Roz Thompson “Knocks the Ball Out of the Park” As 2015 DMC Health Challenge Comes to a Close

        Have you heard that old saying, “Time really flies when you’re having fun?”

        In the case of the 2015 DMC 61 Day Health Challenge, that ancient maxim seems especially true. Has it really been more than eight weeks since we launched our exciting journey together through the world of “Less sugar, more steps, eat more fruit”?

Indeed it has.

But before we declare the DMC’s 2015 holiday health-education campaign to be a ringing success and start wishing each other a Happy New Year, I want to take a moment to salute yet another Challenge participant for her outstanding diet-and-exercise accomplishments during the past two months.

Her name is Rosalind (“Roz”) Thompson – and she recently told me (with totally understandable pride) how she managed to lose about 20 pounds during the Health Challenge, while also improving her score on a blood-sugar test designed to help measure her risks for developing adult-onset diabetes.

For Ms. Thompson – a veteran nurse (RN, MSN) who also owns an MBA and has enjoyed a fabulous, 37-year career as a care provider at the DMC – the Challenge began in earnest after she received an alarmingly high blood-sugar score during a similar test back in October.

Troubled by that score and by the fact that she was also significantly overweight, the hard-working Ms. Thompson (who currently serves as Clinical Coordinator of Inpatient Psychiatry at DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit) decided eight weeks ago that she was going to take the Challenge “Pledge” – and would therefore refrain from consuming the “empty calories” contained in candy, soda pop, doughnuts and other “junk” foods . . . while also engaging in moderate exercise frequently and including more fruit in her daily diet.

And she did!

“I gave up my Ruby Red Squirt [soda pop],” a proud Roz Thompson told me the other day, “along with my fried chicken and other sweets. And I want to thank you – and the DMC Challenge – for providing me with the motivation I needed to better manage my blood sugar and lose weight!”

Like the triumphant Roz Thompson, hundreds and hundreds of Detroit-area residents in recent weeks have benefited from the lowered health risks and the sense of empowerment that can flow from making the decision to cut out the nutrition-less sugar in their lives and begin exercising more often in order to improve their overall health.

Among the beneficiaries of this year’s challenge, we can also include many of the 1,600 officers and staffers at the Detroit Police Department.  Led by their health-savvy Chief James Craig, hundreds of DPD members worked enthusiastically to meet the goals of this year’s challenge – and will now go on to continue meeting them in a year-long health-and-fitness partnership with the Detroit Medical Center.

As the third annual version of the DMC Challenge winds down and the New Year looms, it’s good to know that so many Detroit-area residents have “gotten the message” – and that many of them will continue to work hard in the coming year at “eating healthier” and “exercising more often” in order to enjoy better health.

Here’s wishing all of us a healthy and happy New Year . . . and I’ll see you again in October for the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge of 2016!

[To learn more about the DMC Challenge and how you can continue to benefit by eating better and exercising more during 2016, just click on www.dmc.org/61days.]

Congrats to Mo Minard and Kelley Marks For Meeting the DMC Health Challenge!

Mo Minard

Mo Minard

Six weeks down and two to go!

That’s how much time remains in the third annual DMC 61 Day Health Challenge . . . during which hundreds and hundreds of Detroit-area residents have been doing a great job of “taking in less sugar, taking more steps and eating more fruit.”

Among those determined health-seekers are several hundred members of the Detroit Police Department – which is now partnering with the DMC in its own yearlong program to eat better and exercise more in order to better serve the citizenry in 2016.

But the ranks of this year’s Pledge-takers also include two outstanding professionals whose powerful stories can serve as an inspiration to us all.

Let me start with the hard-charging Imana “Mo” Minard, MSN-RN, currently the manager of both the DMC’s Emergency Department and its Clinical Decision Unit.

Six weeks ago, Mo Minard “went public” with a vow to successfully complete the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge by losing a significant amount of the extra weight she’s been carrying around for years.

Guess what?

Mo has already shed 24 pounds – and she says that the “good eating and exercise habits” she’s picked up during the Challenge are going to be part of her daily life from now on.

