Thursday, August 14, 2014

Feeling Minnesota...

Hi Friends!

Hope everyone is enjoying the last days of summer! (boohoo!)

Garret and I just returned from a 5 day vacation with my family in Minnesota, the 2nd annual Kessler family vacation at the lake!

Last year my mom and her siblings rented a cabin on a lake in Minnesota for a week. It was so fun that they decided to do it again, and this year Garret was able to make it!

If you have never seen Minnesota in the summer, you are missing out! It is so peaceful and beautiful and it is definitely one of my favorite places to be when the weather is warm :)

Our five days were filled with boating, swimming, hiking and lots of competitive family gaming. 

Vacation is a time for letting go and enjoying yourself and your friends and family. Don’t worry, we did plenty of that! But balance is important in a healthy lifestyle, so I’ve got some tips to stay (somewhat) healthier during your travels

Healthy Travel Tips

  1. Healthy Snacks
    1. I always bring my own snacks when traveling. It’s cheaper than airport food, and you get to control what you are eating. 
    2. My favorite choices are nuts, seeds, and fruit, fresh or dried. (make sure there is no added sugar). If it is a super long day of traveling, I like to bring small packets of almond butter and then buy a banana to put it on. Yum! If you want some more protein, you can bring the little foil packets of tuna, salmon, etc.
  2. Drink Water. Lots of water! Planes are dehydrating! Any time the cart goes by ask for water! Avoid soda and other high-sugar, calorie-laden drinks.
  3. Do something active every day. Even though all you want to do is lay on the beach and drink margaritas (nothing wrong with that) make sure you spend at minimum 20 minutes a day moving! On this vacation we did a 3 mile walk or run, every day. We also did the paddle-boat, hydrobikes, and my favorite, the SUP, or standup paddle board. 
    1. I like to have a few 10-20 minute videos ready to go on my computer to do some body weight/toning or yoga at least 1-2 times during the vacation. There are tons of videos you can find on youtube, or sites like, or
    2. Pinterest is also a great source to find travel/hotel type workouts that do not require any equipment. Check out my boards for some inspiration!
  4. The main event
    1. Focus on the in-season fruits and veggies. Make sure at last half of your plate is greens/veggies/fruits at every meal. This will help to fill you up and give you necessary nutrients that your body needs.
    2. When ordering out, grilled, steamed, and baked items are all better choices than fried.
    3. If you want something more decadent, share it! This goes for desserts, appetizers, lobster mac &cheese, etc. That way you do not feel deprived but also don’t feel the need to wear sweatpants the rest of the trip :)
  5. Alcohol
    1. Nothing wrong with kicking back with cold one (in moderation, of course)!
    2. Avoid pre-mixed, frozen drinks. If you want, make your own with fresh fruit juice. 
    3. Use this tip I learned from Bethenney Frankel (don’t judge me). For a “skinny” cocktail, mix whatever spirit you like with club soda, and then add a splash of juice.
      1. for example: if you like vodka with cranberry juice. ask for vodka, club soda, and a splash of cranberry. Or if you like margaritas. ask for tequila, club soda, and then fresh lime juice.
    4. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water. Trust me, you will feel better in the morning!

 I hope these tips can help you on your next trip! Speaking of, name one vacation spot you’ve always wanted to travel to. Mine is Greece! Someday…


Monday, August 4, 2014

Integrative Medicine

Today marks the first day of my fellowship in integrative medicine. Yes. More training. After 4 years of residency and 1 extra year of chief residency I decided to do more!

When I tell people about integrative medicine, the majority have a confused look on their face.

What is that exactly?

what is integrative medicine?

As a primary care physician, my job is to promote health and wellness. My goal is to prevent disease before it happens and unfortunately that is getting harder and harder to do. Access to healthcare is improving, but overall health and wellness is declining. Why is that? I have a few theories.  Most medicine today is symptom driven, rather than prevention driven.  Chronic diseases are not easily fixed in a 15 minute office visit! Nor does writing a prescription mean you are making headway in overall health.

Because of this, many people are not satisfied with their current state of health. This contributes to more and more patients diagnosing themselves after hours of internet research. In addition, many go on to try complementary approaches without the guidance of a physician or other healthcare professional, which could lead to all kinds of problems!

I've always been interested in overall wellness, nutrition, and other preventive medicine practices. I chose to go to an osteopathic medical school because I truly believe in whole person health.

The fellowship at the University of Arizona is a way for me to build on the practices I already believe in, as well as learn new approaches to help more people. It's a very exciting time for me, and I can't wait to share my experiences! You can learn more about my program below.

The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

What complementary or alternative approaches to medicine have you tried? Anything you would like to hear more about?
Leave a comment below and let me know!

I'll be back later this week with a Greek-inspired salmon taco recipe!