Perceptions of Health & Food Transcript Selections

Internship Interview – Round 2 Exercise

Transcript #1 – Raul

Interviewer: What I’d love to maybe switch gears and talk a little bit about a few things. And maybe the starting starting place for the conversation would be like when I say the word, “health” what comes to mind

Raul: Lately, the meaning around it has sort of shifted, I think earlier, I thought more like numbers and stats.And now it’s a little bit more encompassing, if that makes any sense. Like, now I’m thinking like, I’m thinking in different dimensions. Like I’m thinking just general wellbeing, and like mental and physical and spiritual. I’m starting to think in those four dimensions. I think before I was like, it was kind of stuck in like metrics, right? Before, it was numbers like cholesterol level or triglycerides, like all the crap and you go to a doctor, and then they just run those metrics. And then either they smile, or they just kind of wag their finger at you and tell you like, x, y, z, and you’re just like, that sort of thing. 

Now, it’s a little bit more broader. Now I’m really thinking about like, the general well being and then like, obviously, the physical but also the mental: 

‘Are you feeling okay?’,  ‘Are you coping ok?’ 

And so really front and center is like, we tend to think like everybody is okay if they look physically ok, but look, it’s a third year of a pandemic. And there’s so many mental issues, like there’s just a lot – and so people tend to look at the physical part, but they obviously – sometimes we have those blinders. And we neglect a little bit more like the spiritual or like the general wellbeing, the mental and so I’ve kind of broadened that. And I try to think about it in broader terms -your body, but also your mind and your soul. We need coping skills that can allow us to continue, that’s part of the health strategies that can help us cope with this long term, because we still don’t know if this is gonna drag for another year. We don’t know this is gonna look like a year for this is going to turn into like a year thing like the flu.

Interviewer: What were the things that caused the shift that you’ve kind of articulated from metrics to this? 

Raul: I think it was my own mental health dealing with things. Having to  be the person that students rely on to give that stability, kind of put me front and center in that position. And so I really can’t pour from an empty cup. So I have to be okay in order to be able to give other people and that was one but also I think my own emotional well being,like also suffered through the pandemic like there was just lots of anxiety, lots of uncertainty. 

Interviewer: And when you were talking about metrics, you kind of rolled your eyes a little bit. And I guess I’m just kind of curious to why that was? 

Raul: Yeah, and I’ll tell you why. And then I’m going to keep it short, and please feel free to move me along. I feel like I’m like, you know, pontificating, and I’m getting in a soapbox, I’m gonna need you to tell me like, That’s it, you get 30 seconds.

Interviewer: This is the place to do it.

Raul: One of my students, one of those foodie students, like she’s doing her Master’s of Public Health and we talk a lot about health care system and we get in this really good conversation about like the health care system. And part of why is it’s a problem right now. Not only the cost, but also the level of service that you get.To get to your question. The reason why I roll my eyes is because in many ways when you go to a doctor’s office, and I’m not saying every single practitioner, but when you get on them, they’re so focused on metrics. And so it’s all about the numbers. They look at you and they’re like, well, this number does this number now. And so my issue with that is that I think at times, they also have their blind spots, and they walk around with the blinders and they fail to see you as a whole person. So based on metrics, you can look at me and say like, Well, you’re a large overweight male, whatever. 

But the thing is that healthiness like health comes in many different packages. It looks different for everyone, I think everyone is on a different journey. But here’s a perfect example like a doctor, you know, according to the scales, to some chart made in the 1940s I am not supposed to weigh 240 pounds. That’s funny. This thing is, right, because the chart says that that’s what I’m supposed to be like, optimally healthy lalalalala. Well, I have friends that are 120 pounds, and they have horrible cholesterol. My cholesterol is like, awesome, like, boom, right there. And it’s actually like really good numbers. And most of the physicians you know, are like expecting me to be unhealthy, but you know, here’s what the problem is, they fail to see you as a whole. And so they see your metrics in pieces and roll their eyes. And they may go by one measurement, or the other one, but then they fail to see like, wow, you know, like, obviously, they’re doing something good. And like, you know, hey, like, yes, there are other things around there. But look at these numbers, these numbers are awesome. That’s why I think it’s like one of the pitfalls that even though we’re supposed to have this awesome health system, it’s an issue not only of accessibility,but it’s also an issue of the quality of service, like, practitioners come in, and then just focus on a number. And if you don’t hit them number, it’s like they’re wagging their finger.


