Rekindle your relationship with food. Reboot your family history.

by | Jan 30, 2020 | Other News

Tom Purcell, MIchael Roizen, Sandra Porter Leon.

Filling a room with more than 250 people, Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Wellness Officer, plant-based nutrition advocate, and author of What to Eat When, Dr. Michael Roizen came with a few surprises and a healthy dose of scientific data to back them up. A pre-event warmup included a box lunch, group stretch, and a Q + A led by Tom Purcell, Simon Family JCC fitness director and Sandra Porter Leon, former JCC president.

Porter Leon, a registered dietitian-nutritionist, and professor of nutrition at TCC, introduced Roizen, author of four #1 New York Times bestsellers and nine overall bestsellers. Roizen spoke at the Sandler Family Campus on January 16, as part of the 2020 Lee and Bernard Jaffe Jewish Book Festival. The doctor’s message for everyone is simple: Eat when the sun is out.

Upon his arrival, Roizen sprinted on stage and got right to the science behind increased longevity and decreased disability. While there is no medicine to treat dementia, he listed the nutritional, exercise, and stress management tools to keep your brain young and your heart strong. (Hint: Crossword puzzles will not do the trick, but speed-in-processing video games might.) Stress management, even something as simple as misting your pillow or yoga mat with lavender, or 15 minutes of online-guided meditation, could go right to your head.

“I was surprised by the science on stress. I had no idea it played that large of a role in health,” says Lee Belote. “It always seemed like common sense, but I didn’t realize there was so much science to back it up. I did find the timing data interesting. I may try that, but I’m more of a grazer.”

“It confirmed that I already eat very similar to the plan Dr, Roizen suggested,” says Purcell, a lifetime fitness professional. “I’m a BIG breakfast eater, moderate lunch, and small dinner. Small snack at night. He also confirmed areas of improvement for my clients who are not eating breakfast and their largest meal is at night. They snack on processed foods.”

More good news.

Second chances are infinite. Roizen likes to quote Dr. Michael Crupain, preventive medicine specialist and co-author of What to Eat When. “The sun rises every day.” In other words, mistakes don’t kill you. Do overs are part of the plan.

Roizen’s presentation was engaging and funny,” says Purcell. “I’m hoping he’ll return when his cookbook comes out. I’m grateful we have a team putting this level of programming out there partly because it makes us stand out from other wellness facilities. We’re in our own league.”

For years, Porter-Leon has used Roizen’s “Owner’s Manual” books as a teaching tool in her nutrition classes at TCC. “What I love about What to Eat When are the tasty morsels that Dr. Roizen dishes out, a wellness buffet steeped in scientific data that helps us live a healthier life,” she says. “From antioxidants to zinc, the doctor administers practical advice that makes it easy for anyone to understand what and when to eat.”

Dr. Michael Roizen’s Top Takeaways

1. You have the power (and responsibility) to change your family history.
2. Stress management is most essential to improving quality and quantity of life.
3. Your relationship with food will touch your heart.
4. Eat foods that love you back. For example, salmon and ocean trout, and the most effective antioxidants such as coffee and blueberries. Foods that don’t love you back are simple sugars, and saturated fat in red meat, chicken egg yolks, and high-fat dairy.
5. Smell the roses. Join the olfactory revolution.
6. There is no medicine for dementia. Keep your brain young with stress reduction, friends and purpose, daily exercise (10,000 steps daily), and mindful eating.
7. To control weight, take advantage of your body’s natural circadian rhythm, eat when the sun is out. Time restricted eating—eating small meals for 8 hours and refraining for 16.
8. Sleep at least 7–8 hours every night. Nap to relieve stress.
9. Avoid toxins in tobacco and alcohol or making direct contact with BPA found on most receipts.

– Lisa Richmon, photographs by Mark Robbins