Thursday, January 23, 2014

Check That Filter!

I noticed my furnace blower was a little noisy this morning while I was working out, so I turned off the blower and yanked out the air filter and... it was due for a change. With 2 dogs in our house we seem to need to replace these every month or two. I think not replacing these filters has led to a burned our motor at least twice for our household over the past 12 years. I usually buy about 3-4 at a time when I'm at Home Depot or the hardware store. Make it a routine to check these at home and at work (we have 4 furnaces at my office), so you don't go without heat or air conditioning this year.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pet Therapy

This is my dog Max. He was in the clinic today due to family travel plans. One of my staff volunteered to take care of him and our other dog Josie over the weekend. My wife was coming in to pick him up at lunch time, so Max got to make patient rounds with me this morning. He's a pretty docile 13 year old dog who is very familiar with the clinic, unlike my younger lab/retreiver mix, who is a bit of a loose cannon. He kind of just follows me around and lays down in each room I visit. I always ask if patients are ok with a dog in the room before entering and if they prefer no dog, I park him outside the door. He likes to hit the pharmaceutical reps up for pats on the head and the occassional snack if they have any edibles. On vacation, I often miss bringing the dogs, since they are so much a part of our morning and evening routines. I think pets help kids learn how to care about other things besides themselves and to be responsible. I think being a dog owner has made me a better doctor in some ways. It is hard to watch him get old.
As Max says: drink plenty of water, walk a lot and get plenty of rest.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Food For Thought

Food For Thought  after the Holidays-

Well,we are just coming off the longest eating stetch of the year and I’ve noticed the gym is packed each night with post holiday New Years resolutionaries. I’ve talked to several dieticians and nutritionists over the years and the secret to losing weight is not in the exercise you do, but in the amount of food you eat. The ratio is 80 diet and 20% exercise. You will not exercise your weight off nearly as easily as you will calorie restrict your weight off.

That being said, I like to eat. I also like a good beer (good beer, not a lot of beer). We have always enjoyed good food and drink at family functions over the years, but I’ve noticed that a few tricks help keep the bulge off the holidays.
There is no magic food. All food contains calories. When you eat more calories than you need, you gain weight. When you eat fewer calories than you need, you lose weight. In order to lose a lot of weight, you need to consistently eat fewer calories than you need EVERY DAY for an extended period of time. You are what you ate last month/year.  Healthy weight loss is about 1-2 lbs per week. So, if you want to lose 30lbs, at 1lbs. per week, it’s going to take you 30 weeks or about 6 months. The good news is that this long period of time should do something transformative to you. It should nearly permanently change your eating habits so that you are not “dieting” anymore, you are just eating the way you eat to maintain a healthy weight.  The holiday eating is an exception, not how you live and eat normally. The other 48-50 weeks of the year is what you really are.
I don’t particularly like tofu, fish, wheat grass or cod liver oil, but there are plenty of lean healthy foods that I do like that I enjoy every day, and I keep my weight pretty well in check most of the time.
The book series, Eat This, Not That and Cook This, Not Than by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding are great resources. I also like Clean Eating Magazine and refer people to their web site for affordable, delicious, low calorie-dense food.

Have some strawberries dipped in dark baking chocolate (South Beach Diet recommended) and enjoy a massage or pedicure instead of cheesecake. Go for a walk on a nice day. Watch a sports event while on a piece of home exercise equipment instead of the couch and try to drink one water for every beer or glass of wine you consume.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't do what you want to do in this cold...stay in!

With temperatures at -19 Fahrenheit this morning and a windchill at -33 F, it was downright painful to walk across the parking lot this morning. Over 15 inches of snow fell in our area over the past 2 days making driving difficult. My wife and kids kept wanting to use the day off of school and work to do "normal" winter activities, like go sledding, shopping, skiing, or go out for dinner, but I had to remind them and myself that the schools, banks, state government and my office were all closed for a was dangerous outside!
I plowed my driveway 3 times and when the temperatures dropped below zero, my hands turned red, swelled up and hurt that last time. I thought about doing more of the sidewalk or back porch, but thought better of it and went inside to warm up. My wife did go out to the grocery store the day before and stocked up on basics like bread and milk and eggs, so we had plenty of food. She wanted to do some shopping, but I told her that just because the driveway was clean didn't mean our street was and all the side roads were still pretty icy. Tow trucks were pretty busy, so if you needed one, you better be prepared to wait. The kids wanted to sled, but we chose to watch movies and eat popcorn instead. After being outside a couple of times, even the dogs knew being inside was the way to go. They just would not go out after a while. Funny how animal instincts are more dependable than people's.
Don't follow your instincts to go out, stay in and stay warm.