Five Ways to Eat Clean

The latest buzz among health-conscious consumers involves adopting a clean diet. Eating clean involves changing your diet so that there’s a greater focus on whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, protein and healthy fats, and less reliance on processed or refined foods.

The basic idea of clean eating is to choose foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. The concept stresses healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. The benefits include reduced incidence of disease, increased quality of life, and a longer life expectancy, just to name a few.

Clean eating sounds like a no-brainer, but ditching donuts, pizza and mocha lattes can be a lot tougher than it sounds. Here are five ways to make clean eating a way of life:

  1. Eat more whole grains: Refined carbs, such as white bread, pasta, and rice, lose nutrients during the manufacturing process. Trade them for whole wheat bread and pasta and brown or wild rice. Or opt for other whole grains like oatmeal, popcorn, or barley. This change can have a big impact: Studies show that a diet high in whole grains can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer.
  2. Drink plenty of water: Water can curb your hunger and help you feel full, but it can also fend off fatigue and give you more energy. Miss flavored drinks? Try infusing your water with a slice of citrus or sprig of mint.
  3. Load up on fruits and veggies: Aim to get at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day, depending on the calories you need and your level of physical activity.
  4. Be smart about meat and dairy: Meat, dairy, and eggs you buy at the store may come from animals that get growth hormones and antibiotics. Clean eaters avoid them and choose organic or opt for local sources that raise animals humanely. The cleanest approach to protein? Get most of it from nuts, beans, and legumes.
  5. Watch out for salt and added sugar: Clean foods are naturally low in salt and sugar. Read food labels to look for added sweeteners and salt, even in foods that seem healthy, such as yogurt or tomato sauce. Also keep tabs on how much you add to your foods and drinks!

Before starting a new diet, it’s always prudent to check with your doctor. For a physical or if you are feeling ill, please call us at Prosperity Internal Medicine at 703-876-9300for an appointment. Our group uses the latest advances in medicine, offering our patients access to innovative health management technologies, proactive team-based care, and an evidence-based, patient-centered approach.




Four Beverages with Heart Health Benefits

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming approximately 1 million lives annually. Fortunately, there are things you can do to become more heart healthy!

Most of us know that eating right is one way to help keep your heart healthy, but did you know that what you drink is also an important factor? Here are some of the heart healthiest beverages available, many of which you drink on a daily basis anyway!


Many of us need our coffee in the morning to give us a jolt of energy to help keep us going throughout the day. Did you know that drinking coffee is associated with cardiovascular benefits? In fact, studies cited in the journal Circulation found that people who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had a significantly lower risk of heart disease. Other studies have shown that moderate coffee drinking (about four cups a day) is also linked to a lower risk of stroke and heart failure. Make sure you’re keeping your coffee heart-healthy by limiting creamers high in saturated fat and sugar.

Red Wine

In recent years, some studies have linked moderate alcohol intake with a decrease in heart disease. Researchers believe that compounds found in red wine known as polyphenols may help reduce inflammation and improve circulation.

If you drink alcohol — including red wine — do so in moderation. Men 65 and older should limit their alcohol use to no more than a single drink per day.


There’s a lot of evidence brewing that tea may help boost heart health. That’s because tea — green or black — is a good source of compounds known as catechins and epicatechins, part of a group of plant chemicals called flavonoids. Studies indicate that flavonoids may help reduce inflammation, and that in turn may reduce plaque buildup inside arteries. Iced or hot, tea is a healthy, no-calorie brew as long as you don’t add cream or sugar. If you’re caffeine-sensitive and enjoy black or green tea, drink it earlier in the day (before noon) and limit to three cups or less.

100% Grape Juice

The dark purple Concord grape in 100% grape juice provides powerful plant polyphenols. In fact, 100% grape juice made from this special grape delivers many of the same polyphenols and heart-health benefits as red wine, and it can help promote healthy circulation.

Including the drinks above in your diet can be part of a heart healthy diet. You can also dramatically reduce your chances of heart disease or a heart attack by following healthy lifestyle habits. Pay attention to good habits and incorporate them into your lifestyle and your heart health will be the best it can be for you.

If want to get a physical to ensure your blood pressure is normal and your heart is healthy or if you get sick, please call us at Prosperity Internal Medicine at 703-876-9300 for an appointment. Our group uses the latest advances in medicine, offering our patients access to innovative health management technologies, proactive team-based care, and an evidenced-based, patient-centered approach.

