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Barnard Medical Center Now Open: Bringing Nutrition to Medicine

On January 5, 2016, the Barnard Medical Center officially opened in Washington, DC to offer better health care to its residents. The center’s President, Neal Barnard, MD, is also the Founder of The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). The goal of PCRM has always been to educate people on the effects that diet has on health. Now with the opening of the Barnard Medical Center, PCRM can put those goals into action by helping patients reduce the risk and even reverse health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. Along with the center’s medical director, Dr. Loomis Jr., MD and the team of physicians and nutritionists, the center is bringing together two separate aspects to create full body health – by treating not only the symptoms of diet-related diseases but also the root causes. Embracing a plant-based diet, according to the team, is one major step towards helping your body get and stay healthy for the long term, by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. To learn more about the Barnard Medical Center or to make an appointment, visit their website at BarnardMedical.org.

The Team's Top Tips for a Healthy 2016

Barnard Medical Staff

The Barnard Medical Center’s Team of professionally trained staff know that the holidays are a hard time to get into healthy habits, which is why the New Year is such a popular time to make a change. The team has offered the following advice to help you get started towards a healthy 2016: What’s the number one health tip you would give to family or friends who are looking to reach optimal health in the New Year? Angie Eakin, M.D., M.S.: Choose goals that are not going to create extra stress and DON’T compare your health results to others’. Stay away from fads. You’ll always find success if you stick to the healthy basics everyday – having all meals and snacks built from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Steve Neabore, M.D.:  Aim to decrease the amount of animal products you eat, and increase fruits and vegetables. Learn a new recipe! Try to eat as much fiber as you can since it is found only in plants and will leave you feeling full. Emily Kasmar, M.S., N.P.: Health tip for family/friends: offer to cook food! I find that when I go to other people’s homes to eat, especially around the holidays, I’m surrounded by cheese and other animal products. If I bring my own vegan option then not only do I know I have something to eat, but I get to expose other people to a delicious plant-based meal. Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., is the director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee and will help with Barnard Medical Center’s nutrition programs.  She mentions: Consider the colors of your foods for each meal. If your meals are looking sort of beige, think about adding some color! Put some blueberries and banana on your oatmeal; add some fresh lettuce and diced tomato to your rice and beans; throw carrots and broccoli into your tofu stir-fry! What is the most rewarding part of working with patients? What do you look forward to in the New Year? Dr. Angie Eakin: Watching patients’ progress and being present when patients realize how much control they have over their health (watching their face when they see their labs results – numbers dropping). Dr. Steve Neabore: The most rewarding part of working with patients is educating them and seeing positive changes once they adopt an improved lifestyle. Decreasing medication requirements – or even stopping them all together – is extremely rewarding. I’m of course looking forward to the opening of Barnard Medical Center! Nurse Kasmar: Most rewarding part of working with patients is being available to listen to them. Sometimes you can’t fix all of the problems patients may have, but being an open ear for them can often make them feel better. Dietitian Levin: Seeing a patient’s face light up when it finally clicks – no dieting required when you live a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle! It is so simple! I look forward to seeing more of those faces in the new year. Do you have any health-focused resolutions for the New Year? Dr. Steve Neabore: My resolution will be to improve my vegan cooking skills. Nurse Kasmar: I’m still trying to get back to an exercise routine after having a baby, so I signed up for an ultra-marathon in the spring to help me focus on a training schedule. Dietitian Levin: Figuring out how to use my new Instant Pot! I’m told I’ll have more beans in less time – a dream come true. Thank you to the entire Barnard Medical Center team for sharing your health tips with us. We are excited to see the positive impact that you will have on the medical community and wish you the very best!  

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