By Justinne Lou Go, RND
THE best outcome a clinician could wish or aim for is when the patient not only becomes independent in managing his/her health appropriately, but is making an impact on the community by sharing his/her healthy habits with others. Take note though, sharing medication prescription is a different story and should not be done.
We are blessed, so we can bless others. This was best exemplified by my recent client and founder of the Hitch-A-Meal movement, Joan Paula Zanoria. She is a tenured hotelier of Pillows Hotel, but is better known as the “Mac ‘n Cheese queen”, proprietor of Macology 101 — the homegrown brand that made its humble beginnings at Sugbo Mercado in I.T. Park, Lahug and whose product line has expanded beyond mac ‘n cheese, now being offered to a wider market as featured in EchoStore and aboard Air Asia.
With the permission of Ms. Joan, I am sharing with you her health journey and victories. She began her health journey with me on Oct. 25, 2018 with concerns of undesirable laboratory results, specifically in her lipid profile and blood sugar. She had been taking maintenance medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol for over a year and her lab test results in October showed that she was pre-diabetic with an HbA1c of 5.7 percent.
With her age approaching 40 and with a strong heritage of diabetes and heart disease in the bloodline, her lab test results prompted her to take her health more seriously. This led her to the decision of embarking on a three-month personalized Nutrition Program with me.
What I am most proud of about Ms. Joan is that from being a typical busybody whose staple diet consisted of fastfood and convenience food, she was able to seamlessly and completely shift to a real, whole food diet, and which she passionately prepared herself! Not to mention, she is a mother of two!
One of the main principles in my practice is really to focus on building healthy habits, not restrictions. So, it was pure joy and delight to see someone manifest with and experience the benefits of this principle. Within a month’s time, she was reunited with her jawline.
And as she continued to build one healthy habit at a time, she also continued achieving one health milestone after another— almost all lipid markers were normalized, reversed diabetes by achieving an HbA1c of 5.6 percent, and achieved our target weight for the program with a total weight loss of 11 kg or 26 lbs.!
And by the way, she achieved all these during the Christmas season. Sounds impossible, but she is the walking testimony of this feat. She will have taken her post-program lab tests by now and I am so excited to see the final outcome of the three-month program.
She is also planning to extend the program for continued guidance to ensure that she maintains her healthy weight. As you can see, taking charge of your health is ultimately your choice and it is the best choice you can make. It’s definitely not a walk in the park (although you can start there!), but it is possible.
Since she had been preparing her meals and posting them on Facebook along with her progress, many of her friends wanted to subscribe to her meals and encouraged her to start a meal delivery. However, as a busy entrepreneur, mother and career woman, she wasn’t ready to venture into a new business yet.
Since she did want to save on the cost of meal prep, she thought of accommodating two other friends with her meals so they could share the cost. This started on Jan. 15 and it proved to be so efficient and effective because she was able to eliminate leftovers, cut down on her meal prep costs, and best of all, help her friends shift to a healthier diet. She then decided to scale it into a movement and mobile application called Hitch-A-Meal.
This movement and soon-to-be available mobile application will create opportunities for people to share healthy meals with each other as well as foster a community that promotes healthy living. Now, healthy home-cooked meals can be more accessible. It just takes a friend or a neighbor.
To join the movement or learn more about it, follow @hitch_a_meal on Instagram.