Carrie Levine: “Optimal physical wellness also requires rest and restoration”

Optimal physical wellness also requires rest and restoration. Rest and restoration are sorely undervalued and dismissed in our society. Our bodies, minds, and spirits need a chance to slow down and recover. How many women have I spoken with who feel relieved in response to COVID restrictions, whether it be no longer having to commute, […]

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Optimal physical wellness also requires rest and restoration. Rest and restoration are sorely undervalued and dismissed in our society. Our bodies, minds, and spirits need a chance to slow down and recover. How many women have I spoken with who feel relieved in response to COVID restrictions, whether it be no longer having to commute, kids after-school-activities being curtailed, or feeling absolved from going to the gym? Many women are working harder than ever, but some women feel relieved.

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewingCarrie Levine.

Carrie Levine, The Whole Life Midwife, integrates science and spirit to help women reclaim their health and wholeness.

As a Certified Nurse Midwife and functional medicine practitioner with over 20 years of combined clinical experience, she’s worked with thousands of women.

Her process is centered around nutrition and lifestyle, understanding the biochemistry of physiological imbalances, recognizing symptom patterns, honoring each individual, and allowing space for mystery.

Carrie addresses health issues at every stage of a woman’s life: From teenage hormone imbalances to pre- and post-pregnancy challenges, menopause, digestive issues, depression, and everything in between.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up in suburban Boston and never felt like I fit in. This was exacerbated by my parents’ divorce at a time when and in a place where divorce was a novelty. I was a weird kid cloaked in convention. At 11 years old, I read about Transcendental Meditation in an effort to help my insomnia. At 13 years old, in 1983, I was going to yoga class. I also went on my first outdoor expedition at 13. I got it in my head I wanted to bike in Nova Scotia so I found a six-week trip that included biking, hiking part of the Appalachian Mountain Trail, canoeing the Allagash Waterway, rafting, and rock climbing. It was on this trip I was introduced to Johari’s Window and this changed my life. I learned to give and receive feedback.

In high school, I took a class called “Body/Mind Science” for gym credit. Instead of dodge ball I learned about the Feldenkrais method, meditation, crystal healing, and other non-conventional healing modalities. I was seeking health at an oddly young age.

I graduated high school at the end of my junior year because I felt like school was ‘wasting my time.’ During what would have been my senior year of high school I worked at Crabtree and Evelyn with a woman who was a botanist and began to learn about the healing properties of plants. I also worked in a dental office that only did root canals. I learned how to take an x-ray and about the anatomy of the skull. I loved learning.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I started my college career at the University of Maine in Orono. I got a job at the student health center as a peer counselor in the women’s clinic. My work as a peer counselor was my first engagement with women within a health care system. AIDS was on the rise and fear was rampant on the college campus. I provided a lot of contraceptive counseling. My supervisor, Ruth, was the kindest, smartest, most impassioned and level-headed woman I had ever met.

Ruth was part of a group of women starting a feminist health clinic in Bangor called The Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center. Initially, there was no brick and mortar building. The collective provided a day-long health conference called “Health in Our Hands.” At this conference I learned why women crave chocolate premenstrually, about Chinese medicine, and herbal healing. Dr. Christiane Northrup, a founding mother of Women to Women Health Care Center and author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom shared the keynote with Deb Soule, founder of Avena Botanicals, an herbal apothecary in West Rockport, Maine. Seeing them stand together and listening to them speak was my ‘ah-ha’ moment. In that moment, I understood good health care is not either medicine or alternative care, but the best of what each has to offer depending on the circumstances and the individual.

When I graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Public Relations and Women’s Studies, I returned to Bangor to consult with Ruth. I knew I wanted to work with women and in health care. I chose the conventional health care system because that is where I felt I could affect the most change. Ruth probed gently, “How long do you want to be in school for? How much debt do you want to incur?” She suggested I consider becoming a nurse practitioner.

