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A primary care provider (PCP) is your advocate, wellness guide and lifelong partner in whole health.
To learn more about the importance of primary care, we spoke with AdventHealth Primary Care+ APRN Jeanine Jones Donald, who shared how Primary Care+ can make your life easier and healthier — plus tips for daily living to keep your family whole all year long.
First, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Jeanine: My name is Jeanine Jones Donald. I’ve been married for 25 years with two sons and two daughters. As a Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner at Primary Care+, my main goal is to provide my patients with the best comprehensive, patient-centered, evidence-based care tailored to their specific needs. When I’m not caring for patients, I love traveling, reading, doing anything water-related and watching movies. I’m a huge Marvel fan!
How can having a primary care provider make busy moms’ lives easier?
Jeanine: Everyone should have a primary care provider. Your PCP is someone who will know you, your wishes, understand your beliefs and is aware of your medical conditions or illnesses. Having a PCP will make your life easier because you are already established with a health care provider and prepared if you need medical care in a quick and timely manner. This will prevent any delays so that necessary care can start immediately.
Your PCP can also stay on top of preventive care needs, collaborate with specialists you may have and provide referrals to specialists you may need.
Why is it important to have a provider who knows you and your family?
Jeanine: It’s important for someone who knows you and your family to have a baseline of what is normal and what is not normal for you. This will prevent mistakes and misdiagnoses and help guide care.
How does Primary Care+ differ from typical primary care?
Jeanine: AdventHealth Primary Care+ differs because we provide whole-person care, which means it’s personalized to you and your needs. We offer a “Plus Care” experience seven days a week with extended weekday hours. We make room to see established patients who have urgent care needs as well by offering same-day appointments.
How can Primary Care+ support a healthy lifestyle for families?
Jeanine: We can do that by ensuring that patients are up to date on age-appropriate vaccinations, preventive care needs and labs and that necessary referrals are made.
As moms, we’re never really “off the clock.” Many moms have questions on how to maintain a healthy household 24/7. Jeanine was kind enough to provide helpful tips on making it through our busy days in the healthiest ways all year long.
What’s the best way to start your morning?
Jeanine: I love to start every morning with a purpose, prayer or meditation, along with a healthy breakfast.
What are some tips for quick, healthy lunches?
Jeanine: One tip I use to make my life easier and ensure that I eat healthy is meal planning and meal prep. This can be a fun bonding experience for the entire family. In my family, we choose Sundays to meal prep for the week. Some healthy food choices we incorporate into our lunches are grilled chicken and veggie wraps, salads, apple slices, popcorn, carrots with peanut butter and veggie sticks.
At Primary Care+, we can help you with nutrition by reviewing your labs with you and letting you know where you can use a little work. We will educate you on the proper foods to eat based on your lab results. For instance, if your “good” cholesterol is low, we may encourage you to eat more healthy fats such as avocados and fatty fish like salmon. If your “bad” cholesterol is high, we may encourage oats, barley, beans and fatty fish. We’ll also refer patients to nutritionists when needed.
How can we fit movement into our busy days, and how much exercise do we need?
Jeanine: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise daily. If that’s not attainable, shoot for a minimum of 30 minutes four times per week.
You can do little things like parking farther away for extra walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and getting up from your desk every hour and stretching for two minutes. Just stay conscious of how much movement you’re getting and make an intention to move more.
What are some healthy afternoon snack ideas for that mid-day slump?
Jeanine: A great snack to get over that afternoon slump is an apple. Apples are a great source of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. They have good carbohydrates that break down into glucose (sugar). This helps stabilize your blood sugar and gives your body a quick energy boost.
It’s said that eating an apple is more powerful than drinking a cup of coffee. They’re easy to transport and quick to eat when you’re on the go.
What are some ideas for mental health breaks throughout the day?
Jeanine: I love to take my lunch breaks outside. This gives me time to feel the sunshine on my skin and smell the fresh air. It’s also a good time to clear my mind, relax and do some mindfulness meditation.
This form of meditation, which lets you focus on the moment, allows me to take a break and calm my mind and body. I let go of any negativity and recharge for the remainder of my day. I also use this meditation technique at night before I go to sleep to help me have better rest.
I recommend mindfulness meditation to anyone. A simple technique is focusing on your breath. As you breathe in, say to yourself, “I am breathing in.” As you breathe out, say, “I am breathing out.” You can do it while walking, sitting, lying down or even while doing the dishes. After doing this for a minute or two, you’ll find you’re more relaxed, in-the-moment and focused.
What’s a good evening routine for quality sleep, especially for moms with young kids?
Jeanine: Sleep is very important to maintain good health. Lack of sleep can impair your memory, cause excessive daytime sleepiness, decrease alertness and increase your risks of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Some tips for moms with young kids are to have a routine and sleep schedule. Make sure your kids are getting proper rest. It’s recommended that children get anywhere from 10 to 17 hours of sleep based on their age.
Make sure you’re putting the kids to sleep a few hours before your bedtime to make room for some “me time” after your busy day.
What is your number one tip for moms to keep themselves and their families healthy?
Jeanine: My number one tip for every mom is to make sure you’re taking care of yourself as well as your family. Often, moms will bring the kids in to be seen, or they bring their spouse to be seen but put themselves last. Moms must make sure their health is optimal in order to run a healthy household. Provide nutritious meals, proper rest, good hydration and safe physical activities to keep you and your entire family healthy and whole all year long.
Here for Your Whole Family
Thank you so much to Jeanine Jones Donald for taking the time to help moms with healthy ideas and smart tips. At AdventHealth Primary Care+, we’re here for you and your family providing the tools you need to live your best lives. To learn more or to schedule an appointment today, visit PrimaryCarePlusNow.com.