Welcome back!  Last month was very interesting as we were able talk honestly about the Doctor/Patient relationship.  Some of you felt very strongly about this.
The topic this month is one that our community readers have been asking for.  That all important question:  Is it more important to eat right, or exercise?  Our guest DO this month will be Dr. Laura Rosch.  She has some good answers for you! Let’s grab a cup of coffee and read her recommendations…

Which is more important?  Eating right or Exercising?

I think when you are in your 20’s you can eat like silly but as long as you exercise and remain VERY active you can sometimes get away with it.
 Don’t get me wrong, the effects of a bad diet begin to take a toll on your body internally as early as during school-age years… and  sometimes you won’t see and feel  the outer effects until you are older. 
 Bad diets?  Linked with cancer, heart disease and poor health.  Our leading causes of death in adults living in the U.S.  In the last decade this has grown into an epidemic.  Nearly 1/3 of the population is obese and over ½ are overweight. 
 Where does exercise fit in?  To burn off a standard chicken sandwich and medium order of fries from McDonalds, the average 70kg man would have to walk at a 20 minute per mile pace for 10 hours.  Can you do that? Who has time to walk for 10 hours a day?
The smarter thing is to choose your food wisely.  But how can we do that when we are rushing about for work, family responsibilities and any overflow from our lives?
 Not sure what your lifestyle is like- but I do know that your nutrition and lifestyle will have a direct effect on over 90% of all matters relating to your health. 

 I will let you in on a little secret… you are worth it.  Tell yourself that everyday.

 First, I will start with what I have learned about eating a healthy diet with a busy lifestyle.  Next time we will go into the exercise activity piece.  Both are important, however a good-nights sleep, healthy relationships and diet in my view are the most important to keep you healthy.
I awake every morning with a commitment to do my best with my health.  I have no control over so many factors- but the one thing I can control is what goes in my mouth.  I make a plan and do my best to stick to it.  I have to model this for my children and also my colleagues and patients.  I feel so much better, I could not live any other way.  
I keep myself hydrated, I pack and plan my diet.  If I know I am going out to eat- I will check ahead or eat my food first and just have a salad if I go out to a place where the food is not as good for me.  I never feel well when I eat poorly – and since I have switched to a vegan diet over 10 years ago it has been easier to manage my weight and feel better.
I eat when I am hungry– which may mean 5-6 times per day of a 250-350 calorie meals.  I keep a mental note at times of my total calories, but mostly just rely on my hunger-pangs.  My job enables me to break away every 2-3 hours for 10 minutes to eat as I need to.  Mostly everything I keep in my food bag at work does not need refrigeration if it is eaten in the 12-hour day.  
If I am going to a place where I can’t keep everything with me, I ALWAYS make sure I have water, nuts and dried fruit to snack on.  I try my best NOT to get so hungry I am uncomfortable.  For me, I have recognized that as a huge weak-spot and have succumbed to poor choices in the past.  If it does happen, I try my level best NOT to criticize myself.  I can’t do anything about what has happened in the past so I concentrate on the moment–  and plan to make a better choice next time.  
I have a top ten list of things that I currently practice, and don’t have to really think about anymore as I have lived this way since college.  I hope some of this will help you!

  1.  Plan ahead
  2. Avoid all processed food- keep it natural as possible
  3. Choose fruit and vegetables first
  4. Keep hydrated but never with fruit juice!
  5. Avoid alcohol and if used- in moderation
  6. Nobody cares if you are a vegan and only brag about how great it is if they ask
  7. Hope every day that the world will recognize the role a good diet plays in your health
  8. A serving of beans a day keeps the doctor away
  9. Your diet planning takes a little more work but it is so totally worth it
  10. Chew food slowly and enjoy the flavors

Get up early and have a smoothie with vegan protein powder, bananas and almond butter or peanut butter or bowl of granola or oatmeal.  I like to have toast and peanut-butter withbananas also! 
To-go lunch bag ideas….

  1.  Kale, spinach, carrots, peppers, cabbage and whatever vegetables I have go in a bag and go with me with a small container of dressing
  2. Apple
  3. Bananna
  4. Berries, grapes
  5. Orange
  6. Whole-grain cereal bags
  7. Water, water, water
  8. Oatmeal servings
  9. Vegan cheese
  10. Green tea
  11. Dried fruit (I like mango and raisins)
  12. Mixed nuts
  13. Peanut butter and fruit spread or vegan cheese sandwiches
  14. Rice crackers or cakes
  15. Left-overs always delicious the next day

I think Mediterranean, Hispanic, Italian and Asian foods
These are some of my quick go-to meals

  1.  Pasta, tomato sauce with vegetables mixed in
  2. Salad- any kind of vegetables… I LOVE to include pickled beets
  3. Hummus
  4. Bean salads
  5. Spinach and onion pies
  6. Vegetables with rice, couscous, grains
  7. Corn taco, beans and salsa with avocado
  8. Stir-fried vegetables, rice and seasoning
  9. Bean burgers
  10. Veggie pies with babaganouh
  11. Vegetable soups with crusty warm bread and vegan butter
  12. Dessert – rare but I sometimes eat these!
  13. Vegan brownies
  14. Baked apple with cinnamon
  15. Almond-milk smoothie or ice-cream
  16. Mixed fruit
  17. Oreo cookies- OK a splurge with tea!

Some interesting youtube videos and links on diet that have helped me understand diet-health association







  1. Yes! This! Thanks Charlie!

  2. This is a wonderful blog…..I wish everyone would read it! I just wanted to add….three servings a day of beans (1/2 cup is a serving or 1/4 cup of hummus is also a serving) would likely be even healthier. As long as you are eating a variety of plant based whole food and not hungry…you are likely getting enough protein….one probably does not need to add vegan protein supplement to the smoothie. Consider adding 1 tablespoon of ground up flax seeds daily for the omega 3 benefits. Consider adding some wakame (seaweed) for the DHA/EPA; medium and long chain fatty acids….if you do not want to do this…. consider a vegan supplement. Make sure you are getting enough Vitamin B12 (2500 micrograms once weekly for those under age 65 and more for those over. If you live in an area without enough sun…take Vit D3 supplement daily. And if you are have problems with inflammation…take 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric; make a drink or sprinkle on a salad or add to a soup. Remember to add a pinch of pepper to increase the absorption.

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