In the state of Maine, nurse practitioners are licensed to practice independently. We do not need physician supervision like a Physician’s Assistant. We can prescribe medication. Our services are reimbursed by insurance companies. Most nurse practitioner programs take two years to complete but you have to be a nurse first. There were programs around the country for people who had a Bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing so after completing the nursing school requirements you were admitted directly to the nurse practitioner program. I started the program at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and completed my studies through what is now known as Frontier Nursing University.

I started in the Women’ Health Nurse Practitioner program at CWRU. Once there, I quickly realized that I wanted to be a Nurse Midwife. Women’s Health Nurse Practitionerss take care of women throughout the lifespan except for the childbearing year. Nurse Midwives care for women throughout the lifespan including the childbearing year. I didn’t want to miss taking care of women during any life stage. And, being in the labor room was a lot like helping women do other physically challenging things like rock climb and climb big mountains. I had a lot of experience supporting women doing physically challenging things.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My husband has encouraged me to be who I am today in as human a way as possible. It has not always been easy on him. Whether it was moving to Cleveland so we could be together while I attended graduate school (he did earn a Master’s Degree and sailed to Greenland during that time so not all was lost for him), maintaining a job while I completed clinical rotations, taking care of our babies while I was at births for days at a time, being a present parent while I worked an hour away from home, or taking the financial risk to start my clinic Whole Woman Health, a lot of what I’ve done has been made possible by him. Currently, he is encouraging of my writing a book about functional medicine for women.

When I was tending births and hadn’t made it home for a while, I would call to check in to see how things were going for him and the kids. I remember calling home one night and inquired about what was for dinner. He answered, “hamburgers and potatoes.” I asked if he was making a vegetable. “Ketchup and pickles. Those are our vegetables.” There you go. You get to have help and encouragement and you get to accept it the way it is given.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

When I interviewed for a position at Women to Women, I really, really, really wanted the job. I wanted to stop tending births so I could be more present for myself and my family. I wanted to be part of the legacy there. I wanted to learn all there was to learn not knowing at the time it was called functional medicine. During the interview, Marcelle (the last of the founding mothers and owner of the clinic) asked, “What are your thoughts about supplements?” I answered, “I think if you eat well and live a balanced life, supplements are unnecessary.” She said, “Well, I profoundly disagree.” My thought bubble was ‘oh well…guess I just blew this interview…would have been nice.’ Fortunately, I rebounded and said, “Tell me more about your perspective.” It’s hard to imagine what my career would be like had I not learned about functional medicine at Women to Women.

Here’s a funny story: I was driving my then four-year-old son to preschool and my pager went off. I returned the call and had a phone conversation with a woman about whether or not her water had broken. My son heard only my part of the conversation. From the back seat, my son asked, “Mommy, what water breaks when a baby comes?” I explained the rupture of membranes in four-year-old terms. I don’t think many four-year-old kids understand what ‘rupture of membranes’ means. I like to think my son’s childbirth education by proxy will serve him and his partner well should they decide to have children.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I was the girl with debilitating menstrual cramps in bed for days under blankets and heating pads with the Advil bottle close at hand. I once rode in an ambulance from the grocery store to the hospital because my cramps were so severe I couldn’t walk or drive. The emergency room doctor was sure I had an ectopic pregnancy even though I knew being pregnant at that time was impossible. Right around the time I stopped taking birth control pills to manage my painful periods, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom was published. I remember sitting up in bed reading voraciously about the effect of nutrition on hormone balance. I was a vegetarian, eating tons of carbohydrates and non-organic dairy, and had never been heavier. The book offered a continuum of options for a range of women’s health issues. I thought to myself ‘okay, more protein, less dairy and organic dairy when I do, regular aerobic exercise, and a B-complex vitamin.’ Bob Roundtree wrote a couple of books with a similar approach: lifestyle modifications, nutrition, botanicals, supplements, and medications. Again, it’s not either/or, it’s the best of each, and for each of us to choose.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

