“Let me tell you what you need to do…”  Have you spoken those words or been the recipient of them?  I have often been guilty of giving unsolicited advice to people who were really quite satisfied in their situation.  Usually well meaning, it does not enhance relationships or produce lasting positive change.  Everybody hates unsolicited advice except the person giving it.  There is no better way to end communication!  The only good advice is the advice that has been asked for.

I recently completed my Medical Ethics class at Morsani College of Medicine for my Master’s.  A big part of the class was dealing with the concept of “patient autonomy.”  Autonomy is defined as, “each person’s ability to make decisions concerning his or her own well-being, including health care.”  The fact is, each person has the right to be unhealthy if they so choose.  People will often make short-term changes to please someone else (or shut them up!) but if the lifestyle modifications are not from inward motivation, they won’t stick.

As we each learn better ways to LIVE YOUNGER and start reaping the benefits of small changes, it is easy to want to volunteer good information to family, friends, and even strangers.  But, actions speak louder than words.  When others ask what you are doing, be ready to tell them!  Otherwise, join me as I START SOMEWHERE learning to avoid giving unsolicited advice.  We can learn together.   

Ask Dr. Debbie:  “What is the difference between probiotics and  prebiotics?” – Janet M.  Thanks for this interesting question, Janet! There’s more to the Digestive Probiotic story!  It’s not surprising that there are really no single solutions.  It would be great if there was a “magic bullet” for well being, but like relationships, it’s the synergy of many things working together.  Prebiotics are generally undervalued in our culture but are essential for overall health because they “feed” the probiotics.  They aid digestion, decrease chronic inflammation, improve immunity, improve cholesterol and hormone levels, and stabilize weight.

Prebiotics are a kind of non-digestible fiber compound found in foods such as:

  • Raw or cooked Onions
  • Raw Asparagus
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Raw Jicama
  • Under-ripe Bananas
  • Raw Garlic
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Raw Leeks
  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Cocoa  (Woohoo!)
  • Flaxseed
  • Seaweed

Since they are not broken down in the upper digestive tract, they pass to the colon and are fermented by the beneficial bacteria there.  Prebiotics work together with probiotics to become nutrient sources of fuel and increase the diversity of the favorable bacteria.  Since prebiotics balance the immune system, they have been associated with a reduced concentration of cancer-causing enzymes.   

Kale/Brussel Sprouts Salad (Once Upon a Chef)

You will need:

For the Salad

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound Tuscan or curly kale (about 1 large bunch), thick center rib removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 cup coarsely grated or chopped Parmigiano Reggiano

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, from one large shallot
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Here’s the drill:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. Bake the walnuts for 5-8 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. Keep a close eye on them; they burn quickly.
  2. Combine the brussels sprouts and kale in a large bowl.
  3. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the vegetables. Add most of the walnuts and cheese, reserving some to garnish the platter, and toss well.
  4. Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or up to a few hours in the fridge) to allow the flavors to meld and the vegetables to soften. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and scatter the remaining walnuts and cheese over top. Serve at room temperature.

Here’s a great quote that I think you’ll enjoy:  “Stress is not what you have to do; it is how you think about what you have to do.”  (Craig Groeschel)

Let me tell you what you need to do

Let me tell you what you need to do