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Dr. Travis Stork: The Doctor Is In

Share This article The doctor is in! Dr. Travis Stork of ABC's The Bachelor and now the Emmy-nominated talk show The Doctors is busy making rounds on TV and in the E.R. at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. His passion is to help people live longer, and enjoy healthier lives. The famous physician wants to help you crack the wellness code in his new book, The Doctor Is In: A 7-Step Prescription for Optimal Wellness.

Dr. Travis Stork: This is my philosophy on health. I’ve been bringing together all of the ideas not only from the show, but from working in the ER over the last year. It was a labor of love. It took a while, but I’m very proud of it.I think it has a lot of helpful tips to keep people out of the ER.

Mia Evans-Saracual:  In your book you talk about a secret that you believe can change people’s lives.

Dr. Stork: There are a lot of different secrets, but probably the No. 1 secret is that you are the most important thing when it comes to your health. It’s not your doctor, although your doctor is very important. It’s not some celebrity health guru. Most folks feel they don’t have power when it comes to their health. They go get a diagnosis, “Oh well, I have to take this medicine now. That’s the way it is.” But it’s not. We do have power over our own health. You have to be your own health guru; you have to be the CEO of your health. Treat it like a job. I lay out simple steps in this book so people know if what they’re doing is healthy. When they go to the store are they buying healthy foods for their family. Also I break through some of these myths about exercise. Exercise is not supposed to be a job. Exercise is not supposed to be work. It’s supposed to be fun. Get out there enjoy yourself be active.

Evans-Saracual: You’ve released a national health warning in your book. That sounds serious.

Dr. Stork:I’m an ER doctor. When I go out and see the way people are filling their grocery carts, when I go out and see the way people are ordering their food at dinner with extra fats and sugars and salts, I think, That person in a few years is probably going to end up in the ER having a heart attack.  I can’t dissociate those two, and that’s that national health warning. What you are eating will affect how long you live and how well you live. We don’t have the connection in our minds yet, we just don’t. We know we’re supposed to eat healthy.

Evans-Saracual: You say there are five numbers every person needs to know.

Dr. Stork: This is the key to the relationship with your doctor.  Your doctor is the one who can keep up with these things, but everyone needs to know what they’re blood pressure is. Everyone needs to know what they’re blood sugar is, what their cholesterol is, what their body mass index is.  We don’t usually have any symptoms if our blood pressure’s high. The same thing with cholesterol. The first symptom may be a heart attack. So let’s get these numbers checked. Let’s work in collaboration with our doctor to get them in a good range. Then the last number is really balancing calories in. We often times eat two to three times the number of calories we should be eating for our body frames. But most people have no idea how many calories they should be eating in a given day. None. So that’s something, if people start paying attention to portion sizes, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get to your optimal weight. It’s really “portion size equals your size.” 

Evans-Saracual: And you say dieting is not the answer.

Dr. Stork: Dieting is a misnomer. So eating healthy is a lifestyle; it’s not a diet. Here’s what diets do: they’re rigid, there are too many rules. You do it for two weeks. You lose some pounds, but you can’t keep it up so you end up putting on those pounds and then some. So if it becomes a lifestyle where you have a good relationship with food and instead of it being, "Oh, these are forbidden and these are good,’ and you look at food as the symphony of fruits and vegetables and whole grains and all these natural, wonderful flavors, then your relationship with food becomes one that’s positive. It’s no longer “I can’t eat that.” It’s "I’m going to eat that because overall 90 percent of the time I’m putting good things into my body and I have a great relationship with food." If we don’t take these steps now, you may end up in the ER someday, and you may say, "I only wish I had done things differently." I truly believe if you implement these steps you will lives a healthy, longer life.

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