Starting the New Year on a Healthy Note

Happy New Year! Here is to starting a new year with an attitude of being proactive for our health. Let’s not put our health aside until something bad happens. As nothing is built in one day, our health is no exception. We want our health to be at its best before we stumble onto a sickness so that our body can handle it the best way it can. Habits aren’t built in one day either. So the sooner we start practicing eating healthier, exercising, and activities such as meditation to decrease the stress of the fast paced life today, the sooner will these become part of our healthy lifestyle. Our immune system is at its best when our body, both physically and mentally, is at its best.
new year's eve dinner pic

Why the picture above? That’s the dinner I was lucky to have with my family on New Year’s Eve. Every dish on there is very healthy. If a few may not appear as healthy, extra yet easy steps were taken in the making (by the very talented cook, not myself) to ensure healthier ingredients were used, such as use of plant based mayo vs regular mayo. Eating healthier isn’t more difficult. I honestly think having a condition arise due to unhealthy eating is more difficult to experience as opposed to making healthier choices while shopping for groceries, preparing meals or ordering when eating out. Eating healthier for sure does not cost more than the long term health cost of eating unhealthily. Include more fruits and vegetables in your meals; this will help you in your journey to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. A healthier weight will not only decrease risk of acquiring chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, but also decrease risk of complications from respiratory infections like the flu and Covid-19.

The year 2020 was a tough year for everyone and tested our strengths. Let’s be proactive and start off the new year with a healthy and positive attitude. Part of positive attitude is gratitude. Despite being a tough year, let’s also do appreciate the positives of the past year. We got to witness the strong work by healthcare workers and scientists across the world as they worked together to tackle this covid-19 giant, which is still an ongoing process. I also appreciate the other people in our community who take the seriousness of this matter and do their part by wearing masks appropriately and social distancing. In addition to being thankful for my own health, I’m also thankful for that of my family, relatives and friends, both close by and in other parts of the world. I’m appreciative of my patients’ health, of the new patients I got to meet this past as they joined the Birmingham DPC family, as well as the existing patients and those who are no longer among us. Some of the cutest babies were also born in 2020 and brought joy to their families (and to my exam room – who doesn’t like seeing a cute baby? or a cute puppy or kitty for that matter).

Being proactive also means that all of us, whether young or old, do our best to prevent not only catching this highly contagious virus but also from transmitting it to others. When given the chance, unless a contraindicated, taking the vaccine to help reach herd immunity. Going by the “there’s 99% survival rate therefore let’s take our chance with it than the vaccine” mentality can be very harmful. 1% of U.S. population is 3.2 million. It’s already been terrible enough losing almost 400,000 people as of today. We don’t know the long term effects of getting infected with covid-19 either. Although most recover from all symptoms, some have very long lasting symptoms or have residual effects that affect their health both mentally and physically.

Let’s start and continue this new year with our minds and hearts stress free, our bodies healthy and lifestyles healthy, and our actions spreading positivity to those around us.

Here is to 2021! Let’s have great year with a positive and healthy outlook!

Dr. Efe Sahinoglu

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