End of 2010 Health and Wellness Round-up

Lauren Thomas, RN, NP-C: Liver Specialists of Texas
Mike Wilson, M.D. : Texas Heart Institute
Deb Keener Brown: Health Enthusiast
Dave Dillon: Radio Executive


Betsy McKay

Wall Street Journal

Hiding Salt in our Foods

August 8, 2010


Susan Escudier, M.D.
Texas Oncology
2010 Cancer Update: Risks, Screening, and Prevention of Cancer

March 7, 2010

read more



Michael Weiner, M.D.
University of Indiana
Problems with Referrals to Specialists

February 28, 2010

Read more

Daniel Duick, MD, FACP, FACE
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Update on Thyroid Disease Awareness

read more


Rocco Caruso, M.D.
New York, New York
Update in Leukemia

read more

Herman Ortiz, LVN, CCRC
Research Specialists of Texas
New Hepatitis C Research Opportunities

Read more


Past Weeks
Best of Your  Health First This Week

Dr. Galati is attending the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases this week, and will return next Sunday.



Otis Brawley, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer: American Cancer Society

read more

Joseph Maroon, M.D.
University of Pittsburg School of Medicine
Resveratrol: Super Supplement?

read more

Aaron E. Carroll, M.D.
Indiana University Center for Biothics
Health Reform Survey: American Believe Myths

David A. Kessler, M.D.
Formed Commissioner, FDA
Author: The End of Overeating

Herbert DuPont, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
University of Texas Medical School-Houston
St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
Update on H1N1 Flu

John J. Seger, M.D.
Texas Heart Institute
Houston, Texas

Dr. John Seger will join Dr. Galati this week and discuss the latest in a very common heart condition called atrial fibrillation.

Victor Vogel, M.D.
National Vice President for Research
American Cancer Society



Alcoholism and Addiction: The Right Step
Jason Powers, M.D.
George Joseph, CEO

read more

Dr. Isaac Raijman: Update on GERD
May 31, 2009
read more

Jennifer Pate, M.D.
Psychiatrist-St. Luke's Hospital
Houston, Texas
Abuse and Misuse of Pain Medications

May 24, 2009


Edward R. Rensimer, MD, FACP
International Medicine Center, Houston, Texas
Update on Swine Flu

read more

Thomas R. Russell, M.D.
American College of Surgeons
Now What? A Patient's Guide to a Safe and Successful Outcome.

read more

May 3, 2009


Donate Life Month
Your Health First is LIVE in the Lobby of The Methodist Hospital

Guillermo Torre-Amione, M.D.
Medical Director Cardiac Transplant
The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas

Catherine Burch Graham
Director of Communications
LifeGift Organ Donation Center

read more
April 26, 2009


Harish Seethamraju, M.D.
Lung Transplantation at The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX

April 12, 2009


Joseph G. Rogers, M.D.
Duke University
Update in Cardiology from recent meetings

Brian Miles, M.D.
Urology-The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX
Prostate Cancer Screening

April 5, 2009

read more


Sherwin Siff, M.D.
Bone and Joint Clinic of Houston
What's New in Orthopedics?

March 29, 2009

read more 


Jeff Toal, MBA
Practice Administrator
Liver Specialists of Texas
How to Have a Better Patient Experience?

March 15,2009

read more


Maria E. Finnell, M.D.
Indiana University School of Medicine
Latent Tuberculosis in Children

read more

Abraham Morgentaler, M.D., FACS
Director: Men's Health Boston
Author: Testosterone for Life

March 8, 2009

read more


David O. Carpenter, M.D.
Director: Institute for Health and the Environment
University at Albany, Albany, New York
Are Cell Phones Safe, and other Environmental Health Concerns? 

March 1, 2009

read more


Coach Willis Wilson
Steroid Screeing in Youth Sports
read more

Chuck Garcia
Supermarket Survival Guide
read more

February 22, 2009

Melissa Carpentier, Ph.D.
Indiana University
Teens With Cancer Present Unique Psychological Issues
February 15, 2009
read more


Amy Stivers, R.D.
The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX
Feeding Your Family: Insights into Nutritiona and Health

read more

Perri Klass, M.D.
New York University

February 8, 2009

Perri Klass is Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics at New York University. She attended Harvard Medical School and completed her residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital, Boston, and her fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Boston City Hospital.

