Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Greetings and Happy Valentine's Day!

It's been a great beginning of the new year so far, and we're sure that February will be no different! The big news this month is that Dr. Shahrzad Orona is having her 10 year anniversary at the clinic this month! If you see her in the clinic wish her a happy anniversary!

We're also proud to say that our doctors and staff are keeping up with their New Year's resolutions. This past weekend our team competed in the Super Spartan Race held in Chandler. While we didn't take first place, we did all make it though the finish line of this 8.5 mile obstacle course race. More importantly, having a team and being signed up for this event helped to keep us motivated and stay on track with our exercise goals.

Speaking of exercise, we've expanded on our weight loss program and are now offering additional physical training options in the office. If you've been trying to start an exercise routine but need some help getting started, this is something you should take advantage of. Call today for more information.

Are you ready for allergy season?

Want to find out about the best natural ways to kiss this allergies goodbye? We're having a free lecture and talking all about allergies on Wednesday, March 7th at 6:00pm.

We have a couple of article to share this month. Dr. Andrea Purcell has posted an interview she recently completed regarding positive health effects of healthy eating. Dr. Jake Psenka reviews the American Cancer Society's latest publication on cancer prevention strategies.

Interview with Dr. Purcell - Upcoming Lecture on Food Pharmacy

Q: Why is it so important for us to take responsibility for our health?

A: Because no one is going to do it for us. We have control of what is on our fork everyday, our fork is powerful.

Q: Do you believe that we have the ability to change our health by what we put into our bodies every day.

A: Absolutely, AND that means that we can prevent disease.

Q: What exactly do you mean by that?

A: What we eat either brings us closer to or farther away from disease. If we change our food choices we change our health. It is so important to know what to choose. Nutritional education is lacking.

Q: Do you have a motto and what is it?

A: Yes, I do, Health begins on the inside and shines through to the outside. There is nothing that we can superficially apply that takes the place of nourishing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that come from food. These items found in fruits and vegetables decrease inflammation, are detoxifying, and enhance elasticity throughout the body.

Q: Are you saying that eating healthy keeps us young?

A: Yes, it enhances the quality of our cell membranes keeping them healthy and strong and less susceptible to damage. Really what food provides is so amazing, that once we become aware of it we want to eat that way all the time.

Q: You have a lecture coming up at your office on Wednesday February 15th at 6pm?

A: Yes, a lecture on Food Pharmacy. Basically, how to use food as medicine. My goal is for people to have the nutritional knowledge to consciously choose foods that they know will prevent disease. I encourage everyone to come out, we’re going to learn a lot and have some fun.

Cancer Prevention by Jake Psenka, ND

The American Cancer Society published their guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention this month. I typically like these guidelines, however they haven’t seemed to change much in recent memory. I’m pretty sure that most people have heard the message that eating right, exercising consistently, and maintaining a healthy body weight are all proven to reduce the risk of developing cancer. Of course these guidelines are not only good for preventing cancer, but when followed they significantly reduce the incidence of other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease as well. Unfortunately, these guidelines often receive the same attention as do speed limit signs….they only become really important once the red lights are flashing.

Over the years I have found that many people want to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but not many actually do. There are certainly many potential roadblocks to making a lifestyle change, but I encounter one with far more frequency than others. It seems that while everyone knows about healthy diets and exercise, fewer people actually know how to implement one. Many people are uninformed about what a healthy diet is, or how and when to exercise correctly, or what is actually considered overweight. This is exactly why I spend a good deal of time with all of my patients discussing the details of a healthy lifestyle. People need to know what constitutes a healthy diet, as well as how to start eating one. I’ve found that specific directions work wonders. The same should be said about exercise. Get advice from an exercise professional. Most importantly get a support system. This is especially important for exercise; if your buddy is waiting for you at the gym you’re less likely to convince yourself not to go. I’ve also found that one person in a family looking to make changes has a tough road ahead of them. Make it a family affair. Involve the kids and give them healthy habits for a lifetime.

As for measuring obesity, the best thing to do is to get a BMI calculated at your next doctor’s appointment. The BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a standardized body measurement tool. It is possible to calculate your own BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters, squared. A BMI measurement between 18.5 and 25 is ideal. A lower BMI indicates being underweight, and greater than 25 indicates being overweight. The BMI is easy and inexpensive to get (we often do them for free at our monthly lectures) and, because it is easy to perform, can be used routinely to measure the effectiveness of a weight loss program.

One of the major omissions that the new guidelines fail to mention is the importance of anxiety, or rather the importance of minimizing it. Over the past nine years I have routinely asked people who have received a diagnosis of cancer why they think they got it. The most common answer---stress. While this observation isn’t strong enough to be published in a leading medical journal, it does tell us one thing for certain: there are a whole lot of people out there with too much stress, and they feel it is making them sick. Now, with that being said we all have anxiety, and there doesn’t seem to be much chance of totally eliminating it from our lives. What we can do is compensate for it. Do something you enjoy everyday. TV probably isn’t the best choice.

If you were thinking about trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle in 2012, whether by eating better, exercising more, or loosing weight, and are finding yourself having a rocky start please consider our office a resource. All of the docs here are well educated on lifestyle medicine and how to start off on the right foot and stick with it. Don’t let another year pass you by, it’s never too late to start. One thing the new guidelines do mention is that the benefits can be realized even if a health plan is started later in life.