For each issue of edible, we test every recipe to make sure it will work in your home kitchen. Not only does this mean we present you with quality, easy-to-make dishes, it also means our team spends a really enjoyable day in the kitchen together doing what we love best, cooking.
During this test kitchen, we invited special guest, Dr. Lori Eanes to join us to talk about food as medicine.
We met Eanes during one of our KASA 2 Morning Show visits, and instantly hit it off as fellow food-lovers. Over a lunch which included all of the following salads, we discussed ideas of preventative medicine through dietary and behavioral changes.
Eanes’ motto is “more healing, less medicine”; the best treatment for disease and chronic conditions is to avoid them in the first place through better self care. She also promotes integrative medicine, which treats mind, body, and spirit by combining conventional western medicine with alternative or complementary treatments, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, and stress reduction techniques. She believes that many practitioners are experts in disease, but not in disease prevention.
Eanes currently splits her time between freelancing in urgent care facilities in Albuquerque and developing an out-of-the-box practice that focuses on teaching prevention and self-advocacy through workshops and seminars. Much of what she teaches focuses on the power of food for health.
In her workshop series, she helps attendees develop a toolkit for empowered navigation of healthcare. For example, she attempts to clarify how western medicine works. Over our salads, she explained that doctors are required to follow something called the standard of care, which often narrows the scope of what a practitioner will consider as treatment options. She has simple recommendations for engaging a doctor for a more nuanced diagnosis and treatment: asking the doctor questions like, “Would you take this medication?” or, “Would you recommend these tests to someone in your family?”
As an urgent care doctor, Eanes often sees patients when they are experiencing intense stress, but she recognizes how much stress people carry in general. She believes the biggest factors for change in health, for good or bad, are diet and behavior, and both are related to stress. Behavior change is hard, and often causes stress. According to the American Psychological Association annual report “Stress in America,” two out of five people report overeating or eating unhealthy food as a way to cope with stress. In essence, breaking a cycle of bad habits associated with bad food can be very hard without support and serious intention.
“Keep it simple,” Eanes says, referring to how we live in a culture of increasing distraction. She advocates mindful eating and simple foods as a way to help build consumption awareness. “Our sympathetic nervous systems are overloaded,” she reflects. “We are so distracted by media and technology, it’s easy to lose track of our inner compass.” For her, health is also about self-awareness and mindfulness, particularly when it comes to food. During her workshops, she also conducts exercises in mindful eating, asking participants to consider taste, texture, aroma, and to slow down and take time to chew each bite. According to the website RxList, the third most prescribed drug in the US is Nexium, a heartburn relief medication, and, according to Eanes, this has everything to do with the food choices people make and the way they eat.
Finally, Eanes says, if a person wants to change, he or she must have goals. If you’re ready for some serious reflection about getting healthy, changing your eating habits, and possibly appreciating food more, consider joining Eanes for her workshop “Do as the Doctor Does” at Sunrise Springs on June 24. You’ll find engaging presentations, healing treatments, simple stress management techniques, fitness activities, and spa cuisine. Then, when you get home, these salads can inspire meals that help you work toward your goals and a renewed, healthier you.
Lori Eanes, D. O.
Contact us at One-to-One@prodigy.net