Nutrition is one of the most overlooked aspects of trying to help someone get well, but it’s the building block for everything we do. – Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN

Have you ever had a conversation with your healthcare provider about how the food you eat impacts your overall health? Historically, healthcare providers have not received training to have this conversation but Culinary Medicine is poised to change that. As the world’s most comprehensive curriculum for physicians, healthcare professionals, patients and community members, Health meets Food is changing that.

Join us to learn more about how Health meets Food and the Culinary Medicine program from my guest, Dr. Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP. He’s a Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Director of George Washington University’s Culinary Medicine Program.

Part One of ‘Health Meets Food: Culinary Medicine.

Food as a wellness tool isn’t a novel concept. As a model of education, Culinary Medicine encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to transcend traditional obstacles to healthy eating and is a new take on medication.

What Is Culinary Medicine?

Culinary Medicine is a modern evidence-based discipline that combines the principles of medication with the creativity of food preparation.

Culinary Medicine is a novel instructional and nutritional solution to changing dietary habits that focus on food shopping, food preparation, preservation, and meal planning.

Why Is Culinary Medicine Necessary?

What we ingest affects our health and wellbeing. The origins and variety of food you’ve eaten influence any of this. Numerous findings show that home-cooked meals and higher consumption of fruits and vegetables are linked to a healthy lifestyle. However, new research suggests that Americans are dining out more (at a 42% rate of increase) and cooking less at home (at a 25% rate of decrease).

Programs at Culinary Medicine teach medical students, practicing physicians, nursing students how to cook, how to eat healthily, and how to have the conversation of healthy eating with their patient. – Dr. Tim Harlan, MD, FACP

How Has Culinary Medicine Came To Be?

The Health Meets Food program was created with the help of George Washington University to transform the way healthcare practitioners and their patients talk about food and health. About 50 medical schools and hospital-based internship programs in the United States utilize the program. Good outcomes in diet and lifestyle therapies have been identified among student nurses, nurse practitioners, patients, and practicing healthcare professionals.

“The bold pie in the sky for the future of Culinary Medicine is that we will see an environment where every medical school and probably almost every hospital has a Culinary Medicine program. They have a teaching kitchen, and are teaching patients, community members, their staff, their faculty, their physicians, their nurses, teaching them how to cook great food,” says Dr. Tim Harlan, MD, FACP

Part Two of ‘Health Meets Food: Culinary Medicine.

The Culinary Medicine Conference 2021
(June 4 – June 6, 2021) | Virtual Event

The 2021 Culinary Medicine Conference – June 4-6, 2021 (7th Annual) – virtual this year – target audience is healthcare professionals and is targeted towards chefs and food services, lay public – open to anyone.

The big theme this year is culture change. How, especially in health care, health professionals change the cultural environment that helps deliver culinary Medicine and nutrition type programing for patients? The keynote speaker is a New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Marion Nestle, who’s going to talk about the food industry. The Saturday program includes another rock star, Dr. Robert Lustig, an expert, and a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco. He has done a lot of work about the tremendous impact of sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, on the obesity epidemic in America.

Moreover, there will be more professionals from the industry coming to speak about how they’re changing the culture of their companies—how hospitals are changing their culture. But then there are also hands-on cooking classes and Skills Building Sessions that will all be done via Zoom.

I will be part of this conference on June 4, 2021. Along with Chef and Registered Dietician, Jodi Balis, we will co-moderate one of the skills-building sessions to optimally help patients who need different textures, say kids and/ or older adults who might need foods of different textures to help them eat.

Health professionals need to know a lot about food to help their patients be their best. – Dr. Tim Harlan, MD, FACP

Additional Resources:

Here are some resources if you’re interested to learn more about Culinary Medicine.

About Dr. Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP: 

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Director, GWU Culinary Medicine Program.

Dr. Harlan practiced Internal Medicine in New Orleans. His love of food began as a teenager working in the restaurant business. Starting as a dishwasher, he worked his way up to managing his first restaurant by eighteen and owning his first restaurant at twenty-two. After operating Le Petit Café as a chef/owner, he closed the restaurant to return to school. Dr. Harlan originally intended to pursue a degree in hotel and restaurant management, but events led him toward Medicine and the decision to become a physician.

In medical school, Dr. Harlan wrote “It’s Heartly Fare”, a food manual for patients with cardiovascular disease. Since then, he has published numerous books focusing on translating evidence-based diet and nutrition information for the lay public. He is the publisher of the popular Web site where information from the Mediterranean diet literature is summarized in a practical way for the American kitchen.

He served as Associate Dean for Clinical Services at Tulane University School of Medicine is the Executive Director of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, the first of its kind teaching kitchen operated by a medical school. The center offers an innovative program teaching medical students about diet and lifestyle that bridges the gap between the basic sciences, clinical medicine, the community, and culinary education. Medical students work side-by-side in the kitchen with culinary students to teach each other and, most importantly, teach the community and patients how to return to their kitchens and transform their health.



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About Melissa:

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN. I am a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse researcher with over 25 years of experience in the aging and long-term care healthcare space. You can visit my website at to learn more about me, how you can work with me directly,
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