Sometimes it‚Äôs nice to hear from the doctor himself about what he‚Äôs doing for his own overall health and eye health. After all, does he practice what he preaches?
In a word ‚Äì Yes!
Health isn‚Äôt something that just happens. While you may be oblivious to taking care of your body when you're 16, the same doesn‚Äôt fly when you‚Äôre 60. And while I‚Äôm a ‚Äúgood specimen,‚Äù I‚Äôm not a perfect specimen. So I too need to take care of my health needs.
Heart? Lungs? Digestion? Eye health? Where to start?
I basically think of my health in terms of three priorities:
- Anything urgent, such as atrial fibrillation ‚Äì This comes first.
- Chronic health issues, such as macular degeneration or diabetes
- My genetic roadmap ‚Äì What is the health of my parents and siblings?
Since it‚Äôs my first time communicating with you about this, let‚Äôs start with #3 ‚Äì my Genetic Roadmap, and one step I took early this year that I hope will take me in a better direction.
I lost my dad at age 86 to Parkinsonism and my mom at 78 to sudden death from a presumed heart attack. And yet I see patients every day who now regularly live into their late 90‚Äôs. In fact, the trendline for lifespan in this country continues to go up. I like life. I love my work, my patients, my family and friends. So I set as my goal living beyond my parents. Now I never smoked, I only drink alcohol once every one to two months, and I eat healthily.
But I was overweight, 220 lbs on a 6 foot, 1 inch frame. My friends and patients didn‚Äôt think I looked heavy at all, and you might say my weight was normal for a big man.
Nope. My BMI (Body Mass Index) was 29.0, and that falls into the ‚ÄúOverweight‚Äù category. You can calculate your own BMI by simply typing BMI into a web search. A normal result is 18.5-24.9.
What‚Äôs the big deal, you ask? Excess weight shortens your lifespan. Multiple studies show that, ON AVERAGE, a healthy weight (and not smoking) will help you to live longer. It‚Äôs better for your kidneys, your joints, your heart, your cholesterol, your glucose levels, your heart, AND YES, YOUR EYES TOO!
You see, eye health often goes hand-in-hand with heart heath.
So I chose to lose weight ‚Äì 30 lbs to be exact. Why do I use the word, ‚Äúchose?‚Äù Because for most people (not all), losing weight is a choice that requires daily vigilance, careful eating choices, and being mindful. It‚Äôs difficult work. And my method was more difficult than most.
Although I eat good foods ‚Äì poultry, fish, vegetables, fruit ‚Äì I was a constant grazer. And nothing was working. So, I gave up breakfast (except for my cup of Joe and Half-n-Half) every morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day you say? Well, I was LESS HUNGRY mid-morning than if I had eaten breakfast. I satisfied my hunger by drinking cinnamon tea (I highly recommend Harney and Sons Cinnamon Tea). And importantly, I didn‚Äôt snack between meals. That meant that I went from 6:00 PM until noon the following day ‚Äì 18 hours ‚Äì without eating calories.
I lost 30 lbs and reached my target weight in 3 1/2 months.
My diet was difficult. I jokingly referred to it as the ‚ÄúMisery Diet.‚Äù And I thought I had invented something unique. But as I got more interested in it, I discovered that ‚Äúintermittent fasting‚Äù is a highly successful method, if you have the willpower. And most ‚Äúwillpower‚Äù is making a game plan BEFORE you sit down for dinner or go out to a restaurant and then sticking to it. Because without a game plan, you‚Äôll rationalize your way out of it. How do I know? Because I'm guilty of doing the same.
What am I taking these days for nutritional supplementation?
- VisiVite Balanced Ocular Support ‚Äì This is our most potent antioxidant formula for people without macular degeneration. I take it not just because it‚Äôs healthy for my eyes, but because my genetic analysis shows that I have an increased risk of developing macular degeneration. So I‚Äôm taking the strongest step I can to support the health of my eyes.
- Reziva Resveratrol ‚Äì This compound found in red wine grapes and other plants has been shown to mimic calorie restriction, which studies show can extend lifespan and have beneficial effects against diabetes, heart disease, wet macular degeneration and cancer in animal models (See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3462230/). In fact, there‚Äôs an entire book on resveratrol and lifespan called The Longevity Factor by Dr. Joseph Maroon. I‚Äôm not a drinker, but I get as much resveratrol from Reziva as are in 30 glasses of wine while avoiding the empty calories of alcohol.
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Paul Krawitz, M.D
President and C.E.O.