UZIT Nutrition Weekend: We Are Expressions of What We Eat

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 11:02 Written by Ali Schechter Monday, 27 February 2012 05:53

UZIT NUTRITION 1 UZIT Nutrition Weekend: We Are Expressions of What We Eat

Though there is no straight formula to getting and staying healthy, there is one principle that all speakers at this weekend’s Urban Zen Integrative Therapy program supported in their own way: food is medicine, and what we put into our bodies directly determines our health. There is no way around it: we are expressions of what we eat.

This may sound obvious, because it is. It is so obvious that one can’t help but drop a jaw at the current epidemic of nutritional ignorance in our country. Soaring rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and more are all byproducts of this fundamental disconnect between us and our food. Our inbred agricultural system thrives on keeping people disempowered and under a spell of sugar and starch, while pharmaceutical companies swoop in to Band-Aid the aftermath. Instead of breaking down our food–our food is literally breaking down us.

Things need to change, and we have the power to speed up that process by how we spend our dollar. People all over the world are coming up with solutions to our current out-of-sync state, and we had the pleasure of hearing from a handful of luminaries this weekend, including Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Mark Hyman, among others. Perfectly setting the tone for the enlightening conversations were the beautiful nutrition images donated by Matt Armedariz, Helene Dujardin and Lindsay Moris that were projected throughout the Urban Zen Center.

First, though, we heard from incredible innovators Brooklyn Grange, an organization building commercial organic farms on New York City rooftops. Entering its third season, Brooklyn Grange will expand this spring to a second rooftop farm (45,000 square feet) in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Yes, there will be a CSA. I get giddy imagining all the fresh (and seriously local!) produce made possible by these visionaries.

Next we learned from Brian Halweil, a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institiute, co-Director of Nourishing the Planet and editor of East End Edible Magazine. Brian addressed current issues facing the food system on a global scale. Did you know that we produce more food today than ever on this planet? And yet still millions of people live in poverty and hunger. As Africa urbanizes more quickly than anywhere in the world, we will need sustainable urban farming models like Brooklyn Grange. Or cheap ways to fertilize the ground: like the Acacia tree in Kenya weaving Nitrogen into farm soil. Our interconnectedness became clearer and clearer as Brian spoke, outlining farming and food waste solutions from New York City (Check out Tri-State Biodiesel) to Nigeria (see the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s answer to Cowpea Storage). Most importantly, we need to educate our kids, creating models like Stephen Ritz’s “Green Bronx Machine.”

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Using Food to Navigate Cancer

Last Updated on Thursday, 6 October 2011 06:46 Written by Urban Zen Thursday, 6 October 2011 06:46

collagefoodsolutions 1 Using Food to Navigate Cancer

This morning the Urban Zen Center was home to a wealth of healing wisdom and hands-on, experiential tools all designed to help patients and loved ones navigate cancer in a way that celebrates life and allows patients to “live beyond their diagnosis.” Designed by Stefanie Sacks, M.S., CNS, the last Food Solutions of 2011 proved to be an invaluable, educational event.

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The UltraSimple Diet: Kick Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days

Last Updated on Monday, 3 October 2011 07:47 Written by Urban Zen Monday, 3 October 2011 07:32

IMG 0032 2 The UltraSimple Diet: Kick Start Your Metabolism and Safely Lose up to 10 Pounds in 7 Days
by Dr. Mark Hyman

Imagine that you could solve most of your health problems and lose 10 pounds in 7 days. I know it’s an amazing claim. It might even sound impossible to you … but it IS possible and I’ve seen it work in my practice (and in my own life) hundreds of times over the last 20 years.

A few years ago I realized that I could bring people who can’t come to see me personally this same experience by creating a personalized coaching system that would walk them through everything they need to do step by step to achieve the same results I see with my patients.

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