Perri has written extensively about medicine, children, literacy, and knitting. Her nonfiction includes Every Mother is a Daughter: the Neverending Quest for Success, Inner Peace, and a Really Clean Kitchen, which she coauthored with her mother, and Quirky Kids: Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In, which she coauthored with Eileen Costello. She is also the author two collections and other works of fiction, including the novels The Mystery of Breathing and Other Women's Children. Her most recent books are Treatment Kind and Fair: Letters to a Young Doctor and The Mercy Rule, which was released in July 2008.

Her short stories have won five O. Henry Awards, and in 2006, she was the recipient of the Women's National Book Association Award. She is a longtime member of the executive board of PEN New England, which she chaired from 2004 to 2006.

Perri also serves as President and Medical Director of Reach Out and Read, a national nonprofit which promotes early literacy through doctors and nurses who provide primary care to young children at nearly 4,000 clinics, health centers, hospitals, and doctor's offices in all 50 states. Through her work with Reach Out and Read, Perri has been able to integrate her commitment to the health care of young children with her love of the written word. In an essay on the program, she wrote, "When I think about children growing up in homes without books, I have the same visceral reaction as I have when I think of children in homes without milk or food or heat: It cannot be, it must not be. It stunts them and deprives them before they've had a fair chance."


Kelly K. Hunt, M.D.
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Breast Cancer Surgery

February 1, 2009


Mark Mailliard, M.D.
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
GERD (aka Heartburn)

Dr. Mailliard will talk with Dr. Galati regarding this ever growing health concern. Read more.
While GERD is a very common complaint, there are complications that can develop-including cancer of the esophagus. Tune in and learn more this week with Dr. Galati.
January 18, 2009 


 January 9, 2009
Mamma Galati (aka Dr. Galati's Mother)
Eating Well for 2009

A regular contributer, Dr. Galati's mother, Agnes Galati, will be live in the studie this week to discuss...FOOD. As is always discussed on the program, good health and nutrition go hand in hand. At 80 years old, and in pretty good health, she continues to speak out on feeding your family, and developing a passion about food. Loving food and talking about it does not lead to obesity. It is the lack of quality food, highly processed food product, and a lack of understanding that leads to obesity.


Brian Miles, M.D.
Urology Update
Chief: Robotic Surgery
The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX

Read more


Marianne Legato, M.D.
Columbia University School of Medicine
Gender Specific Health Concerns: Keeping Men Healthy

Dr. Legato will be joining Dr. Galati this week. She will discuss ways to keep men healthy.
Read more

Willa Hsueh, M.D.
The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX
Diabetes Awareness Month

Dr. Hsueh this week will discuss with Dr. Galati the basics of diabetes, and why it is so important to be aware of the risks of developing diabetes.
Read more


Jennifer Pate, M.D.
Psychiatrist-St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital
Anxiety Disorders and Teen Drug Use

read more



Kevin McEnery, M.D.
MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Radiology: An Overview for the Patient

Read more

Chuck Garcia: A New Nutritional Scoring System for Food

Chuck Garcia, a regular contributer to Your Health First, will join Dr. Galati this week to review a new food scoring system to roll out later this year. Read more


Aaron Carroll, M.D.: Medical Myths-Learning the Truth

This week, Dr. Aaron Carroll will join Dr. Galati and discuss medical myths, some that even physician believe. Dr Carroll is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and the Director of the Center for Professionalism in Medicine at Indiana University.

Many common beliefs about what is good and bad for you are untrue, they are "medical myths", said US researchers writing in a leading medical journal

Even doctors are duped, said authors Rachel C Vreeman, fellow in children's health services research at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and Aaron E Carroll, assistant professor of paediatrics at the Regenstrief Institute, both in Indianapolis, writing in the 22nd December Christmas issue of the BMJ

Is Our Soil Hurting Us?

