"Sick and tired of being sick and tired."
This is a silly phrase my dad says, but more importantly it is a very real message I have heard patients express. People present to the doctor with a laundry list of symptoms. The most common include (but NOT limited to): fatigue, pain, diarrhea/constipation, weight gain, sleep issues, headaches, stress, anxiety. All of these are serious symptoms that debilitate their days and ruin their quality of life.
I feel terrible and want to help... but what is the cause?
Digging deeper into every patient's problem, there are always a few common qualities.
-Sleep habits: irregular bed times, LOTS of screen time prior to bed, caffeine into the wee hours of the night, and long daytime napping.
-Life Stress: work, bills, relationship conflict and no "you time" to decompress, relax or enjoy an activity
-Diet: eating on the run, eating out, skipping meals, snacking all day, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods and minimal water.
SPOILER ALERT: there is no magical pill to fix it all overnight. I am always stumped on what habit to tackle first and how to convince my patients they NEED to care for themselves.
With all of this said, I looked at my own life. Fatigued- YOU bet I am! Sleep habits- Terrible. (thanks residency) Diet- NEEDS an overhaul.
Today it is time to lead by example and make changes. My plan......Whole 30: google it! I am not a spokesperson or even know that much about the program, but the idea of eating REAL food for 30 days sounds like a terrific idea. Goodbye dairy (my skin will thank me #acne), sugar (everyone knows my candy addiction), grains, alcohol (I hear the gasps now) and legumes.
Difficult? Sure it will be hard, but who am I to encourage my patients to make difficult lifestyle changes without doing it myself.
Be on the lookout for my weekly updates and new recipes that fit the program's guidelines.