White Rock family physician Dr. Werner Spangehl holds a copy of his new novel

A healthy lifestyle, one minute at a time

White Rock physician publishes guide to achieving better health

When thinking of living a healthy lifestyle, there are some obvious choices to be made.

Don’t smoke. Eat smart. Drink water.

But just as important is a focus on happiness in your job and in your personal life.

Through his self-published novel, One Minute Medicine – Your Effortless Guide to Vibrant Health, White Rock physician Werner Spangehl aims to break down the steps needed to lead a healthy – and happy – life.

“The book is really about evidence-based lifestyle interventions that improve health outcomes. That’s what I really wanted to bring and contribute,” the longtime family physician explained.

The novel is centered around protagonist David Mackenzie, a 42-year-old lawyer who suffers a heart attack while rushing to his Vancouver law firm. After he is discharged from the hospital, David discovers a booklet inside a taxi entitled 12 Habits of Healthy People.

Each chapter in the book is based on one of the 12 habits David reads about, Spangehl said.

“The goal is to make it accessible to those who don’t like to read. They can flip through and read the chapter that they want to read,” he said. “If they want to only reach about smoking cessation, then they can read that chapter only, or if they don’t smoke, they can skip over that.”

The book, which has been a 12-year process for Spangehl, includes chapters on common health themes, such as healthy diet and exercise, as well as spiritual and social aspects.

“Health means that you resonate at all levels, not just the absence of disease. There is so much more positivity to it. It’s like saying love is the absence of indifference or hatred,” he said. “I found that the determinants of health are very similar to the determinants of happiness. Happy people are healthy people.

“So when you determine happiness, it usually has a lot to do with the same things I wrote about.”

Each chapter also includes a one-minute message, which encapsulates each chapter, providing a succinct synopsis for those who may not have time to read a whole chapter.

Spangehl noted that the book can also be a starting point for those who want to read more about specific concerns, with footnotes included, as well as recommended readings.

“There are thousands of books that focus on just diet alone. Enough to fill a whole library,” he said. “This book is a jump-point which can lead you to other areas.”

The novel is currently available through the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation office and Auxiliary Gift Shop. All proceeds above Spangehl’s production costs will benefit the PAH Community Health Foundation and Auxiliary. For more information, visit www.minutemedicine.com

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