Gabriel Filippelli, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Earth Sciences
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis  

Dr. Filippelli from Indiana University will be joining Dr. Galati this week to discuss the exciting research he and his team are performing on soil sample in urban cities. They are finding that the levels of lead are in the toxic range, and contributing to increased lead levels in our children.  
Click here to read the article and listen to the podcast of the interview.

Naomi Dingle
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Lone Star Chapter

  About Walk MS 

·   Nearly 4,000 Houston-area residents are expected to participate in the 2008 Walk MS: Houston Series.

·   Walk MS: Houston Series is set for Sept. 20 in Kemah, Sept. 27 in Katy and the Woodlands, and Sept. 28 in downtown Houston.

 o Walk MS: Kemah - Kemah Boardwalk

o Walk MS: Katy - Katy Mills Mall

o Walk MS: The Woodlands Walk and Certified Run - Panther Creek Shopping Center

o Walk MS: Downtown Houston - Sam Houston Park
·   Walk MS Houston has a goal to raise $315,000 to support research and fund programs through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Lone Star Chapter. In 2007, the Lone Star Chapter walks raised more than $1 million to benefit the estimated 20,000 Texans affected by MS.
 ·   There is no cost to participate in the walks and registration is available through 8:00 a.m. on the day of each event. A $25 registration fee is required for The Woodlands Certified Run, a Track & Field sanctioned event.
·   All Walk MS: Houston Series events offer family-friendly fun for all ages, including live entertainment and refreshments. Each walk has its own personality and distances range from one to five miles. The Woodlands and downtown Houston events are open to dogs.

  Visit www.walkmstexas.org for additional information and to register, support a walker or volunteer.

 About Multiple Sclerosis
 Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body and stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.

 About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

 The Lone Star Chapter serves and estimated 20,000 individuals and their families who are affected by multiple sclerosis in 174 Texas counties. The chapter is number one in the nation financially, geographically and in terms of population served. All funds are privately raised and 81 cents of each dollar spent funds programs, research and national activities.  The Lone Star Chapter has offices in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi.


Carla Davis, M.D.
Texas Children's Hospital
Food Allergy Update

2008 Walk for Food Allergy: Moving Toward a Cure

Dr. Carla Davis from Texas Children's Hospital will join Dr. Galati this week to discuss the topic of food allergy. In Houston, there is an effort to raise awareness to this serious public health problem.

Click here to read more on this topic.

Downs Syndrome: New Treatment Protocols
Teresa Cody, D.D.S.
Annie Lord
Changing Minds Foundation



Eric Powitzky, M.D.
Center for ENT, Houston, Texas

New Therapy for Sinus Problems: Balloon Sinuplasty

Dr. Powitzky is an Ear Nose and Throat Specialists in Houston, Texas. He will be joining Dr. Galati to discuss new treatment options for those with sinus problems. Some of the new therapies include the use of a balloon to dilate the sinus passages. 

Balloon Sinuplasty
 technology is a FDA-cleared, endoscopic, catheter-based system for patients suffering from sinusitis. The technology uses a small, flexible, Sinus Balloon Catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal sinus drainage and function. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it gently restructures and widens the walls of the passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.


Bryan Vartabedian, M.D.
Pediatric Gastroenterologist
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
Gastric Reflux Disease in Children: How Big of a Problem?

Dr. Bryan Vartabedian is a pediatric gastroenterologist, and an expert in colic and esophageal reflux disease in children. He has authored a book on this topic, "Colic Solved", discussing this problem in greated detail and outlining a plan for parents.

Dental and Oral Care: What You Need to Know
Steve Lukin, D.D.S.
Mark Lukin, D.D.S.
Lukin Family Dentistry-Sugar Land, Texas

Current Issues in Transplantation
Mark Ghobrial, M.D.
Chief: Liver Transplant Program
The Methodist Hospital
Houston, Texas

Measuring Your Waist at Work: Do We Need to Follow Japan's Lead?
Chuck Garcia: New York Health Enthusiast

Chuck Garcia, regular contributer and long-time chum of Dr. Galati, will join him this week to discuss a through provoking article recently published in the New York Times on how far an employer can go when it comes to health? Japan is measuring the waists (read the full article) of their population, and if they are too large, they are referred them for mandatory for weigh management education. Should we do this in America, considering the massive problems with obesity we face every day?  

