I didn’t always know I wanted to be a doctor. In college, I majored in Psychology and Studio Art, with a minor in Hispanic Studies. I did know that I wanted to pursue a helping profession, like teaching or social work, but during my senior year I took a psychology course that sparked my interest in the inner workings of the human brain and body, making me start to consider medicine as a career – and the rest is history.
Over the last few years before joining CentreSpring MD, I became increasingly interested in how nutrition, lifestyle and environment affect all aspects of health. I had some personal health challenges that responded to food and lifestyle changes, which made me a believer that food is medicine. It opened my mind to the idea that everything I learned in medical school and residency was NOT everything there is to know.
About a year ago, I felt in my heart that it was time to pursue a complete change in how I practiced. I was thrilled to find Dr. Taz and CentreSpring MD last summer, and so happy to have joined the practice last Fall!
What’s one supplement you take every day and why?
I wish I could get every nutrient I need from just my food, but despite the fact that I try very hard to eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, I still manage to be deficient in some vital nutrients. So, I can’t just pick one!
Vitamin D is one that I will absolutely be deficient in if I don’t take it every day, so I’ve taken a Vitamin D supplement for several years. Having enough Vitamin D is vitally important for immune health, mood stability, heart health, and healthy weight maintenance.
Latley I’ve had to add a methylated B complex vitamin since my B12 was lower than it should be. This has helped a lot with my energy level and overall brain health.
Coconut oil and Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein: I add a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil and 2 heaping tablespoons of hydrolyzed collagen protein from grass-fed cows to my coffee every morning (with some unsweetened coconut milk). This gives me an energy boost, gut-friendly protein that’s easily absorbed, and brain-healthy MCT oils.
What is your favorite guilty “cheat” treat and how do you balance this in your diet?
Well, I definitely believe in balance and not being deprived! I have found a local restaurant that serves absolutely amazing gluten-free pancakes (you seriously can’t tell they’re gluten free), so I do indulge in these every couple of weeks when we go there for brunch after church. Knowing that I keep my diet fairly nutrient-rich with lots of leafy greens and other beneficial veggies gives me peace to enjoy this occasional indulgence.
Name one health tip you think every woman should know.
Feeling tired, sluggish, and gaining unwanted weight is NOT just a part of life, so you shouldn’t just accept it! We are all capable of experiencing vibrant health. Almost every woman can experience amazing improvements in their health through some basic nutritional and lifestyle adjustments. And diving deeper into nutrient levels, hormone balance, and gut health through the kinds of assessments offered at CentreSpring MD can bring you even closer to the invigorated life you deserve.
What’s one bad health habit you had to break?
Go-go-going all the time. And not saying “no.”
As a driven career woman and a doting mom and wife, I can find my schedule filled to the brim with work, personal business, and kids’ activities if I let it. Every so often, I need to remind myself to stop and reassess everything I’m doing and decide if it’s in line with my vision for myself and my family. Making time for self-care is something I used to struggle with, because it felt selfish (and indulgent – when there was SO much to do!). Now I know that if I don’t feel rested and loved by myself, then I’m less able to show love and support to others, including my patients, friends, husband, or children. So I get regular massages. I schedule gym sessions, I take baths, and I say no when I need to say no.
What’s one health trend you wish would just go away?
Anything that’s a quick fix. True vibrant health comes from simple, sustainable, gradual changes in nutrition and lifestyle. Quick fixes might get some temporary results, but usually at the expense of overall health.
How do you spend your time when you’re not at the Center?
I love spending time with my family and creating adventures for my kids (ages 4 and 13 years). We are major Disney fans and miss our almost weekly Disneyland days since moving here from Southern California, so I’m hoping we can make at least biannual trips to Orlando to get our Disney fix. Being on the opposite coast now, we definitely want to explore as many beaches as we can as well!
Sundays are all about Church and family time. When I do have some me-time, I like getting a great workout, cooking nutrient-dense meals, writing for my health blog and supporting my private Facebook group for busy moms. After going through my own health struggles a few years ago, I’m really passionate about helping other women who are going through the same thing.
|Dr. Jamilet Alegria, M.D., joined the CentreSpring MD team of providers in the fall of 2016 after spending years as a Pediatric Hospitalist at both CHOC Children’s in Orange County and at the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Inpatient Pediatrics Unit in Southern California.|
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