The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

What are you hungry for? A very personal inquiry

This is a guest post by Jerrol Kimmel, RN, MA, Mind-Body Medicine faculty member and Food As Medicine graduate.  Jerrol has created a highly effective synthesis of the two programs called What Are You Hungry For? Her clients report remarkable results from doing carefully guided ‘root’ work with Jerrol: significant, sustainable weight loss balanced by what one client describes as mindful awareness around food that is , “…sacred and deeply transformative on many levels.” She tells her clients, “The way you do food is the way you do life.”

I know this from my professional life and my own personal challenges with emotional eating:  all the information in the world about the “right” things to eat or the “right” diet won’t help if you don’t find another way to navigate life without turning to food to cope.

First, discover the difference between physical and emotional hunger and how to feed each of them in the right way. Once food finds its rightful place, to feed the hunger of the physical body, then the next piece is to discover how to feed the emotional hunger; how to express your feelings appropriately and get your underlying needs met.

It begins with a readiness to change and a vision of what you want.  It’s not a number on a scale; it’s how you want to feel in your body – alive, energetic, healthy, whatever.

I have people do three drawings:  their relationship with food, their biggest problem, and how they would like to be.  I use imagery to help them embody the third drawing, so this feeling, this vision, becomes what they are choosing towards each time they want to eat.

Many people who have been on diets look to external authority to answer the question, what should I eat? It is never as simple as eat this, dont eat that for those who have learned to use food to anaesthetize and edit life.

I help people listen to their own body’s needs through guided imagery.  For example, I have each person imagine a wise being, a helpful guide, that can answer the question, what is one thing I need to remove from my diet or bring into my diet to help me move towards the vision of how I want to be and feel in my body?

Through this process of asking, each person discovers their own voice and begins to right their relationship with food in a way that reflects their own preferences, their body chemistry and their cultural and personal history. This inquiry and practice allows for a true transformation of their relationship to food that is sustainable for a lifetime.

Read more about Jerrol on the Center’s website. She lives and sees clients in San Francisco, CA, and via phone around the country.

A Food As Medicine Treasure: Jim Joseph's Talk on Longevity & the Aging Brain

James Joseph, PhD, was a highly distinguished research scientist– Director of the Neuroscience Laboratory, USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at Tufts University– and he was also our friend.  He passed away just days before Food As Medicine this June.  My 18 year old son, attending Food As Medicine for the second time and who had heard Jim speak before, said the same thing I did on hearing of his passing: “No, no, no! Not Jim!”  The thing about Jim was he was not only brilliant but endearing, and laugh-out-loud funny.  What better way to convey the science than to have ‘em rolling in the aisles?

He always said that because of his USDA funding, we couldn’t sell the recordings of his talks, but that we could give them away.  So it is with great pleasure that we offer you this treasure– a video of Jim Joseph’s lecture recorded at Food As Medicine in Baltimore in 2008.

Please do share!

Dr. James Joseph – Nutrition and the Aging Brain

Thank you, Jim, for a wonderful ride.

Meet our Faculty: Derek Neal

aka Mr. Smoothie.

Derek wears a number of hats:  Certified Holistic Health Counselor (CHHC); Case Manager & Intake Specialist for the Jericho Reentry Program, a post-prison project of the Episcopal Community Services of Maryland; Co-Coordinator of the Baltimore Nutrition Group; and a faculty member for Food As Medicine.  For Food As Medicine, he gives one of our “Keeping it Real” lectures, a window into working very simply with people to change their health and lives through food.  As a CHHC, he practices what he teaches, coaching a diverse group of clients in his melting pot Baltimore neighborhood towards wellness and vitality.

One of his transformative tools of choice is the green smoothie, an elixir of wellness, power-packed with minerals and antioxidants, radiating life energy.  He tells great stories about clients of the Jericho Reentry Project reacting to the mysterious jars of green stuff on his desk.  Oh, and did I mention he’s a trained actor and an amazing storyteller?

We visited recently and the Master led us through the simple steps to a divinely delish smoothie.  The best way I can describe the taste is… like velvet sunshine.


Meet Our Faculty: Rebecca Katz & The Cancer Fighting Kitchen

September 30, 2009Jo CooperFood As Medicine3

Our Food As Medicine Executive Chef and core faculty member Rebecca Katz, MS, has just come out with her second book dedicated to helping cancer survivors and their families with tasty, healthy, science-based recipes and food information. Called The Cancer Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery, it’s full of practical and delicious information. And who knew a book about cancer could be cozy and funny? That’s Rebecca. Reading her books is like sitting and talking with an old friend, in this case one of our nation’s most astute experts on supporting health during cancer treatment, what she calls ‘culinary Rx’.

She’s also the Queen of Yum. If you’ve been to our Food As Medicine trainings, you know, because Rebecca designs all the lunches. That’s the experiential part of the training: healthy food CAN be gorgeous and delicious. My colleague Alex ran down the street to our local bookstore and bought a copy of CFK the minute it came out, and has been cooking from it ever since, reporting back on her boyfriend’s verdicts (‘Fabulous!’ ‘So delicious!’). We’re teasing Alex that it’s like Julie & Julia — Alex & Rebecca. Rebecca doesn’t know it yet, but she’s got us all mesmerized! Visit for lots of recipes and great info.

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