(From Tara-Parker-Pope: NY Times)

Imagine if your employer started measuring your waist as a measure of your health.
 That’s what’s happening in Japan. As my colleague Norimitsu Onishi explains in today’s Times, a Japanese law that came into effect two months ago requires companies and local governments to measure the waistlines of Japanese adults. The government limits are 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women. Those who exceed the standard and also have another weight-related health concern are given “dieting guidance” to drop weight. (To read the full story, click here.)

While the Japanese plan seems onerous, it’s not without scientific basis. Studies clearly show a person’s health risks increase as waist size grows.

In March, an analysis in The Journal of Clinical Epidemiology showed that body mass index is the ‘’poorest'’ indicator of cardiovascular health, and that waist size is a much better way to determine, for both sexes, who is at a higher risk for hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol.

Studies suggest that health risks begin to increase when a woman’s waist reaches 31.5 inches, and her risk jumps substantially once her waist expands to 35 inches or more. For a man, risk starts to climb at 37 inches, but it becomes a bigger worry once his waist reaches or exceeds 40 inches.

Last month, The International Journal of Obesity suggested that, particularly for young people, the waist-to-height ratio might be a better indicator of overall health risks. Put simply, your waist should be less than half your height.

To read more about health and waist size, click here. And click here to check out whether your body shape is an apple or a pear.


Joseph Rogers, M.D. - Cardiologist
Duke University Medical Center
What Happened to Tim Russert's Heart?

Dr. Joseph Rogers, a cardiologist at Duke University, and Medical Director of the Cardiac Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support program, will discuss the recent and unexpected death of NBC's Tim Russert.
According to news reports, Mr. Russert was being treated for asymptomatic cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and mild obesity. He suddenly collapsed in his office Friday, and despite efforts to perform CPR and use an automatic external  defribrillator (AED), he did not survive this tragic event.
Dr. Rogers will join Dr. Galati this week and discuss this case, explaining issues related to heart disease, heart attack, sudden cardiac death, and risk factor reduction.
Links of Interest:

Rama D. Jager, M.D.
University Retina and Macula Associates
Oak Forest, IL

Macular Degeneration

This week in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Jager was the lead author of an article entitled  "Age Related Marcular Degeneration", an excellent review of this most important topic. 
Macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula. These new blood vessels tend to be very fragile and often leak blood and fluid. The blood and fluid raise the macula from its normal place at the back of the eye. Damage to the macula occurs rapidly.

With wet AMD, loss of central vision can occur quickly. Wet AMD is also known as advanced AMD. It does not have stages like dry AMD.

An early symptom of wet AMD is that straight lines appear wavy. If you notice this condition or other changes to your vision, contact your eye care professional at once. You need a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
Links of Interest:


Listener E-Mails Are Answered by Expert Guests

Mark Ghobrial, M.D.: Transplant and Organ Donation
Susan Escudier, M.D.: Cancer
John Fogarty, M.D.: Asthma

Every week, Dr. Galati and the Your Health First team receive dozens of e-mails regarding a wide range of topics related to health and wellness. This week Dr. Galati decided to spend the hour talking about these questions and expanding the answers with experts in each of these areas.

Question 1: Nancy, 52 years old, Richmond, TXview of CPR.

