February 02, 2009

Personal Healthcare

One of my old high school friends just started working in Maui and she invited me to a Health Fair in Makawao. It was "hippie fare," but I dig that sort of thing even though I do not go to the spiritual and quasi-religious extent that many of the health-conscious organic food eating, yoga stretching vegetarian/vegans do. Listening to a lecture on "Defensive Medicine" really got me back in touch with my passions. The speaker was well-educated, respectful of the medical profession (one of my main concerns with visiting the Health Fair) and paid me a few compliments on being "one of the most thoughtful and bright people" he met today. (I'm such a sucker for positive praise.)

I'd like to eat more healthy, which means less processed foods, less red meat, more fresh leafy greens (I love the Superette nearby for its cheap stuff!)
I'm fine eating commercial crops though.
I'd like to sign up for yoga, since I haven't been keeping up with my 43things.com resolution to practice it everyday.

I want to make people healthy.

A lot of my clinic time, especially in Family Medicine, is spent counseling and educating patients. I'm still a student myself in these matters (and I hope to always consider myself a student and learner in this regard!) so I'm still settling in as an educator. I do love to talk about it with people though... it's just a matter of finding an angle and doing so without the outside pressures of time (and my inexperience) weighing in.

So I'm going to make a commitment to increase my personal wellbeing, here and now. That means more exercise daily, healthier meals (Maui is a supportive place for that) and more reflection on basic health topics that the public is interested in.

The "Defensive Medicine" topic was really about preventive medicine, how to care for yourself so you don't have to go and see the doctor. I agree with this idea; healthy people make the best patients :) The only downside as I see it now is that there's not much to learn and read about in terms of pathology when I get home.

Diet and Exercise.

Diet: I've taken up drinking tea and V8. I crave V8 now... which is ironic since I used to wrinkle my nose whenever I'd see my dad gulping that stuff down as a kid. I'm making a lot of home meals, to reduce my processed food intake and increase my veggies. I'm buying fruits in smaller amounts so I don't feel stressed out about eating a half dozen bananas in a day so they don't rot. I'm contemplating more HawaiiDiet type stuff by Terry Shintani. Becoming familiar with it for my own life makes sense, if I'm going to recommend similar dietary changes to my patients!

Exercise: I used to bike to and from the hospital as my exercise. It was one of my favorite parts about living in downtown Honolulu. I don't have a bike now and this half of the equation in my health is DEFINITELY lacking -- as all med students can attest to, this is the biggest part of the struggle. I don't have to worry about staying in shape, as I lack any sort of shape to begin with. I resemble a one-dimensional shape. I've got a page of exercises for the Ultimate Fat-Burning No-Equipment routine which is ideal for the home-centric exercise I desire.

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