I love quotes but would be hard pressed to choose a favorite. One mantra I return to over and over again is, ‘Tomorrow, it’s likely I will feel different.’ Since the tragic death of my teenage daughter in 2018, I try to allow the sad, the dark, the grief to have its due and to remember that no matter how sad or dark things feel, I usually feel different the next day. This keeps fear at bay — fear that every day is going to feel like a tsunami I am unable to get my head above.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Thank you for this question!!! I am so excited to share I am launching a new brand, Beautiful Messy Wholeness at the end of the month. I’ve completed a book proposal to write about functional medicine for women that will get pitched in February. No one has written a book that provides an overview of the functional medicine model. When women come to the clinic and I explain to them how their symptoms are connected they often ask, “Is there a book I can read to learn more?” Currently, there is not. There are many niche books on the market — autoimmune disease, hormone balance, gut health, and weight loss. Many of these books push the purchase of proprietary supplements and include 28-day eating plans. I never want women to feel pressed to buy supplements and while 28-day eating plans can help many, I am opposed to protocol-based health care. It is imperative to me to treat women as individuals because we are all biochemically unique. Yes, there are patterns and shared commonalities and yes, there is universal wisdom to be shared. But women are too inclined to give their power over to a health professional with the hope that someone else knows better than they. 28-day eating plans can leave many women frustrated and still not feeling well. I’m an advocate of having as much information as possible when making health decisions. This includes the woman, the practitioner, the science, and the data.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

One of the things I love most about functional medicine and systems biology is that everything is connected to everything. Our body systems do not exist in isolation from each other — they are contained within our bodies. We are whole. What’s going on in our minds is not separate from what’s going in our gut, which is not separate from what’s happening to our skin and or to our sleep. The metaphor of a spider web can be helpful to understand how body systems are interconnected. When you pull on one thread in the web, the entire shape of the web changes. Just like when we care for ourselves.

Mental wellness requires the biochemical substrates necessary to make neurotransmitters, hormones that affect mood. Serotonin, the anti-depressant neurotransmitter and GABA, the anti-anxiety neurotransmitter, are primarily made in the gut. People think they are made in the brain but about 90% of serotonin and GABA are made in the gut. So, if you have underlying gut issues like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or GERD, chances are good you are not optimally making your neurotransmitters. Those imbalances need to be corrected. The biochemical substrates necessary to make neurotransmitters come from whole foods. Foods that we could hunt or gather are the best foods for us. We need lots of vegetables, good healthy fats like those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and salmon, and protein — either from animals or plants. Shopping the periphery of the grocery store, as opposed to the interior aisles largely stocked with packaged food, helps ensure we are eating whole foods. Eating the rainbow — foods of a variety of colors — helps ensure we get a wide range of micronutrients essential for neurotransmitter production.

There are thousands of reasons to exercise regularly. The health benefits of regular exercise cannot be encapsulated. If you can find a way to move that you love, that is ideal, but if you can’t, exercise anyway. Exercise is medicine. Specific to mental wellness, 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day increases serotonin levels like Zoloft, a medication commonly prescribed for depression. Additionally, exercise increases endorphins, feel-good neurotransmitters. Even if you hate exercise, you may find your mood is much improved despite yourself! Exercise is also a healthy stress management tool. The physical relief from stress, the meditative nature of repetitive motion, and a focus on the body instead of the mind afford significant health benefits. I recommend 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. There is also emerging data about high intensity interval training affording similar benefits.

