Yesterday, a patient took me by surprise (doesn’t happen that much after 14 years of clinical practice!).  She asked, ‘what do you do for your own health?’

 

I was flattered that she asked and thought that I represented a model of good health.  Many doctors don’t.  I’ve always wondered how you would take advice to change your diet from an obese/overweight cardiologist.

 

My answers were pretty quick and simple, as I really believe health does not have to be super complicated, and there are some pretty simple health principles to live by:

 

1. I nourish my body with mostly unprocessed, whole foods.  I eat a ridiculous amount of vegetables, because I really like them.  Some raw, some heavily roasted in olive oil.  Yum.  I eat meat a few times a week, if it looks good or I am in the mood.  I really try to avoid eating things out of packages.  Yes, that includes “health” (NOT) foods like granola bars, energy bars, fake-healthy crackers, etc.  I really try to eat mostly…food.  I don’t drink soda.  I enjoy celebrating every now and then and try not to be overly rigid.

 

2. I take a daily multivitamin and a high dose vitamin D supplement.  I monitor my vitamin D levels a couple of times a year as vitamin D levels, as a fat soluble hormone, can go too high and produce toxicity.  Sometimes I’ll take iron or other supplements on an as-needed basis.  There are a few immune-boosting things I’ll take in times of stress.

 

3. I move my body as much as possible, in as many ways possible.  In winter, think snowshoeing, skate skiing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, back-country skiing.  In winter, when able I’ll ride my snow bike to and from work.  I wrestle with my kids, get out for walks, throw in some strength training at the gym and occasionally  make pitiful efforts at stretching or yoga.

 

4. I try to do a little daily ‘stress reduction’ in the form of meditation, deep breathing or quiet sitting.  For me this is usually 2 minutes, but something is always better than nothing.

 

Keep it simple!

 

1. Eat well.
2. Targeted vitamins and supplements in moderation.
3. Move your body.
4. Stress reduction, prayer or meditation.

 

Keep moving!
Dr. V