McLaughin, a family nurse practitioner and an advanced practice holistic nurse in Johnson City, spoke to a small group of women Monday at Memorial Park Community Center about the benefits of incorporating herbs into a person’s diet instead of using factory-produced supplements.
“I use the best tools of conventional medicine and the best tools of holistic medicine to help people make lifestyle changes to become healthier,” he said.
“A lot of what I do is making sure we’re using great tools, but that we do it safely. We are in charge of our own health ... we can take care of our own bodies. It’s amazing the number of people who don’t know how to do that.”
McLaughlin said people should eat foods the way nature provides them instead of the processed foods found on grocery store shelves.
“Foods from farms, not from factories,” he said, is a better way of living. “We’re talking about how to get herbs into the diet so that you don’t have to take supplements so you can improve nutrition in the diet. One of the things we talked about is how to treat arthritis by including ginger and turmeric in the diet to reduce inflammation.”
McLaughlin said a half-teaspoon of ginger, a half-teaspoon of turmeric and a quarter-teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice — which consists of cloves, cinnamon, anise, fennel seed and szechuan peppercorns — can be steeped in a tea and used as a relief for arthritis pain.
“Do that as a tea once a day to warm the joints and reduce inflammation. I find that really effective in a lot of patients, although it’s not recommended if you’re on a blood thinner,” he said.
McLaughlin said eating healthy all the time is unrealistic, and suggested a goal of eating healthy 80 percent of the time. He told the group that a palm-sized portion of a cheat food is acceptable. He also offered tips for diabetes and thyroid problems.
“I try to practice what I preach. As for meals, I try to get half of my plate as vegetables, a palm-size serving of protein and no more than a palm-size serving of a carb with each meal.
McLaughlin operates a holistic clinic in Johnson City called Ageless Integrative Medicine.
For more information about services McLaughlin offers, visit his website at www.holisticnursepractitioner.com. He will also be leading other healthy living seminars at the Seniors Center in the future. For more information on those classes, contact the center at 423-434-5750.