Transcript #2 – Kendall

Interviewer: And so I’m curious, like what that looks like for you like on a day to day basis, what are you thinking about in terms of health? 

Kendall: Emergen-C, vitamin D, vitamin B, C, zinc, I added those to my regimen now to try to make sure that my immune system is built up in the event that I’m around someone that is carrying the virus, hopefully I don’t catch it again. Or if I do catch it again, it’s kind of like it was this first go around – not too symptomatic.

I’m also trying to consume more water. And I love Dr. Pepper that iis my favorite and I would drink a pack a week back in the day, but, you know, since COVID, I’m trying to make sure I drink more water, because I find myself really getting thirsty now. 

Let’s see. More fruits, more vegetables. Yeah, you know, now I’m real conscious of what’s going in, you know, to make sure that I keep myself healthy in the event of getting sick, because, you know, I don’t want to think I’m healthy and then something like COVID or like, the Delta variant happens and then I wind up in hospital, and you’re thinking-  ‘Well, I thought I was healthy enough to fight this out when my body really wasn’t’ 

Interviewer: I’m curious, besides like the COVID stuff, are there other kinds of health things that you’re thinking about? 

Kendall: You know, I had my gallbladder removed a couple of years ago. So just being honest – it is really touch and go with what I can eat. So I’ve been on probiotics for a couple years now just trying to make sure that my bowels are regulated, clean and good because some days I’m just like, can I just get a new stomach or something to hold what I want you know, but I’m, I’m a little more self conscious. 

Now when it comes to like break. Even though I may want to grab a piece of bacon or something I try to degrease it prior to eating. 

Interviewer: Oh, interesting. I haven’t heard that before. So what’s the what’s the thinking there? 

Kendall: My gastroenterologist told me that you know that, you know, coming straight out in the morning, eating something with grease is not going to do me well. And I’ve noticed this, so I try to keep it in the back of my mind when I start the day – ‘okay, what are you going to eat this morning?’ 

So most times, I’ll just put some toast in the toaster and put a little jelly on it and eat the bacon, you know, the sausage or whatever, but I’m making sure that the grease from that does not mess up my day cuz once is messed up is it Uh Oh. 

And bananas. I didn’t have any bananas this week at home, but yeah, bananas are definitely part of my regimen now because of course, you know, they absorb some of the bad bacteria and stuff in your gut. So if I find myself having diarrhoea or something, I’ll just grab a banana too and start eating, you know, to keep the diarrhoea from continuously going. 

Yeah, yeah. Oh, interesting. Is that like related to the gallbladder stuff? too, I was perfectly after head surgery. It was just like, oh, like I pretty much have to make sure like like tonight. I really want to go somewhere and get a steak. I don’t think it’ll really interfere with my stomach. But I try to make sure I’m somewhere close to a restaurant just being honest. Because I know my system you know, it could just go and I don’t I would hate to be somewhere where I can’t eat this world. So I just in most times at work just being honest, I don’t eat I ate pasta Monday and it is through the rest of my day off. So I try to you know snack or something. If I’m at work, that’s where the skinny pop popcorn comes in. Or some chips you know to keep from eating something extremely heavy until I can get home and get you know settle.

Interviewer: Have you ever talked with a dietitian or a nutritionist? 

Kendall:No, I would love to, I think that that should be the next step is being honest. Because even now, I’m still feeling like I’m constricted, you know, to a certain extent when it comes to what to eat. So talking to someone that’s a little more knowledgeable, you know, knowing what is good and what’s not so good for the body will definitely help me.

