THE HEALTHIEST YOU

Progress not Perfection, straight forward changes to create your healthiest you.

One half of ALL adults have a chronic illness, which means multiple medications...side effects....drug interactions and yet nothing to solve the ROOT of the problem.  Instead we treat the symptoms of the disease.  Sure some medications help to prevent complications of the diseases, but what about PREVENTION or better yet HEALING!?!    As medicine advances we are learning that increasing certain foods, herbs, vitamins, minerals and decreasing others can help us heal from the inside out.  Limiting our chemical exposure...increasing our movement...focusing on natural or homeopathic medicine we can heal ourselves from the inside out.

it can be very confusing and extremely overwhelming!!!  Most people make drastic changes and then cannot stick with it.  Let's learn about making lifestyle changes that stick. If we take time to learn the WHY behind things it helps motivate us to make the changes more permanent.  I'm not your average physician, I trained and practice as an MD, but I love the intersection of traditional medicine and holistic medicine.  Every day I learn more about both.  

Join me on this journey of decreasing stress and inflammation through the food we eat and the life we live.  Let's become the healthiest version of ourselves one step at a time while learning the science behind it all!

BIO

Marguerite Weston, MD
I am a Family Medicine and Sports Medicine Physician practicing in Ohio. I have been practicing for over ten years and in three different states, but am finally back home, Go Buckeyes!  I am currently studying Functional Medicine and planning for certification to be complete this fall.  I love the intersection of traditional training and holistic medicine.
I am a wife, mom, encourager of others and lover of education.  I love trying new recipes although I am not an adventurous foodie!  I love to make healthy choices although I also love pizza and homemade chocolate chip cookies.  At the end of the day we are all a lot more alike than we are different let's show each other some grace.

 

MY TEST RESULTS THAT LED ME TO FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

MY JOURNEY INTO FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

 

I have always wanted to be a doctor and I loved every rotation in medical school so family medicine was the logical choice.  I also love sports, I played soccer at a small university in Ohio (GO POLAR BEARS!)! And so I completed a sports medicine fellowship after my family medicine residency.  

 

THE TURN

My first job was with the University of Oklahoma and in Oklahoma everything changed.  I started having numb patches over a couple different areas.  I cannot remember if it was before or after my first child.  You think you are going to remember things…like the date of your last mammogram…you can’t!!  I’ve had patients unable to tell me which knee was operated on!  We’ve had to look for scars!  So anyway…weird neurological symptoms in a 30 something year old female equals MRI’s and labs to rule out MS.  Have you had an MRI?  I felt like the criminal in Con Air with that mask on my face.  My ANA (an autoimmune marker) was in the “gray zone”, not negative, but not quite high enough to be considered positive. However it was definitely high enough to freak me out.  Plus my brain MRI had some abnormalities, abnormal but not quite consistent with MS.  Great just what everyone wants to hear...that your brain is not quite normal.  Couldn't be my left elbow or a toe...had to be the brain!  Followed that up with spinal MRI’s, which were completely negative (great news because typically lesions in the spinal cord means active MS).   And so I will continue with MRI’s yearly to every other year-ish to make sure nothing is changing in my brain.  What caused the MRI changes?  No one knows. But it is pretty freaky knowing they are there.  

THE FREAK OUTS

Many of you have gone through similar scenarios I’m sure.  So you start playing the “WHAT IF” game…a dangerous little game!   I can what if myself into having an incurable cancer, into something happening to one of my kids, to the plane crashing.   Specifically with the MS scare I “what if-ed” myself into a wheelchair.  I remember one day my kids were in the car and one of them forgot something so I ran back up into the house, bounding up the stairs to grab it.  While I was going up the stairs I thought to myself, “what if in ten years you can’t run up the stairs?” ….cue water works.  I cried often and hard.  In my warped mind I already had mom guilt about imagining the girls having their mom in a wheelchair at graduation and worried that they would be embarrassed of me, sad they would have to care for me.  Seriously…and I have a lot of anxious patients so I know I am not the only one with the “what if’s”.  Why don’t we “what if” my kid is so smart she gets a full ride or “what if” I meet an amazing group of friends that I just click with?  Why does it have to be worst case scenario on crack?? 

THE UNKNOWN & UNCONTROLLABLE

I tend to be a tad of a control freak.  So logically I looked at what I could control with these symptoms.  How could I normalize my labs?  I wanted to know the WHY.  And so I started studying inflammatory foods, which led me to functional medicine.  I changed my diet.  Luckily I’m married to the most amazing man ever so when I said we are now eating a plant based diet he was totally supportive.  We were not perfect but we were pretty good.  And lo and behold…my labs normalized!  My ANA dropped from 1:640 to 1:40…whoop whoop!!! Now the MRI is still abnormal, I'm not saying it is going to be normal next time. Honestly, medically speaking ANA is not part of the MS diagnosis, BUT no one likes having abnormalities.  You want to be boring and normal when it comes to medical testing.  

