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Welcome to Wellness

Hi, my name is Angela Alfaro MD and by training I am a family physician, by profession a doctor, teacher, listener and counselor and by passion a wife, a mother of 4 very active children and a wellness advocate.

Like many of you I have struggled with finding my passion and purpose in life, you may think that is odd, considering I am a doctor, but it is very true. We all struggle and have ups and downs but we all are working toward something. There are many sites on finding your passion and happiness and I will refer to those from time to time, this blog is not intended to replace those. This blog comes after years of thinking, worrying, writing and worrying some more, but not doing. Now is the time to do.

My passion for writing this blog comes from many experiences as a physician, as a mother trying to teach her children healthy habits and as a woman getting older and appreciating how important healthy aging is.

Many days, we physicians are left unfulfilled. I find it extremely difficult to treat end stage diseases, when we know there are likely ways to prevent them. So many diseases come from lifestyle related choices and I believe we all are responsible for our own health yet the system doesn’t make it easy. I want to make it EASY, well easier. There are so many questions people have about what to eat, how to exercise, what supplement to take, etc. And there is so much misinformation and scams out there. I hope this blog answers the question…What can I do to live well? I will start by discussing the meaning of SOUND Wellness.

I was in Napa Valley in February for a conference, which was the best medical conference, by far that I have been to. It was sponsored by the Harvard School of Public Health and hosted at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California. Per the website at this is “A Leadership Conference Bridging Nutrition Science, Healthcare, and the Culinary Arts.” This conference brings together clinical providers (doctors, nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners), administrators, businesses, dietitians, nutritionists and chefs to learn, discuss and brainstorm about nutrition, wellness and healthy living. How do we create environments where people are healthy? What are the barriers? It was so impressive and motivating. During one of the breaks sitting outside I started to jot down some ideas about wellness. Being that I live in Valdez, Alaska, a town located on the Prince William Sound, the word SOUND kept ringing in my ears.

Dictionary. com gives many definitions of the word sound. How does it relate to wellness? Don’t you want to hear sound advice? In this case it means excellent and free of moral defect. What is a sound, but an idea or an impression that can be heard, a way to convey or express an idea. Getting medical information sometimes is confusing and just flies right over the intended recipient’s head. So shouldn’t that sound advice be heard? “To sound” something means to measure, essentially measuring the deepness. We are all individuals with different ideas, goals, dreams, illnesses and unique characteristics and should be treated as such. Thus to reach a deeper understanding of ourselves and others in order to convey a message of wellness we need to measure one’s readiness. Everyone is not ready to dive right in. Some will need to dip their toe in the pond, gauge the information and decide if it is worth the effort. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but I hope sometime that you will dive in (sound like a whale does), take the plunge and invest in yourself to live well.

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