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Nutritional Medicine creates fit to fight Airmen

Julie Andersen, Nutritional Medicine clinical dietician, teaches a nutrition class on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Nov. 3, 2017.

Julie Andersen, Nutritional Medicine clinical dietician, teaches a nutrition class on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Nov. 3, 2017. The team at the nutritional medicine clinic not only plan diets for a person’s specific needs, but they offer classes that teach Airmen how to maintain overall health for what they might be enduring. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

Students listen during a nutrition class on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Nov. 6, 2017.

Students listen during a nutrition class on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Nov. 6, 2017. Airmen are able to get a referral from their primary care manager if they feel they need some help with nutrition or fitness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

A student listens to a nutrition lesson on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Nov. 6, 2017.

A student listens to a nutrition lesson on Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Nov. 6, 2017. The Nutritional Medicine clinic at the Langley Hospital can help with weight management, physical training, high blood pressure, and other issues. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --

It’s no secret that sometimes Airmen can fall behind on their health. Things can get in the way whether it be sickness, personal issues, or just bad luck.

Luckily the Airmen at Langley Air Force Base have a clinic to turn to in the time of need to get them back on their feet and fit to fight.

The Nutritional Medicine clinic at the Langley Hospital can help with weight management, physical training, high blood pressure, and other issues.

“This is readiness,” said Senior Airman Brandon Sims, 633rd MDSS diet technician. “At any given time, we can deploy. If we are not ready to deploy, we are hurting the mission.”

The team at the nutritional medicine clinic not only plan diets for a person’s specific needs, but they offer classes that teach Airmen how to maintain overall health for what they might be enduring. Some examples are a prenatal nutrition class, heart healthy, and health promotion.

“So suppose someone has diabetes or high blood pressure, we provide diet plans for them,” said Sims. “Every other day we have classes for them as well. We also have one on one appointments with our dieticians if people aren’t understanding what we are teaching them in class.”

According to Sims, the key to staying in top shape is diet. It is one thing to just workout and hope to pass a PT test, but making internal changes is what’ll take a passing PT test to being ready for deployment at any given notice.

The clinic has helped Airmen make life-improving changes. There are instances where an Airman has lost over 30 pounds in four to six weeks.

“I heard about Maj. Black’s class after I failed my PT test,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Betts, a student in the nutritional medicine classes. “After the first class I got wind of the keto diet from him and others attending the class so I made an appointment with nutritional medicine. Between the diet, Maj. Blacks well balanced and organized exercise class and the support and advice I got from him and nutritional medicine I safely lost 33 pounds in two and a half months and passed my PT test scoring higher on every component. The results to the second test would have not been nearly as good without Major Black and nutritional medicine.”

Not only can the clinic turn struggling Airmen into ready to fight Airmen, they also create a more motivated, resilient Airmen due to the sacrifices and drastic changes one would make along their journey.

“Once you have Airmen that exceed their PT test or personal goal after previously struggling, you see a better Airmen,” said Sims. “Once they see that they can achieve that goal, the sky’s the limit for them and they help other Airmen. It’s a cycle. And that’s the key to building a stronger Airman.”

Airmen are able to get a referral from their primary care manager if they feel they need some help with nutrition or fitness. Although an appointment is preferred, the clinic is open to members who walk in and will always be given the help they need according to Sims. Getting the proper help to be healthy can be tough sometimes, and the clinic understands that.

For more information on how Nutritional Medicine can help, call their office at 764-6789.