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Informative Health Tips
Nancy Weikel RN
Multiple Sclerosis and Me!
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If you would like to take charge of your health and well-being and improve your life, Informative Health Tips in Caldwell is the place for you. See what Informative Health Tips and our experienced team can do for you.
Read a young mother's story of how she went from endurance runner to chronic illness. how healthy living doesn't mean giving up when something goes wrong with your body!
Everyone wants health and happiness! Here at Informative Health Tips, our goal is to give you tips and insight on making your life quite simply healthier and happier! Our staff is made up of health care professionals who truly care, as well as the perspective of a mother of three who not only has lived a healthy life as an athlete, but is also dealing with a chronic illness. We will share what we have learned, discover new healthy ideas for life, and try to answer any questions that might be bothering you. We are open for ideas and questions, so don't hesitate to contact us! Happy, Heathly Day!
By Heidi Reece
I have aconfession to make… I could just live off of chocolate chip cookies! I would rather eat a
soft, warm cookie, than any other food, any day of the week! My problem? I personally don’t have a problem with this
diet, but my body does! I might as well tape them to my butt, because that is where they seem to directly end up (they don’t taste as good that way, though) It’s one of those sad facts that I learned even before I ever took a nutrition class…food plays a primary role in how much we weigh. It also plays a huge role in how much energy
we have and how healthy we feel! Food is what runs our body, and feeding it poor fuel makes our systems clog up and sometimes fail.
Exercise is very good, and it is the closest key we have to the fountain of youth and enjoying
long, healthy lives, but it doesn’t play as big of a role in our body’s metabolism and overall health as food does. There was a time in my life, right after I delivered my first
child, when I was running three to six miles a day, and I didn’t lose any
weight After I finished nursing my baby, I dramatically changed my diet and intake, and I lost all the weight that I wanted to! It was the FOOD that changed everything! I had not realized until then what a huge role the foods we eat can play! At that time it was just about weight, but as time has gone on, health has been even
more important, and I have noticed even more things that food can do!
After having my second child (I tended to gain a lot of wait when I was pregnant), I wanted to
feel healthy right away, and decided really put some effert into figuring out more than just a t a diet, but a way of life.
I wanted to BE healthy, not just skinny. I read through many diets and books and found a way of eating that I could live with and one that didn’t exclude any food groups. I’m not going to advocate any diet, because quite frankly, they ALL seem to work. You just have to find a diet that can become a way of life for you. I chose a diet that didn’t restrict calories (I was nursing and running and needed to eat), but I completely changed WHAT I ate. I ate whole grains, tons of vegetables, fruits and meats. I ate the food that had what I needed in them, and I cut out those foods that had empty calories (like sugar, refined starches and chemicals). I felt so much better, ran so much faster, and lost MORE weight than I had even planned! I discovered then that what I ate made all the difference! Darn
it, but chocolate chip cookies weren’t on my diet plan (but I would sneak one in every once in a while for my sanity—hey, sanity s important too!).
When I asked my husband Anthony, a nurse in the Emergency Room, what the biggest overall problem he saw in the ER was, he said it was a problem with people
understanding how nutrition affects their bodies. An example he gave me was of some patient coming in for stomach issues, and then buying a caffeinated soda
and hot Cheetos from the vending machine! Who wouldn’t have stomach problems with that kind of diet? I know the ER is full of patients who are massively overweight having problems such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure and liver disease! Many of these health problems could be solved with good nutrition. Life throws enough curve balls—we don’t need to be throwing them at ourselves!
Now, I’m not saying that nutrition is the key to all health problems. In fact, I have found that it is not. It can help dramatically in some cases, but it can’t cure
all things. I have Multiple Sclerosis. I have started
writing more in depth about my experience in an article called “Multiple Sclerosis and Me” in another area of this website. That being said, right after I started getting sick, some people started telling me that I had caused it to myself through my eating habits. I had always tried to eat healthy, but I tried to take the criticism constructively.
I thought, what'shealtier than a vegetarian? So, I became a vegetarian (a vegan vegetarian), and I cut out any and all food that had ever been labeled as "bad." I tried a different approach to food, and looked completely at nutrition values. What I found was that it wasn’t a good diet for ME. I did okay, but my health problems didn’t go away, and I became a very grumpy person. In order for a diet to work, I feel that you have to find one that you can live with and feel healthy with. I couldn’t live with this one, and in fact I gained weight because I really felt depressed and deprived and kept sneaking sugar. I didn’t get any healthier, but I did learn that my disease was not going to be CURED through diet. I feel healthier, and happier as I eat healthy foods, but going the extreme vegetarian route didn’t work for me. I wish I could say that I had found the cure (that would have sold me on it), but it wasn’t. I did learn more about vegetables and their nutrition value, however, and I learned to like some
more vegetables through this experience. I also learned that there are some things that we can cure through
proper eating, and some we can’t, but good nutrition can’t hurt and WILL help your body. It just might not be a total cure to all diseases.
AThat being said , there are a lot of diseases and health problems that CAN be avoided, even cured, through proper nutrition. Healthy eating really is our body’s fuel, and can make a huge impact on your quality of life. Healty eating is also a much easier and more cost effective cure for many of life’s health complaints. Give healthy foods a try! You will be amazed at the difference you will see in your life—even if (or maybe especially if) you are like me, and battling a chronic issue! It can’t hurt, and will help!
In conclusion, the point I wanted to make in this little article, was that the food you eat DOES matter! Can you have a treat (like my chocolate chip cookies) every now
and then? Sure! In fact I would recommend it for sanity purposes! What matters is what you eat regularly. Find yourselves eating more vegetables and
whole grains, and less of the sugary and starchy stuff! Your body will thank you, and you can avoid
the health problems that are avoidable. Don’t worry… you will find something else to do with your time other
than becoming a regular in the ER! My husband would much rather see you as you come for a visit to our home as a
friend, than to see you at work!
--Anthony Reece B.S.N.
It is pretty much every day that I see someone come into the
ER with horrible health problems, as well as horrible hygiene. Let me tell you, it is no party trying to put an IV into a person while my eyes are watering from the stench. Is it any wonder that the person I’m trying to save has health problems? If they won’t
wash, what else won’t they do? I definitelysee a direct link between hygiene and health! As an ER nurse, my first advice would be to WASH and wash often. Taking basic care of your body through proper hygiene is a definite start to health and well-being.
So what would be my definition of proper hygiene? To be specific it would be CLEAN. Clean every nook and cranny, fold
hair. Clean the clothes that cover your body, and clean your hands and nails over and over throughout your day. Cleanliness is vital to fighting off disease,and it definitely shows that you respect yourself and those around you. We are all exposed to germs and disease; we
don’t need to be a walking germ spreader! There is no reason for it. It does not take a lot of time or money to be clean.
Going back to the link I’ve found between cleanliness and
health, I have found that those who respect themselves enough to be clean are much healthier people in general. Do
clean people still get sick? Definitely. I’m not saying that
showering everyday will take away your health problems. No, I’m just saying that it will help avoid those that CAN be avoided.
Part of the problems I see with people who don’t wash, in
general, is that they don’t take the time to take care of their bodies at all. I see diabetes and heart disease, caused from poor eating habits, lung problems from smoking, liver problems from drinking, hepatitis from drug use… the list of preventable diseases goes on and on. I’m not sure if the problem started or ended with hygiene, but it seems that there is a connection between cleanliness and taking care of one’s self.
In conclusion, I would put out a plea to all of you headed to
the ER. Please wash! Make washing a part of your life, and
hopefully it will keep you from going to the doctor, not to mention the ER, as much. Happy washing, happy body, happy nurse!