Tuesday, 7 January 2014

My Doctor's Advice on A Healthy Eating Habbit

I just got back from my doctor's appointment at Hammad. And the first thing I did when I got home is head  straight to my laptop and type on its keyboard for this post before I forget everything.

What I am sharing with you is my doctor's advice on how to eat healthy.  Dr. Mohammed Yousef  is a General Surgeon at Hammad and I've been following up with him (and with Dr. Rashad) after the removal of my gall bladder (due to the presence of polyps and not gall stones, not that anyone is asking :D... ) It's the best advice I've ever had so far when it comes to "eating". 

I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) though my gastroenterologists (yes PLURAL because I'm consulting with 2 different doctors) are still on the process of eliminating possible illnesses related to my chaotic gut (stomach pain, distention, bloating, abdominal pain, throbbing, piercing pain, vomiting, loose-bowel-movement, constipation, etc.) before finally saying "you have IBS and there is nothing we can do about it".  When Dr. Yousef asked me if the gastroenterologists I'm seeing taught me "how to eat", I was perplexed.   I've actually been asking those doctors (gastro) what food to eat and to avoid because of my gut problem and the best I got from them is to "continue with my current diet" and that is eating everything but red meat and "to try to eat red meat".  

So an advice from a good doctor for a healthy eating habit is not something I am going to pass.  I took note of every single word he said and now I am sharing it with everyone.  Cliche as it may seem, but has anyone of your doctor did actually give you any advice, personally, as to "how to eat properly"? 

Anyway, Dr. Yousef said that taking care of the digestive system specially our stomach is the most important and best way to a healthy living.  A problem with an individual's digestive system might lead to other health risks. So I'm heeding his advice and in 3 months time, I'm going back to him to report my improvement.

1.  Eat 4 meals and 2 snacks a day in small quantities and on a regular interval.
He said and to quote "do not wait for your stomach to growl before you eat.  Never let yourself go hungry."  He told me to snack on fruits or on healthy nutritious bars like granola bars, etc.

Photo credit : by Honestcooking.com

2.  Drink a glass of water before eating.

he did not recommend the amount for my daily water intake but I've been following the recommendation of a urologist and that is to drink 1.5 t0 2 L of liquid per day.

3.  Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Make it a habit, he said, to eat one or two fruits at breakfast.  You can snack on them too
Photo credit : by Hartford University website

4.  Do not eat sweet food after meals.    If you want to eat your sweets do that at snack time.  As long as you don't have diabetes or you keep your daily sugar intake at a minimum, he said, it's ok to eat some sweets.

5.  Add fiber to your diet as it will be beneficial to your digestive system.  Eat plenty of wholegrain food (wholegrain rice, bran, oats, cereals, etc) and high fiber fruits (apples, oranges, etc.) and vegetables specially the green ones.
photo credit:  by fruitsinfo.com

Fiber in foods helps regulate our bowel movement.  And a healthy bowel movement (no diarrhea, no loose-bowel-movement, no constipation) makes a healthy digestive system.

6.   Eat meat, red and white alike.  Do not eliminate any food group from your diet unless it is causing you some problems  specially allergic reactions
Photo credit: by  myorganicrecipes.com

He told me that I still need to add red meat to my diet because red meat contains proteins and other nutrients that my body needs but since I cannot eat pork nor beef nor mutton (my stomach is not in good terms with these red meats), he suggested that I try veal.  If I still cannot process veal, he told me to stick with my usual fish and poultry diet.

The good thing about Dr. Yousef's advice is that he did not tell me to avoid any type of food not even fatty ones.  What he told me is "to eat moderately".  I think  that holds through with drinking everything as long as it is in moderation. 

Oh, being active, that is exercising (like walking, or running, etc.) is also needed.  AND, though this may sound off-tangent to the topic, but I still find it relevant since we are talking about a healthy digestive system, regulating bowel movement is a must.  A bowel training for me is a necessity. He told me to make it a habit every day, morning will be the best time, to sit on the toilet bowl even if I don't feel like crapping.  In this way, I am creating a schedule to have my bowel movement.  

So there, there folks.  

A healthy digestive system, makes a healthy body. And a healthy body makes a healthy life.  

Looking forward to it :-)


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