The health benefits of forest-bathing are getting quite a bit of attention of late. I encourage patients to spend time outside. It’s essential we get off our screens and out of chairs, breathe outside air, feel the weather, and be reminded we are but a speck on a large, spinning planet. Perspective is everything. When we remember forces bigger than us, beings smaller than us, that we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves, our troubles may not seem so big. I’ve been known to lay myself flat on the earth when my own emotions feel too big to hold. I find relief in connecting physically with the earth and sharing my burden.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

I have intermittently meditated in the classic sit-on-a-cushion-legs-crossed throughout my life. Honestly, I feel like I’ve never been able to ‘do it’ right. Only rarely am I able to quiet my mind or separate from it enough to simply observe. I do have a journal writing practice I’ve maintained since the outdoor trip I took at 13. I write stream-of-conscious each morning I am able, for varying lengths of time. I am grateful for writing as an outlet to ‘dump’ my feelings. Writing frees me emotionally.

I practice yoga at least once a week. I grew up practicing Kripalu yoga so sometimes I just stretch and breath and move. I attended a modified ashtanga vinyasa class for years. Through that class I learned a sequence of postures that I am able to (inaccurately) replicate at home! This has served me well during COVID. Because the postures are sequenced, I am, on occasion, able to drop into moving and breathing without thinking. Yoga helps me feel physically flexible and strong which helps me feel emotionally flexible and strong.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

I’m going to start sounding redundant because the foundations of wholeness support all aspects of well-being. Optimum physical wellness is contingent on consuming lots and lots of vegetables. Vegetables are high in fiber. Fiber fuels the cells in our digestive system. The digestive system is home to our immune system. So, a healthy digestive system is indicative of a healthy immune system. A healthy immune system is optimal wellness at its finest; It is essentially cancer prevention. Healthy digestive and immune systems are essential for optimal detoxification and hormone balance, prevention against developing autoimmune disease, and mood stability. Fiber also helps form regular stools and helps us feel full. Many a patient’s ails are remedied by the seemingly simple lifestyle intervention of eating more vegetables (it’s simple, and it’s not). Bowel movements become regular, skin flares quiet, and muscle and joint pain are reduced.

Vegetables are also rich in phytonutrients, beneficial substances found in plants. Examples of phytonutrients are lycopene from tomatoes and resveratrol from red wine or grapes. There is a lot of data on the nutrients in specific foods and how those nutrients can prevent or treat disease. The variety of colors in different vegetables indicates a variety of phytonutrients. This is the rationale for “eat the rainbow.” When we eat vegetables with a variety of colors, we get a variety of phytonutrients. If we only eat peas and carrots, we don’t get what blueberries have to offer. And blueberries have a lot of health benefits to offer!!!

Physical movement is also a crucial component of physical wellness. It helps optimize organ function from bowels to heart. It helps optimize physiologic functions like blood pressure and sleep. Moving keeps us able-bodied. Movement begets more movement: Once people start moving they generally feel better and want to move more. So many patients who feel physically restricted as a result of a sedentary lifestyle feel able once they start moving.

I’m an advocate of sustainable movement. I work with patients to identify an activity they enjoy, if possible, and encourage starting with three 10-minute sessions a week for a month. We expand the frequency and duration of the exercise over time. When patients tell me they hate exercising, I tell them they have to do it anyway. The health benefits of exercise can’t be encapsulated in a pill. Exercise is medicine.

I think of a patient who was in her 70s and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. She had seen her primary care doctor who recommended medication for her high blood pressure and diabetes. She said to me, ‘there has to be another way.’ She started walking at the local YMCA and over the course of six months, her blood pressure and blood sugar normalized. She also found she could work in her garden again, when she previously felt too tired to do so.

Optimal physical wellness also requires rest and restoration. Rest and restoration are sorely undervalued and dismissed in our society. Our bodies, minds, and spirits need a chance to slow down and recover. How many women have I spoken with who feel relieved in response to COVID restrictions, whether it be no longer having to commute, kids after-school-activities being curtailed, or feeling absolved from going to the gym? Many women are working harder than ever, but some women feel relieved.

Our adrenals need a break from constantly producing stress hormones DHEA, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. When these hormones are depleted, we are likely to experience a long list of adverse health issues including hormone imbalance, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, mid-section weight gain, memory loss, and high blood pressure.