  "...with all the talk about cancer screening, I am ashamed to say that I have no idea what "cancer" is or how it all starts? "

Question 2: Tim, 44 years old, Dallas, TX

"You talk about organ donation all the time, and I would like to be an organ donor one day. I have hepatitis C, and I am not sure if I can be a doner?"
Question 3: Louise, 39 year old female, Houston
"...I just moved to Houston from New Mexico and have asthma. I was told before I left that my asthma would get worse. Is this true, and what should I do now?"
Links of interest on these topics:

Howard Monsour, M.D.
Liver Specialist: All About the Liver

Dr. Monsour will join Dr. Galati this week.
Read more



Past Weeks Programs and Guests

Paul Offit, M.D.
Chief: Section of Infectious Disease
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Vaccines and Autism Revisited

Dr. Paul Offit, Chief Section of Infectious Disease at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, will join Dr. Galati this week and discuss his recent New England Journal of Medicine article discussing the ongoing questions surrounding vaccines and autism.


Grandma Galati on  Feeding Your Family: Keep it Fresh and Cook at Home

Celebrating Mother's Day, Dr Galati's mother, Agnes, will be a guest on the program this week. It has long been her opinion that it is the parent's responsibility to keep your children healthy, including the important task of feeding them well. Feeding your family well does not refer to the amount of food, but rather the quality of food they eat. Home cooking is something of a lost art in this disjointed, overactive society that we live in. We have created an environment that creates obesity, rather than control it.
The never ending availability of "ready to eat-throw in the microwave " foods is growing faster than ever. The nutritional value of these foods is poor, and they are "food product" rather that real foods from the ground. Careful review of these food show that they are excessive in sodium, carbohydrate, and fat content, fueling the obesity and diabetes problems we are facing.
Listed below are some of the companies producing these "food products". Review the nutritional content and see how poor they are, and why you want to avoid these at all costs. Instead, the argument can be made that it is far better to make these meals at home, providing vastly better food and nutritional value. Planning your meals for the week is the first step in feeding you family better.

Jen Murphy
Wall Street Journal
What's Your Work-Out?

In Jen Murphy's 100th What's Your Workout column she reflects on how her own workout has changed since she began profiling how others stay fit .

The Columnist

I penned my first "What's Your Workout?"1 column on June 30, 2004, while working as a news assistant at WSJ.com. A lot has changed since then. Now I'm an associate editor at Food & Wine magazine in New York City, facing tight deadlines and the temptations of the magazine's test kitchen.

The night before we taped my gym workout, I had been out until 1 a.m. to celebrate my birthday. Still, by the time I hit the showers I felt great.


A typical work day starts at around 9 a.m., with me checking email and scanning the news. For much of the rest of the day, I conduct phone interviews, meet people one-on-one, write and edit. At least three days a week I have breakfast or lunch meetings and at least twice a week attend cocktail parties, press events or multi-course, wine-paired dinners. During the first and last week of each month, when we're finalizing our monthly issue, my schedule becomes unpredictable. On weekends I squeeze in time to write this column.

I currently live on the Upper East Side in New York City and walk the approximately 35 blocks to and from my office in midtown Manhattan, taking about 35 minutes each way. I'm 28-years-old, 5'4' and weigh 123 pounds.

The Workout

When my job calls, I usually answer, so I can't consistently get to the gym after work or during my lunch break. But I don't have a problem waking up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. during the week. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I run from my apartment to Central Park and complete the 1.5 mile-loop around the Reservoir, which takes about 35 minutes door-to-door.

On Mondays, I do a 20 minute abdominal routine on a yoga mat in my tiny studio apartment. I do 25 to 30 repetitions of 10 different exercises, completing two sets of four of those exercises and one set of the rest. That's followed by a 25 minute upper body routine, using five-pound and 10-pound dumbbells that I stash under my bed. I try to hit every major muscle group (see details). I do three sets of 12 repetitions with little rest between sets. Sometimes I do this before my run to warm up, other times after.


Readers, what sort of tweaks and adjustments to you make to your schedule to help yourself stay well? A little sleep here or there, a little more exercise, a little less unhealthy food? And what can you never, ever give up? Share your thoughts with Jen Murphy in the Workout forum.3

On Wednesdays I follow my run with a core workout and/or 20 minutes of yoga in my apartment. Fridays, I do a Jane Fonda-style lower body routine at home on my yoga mat that includes three sets of 30 repetitions of various leg raises, squats and lunges.

