After attending The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) several times and Food As Medicine (FAM) this past summer*, I continue to find the information to be brilliant. I purchased the FAM DVD and audio cassettes to share with our VA staff. Recently, our nutrition service received a grant to expand our weight management nutrition and exercise program into the local community.
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Certainly one of the greatest culinary challenges I’ve ever faced occurred last month, when my dear friend Food As Medicine Executive Chef and author (soon to publish her 4th cookbook) Rebecca Katz — aka, one of the most famous and sublime healthy chefs in the US — came to lunch at my house.
What to cook?
When I entertain friends and family, and I REALLY want things to go well, I use Rebecca’s recipes. Now what?
I recently returned from my 4th annual Food as Medicine Conference (FAM), a training program for health professionals to effectively integrate nutrition into their practices. I like to think of this community as my professional family. The 4-day program includes cutting edge presentations given by leading Functional Medicine and Integrative doctors, nutritionists, dietitians, social and environmental activists as well as incredible lunches created by Culinary Director Rebecca Katz. Two years ago Rebecca formed a team of us Cooks on Call (COC), Culinary Nutrition Educators, who help translate the science of nutrition in the kitchen. It’s one thing when doctors tell their patients to eat kale but it’s a whole other ballgame when they can tell that patient 5 different ways to prepare it.
How did it come to be that someone who has extensive training in nutrition and whole foods cooking carried around an extra 20 pounds?
Life gets in the way, which led to years of (survival) mindless eating. It started something like this: the marriage that led to the unexpected twin pregnancy, then another pregnancy right on its heels, all while finishing up a master’s degree in clinical nutrition.
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Shame is an inevitable component of binge eating disorder, so although it’s the most common of eating disorders, it’s rarely discussed.
Binging was a carefully hidden secret for me since my early teen years. I remember getting upset over a running injury and devouring a chocolate cake. Not a piece of cake — a whole chocolate cake — and it was still mostly frozen. Binging was my normal; I didn’t believe change was possible. So even as I got degrees in nutrition and ate more nourishing foods, there were still nights where I’d polish off a can of frosting, and suffer through the inevitable self-loathing hangover.
Did you know that anything and everything you put in your body either helps or harms? Surely it is all about balance, but statistically speaking we have a pretty sick nation. Consider this a slight wake up call…
Digestive health continues to be a hot nutrition and health topic. You won’t want to miss this synopsis of a recent gut-centric study — and once you digest and absorb its rich content, share with your colleagues and health care providers!
This is my Rosetta stone of soup, a broth that can be transformed to meet a myriad nutritional needs, serving as everything from a delicious sipping tea to the powerful base for more hearty soups and stews. So no matter what a person’s appetite, it can provide a tremendous nutritional boost. This rejuvenating liquid, chock-full of magnesium, potassium, and sodium, allows the body to refresh and restore itself. I think of it as a tonic, designed to keep you in tip-top shape.
Sharon Van Nostran, DO, Osteopathic Program Director of Summa Health System’s Family Medicine Residency, recently sent this update about changes in her family, food, and work life since attending our Food As Medicine professional training in June 2013. We thought you might enjoy hearing about how what she learned is making a difference.
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.