NEW WAY OF THINKING

For over ten years I have been treating patients with medicines...medicines and more medicines. I wanted to learn about natural ways.  Well guess what…FOOD IS MEDICINE!  What we eat matters.   

Now I'm not perfect, we still love ourselves some pizza and I still bake cookies with my girls. We are no longer all plant based but we definitely eat more plant based.  It is so cool (inner nerd alert) to see what a body was made to do and how a body uses the foods we give it. I grew up learning a calorie is a calorie is a calorie....oh so not true!! It is about the cascade of hormonal reactions that occur when we eat certain foods...it is amazing!! 

One of the areas of my job that I love the most is education. I love educating patients. Now believe me there are times when I start on my "rants" about things I think are so great and a patient will stare blankly. Yes I then wrap it up quickly. However when I see a patient move towards the edge of their seat or their eyes widen in awe...it is on!! I will draw, demonstrate, re-inact, raise my voice in excitement! I love that part of my work. After all, who is going to do what I ask of them if they do not know the why behind it?! I have to "sell" my patients on the reason they need to eat a certain way or exercise a certain way. My goal is to give you the why behind things. Then and only then will you truly believe and then act.  And once you prove it to yourself then you will be hooked!!

 
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Are You Feeling Overwhelmed with Diet Changes?

I know I have been posting on the elimination diet, however I had to take a quick time out!! I have been doing a lot of reading, listening, reviewing literature in preparation for my patients and these writings. In the process, I have realized how easy it is to become overwhelmed. My mom guilt kicked in and I felt as though my allowance of certain foods in my kids diet was basically going to give them diabetes and autoimmune issues. Yes the mom guilt that takes one pirate booty (and if you don't know what they are be thankful because they are like crack!), one fruit snack or one sugar filled yogurt and looks ahead thinking I have given them lifelong awful habits and basically I am responsible for their future health issues. Anyone else?? I know I am not the only one! We have guilt for everything! We have guilt if we work, guilt if we go on date nights and the list goes on!!

So when I was thinking of my children's diet I was overwhelmed and feeling guilty. Their diets are not awful, but they definitely could be better. But let's be honest...we cannot change our kids diets overnight. I am dealing with enough temper tantrums without telling my children we are decreasing cheese intake!!


Then I thought about what I tell my patients...just one goal at a time. Actually we do 1-3 goals but you get it! One habit. One small decision every day for your health over time will equal major changes. Just one small decision each day, notice not an easy decision but a small one. I will pack a lunch, I will drink a water rather than soda, I will eat at least 1 vegetable a day.


If you read info on elimination diet, keto, paleo, and plant based and think..."no way!! That is ridiculous, it is too hard...it's not for me!". Just break it down! First of all what is your goal? Is it to lose weight? Decrease your blood pressure and diabetes medications? Resolve your autoimmune disorder? Help your concentration? Feel the way you once did?

Then look at your diet. Keep a weekly food diary, see where your weaknesses are. I look at a few things when I look at patients food diaries.


~carbohydrates especially if we are discussing weight loss we limit grams of carbs for snacks and meals.

~I always review vegetable and fruit goals. One serving is 1/2 cup or 1 cup for green leafy vegetables. Goal is minimum of 5. 7-9 servings have been shown to decrease risk of some cancers including colon.

~Protein intake: You should be having some protein at each meal especially if it is a carb rich meal or snack.

~When are your weaknesses? Do you struggle at work, before bedtime? We talk about triggers and how to avoid or change.

~What are some habits that are just too hard to give up. For instance one of my patients loves her Starbucks mochas. So we started slow, we decreased the number of pumps of chocolate slowly. There are five pumps in a large (I always forget which size is which!). Then we changed the milk. You can change your taste preferences believe it or not, just do it slowly!

~Sugar is another topic that we discuss

~Support system: In a study of 12,000 people tracked for 32 years it was found that if you have one friend who is significantly overweight there is a 57% higher likelihood that you'll be overweight. On the flip side, if one person loses a significant amount of weight, 1 of 3 of their closest friends will also lose a significant amount of weight.

~Exercise: I actually don't stress this at the beginning when discussing weight loss, but will if cardiovascular health is the first goal.


Now if I were to hit on all of these at the first appointment I would never see anyone again!! It is a process. Only 1-3 goals at a time. Anyone can do that! And the goals are small: if zero vegetables then 1. If you are eating out every day, then decrease to 4 times per week. Don't be too hard on yourself (I am saying this to me too!). Step by step, small habits everyday will turn into lifelong health.




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