Wellness Wednesday: What is Self-Care?

This is the first installment in our Wellness Wednesday series. We will be exploring all things health and wellness as it relates to the total mind, body and spirit with the help of trained medical professionals: Dr. Lisbon and Dr. RJ.

“What is ideal self-care?”

Right now we live in an age of personalized medicine.
That means that when it comes to disease, one size does not fit all. So, we are going to make it personal. Throughout this year, I am going to take you on an adventure of our community health. I hope that with this information will help you each week….so that you will be healthier and happier.

According to the Center for Disease Control, those who identified only as African American in the U.S. population was over 41.7 million people. The US Census Bureau projects that by the year 2060 there will be 74.5 million African Americans.

According to the CDC, in 2013: The 10 leading causes of death for African Americans are:

Heart Disease
Unintentional injuries
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
Kidney Diseases
Alzheimer’s disease
Men’s health

This year, we are going to discuss all 10 (and more) and really “dig deep” into what these issues are and how you can “personalize” your own care.

People can first get to “ideal” self care by finding a health provider that they connect with.

Second: Start with movement and food:

Start moving at least 5 times/per week. Movement means walking, jogging, running, yoga, pilates, tai chi, swimming, boxing, dancing, physical labor….anything that increases your heart rate for 30 minutes at each activity.

Start gradually and build up.
Don’t look in the rear view mirror…..look ahead.

So the recommendation is simple: color your plate with fruits and vegetables.
A diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with decreased risk for chronic diseases.
In 2013, in Missouri, the % of adults who reported consuming fruits and vegetables <1x day was 44% for fruits and 25% for vegetables. The Average intake of fruits and vegetables every day was 1.0 for fruits and 1.5 for vegetables.

The more fresh or frozen vegetables and the greater the variety, the better. (Potatoes and French fries do not count!).
Vegetables and fruits that are in season now: Beets, leafy greens, apples, Kiwi, Pears, Turnips, Pineapple, Broccoli, Carrots, Squash.

Dr. Lisbon is the immediate past president of the Greater Kansas City Medical Society (GKCMS), which is the local chapter of the National Medical Association (NMA). The NMA promotes the collective interests of physicians and patients of African descent. Dr. Lisbon is the sole proprietor of Exhale, LLC; a physician led wellness team with a large nutritional component.