Interviewer: Have you ever done like a food diary? Yes. When I started getting stomach pains, and, you know, the diarrhoea, I was kind of like, okay, so I ate this today, and my stomach was just killing me. So, you know, maybe I can eat this on certain days. Like I said, when I’m at home, or I know. But, uh, yeah, it really helped me narrow down what was, you know, causing and to, I started having migraines when I’ve moved well, prior to moving here in 15, maybe like 2014 ish. And so my neurologist had me to do a diary. And it included food to see you know, what could actually be causing my head. And I know this too. I love pork. But it definitely makes my head just go off the Richter scale. So I try not to eat as much pork. You know, weekends, you know, stuff like that to keep down the headaches and the interest stuff. So interesting. I never made that. I also get migraines constantly, too. I didn’t ever 

Interviewer: How have these different health things changed how you shop. 

Kendall: I’ve started looking at more healthier foods, organic foods, stuff with less sugar, trying to do  trial and error. See what I like and I don’t like and that’s what I do with the Skinny Pop. One day I was going to buy regular popcorn and I was going to watch a movie and just have that taste you know. So I was like, Hmm, let me try this Skinny Pop and when I try it. Yes. Not bad at all. And so ever since then, I’ve really been on the Skinny Pop popcorn thing. And you know, I’ll feel I feel better about myself when I’m you know, eating like okay, I’m doing something else here you know?


Transcript #3 – Miles

Interviewer: i’m especially interested in relationship and practices around health, so as a starting point I love to ask people like what does that word mean to you – what comes to mind when I say, “health 

Miles: I think of taking responsibility for it, because I think I feel like a lot of people they expect to be taken care of and they kind of put the responsibility of stuff on the doctors and they literally want doctors to make them stronger, but they don’t want to do the exercises, you know and stuff like I think, so I think how the major responsibility is for ourselves.

Honestly because of the frustrations of some things in the medical system, I really learned to self study and more holistically treat myself and keep myself in shape and things like that – posture, all that stuff but kind of big picture, you know it’syour fitness it’s your what you put in your body. 

Interviewer: Tell me more. 

Miles: And you know drugs have side effects, so I even though I work in the healthcare field, I think that drugs are way overprescribed and there’s a lot of more holistic ways to treat ourselves – it just takes a lot more advocacy on our part and research.

Interviewer: Yeah it’s interesting, I think the kind of first words that you went to was personal responsibility.

Miles: And it really is.

Interviewer: What are some of the ways that that plays out in your life and your own practice around kind of like health and taking care of yourself.

Miles: I mean honestly when i’m at a higher weight and I think its my fault, I mean but then when I checked myself – ‘well, what have I been eating?’… ‘Am I following a regimen?’ –  and usually, when i’m slacking off and not following a regimen I’m less healthy.

I keep things in check, when I get busy and slack off for my normal you know scheduling my things out and planning my meals out that’s when I get convenient foods and things like that and basically it’s kind of irresponsible really, but easier.

Interviewer: Is personal responsibility around health more challenging or more difficult? 

Miles: Self discipline, responsibility is all connected to educating myself, which is my responsibility. 

Interviewer: How do you go about educating yourself around health and it will be.

Miles: I’m being willing to kind of be receptive, even if I don’t necessarily agree with somebody because sometimes I think we cut ourselves off because we’re prone to kind of thinking a certain way and we’re going to have a bias towards certain thing, so I just have a kind of personality, where I question everything no matter what, if it’s the news.Because it’s on the news doesn’t mean I believe 100% of it because there’s always angles, you know, so I always was trained to always question everything.

I think it’s important to look at why are we doing what we’re doing.

Interviewer: How does this play out in your life?

So, like, I was having heartburn again I have gained weight, I was having heartburn and usually if i’ve gained weight and i’m not eating very healthy diet well, of course, you’re going to have more problems with that. I go to a doctor, I might have my doctor refer to me as a GI doctor like you got a disease now and you’re going to have it, the rest of your life. You can take these medicines and those medicines for that are not good for you, and they have long term side effects.

But I research on my own, I mean there’s pretty simple answer you change your diet and it  went away. And when I don’t follow a good diet it, it will recur, if I do it for a while. 

You know i’m kind of questioning like it’s not a yes it’s a condition, but it’s not something I have to live with the rest of my life if I do what I needed.

 I always look for an alternative medication.

Because doctors have told me to take a lot of medications and i’ve found that there are usually holistic ways of doing things and I might disagree with the Dr, but I think that a lot of the healthcare system is kind of structured around prescribing drugs.