This January, Prevention Magazine offered two days of reviving, refreshing, and reinventing here in our very own city. Guest speakers including Travis Stork, MD, of the emmy-nominated show The Doctors, Top Chef Masters alum Monica Pope, and others presented ways for consumers to optimize their health through pillars of mind and body, diet, beauty, and fitness. This exclusive event brought together leading minds for a landmark weekend, and the AFM team gained some great tips and advice to apply towards 2016.
Often referred to as “The Alice Waters of the Third Coast,” this Top Chef alum has a list of accolades to back up her culinary talents. Pope kicked off the summit with a menu of healthy, hearty bites. The highlights of the selection included shaved Brussels sprout salad, grilled polenta with sausage, Indian spiced meatless meatballs and cheesecake with lemon curd. Pope has always called Houston home and has made it her mission in life to heal and help the city through good food. Houston frequently ranks on the “Fattest Cities in America” lists, but Pope is determined to use a healthy, food-oriented approach to change that.
He’s the leading the movement to make transcendental meditation a part of every person’s daily routine. He’s worked with everyone including Oprah, Dr. Oz, Jerry Seinfeld, Cameron Diaz, the NBA and dozens of other celebrities and athletes. Roth is the executive director of The David Lynch Foundation, an organization that uses TM to heal traumatic stress in prisons, homeless shelters and the military. He has integrated his programs in at-risk area schools, which have all shown dramatic improvements since. He explained that there are three types of meditation, but he specializes in only this one. The TM technique allows your mind to easily settle inward, through quieter levels of thought, until you experience the most silent and peaceful level of your own awareness—pure consciousness.
You may recognize him from The Bachelor, or you may know him from the daytime medical talk show The Doctors. His specialty is emergency medicine, making him the jack of all trades in his field. Here’s our favorite takeaway from our conversation with him:
“I focus on the pragmatics. You hear the word fit and you think ‘fitness.’ I preach the simple things like cutting back on sugar, standing more, sitting in chairs that help your posture. For me, it all comes down to better managing sleep and stress. We should be on a cycle of virtue, where taking better care of ourselves on a daily basis becomes our ultimate form of preventative medicine.”
You know it’s going to be a good show when you sit down and someone comes by with a tray of food. After getting a good seat up front and receiving our piece of Panera’s delicious naan bread, we prepared our notes and stomachs for Tom Gumpel and Mark McDonough’s presentation. Tom is the Head Baker for Panera, and leads a team of over 6,000 bakers who craft fresh bread and pastries every day. Mark works as Panera’s Director of Culinary Development and creates new recipes for a healthier diet by removing artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives. Together, their goal is to remove these “no” items from the menu by the end of 2016. Their mission is that good bread are good for you, evidence that is displayed in the new sprouted and whole grain breads Panera now offers. Mark chose to show us how Panera’s Mediterranean Panini is prepared, and our mouths watered at the prospect of trying it. While he explained each ingredient and how it is beneficial, plus where it comes from, waiters passed out a hearty sample for us to try. The grilled chicken was tender, the cucumbers and tomatoes fresh, and the homemade tzatziki sauce was one of the best I’ve ever tried. We did not leave this session hungry – It was clean, it was filling, and it was delicious. Knowing that Tom and Mark are in charge of Panera’s ingredient list provides comfort for our stomachs and 2016 resolutions. If you’re ready to make a clean commitment, Panera is ready to feed you.
Real women, real questions, and real relief, all found in a frank talk about sex led by Lauren Streicher, MD. Sign us up! This wellness workshop was a fun and creative way to learn more about sex as a female and how to do it right. The key point: do whatever makes you comfortable! Dr. Streicher, an Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University’s medical school, The Feinberg School of Medicine, answered questions regarding sex health asked by anonymous women of all ages. Her blunt dialogue and relatable personality was a fresh dip in a lot of topics that are considered “taboo.” You’d want to be her friend, and not just because sex is fun to discuss between girlfriends over a bottle of wine. Although it was clear to see that the audience appreciated her dry sense of humor (they could hear us laughing from downstairs!), serious issues were brought up and explained in a way that could assist women with problems they may have been too ashamed to discuss out loud. There’s no question as to why Dr. Streicher’s warm and honest personality can be found on The Today Show regularly. Not to mention, she finds time to continue her practice with her patients even while appearing on talk shows, conventions, and book tours for her comprehensive sexual health book, Sex Rx: Hormones, Health and Your Best Sex Ever. Are you curious as to why intercourse can hurt sometimes? What that bump means? Where that smell down there came from? When your libido has left you, how do you get it back? Don’t be afraid to ask Dr. Streicher or find the answers in her book. She won’t be afraid to tell you.