Kimberly Gomer of Pritikin Longevity Center: “Establish a meditation practice”

Establish a meditation practice. When I have a client who seems stalled or blocked, I advise that they learn to meditate daily. I do TM (Transcendental Meditation) myself and have recommended it to many of my clients. We teach meditation as part of our Pritikin Program. For years, I just could not get into it. […]

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Establish a meditation practice. When I have a client who seems stalled or blocked, I advise that they learn to meditate daily. I do TM (Transcendental Meditation) myself and have recommended it to many of my clients. We teach meditation as part of our Pritikin Program. For years, I just could not get into it. I would sit and try to meditate, using guided meditation, breathing, etc., and all I did was get frustrated. Then, three years ago, I was reading some research, how TM had more than 400 research studies to back its benefits. The rest is history. I have been meditating daily now for three years. It gives you that “pause button” during the day — it’s like a massage for the mind.


As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kimberly Gomer, Director of Nutrition at Pritikin Longevity Center.

In addition to her undergraduate degree in Dietetics/Nutrition and Masters in Public Health Nutrition, Kimberly Gomer brings to the Pritikin Longevity Center more than a decade of experience teaching and inspiring thousands nationwide to eat and live well.

At LIFE Saint Francis PACE Program in New Jersey, she provided medical nutrition therapy for individuals with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity. At community health centers throughout New Jersey, she developed and delivered several wellness programs, including individual and group weight-loss programs for a variety of ages, from students to seniors. And with a grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kimberly created and implemented a curriculum for children in elementary schools called SWEET (Successful Wellness By Eating and Exercising Together).

Kimberly has also served as Nutrition Consultant at the University of Pennsylvania Weight and Eating Disorders Research Group, and has worked as a Nutrition Professor in Ohio and New Jersey.

Kimberly describes her work at the Pritikin Longevity Center as “amazing… I am in awe of how quickly people’s health improves — within days! When guests tell me that they’ve gotten off their blood pressure medication, or that they’ve started to feel healthy and vibrant again, it’s a beautiful thing! Knowing that I’m a part of their success is a privilege. I truly believe that the Pritikin Longevity Center is the best place for people to come to improve their health, reverse disease, and live healthier, happier lives.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in wellness?

I started my journey in nutrition when I was a fetus in the womb. My mother went to her doctor and told him she was gaining weight — and he gave her diet pills! By the time I was a fully grown adult, I had tried every diet out there — read every book and went on every weight-loss program, including the doctor-supervised versions. They all worked, until they didn’t. I decided to get to the root of the problem and went back to school to become a registered dietitian/nutritionist, earning a master’s degree along the way. I figured all that education would uncover the secrets to weight loss — but it didn’t.

The only thing I knew for sure was that diets don’t work. So I made it my life’s mission to help folks not get sucked into the diet culture, and instead help them change their health and lifestyle through nutrition and healthy living. For a decade, I had a private practice that was a general practice, but my heart was in health and healthy eating for longevity. Then I moved to Miami and joined the team at the Pritikin Longevity Center, a world-renowned program, now 47 years strong. I became the Director of the Nutrition Department as part of our immersive program that delivers health education and transformation. We are a team of physicians, exercise physiologists, chefs, nutritionists and behavioral therapists. Guests learn how to live a healthy lifestyle; they get a full medical evaluation, attend lectures and programs, exercise, and learn how to cook and eat healthy. They get to see tangible results (their labs) and how different they can feel firsthand. In other words, at Pritikin we show people what is possible!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I am so lucky in that I have amazing experiences every week at Pritikin! Each week a new group arrives to the program. I provide lectures on healthy eating and do one-on-one counseling. When guests leave, I offer coaching for when they go home. I have literally seen so many amazing transformations! I have helped guests get back their health and their life. They are able to actually “live” again. Recently we had a guest come to our program for three weeks. His triglycerides were 1402 (normal is 150, ideal is 100). In two weeks, it dropped to 214 — without any medication — just living the healthy lifestyle. Most medical professionals would have told him that he has a genetic problem and offered him medication, but at Pritikin we have seen to believe that a lifestyle change can work wonders. He has lost 24 pounds and is on the road back to health!