“It’s been going really well,” says Mo, “and it’s also getting easier each day. I’ve been tempted at times – just the other day I lost a dear friend at a hospice, and I was grieving over it, and I realized that I wanted a chocolate bar with caramel. But I didn’t give in. I sat at my desk and I said: let me put a piece of sugarless gum in my mouth instead of that candy bar.

“I was proud of myself for that and I’m going to keep on avoiding empty sugar calories and exercising every day from now on.”

These days, Mo says she’s feeling newly empowered and upbeat and she told me just last week that she expects to be “down a hundred pounds” by the time next year’s Challenge rolls around.

Like Mo Minard, the high-spirited and fiercely determined Kelley Marks has also been meeting the Challenge successfully in recent weeks. Mrs. Marks, who owns a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Language Pathology from Wayne State University and is currently raising three children with her husband of 12 years, took the Challenge Pledge in early November . . . and has already lost 29 pounds.

“I have been sharing my story in the hope that it will be a blessing to somebody,” says Mrs. Marks, now 37. “In early November when I took the Pledge I weighed 406 pounds and I knew that I needed to confront my weight problem. With the help of the Challenge – and also with lots of prayer – I have already lost 29 pounds and I feel absolutely great about that!

“I didn’t think I could do it but I am doing it. I have a lot of people around me who are very supportive and that has also helped a lot. I think that over-eating and being overweight starts in your mind – and I think of my struggle to change that behavior as The Battle of the Mind. I am now starting to win that battle and it’s a wonderful feeling.

“I am going to continue the Challenge into the next year and I truly believe it is going to help me learn to find enjoyment in something beyond chocolate – and losing all this weight is going to help me get much healthier in my life!”

As a physician and a hospital president, I can tell you that the DMC Health Challenge stories now being told by Mo Minard and Kelley Marks are sweet music to these ears.

Here’s wishing them and the rest of us a joyful – and a sugar-free – holiday season, as the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge enters the homestretch and zooms toward New Year’s Eve!

To learn more about the Challenge and how you can take part, just click on www.dmc.org/61days

A Major New Health Study Finds That Sugar Is a Toxic Substance

You can imagine how I felt, just the other day, when I picked up a copy of Time magazine and read that junk-food sugar is now being described by some health experts as a toxic substance!

It’s true.

The news broke in the Oct. 27 issue of Time, which reported that a California-based researcher – Dr. Robert H. Lustig in the Pediatrics Department at the University of California, San Francisco – had published a major study (in the journal Obesity) in which he found that the kind of sugar we find in soda pop actually works as a kind of nutritional poison when we consume too much of it.

During the Lustig study (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.21371/abstract), 43 children from ages 8 to 18 were fed a special diet for nine straight days in which most of the sugar they normally ate each day was replaced by starch (from foods such as noodles, bagels, cereals, etc.).

The bottom line: at the end of the nine-day test, the kids involved scored much better on several key health indicators that measure the negative effects of too much sugar on the human body.

Example: The overall average blood-sugar level (which can be a risk factor for obesity, hypertension, diabetes and even heart disease when too high) declined by more than 50 percent.

Example No. 2:  Some of the kids on the low-sugar diet went from being “insulin resistant” (a precursor of diabetes) to “insulin sensitive” – a clear indicator that the body is efficiently and effectively managing the daily intake of sugar.

Thank you, Dr. Lustig!

As many of you know, I’ve spent a lot of time during the past few years campaigning emphatically in favor of reducing our daily intake of unhealthy sugar from soda pop, candy and other junk foods.

As a matter of fact, cutting back on empty sugar calories (while also exercising more and eating more fruit) is the main goal of this year’s “61-Day Health Challenge” – the annual DMC-sponsored health-education program in which participants are asked to abstain from soda pop, fried foods and other junk foods during the months of November and December.

The Challenge got off to a rousing start on Oct. 30 (only three days after the publication of the Time story) . . . when dozens of Detroit-area community activists joined a mob of enthusiastic high school students and DMC employees in a crowded auditorium at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Now well into its third week, the 2015 Challenge is already going great guns.  With hundreds of Michiganders having sworn to obey the Challenge motto (“Less sugar, more steps, eat more fruit!”), the campaign to cut back on junk-eating during the holiday season is up and running at full throttle.

