Dine With A Doc: Nutritional Education For Physicians


Since November of 2018, a small group has been meeting to try and develop a culinary medicine program for practicing physicians in Columbus. In medical school, the curriculum devoted to nutrition averages 19 hours- focusing largely on biochemistry and vitamin deficiency states.  Health includes multiple components such as exercise and  diet.  Culinary medicine helps patients use nutrition and good cooking to restore and maintain health while combining scientific principles related to nutrition, behavior and medicine.  Currently curriculum using the Tulane Culinary Medicine  Program is being taught at OSU, Mt. Carmel and Nationwide Children’s medical students and residents.  Most recently physicians met at Local Matters, local non-profit that creates healthy communities through food education, access and advocacy.


One area of focus in culinary medicine is mindful eating. The tenets of mindfulness are very relevant in today’s obesity epidemic.  Having patients ask “Am I really hungry?” and “ Am I ready to stop eating?”  Encourage one to slowly observe the texture, taste and temperature of food. Learn to become aware of emotional responses that trigger eating- sad, mad, glad, and scared plus the external clues such as buffet, family style eating, TV ads, eating from containers.  And finally to become aware of distraction while eating- working on computer, talking on the phone, reading or watching TV.


The first week of June several physicians from various specialties gathered to prepare healthy Quinoa and Black Bean Salad, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Guacamole and Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding under the leadership of Chef Laura Robertson-Boyd. Preparing and cooking together is a wonderful way to learn and share.  While enjoying the fruits of everyone’s labors there was a discussion of how to continue this process. There are opportunities for a variety of levels of involvement. Physicians can volunteer with Local Matters for their community classes or the local involved hospitals. Some physicians are planning on holding classes locally for their own patients which presents a way to connect with patients beyond the pressured time of an appointment. This undertaking will called Dine With a Doc and held locally here in Columbus. Additionally, a discussion concerned the possibility of having a Culinary Medicine CME for physicians to gain more knowledge and expertise. 


If interested in becoming involved in future events please contact Dr. Liz Lottes, llottes@aol.com.