Interview with Dr. Michael Mol
Dr. Michael Mol chats to Phathiswa Magangane about why he became a doctor, living healthily, loving God, and how students can take care of themselves during the hectic exam time.
- Why did you become a doctor?
I wanted to able to know that by the end of my life I would have made a real difference. I also contrasted the idea of being successful vs. being significant. Success is more me-focused, “what can I gain?” where significance is, “what can I do for those around me?” Being significant was really important to me and I felt like I could do that by becoming a doctor.
- Not only are you a doctor but you’ve had your own TV show, been a TV presenter and have quite the flair for business. How do you do it all?
Don’t manage your time but manage your energy! We attempt to manage our time effectively ultimately cramming so many activities into one day without sufficient energy to complete them. Like a heartbeat which consists of a loop of relaxed and contracted moments, that is what your energy management should look like. When I’m at work there is a lot of stress, energy and focus but then I take time to recover and then I work again. This idea of stress, recovery, stress, recovery etc. is what indefinitely allows me to give a high level of performance for the important tasks without burning out. Understanding my purpose also helps stir up my passion and energy for the day.
- The theme for this issue of Scope Magazine is on Love. Why would you say it is important for us to love our bodies and make an effort to live healthily?
What you and I do today impacts what we do tomorrow. All of us want to live long, but no one wants to get old, so we need to live well. God has given us a certain amount of heartbeats and we should want your bodies to out-live our number of heartbeats i.e. your body asking your heart for a few more beats when your time is up, rather than your heart having numerous amounts of beats to complete without a healthy body to use them.
- In a cookbook that you and John Berry wrote, ‘Your Best Life: Quick & Healthy Family Fare’, not only do you cover ideas for healthy meals and drinks, but snacks as well. How would you advise students to snack healthily while studying for long hours?
Your brain’s primary source of fuel is glucose – carbohydrates. So you don’t want to start any fad diet that limits carbohydrates. There is also an amazing amino acid called tyrosine which is great for enhancing your brain’s effectiveness (ability to retain and retrieve memory). It is found mostly in egg. You also need to start eating properly right throughout your exams not just on the day you begin. Vitamin B and D is also good to have.
All of us want to live long, but no one wants to get old, so we need to live well.
- “A husband to one, father to three, friend to few, a stranger to many…but not God.” That’s quite a profound Twitter bio. How has knowing God influenced you in your life thus far?
God is everything to me. He is part of who I am. He is my Saviour. He gives meaning to what I do. If you do not have relationship with God it’s almost hard to understand the sense of joy in the plan God has for your life. There is something very motivating about that. I love what Bono – the lead singer from U2 – said during an interview with Larry King. After King asked if Bono was religious Bono replied, “No, religion is often what happens when God leaves the building. I have a relationship with God.”
- Low-carb, High Fat? Much like hipster beards, this seems to be quite en trend in the dietary world today. What does this consist of and would you advocate this lifestyle for someone looking to get healthy?
Yes. I would particularly recommend it to those who are diabetic and pre-diabetic. (Pre-diabetic is the phase just before official diagnoses of diabetes). It is vitally important because at this stage you can still reverse inevitable diabetes if you adjust your lifestyle accordingly. For those not affected by diabetes it is also a healthy choice as it addresses our addiction to carbohydrates and sugar. My family and I love this concept because you need fuel to operate and fat is a good long-lasting fuel as opposed to the quick burst of energy that carbohydrates emit. Sugar and carbs also impact heavily on inflammation. Sugar is a big culprit of this.
- If you could give students 5 essential must-do’s to maintain their health and so love their bodies during this crazy time of exams, what would those be?
- I would firstly recommend eating properly. Starting the day with protein and eating healthily during your entire study period.
- Exercise! You can think quicker and concentrate for longer. Not only does it enhance brain activity, but pumps much needed endorphins into your system.
- 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Your body needs to recover and sleep helps detox your system and increase memory retention.
- Supplements like omega 3, vitamin C, B and D.
- And Planning!
See the full video interview below: