This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Dr Mike Moreno. In his own words:
“Dr. Michael Rafael Moreno, better known as “Dr. Mike,” is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine and Hahnemann Medical School (now Drexel University). Following his residency at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, California, Dr. Mike moved to San Diego, where he now practices family medicine and sits on the board of the San Diego Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
In 2008, Dr. Mike launched “Walk with Your Doc,” which he participates in every Tuesday and Thursday morning before his workday begins. The program began when Dr. Mike offered to walk with a patient to motivate her to exercise and has since grown into a thriving community.
Dr. Mike takes pride in being viewed not only as a doctor, but also as a friend and confidant.
“We’ve all pledged, promised and bullied ourselves to eat better and exercise more, but so many times even the best intentions fall short,” Dr. Mike says. “I incorporate healthy habits into my work and home life and you can too.””
The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort
Jonathan: Hey, everyone! Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus, Smarter Science of Slim podcast. Very happy about today’s show, bringing back one our friends of the show, a man who is out there helping people to live better 17 days at a time – no, I’m just kidding – for their entire life. He practices family medicine and sits on the Board of the San Diego Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He’s been touring around the world for years helping people to live better. I made the 17 day joke because he is the author of The 17 Day Diet and a wonderful upcoming title, Dr. Mike Moreno. Welcome back to the show, brother.
Mike: How are you, my friend? Great to be back. Thank you.
Jonathan: I’m very well. I’m very well. Well, Mike, I heard that you and I are going to be new year, new you publishing buddies so I had to get you on the show to hear about this upcoming book.
Mike: I’ve got to say congratulations to you, too. It’s a huge, huge accomplishment. I am excited for you and obviously excited for myself as well and hopefully for a lot of people out there who will enjoy the new stuff that’s coming in January.
Jonathan: One thing that I am really excited about in your upcoming work, Mike, as you know I’m a fan of the science, not to say that you are not; you’re obviously very much into the science but you and I both know that there’s more to this than just academics and there’s a big emotional component. One of the things I know you really are proud of in the upcoming text, which again, tell us the title of that, is some of the amazing stories you’ve seen over the years as people have started to make healthier lifestyles choices. Can you share with us some of your favorites?
Mike: I’ll tell you over the years there’s been so many and it’s not only just about the number and the pounds the people lost, although I’ve got to tell you when you see people who have lost hundreds of pounds it’s incredible. I know one couple comes to mind more than any. A couple in Alabama who sent me some before and afters and wrote me their story. I actually had a chance to call and speak with them on the phone. This couple collectively lost than 350 pounds in about 16 months. Amazing!
The husband lost 200 pounds and she lost 150. So imagine those of you who are out there who struggle with your weight every day, the work that Jonathan and myself and so many others that are out there doing this is to help people like that and to make them realize that it can be done, but imagine losing 200 pounds. You’re talking a year and a half time, because it obviously takes time to do that but their stories like that where you see people losing large amounts of weight but then there are other stories where people just say, “I feel better than I’ve ever felt. Yes, I’ve lost some weight and I’m happy about that but my clothes fit looser and I’m just more active and I’m enjoying life. I’m spending more time with my kids. I’m running around with my kids and husband. I’m exercising”
It’s just getting back a whole of your life and whether it’s losing massive amounts of weight or whether it’s just feeling better about yourself and what you’re capable of doing and there have been thousands and thousands of stories and not just in the United States. Do you know, Jonathan, we published that book in 13 languages?
I had the fortune of going to Israel this past year in May to do some work on with green tea and seen the people in Israel and Tel Aviv and working with some people to get them to achieve the goals they were trying to achieve. So really cultural diversity and sociological diversity. The world is a fascinating place and it’s amazing to see that you can touch so many lives and see people just regaining control of their lives. It’s been a fantastic ride.
Jonathan: Mike, I’m so happy to hear the story you led with was this two hundred plus pound weight loss over the course of two years and the reason I want to celebrate that is one smart person defined genius is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas in your mind simultaneously and not go crazy and I love for you to dig into. We’ve got to sell books so you got a title The 17 Day Diet. However, the gold standard of success, as you demonstrated, was a two year amazing journey. How do we use short term successes to spur long term success like you described?
Mike: That is a brilliant question and I think the answer lies in getting people to strive for those short term successes because I think it’s just getting to those short term successes that leads people naturally. The human instinct is to want to continue to strive towards bigger successes. It doesn’t take long for people to realize what they are capable of doing and I think so many of us that struggle with our weight or whatever, inactivity or whatever it may be, so many of us fail to realize that short, short time frames can take us to places that we never thought we could achieve or imagine.
So I think that energy that is derived, that momentum that’s derived, it is a sort of a source within ourselves that we tap into when you give people doable goals and I think that’s really what it comes down to and we’ve spoken about this before, Jonathan.
