Dan’s health care tips: eat, drink and be merry

This week only in The Northern Star Journal of Medicine: Dan on Health.

It all started many, many years ago, before the dawn of the Seattle Seahawks, back in the days when my mother was just a nurse and not a skiing/world-traveling/amateur pilot/nurse.

I was the Health Expert of the neighborhood. A kid would fall down and bash his nose on a curb. “Hey, Moran’s mom is a nurse!” Springing to action, I would shout, “Pinch your nose with a Kleenex!” I saved a lot of lives.

As I grew to manhood, I honed my medical expertise by watching “3-2-1 Contact,” “Emergency!” and “The Body Human.” I learned the fine art of amputation by watching William Holden in “The Horse Soldiers.” Came in handy one Thanksgiving.

And so, today I can safely say I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV. Or at least in this week’s column.

Now then, I’ve been looking around and seeing young college people abusing their bodies as if they will live forever, or at least long enough to see Jane Byrne back in office. I feel compelled to put a stop to this madness.

You see, I am as fit as a fiddle and as healthy as a horse. Does that mean I can play “Devil Went Down to Georgia” and provide manure for a flower garden? No—it means I’m the model of perfect health. At least when I’m not coughing up blood or passing out from one of my pesky dizzy spells.

I know, I know—everyone wants to be healthy. What can I do to help? Sorry. All I can do is give advice. The rest is up to you, the patient. Pay attention and finish ALL this medication unless otherwise prescribed.

First of all, we have your diet. Make sure you start your day by loading up on lots of Cap’n Crunch and Fruit Loops. Down the cereal with a tall glass of Kayo, and top it all off with three tablespoons of straight sugar. It will help keep you sharp as a tack.

At lunch, remember to stay away from red meats. I mean, make sure you at least cook it until it’s a little brown. For dinner, don’t forget to include heart-clogging fried foods with a side of fat—it gives the valves a good workout. And eat lots of leafy green Spaghetti-o’s.

Oh, and don’t cheat yourself out of that extra piece of Boston Cream Pie or that “one-more” chocolate cake. If you don’t bulk up soon, the winter months will be upon you and you will be without your protective layer of suet. What do you want to do—freeze to death?

Secondly, we have exercise. Avoid it at all costs. Do you know how many people have died from over-exerting themselves? Well, I don’t know either—but I’ll bet at least one person has, and that should be warning enough for any sane man. Don’t be a fool.

Thirdly, we have sleep. I’m a big advocate of this natural replenishing process. Get as much sleep as you can—at least eight hours a night and 12 more during the day.

But, hey—there’s no such thing as overdoing it, right? Sleep as often as you can. Sleep on the job. Sleep during lectures. Sleep while sleeping. It’s fun, it’s easy and, best of all, it’s free.

My fourth and final point has to do with vices. Studies have shown that such pastimes as smoking and drinking are bad for you. Well, they’ve got us there—they are bad for you. I know this comes as a surprise to those of who can’t figure out where that black stuff comes from when you cough.

But I’ve been conducting time-consuming research, and I’ve found that maybe the reason so many people die from tobacco and/or alcohol abuse is because they’re doing it wrong. Try something different—try eating your cigarettes. Try downing that vodka through your nose.

I hope this information has been helpful. Heck—I hope I changed a fair amount of lives. It would make my mission in life complete.

But we’re all out of time. The doctor is out—it’s Friday, and you don’t pay me enough to make weekend house calls.