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.
Spring has sprung as nature’s magic unfolds before our eyes. Winter’s barren land is now a carpet of flowers and greens. Shopping at the farmer’s market puts the freshest veggies of the season on your plate but how else can you connect to nature’s rhythm? Sprouting edible seeds! Seeds carry almost everything needed to form into a plant. With a little water, the seed is awakened and life springs into action. Eating sprouted seeds is a way to capture the essence of spring and a plethora of nutrients.
Each year at our Food As Medicine conference—it’s coming up November 19-22nd in Miami, is fabulous, and you can find out more here and register by clicking here—our faculty gives a sample daily menu. I thought you might be interested in checking out mine.
My Everyday Foods
Breakfast: my father, who was a surgeon, used to say (much to the amusement of us kids) that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. He usually ate his well before 7 so that he could be at the hospital early to operate. To my surprise, I now keep the same hours (though I don’t do surgery) and have come to value breakfast, which I once rushed through in haste to move on to the day, as a singular pleasure. I wake very hungry,
stretch for a while (yoga and sometimes Tai Chi), and then prepare a smoothie:
significant quantities of berries, especially blueberries and raspberries, sweet cherries (generally, all these are frozen and organic) together with fresh fruits that are easily available-bananas, pears, peaches, apples. I use soy or hemp milk (I’ve eliminated cow’s milk and gluten from my diet) and add a couple of scoops of Metagenics UltraInflam which contains some herbs (e.g., turmeric and rosemary) as well as other nutrients that help to reduce inflammation (I’ve got sore knees).
Also, I drink a cup of black tea (decaf).
Lunch: Peanut butter is a lunch staple–usually on rice crackers. I also have raw carrots and hummus. I go out to lunch sometimes at local Asian restaurants and may have some sushi. (I try to remember to bring my wheat-less soy sauce.)
Dinner: If I’m cooking for myself, it’s usually pretty rudimentary–corn, potatoes, tomatoes sautéed with onions and garlic, coriander, chili peppers, sometimes with beans.
Occasionally, I’ll have turkey sausage with it. If I go out, which I do a fair amount of the time, I’ll start with a salad, have the fish dish which most appeals to me at that moment, and then maybe some sherbet for dessert.
For treats, I like the Purely Decadent coconut milk “Ice Creams”-especially Chocolate Obsession, Pomegranate Chip and Passionate Mango (the names add a certain something as well).
That is, of course, if my wonderful and over-worked assistants haven’t eaten them in a frenzy of stress reduction.
Again, that web page to check out our Food As Medicine Training is here—and check out the fantastic new Food As medicine blog, with recipes, tips, and directions for healthy cooking and eating, here!
David Leonhardt’s “prostate cancer test” (The New York Times, July 8, 2009) is a good but incomplete one for healthcare reform.
In addition to removing financial incentives for high tech intervention, we need to educate clinicians in the impartial, critical analysis of all therapeutic options, and in supporting their patients as they act on the choices they make. For 10 years, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine has trained health professionals and patient advocates to do precisely this, as “CancerGuides®.”
We need as well to realize that expensive, Draconian treatment and “watchful waiting” are not our only choices. There is, as Dean Ornish is showing with peer-reviewed studies on prostate cancer - and a number of us are doing with heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, depression and post traumatic stress disorder – a far more promising third way. It is grounded in techniques of self-care – dietary modification, physical exercise, and mind-body approaches like meditation and yoga – and in group education and support.
This approach holds great promise for treating and preventing chronic illness of all kinds and for saving large sums of money. It should be central to healthcare reform.
A shortened version of this was published in the New York Times online Letters section on July 21, 2009.
Our exciting training program, CancerGuides® II will be offered June 11-14, here in DC (along with Food As Medicine). You can help us as we offer our groundbreaking, integrative trainings by telling everyone you know about the programs, posting the fliers in your offices and clinics, handing them out on the street, etc. etc. Download a flier here.
A quick note: CancerGuides II is absolutely appropriate and accessible for cancer survivors and their families, not only for professionals. Everyone will have the opportunity to meet leaders in the field of integrative care, and to get the most up-to-date practical information–about nutrition, yoga, massage, Chinese medicine, and cutting-edge alternative therapies among many other topics. We would love to see you there, and there are generous partial scholarships available. Check out the website (see above) to learn more.
I hope you understand that you all – staff and faculty, along with our Board, and all those who support and participate in our programs – are the foundation for all we do, the juice that keeps nourishing our work, nourishing me, and helping us to grow. I’m so eager to hear from you and to see you soon, or to meet you for the first time at one of our exciting upcoming trainings.
It’s stunningly, suddenly it seems to me, green here in Washington. It feels like the season and its recent holy days match the message and the mood of our work – change and hope, new growth and greater freedom, leavened by compassion and forgiveness and, for me as well, gratitude for who you are and all we’ve done together and will continue to do. “Old things are passed away…all things are new” is what it says in the New Testament. Thank you.
Dennis Jaffe, my old friend who is both a CMBM and a Saybrook Board member, got things started, and Lorne Buchman, the Saybrook President, has embraced our vision from the beginning and made sure that it infuses our partnership. The negotiations were long but we’re all happy now. I am going to be the Dean of Saybrook’s new Graduate College of Mind-Body Medicine and our program (Professional & Advanced Training Programs in Mind-Body Medicine, Supervision by faculty, plus Food As Medicine Training) is going to be required and central to the core curriculum for both Saybrook Masters and PhD degrees in Mind-Body Medicine.
This means a wonderful opportunity for CMBM to reach and teach more bright, eager, and idealistic participants, for those who want our work to be central to an advanced degree to have that opportunity, and for me (and our faculty) to help shape a graduate curriculum which will be exciting, attractive, and fun too. We’ll be getting the word out about the Saybrook degree and they’ll be telling people about Center programs. Dan Sterenchuk, our Director of Finance and Administration, is going to be working closely with me on all this. He’s thrilled and of course so am I; Dan does such an amazing job, makes everything easier and better for everyone he works with, and we enjoy our adventures together. Everyone else at The Center is really excited too.
Title: Lecture at Urban Zen Focus on Nutrition: Nutrition in Hospitals
Location: Stephan Weiss Studio, 705 Greenwich St. NYC 10014
Description: This discussion will focus on the nutritional standards of food provided to patients in hospitals. Sadly, these standards have been notoriously weak. Malnutrition among patients has been identified in numerous studies and hospital food is frequently cited as insufficiently nourishing. This presentation will address what can be done to improve hospital food: nutrition to aid healing and improve health outcomes.
With Roberta Lee, MD.
For more info, see www.urbanzen.org/news/
Start Time: 10:45 AM EST
Date: April 17, 2009
End Time: 11:45 AM ESt