It’s really finding out what people are capable of doing and tapping into that rather than giving them some daunting task that they can’t ever do because ultimately, they will get to that point. I think the short answer to the question is getting to that energy that will provide you the momentum to achieve long term goals and large amounts of weight has to come from within ourselves and it’s different for everybody. But we, as healthcare providers and we, as education people that provide this education to general public, we need to show people how they can get to these short term goals and provide them with the tools necessary and the mindset necessary because once they get there, they seem to take the ball and run with it and then the creativity flows from this people.
I learned so much from people every day and I’ve been fortunate to tell people and give them my impression of what I think they need to do and give them a doable task or doable sort of change in their nutrition or their eating habits, only to have them come back successful two to three weeks later or 17 days, as you said, but only to have them come back two or three weeks later and say, “I did it and here’s how I did it and here’s what I learned and now I’m doing this.”
I take that information and apply it to others who may have struggled so we all learn from each other and one of the things my patients always tell me is, “You’re smarter than me,” and I say, “I’m not smarter than you at all. I just know different things than you know.” I like to share those things that I know and people share back with me and I think most of them don’t realize that they are actually sharing with me. For those people out there listening, I take this opportunity to thank you for doing that because I learn a lot every day from people, from patients, from strangers, from everybody I communicate with.
Jonathan: Dr. Mike, you mentioned spending some time in Israel and digging deeply into green tea which listeners of this show are huge fans of. We love us some green tea so I’m excited in this new book. Sounds like you are going to bring some new green tea goodness to the surface. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Mike: Well, in the first book, the original 17 Day Diet, we touched about the effects of green tea on weight loss and metabolism and the effects of angiogenesis which has to do with circulation and so what we are learning is the effects of green tea is, not only in weight loss but as an anti-oxidant, as an aids in digestion, an as aids in metabolism, as an aids in absorption of minerals, energy, so many things. So I think when you look at green tea, having been drink around the world for thousands of years, these people were on to something a long time ago and we are just now getting a taste of it in the recent years.
I think people are going to be amazed that some of the things that green tea can do and there’s some exciting information in the book and some new things that people are going to find both intriguing and interesting in the long term helpful for maintaining their health, not just in weight but in cardiovascular health. It goes on and on and on, so there’s some good stuff coming. I’m sure a lot of what you know, Jonathan, already.
Jonathan: Dr. Mike, the thing that I like about green tea beyond the taste, because you have to get used to the taste, is the amount of research. We’re getting deeper and deeper understanding of why it works which, I really care about and I know you care about too, which is anytime anyone is going to make something sound like it is as good for you as green tea legitimately is, unless they can understand the mechanisms, you got to be a little like it sounds a magic pill, but there’s so much deep research on what green tea is actually doing that we can, for lack of better terms, prescribe it with confidence. Is that fair?
Mike: It’s absolutely fair and I think that’s where a lot of this stuff gets lost and I think a lot of it becomes new information to people because it’s exactly what you said, there’s so much information out there. We are talking just boatloads of information but it’s so vast that I think people aren’t aware of it. It’s like when you think about the world and how big the world is and how much there is to see but yet we’re stuck in our little world where we live. You don’t realize how much that’s out there. I think that’s the same with green tea, you don’t realize how much information is out there.
I’m hoping that people can embrace this. I try to break it down as best as I can. In my first book, I try to make things understandable and interesting because medicine, like anything else, can get boring at times but I think people want to know the true tidbits that are really, really helpful. But, as you said, there’s so much information and understanding how it affects our entire body is really fascinating. So that information is going to be available, hopefully, whittled down to a more understandable level and also just a more compact level.
Jonathan: Dr. Mike, you’ve mentioned how you learned from your patients and having an approach that fits with an individual’s lifestyles. I’m curious about the specifics of green tea. I learned something from people I work with and that’s as a physician you know that any time you tell someone to take something, whether it’s a pill, especially a pill, the compliance rate is incredibly low. That’s kind of a problem so we got to figure out ways to make it easy to ingest these therapeutic substances.
I’ve had a lot of people have success with if they don’t like the taste of green tea, and I would imagine you want them to consume a decent quantity of it, they can actually take the tea leaves, the actual leaves, and they put it in smoothies and blend it up and actually consume the entire leaf a bit like a matcha green tea. Have you had any experiences with things like that?
Mike: You said this earlier that once you can get past the taste but here’s the neat thing. I think we’re seeing a lot of natural sort of ways that people are flavoring these teas and making them more palatable, so I think that’s one thing that’s going on. But as you mentioned one of the key components, the major component of the green tea that we find most useful from this health stand of point are the catechins and what catechins do to circulation and their effects on the body so you are absolutely right. It’s ingesting these products, whether it be in a whole leaf way or through the tea, whatever it is that allows your body to receive and have the advantage of the catechins and the function of the catechins in your body, so whatever it takes.
