Thursday, February 28, 2013

Having a Little Fun

One of my staff had a great idea to get us out of the office and have a little fun. She set up an after hours office get together at a local franchise called Painting With A Twist . I haven't pained since about the 5th grade.
A real art instructor works with the group to paint a picture of their choice on canvas. We brought in snacks and beverages and pained away for 2 hours. It was a really fun way to take everyone out of their comfort zone and have a little play time. None of us are artists, but all of us can be creative and nobody could fail. One of my staff is even color blind and he still enjoyed it.
It was such a good time, and I promise, we'll be back.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Eggs in a Mug

 I was listening to National Public Radio on the radio the other day and was fascinated by a program on microwave cooking.
The reporter wanted eggs for breakfast but only had a coffee pot and microwave at the office, so he came up with this and it's great:

2 eggs (beaten)
a splash of either milk or water
add a couple tablespoons of cheese

optional: ham/sausage/green peppers/mushroom

microwave on high for about 90 seconds and Viola...eggs in a mug!

This was my breakfast this morning and now I'm really wondering why I bother making omelets.

You can also bake cake in a mug or brownies... check out or google microwave recipes for more great ideas.
Dr. Ronan
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nothing beats unconditional love. We have 2 dogs that provide just that. Our newest edition to the left here is a female 2 month old lab mix named Josie. She's helped my kids learn responsibility. She's also the thing that gets me out of bed in the early morning and on my way. You just can't turn down a wimpering puppy who wants to go outside. Our older dog, Max, a 12 year old Border Collie mix, has taught my kids to be more careful around old dogs and people too. No matter how bad your day is, how can you stay mad or sad when someone so soft and fuzzy wags their tails and gives you a nice wet dog kiss. Learning to care about others and having them care back is important for all of us. I'm on my way home from the office to enjoy a little pet-therapy.
Good night.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Exercises for Back all works.

I get asked all the time if I recommend special exercises for back/neck pain all the time and my answer is "Everything works with regularity and moderation."

Several years ago researchers at two large university settings looked at what exercises worked best for people with back pain hoping to publish some magic regimen and the answer was surprising. They looked at swimming, biking, walking, ballroom dancing, yoga, pilates, weight lifting, etc and came to the conclusion that 30-45 mins of exercise 4-5 days per week regularly led to fewer flares of back pain, less days of missed work, less medication use, fewer imaging studies, less surgery in people who had been seen for back pain in the previous 12 mos vs a group that either did not exercise or did so only intermittently.

Find something that is enjoyable and sustainable for you and you should enjoy better back health. Working out too hard can cause problems too, so just try to stay fit not necessarily super-fit.

I'm off to Spin Class. Have a great day!

Friday, February 22, 2013

As a primary care physician we see everything. 
I started my day with diabetes  and ended the day with a thrombosed hemorrhoid. In the middle was a stressed and tearful mother of 2 going thru a divorce and dealing with recurrent kidney stones. I managed a case of Influenza while driving to work in a snowstorm and messaged several patients via email thru our patient portal throughout the day.
I had a student following me around the office today, trying to decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life. We talk a little bit about medicine and a lot about work/family/life.
One of my patients showed up 2 hours late for his appointment, so i treated him during lunch instead of turning him away and rescheduling...I wish I had a doctor that would do that for me. I showed up 15 mins late for my dental appointment and got rescheduled a month later.
I feel very fortunate to be able to take care of people, and I hope I'm more of the solution than the problem.
Good night.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Broken Arm Ski Trip

As physician-parent you would think I'd know better than to allow my 7 and 9 year old daughters ski down a hill  they just aren't ready for. Heck, I didn't even want to ski down a Black Diamond hill.  But, after 3 successful runs down the slopes on the first morning of a weekend of ski fun, I caved in and let the girls shoot down the side of a set of moguls (something I haven't done in over 20 years). Needless to say, the 9 year old fell on her elbow and broke her right arm we got to experience the Canadian Healthcare System, which, by the way isn't too bad.
Of course, being a cash paying non-resident, we moved along swiftly to check out with xrays in hand to follow up in the States.
Now she's trying to get out of wearing her sling some parts of the day or at night when she sleeps. I'm sticking to my guns on this one. Wear your sling for 6 weeks.
Lesson learned. If you don't have a really good feeling going into any situation, DON'T DO IT!
And, as mom would say, "Just because other people are dumb enough to do something, doesn't mean you have to be dumb too."

