MDs aren't educated in nutrition - Drink water and drop sugar

She is a large, tall woman, obese, yet she's always there, running on the treadmill, stretching and sweating with the rest of us. Over the past year I'd noticed her, because our gym routines seemed to coincide. But she seemed shy and kept to herself, so I had never talked with her until one day last week. We made eye contact, smiled and said hello. I wanted to tell her that I'd noticed she was dropping the pounds. I realized that she was a lot younger than I had assumed. Probably still in her early 20s.

I told her that she was looking great, and she stopped pumping iron and grinned, blue eyes clear and sparkling. She thanked me for the encouragement, and I learned her name, Amy. As we talked, she told me that not too long ago, she'd been just about ready to quit the gym. Then a woman where she works (at the local hospital) started mentoring her about nutrition.

She laughed and told me that until recently, "I didn't know anything about food. I just ate what I ate."

I asked if she felt better. She praised her current state of health, saying that when she dropped the junk food and soda habit, and kept on working out, her energy increased and her moods improved, almost overnight. "I couldn't believe that what I was eating had so much to do with how I was feeling," she said. "Now I know," she said, flashing her beautiful smile.

I know that Amy's story isn't directly relevant to us Lymies. But her story is important because a lot of us simply "eat what we eat," without thinking about it, and don't even notice that nutrition has any bearing on our health, or on Lyme disease. We just don't know, until we know. Bad eating habits can depress our immune systems, damage our kidneys, clog our arteries and make us feel generally awful.

One thing that I learned from having been so ill, was that my body is a precious thing. I remember vowing to myself as I lay in bed for all those terrible months of acute Lyme pain, that if I ever got well again I would do everything in my power to stay healthy. In my mind, that meant vibrant, organically grown foods, exercise, laughter, continuing to develop my knowledge of nutrition and health, and loving myself as much as I care for my family and friends.

Doctors (MDs) do not get any training or education in nutrition. They do not get any training in preventative approaches. Their training is in treating us after they have diagnosed us as sick. We need to keep this in mind, and seek researched information on foods and drink that may harm us, or help us.

Junk food is a crime. We have a nation of obese, sick adults and children, and junk food is still legal. Please take a cue from Amy, friend and hospital worker, and "push the water," as she says. I had asked her what one thing she thought was making the biggest difference in her overall health improvement, and she had said "water." She drank sodas all day long before. Now she pushes the water, and it's making a big difference.

Are you drinking enough water? Have you dropped that addiction to sweets and junk? I wish it were different, but I believe that unless we take more control of our own diets and get smarter about our habits, we won't be getting better anytime soon.

On my reading list for the month: The Sugar Fix: High-Fructose Fallout That is Making You Fat & Sick

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