How to Stave Off the Flu

It’s flu season, and everyone seems to be getting sick. Your son came home from school with shivers and a fever. Your daughter has a wicked cough. And, your co-workers are suffering, as well. How can you dodge the flu this season, when it seems like everyone you know is getting it?

If you want to better your chances of not getting the flu, there are some other simple steps you can take, as follows:

  • Wash your hands often. Be sure to use soap and water, and scrub well. Try not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth, because germs are spread that way. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t around.
  • Get your flu shot. The flu can even be dangerous, especially for young children, older adults, and pregnant women. One little shot may pay off for you and your family. It’s a myth that the flu vaccine can give you the flu.
  • Pay attention to symptoms Cold or flu? There’s no surefire way to tell the symptoms apart. However, usually, colds are milder. You might have a runny or stuffy nose. The flu is typically more severe and comes on suddenly. It will probably knock you off your feet for a few days. Fever, body aches, and exhaustion are more common with it.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. Take time off. If you push yourself to work instead of rest, your recovery may be much harder. Not only it could last longer, but also you could also spread germs to other people.
  • Use disposable cups, toothbrush, towels etc. to curb germs. When someone in your home is sick, switch to disposable products in your bathroom until they get better. It’s a simple way to stop the spread of germs among family members. Replace cloth hand towels with paper ones, and bring in paper or plastic cups.
  • Drink Extra Fluids. Water, broth, and sports drinks are good choices. Alcohol isn’t. Hot drinks such as herbal tea will warm your airways, helping relieve congestion. Liquids in general help thin mucus, drain your sinuses, and relieve a stuffy nose. If your sick kids don’t drink enough, offer them Popsicles. Or let them drink fluids with a spoon or a straw.

Sometimes, you can take all the preventative measure in the world and still get sick. If you do get sick, you can keep other people from getting the flu by staying away from them. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, too. If you don’t have a tissue handy, the inside crook of your elbow is a great place to do it, so you don’t get germs on your hands.

Hope you remain healthy through flu season. If you do get sick, please call us at Prosperity Internal Medicine at 703-876-9300 for an appointment. Our group uses the latest advances in medicine, offering our patients access to innovative health management technologies, proactive team-based care, and an evidenced-based, patient-centered approach.




How to Set Realistic Health Goals for the New Year

Each year, we express our hopes for the new year with grand resolutions, such as losing 40 pounds by summer or spending 90 minutes a day at the gym. Yet, after a month or so, those big dreams prove to be impossible to carry out.

Often times, life gets in the way, and work and activities consume your time. Discouragement sets in, followed by inaction, guilt, avoiding thinking about our goal, and eating lots of chocolate (or chips) for consolation.

Don’t be discouraged! You can set realistic, achievable goals for a more healthful life in 2018. What’s more, those targets—whether for weight loss, exercise or both—will produce results that help you look and feel better.

To set and achieve your goal, research shows it helps to follow this process.

Recognize what you need to change;

  1. Establish a goal;
  2. Begin a goal-directed activity;
  3. Track your progress;
  4. Reward yourself.

If it’s so simple, you may ask why January’s good intentions often end up discarded by March. Many goals start out being too difficult and too general. That’s a set up for failure. Here’s some things you can do to help your goal-setting be more successful:

  1. Before deciding on your goal, keep a food or exercise diary for a week to get a clear view of your current lifestyle. Every day, write down what you eat and your physical activity. Then use that snapshot of your life to choose an area to focus on. You may see that you’re spending hours on the living room couch at night or having fast-food lunches most days of the week. By looking at what you’re currently doing, you can set a goal and know where you started.
  2. Be specific and choose a precise, positive goal for a short period of time. Make it challenging enough to motivate you, without being beyond your capabilities. If you haven’t exercised in years, don’t plan on running 20 miles a week—it’ll never happen. Instead, think of your goal as, “I’ll take a walk with the dog three times this week.”
  3. Be realistic and reasonable. For instance, if you are fighting extra weight, instead of saying, “I want to drop 50 pounds,” state your goal as “I will lose one pound this week.” You’ll probably be able to meet that goal successfully, and even repeat it the following week. Remember, recommended weight loss for most people is only about one pound per week.

Realistic goals might not seem exciting, but grander plans are often self-defeating. By achieving a smaller goal, you see what you’ve done, then you can tackle the next goal.

Before starting a diet or exercise plan, it’s a good idea to check with a doctor. Please call us at Prosperity Internal Medicine at 703-876-9300 for an appointment. Our group uses the latest advances in medicine, offering our patients access to innovative health management technologies, proactive team-based care, and an evidenced-based, patient-centered approach.

