potato or quinoa. Sweet potatoes are filled with beta carotene. Quinoa contains the most protein of any grain and has a nutty flavor. Whenever you see color in whole foods, you know it is going to benefit your body. You don’t need dessert every night. Save dessert for the weekends. And drink water throughout the day.
Your body deserves your respect. Before you decide to incorporate a food into that wondrous body of yours, look at it and think what benefit does this have for my body? Does it have protein? Will it help to build my cells? Is it colorful – does that have the wonderful polyphenol compounds in it? Or is it just filled with fat and sugar? Think of it in a business model – what benefit does this have for my body?