Remember when we were kids and seemed able to digest anything without repercussion? We made food choices based on politics, fad, or diet program rules. We dabbled in vegetarianism, slugged amino acid syrups, tried eating nothing but cabbage soup and grapefruit. Rarely did it sink in that what we eat matters to our health. A calorie is a calorie right?
Well, weíve learned a great deal in the meantime. And yet we still know so little. Nutritional science is in its infancy, really, but we are finding patterns that are intriguing, that help to further the study. These patterns suggest that what we eat matters very much to our health over the long run. In fact, by eating certain foods and avoiding others, we can side-step and even reverse certain diseases.
That may not seem like surprising news to you, or to your grandparents, or within your culture, but itís finally getting the attention of researchers, and more importantly, itís getting the attention of members of the American Medical Association. Our doctors, brothers and sisters.
And that brings us to Dr. John LaPuma. Get this. Heís an M.D., who HAS studied nutrition, AND heís a chef. Iím not kidding. One guy, three disciplines (at least). And though you and I canít imagine anyone more interesting to attend to, it turns out the guy is also a natural-born teacher.
When I say natural-born teacher, I pay the highest compliment. I am married to one, and know that itís an ability more innate than acquired. A natural-born teacher is one who studies the student, discovers what the student needs, and transforms any lesson to help fill in the knowledge gaps to help that person gain true understanding. Highly intuitive, concerned, other-focused.
Being a natural teacher shaped LaPuma. He had a successful career working in medical ethics, a highly stressful and difficult field. He put on weight himself, saw his own health tanking through constant stress and overwork, and had to learn to take better care of his own body so he could care for others.
In the process of losing weight the miserable way (rice cakes and grapefruit), he discovered that though we may all understand the principals of healthy eating, and generally understand the components of a healthy diet, we donít actually know HOW to buy and make food that is good for us, that we can enjoy, that we can eat and serve one another all our lives, not just when we need to drop a few pounds. Further, we rarely understand which foods we should and should not eat if we are predisposed to certain diseases.
LaPuma saw this gap in understanding, and shifted his career. Today, besides authoring best-selling cookbooks with his colleagues at RealAge.com, and seeing patients at his weight loss and fitness clinic in Santa Barbara, or traveling the world to meet with patients, or conferring with fellow chefs, or chatting with and coaching people on his website, he also coaches doctors and executives to understand the very real health benefits of a good diet.
In his spare time he follows and reports on nutrition studies and develops new recipies. You can sign up for his emails.
So, you know, I need him. I love him. I think you will too.
Do pick up a copy of ďCooking the RealAge WayĒ for terrific recipes intended to help you eat the way you know you need to when youíre safely taking off weight and learning to keep it off. The way LaPuma cooks is the way a busy person cooks, with simple recipes that are quickly prepared from fresh ingredients, never fussy, but delicious. They always make a beautiful plate.
Visit his site for free recipes, interesting articles, a nice set of links, and inspiration for your next meal.
Me? Iím saving up for his private coaching service. He offers individual lifestyle coaching to people who need to lose weight or transform their diet to manage a health problem (diabetes, hypertension, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, etc.). Iím not sure what it costs, but he reports that itís less than a month at Canyon Ranch, less than the lifetime cost for gastric bypass, and cheaper than a coronary bypass graph. It gets you regular access to him, and puts him in conference with your home medical team, and probably also your personal chef. Iím saving up for one of those too.
If you live within 100 miles of Santa Barbara, you can see him for a lot less. If you have access to the net, go visit him now at drjohnlapuma.com.