Ways to Lower Risk of a Heart Attack or Stroke

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States; and stroke ranks at number five. One of the biggest contributors to these statistics is a lack of commitment to a heart healthy lifestyle. Your lifestyle is not only your best defense against heart disease and stroke, it’s also your responsibility. By following these simple steps, you can reduce your risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

  1. Exercise a little each day

Moderate physical activity lowers your chances of a heart attack. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise that gets your heart pumping at least 5 days a week. Brisk walking or swimming are some good choices. On the other 2 days, do strength training, such as lifting weights.

If you’ve got a tight schedule, break your exercise routine into small chunks. Try a 15-minute walk in the morning and another before lunch.

  1. Set a reasonable goal for weight loss

If you’re overweight or obese, you don’t have to get thin to reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke. If you lose 5% to 10% of your weight, you’ll improve your cholesterol numbers and lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

  1. Take your heart medicine

Don’t skip your meds. Many people don’t take their medications the way their doctor told them to. Figure out what keeps you from taking your medicine — it could be side effects, cost, or forgetfulness — and ask your doctor for assistance.

  1. Eat Well

Fill your plate with different kinds of fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish, and lean meats. Stay away from processed or prepared foods that often are high in salt and added sugar. They’re also filled with preservatives.

  1. Drink Some Wine, but Not Too Much

If you drink red wine, it has been shown to help your heart, but use caution. Too much raises your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

To get the benefit without the risk, stop at one drink a day if you’re a woman and two if you’re a man.

  1. Eat a Little Chocolate

Go for dark chocolate, and make sure the ingredients are at least 70% cacao. It’s filled with nutrients that help protect your ticker. Keep your portions small, so you don’t gain weight and work your heart harder.

  1. Don’t Smoke

Smoking dramatically raises your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Talk to your doctor about how to quit. You’ll also be doing your friends and family a favor, since secondhand smoke can also lead to heart disease.

  1. Pay Attention to Your Symptoms

Don’t just hope they’ll go away. Call us, or call 911 in an emergency, if you feel anything unusual, like shortness of breath, changes in your heart rhythm, or extreme tiredness. Also, watch for pain in your jaw or back, nausea or vomiting, sweating, or flu-like symptoms.

If you have specific health concerns, such as those described above, please call Prosperity Internal Medicine at 703-876-9300 to get checked. Our group uses the latest advances in medicine, offering our patients access to innovative health management technologies, proactive team-based care, and an evidenced-based, patient-centered approach.

How to Manage Migraines

A migraine is a headache with throbbing pain that is usually worse on one side of the head. The pain is often severe enough to hamper daily activities and may last from four hours to three days, if untreated.

If you believe you have migraines, you are not alone. More than one in 10 Americans, including one in 6 women, have migraines, but many have been told mistakenly that they have a sinus or tension headache. Foods, stress, and hormones can be migraine triggers. The tendency to get migraines runs in families. And while you can’t change your relatives, a lot of lifestyle choices determine how disabled you’ll be by a migraine and how often you’ll get one.

These tips can help.

Stick to a routine. Be as consistent as possible in your daily activities. Try and go to bed and wake up around the same time — even on the weekends. Eat your meals on a schedule and try to exercise aerobically every day for at least 20 minutes. These things will help protect you from getting migraines.

Why does routine help? If you get migraines, your brain is sensitive to environmental changes — both external, such as bright lights, and internal, like hormonal changes. Such changes tell your brain that the environment is threatening. The more predictable your lifestyle, the less likely you are to have alarms going off in your brain saying that there’s something wrong here.

Track your triggers. Not everyone has the same migraine triggers. A lot of people get migraines when they eat dark chocolate. For others it’s red wine or cheese, or being dehydrated. Flashing lights, too much stimulation, or flying can even be migraine triggers for some.

Keep a headache diary to find your triggers. Use a smartphone app or a paper diary to track your migraines. Fill it in for 1 to 3 months, recording how severe and frequent your headaches are, and what you ate or did before the migraine. After a while, you should start to notice patterns.

Do you have headaches that you think could be migraines? If you have specific health concerns, such as bad headaches, and would like to get checked, please call Prosperity Internal Medicine at 703-876-9300. Our group uses the latest advances in medicine, offering our patients access to innovative health management technologies, proactive team-based care, and an evidenced-based, patient-centered approach.

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1801 Robert Fulton Drive Suite 140,

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