As a medical doctor and a hospital president who’s determined to help educate Detroit-area residents on the importance of good nutrition and the benefits to be had from frequent moderate exercise, I’m fired up as never before about the Challenge and its message for all of southeast Michigan.

Which is why I was so excited to open my copy of Time the other day and read a headline that said: “Sugar Is Definitely Toxic, a New Study Says.”

According to Time, that groundbreaking new study has now confirmed what we knew all along – which is that healthy living starts with healthy eating (and exercising)!

If you want to read the story for yourself and learn more about the crucial links between good nutrition and good health, you can go online at:  http://time.com/4087775/sugar-is-definitely-toxic-a-new-study-says/.

 

To learn more about the DMC 2015 61 Day Health Challenge and how you can take part, just click on www.dmc.org/61days.

 

Eat Right, Feel Better. Take the 61 Day Challenge!

Hundreds attended the 61 Day Challenge Kick-off on Friday; it’s time to take the pledge and join

22584820746_863772fd78_o (1)Several hundred DMC employees, physicians and community members, joined DMC executives and special guests in a packed auditorium at Children’s Hospital Friday, to take the pledge and kick off the 61-Day Challenge to eat better and get more exercise.

DMC CEO Joe Mullany talked about what the challenge means for Detroit Medical Center. Other speakers included Challenge founder Dr. Reginald Eadie, CEO of Detroit Receiving and Harper-Hutzel Hospitals, Chief Administrative Officer Conrad Mallett, event emcee WDIV Local 4 news anchor Rhonda Walker, Weight Watcher’s president and CEO Florine Mark, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Quindell Peyton, a Cornerstone Health +Technology High School student, performed a poem about time and drew two standing ovations from the audience. He talked about the tick tock, ticking and tocking away of time. You can’t stop it, but you do have a choice of whether to use it or abuse it, he said. Those in the auditorium vowed to make the most of their time for health over the next 61 days. With right hands raised and repeating after The Honorable Conrad Mallett, they said in unison, “I pledge to not harm my body by not drinking soda pop, eating fried food, and consuming sweets. I will eat more fresh fruit and increase my exercise activity.”

The 61 Day Challenge officially starts Sunday, Nov. 1. New for this year is “Step Up with Andrei”, an exercise challenge from DMC COO Andrei Soran, inviting DMC employees to take more steps than he does during the 61 Day Challenge period, and be eligible to win great prizes, including gift cards worth up to $150. It’s time to make a change and you know it, so get on board. (More Photos)

Learn more at www.DMC.org/61Days or use the hashtag #DMC61DayChallenge on social media.

Mo Minard & The DMC 61 Day Challenge

DSC_8875

Mo Minard

Hello, all.

In today’s edition of Paging Dr. Eadie, I’d like to begin by telling you about an outstanding Detroit Medical Center (DMC) professional named Imana “Mo” Minard.

Ms. Minard is the highly skilled MSN-RN who for the past several years has been managing both the Emergency Department and the Clinical Decision Unit here at the DMC.

She has impressive credentials and a well-earned reputation as a savvy manager who never loses her cool, regardless of the situation in the Emergency Department.

But I’m also quite impressed by a recent personal decision Ms. Minard made – the decision to join this year’s 61 Day Health Challenge, so she can begin losing some of that extra weight she says she hasn’t enjoyed carrying around with her during the past few years.

To show you why I’m excited for her, please let me back up for a second and explain a couple of things.

First of all you should know that 42-year-old Mo Minard is an accomplished healthcare professional . . . a disciplined manager with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in nursing.  (She also spent more than ten years as an emergency paramedic with the City of Detroit Fire Department, so you know she’s a veteran pro with the courage and the savvy required to take care of business in any emergency setting.)

Mo’s tough, for sure.

But just like the rest of us, she’s also very human.

And when her beloved father, Tony Moore, died suddenly a couple of years back, Mo went into an extended period of agonizing grief.

As she struggled to come to terms with her shattering loss, she took comfort wherever she could.

“Food can be very comforting,” Mo was explaining just the other day, “and it never talks back to you.  You can always count on it to be there when you need it.  And while I was struggling with my dad’s death, I ate almost constantly.”

