Well, I’m back after a little hiatus! I’ve spent the last month working on several things and I thought we’d start with some updates.
First, I’ve been developing a diet based challenge to offer to my patients based on the Whole 30 Program. I’m excited to report that quite a few have taken me up on the challenge, and I will certainly share the results with everyone soon. Although I love what Paleo has done for me and my family, I can’t help but wonder how much of an impact it can have on my patients. I live in a world of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, heart attacks, and strokes. Sounds like a blast doesn’t it!
Next, many people have asked how I can continue to practice traditional “Western” medicine while at the same time supporting the benefits of the Paleo Lifestyle? Easy, you can’t argue with science! The clinical data behind the use of many drugs these days is strong to say the least. Paleo has to be seen more as a preventative strategy into the future of patients and can’t be used always to eliminate or cure chronic disease. Sometimes the cat has simply already been let out of the bag. So, if a person has a heart attack and has a drug-eluding stent placed in a coronary artery to re-establish flow, they are going to be on the blood thinner Plavix for life. It’s simple; good, well designed clinical trials prove the drug saves lives. I’ll get into more details of the ying and yang of traditional modern day medicine and paleo based medicine. Needless to say, I think a physician can be effective in both arenas. In fact, not only can he be, but he simply needs to be.
The other issue is that the human body does in fact deteriorate over time. High blood pressure for example is not JUST a product of diet. Without question, many cases of hypertension are caused or exacerbated by diet, particularly excessive salt intake. Despite that, hypertension is still a disease, and many people get it regardless of what they eat. Ignoring high blood pressure because you feel medicine is “unhealthy” is a plain bad idea. Many people like to concentrate on the negative of medicine. Regardless of what you want to believe, if your blood pressure is high, no matter the cause, ignoring it will lead to changes in your health that are unacceptable to me as a physician. They should be unacceptable to you as well.
So where does Paleo fit into my clinical practice?
1) There are some people that simply will not listen to anything you say about their diet. They will simply die without bread and sweat tea. What do I do? I keep plugging away at them to realize what they are doing to themselves. In addition, I do all I can with tools I have to keep them as healthy as I can! One day they may grow tired of my preaching and actually listen. Some would say that if I am a true believer in Paleo I would not use modern medicine. I became a physician to help people, and it is not my place to judge others based on their choices…good or bad.
2) Some people have severe chronic diseases and they are willing to try anything to get themselves healthier. They will never get off medicine, and the goal becomes to limit the damage into the future. I try to get them to adapt a Paleo lifestyle and help them get enough water out of their life raft to keep them afloat.
3) The most exciting are the patients who have significant chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, but they have not yet done significant damage to their bodies to make them a long-term lost cause. By adapting a Paleo lifestyle they can dramatically change the course of these diseases, and add to their lifespan and quality of life.
4) The last segment are the rare few young people who visit me BEFORE something bad happens to them! If I can convince these patients to value what they do to their bodies through chronic dietary indiscretions, my life as their physician will be much easier 20 years from now!
Lastly for now, I’ve been working in my kitchen diligently to continue to develop accessible and exciting recipes for the everyday home Paleo cook. I love to cook, I cook everyday. There is nothing that makes me happier than knowing I am putting the best quality food on the table for my wife and kids.
One limitation is my location…Central Louisiana. Sourcing quality meat in particular has been difficult. I’m excited to get my first beef from Butterfield Farms coming up next month. This type of quality pastured beef was inaccessible in the area until the Butterfield’s decided they cared about the meat our community puts on the table. In addition, Inglewood Farms is in it’s first crop of organic produce and they are selling it every Saturday at the Alexandria Museum of Art starting at9AM.
Since I like more than beef, I’m currently working on sourcing pork and chicken, and have a few good leads on places not too far away. Next week I’m going to meet with a farm south of us that raises chickens. Will let everyone know!
Thanks to the evil one at Nom Nom Paleo I have just received delivery of my new Sous Vide Supreme and so far it has been money VERY well spent! I’m new at this thing, but give me a few months and I’ll be ready to unveil my creations to the world.
I have lots of plans for the blog going forward. I truly believe I have a unique voice in the Paleo community as I deal with chronic disease on a daily basis, and have to constantly get my patients to try and rely less on quick fixes and more on basic dietary change. By no means is my voice better than anyone else’s, it is simply different. I hope you all will check in frequently, and I will try to put all I have to bring about real change in both my patients and anyone else that will listen.
April 27, 2012 at 7:56 am
April 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm
Enjoy reading your comments and your sincere belief in the Paleo lifestyle. You made mention of looking for good sources for healthy and organic meat and produce in the Alexandria area. My son in law, Dr. Chris Thomson, DVM, has been following the paleo philosophy for a good while now and he looks and feels terrific. As in your case, his whole family have become involved. I mention this because he and his wife are lauching a new business venture called “Thomson Grazers” which will market “Grass Fed Beef.” They have gone through all of the certification and approvals necessary to be “labeled” Grass Fed Beef. As you know, this beef has so many properties that are healthy. All of the beef is locally raised. They will be offering their beef for sale to the public at the downtown Alexandria market starting Sat. April 28. I look forward to reading your comments and following your recipes. Sometimes it is hard to teach old dogs new tricks, but this old dog is intrigued. Thanks for opening minds and hopefully changing things for the better.