"Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food" -Hippocrates

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Every 39 seconds

Let me share a story....On August 9th, 2013 I was called and told that my grandma was in the emergency room. She had a heart attack. Right at that moment i thought...Grandma Bishop? no way, she is way to strong, she will be okay. Minutes passed, and i received updates, she was being transfered to a different hospital, but again i wasn't panicked because it was grandma. and if you knew her...you would understand..she was going to live to 100. She was young at heart, light-hearted, and spunky.
Well it wasn't shortly after she arrived at the hospital that she passed away, her heart wouldn't be able to make it, but the doctors had done everything they could. the sadness I felt was overwhelming, just as many feel when they lose someone they love. but what made it even harder was that it caught me so off guard. just as heart attacks usually do. the symptoms can be confusing, and often mistaken.

as i've reflected on this experience, i realized that i have been making a few mistakes as a health professional...
  • first, i have started to become so comfortable with the sickness in our country. and i simply expect it when i see someone overweight and unhealthy. 
  • second, when i hear of someone having high blood pressure or of dying from a heart attack, i have often thought, "well unfortunately it doesn't surprise me"
  • FRANKLY, I have become INSENSITIVE.
Every 39 seconds one American adult dies from a heart attack... by the time you have gotten to this sentence, 1 or 2 people have died. 

I realized on August 9th, for the first time that it's not just another person dying of heart disease, but it's a Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Sister, Brother, and so on. There is too much pain and tragedy being felt every 39 seconds when the number one killer in our country can be PREVENTED.

So what can you do?
  1. DIET.... this can prevent or reduce disease. Heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Stroke, Some Cancers and many, many more. 
    1. EAT YOUR VEGGIES. I don't say this to be annoying, I don't eat a plant-based diet for no reason...it's because it can help prevent and even heal you. Fill your plates!
    2. EAT YOUR FRUITS. Packed with antioxidants (disease fighting!)
    3. WHOLE GRAINS. Try to cut out refined grain
    4. CUT OUT THE PROCESSED. We fill our diets with crud. ingredients that we can't even read or understand. chemicals that can harm you. The foods you eat affect your cells. Be Aware.
  2. EXERCISE....try to get up and move! Take baby steps towards exercise. you dont have to do it all at once.
    1. Start with walking an extra 10-15 minutes/day, then add on weekly
    2. Add in some strength training. Break it into 5 minute sections.
    3. Contact me for an exercise program based on your goals!
  3. STRESS.... take a few deep breaths.
    1. Be aware of your body and how you are feeling, step away from the moment for even 2 minutes and simply breath.
    2. Try Yoga, or simply stretching
    3. Work---Life balance
    4. Seek additional help if needed. don't be afraid to ask for it. we all struggle.
  4. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS...get your blood work checked by your doctor, yearly. and watch for signs and symptoms.
The reality is, our country is dying daily of painful, heart breaking diseases, that can be prevented. The unhealthy food is not worth the results.

Start making changes today. Start by adding 1 extra serving of vegetables and a fruit each week. Build up!
Eat to Live, Don't Live to Eat.
Resources:
Eat to Live by: Dr. Joel Fuhrman
http://www.drfuhrman.com/weightloss/default.aspx

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by: Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn 
http://www.heartattackproof.com/