It Happened This Week: The Many Faces of Food as Medicine

By Marsha Hudnall
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Rosemary is a powerful antioxidant and adds great flavor to foods.

It’s been a busy week here at Green Mountain with the debut of our new Food as Medicine program.  We opened with a showing of Food, Inc., to provide a good backdrop for some of the food quality issues we planned to talk about.  If you haven’t seen it, Grist has an article on ammonia-hamburgers that will give you a peek at the substance of the movie.  Be forewarned.  It’s not a pleasant read.

A more pleasant read is Nutrition Unplugged’s look at 2010 food trends.  “Food is the new insurance” definitely fits our food as medicine theme.

Lest you think food as medicine sounds a bit severe, Julie at Iceberg to Arugula answers the question, “What do dietitians eat…really?”  Not severe at all, and as you can imagine, most are on board with the concept of food as medicine for themselves and their clients.

Two new great books debuted this year, and both present different aspects of using food as medicine.  Michelle May, MD, came out with Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat which focuses on a healthy relationship with food — something we’ve focused on since our inception in 1973.  If you don’t have a healthy relationship with food, the end result isn’t going to be healthy.  Check out this review of it on WebMD.

I haven’t read registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer’s new book Eat Your Way to Happiness.  But the title itself sounds great, and if it’s anything like Elizabeth’s previous books, which I’m sure it is, it’s sure to have some great info.

It’s going to be cold this weekend in Vermont so I just might curl up with a good book.  I’ll skip watching Food, Inc. again.

Have a good one!

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  • Julie Trevor says:

    I watched an episode of “The Doctors” (while eating breakfast – I know bad habbit) where a woman who makes it her business to “inform” others intervened in a grocery shoppers food choices. Subsequently got her to substitute ‘unhealthy’ for healthy choices and read, read, read labels.
    What struck me was the woman, her spouse and two children looked perfectly healthy to me and now are so focused on reading labels, measuring and worrying about what they eat; their meal conversations are about just that!
    I suspect that if ‘the doctors’ were to follow up, they’d see a big change in this family – they will have gained weight.

  • Marsha says:

    Ah, yes, Julie. This gets to the fine balance of not disturbing “normal” eating when trying to help someone eat in a way that truly supports their well-being. The information someone would deliver by just walking up to someone in a grocery store, without knowing their history, their concerns, their challenges, is just another version of getting your nutrition information from a magazine or the like. To really help people, a true expert helps them start where they are and move forward from there. Not to make big leaps that may end up causing more problems than they solve. If indeed there were any problems in the first place! Someone could never know where to start just by walking up to them in the grocery store.

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  • Julie says:

    Hi Marsha-
    Thanks for the mention! What a great sounding program. I’d much rather enjoy healthy foods as preventive medicine any day of the week. Let’s face it, rosemary on potatoes is much tastier than Lipitor and a glass of water!
    .-= Julie’s last blog post..What do Dietitians Eat….Really? =-.

  • Marsha says:

    Very good point, Julie!

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