Our signature mind-body medicine technique is something Founder and Director James Gordon, MD calls “Soft Belly”, by way of encouraging each of us to relax — which few of us instinctively do these days.
We sit quietly, breathing in through our nose and out through our mouth, which both calms the sympathetic nervous system and awakens the parasympathetic nervous system, creating a feeling of relaxation in the mind and body. Dr. Gordon suggests we think “soft” as we breathe in and “belly” as we breathe out, reminding ourselves to relax our belly so we can take in full, healing breaths rather than shallow, tense ones.
Last week the esteemed British journal The Lancet Oncology published remarkable new research showing that healthy lifestyle changes may lengthen our telomeres — i.e., may begin to reverse aging on a cellular level — the first time anything has been shown to do this.
When people ask me for the most persuasive proof of the power of nutrition to heal, I reply with a question: did you know that Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease through diet and lifestyle is covered by Medicare?
Medicare vetted the program for 17 years before deciding to cover it for patients, under a new category entitled “intensive cardiac rehabilitation” — the first time Medicare has covered an integrative medicine program.
Unless you’ve been asleep for a decade, you know Food As Medicine faculty member and CMBM Board Member Mark Hyman, MD, is on a crusade to revolutionize American health. In his latest book, The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook, he makes it easy to satisfy our dual desire for healthy AND flavorful food using simple approaches that work for even the busiest people. Join him in the kitchen as he shows us how quickly you can prepare a delicious power-packed protein shake for a busy day — and one for your mom, too. (Awwww — so sweet, Mark!).
Gleaming black olives, dusty purple eggplants, emerald kale, a splash of scarlet tomatoes on freshly made golden corn tortillas. I cook with my eyes. Color matters, texture matters, flavor matters. I rarely use recipes. I find my art supplies at the farmer’s market on Saturday morning, and my favorite season is now, summer, when the market is brimming with seasonal surprises. Crisp sugar snap peas and sweet baby carrots (with ferny leaves still attached) to snack on. Red and golden beets, pink and white French breakfast radishes, organic blueberries, and Rainbow chard. I can smell the rosemary as I approach the herb table, and can’t leave without a bunch. There are 3 or 4 kinds of kale and pale green lettuces to melt in your mouth. The tomatoes are starting to come in, and little squashes, and tiny orange peppers so beautiful and hot you must use with caution. 6 kinds of mushrooms, purple potatoes, and new things each week. I never eat corn until it’s fresh in the farmer’s market. Cooking with the vibrant, fresh piles of produce that appear before you, rather than buying from a list, makes life intense and interesting. Slender asparagus, spring onions, and in late June, ruby red cherries. In my kitchen, my son and I chop and saute these lovely things, both familiar and new. We arrange our creations artfully, on plain or patterned plates, to appear to their best advantage. A fragrant treat for the eyes, redolent of the sun in which they grew, plucked by the strong hands of the farm crew, and cooked with love. What can I say but thank you.
Jo Cooper just retired after 9 years as Food As Medicine Program Manager and Director of Nutrition Programs at the Center, and is now our Marketing Director.
Our colleague Tim Eden, MSW, Assistant to Dr. Gordon, is bicycling across the country right now, from Seattle, WA to his mom’s home in New Jersey. Whew. But before he left, we asked him to share what are, in his opinion, the top 5 studies showing the efficacy and validity of mind-body medicine– the ones you can use to convince your boss– or yourself– to finally put it on your calendar to attend our legendary Mind-Body Medicine Professional Training program, coming up October 5 – 9 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I had to stop in the middle of eating my lunch just now because of how beautiful the colors are! This is a fall farm market feast, of small purple potatoes, crimini mushrooms, golden zucchini (!), squash blossoms, sweet red pepper and red onion with corn tortillas and arugula. Oh, YUM!
And easy. You may have noticed, that’s the only way I cook.
We have an announcement to make: we’re heading to Indianapolis, Indiana for Food As Medicine June 6 – 9, 2013! It will be our first time in the Midwest, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
This is a mission-driven program for the Center. IU School of Medicine is about to become the largest medical school in the United States. Yes! Really! And– Indiana has one of the largest problems with obesity in the US. We want to be there, educating health professionals about the powerful tools of medical nutrition therapy and teaching ways of helping people fall in love with delicious, healthy whole foods!
Jeanne Wallace, PhD, CNC got a well-earned standing ovation first thing this morning for her brilliant Modulatinig Oncometabolic Syndrome: Integrative Diet & Nutrition to Complement Cancer Care. If there a Jeanne Wallace fan club, tell us how to join!
Many of us have long admired Brenda Davis, RD, as the eminent author of the authoritative texts on her lecture topic, Vegetarian, Vegan & Raw. Did you know about her remarkable research in the Marshall Islands on reversing diabetes? She gave us a preview and we look forward to the published paper. Core faculty member Cindy Geyer, MD rounded out a memorable morning and pulled it all together clinically with case studies in Condition-Specific Nutrition Therapies.