It absolutely amazes me just how unhealthy my fellow colleagues in healthcare are. It doesn’t matter if you are a physician, RN, NP, PA, CNA, medical assistant, lab tech, etc. People are just very unhealthy. I have worked all over the country and one thing I see that is very common is this: many people that work in healthcare are overweight/obese and do not take care of themselves like they should.
I am not going to get on my soap box here. I am stating an observation and I want to provide simple steps a nurse practitioner can take to improve their health.
Do you want to be an elite nurse practitioner? Do you want to retire early and enjoy the fruits of your labor? Then you need to take care of your body. It is your temple. It is the foundation of your life. You only have one, treat it well.
We see what happens to people on a daily basis that do not take care of themselves. How many patients of yours have dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, degenerative musculoskeletal conditions, depression, hormonal imbalances, and every other complication from over eating and obesity? MOST OF THEM!
These people pay the bills though. They provide for our livelihood. If everyone took care of themselves, the healthcare system in this country would not be overwhelmed. Many of us would not have jobs. But this is not the case. The average American does not make health a priority in their life.
Yes, your job is to teach these individuals on how to live a healthier life. But, do you know what you should focus your efforts on first? YOUR OWN HEALTH!
Who cares about living to an old age if you are unhealthy and cannot enjoy yourself, what is the point? I want to retire early and still be in amazing shape. I want to be hiking, skiing, swimming, and playing until I am 80 years old!
This is my exercise routine:
Monday morning: Upper body resistance training (weight lifting) for 45 minutes and a 2-mile walk/run with my dogs.
Tuesday morning: 2-mile walk/run with the pups.
Wednesday morning: Lower body resistance training for 30-45 minutes and a 1-mile/run with the dogs.
Thursday: 2-mile walk/run with the pups.
Friday: Shoulders/arms/abs resistance training for 30 minutes and a 2-mile walk/run with the dogs.
Saturday: 60-minute walk/run with my pups
Sunday: 60-minute walk/run with my pups (yes, my dogs are very athletic).
I also am very active on the weekends. I will go on a hike, garden, work around the house, work on a rental property, etc. I do not sit around and watch television. I watch 2 hours of TV a week, maybe…
This is my diet:
I have a smoothie every single morning. I have had this same smoothie for almost 10 years. I account a large percentage of my health to this smoothie. Here is the recipe:
Fill up a 24-ounce ninja blender cup (or whatever is comparable) with kale or spinach (I rotate these every couple weeks). Then put 1 banana, a scoop of protein powder (preferably vegan like pea protein), and a frozen fruit of your choosing on top of the spinach/kale. I change the frozen fruit out weekly to keep things diverse. I will use blueberries, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, mango, pineapple, blackberries, etc. Fill this up with low calorie almond milk and blend. This is 200 calories, 20 grams of protein, and filled with nutrients.
I would rate my diet otherwise “fair.” I will eat lean meats (sparingly, I am trying to convert to veganism), whole grains, veggies, fruits, and protein bars throughout the week. I will usually cook a healthy dinner such as burrito bowls, eggplant parmesan, Spanish rice and beans, or a pasta 3-4x a week and then eat the left overs the next day for lunch.
I NEVER eat fast food. That garbage is just that, garbage. If I go out, it is to a local restaurant that actually makes their food. Do you think Olive Garden or Cracker Barrel food is wholesome? It comes out of bags and is pre-prepared. It is nothing more than a fancy TV dinner! Total waste of money and is bad for you.
Some people will argue they don’t have time and fast-food is the only option. If you make it the only option, then yes, it is. I want to challenge you though. Is making an organic peanut butter and jelly sandwich on sprouted grain bread really that time consuming? What about eating a handful or 2 of nuts and a protein bar instead? That is what I do and it is significantly cheaper/healthier.
Listen, I also enjoy myself some junk food on a regular basis. I would say I eat a burger or some pizza weekly. I also enjoy myself some fried food, so I have that once a week. I will go out and have ice cream once a week. I will eat some cookies a few times a week as well. I love craft beer and enjoy drinking some a couple days a week. Otherwise, I drink water (soda and sugary drinks are horrible for your health).
I do not deprive myself; life is short. I love food, good beer, and sweets. I just practice moderation.
Take vitamins and minerals on a daily basis. Everyone should take 1000-2000mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily, these do wonders for your lipid profile. In addition, take a multivitamin, B-complex (energy), vitamin E, magnesium, and curcumin (anti-inflammatory) daily. Take vitamin C every time you eat to knock out free radical damage. Also, make sure your vitamin D levels are optimized.
Get your hormone levels checked. Make sure they are optimized. I am on testosterone replacement therapy and I LOVE IT! Speaking of which, the course on how to practice and operate a men’s health clinic will be available in a few weeks. I like my total testosterone level to be 900-1000 ng/dl.
I am approaching 40 and look better than most mid 20-year-old men. I also have more energy than most people, regardless of age. My exercise routine, supplement routine and morning smoothies are my fountain of youth. There is no question that these 3 things are the foundation of my health.
My lab panels and blood pressure look amazing. My HDL is typically in the 70-100 range. My total cholesterol is 100, triglycerides 80, and LDL 70. Every other lab is 100% optimal. My blood pressure is 125/80 consistently.
If you are not living a healthy lifestyle, then this should be one of the top priorities you make in changing your life. Life is very short friends. You only have one body. Take care of it! If you take care of your body, your mind will flourish. When this happens, your productivity will shoot through the roof and you will find yourself on the right path to becoming the best nurse practitioner you can be.