The Food As Medicine Institutes Food Philosophy

Welcome to “The Doc’s Kitchen” Blog! We are excited to be able to provide healthy recipes and articles on food as medicine to the community to further our mission of educating and empowering people in their food choices. This first blog post describes our food philosophy at The Food As Medicine Institute. Keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts covering a range of topics and providing you with healthy recipes!

The Food As Medicine Institutes (FAMI) Food Philosophy

In the study of naturopathic medicine, food is considered the foundation for optimal health.

It is now known that poor food choices contribute to the development of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type II diabetes, and some cancers. With the rise of chronic diseases in our country, it has become apparent that Americans need to reconnect with a healthy, whole foods diet.

The Standard American Diet is calorie rich, nutrient poor, highly processed and low in whole foods. Some examples of processed foods are fast food, packaged baked goods, sodas, diet foods, and many canned and boxed foods. Our goal is to enable you to avoid these foods as much as possible and opt for healthier, nutrient dense foods.

FAMI promotes a whole foods diet. These foods have not been processed or changed from their original state. Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, low processed healthy fats, and eggs, dairy, meat, poultry and fish from animals raised as close to their natural state as possible. Choosing a whole food, mostly plant-based diet can be a part of the solution to improve the health of our children and our communities.

It will take a community-based effort to sustain healthy dietary changes. For this reason, FAMI offers the Food As Medicine Everyday (FAME) cooking series. FAME is a 12-week experience for individuals, families, friends and co-workers to come together for nutrition education and hands-on cooking workshops in order to learn the skills needed to create healing, delicious whole foods meals. It also provides the opportunity to spend 90-minutes each week with a naturopathic physician who can provide the unique knowledge of how food affects our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Learn more about this series.

Our guiding principles are an important part of our food philosophy. They are as follows:

  • Eat whole foods and low-processed foods: Humankind has adapted to eating whole foods from nature that provide a healthy balance of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. As modern society has moved away from a nutrient-dense, fiber rich, whole foods based diet, chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes have proliferated.
  • Eat a mostly plant-based diet: Plants are nutrient dense, fiber-rich, anti-inflammatory foods. Choosing a diet that is plant rich has been shown to improve chronic disease outcomes and prevent development of chronic diseases.
  • Include foods made from healthy animals: Food from animals can provide a unique, nutrient-dense source of both macro (protein and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that cannot be found in other food sources. Animals raised in their natural environments produce more nutrient-rich and less inflammatory foods than animals raised using modern industrialized animal production such as feeding animals grains and raising them in a crowded environment.
  • Make anti-inflammatory food choices: Chronic inflammation is linked to the development of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Diets high in added sugar and highly processed foods contribute to chronic inflammation.
  • Individuals have unique food needs: There is no one right “diet” for everyone. Life stage, disease, lifestyle, and food intolerances all dictate unique individual food needs.
  • Care about food choices and preparation: Our choice of food can either nourish us or increase our risk for disease. Food and preparation of food connects us to family, community, nature and the world at large.

As naturopathic physicians (and physicians in training), we are in a unique position to understand the importance of using food as medicine everyday. We will use “The Doc’s Kitchen” Blog to pass these tips on to you! Check back frequently for blog posts on a variety of food topics and for delicious recipes!

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  –Hippocrates