Healthy advice for a lifetime pharmacists sign off after 12 years

Pharmacists are known for giving folks advice over the counter – that’s where the name of this health column comes from – whenever they have questions about their medication or general wellness topics. It is part of our duty and our calling as health professionals serving the community. 

Over the past 12 years, we reformulated that provider-patient relationship into articles published in these pages (and online) that offer our best perspectives on how to live healthfully. We’ve touched on a wide range of health and wellness subjects, from details about vitamin D (November 2010) and hearing loss (June 2012) to a healthy Thanksgiving how-to (November 2020) and facts about women’s health (April 2022). Our goal was to present readers with timely, helpful, easy-to-understand information. 

Gary Kracoff and John Walczyk

But the time has come for us to pack away our pen and pad and focus on our community pharmacy and wellness shop. Before we part ways, we wanted to share several of the top tips gleaned from the archives of our “Over the Counter” column, advice that should last a lifetime: 

Eat right. We’ll be the last ones to tell you to stop eating pizza and burgers, because it is perfectly fine to enjoy comfort food – with natural ingredients and in moderation. But we would be the first to tell you that cleaning up your diet can be life-changing. Keep your body fueled by eating three meals (starting with a strong breakfast) along with some healthy snacks each day. Cut out processed foods, white flour, white sugar, unsaturated fats and chemicals, and stock up on vitamin- and nutrient-rich vegetables and heart-healthy protein. Consult with a dietitian, if possible, for professional, personalized guidance.