A Vision AND a Plan: Giving Thanks in a Time of Loss.

Valerie Slocum Sutherland, MD Melanie Slocum Saulsbury, BA

Medical Director Program Director

This week will likely be a very challenging one for many people. It is a week dedicated for giving thanks that is coming at a time of incredible loss and challenge. Our health, loved ones, and time are the things that really matter and are irreplaceable. In this time of increased lockdown, his week’s blog is focused on a plan for you to not feel lost when it comes to your health. Following are resources for when to eat, how to eat, what to eat, and indoor exercise. I hope it helps. Let me know anything else I can do. This week, I am thankful for the opportunity to work with each and every one of you. I have wanted to be a doctor since I can remember and I am grateful for each time I am allowed the privilege of practicing medicine.

Strategy 1: Nutrient Timing

Even though you may not have your usual schedule, try to maintain "nutrient timing" that has the following main elements:

  1. Nutrition every 4-5 hours depending on your nutrition needs

  2. Begin nutrition about 1 -2 hours after waking up

  3. Have a period of 10-14 hours per 24 hour period in which you do not consume any calories (unless you have a medical condition that precludes this, such as taking a medication that lowers blood sugar). This period is best to do as a “late phase” intermittent phase, meaning it is from the evening to the morning. The most common pattern is no calories from 7 pm to 7 am. This is as opposed to “early phase” intermittent fasting which skips breakfast and possibly lunch.

Some people find setting a cell phone alarm to be helpful until they are in this routine.

Strategy 2: Eating Habits

HOW you eat can be just as important as WHAT you eat. Make up “rules” about how you eat and think about those rather than just what you eat. Studies show that people who follow “rules” somewhat rigidly about how they eat maintain their weight the best. The rules can be individualized. The most important ones are:

  1. No eating while watching a screen (i.e. a television, computer, or phone) or in bed.

  2. Eat while sitting at a table off of dishes, not out of bags or boxes.

  3. Try to eat with at least one other person.

  4. Don’t eat when you are angry, upset, or frustrated. Listen to some music on your headphones first!

This means that you can eat a cheeseburger, but only if you follow the rules about how you do it. The end result is that people are less likely to eat the cheeseburger or as often or eat the whole thing or eat the side or the dessert with it. This is probably because it forces "mindful eating" which can be nebulous without a plan to achieve it.

Strategy 3: Self Monitoring

You can’t manage anything you don’t measure. The most keystone habit for most people in managing weight is to step on the scale. Think of it like managing your budget. If you are trying to save money, you have to look at your checking account balance and your credit card balance, or at the end of the month, you have a big credit card balance and can’t pay it off. Just step on the scale. Don’t worry too much about what it says for now. The first step is just to look at it. Remember, the number does not matter. It is the trend that matters, and sometimes, not going up is just fine, like during Thanskgiving week!

Resources: Stuff You Can Use.

Here is the fun part!

Alcohol Guide - for those who choose to drink alcohol, here is a guide on which ones have how many calories and more or less carbs and how you may adjust your other parts of your plan.

Download PDF • 3.09MB

Spice Guide - want to flavor your food with delicious spices other than sugar? Spices are “super foods” that contain “phytonutrients” in a concentrated form that do things like fight cancer and probably infection! And, they are delicious and wake up other parts of your taste buds! Use this guide for ideas!

Spice Guide
Download PDF • 1.28MB

Menu and Recipes - Medical foods are great so you don’t have to cook 21 meals a week, but here are some recipes for delicious, 440 calorie meals.

Turkey Trot MP 440kcal Recipe Grocery
Download PD • 889KB

Indoor Exercise -All you need is 10 square feet and access to the internet! If you are hesitant, just commit to watching the videos. If you feel like standing up, then do it! Remember, as little as ten minutes makes a difference! Do the cardio in the morning before breakfast and the resistance before dinner!

Cardiovascular Exercise: copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njeZ29umqVE

Resistance Exercise: copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iwl0TGfmDg

I hope this plan helps you reach your vision.


Valerie Sutherland, MD

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