I have shared with many of you my plight to fight my tendency to have elevated cholesterol levels. It has been a decade long battle for me which has included the help of my internist and medication. I have recently become aware (again!) of the importance of food choices as a means to impact my general health and specifically my cholesterol. I have had the good fortune of not having been challenged by maintaining my weight but do appreciate that the right choices, from a dietary standpoint, go a long way towards health and wellness. Food truly is a very powerful tool for our bodies, serving as fuel to drive the human machine.
I am a big fan of self-education and research, through books, articles and work online. There are an overwhelming number of diets and meal plans on the market. While I do feel that each of us probably responds differently to various programs, I have been impressed with what a plant- based diet can do for your health and well-being. My wife introduced me to The GEM as one option to embrace a healthier lifestyle, improve my cholesterol and re-energize. I have personally used their program and really enjoyed what it has done for me. After a period of time, It allowed me to become leaner, provided me with more energy and helped me avoid unhealthy foods. I have become hooked!
I started meeting with Leslie and Mary Kathryn about how we might incorporate a program like theirs into our surgical regimen. They have worked hard and put together this plan which involves a 3- day program before and after surgery as a start. It is our hope that this program will help the body better cope with the stress of surgery.
With that, I thought it would be great for our patients to learn a little bit more about Leslie and Mary Kathryn, who started the GEM some time ago and worked very hard to help me create a program that our surgical patients would benefit from.
Below is a Q&A with Leslie and Mary Kathryn- check it out!
Tell us how you two met and what made you start the GEM together? We met at our children’s school in 2005. After my cancer treatment, I discovered first-hand the power of juice, clean food, alkalinity and positivity. MK was part of that journey, and we quickly realized there was no other place in town that catered to our love of organic food and juice. So, in 2012, we opened the first free-standing organic juice bar in Dallas–The GEM—a place to shine brighter.
What went into choosing the components of your juices and how did you arrive at them? The original juice—the Green Glow– was what I juiced on a daily basis during my treatment. All of our juices are created with a therapeutic balance of fruit to green vegetables making them delicious, without being overly sweet.
Leslie, you have been very open about your cancer battle. Can you share how the program helped you through that very difficult time? The day after my diagnosis, I purchased a juicer and vitamix and began learning about the power of food on my health, my recovery, as well as my long-term prognosis. In addition to the conventional therapies-surgeries, chemo, radiation, more surgeries, I started to dig deep into illness and disease—what I could do to help in the healing process AND make certain it never came back. It brought me incredible comfort to know there was something in my control. I also realized how much better I felt—almost immediately—after consuming these nutrient dense foods.
Lastly, can you share with us why you chose the foods/juices you did as part of this program? We know that what we put into our bodies directly affects healing. It is critical to the success of any positive outcome. We worked closely with Dr. Kenkel to define a set of goals that would decrease the likelihood of complications and help each patient move to a quick and glowing recovery. Each item was carefully selected for their specific benefits-such as bromelain for bruising, collagen to lessen scarring, protein for connective tissue healing, turmeric to reduce inflammation. Plant-based nutrition is incredibly powerful!
Knowledge is power and it is our hope that by introducing our patients to Leslie and Mary Kathryn, they might begin to take a closer look at their personal dietary habits. Eating healthy does not mean the food tastes bad. On the contrary, I have found that I appreciate foods so much more than in the past and even tried foods that I never would have, only to regret the fact that I waited so long to try them!
Our program for surgical recovery is completely optional. It is important to understand that I have no financial interest in the GEM or this program. I just believe in it. Take a look at the program and ask Leslie, Mary Kathryn, and me any and every question you have. We know that you will learn a great deal! Whether it is with this program or some other one, our goal is to help you realize the power and benefits of eating right and healthy. FOOD IS FUEL!
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