Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What Are We Thinking?

Today Camille and I decided to go out of our comfort zone, again, and meet with a doctor who we felt aligned with our goals and vision as practitioners for Shiny Healthy People. This doctor has a very successful practice and a high rate of weight loss success with patients. We presented our ideas and our thoughts and though they were well received, we learned very quickly that we have a lot of challenges ahead of us.
There was a moment in our conversation where we mentioned behavioral modification and motivational interviewing, which is essential for any sustainable change. This doctor said 'oh like a health coach' and we just nodded our heads and went on our merry way, perplexed about the idea that this may be the perception people have of us. Totally knocked our ego.

But then something brilliant happened, the brains of this operation, my business partner- Camille, called me and had a rebuttal to this doctors comment. This is how it rolled out:

"No, not like health coaches, like medical professionals, like PA's providing medical knowledge and education in the way that we were trained". Knowing how the body works and reacts to foods on a micro level in the blood vessels and endothelium to the atherosclerosis, to insulin production and weight gain, free radicals and nitric acid, to food intolerances and allergies that keeps you from losing weight, because food isn't food like it used to be. We're trained medical professionals with a full arsenal of medical knowledge and training that allows us to prescribe medications on a regular basis, sometimes to 40 - 50 patients a day, but doesn't allow us time to sit and talk to patients and get a holistic picture of their lives and bodies and health.

Which leads us to the impetus for what we're doing and why we've dedicated our lives to developing a program, a true life change that will change your life. We're here when your doctor says "change your diet and lifestyle", we're the prescription. We're here to prove that food related diseases are sometimes reversible and that we already have a cure for Diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, and that we actually created these diseases with our food choices over the last 40 years. Yes, we'll counsel you. Yes, we'll motivate you in the same ways a coach would. Yes, we'll be there for you when you slip and eat the fast food happy meal and won't make you feel guilty. But we'll also be there when something isn't right, because we've been trained to identify that as well and we'll refer you back to your PCP to fix it and maybe it will be us, because we don't plan to quit practicing as PA's either.

So there you go. That's what we're thinking. As time goes on and the challenges continue we'll become more and more savvy on what to say about what we're doing and the shift will come and eventually, we'll become the norm. That's the hope.

DISCLAIMER: What we're promoting is not an alternative or substitute for traditional medical care, we're here to supplement the care that you're receiving from your doctor.  You should never quit taking any medication prescribed by your PCP without his or her permission or advice.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Breaking Out of My Comfort Zone, So You Can Break Out Of Yours

It is time for me to get out of my comfort zone, and start blogging. I mean, it's only fair, I'm asking you to do one of the hardest most challenging things ever, change the way you eat! What?!

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Camille. I am a Physician Assistant who works in a rural community outside of Austin, Texas. I love my career, but I am looking for a greater connection with my patients. As Erica has mentioned, we have realized it is impossible to connect and really offer the proper guidance people need to make significant changes to their lives.

We are still in the preliminary stages of planning our new project, but we are so eager. We have both been incorporating our new passion and research into our current practice. It has been reaffirmed time and time again that there is just not enough time in an office visit to really delve in to diet and lifestyle. Yet our patients have so many questions, and really want to make changes. They are so overwhelmed by all the information on the internet, the misinformation they have received in the past and the layers and layers of guilt and failure from all the past diets tried. They are so confused with whether they should eat bread or only beef or just raw foods all day, everyday, or calorie count. Really what people are saying is, " how can I prevent myself from getting diabetes like my mom?", "how can I stop taking all these medications?", "how can I have more energy?". We want to help guide you through this process with a program that is specific to you. 
We are not here to promote a specific diet. We don't want you to feel hungry and deprived. We just want to you to fully understand your attachment to food, and how food effects your mind, body, and soul. We want to walk you through 6 months of personal care and attention to break your dependence to food.

OK. I just mentioned we aren't here to promote a specific diet, but I might not be sharing the entire story. Through extensive research Erica and I have found most benefit with a primarily whole foods plant based diet. Now before you run away screaming "I will NOT become a vegetarian!", hold on, we're not asking you to do that. What we do want you to know is that studies show consuming MORE fruits and vegetables decreases obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, Alzheimer's disease, and certain types of cancer including kidney, colorectal and breast.

We understand most people don't want a purely vegetarian lifestyle. We want to show you ways to creatively introduce more vegetables in your diet, but most important teach you about the "history" of your current food choices. This will change your relationship with your health (body), the food you consume, the relationship you have with your family, the community, and the world. WOW! Big leap, huh? It can happen.

I am excited to share this experience of learning and growth with you.

Until next time.