Healthy Activities

Health Fair with the Wayne State Physicians Assistants

Over the past 6 months I've been hosting and teaching Physician Assistant students from Wayne State University at the Plum Health office. I've also had a few residents rotate through and a few medical students visit the clinic, some from Wayne State and some from University of Michigan. 

As Plum Health is the only Direct Primary Care practice in Detroit and Wayne County, and only one of less than ten in the State of Michigan, I find that we attract PA students, medical students, residents, doctors and allied health professionals who are thinking differently about health care and it's delivery, especially in the context of health equity and health disparities. 

Anyways, I've loved having these students rotate through Plum Health! They bring a unique perspective, build genuine relationships with our members, and create an atmosphere of teaching and learning in the practice. This last point is important because I practice evidence-based medicine, and having a student helps to keep me up-to-date on the latest recommendations for evidence-based practice. 

So last weekend, we were able to host a health fair at the Plum Health office. "We" being myself and the Physician Assistant students at Wayne State. Their energy was boundless and they put a great deal of time and effort in creating fun health-focused stations that taught participants about being healthier.

All in all, it was a successful day! We reached out to new people in the community, and gave away free medical care. We caught a case of diabetes that was unknown prior to the fair and helped folks gauge their blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels (HDL, LDL, Total Cholesterol and Lipid Panel). 

Below are photos from the event! Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health DPC in Detroit, Michigan

Family Doctor at the Open Streets Detroit Event

Last week I had the opportunity to be on the street level, talking with folks about health care at the Open Streets Detroit event! For those of you who don't know, Open Streets is a global movement. Cities across the country and across the world shut down their streets to cars and buses, and open them up to walkers, joggers, bikers, rollerbladers and community partners. 

This year, I again participated as the "Ask the Doctor!" community partner. Last year I participated as well, but I wanted to make my area more interactive this year. So, I brought out a hockey net, a few sticks and I had people take a few shots on me. I've never been a great goalie, but it was a fun way to interact with folks in Corktown. 

Our station was in front of the Michigan Central Station and I spoke with hundreds of people over the course of the day. There were thousands of participants, and the streets were filled with energy and vibrancy! I'm really looking forward to the 'next time,' but until then, enjoy some pictures of Open Streets Detroit 2017!

How many calories should I eat each day?

How many calories should I eat each day? This is a question that my patients commonly ask of me and there is not a one-size-fits all answer. There are several steps to finding the appropriate calorie intake on a daily basis. One of those steps is calculating your basal metabolic rate

Once you know your basal metabolic rate, you can add in the amount of calories that you burn each day from exercising. If you jog for 30 minutes each day, you may burn about 200 calories. If you do yoga for 30 minutes each day, you can burn around 150 calories. 

Take the number of calories burned in the day and add that to your basal metabolic rate. If you have a reasonably stable weight, you can estimate that you are taking in about that calorie total in your diet. 

Then you have to consider your weight goals. Are you trying to lose weight or gain weight? If you seek weight loss, then removing 100 - 200 calories from your diet each day may be a safe number for you to achieve your goals. Remember, in general, it is unsafe to lose more than 1 - 2 pounds each month.

Using an app like MyFitnessPal can be really helpful, especially if you are meticulous about documenting the foods that you consume and workouts that you perform each day. If you're a patient with Plum Health, I will review your data in the App and then we can make better decisions about dietary changes and exercise regimens. 

In general, my opinion is more about eating healthier foods, not necessarily less food. I recommend eating foods discussed in "The End of Dieting", found on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2snb78z

In it, Dr. Fuhrman recommends eating GBOMS, Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms Seeds and Nuts. The point is to get more nutrients/calorie and he sums it up this way: Health = Nutrients/Calorie. The more nutrients per calorie, the better your health.

Kale, Bok Choy, Quinoa, Blueberries, Almonds, Walnuts, Wild Caught Salmon are a handful of examples of highly nutrient dense foods! This would be in contrast to Iceberg Lettuce, bananas, peanuts, and ground beef - these foods are less nutrient dense then the aforementioned foods. 

Making healthier food choices, especially those foods that are nutrient dense, can help you to be healthier. Further, if you make organic selections, you will have less toxins in your body. Physician and author Dr. Mike Dow discusses the importance of eating organic foods in his book The Brain Fog Fix

I hope that this is a helpful and comprehensive answer for you! Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,

- Dr. Paul Thomas with Plum Health Direct Primary Care in Detroit, Michigan

Plum Health at Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon

This morning, I was out at the Rock CF River's Half Marathon and 5K in Grosse Ile, Michigan. Rock CF is an organization that advocates for patients with Cystic Fibrosis across the country, and their global headquarters are in Detroit on West Grand Boulevard. 

Emily Schaller is the founder of Rock CF and organizes this race to raise money for the organization. The Rivers Half Marathon started at Grosse Ile Middle School and ran the perimeter of the island. The Rivers 5K started at the Grosse Ile Airport and ended at the GI Middle School. 

I was representing Plum Health DPC as the race doctor and I was stationed at Mile 7.5/8ish. Fortunately, there were no major course injuries to report and things ran smoothly - no pun intended! 

I'm really proud of the Rock CF organization, their mission, and the work that they do in the community. If you'd like to be a part of Rock CF and/or donate to people with Cystic Fibroses, hit up their website!

As a physician, I recommend 30 minutes of exercise each day for 5 days each week. That's about 150 minutes of exercise each week. Aerobic exercise like running a 5K is a perfect way to get and stay in shape. Exercise has innumerable benefits from better heart and blood vessel function to better control of diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. 

Now that the weather is nicer, it's the perfect time to develop healthy habits like running or walking every day. My pro tip is this: hang your workout clothes on your bed post and make exercise the first thing you do when you start your day. 

To learn more about how you can become healthier, reach out to me here!

Thanks for reading and have a great day,

- Dr. Paul with Plum Health