After more than two years of this excessive over-eating, Mo says she’s now afraid to get on the scale: “I can’t face what I know it will tell me,” she explained with a sigh of alarm.  “I’m sure I’ve gained 50-60 pounds, and I must be up near 300 pounds, at this point.”

In recent months, however, Mo has become increasingly determined to start shedding the excess poundage.  “I’m tired of feeling uncomfortable all the time,” she says, “and I know that being this overweight is very bad for my overall health.”

A bummer, right?  But it’s easy to imagine the bright flash of hope that Mo experienced a few weeks ago when she learned about the DMC 61 Day Health Challenge.

(The annual Challenge, in case you haven’t heard yet, is  a two-month period – November through December – in which Detroit-area residents both young and old take a special pledge to eat better, exercise more and learn more about good health and nutrition.)

This year’s Challenge will begin with a special KICK OFF gala event at the DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan Auditorium in midtown Detroit, from ten a.m. to noon on Friday, October 30.

As Mo Minard discovered only recently, the Challenge was launched at DMC Harper Hospital a few years back, when I and a few of my colleagues realized that if we could help participants to avoid excess sugar and fried foods – while also eating more healthy fruit, exercising more and learning more about nutrition – all of us working together might be able to help make a dent in the so-called “obesity epidemic.”

This year’s Challenge Motto says it all, my friends: Less sugar, more steps, EAT MORE FRUIT!

As always, this year’s KICK OFF will be marked by the high-energy participation of our 2015 “Challenge Community Partners” – all of whom will be taking this year’s Challenge Pledge.  There will also be plenty of music, along with some upbeat presentations by different groups who are vowing to join the Challenge.

The gala Oct. 30 event is sure to be lots of fun . . . and Mo Minard says she can’t wait for the action to begin.

“As a professional healthcare provider, I know that education is the key to better health,” she said the other day, “and I’m excited about the opportunity to take part in this year’s Challenge.

“For several months now, I’ve been telling myself: You can do it, Mo.  You can do this.  Don’t be afraid of failure.  If you slip once or twice, that’s okay . . . because with the 61 Day Challenge, recovery can always begin at your very next mealtime.

“Right now I’m feeling very optimistic about taking the Pledge – see you October 30th at the KICK OFF!”

[To learn more about the KICK OFF event, contact Tonita Cheatham at 313-966-4012 or cheatham@dmc.org.]

Editorial Sheds Light On Soft Drink “Science”

1398714_10151964881904378_396548395_oA recent New York Times editorial has shed light on the practice of large cola companies financially backing studies into how healthy a soda pop diet is. Most interesting of all is their claim that Coca Cola are backing a study which concentrates on emphasizing “exercise as the best way to control obesity and to play down the importance of cutting calories.”

This article goes on to claim that consumption of soda pop is on the decline, and because of this cola companies are trying to add their opinions on health and soda pop. I urge everyone to read this editorial, by clicking on the link HERE, and I’ll leave you with this quote below. Food for thought indeed…

An analysis published in PLOS Medicine found that studies financed by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies reporting no industry sponsorship or financial conflicts of interest.

New to the 61 Day Challenge? You can learn more about the 61 Day Challenge here:www.dmc.org/61DayChallenge

Try To Stay Healthy This Sugar Season

I recently came across this article in the New York Times, and I urge everyone to read it. In this OP-ED, entitled “Sugar Season.It’s Everywhere, And Addictive,” the authors list the myriad health issues that can stem from sugar. They write,

“In a recent study, we showed that sugar, perhaps more than salt, contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease. Evidence is growing, too, that eating too much sugar can lead to fatty liver disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and kidney disease.”

The OP-ED continues, stressing the addictive nature of sugar, how sugar is everywhere in our lives, and how promoting “the consumption of whole, natural foods” can help us avoid the sweet stuff this sugar season.

You can read the article in its entirety HERE.

Join the 61 Day Challenge!

To learn more about the DMC 2014 61 Day Health Challenge and how it can help all of us to cut back on sugar and exercise more during the holiday season, just click on:   www.61daychallenge.com