Four years ago, that program was basically my five-day a week workout. I've since incorporated more cross-training. Two years ago a doctor told me that the knee pain that I've had since I ran track in high school was most likely the result of my quadriceps being stronger than my hamstrings. I've since added more lower-body strength exercises to my routine. Now, the only trouble my knees give me is when I wear high heels too frequently.

Two mornings a week, usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, I cross-train at the New York Sports Club around the block from my office. I warm up by walking to the gym, arriving at around 6:45 or 7 a.m. I consider these two days my easy cardio days, working out with less intensity and multitasking by reading magazines for work. I do a 30-minute interval program on the Stairmaster and spend another 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, the stair climber or stationary bike.

I have an upper and lower body routine for the gym, and if I have time I do some core work. For upper body, I use mostly machines, doing three sets, 12 repetitions of nine exercises (see details). On my lower body day, I use the abductor and adductor machine, the leg press and calf raise machine. Rather than doing lunges in one plane of motion, I do them in three -- forward, to the right and left and diagonally behind me. I hold a 20-pound bar or two 10-pound dumbbells and do three sets of 10 repetitions with little or no rest. I then do squats while balancing on blown up rubber disks.

On Saturdays I do either two loops around the Reservoir or one six-mile loop around the park. Sundays I run one loop in the Reservoir and then attend a 10 a.m., 90-minute Vinyasa Flow yoga class. I don't always make it to that class: Sometimes I'm traveling or sometimes I am simply out too late the night before.

I try to make sure I go to at least one yoga class a week and have been experimenting with different styles including Bikram and Jivamukti. With each class I find myself able to go a little farther into a pose. I'll see people wrapped into pretzels and think "I could never do that," and a few weeks later I do, which is satisfying and very grounding.

I force myself to have a rest day every other week. The nice thing about my workout is that it's flexible. If I get home from a work dinner at midnight, the next morning I may just do my lower body workout from home and run. If I'm extremely organized and pack a week's worth of lunches and do all of my ironing on Sunday then I'll go to the gym more that week. Having two options helps eliminate excuses.

The Diet

I try to eat seasonally and avoid processed foods and don't eat much red meat. I store breakfast in our office kitchen: low-fat, plain Greek yogurt topped with two or three spoonfuls of high-fiber cereal and fruit. I'll have at least two cups of coffee, black or sometimes with skim milk. I add one packet of Emergen-C -- a water soluble mix of vitamins and minerals -- to my water.

I pack my lunch and eat at my desk -- usually a big salad with some protein like tofu or tuna. Our executive food editor teases me because I don't add dressing -- I like to eat with my fingers and it's less messy that way.

There is constantly food around my office. If I don't pack lunch and forage in the test kitchen I end up never feeling quite full, yet I usually eat too much. In the summer months, when we're testing our holiday recipes, it can be particularly dangerous and I try to avoid the kitchen after breakfast.

Around 4 p.m., I'll usually have almonds or an apple with peanut butter and a Diet Coke. Big lunches leave me feeling lethargic so I try to arrange breakfast meetings instead.

I prepare simple dinners at home. I don't have an oven (just a stove top) so I usually pick up produce on my walk home, make a big salad and have really good cheese, a slice of whole grain bread and a glass of wine, usually red.

If I have a work dinner I eat less early in the day. I'd never dream of asking for the dressing on the side or to hold the pasta or potatoes. I believe a dish should be experienced exactly as the chef intended. I often try to just taste and always leave something on my plate. There are weeks when I've dined out seven nights in a row. I try to cut back the week after.

Heavy meals used to leave me with a stomachache the next morning. Then chef David Bouley of Bouley restaurant in New York City told me about a dietary supplement containing lactic acid bacteria that helps with digestion, which I drink every morning.

I try to keep my sweet tooth in check, but I do order dessert when I'm out to eat and try to split it with someone. My other indulgence: After a week of drinking wine at work events I love a good craft beer.

The Cost

I pay $80 per month for a gold membership to New York Sports Clubs that gives me access to the gym of my choice at any time, and any location during off-peak hours. Food & Wine reimburses me $500 per year.

