“Alignment” can be defined as an “integration or harmonization of aims.” I use the term here more specifically to describe an interconnection of events that could not have happened to me otherwise, if I was not honest, open, aware and – most importantly – authentic with myself.
The series of events I refer to led up to my experience with Dr. John Principe, the creator and founder of WellBeingMD Center for Life in Palos Heights, Illinois.
Some doctors’ offices have nutritionists on board, some have chiropractors and physical therapists for rehabilitating patients, and some alternative practices work with an acupuncturist. However, few doctors’ offices, if any, boast what Dr. Principe’s office has – a professional teaching kitchen with hands-on cooking and demonstration classes, complete trainer-guided exercise programs ranging from Zumba to Tai Chi, as well as acupuncture, chiropractic and massage.
Did I mention the other side of this coin is a full medical practice? The two approaches, like Yin and Yang, form a unique recipe called the Roadmap to Wellness program, whose main goal is to help patients take back control of their health.
I had the distinct pleasure of working with Dr. Principe for four days at the end of November, after hearing about his unique practice in a New York Times article in April of this year.
Aware that I was a resident physician and a Natural Gourmet Chef’s Training graduate, Dr. Principe put me to work the very first day! I saw patients in the morning and, by the afternoon, I was making french omelets for the employee staff for lunch. This was a unique experience because I saw patients with chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, which could be prevented by preparing health-supportive meals.
By the second day, I was sautéing and roasting locally grown carrots and peppers in preparation for a Teach & Learn class on omega fatty acids. For this class, we prepared wild-caught Alaskan salmon and carrot bisque with kale-chia seed pesto on extra virgin olive oil-laced whole wheat baguette.
By the fourth night, we prepared and served a meal to the Emergency Medicine Journal Club of Christ Hospital. While it is certainly a privilege to teach patients the importance of healthy eating and living, it’s likewise an honor to share those concepts with colleagues as well. The menu:
- Dr. P’s homemade marinated black olives with fresh bruschetta
- Wild-caught, grilled Alaskan salmon with roasted whole wheat couscous on balsamic-glazed mixed greens
- Red wine-poached pears with whipped ricotta cheese
Dr. Principe’s mission at WellBeingMD is to promote and educate about healthy and sustainable living so patients can take back their health. I was very blessed and fortunate to work and learn from him for that short time, and I know his pioneering vision is shared by many and is just the beginning. To learn more about Dr. Principe’s work and related topics:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtT6_1vtjzQ (Dr. Principe’s TEDx Talk)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2RNTsJpDfM (Kale-Chia Pesto Demonstration)