Moms are usually right.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Yogurt Pancakes for Breakfast

Hey, try this Pancake recipe out this weekend if your looking for a high protein low carbohydrate way to start your day. My kids love these.

Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes:

2 cups (16oz) plain Greek Yogurt
4 egg whites
1/4 cup coconut oil -softened (or Softened/melted margerin or Vegetable oil if you don't have)
2 tbsp Vanilla
1/4 cup Honey
1.5 tbsp Baking Powder
3/4 tbsp Baking Soda
2 cups of Spelt Flour (unbleached) or Quinoa flour if trying to avoid Gluten
2 tbsp Ground Flax Seeds
1 cup Blueberries

Mix batter together without the blueberries. Heat your skillet or pan up with a little cooking oil or nonstick cooking spray. Pour pancakes and add blueberries...if it seems too  thick, don't worry, they'll flatten out as they cook.

about 3-4 per serving.
I downloaded my Nike app +Nike on my phone and also signed up for a cool program called Earndit +Earndit that gives your points for exercising that you can use to buy things that fit a healthy and active lifestyle, like clothing, sports drinks, trail mix/protein bars...etc.

I get asked all the time if I'm a runner or a biker or a golfer, but in reality I'm just an active person. I don't really log many miles running or jogging. I do a couple of classes per week at the gym, but I don't go every day. We have a pretty nice home gym that I can watch a ballgame and use our treadmill or eliptical or ride my bike. I just try to do something for about 30-60 mins 5 days a week and I feel pretty fit and sleep pretty well.

Studies consistently show that if you do some regular exercise 30-40 mins 5 days per week you miss less work due to illness or injury, take less medication, get fewer x-rays, see fewer doctors less often.
There are no Magic Exercises, just some exercise.

Make it fun and you're more likely to keep it up. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What do my cholesterol numbers mean?

I try to check the cholesterol levels of my patients annually, especially if they are over 40 years old and even earlier (age 30 years)  if they have a family history significant for Heart Disease. A good cholesterol panel is as follows:
Total Cholesterol less than 200 (even better if less than 170)
HDL (good cholesterol) over 50
LDL (bad cholesterol) less than 100
Triglycerides less than 100
Ratio less than 3.0

A couple of good rules is to look at your Total Cholesterol and subtract HDL from it. This is called your Non-HDL Cholesterol and if the number is below 150 then you're in pretty good shape.

Another good rule is to take the LDL + HDL + TG and divide by 3... if you average 70 or less, you're numbers are great.

Risk factors for early Coronary Heart Disease include, but are not limited to: Age over 50 years, Males, Diabetes, Hypertension, Smoking, High Cholesterol, Family History of CHD.

If you don't know what your numbers are, ask your healthcare provider to find out. Many insurances today are being much more proactive with patients and encourage finding out your numbers to prevent early disease and it's working.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Skin Care

We are got to experience a new procedure for skin rejuvenation in the office today combining Microdermabrasion and chemical peel infusion and hydration. Excellent results. We are looking forward to improving our clients skin in 2013.

Also, skin looks older faster with unprotected sun exposure, smoking, and poor diet.

Use a "Broad Spectrum" sun screen with both UVA and UVB protection and a rating of at least spf 15. There are some great new moisturizers and day creams out there with UV sun protection.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hello out there

Hello and welcome to Health Talk with Dr. A.J. Ronan. We have a practice website at +lake Lansing Family Practice and do HIPPA compliant messaging on, but a blog is a new thing to me. My goal is to share my thoughts each day from a busy family practice office and let you see what healthcare is about. Hopefully I can pass on some simple yet effective health tips each week.

I look forward to a healthy 2013 for all of us.
Dr. Ronan