Unlimited classes at YogaWorks costs $130 a month and includes access to all of the chain's locations. Classes at different yoga studios are about $20. Most of the T-shirts I wear are from road races I've run and other clothing I get as Christmas or birthday gifts. Rarely do I buy new workout clothes. I replace my outdoor running sneakers every three to four months, at about $80 per pair. I use a different pair for walking to work and at the gym. These I replace twice a year.

The Effort

Writing this column has helped me realize that the point of exercise is to be able to enjoy life more. For example, I knew I would be videotaped by the Journal at 6:30 a.m., (watch the video9), the day after my birthday, but I still went out until 1:00 a.m. to a wine-paired dinner followed by cupcakes. Yes, I showed up 10 minutes late at the gym, and it was a painful workout, but I felt great by the time I showered and was out the door.

Last year I tried living with my then-boyfriend and was commuting three-hours roundtrip from New Jersey. I would wake up at 4:30 a.m., to exercise and was perpetually sleep deprived and always stressed about trying to make the last bus. I wasn't ready to live that kind of lifestyle.

I am less strict than I used to be with myself. If I need an extra hour of sleep, I'll do two rather than three reps of my strength sets or cut 10 minutes off my cardio. I know there are some days my body would benefit more from skipping the gym and hitting snooze.

The Benefit

If I don't exercise I get cranky, feel lethargic and don't sleep well. I come up with some of my best story ideas during morning runs and vent the frustration and anger of bad days at a yoga class or on my walk home from work. I also get to truly enjoy great food and wine without worrying about fitting into my bikini come summer. Most of my vacations are active -- surfing in Hawaii or snowboarding in Vermont -- so keeping fit year-round lets me enjoy the sports I love when I have the time.


Diabetes: Everything You Need to Know
Diabetes America
Wendy Hawkins, M.D.
David Erani, M.D.
Elizabeth Bello, R.D.

Read more


Kimberly A. Workowski, M.D.
Emory University School of Medicine
Centers for Disease Control
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Emerging Health Concerns

Dr. Workowski will be joining Dr. Galati this week to discuss sexually transmitted diseases, which continue to be a public health concern.  Those at risk need to be screened, and prevention needs to be taught.  A growing concern is resistance to antibiotics. Her article was published in Annals of Internal Medicine and can be downloaded here.

is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.
A summary of STD's can be found here.
Centers for Disease Control: Fact Sheet on Genital Herpes
Centers for Disease Control: Fact Sheet on Gonorrhea

 Additional information on STD's can be found here as well.


Donate Life Month
Karen Abercrombie
Sister of Organ and Tissue Donor Julie De Rossi


Read the full article and details on organ and tissue donation...


 Rod and Delores Starr: Grant A Starr Foundation
James Versalovic, M.D., Ph.D. : Texas Children's Hospital
learn more


Tom Swanson: Summer Safety Review
Retired FDNY

Tom Swanson, a retired verteran of the New York City Fired Department, will be joining Dr. Galati this week to discuss summer safety issues, including home fire prevention and pool safety.  If you have a pool in your backyard, it is a great idea to contact the American Red Cross and enroll in one of their safety and first aid classes. Knowing standard first aid and CPR can siave a life. The courses are easy and widely available throughout the city.  Here are a few links to review and pass on:

Learn CPR

Celeste Varieur, R.N.
Food of the Week: Zucchini/Summer Squash

Celeste Varieur, R.N., will be joining Dr. Galati this week to discuss Zucchini, this weeks "food of the week". Celeste is a registered nurse from Rockland County, NY, has worked as a school nurse, and is the mother of three children. Understanding the importance of food and nutrition, she is an outspoken advocate of stressing the importance of home cooking, providing a wide range of varied foods, especially to your children.  One of her favorite, versatile foods to prepare is summer squash, or zucchini.

