My Perspectives

As a translational scientist and thought leader, health advocate, commentator and speaker, I regularly share my perspectives in scholarly and mainstream articles, blogs, books, videos, podcasts, and other forms of media.

Given my in-depth research knowledge, hands-on professional experience, and versatile background, I can draw on virtually any topic that falls within the realms of lifestyle and weight management, self-care, personal health and fitness optimization. Though grounded in scientific research, my insights are generally out-of-the box and, at times, not aligned with the masses and mainstream.

I am not at all shy about voicing my opinions on emerging trends in health, fitness and wellness, and I don’t hold back in addressing controversial health policy issues and practices.

HEALTH & DISEASE

Exercise is indeed a form of medicine and optimal nutrition is an enabler of good health.

I believe human beings are programmed to be physically active and that not doing so creates physiological imbalances within the body that ultimately contribute to obesity and related health problems. In the not so distant past, humans were required to perform strenuous physical activity daily, as they had to hunt and gather food and constantly roam for shelter. Food was “real” and nourishing but rather scarce and unpredictable, so it was nearly impossible to overconsume on a daily basis. Although people are no longer required to hunt and gather for survival, these behavioral patterns our engrained within us. As such, striving to create an environment that supports regular physical activity and sensible eating is critical for health optimization.

WOMEN’S HEALTH

As women, we tirelessly work every day to support the overall health and wellbeing of those we care about, oftentimes, at our own expense.

Women have an amazing ability to thrive no matter what circumstances we face. We tackle our jobs (sometimes multiple jobs), care for our significant others, our children, our parents and our friends, and continuously project a high level of poise, composure and professionalism through life’s inevitable ups and downs. We’ve essentially mastered the art of maintaining flawless public façades. Problem is, we tend to put our own mental and physical health needs on the backburner and then wind up feeling sick, tired, and depressed. As a diehard advocate for women’s health, I continuously strive to offer practical and affordable solutions that make it easier for women to put their health first.

DIETING & WEIGHT LOSS

Truth is, dieting is not the be-all and end-all of weight loss. It’s more important to get to know yourself, embrace your personal preferences, and find out what eating style works best for you.

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around in the mainstream media, much of which is designed to keep people in a vicious cycle of constant weight loss and weight regain. The dirty little secret in the weight loss industry is that only 5-10 percent of people who lose weight actually keep it off. In other words, the industry thrives on your inability to successfully manage your weight. Instead of suffering through overly structured dieting approaches, try adopting healthy eating habits that you can actually stick with for the long term. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t matter how many meals you eat in one day, what time of day you eat them, or how small or large your meals are. Everyone has different food preferences, schedules and lifestyles. Ultimately, what matters is your total food intake and diet quality over the course of the day.

SUCCESSFUL AGING

Viewing successful aging through the lens of “health span” (or “healthy years”) instead of “lifespan” will help you realize just how much sway you have over the quality of your own aging process.

Successful aging isn’t just about eating well, exercising, and not smoking. While these are important lifestyle and behavioral choices that can lower chronic disease risk and reduce the likelihood of premature death, building and maintaining strong social circles, staying mentally and emotionally fit, and actively engaging in the “now” are equally important to aging well. There’s no doubt that lifespan is finite, and we’ll all die one day. Still, by following the recipe above, at any point during your lifespanyou can greatly influence the overall quality of your own aging process and add more healthy years to your life.

CHILDHOOD OBESITY

While childhood obesity is a nationwide problem and children are indeed in a ‘crisis’, the epidemic itself has its roots in parental accountability.

Who’s bringing junk food into the house for children to eat? Who’s controlling the number of hours children spend watching television, browsing the Internet, or playing video games? It’s us, the parents. We are in the driver’s seat. You see, whether or not we want to accept reality, children are not to blame for their overweight or obese state, as many just don’t know any better, especially if they haven’t been exposed to healthy lifestyle behaviors. In truth, a child with one obese parent has a 50 percent chance of being obese. This increases to 80 percent when both parents are obese. At the end of the day, parenting means role modeling; so, we should continuously strive to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits so our children can observe and, ultimately, acquire such patterns of behavior. Healthy people generally become healthy parents and healthy parents will likely promote healthy lifestyle behaviors in their children.

HEALTHCARE REFORM

Healthcare reform should emphasize health promotion and proactive prevention of chronic diseases rather than focusing solely on providing costly reactive healthcare once diseases set in.

Most of the discussions about healthcare reform are centered around making insurance more affordable while there’s little dialogue pertaining to the overall effectiveness of integrative approaches in health promotion and disease prevention. All too often underemphasized is the fact that the majority of risk factors for highly prevalent diseases are largely preventable and effectively treatable with healthy lifestyle behaviors. There’s little to no reimbursement of health-promoting activities, and medications continue to be prescribed at the earliest signs of disease. Talking about healthy living and wellness is not enough. For real healthcare reform to occur, a culture of prevention needs to be created at the national level. From the government and insurance carriers, to employers and providers, all key players should set the tone for consumers and patients, families and communities by actively communicating, participating in, motivating, supporting, and enabling healthy lifestyle behaviors and preventive healthcare.

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