a whole health life
HELLO AND WELCOME!
Updated: Feb 2, 2020
Welcome to my blog! My name is Meg. I am a wife, mom of three little boys, daughter, friend, pharmacist... and farmacist! This is something that has been a long time coming, and I am excited to officially begin this journey of sharing my view of a whole health life! I have been in health care for a decade now (wow)! I have discovered my passion in health care to be in patient and medication safety, as well as quality care through safe systems. I spent my first five years of health care developing and implementing medication reconciliation programs, to design safe transitions of care for patients across the care continuum. The last five years of my career have been with the Washington State Hospital Association. I am a Director of Safety and Quality and work with care providers in hospitals across Washington, Alaska and Oregon on preventing harm from adverse drug events and blood clots, as well as appropriate use of antibiotics. I am truly so thankful for my job and am always learning as I collaborate with others in my organization and across the PNW region.
I find myself, though, wanting to share certain updates or pieces of information with my friends, community and beyond. I also want to share my journey and understanding of whole health, as I believe that in general, we as a society do not focus on preventative and whole health enough! I believe that many who are on lots of medications, likely could be on less medication, simply through lifestyle change. A study published by the Mayo Clinic reveals that 70% of Americans take at least one prescription medication. The same study shows that 20% of Americans are on five or more medications. The reality is though, that there really is no magic pill. Yes, in some cases western medicine is absolutely critical and saves lives! I am so thankful we have western medicine at our fingertips -- truly. But, what if we were able to get to the root cause for needing so many medications? I believe starting there is ideal, and then moving to the pharmaceutical option as the next resort.
With that, I have come to realize the POWER we have in ourselves, to own our health! To move our body, to truly nourish! To take ourselves off of autopilot and the "quick fix" mindset and into a journey of true self care and -- ultimately love for our lives. I have been on a journey for my own whole health -- moving to REAL food to maximize nutrients and minimize toxins and chemicals entering my body. I believe that we often under-estimate the impact those chemicals can have on us. I also believe that we often under-estimate the impact of simply the food that we take in. I believe that FOOD is medicine, and if we start there - we can transform not just our body, but our emotions and even our JOY! How we feel impacts how we navigate our days and our thoughts, and I know we all want to live our BEST adventure! I am worth it. You are worth it. Your family is worth it!
Additionally, after being in health care for ten years, I am beginning to truly understand that evidence-based medicine is tricky. Of course YES, I believe in evidence-based medicine. However, the tricky part is the evidence is *always* changing! So you might be wanting to take this new drug, that according to the evidence, has minimal side effects. And then come to find out five years later, that the drug is NOT so benign, and that it is causing ill effects in a population of people, which were not discovered until the masses started taking it. That said, when it comes to pharmaceuticals, we have to understand that we don't truly know the long-game of the adverse effect profile, until it reveals itself. In a way, all patients are part of the long-term clinical trials, of the testing of safety.
More-so, the recommendations from health care authorities and experts are always changing, which makes sense -- and we must understand this is because science, medicine and evidence are *always* changing and being updated. For example, a 'baby' aspirin used to be the gold standard essentially for anybody after a certain age -- to prevent cardiovascular problems. It was seen generally as a risk-free option to reduce harm from a cardiovascular event. A "no-brainer" one might say. And now today, that is no longer the recommendation. Aspirin is not as risk-free as previously shown by the previous evidence. Now we know it should be used only in certain populations, otherwise the risks (bleeds) outweigh the benefits (preventing an event).
I say that as just one little example to understand that it is much safer (and kinder on the body) to start with food (and movement!) as medicine! I like to think of myself as a pharmacist and a farmacist -- because I believe what nature has provided can do wonders for our whole health. You don't have to worry about drug interactions when you are eating nutrient dense food, avoiding chemicals, staying active and getting rest! I believe we can harness the benefits of nutrients and have a GRAND impact on our health. Personally, this has been my journey -- especially in the last five years.
So, here I am with this blog. Yes, I do want to share some fun facts about health care. Perhaps some important nuggets and recommendations around appropriate use of antibiotics. Perhaps some medication safety facts or updates regarding safety that I think we should all be aware of. But more importantly, I am here to share my journey to hopefully inspire YOU in your whole health! I have SO much to share about my years and baby step after baby step after baby step to *finally* being at a place of real food and whole health. I avoid toxins as much as possible, and I daily nourish with the most delicious food creations -- and most importantly I FEEL great. I can't wait to share what I'm learning and making! Importantly, as a family of five, this is our shared journey to whole health.
Another aspect of this is the realization that I have come to that it is up to me to determine what would serve not just my body best, but my children's (and even husband's)! It is such a gift every day to have the opportunity to nourish these little humans. To fill their tummies with nutrient dense foods (as much as possible) and to invite them into the joy and creativity that comes with cooking and baking food that will help us have great energy and really seize our days! I hope to share tips and tricks of what I have learned and continue to learn in feeding a family of five with ingredients and nutrients that I believe are whole... and yummy!
And lastly, I am also on a personal process of healing myself from Raynaud's Phenomenon (an autoimmune disease). I am embarking on a journey of eating less inflammatory foods and using food as medicine to lessen my symptoms and perhaps even heal my body from it. It will indeed be a journey, and I am excited to do some trials in cooking and baking -- to help support my whole health! I am just in the research/testing phase; I believe I will have lots to share with you as I learn and navigate this myself!
I hope that you join me in the kitchen (and in our decisions out and about) with nutrient-dense food, so that together we can minimize toxins, minimize (or ideally eliminate!) medications... maximize our health, and of course live our most fulfilling, best adventure! I believe it's all tied in together. So CHEERS to living a WHOLE HEALTH life. Here we go!