The following is a real case study and teaches us how poor health can be transformed with some easy, sensible changes in diet. I received a frantic call from Jan from Danville, CA (names are changed) asking for help with her husband Tom who was just discharged from the hospital due to chest pain, uncontrolled diabetes and blood pressure. Tom’s physician in Danville, CA told him this was a warning and he better take it seriously to lose weight, start exercising and see LindaRD. Jan said I was the first phone call she made when they came home from the hospital because Tom was confused about what he should eat. Since he was still weak I decided to do a home visit at their home in Danville, CA.
Tom works out of his home in Danville, CA and not surprisingly, the refrigerator was loaded with juices, soda and very high sugar yogurts, different flavored creamers for coffee, cheeses galore and frozen pasta dishes while the cupboards were filled with chips, crackers, and cookies. Jan indicated she hardly eats Tom’s snacks and said she had given up.
Based on prior experiences I know that immediate changes in his diet could create fast results with dropping weight, blood sugar and blood pressure. Tom’s best friend was his food and expressed fear he would feel hungry all the time without his goodies. I know I had to show him how he could still have his favorite foods as long as he balances the meals and snacks correctly.
First, I devised a nutrition plan and told Tom and Jan it must be based on having protein and fiber at each meal and snack which would help bring down Tom’s blood sugar and create a sense of fullness. Next, I decided to educate them on food labels, taking items from the fridge and explaining what they were actually eating. Tom was shocked to learn, for example, that his favorite snack all day long – cheese – was almost pure fat, high in salt and contained hardly any protein. He could not believe how many teaspoons of sugar he was consuming in one day.
We put together a list of snacks that Tom would enjoy during his work day. Of course, we kept his cheese in but I asked him to keep his cheese intake to 2 oz. a day and to make sure he purchased it in 1 oz. slices. I asked Tom to add veggies with it such as peppercinis, roasted red peppers, or even raw veggies that he said he likes. I also suggested that in addition to cheese he add turkey or other sliced meats for a change. When he saw how high in fat and salt were his Ritz crackers he agreed to substitute Akmak, Rye Krisp, Kavli, or even whole wheat Triscuits.
A couple of days later we made a trip to Lunardi’s in Danville, CA to show Tom other foods that he could add to his life and really enjoy instead of always cheesing it up. He was delighted to see that he can have shrimp with cocktail sauce, even ceviche that is now available in deli’s, calamari salad and even prepared tuna which I felt was still better than rich cheese. I was thrilled to see Tom was interested in trying Greek yogurt and cottage cheese which he joked was “women’s food” and I corrected him by saying “real men” also eat it.
Since our Lunard’s trip was so successful we decided to go to Trader Joe’s in Danville, CA the following week to find other convenient healthy items. They were amazed at the already prepared snacks and meals such as grilled chicken strips and huge array of interesting veggies.
When Tom was feeling better we began to discuss menu choices at some of his favorite restaurants in Danville and Walnut Creek CA, going over the menu before dining out. Tom began saying he was getting comfortable with eating healthy and was understanding that he was creating a lifestyle change. I was thrilled that Tom began to see that he was not feeling hungry with the meals and snacks that I was suggesting. In fact, he said he was feeling better and the weight was melting off.
After working with Tom for 2 months we had a visit with his doctor and she was amazed that Tom’s blood sugar and blood pressure were now in the normal range and he had lost 20 pounds. She mentioned that she was very frustrated with Tom and felt he was not taking his health seriously. The doctor eliminated his metformin prescription at night and gave him a prescription for a significantly lower dose of his blood pressure medication. My goodness, you should have seen the biggest smile on Tom’s face not to mention the relief on Jan’s face.
I must say my time with Tom and Jan was truly rewarding where I am still amazed how after a short period of hand holding and education you can get poor health on track. Please allow me to help you if you feel you cannot do this on your own.
I am glad to inform you that I am contracted with Hill Physicians, Sutter Health, ABMG, Aetna and Health Net that all cover nutritional counseling. Please know that other insurances can cover nutrition dependent upon diagnosis. Please visit LindaRD.com for information about all services provided and all past articles in blog section. Call LindaRD at (925) 855-0150 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org