What a remarkable day, rich with diversity & texture. Elements of clinical practice this morning, with Cindy Geyer, MD leading us through Laboratory Basics and Kathie Swift, MS, RD sharing Simplifying Supplements. Supplement Jeopardy was a fun test of our knowledge! Lunch was utterly delicious: Rockin’ Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream, greens, g/f cornbread muffins, Lime Citrus Halibut, Chef Stubb’s own plantain crisps, and Mexican slaw from Rebecca’s upcoming new book (gosh that was good! Lime cumin dressing…).
Great flow today, from Sheila Dean DSc, RD’s state-of-the-art science in Macro & Micro Nutrients to Joel Evans, MD’s remarkably smooth (and of course humorous!) Detoxification: A Food-Based Approach. Co-authors of The Inside Tract Gerard Mullin, MD and Kathie Swift, MS, RD provided When in Doubt, Follow the GUT and Digestive Healing & Elimination Diets respectively, an all-important guided tour of the essential science and clinical treatment of the digestive tract. Dr. Gordon led us in active meditation to shake out the stress, and Chef Rebecca Katz offered a brand new food demo this afternoon, Herbs & Spices: Science & Cuisine, with a tray of colorful spices and a tour of how they fit into the healing kitchen.
Day 1 at Food As Medicine 2012 was a great feast with over 300 marvelous people in attendance.
25% MD’s, 25% RD’s & Nutritionists, 11% Nurses & Nurse Practitioners, 10% Saybrook University Students, 4% Medical School Students & Residents. 6% are Medical School Faculty, 27% work with underserved communities. Geographically, the largest number of our attendees are from Maryland and California. A senior scientist is here from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and a physician from Beijing United Family Hospital in China. Rene Domersant from the Ministry of Health in Haiti, a participant in our Global Trauma Relief professional trainings, is here.Jeffrey Mills, Director of Food & Nutrition Services for DC Public Schools is here. Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora, the first certified organic restaurant in the US, and Judith Friedman of The Natural Gourmet Institute are here. The entire Krebs family from Selinsgrove, PA are here (mom’s a PT & MT, dad’s an MD, one daughter is a med student and another daughter a student). Sadja Greenwood, MD, MPH, a legendary sage is here from Bolinas, CA. The people are amazing!
In January 2009, I attended Food As Medicine in San Francisco, CA. As I was listening to Dr. Jeffrey Bland talk about the health benefits of super foods, it occurred to me that for the majority of Americans, having a diet full of nutrient dense super foods may never be a reality. Millions of Americans have a diet comprised of the types of food we associate with liquor stores, corner markets and food pantries –fast, packaged, cheap, and processed with high amounts of fat, sugar, sodium and other preservatives.
I reflected on my own experience of food drives when I was growing up: reaching to the back of my pantry to pull expired or unwanted items to donate. There was a big disconnect between an expired soup can and the families it was going to feed.
Sitting there in the super food lecture, I wrote down the words “super food drive – a food drive to collect super foods for people in need”. My idea was to transform existing emergency food systems (food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens) into providers of nutrient dense foods for individuals and families in need.
Variety isn’t just the spice of life; it’s the one thing that will keep you from falling into a food rut. Salad lovers often tell me they get bored with the same old thing. The danger, of course, is this disenchantment can lead them away from the greens their bodies really need. Enter this salad and the idea of eating seasonally. It’s not just a catch phrase. Each season brings new foods just hitting their peak; in this case strawberries and arugula were just taking their first walks of the spring down the runway. In addition to their incredibly sweet taste, strawberries fight inflammation and tumor growth. Here you’ve got a fresh salad that feels like Pop Rocks going off in your mouth: Strawberries, mint, a lemony balsamic vinaigrette, a topping of sliced almonds. You want variety? This is the salad equivalent of Secret Santa: Lots of surprises, and every one of them a gift.
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The other evening, I made myself a cup of delicious raw tomato soup in about 30 seconds. To replicate this soup, it will be necessary to have on hand:
One huge, truly ripe, exquisitely delicious, organic tomato (I used a sunshine yellow heirloom.)
A splash of very good, extra virgin olive oil
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger root
To paraphrase a CMBM alum, “When I heard The Center for Mind-Body Medicine would be offering a seminar called ‘Mind, Mood & Food’ at Kripalu, I felt like the heavens were bringing all my favorite things together.” The “trifecta”, as I like to call it, was a beautiful blend of relevant material taught by engaging faculty in a setting where what was being taught could be practiced. Imagine learning about foods that support brain health and then going to Kripalu’s dining hall where those foods are waiting for you on an abundant buffet. Picture completing a moving meditation with Jim Gordon and then going to Yoga Dance during a seminar break. Kathie Swift spoke about the benefits of being in nature for brain health, and I’m convinced Mother Nature was a seminar participant as the weather was perfect for walks to the lake. It was seventy degrees in mid-March in the Berkshires!
Mark Pettus, Jay Lomard and Chuck Parker offered a wealth of knowledge and fantastic synergy as they fed off each other’s energy and complemented each other’s work. A big round of applause goes to the hard-working staff at Kripalu. They were wonderful to work with and jumped right in to run the program like a well-oiled machine. Mind, Mood & Food at Kripalu is definitely worth a repeat!
Food As Medicine Executive Chef Rebecca Katz, MS, just shared this lovely video, “Nourish means….” from the folks at NourishLife.org.
What nourishes you?
4 months ago, I spent $8 to purchase seeds for planting spinach and red leaf lettuce in my garden. I was impressed with how quickly greens grow with fertile soil, water and sunshine! My planter box is bursting with full bodied greenery. I eat at least one large salad every day and haven’t had to buy greens for over 2 months now. I even give away heads of lettuce to friends when they come to visit.
I’m often asked how to make a good pot of brown rice– neither hard nor mushy, but just chewy enough. Classic brown rice.