Varieties of summer squash include:

  • Zucchini: Probably the best known of the summer squashes, zucchini is a type of narrow squash that resembles a cucumber in size and shape. It has smooth, thin skin that is either green or yellow in color and can be striped or speckled. Its tender flesh is creamy white in color and features numerous seeds. Its edible flowers are often used in French and Italian cooking.
  • Crookneck and Straightneck Squash: Both of these summer squashes have creamy white flesh and generally have yellow skins, although sometimes you can find them with green skin. Crookneck squash is partially straight with a swan-like neck. It was genetically altered to produce its straightneck cousin that is shaped as its name implies.
  • Pattypan Squash: This small saucer-shaped squash features skin that can either be pale green or golden yellow in color. Its cream-colored flesh is more dense and slightly sweeter than that of zucchini.

Tips for Preparing Summer Squash:

Wash summer squash under cool running water and then cut off both ends. You can then proceed to cut it into the desired size and shape for the particular recipe.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Sprinkle grated zucchini or other summer squash on top of salads and sandwiches.

Enjoy an easy to make ratatouille by healthy sautéing summer squash, onions, bell peppers, eggplant and tomatoes and then simmering the mixture in tomato sauce. Season to taste.

Serve raw summer squash with your favorite dips.

Add zucchini or other summer squash to your favorite muffin or bread recipe; decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe by about one-third to compensate

A number of zuchini recipes can be found here.


Issac Raijman, M.D.
Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Heartburn
What's New to Know

Dr. Raijman will be on Your Health First this week to discuss heartburn and esophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a very common problem faced by adults, and most are aware of the "purple pill" to treat their indigestion. But is this a good thing? Many experts fear that self medication by over the counter preparations of these medications can lead to serious complications later on. Barrett's esophagus, a complication of longstanding esophageal refulx disease, is a pre-malignant condition of the esophagus, and can develop into cancer over time.

Dr. Raijman is a national and internationally known physician in gastroenterology and disorders of the biliary system. His practice, Digestive Associates of Houston, specializes in complex cases of the digestive system.  Dr. Raijman is located in the Texas Medical Center, Houston, TX.

Topics Drs. Galati and Raijman will discuss on the program include the following:

(Click on the links for more detail)

BARRX HALO technology


Reflux Disease

Barrett's Esophagus

Cancer of the Esophagus


Lazaro B. Cherem, M.D.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Kidney...And More



Martin G Sanda, M.D.

Director: Prostate Cancer Care Center

Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center

Boston, MA



Margaret Bridges, M.D.Colon Cancer Screening:
What You Need to Know
Read more

Tara Parker-Pope
Wall Street Journal Columnist
Do Antioxidants Work? and
Caffeine Content in Soda

 It is a pleasure to have Tara Parker-Pope from the Wall Street Journal join Dr. Galati again on Your Health First. Every week Tara writes HEALTH JOURNAL, a medical column that covers the lates in health and wellness.  This past week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article which suggests that excessive intake of popular antioxidants may actually hurt you, rather than reduce disease. Tara comments on the study, and some of the misleading information that might be drawn from the study.

A second article this week she wrote covered the content of caffeine in soda, and how the makers now must disclose the amount contained in their drinks. The development of these new supercharged drinks, which target thtor:e youth, do have potential health implications.

 Barbara L. Bass, M.D.
Chair-Department of Surgery,
The Methodist Hospital,  Houston, TX
"What You Need to Know About Your Surgeon and Surgery"
Read More about Dr. Bass


Grandma Galati (aka Dr. Galati's mother)
"How to Feed Your Children in the Morning Before School"
Read More

Agnes Galati, Dr. Galati's mom, will be a special guest on the program this week. It is National School Breakfast Week, as well as National Nutrition Month. Understanding nutrition, and how to feed your family is the first line of defense against the global war on obesity. Mama Galati is a superb cook, and over the years has become a self taught student of nutrition and healthly cooking. While home-made Italian cooking is her area of expertice, healthy cooking for infants, children, teenagers, and grown adults is her real passion. She will share her tips on how to get children off to school with a full stomach of nutritious food, preparing them for a long day at school. Research continues to prove that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and attention needs to be paid to this daily activity. With just a little planning, breakfast can turn out to be an enjoyable meal for your children...as well as everyone else in the family.
Links of Interest on Food and Nutrition for the Family