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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I'm done with the elimination, now how do I introduce foods back in?

So you are done with your 21 or 28 days of elimination! You are likely feeling better than you did 4 weeks ago and you don't want to rush in and add everything back and basically undue all your hard work!! Many say that the first half of a marathon is 20 miles and the second half is 6.2 miles. Same is true with the elimination diet! You are not done at this point, think of it as half way done and now the reintroduction starts!


This is from a Hal Higdon's book "Marathon, the Ultimate Training Guide". I read this before my first marathon and for some reason this quote stuck with me. Perhaps because it is true tin other areas of life as well. Most people quit in things when they have come so far but still can't see the finish line.


The Basic Plan

The basic plan is to introduce one food at a time eating a generous amount on that day and then wait 24 hours and watch for symptoms. You can then reintroduce a another food the following day. So usually you will introduce a food on day 1, watch day 2, introduce a different food on day 3, watch day 4 etc


Which foods should I introduce first?

Start with the foods you craved the most or ones you ate the most often. In general the order is not important although I would put gluten/wheat last because the gluten antibodies can take the longest to clear.


How much should I eat?

Eat 2-3 average portion sizes throughout the day (not all at the same time).


What symptoms should I watch for?

Possible reactions may be gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, gas or bloating. You may experience muscle or joint pains, fatigue, mood changes such as depression or anxiety. You may see skin issues such as a breakout or rash. You may also have sinus congestion, runny nose or itching.


What should I do if I have symptoms?

Immediately take that food out of your diet again. Keep it out for the next 3-6 months. During this time your practitioner may give you supplements or certain diet plans to follow in order to allow your gut to heal. After this time you may try to add the food back in again in the same way. If you have symptoms again this may not be a great lifelong choice for you. Do not reintroduce another food until your symptoms resolve.


Pearls about adding foods:

-Introduce dairy separately. For example some people have no trouble with butter yet have an issue with milk. Also, if you drink many different types of milk then introduce cow separate from goat separate from sheep (no I have never tried sheep's milk...please let me know if you have and if it is delicious!).

-Same with wheat, introduce separately. You may want to introduce sprouted wheat separate from spelt separated from sourdough wheat. You will want to test wheat separate from other gluten containing grains such as rye or barley as some people will react to wheat only.

-Beware of complex foods. For example pizza has wheat and dairy. Pizza is my downfall, if I had my way I would have tested pizza with an entire large on day 22 of the elimination diet. Also chocolate has sugars and cocoa. I know I know these are the good ones!! Mocha drinks have caffeine and chocolate and maybe dairy! So just think ahead.

Wheat and or gluten are not uncommon triggers so be patient when adding them back in!

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