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I have 20 years of experience in the field of nutrition — a decade in private practice and nearly another at the Pritikin Longevity Center. This experience allows me to recognize the best way to help folks change their behavior. The gift of the Pritikin lifestyle is the confidence we can give people. We have been around for 47 years, and have amassed more than 100 scientific studies backing up what we do. Add to that is the personal experience I bring to my work, I’m able to be empathetic because I have lived both the unhealthy and now the healthy lifestyle. I know the struggle, I get it. Between my interactive lectures and one-on-one counseling, I am able to help clients make changes that are both healthy and sustainable. I don’t give out a diet. Using the client’s labs, lifestyle, goals and motivation, I am able to help them develop a plan and provide support and accountability when they leave the Center. Knowing that I can assure clients that they will have results — and that these results are not only possible but can be maintained for the long term — is priceless. There is no better gift than health. I believe that when I help others, I receive much more in return.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am so thankful for my mentor, Dr. Edith Lerner, the Vice Chair of my Master’s Program at Case Western Reserve University. She modeled to me the nutritionist I wanted to be: authentic, warm and caring. When I was offered a PHD “free ride,” which meant that I would do research while having my PHD funded — a huge endeavor — she gave me the best advice, in asking about my end goal. I wanted to open a private practice and do lifestyle coaching. She pointed out that the PHD would be useful in doing research and teaching, but not necessarily in the direction I wanted to go. I now know that was the best advice. I have reached out to her several times during my career and she has always been there for me, sharing her wisdom and love.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

1 — We restrict too much and then fall off the cliff. We get so hungry, and then don’t know why we can’t sustain the restriction.

2 — Getting sucked into diet culture, setting unrealistic weight and exercise goals. Using social media and trends as a guide.

3 — Impatience and not wanting this to be a journey. Lasting change needs to be done in a meaningful way. We need to slow down, assess and plan and then review and revise. Healthy living is a process — it builds, it ebbs and flows, and we need to let ourselves find the right fit, be it exercise, food, meditation, etc.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

1 — Establish a meditation practice. When I have a client who seems stalled or blocked, I advise that they learn to meditate daily. I do TM (Transcendental Meditation) myself and have recommended it to many of my clients. We teach meditation as part of our Pritikin Program. For years, I just could not get into it. I would sit and try to meditate, using guided meditation, breathing, etc., and all I did was get frustrated. Then, three years ago, I was reading some research, how TM had more than 400 research studies to back its benefits. The rest is history. I have been meditating daily now for three years. It gives you that “pause button” during the day — it’s like a massage for the mind.

2 — Have a (big) salad a day. Eating a large salad every day gives you nutrition and fiber that will help all parts of health. I find that my clients who do this feel better and lose weight more consistently. Now there are all those salad places so you don’t have to do it yourself!

3 — Avoid eating after dinner. This will help you sleep better, focus better and wake up ready to slay your day! It also helps for my weight-loss clients.

4 — Incorporate cardio. Endorphins — those happy chemicals — provide bone protection, increase balance and movement. Try Zumba or my favorite, the IFIT program on my Nordic Track treadmill. I do a coached program: 30 minutes on an intuitive treadmill in an exotic location. Intervals are awesome!

5 — Add in strength training. Muscle is metabolic currency. I get questioned all the time about what my clients can eat or drink to speed metabolism. Folks blame hormones and all sorts of things for their inability to lose weight. The secret? It’s the food and the muscle — the pair is the answer.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

1 — Endorphins, Endorphins, Endorphins.

2 — Strength and Balance.

3 — Metabolic Currency (see above)

Extra Credit — Cute workout clothes!

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

Movement that gets the heart rate up — start out by trying yoga/Pilates and strength training

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss, a psychiatrist from Miami who discovered past lives in a patient he was treating. His books show you that this is not the first or last life we will live.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It’s not all that original, but enough folks aren’t doing it. Getting people away from diet culture — all the trillions of dollars spent on dieting that could be used on health — so others can live their best and healthiest life. It’s not the same for everyone. We need to treat everyone as an individual and not preach to the masses that there is only one way to find health and well-being. We know that when guests come to Pritikin — anywhere from one week to six months or more — we see transformations in health and well-being right before our eyes.

People are not given certain information from medical professionals, and they really do not understand that blood pressure is associated with salt intake. Many of our guests will reduce or completely get off a blood pressure medicine in days. And many are able to stay off of it when they return home.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“BETTER IS BETTER.” I use it for myself and my clients. We judge ourselves too harshly and we need to understand that no one is perfect and appreciate that doing better is truly better.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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