878. A Day in the Life: What's It Really Like to Be a Nutrition and Wellness Expert?
Dr. Ann Kulze
“The microbiome is the name for the vast ecosystem of microorganisms that resides in and on the body, but mostly in our GI tract in the large colon—our gut. I like to call it the command and control center for the human body. We wouldn’t have our immune system if it wasn’t for the microbiome. We’ve now linked pretty consistently based on the data 30 different autoimmune conditions: Parkinson’s, autism, mental health disorders, heart disease, obesity and more to alterations in the microbiome. We’re seeing that dementia is a form of a metabolic disease. So innovative scientists and doctors around the world are devoting their professional lives to researching and studying this highly complex and vital ecosystem.”
Dr. Ann Kulze has distinguished herself as a one-of-a-kind, “real world” nutrition and wellness expert. She received her undergraduate degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Clemson University and her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina where she graduated as valedictorian. She’s the Founder and CEO of the wellness education firm, Just Wellness LLC. She’s also the author of six books, including her bestselling “Eat Right for Life” series. She’s been featured in many national media outlets, including the Dr. Oz Show, Oprah, Time Magazine, and many others. When she’s not writing, Dr. Ann lives her wellness message by swimming, running, cooking and gardening, and spending time with her family in her native Charleston, South Carolina.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“While I had always included diet and nutrition as a vital part of my clinical practice, along with the more traditional medical procedures, as I continued to research and study the science that increasingly reported that the majority of the chronic conditions people in modern Western cultures face are induced predominately by diet and lifestyle choices, I began to question whether I was making my greatest contribution to my patients. The catalyst that gave me the courage to walk away from my successful clinical practice was reading Doctor Walter Willett’s groundbreaking book: “Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating,” which was rooted in studies that tracked the health of dieters over twenty years. The work I do is fascinating and gratifying in every way.”
The Most Powerful Lessons and Experiences?
1. The field of medicine has been a driving force in my life since the beginning. My father was an amazing surgeon and on both sides of my family 27 individuals have chosen medicine as their profession. I guess it’s in our genes!
2. After 15 years building a successful private practice in the primary care field, I watched a body of new science growing at a thunderous rate telling us that the majority of all chronic conditions in the modern Western culture are induced by diet and lifestyle choices.
3. I left my clinical practice in 2002 to devote myself strictly to wellness education—today lifestyle medicine is the fastest growing area of medical specialty and the most sorely needed in my experience.
4. The microbiome is the vast ecosystem of microorganisms that reside in our gastrointestinal tract (GI), mostly in the large colon. It is what I call the “command and control system” of our entire body that is running our entire immune system.
5. Over 30 different autoimmune conditions—Parkinson’s, autism, mental health disorders, heart disease, and even obesity–are directly related to problems in our GI with the microbiome.
6. Fiber from plant-based foods is the most essential way to nurture a healthy microbiome. Long term studies show the overwhelming majority of the healthiest, longest living people around the world consume 80% to 90% of their calories from plants. What’s good is that if you do this, you can literally eat as much as you want, because plant-based foods are not highly caloric.
On Her Bookshelf
Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating, by Walter Willett, M.D
How to Eat: All Your Food and Diet Questions Answered, by Mark Bittman and David Katz
Connecting With Dr. Ann Kulze
Dr. Ann Kulze’s tells our listeners that “you could come to my website and literally spend days educating yourself for free.” Education resources are offered in forms of a newsletter, a blog, video tips, recipes and more.
Subscribe to the Podcast Free: