Healthy Living

There are few lifestyle choices which a person can make to promote a healthier body, and these can be fairly simple to do. When a person becomes deficient in certain minerals, nutrition, hydration or even adequate rest, then that person can succumb to infection or poor health more easily. Hence we have adopted a few changes to our lifestyle to try and keep us in good condition to face the tough life of working as doctors.

These are the things which we have implemented in our lives to try and improve our health:

Eat healthily.

We are told that we should be eating 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day, and in practice we are probably closer to having 10 portions of fruits and vegetables, as we have them with our lunch and dinner, and also in our daily smoothie.

An apple a day, keeps the doctor away
An apple a day, keeps the doctor away

But the more important thing to emphasise, is to ensure that there is a balanced diet. One of our friends from the States, who is a gastroenterologist, puts it this way:

“Imagine the food on the plate as different colours, and the more different colours you have on that plate, the more likely you will get all the nutrients for a balanced diet, and for a healthy body. “

To my daily smoothie I add in spinach, strawberries and blueberries, chia seeds, a protein supplement and milk – that already adds red, blue and green to my diet. My wife has mixed fruits, chia seeds and ginger with water – so she has even more colours in hers.

Good fluid intake:

Drink plenty of fluids. This keeps you well hydrated, as a body lacking water will not perform at its best – athletes can attest to this. It puts more stress on your kidneys which have to work harder to get rid of the waste your body produces.Since drinking a smoothie daily, we have increased the fluid intake by that extra bottle (400-500mls) each day.

Semi-skimmed milk is added to this
Healthy smoothie each day

As a paediatrician, I do tell the parents of the children I see, that good fluid intake is vital to overcoming constipation – the medicines we give to soften the poo, works only if there is sufficient water to soften the poo with. Take away the water from the bowel (to keep the body hydrated), and there is less water to soften the poo. So get your children to drink more water.


Regular exercise helps to get the circulation going, keeps the body fit and is supposed to improve the cholesterol level by increasing the HDL (good) cholesterol. In fact exercise is supposed to improve many things – self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy; as well as reducing stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (from NHS UK website).

Speed Abs fully assembled
Speed Abs Ab roller that I have used for about 2 months now

Having used the Ab Roller and the Wonder Core 2 for many weeks now, I can feel the physical and mental effects of this – I fall asleep better, and wake up refreshed and ready to go in the morning. I feel good about myself, and can bear with the stress and strain of working as a doctor much better.

The other thing I have found which has benefited my entire family, has been the extra walking that we are doing each day when we play Pokemon Go. We have walked to the Sandford Lock and our local park almost daily now for the last two weeks, even when it was drizzling. We enjoy more of the fresh air, and less of being a couch potato. That has been great. And the fact we found two very rare Pokemon at the Lock, truly made our day.

Rare Pokemon caught at Sandford lock - Dratini
Rare Pokemon caught at Sandford lock – Dratini
Rare Pokemon caught at Sandford lock - Kabutops
Rare Pokemon caught at Sandford lock – Kabutops

Positive attitude:

When you think positive, then your whole way of doing things can be positive as well. We have learnt to be thankful for the many things and situations we are in, be it good or bad – but that is because of our faith in God. Whether good or bad, we are confident that we can carry on with life, but the good times do help when things don’t go right.

Now some people are so preoccupied with the past (things they have done wrong or bad things which have happened to them), while others are preoccupied with the future (working hard, earning money and saving up for the future), and they forget to live in the present. We have learnt to enjoy what God has given us, because we do not want to miss out on the moments in our children’s lives. Before long, the children will be grown up and setting up their own families. Hence we are looking forward to enjoying each moment as a family – now that’s got to be something worth looking forward to at the end of a busy, stressful or tiring day.

Chinese character for home

Adequate Rest:

We must also not forget to rest, to have a time for our body to recover from the stress and strain of the day. And that means good sleep at night – hence it is worth investing in a good pillow, quilt/duvet and bed, and blackout blinds/curtains to darken the room. As I have grown older, I have found that I require less sleep than previously – either that, or the quality of sleep has improved so I require less of it.

The actual pillow
One of the pillows I bought to try and improve sleep

I can say that with all the measures above, I feel more energetic, less prone to getting ill (and a paediatrician comes into contact with sick children all the time), more able to cope with stress, and am enjoying life more. That has got to be good. And I am thankful to God for this.