Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Denton D. Weiss, MD

9/22/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We flew into Port Au Prince and were immediately moved by the sheer magnitude of loss - and of Hope

In parts of Haiti the diet and lifestyle are better than the average Americans. The places where love is responding to need. In a small orphanage in Haiti, I am relearning that the Love of Christ can bring health and happiness with Prayer, Exercise, Fresh food, Clean Water, Sleep and most importantly Love!

Highlights

By Denton D. Weiss, MD

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/22/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Haiti, poverty, compassion, Bella Vitae Foundation, Love, charity, evangelism, health, nutrition, wellness, Dr Denton D Weiss, MD


PORTSMOUTH, VA (Catholic Online) - Dear Dr Denton: How is it possible that the diet in Haiti could be healthier than the one here in the US?

It's not - but, in another sense, it is!

The diet for most Haitians is just above the starvation level. The country has had generations of political turmoil and now natural disasters that have left a nation in need. The resources that are available are limited and are largely fresh or spoiled because of the lack of refrigeration.

Recently, my wife Michelle and I returned from a trip to Haiti. My memory of the arrival and the time that we spent in this country of both loss and love are still burning within me. They are changing me and challenging me. Let me share them with you:

We flew into Port Au Prince and were immediately moved by the sheer magnitude of loss - and of Hope. The city is, in many ways, devoid of infrastructure but still filled with life. There is still Beauty there, but that beauty is found in the faces of the people we met. There is a sense of danger as you leave the safety of the frenzied airport and cross into the city.

I soon saw my friends and co laborers Conwell and Ken in the distance and looked forward to receiving their guidance. As I passed the gauntlet of bodies closing in on us from every side I worried. I remembered the words attributed to Saint Apollinaris of Ravenna.

"Come to the edge. No we will fall!"
"Come to the edge. No we will fall!"
They came to the edge.
HE pushed them, and they flew!

A massive man looked at me and asked, "Are you Dr Weiss?!" I mustered the strength to respond, "Yes", all the while thinking in my mind, "Lord save me". I was also reminded of the story of Peter which is recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew 14: 30-31

"But when he (Peter) saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, "Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14: 30-31)

The man only pointed with his hand like a guardian angel. He pointed to the end of the passageway, to the open city, to Port Au Prince. The orphanage - which our small foundation, Bella Vitae Foundation, helps to support - as well as the small school we also fund, were only miles from there.

When we arrived at the orphanage, the heat and humidity were everywhere. The sun was high and looking to burn my fragile skin. However, the little girls were running around filled with joy. I noticed they were at least 5 to 10 lbs heavier now that the agricultural program that was started a year ago is allowing them to have meat and fresh fruits and vegetables daily.

They work the garden, care for their chickens, goats, and rabbits. Their lives have been transformed by simple nutrition and clean water. Gifts our Lord Jesus has provided for us - and for them.

The girls live in converted cargo containers that help protect them from the harshness of Haiti's extreme weather, and insects.

When our foundation first started coming to Haiti, Conwell Larson and Leo Blum were the first to go. Leo is from Virginia Beach and has dedicated his life to Haiti. Conwell is my childhood friend and a Brother in Christ.

Conwell had never been out of the fields of Iowa before he caught a flight with Ken DeYoung (Ken is a founder of Global Compassion ) to Haiti and started changing the lives of these little girls. Leave it to a farmer from Iowa, formed by both the Faith and the fortitude of the land he is from, to make a difference in Haiti.

When he saw the girls for the first time he called me and said "We've got to get these little girls some food and clean water." It wasn't long before the well was dropped and the chickens were laying eggs!

So how does this story of our latest trip to Haiti deal with the nutrition of the average American?

Simple really.

By letting these little girls in Haiti show us the way to a better life.

1. They spend time everyday in prayer giving thanks to God! The average American spends more time watching TV than in prayer.

2. They work in the gardens and walk everywhere. The average American doesn't exercise daily and walks less than a 3 blocks per day.

3. They eat small but extremely fresh meals throughout the day. Fresh eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables. The rice they eat is not polished and therefore is full of B Vitamins! The eggs are a tremendous source of protein and fats our brains need to function and grow. The meats are all lean, providing the protein building blocks without the cardiac clogging fats. I don't think I even have to mention the average American diet. Just look at the number of processed fast food restaurants and the lack of fresh markets. The answers are very apparent.

4. They go to school each day and push their minds. This year they will be learning English as I work on my French Creole. When was the last time you started to learn a new subject? Read a book?

5. They drink water 90% of the time. Now, it is clean water. Americans drink diet soda, tea, coffee, and energy drinks. Water is typically on the low end of consumption. Though we are improving with bottled water intake.

