It is officially here and I am overjoyed! I am among many who enjoy Fall. Like others, I love taking in the briskness each morning, sweater weather, cozying up to a warm drink, a sense of getting to slow down a bit, and of course, FOOD! Besides all the chilis and soups and stews that you can make, there's football, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and MORE football! This always seems to be a double edged sword for people: on the one hand, it is such a social time, family and friends, so many excuses to get together. On the other hand, there is SO MUCH FOOD! And with that, we are faced with so many temptations to pull away from our healthy habits.
The International Food Information Council Foundation found that 36% of Americans have tried a specific eating plan in the past year. Interestingly, this past year the fad diet of choice was intermittent fasting (stay tuned, we are going to dive into that). Nowadays, it's not just for weight loss. Countless people are realizing that some foods are making them sick. Or they just don't feel well and want to explore whether food is the culprit. Others have been diagnosed with a condition that forces their diet to change forever more.
As we approach the season of celebration, being on a diet becomes more than just discipline, it is exponentially more stressful. You'd think I was crazy then, when I decided to do the Whole30 a couple of years ago, in October. The Whole30 is an easy to follow diet that is essentially an elimination diet with a paleo focus. But it was hard for me. We were ramping up for cold and flu season and all I could think about was food. Planning food. Cooking food. The next time I could eat food. But by the end of it, I felt better: my face was clearer, I had more energy, I didn't get "hangry", I hadn't realized that I was perpetually bloated until I wasn't anymore. And then Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season came and habits returned. The benefits were short-lived, but the experience was eye-opening. I know that I would feel better repeating the Whole30, when I muster up the focus and determination again.
Starting this Fall, we are launching an educational series, with a new topic each quarter. As we continue to learn, you can too! Our first topic, in light of the nature of this season, will be on Nutrition.
In family medicine, I get a variety of patients, from those who are dealing with health problems such as diabetes, thyroid problems, or IBS to those who just want to lose some weight and I often get asked, “What diet should I be on?” This is a difficult question to answer and in fact, I don’t often have a "one size fits all" answer! Each person is so different and the health problems they have are so varied, there is never just one answer, let alone an easy one, to that question. However, this fall, we will review the most popular eating plans so that you can understand what's out there and decide if any of them are right for you. If you want a more detailed, personalized plan you can always see me for a consult, I love guiding people through this process.What if you just want to lose weight?? We'll talk about that too, from factors that impact weight to all the different options, including medications and surgery.
As your healthcare providers, we strive to stay up to date and are constantly learning. Our goal is to build a platform to facilitate information sharing and exchange so that you can make informed decisions about your health as you head into the extravagance of the holiday season. Join us as we all continue our journey towards wellness.
Dr Lisa Nguyen