The Information You Need to Kick Smoking for Good

No smoking

In my years of practice, I’ve seen how hard it is for my patients to quit smoking. Ugly advertisements and warnings from physicians are often not enough to tear away the claws of nicotine that have sunk in over the years. Fortunately, we continue to learn about addiction and how we can best support those trying to quit. A new study out this week details how we can best convey the health message to smokers to support them through the quitting process. Read more  »

Why You Need a Cheerleader for Your Health Goals

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Before I start with my post this week, I wanted to quickly thank all of those who tuned in to watch the first shows of the season so far this week! I’m really excited about what we have in store for you this year, and I hope that we can be partners in making this your healthiest year yet.

One of the biggest challenges my patients face is the daily slog of meeting health goals while managing chronic illness. When someone comes to see me in practice, it generally means they have a lot going on healthwise. Aside from deciding if surgery is necessary, my role is to support them and coach them through the transition from their prior lifestyle to a new, healthier one. The one key factor in making this transition is support. It’s easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of a weight-loss plan or new diet, but many times your success in staying on track comes down to who you have cheering you on every step of the way. Read more  »

Remembering Joan Rivers

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Hearing about the passing of Joan Rivers was truly heartbreaking. She was a unique woman who had the incredible talent of making people laugh, even at themselves. I grew up watching her on television, and she gave my family and me many happy moments. I was lucky enough to have Joan as a guest on my show and was inspired by her humor, energy and nature. Her openness about her past health struggles on the show gave people hope that with perseverance and a positive outlook, anything is possible. I grieve along with her daughter, Melissa, and she and her family are in our thoughts and prayers. Read more  »

How to Eat and Drink Your Way to Better Health

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I spend a lot of time following the latest science and medicine on how to best keep my patients and viewers healthy. Most of the time, I find new research on breakthroughs that are changing the way we think about health. But sometimes the discoveries are simple solutions to improve health that have been sitting under my nose the entire time. What we take in through our mouths play a huge role in our health and I’ve talked at length about how eating well is one of the best things you can do for yourself. This week I wanted to remind us all of five simple food and drink solutions for better health we’ve all been taking for granted. Read more  »

Small Changes That Make a Big Weight Loss Difference

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Over the years on my show, I’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve given up when it comes to their weight. They’ve tried lots of different solutions, but haven’t quite found something for them. This can happen for lots of reasons, but sometimes it is nothing more than intimidation. Trying to overhaul your life overnight is tough and drastic changes can be hard to maintain. Ultimately, you have to find something that you can stick with for months to come. Read more  »

Staying on Top of Your Health, Even When You’re on Vacation

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The Labor Day weekend is coming up, and I’m looking forward to some quality family time away from work, with a little traveling thrown in. And I’m not alone. Almost 35 million Americans traveled last Labor Day weekend, and I’m sure this year will be no different. The thing is, traveling to new places can be hard on our immune systems. It can throw our usual healthy routines out of whack and expose us to some nasty germs and dangers getting from point A to point B. I thought I’d share a few of the key rules I stick to when I travel, along with a few ways to keep you and your family safe. Read more  »

Dealing with the Struggles of Addiction and Depression

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I got a call alerting me that Robin Williams died, and I felt a shadow cross my heart. I loved him. I grew up watching his entire career, laughing hysterically along with the rest of the world at his endless stream of outrageous characters, his brilliant stand up and his dramatic roles. There seemed to be no end to his infinite talent. I, like many parents, had the added affinity for Robin because I was able to share his laughter with my children as they were growing up in the many kids movies in which he starred without an equal. I watched his philanthropy and saw a person with a deep understanding of the power to do good that comes as a responsibility when you are a celebrity. Read more  »

Helpful Habits: Setting Yourself Up for Success

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I talk to patients in my practice all the time about how hard it is to stay on top of your medications. Some are on multiple medications that they take several times a day in confusing regimens. I’ve seen how tough it can be tough to keep it all straight. Fortunately, there are some ways you can set yourself up for success and the good news is, these tips work for more than just prescriptions. Read more  »

Misleading Menus: Making Mindful Decisions During Your Next Night Out

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New York is one of the food capitals of the world, and I’m always amazed by all the options available when I’m on my lunch break or out with my family for dinner. While these meals can be delicious, they can also do some serious damage to your diet. We’ve talked in the past about how to identify the healthiest foods when eating out. But even when we make choices with the best intentions, menus can lead us astray. A new study out this week reveals some of the subtle cues that are influencing the dishes you decide on. Here are some helpful findings from that study along with some tips about how to make the right choices when you next walk into a restaurant.

Don’t Be Fooled by Flashy Fonts

Restaurants know that your attention is drawn to anything that stands out on a menu, be it boldface choices, highlighted chef specials, or using a box to set off certain items. Researchers have found that doing this makes us more likely to buy those items and one study even found we eat more if we order house specialties or the chef’s recommendations. Beware: these items may be some of the least healthy on the menu. Think about it, how often do you see salads as the centerpiece of the menu at your local diner? Restaurants use these techniques to shift your attention to the food they want you to buy. Read more  »

Keeping Bacteria at Bay This Summer

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Summer is the time for outdoor eating and my family and I have made a habit of grilling when the weather’s nice. But the bacteria in your food love the heat as much as you do and a barbecue can turn bad if food is prepared wrong or left out for too long. Bacteria can lurk on many foods that look and smell fine, so it’s important that you know how to keep your food safe and know what to do if you or someone you know ends up with food poisoning.

Dangerous Meat

Meats may be contaminated when you buy them in the store or may become contaminated in the environment, if the person preparing it doesn’t wash their hands or uses a dirty cutting board, for example. Here are some tips from buying to eating that will help to keep you and your family safe:

  • Keep it clean. You should wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (I sing two “Happy Birthdays”) before touching any meat. Always make sure you’re using a clean knife and cutting board.
  • Defrost it right. You should never leave meat out on the counter to defrost. Doing so makes it the perfect petri dish for bacteria to grow on. Instead, thaw meat in the fridge, cold water or the microwave.
  • Cook it all the way through. The CDC recommends cooking most meats so that the temperature inside reaches 165°F. That will kill off anything harmful that might make you sick. Pick up a good meat thermometer to know if it’s hot enough.

Read more  »