6. They bath daily and brush their teeth. Do you brush your teeth after every meal?

7. They go to bed when the sun sets and get up when the sun rises 8 - 10 hours of sleep per night. Wow I am way off on this one. Sleep allows the body to re-boot. The brain recovers and our stress hormones that can cause increased fat and cardiac disease are reduced with appropriate sleep.

8. They share a real friendship and comradery with one another. They really are a sisterhood. I only wish I could give each of them a Mother and Father to complete their family. Please read my article on human touch and Love here. 

So the answer to my question in the title of this article? Yes, in parts of Haiti the diet and lifestyle are better than the average Americans. The places where love is responding to need. In a small orphanage in Haiti I am relearning that the Love of Christ can bring health and happiness with Prayer, Exercise, Fresh food, Clean Water, Sleep and most importantly Love!

I am Thankful for the gift of being born in the United States of America. I am honored to have 36 little girls to show me the way back to Health and Happiness.

Now go out and stop at those little roadside famers markets and start eating right! P.S. why don't you walk over?

God Be With All of You.

Dr Dent
-----
Dr Denton D. Weiss, M.D. is board certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Weiss' approach to his medical practice flows from his convictions about the meaning of life which are deeply rooted in his Catholic Faith. He and his wife, Michelle strive for an integrated approach to life which recognizes the unity of the body, mind and soul. They call this approach "Bella Vitae" or "Beautiful Living". He is a contributing writer to Catholic Online.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Health

Are you at risk for skin cancer? Too much citrus may lead to melanoma Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Consuming large amounts of orange juice or grapefruit may increase the risk of the most dangerous type of skin cancer, melanoma, according to recent studies. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health, who ... continue reading


PUBLIC HEALTH VICTORY: Cuba becomes first nation to eliminate mother-to-child HIV, syphilis Watch

Image of Antiretroviral treatment to prevent mother-to-child-transmission of HIV, authorities remind the public, is not 100 per cent effective. A small number of cases are allowed to persist, despite the certification.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Heralded as one of the "greatest public health achievements possible," World Health Organization director-general Margaret Chan has declared that the Caribbean nation of Cuba has become the first nation to eliminate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from ... continue reading


Health experts warn on animal diseases used as biological weapons Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO), animal health and national defense officers announced on June 30 the need for a wider international cooperation to sidestep the spread of animal diseases that could potentially be utilized as deadly biological weapons.  ... continue reading


Lazy lifestyles pose dangerous and deadly threat to today's generation Watch

Image of Laziness can lead to problems with being overweight.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You might not be entirely aware, but according to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is now the fourth most notorious global killer. In fact, the impact of physical inactivity has been claimed as the reason for more fatalities than the collective effect ... continue reading


5 wonderful facts about sunscreen that you didn't know Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The need to use sunscreen is something emphasized everyday, not only by dermatologists but also by the beauty industry, media, etc. It's basically everywhere. It is not an alien fact to us that using sunscreen religiously will help us combat premature aging, the risk ... continue reading


Is getting plastic surgery a sin against God? Watch

Image of Plastic surgery is considered a simple medical procedure nowadays but remains as an intriguing aspect for the Catholic Church.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Plastic surgery may seem to be a common medical procedure for several individuals around the globe, but the Catholic Church still has different points of views when it comes to changing the naturally bestowed beauty from God. Some medical practitioners, on the other ... continue reading


'Swimming pool eyes' are not because of chlorine... but because of urine Watch

Image of Swimmers that use the pool for their toilet causes the urine to react with chlorine. This in turn creates a chemical compound that hurts the eyes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a sage bit of advice that has a double meaning - you may not want to "go" to a public swimming pool after you learn this disgusting fact. If you emerge from the pool with red, stinging, sensitive eyes, it is not because of the chlorine... it is because of ... continue reading


Recording reveals anesthesiologist's shocking verbal abuse against unconscious patient Watch

Image of An anesthesiologist [not pictured] is caught make rude comments about patient.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Instead of simply recording his doctor's post-operation instructions, as intended, a Virginian man accidentally recorded the anesthesiologist's verbal onslaught against him while he was asleep. Concealing his identity, the patient filed a lawsuit, including the doctor ... continue reading


Eating 'Fitness Snacks' may not be the healthy alternative for staying fit Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

We often hear the term "fitness food" or see products that are marketed as a healthy and guilt-free alternatives to chocolates and chips, or a way to fight cravings and hunger pangs. But could these "fitness foods" really be the key to keeping oneself healthy and fit? ... continue reading


Have you been exposed to this common, 'cancer causing' chemical? Watch

Image of A chemical commonly used in herbicides may cause cancer in those exposed to it, though early evidence is not conclusive.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A chemical in a common herbicide widely used in farm work may potentially pose a threat to humans who are exposed to it, a new report from a World Health Organization (WHO) research unit has found. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The herbicide known as ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
1 When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 135:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise the name of Yahweh, you who serve ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 4th, 2015 Image

St. Elizabeth of Portugal
July 4: Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter