Eat One Health-Supportive Meal and Call Me in the Morning

Throughout history and across cultures, food has been recognized as an essential component to maintaining good health and encouraging healing. However, in the last century, particularly in the West, this connection has become fractured. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC): “unhealthy diet and physical inactivity can contribute to or aggravate many chronic diseases and conditions, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers.” In 2012, the CDC estimated that “7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases.”

It seems intuitive that something, such as diet, that is easy to change and has such an immense impact on health would be well integrated into the medical system. Unfortunately, it is not. Doctors prescribe pills and treatments to appease symptoms, but preventative dietary directives beyond eat a ‘low salt’ and ‘low cholesterol’ diet are hard to find coming from your Primary Care Doctor. Cooking wholesome foods and nutrition from a holistic perspective are lessons that have been left out of most medical schools. Until now.

While instigating change in the medical system is a huge undertaking, there are a few inspiring doctors who are forging a path to a medical community that acknowledges diet as the cornerstone of health. Dr. Robert Graham, Director of Integrative Health & Therapies at Lenox Hill Hospital, is one of these doctors. Dr. Graham is a visionary, introducing healthy cooking to resident doctors and hospital chefs so that they can, in turn, pass this information on to their patients.

Natural Gourmet Institute has had the pleasure of partnering with Dr. Graham, Meatless Monday, Lenox Hill Hospital and North Shore-LIJ Hospitals to teach their students, staff and colleagues how to cook healthy, delicious and inexpensive plant-based meals. Natural Gourmet Institute founder, Dr. Annemarie Colbin, understood early on that whole, fresh, organic, local, and traditional foods are key to maintaining optimum health. Since 1977 Dr. Colbin has been building these concepts into a health supportive curriculum for the next generation of chefs. It is exciting that this group now includes doctors and institutional chefs.

Chef Richard LaMarita and Laura Rosenberg, MS, RD, CDN have led each class. Chef LaMarita has focused on teaching the students how to make delectable menu items such as: Creamy Vegan Polenta with Mushroom Ragu, Farro Risotto with Sweet Potato, Oyster Mushrooms & Brussel Sprouts, Corn Fritters with Spicy Papaya Emulsion, Cilantro-Lime Quinoa and Spiced Lentils with Parsnips & Swiss Chard. Laura Rosenberg presents the participants with the nutritional makeup of the menus from a clinical perspective.
Is your mouth watering yet? Soon you’ll be heading to the hospital to get your next nutritious, gourmet meal.

This post was originally published by the Natural Gourmet Institute. Learn more about today's Natural Gourmet Center.


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