It seems that every year a new craze hits the world of health and fitness. Sometimes they offer helpful new ways for you to keep LIVING HEALTHY. Many of these “trends” or “crazes” focus on narrow health concern topics or issues like osteoporosis and calcium intake, or lycopene and cancer-fighting benefits, and they subsequently end up detracting or distracting people from remembering the basics when it comes to their overall health.
Dr. Sean Daneshmand, M.D. routinely finds that he has to remind patients, family, friends and sometimes even himself of what LIVING HEALTHY is fundamentally about. So he came up with four basic principles to make it easier for everyone to remember, and he turned it into an acronym he calls F.E.S.P. I sat down with Dr. Daneshmand to find out what exactly F.E.S.P. is and how you can incorporate it into your life as a LIVING HEALTHY reminder.
How did you come up with F.E.S.P.?
I was at a conference and I was listening to a holistic practitioner talk about this enzyme and that vitamin and how they help certain things. As I was sitting there I was like ‘I am a medical practitioner and this is tough for me to follow, how I am supposed relay this to my patients, and how are they supposed to remember all this?’ The problem is that we focus too much on these individual things, not the whole diet and our overall health. So I came up with F.E.S.P. as way for my patients to easily remember some common things that can improve and maintain their overall health.
What does F.E.S.P. stand for?
F is for FIBER – Increase your fiber. Increase your vegetable intake, your grain intake, really anything that has fiber in it.
E is for EXERCISING your MIND and your BRAIN –Meditate 2 or 3 times a day by focusing on your breathing for 5 minutes, and just concentrate on the air going in and out of you. This will reduce stress and reduce the activity of the limbic or primitive part of your brain and it allows the neocortex part of your brain to take over. It is really important to set aside just 10 or 15 minutes a day—EVERYDAY—and exercise your mind and your brain.
S is for SUGAR and SALT; ELIMINATE refined SUGAR and SALT from your diet – Maintain a very balanced glycemic index so you prevent high and low blood sugar spikes to avoid crashes. Salt causes swelling and inflammation, so avoid the salt shaker. Sugar and salt (or sodium) that naturally occurs in food is fine, but stay away from added sugar and salt that is refined.
P is for Preservatives, cut them out as much as possible – This was something that I did for myself and it made a difference. I was tired; I couldn’t keep my energy up, and wanted to lose some weight. So, I cut out preservatives altogether and I feel so much better. I lost 25 pounds, I have more energy and I can think more clearly even after a long day.
I ask Marj (his wife) all the time when we are making food at home or grocery shopping ‘What can we do to F.E.S.P. it up?’ (laughs). Saying it out loud, having fun with it, joking about it are just ways that I remind myself to live it. F.E.S.P it up!
Sean S. Daneshmand, M.D. is a full-time doctor and the founder of the charity Miracle Babies. For more information about Dr. Daneshmand and his charity, Miracle Babies, you can visit www.miraclebabies.org.