I had a lot of people I know going back several years that just couldn’t stand it but I think the manufacturing world and this green tea world realizes that. Traditionally, it wasn’t the greatest taste in the world. I always laugh because I try to get people drink at least three or four cups a day and when you look at some of the old school ways that it was prepared, it just did not taste very good at all. There’s a lot of new preparations that the understanding and the manufacturing company has really stepped up and made a lot of changes in how it’s presented and the way the product can be given and ingested, or just different sort of forms. But again, all of these will serve as a way to achieve the benefits that it has to offer.
Jonathan: Excellent so just like anything else. We’ve got to experiment with it a little bit. We’ve got to find what works for us. Certainly, there are any numbers of green tea flavors and varieties out there and I know personally the adding a bit of lemon, not only helps me with the taste, but there’s also quite a little bit of research that shows that might also help green tea do its thing in the body.
Mike: Absolutely. There are a lot of things, even just floating a few berries can make a huge difference so I think it’s really just planning different strategies and trying different things. I can’t tell you how many times I go to work and a patient will say, “No, I saw your recipe for this and I did something else to make it better.” Actually, some of those strategies were used in the new book. Everybody has their own experiences in the way they do things and I tell you, we can learn a lot from each other and green tea is one of those things that’s allowed me to learn a lot from a lot of people.
Jonathan: I love that idea of adding a few berries, even maybe a few frozen berries if it’s a little too hot to cool it down. I know along those lines, one of the things that people are most excited about in your new book, is recipes. I was hoping you could tell us maybe one or two recipes which you’re just excited, people just got to try these recipes.
Mike: I will tell you. I grew up in a Hispanic heritage. My father is from Mexico, from Vera Cruz, so one of the things I’ve always found funny is that a lot of my patients that I deal with in San Diego and the South Bay, a lot of them are Mexican or Hispanic in some nature. So I’m very sensitive to that because so many people from that culture feel as though the culture itself is very unhealthy and it makes it difficult to be healthy.
There are a lot of great recipes that are coming. Fifty new recipes to be specific but a lot of them that involve a lot of my culture in growing up and bringing up that sensitivity to that culture, but some great recipes involving some spices and chilies and things like that. One of my favorites is ceviche. I am a huge fan of ceviche, which is a combination of different shellfish and shrimp. Talk about healthy and tasty.
For those of you who are in the spice, it’s certainly there’s that element of it; the citrus, a lot of lime juice and lemon juice, a number of things like that. A number of just simple, easy ways of getting breakfast with eggs and different vegetables preparations and even a few desserts. So I think there’s a lot of good stuff coming.
The first book that we did had about 50 recipes. The follow-up which was the cookbook had 80 and now we are going to add another 50. So for those of you who are wearing yourselves down for these first hundred plus recipes, I’ve got 50 new coming and they’re from all different types and a lot of fun stuff and I will definitely say that they are very easy to prepare. All of them are very quick, very simple because it really has to go along with the challenges that life has to offer these days.
Jonathan: Dr. Mike, we’ve got some inspirational stories. We’ve got over 50 scrumptious recipes; we’ve got a bunch of great info about green tea. What is the name of this book and when can we get it?
Mike: The 17 Day Diet Break Through. The breakthrough has to do with a lot of the new literature out there that focuses on all kinds of new things that people weren’t aware of before and whether it’s green tea or whether it’s getting to that next level or really for people who have felt that they plateaued and getting them over it, The 17 Day Diet Break Through will be out in January 2014. I think people are going to find it to be a fantastic companion for what’s been released before and it’s just going to continue to help people, hopefully, to achieve success in getting healthy.
Again, it’s not always just about watching that scale move, it’s about how you feel, it’s about what your attitude is like and it’s about so many things that we’ve been measure from the outside, those things being our blood pressure, our cholesterol, our sugar level and so many things like that that people are going to be astounded by it. So due out in the next six months, or actually shorter. It’s October already at this point, so in the next few months things are going to be out and I hope people are excited about it. I know I am and I think it’s just going to be a good companion for the first few projects that have been done.
Jonathan: Dr. Mike, I’m excited and the listeners are excited and I thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
Mike: Thank you and thank you for all the work that you do as always. I appreciate the time and effort and we’ll get through this together.
Jonathan: Absolutely. A rising tide lifts all boats and there’s no shortage of unhealthy information out there so anyone who’s putting healthy information out there, we need to give them a high-five, so high-five to you, sir!
Mike: Thanks, my friend!
Jonathan: Dr. Mike is like, “This guy is crazy!”
Mike: As crazy as I am so that’s why we get along so well!
Jonathan: I love it. Well, listeners again, our guest today is Dr. Mike Moreno, author of the 17 Day Diet and the upcoming 17 Day Diet Break Through. You could learn more about him at his personal website at DrMikeDiet.com, as well as the 17DayDiet.com, and remember this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better. Chat with you soon.
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