I’ve cared for women who developed chronic diarrhea from over-training; for women who were unable cook dinner while kids asked questions, the news blared, and the phone rang because their minds were so over-stimulated; and for women who were unable to get out of bed upon the discovery of their partners infidelity. My prescription for all of these women: Rest and restoration.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, 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 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

The primary obstacles to people doing what they know is good for themselves, including eating well, are unresolved trauma and lack of education, access, and affordability. Most of us have experienced trauma in our lives — car accidents, divorce, bullying, abortion, war, gun violence, date rape, physical abuse, and workplace discrimination to name a few. Trauma activates our survival mechanisms of fight, flight, and freeze. If we are unable to do something about the threat we experience, our central nervous system stays activated. A cycle of pain and fear is ingrained in our brain, ultimately changing the physical structure of our brain. We are locked into a cycle of stress hormone production which has its own physiologic consequence. We do irrational things when we operate from the survival center of our brain. Healing trauma entails healing our brains and our central nervous systems.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge lack of education, access, and affordability as barriers to healthy eating. Too many people in our country are under-educated in terms of good health practices (artificial sweeteners are not food and are a significant source of inflammation manifesting as diarrhea and fibromyalgia-type symptoms). Too many people in our country are unable to access healthy food or it is unaffordable. Vegetables are more expensive (and rot faster) than macaroni and cheese. Many people no longer know how to cook, so even if they buy fresh or frozen vegetables they may not know how to prepare them, have a kitchen in which to do so, or the time to figure it out.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Building community — connection to others — contributes to optimum emotional wellness. The field of sociogenomics is generating the data in support of this claim. COVID is shining light on this in irrefutable ways. Increased levels of suicide and domestic violence are well documented and the result of people’s increased feelings of social isolation.

The research supporting mindfulness as a practice that leads to emotional wellness is prolific. Mindfulness allows us to be aware of what we are doing now. Mindfulness enables us to make conscious choices so we can live on-purpose instead of on autopilot. It also allows for non-judgement, separating us from negative emotions. This results in us responding differently to our lives. We are more able to regulate our emotions. We are more able to free ourselves from trying to control things that are uncontrollable. We also free ourselves from fear and its subsequent physiological effects. The net result is more positive emotions and a greater feeling of calm and peace. Who doesn’t want that?

Many women have successfully addressed their disordered eating through mindful eating programs. Many of us eat while we work, watch television, drive, or do other things. The lack of attention to what we eat contributes to poor food choices and subsequent poor physical and emotional health. Research shows mindless eating is a contributing factor to obesity. Mindful eating means paying full attention to how we buy, prepare, serve, and consume our food. Attention to food has positive effects not only on our emotional health but also our planetary health.

Developing a gratitude practice can contribute to optimal emotional wellness. Research shows that gratitude can increase happiness, improve relationships, and enhance well-being. Gratitude has been shown to reduce symptoms of mental illness. One of the best gifts I ever received was a gratitude jar — a mason jar filled with slips of paper and a pen. I wrote down what I was grateful for over the course of the year, stored the papers in the jar, and at the end of the year read and remembered all of the things for which I was grateful. .

