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Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah, Stayin' Alive

In the United States, we value life. We value keeping individuals alive as long as possible, something that has been increasingly difficult to accomplish due to the rise of chronic diseases in our population.

Throughout the past year, I have worked in the Emergency Department as a scribe- basically a transcriptionist for the physician so that he/she can focus more on being with the patient and less on being at the computer documenting various aspects of patients' care. While in the department, I saw many individuals who were on many medications; however, when the physician asked them what medical conditions they had, they would often reply, "None." and proceed to pull out their medication list of about 10 pharmaceuticals.

I believe this to be an issue with modern medicine, which has fueled my interest in reading/learning about different avenues of prevention and alternatives to pharmaceuticals because, let's face it, an individual on 10 medications, who does not even know that he/she has a medical condition, probably does not know about the drug interactions, proper ways to take the medications, etc.- Not safe. During my research, I came across the book How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger, which I highly recommend checking out. Not only is the information relayed in an interesting and relatable fashion, but Dr. Greger sites TONS of scientific literature and studies, acknowledging their shortcomings and their strengths.

Here is an animated snippet that illustrates the main point of the book:

As I continue to post, I will delve more into specific topics within the book, but I wanted to take this post to consider the fundamentals that I gathered and what they allowed me to reflect upon.

  1. One's diet plays an integral role in one's longevity and risk of developing chronic diseases.

  2. One's diet also plays an integral role in the management and elimination/reversal of chronic disease.

  3. Supplements are not the same as eating the whole foods themselves. Although certain vitamins are difficult to get through your diet, those that can, should be.

If simply changing how you eat can reap so many health benefits, why wouldn't you try it? I am not advocating for a plant-based diet (Dr. Greger did throughout his book), as I think individuals should choose a healthful lifestyle that works best for them, but I am advocating for us as patients to play an active role in our health and healthcare. Don't just take a fat-burning supplement because you saw it in a magazine ad. Research the ingredients, look up the interactions that it may have with other pharmaceuticals that you may or may not be taking, and gather opinions from many sources. Even if a professional, M.D., or Ph.D. is recommending products, I believe that you should still take that information and research their suggestions- be your own advocate.

Advocating for yourself starts with knowing and understanding what you are putting into your body- you only get one! You have a hand in your longevity, why forfeit that? The food industry, Big Pharma, and even some promotional wellness companies advertise things that are full of half-truths. You deserve the whole truth. Part of my intention behind this blog is to debunk fad diets and supplements, provide the facts and research behind ingredients that I use in my recipes, and give you all the tools to research these things for yourself.

If you have any topics that you want me to cover, leave them in the comments below! Thanks for reading.

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