Case Study, February 17, 2015 - March 3, 2016
I asked the client for his permission to publish his story and he let me know his alias name was to be "Gene Autry." Alias used to protect clients' confidentiality.
Gene came to me as many retired senior clients do: with digestive issues, a fast food diet and was taking many different medications.
He was taking more than 5 medications for various issues including his heart, prostate health, acid reflux and a sleep aid.
He was widowed and didn't have much cooking knowledge
He has a good attitude about life in general and is a dedicated family man
He enjoys bowling with friends and one social exercise class weekly
He naps daily as he wakes up early - "farm boy" mentality
He experienced anxiety often
His main concern was his acid reflux and anxiety levels, as he had been experiencing mini panic attacks and atrial fibrillation symptoms (quivering heart/irregular heartbeat.)
When I first met "Gene", his overall diet consisted of the following:
- Subway or A&W breakfasts most mornings, KFC $2 lunches and Joey's Only fish dinners every Tuesday
- 2 peppermint candies or a can of Canada Dry Ginger-Ale after each meal
- Daily microwaving of leftovers
- 3-4 cups of 2% milk per day, margarine daily, frozen & canned food daily
- Lays chips or microwaved popcorn for snacks
His current daily food looked like...
Typical breakfasts included white bread with peanut butter and jam, oatmeal or sweetened yogurt for breakfast.
Typical lunches would be a pork chop with a baked potato or a canned vegetable soup.
Typical dinners include the leftovers of a can of soup, a meat and some cooked potatoes. If he doesn't feel hungry enough he will have microwaved popcorn.
He would include foods such as sour cream and cheese, packaged dips for vegetables, pepperoni, bacon rinds, poultry or steak as his main protein sources. He would include a fruit as a snack during the day.
Gene admitted to not liking eating or cooking vegetables, and to relying mostly on frozen and canned foods like soups for his main meals. He eats 1/2 of an apple after meals where he feels indigestion, and he says that often works as his 'magic trick' for fixing it.
As for liquids Gene would have daily 1 decaf coffee in the morning, 2 waters, 1 ginger ale and 3-4 cups of milk per day.
Gene Autry and I had 5 meetings over the course of one last year.
Gene did not give up on making progress, he was willing to try new things and he was willing to fail and tell me. Communication was a vital aspect in our client/coach relationship.
Gene wasn't afraid of telling me what was and wasn't working, so we could make re-arrangements and modifications where he needed it.
At our last meeting this past March, Gene's lifestyle had changed drastically due to his small changes in diet.
- He was able to (& allowed himself to) sleep in until 6:30 AM
- He was able to increase his bowling time AND fitness classes to double what it used to be
- He was aware that he rushed during meal times and began slowing down, chewing & enjoying more which improved his digestion system greatly
- He is happier, he feels proud of himself, he feels accomplished about how far he has come
Gene's diet and nutrition had also changed considerably, and his taste buds too!
He chooses baked potatoes or salads rather than fries when he eats out
He is now only enjoying Joey's Only fish Tuesdays' every other week as a treat
He makes himself a homemade ginger/lemon drink to sip after meals instead of fruit (fruit after heavy meals complicates digestion) or a sugary commercial ginger ale
He reports to no longer enjoys frozen foods, and prefers fresh and homemade foods much more
He eats healthier snacks like fruit or yogurt and saves money from no longer eating as much junk food
He is learning to cook more and is expanding his soup and sandwich experiments & creations, using more vegetables and healthy oils in the kitchen
He is incorporating vegetables into his homemade soups and sandwiches
He quit KFC altogether (he realized it didn't feel good to him.)
The best part of this story... ...other than "He quit KFC altogether"
Genes' acid reflux is no longer his main concern. His panic attacks have greatly lessened as him and his doctor work together* to lower some of his medications. Gene (with the aid of his doctor) has gone completely off his acid reflux medication Nexium.
He has been able to incorporate foods that will support his cardiovascular and nervous systems, both connected to his specific anxiety issue.**
How did Gene do this?
He did this with a coach. He did this because he had the dedication to keep trying and wanted to feel better.
He did it because he added nourishment, when we are fuller from eating more whole foods the body has less requirement or cravings for fast food.
He did it because he had the continuing support from a nutritionist, and tools & motivation required for change.
He did it because he obtained guidance, and nudges moving him in the direction of education with books, handouts and other resources specific to his issues.
Gene did this on his own. I didn't go live with him to prep him food or grocery shop with him.
I give you the tools, I set you up for success, but you truly make the changes.
*Holistic Nutrition in its nature is synergistic & does not aim to replace medical care but to work as a complementary modality while the client receives clinical medical treatment. It was not recommended to me to lower his medication, this was a personal wish and choice of Gene's
**Anxiety is linked to many potential contributing factors: hormones, allergies, medications, mental/emotional issues, trauma, heart problems, alcohol or drugs, caffeine, weight loss supplements or simply the big umbrella of stress. Finding the cause of your anxiety is important, and working with your doctor and other health care professionals is important. If you experience symptoms of anxiety, please see your doctor.
Take the next step
Be cool like Gene Autry and get help for your nutrition upgrade. Oooh, ooh! Pick ME! I can help! Just shoot me an email, friend. If you liked this story, hit the Like button below, and feel free to share it with your family or friends...