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

I think smiling can improve emotional wellness. It falls into the categories of ‘fake it till you make it,’ and ‘how you look on the outside can invoke how you feel on the inside.’ But as a person who’s received the feedback “you’re so serious” and “you look mad all the time” since the age of 13, I feel a little bit like no one should have to force themselves to appear to look different than they feel. Women have a long history of dissociating from their earnest emotions to please others, so if we’re smiling on the outside but that’s not how we feel on the inside, forcing a smile can be a breach of integrity. On the one hand, I support honest expression and on the other hand, I do think we can shift how we feel through what we do on the outside. I know for me donning a tough-looking pair of boots can help me feel ready for whatever comes next.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Spiritual wellness is the aspect of health that allows us to live consistently with our beliefs and morals. It fuels our sense of purpose and our understanding of the meaning of life and life events. One of the primary ways I do this is through reading books. I am an avid read of non-fiction as I seek to make sense of my life and this world. I enjoy a broad range of perspectives — Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, esoteric — any and all of it. Each perspective offers different pearls, ways to tweak my perspective so I can feel greater peace about my life. On the table next to the desk where I sit and write right now is a pile: Mary Magdalene Revealed by Meggan Watterson, Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza, The Interior Castle: St Teresa of Avila by Mirabai Starr, Belonging by Toko-pa Turner, and Eye of the Heart by Cynthia Beourgeault. Each of these books offers me wisdom and comfort as I sit with discomfort from the death of my daughter.

Pursuing ongoing inquiry into the purpose of our life is a practice that sustains spiritual wellness. We are dynamic beings. We are not intended to stay the same — on any level. It would be tragic to be the same person at 50 as were at 30 as growth and evolution are essential and inevitable. There is grace when we go forth willingly. Exploring the purpose of our life keeps us living on-purpose instead of on autopilot. Living on autopilot is the fastest road to spiritual death I’ve ever observed.

The necessity to grow and evolve often hits mid-life women hard. By mid-life, many of us have defined ourselves through our roles as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, caretakers, and/or employees. As the people around us change we find our service to them has to change, too. Largely, what’s needed is greater service to ourselves. The symptoms of menopause and physical effects of aging demand we change. If we don’t change, we largely feel dis-ease — an undeniable, inescapable discomfort within. Actively pursuing change, welcoming it, and taking it by the horns allows for a peaceful midlife transition as opposed to a crisis.

Practice spending time in silence. When it is quiet, we can be receptive to hearing the Still Voice Within, the Knowing, the voice of God, intuition, or any of the other names you want to call it. When there is constant input from television, radio, or people around us, it can be difficult to identify what we think and feel, let alone be receptive to guidance from within or above. Silence is a gateway to connecting to that which is not tangible or visible. Silence can be excruciating painful for some people yet it is a worthy practice. Through silence we are able to access otherwise inaccessible sources of information.

I took care of a woman who was in her 40s, a home health nurse who spent a lot of time driving, and the mother of a special needs child. Her life was, by her own admonition, non-stop. She was exhausted, unhappy at work, and not caring for her family or herself as she wanted. She couldn’t identify what she wanted or needed. I encouraged her to back up her alarm in the morning by five minutes. I encouraged her to do in that five minutes anything she wanted — sit on a meditation cushion, read the bible, read poetry, light a candle, anything. Within six weeks of practicing silence she was able to identify the change she wanted to make at work, her priorities for her own health, and three things at home she could outsource. These changes enabled her to be more the person she wanted to be.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I’m interested in putting the ‘care’ back into ‘health care’ as opposed to the ‘sick care’ that currently exists in this country. We need an education system that trains health professionals humanely and compels them to live a healthy lifestyle. We need health professionals who are interested in understanding all the factors, including physiologic mechanisms, that drive disease. We need a system that allows for practitioner and patient to share time to explore all the variables contributing to a health issue. We need a model of health care in which teaching, supporting, and coaching are not only allowed, but required. We need a food system that affords all citizens access to high quality, whole, nutrient-dense food. We need health technologies and medications priced fairly and do not pharmaceutical and insurance executives.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

I would love to share a meal with cookbook author and chef Samin Nosrat. Samin’s cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat aims to teach people basic concepts of cooking real food so people are empowered to cook nutritious food for themselves. She is silly, humble, and hilarious. She is committed to community as evidenced by taking over 300 pounds of community fruit, making jam, then selling the jam at auction as a fundraiser. She is human, a grassroots organizer, and a powerful woman.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Follow me at due to launch at the end of this month and at You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Alignable.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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