Monday, January 21, 2013

Eggplant, Cauliflower, Broccoli Over Gnocchi

My colleague had a potluck for the providers of our clinic at his house yesterday and we all brought delicious foods to contribute. The three doctors at the clinic are all vegetarian, one of them just turned last year, the PA's try to eat a mostly whole food plant based diet, but sometimes we succumb to the goodness of animal products. Yesterday we had grass-fed meatballs over whole wheat pasta, spinach-artichoke dip, beet and green bean salad, a greens, beet, brussels sprout salad, tofu fried rice, and eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli over gnocchi. All the food was amazing and our belly's were so happy after we were done. This recipe takes very little time and keeps for a few days. Enjoy!


Eggplant peeled and cut into discs
Bread crumbs
Olive oil
Tomato sauce

First bake the broccoli and cauliflower at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. While they are baking, pour a plate of bread crumbs and beat an egg in a bowl. Turn the stove on with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. While the olive oil is heating, dip your eggplant in egg and then cover in bread crumbs. Do this with all of the eggplant. Take tongs and place the eggplant in the heated olive oil pan. Cook them about 2 minutes on each side, until golden. Take out and place on a paper toweled plate. 
Remove the broccoli and cauliflower after 20 minutes and follow the same steps as you did with the eggplant. 
Place the finished veggies over gnocchi or pasta and cover with warmed tomato sauce.

This is what Shiny Healthy People look like after eating this delicious food! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Water You Drinking People?! Sad Realization #1

As the idea of Shiny Healthy People came to fruition, I saw myself practicing more holistically in my current rural health clinic. My patients came in with the Western food related diseases- Syndrome Xer's we'll call them and I started asking different questions. My most recent realization came with a diabetic, high cholesterol, obese, hypertensive, a pretty typical adult patient over the age of 60 in our modern practice. Mr. Smith wondered why he didn't have any improvement in his health with all the medicines he was taking. He was doing everything we told him to do: take the medicines. He couldn't exercise because he was too overweight and it hurts too much to move. Mr. Smith thought if he took his medicines he would feel better, his diseases would be controlled, he would be cured.
There were so many teaching points with my patient, but I took the path of least resistance, the one I thought would be the easiest to change, water intake. "How many glasses of water do you drink Mr. Smith?" "Water? I don't drink water. I don't like how it tastes." My jaw dropped, literally dropped to the floor. "I drink diet soda, about 5-6 a day". I didn't know where to begin. I started to examine him in silence and thought about how this was going to go. Upon finishing his exam, I took a deep breath and gave my spiel. "Our bodies are 60% water, we need water to allow our vital organs to function properly, we need to be properly hydrated so our kidneys work, our muscles work better, we can poop regularly, and most of all we can have radiant skin!" (A selling point that may have worked better if Mr. Smith was Mrs. Smith.

He smiled, a patronizing smile and said "but it's still gross". He wasn't sold.

Hence the sad realization #1 that we must help change in our practice. We need to educate our patients about why the drinking a soda, sweet tea, bottled juice, diet or not, is detrimental to their health. Fake sweeteners and their long-term effects on our bodies are for a whole other post. For now, I just want patients to drink water, to understand the health benefits of filling your bodies with water and the way that it can lead to weight-loss and some studies say increasing metabolism.
Below is some proof in form of an article from Web MD.  Or you can try it for yourself, do a water challenge. If it doesn't change how you feel after a month of two, then go back to drinking sodas.

This is Shiny Healthy People's challenge to you:

- Try to drink a 10 oz. glass of water before each meal
- If water is 'gross' to you, try to place a slice or two of lemon, lime, cucumber, or orange in it to train your palate
- Purchase a cool, reusable water bottle and use it
- If you have to have juice, make a half juice, half water drink
- After going to the restroom, drink an 8 oz. glass of water to replenish
- Eat water-rich foods like watermelon, cucumbers, zucchini, grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries in
  their natural form.
- Have a 24 oz. bottle of water next to you while you're watching tv, drink at every commercial break.
- Drink sparkling water if you need something bubbly
- Track your water intake, make it a competition with yourself
- Write on a plastic bottle, the time of day and a line to how much water you should have

Water toxicity is a real thing. A general rule according to the Mayo Clinic is 2.2 liters for women and 3.0 for men. This will depend on your activity level, environment, illnesses, or pregnancy, breast-feeding. Drink until your urine is light yellow or colorless, that's the easiest way to track adequate intake.

Shiny Healthy People Is Alive!

When we went into Physician Assistant school, Camille and I had the same goal, as do most people going into the healthcare field- to help patients with their diseases. We graduated and started practicing wide-eyed, pig-tailed and naive to the world of modern medicine. People trusted us to listen to them about their health, to examine their bodies, to diagnose them with life-changing diseases and write prescriptions to treat those newly- diagnosed diseases. As time went on and we saw minimal changes in people's health, their waste line grow and their medication list get longer and longer, something was triggered in us. Are we approaching this wrong? Why are we placing a band-aid on our patients, when we practice and believe in a holistic approach to our own health?
Oh yeah, because of time constraints. Because it's impossible to spend twenty or thirty minutes with your patient educating them on their diseases and ways to reverse them naturally with foods rather than medicines when we're seeing 30-40 patients a day. We're not allowed to listen to our patients anymore and make a living. We go in, get their symptoms in 3-4 minutes, review their history, listen to their heart and lungs and prescribe a medication. We often spend more time documenting their visit, then we do seeing the actual patient. This isn't medicine in the traditional sense at all. How can we go on prescribing statins for cholesterol, knowing the possible significant side effects, knowing that patients can reverse cholesterol with the right foods? Why did we go into medicine in the first place?  Controversial? Maybe. Radical? Not at all.

Over the past year, the answer became clear to both of us, band-aids fall off. Prescribing medicines to treat diseases that are caused by stress, a Western diet, lifestyle and lack of movement is not the way we wanted to practice our life's work. We want to help patients, educate them, empower them to take control of their health.

Through this reflection and questioning came Shiny Healthy People, a health care enter that treats mind, body and soul with food and lifestyle choices instead of medicine. We have a strong background and experience in biochemistry, microbiology, organic chemistry of medicine and we're using this to build our program in an integrative fashion. We also understand that the Primary Care office is too fast paced of setting to initiate this conversation due to time constraints.We want to fill the gap, and spend time educating people about their illness or ultimate lifestyle goals. Through experience, we also know how hard is to make changes to health and lifestyle, so each adjustment will be individualized to suit each persons’ current lifestyle and needs.

As our program and practice evolves, we'll be writing narratives of patient experiences, suggestions and recipes, resources and research, so that you can follow along on our journey. We're here to shift the paradigm and put the power of changing your life and your health back into your hands.

Prescriptions to change your food, prescriptions to change your life.