Getting There

October 17, 2013

By Sharon Van Nostran, DO

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.

Personally, I can tell you that the instruction at FAM has radically changed how my family eats. We (I….) plan out our menus a week at a time and do bulk food prep (chopping, storing in glass jars until the designated night for quick assembly) more often than not now. We eat far more veggies and fruit, and almost no processed food for our main meals now. Even things which are less than ideal (oats for breakfast) now are supplemented with ground nuts/ chia/ flaxseed and cinnamon and nutmeg. We are getting there! I have noticed more energy and less fogginess of thought since the change.

Asking my patients’ dietary history and discussing modifications with them has been eye-opening. I plan to map out local access points to healthy food in the neighborhood around our hospital and plan to add weekly recipes with a featured seasonal local ingredient and post it all in the waiting room area, so I have some concrete suggestions of where to shop and what to buy and make when they tell me they eat mainly hot dogs, pizza, and mac and cheese.

The ideas for the residency and our patients are big, but time is extremely limited. (Frankly we just had significant budget and personnel cuts in our hospital two weeks ago impacting workload for those who remain.) However, I am committed (as is my resident who attended FAM, Brittney Jergovich) to making changes in the residency, and ultimately in our patient’s understanding of the relationship between good food and wellness. I’ll keep you posted!