Because Health Is Wealth

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Making a Difference in the Lives of Many

Affya Health & Wellness in Owings Mills, Maryland is dedicated to helping people meet their goals and live a longer, more fulfilling life. We are honored and delighted to have one of our clients, Jimmy, share his journey and experience with us.

Jimmy’s Story

Jimmy, one of our patients from West Africa, came in for a nutrition consult to help manage his high blood sugars. At the time, his HA1 was 14%. Jimmy came to our office, accompanied by his wife after the doctor informed him that he needed to start making healthy food choices to improve his blood sugars. Jimmy and his wife explained about the changes they had made in his diet; they explained that they were eating only home-cooked meals. They had reduced red meats in their diet and started eating chicken, fish, beans, and vegetables. He drinks water with all meals but feels frustrated because his blood sugars had not improved at all.

Upon reviewing Jimmy’s diet with him and his wife, we found his meals to be high in starchy foods; he was eating boiled plantains, oatmeal, yogurt, apple, and coffee with cream for breakfast. For lunch, he ate a bowl of fried rice mixed with beans and a fried plantain. Dinner included fufu, Ugali-like starchy foods, fish stew with peppers, and spinach. Jimmy also consumed fresh fruits for a snack after dinner; he ate a bowl of grapes. In other words, he was consuming a lot of carbohydrates.

Why was his blood sugar still high even though he was eating healthily? The answer was simple. Though Jimmy had refrained from eating red meat, which reduces cholesterol, he was consuming too many starchy foods that are high in carbohydrates. He was eating a full plate of rice, plantains, and beans which increased his blood sugar levels. After showing him a list of non-carbohydrates foods and explaining that he needed to eat more collard greens with his meals (spinach, broccoli, cabbage, etc.), Jimmy agreed to cut back on plantains and reduce portions of rice and fufu.

A month later, when Jimmy returned for his follow-up, he was excited to tell us how the small changes he made in his diet had made such a big difference in his blood sugars every morning. He was very happy with the improvements and continues with his balanced meal plan until his A1C was in the green zone.

Iram’s Weight Loss Success Story

Iram came to our office for a weight loss consultation in May 2018. At that time, she weighed 225 lb with a height of 5 ft 2 in. She was uncomfortable with her weight, didn’t like the way she looked, and she was experiencing shortness of breath when walking and doing simple chores in her home.

She was determined to lose weight. She set a short-term weight loss goal of 25 lb and long-term goal to lose 50-70 lb. We started working on her weight loss journey by taking her diet history, the food she likes—favorite foods, snacks, and beverages.

Her diet was high in fried foods, wings, pizzas, pastries, and candy bars. Her beverage choices were high-sugar drinks, soda, milkshakes, juice, and sweet coffee drinks.

I made a couple of simple recommendations, one of which was a change in food choices. I provided Iram with healthy food shopping tips, as having healthy foods and snacks in the house would be the first step.

Second step: Eating more home-cooked meals. We discussed healthy eating tips for home-cooked meals and when eating out, along with changing her beverages to mainly water or flavored water and tea with a small amount of milk (Chai tea). Lastly, start using a food app to keep a record of everything she eats.

Iram’s Weight Loss Success Story

We then discussed a need for physical activity, and she agreed to add exercise to her daily routine. She started taking short walks for 15-20 minutes 3 days a week, and later, she increased her walks to 30-45 minutes.

We meet with Iram in our office only once a month where we go over her food records and food pictures and any questions that she may have. Every month has been a success story.

The first month, she lost almost 9 lb, which is common for people who cut out all sweet beverages and fried foods. She met her first weight loss goal in 3 months and has continued to lose between 5-7 lb each month.

Iram has lost a total of 46 lb so far. She is feeling and looking great and is still excited to come back for her return appointments to get weighed and discuss what she found easy to change or do and also what she found challenging.

Our discussions are full of laughter, as she is happy and excited about her weight loss success, her new dress size, and confidence in herself.

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