Do you find it impossible to get off the couch after eating dinner every night?
Do you spin out at the thought of meal planning, hitting the grocery store, and keeping your family well-fed with healthy snacks, balanced meals, and superfoods?
Cooking didn't always need “vitality” as a qualifier – all foods were whole foods, and if you cooked with them, you received the energy you were meant to receive. But we’ve got more options than we can shake a stick at these days. Staying safe, informed, and energized is harder than ever.
In the brand-new, just released course “Cooking for Vitality”, it’s our goal to help you do exactly that.
Dr. Trevor Cates is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine, and the first woman to be licensed as a naturopathic doctor in the state of California.
She found that even with her medical knowledge of nutritious eating, and even having grown up on a farm in Virginia with parents who made home-cooked farm-fresh meals every day…
There were still challenges at home with her own family when it came to getting healthy meals on the table regularly.
What with the different preferences, dietary restrictions, and scheduling hurdles under one roof, she had to get creative about committing to nourishing meals made at home – which she details how to manage in the “Cooking for Vitality” course.
As a single mom with a full life, she saw first hand the issues many of her own patients were having avoiding take-out temptation and cooking well-rounded, healthy dishes.
So when she was writing her book Clean Skin From Within, she decided to include recipes… and was amazed at what she discovered in this process.
Food as medicine had been the cornerstone of her education and her upbringing. So naturally, and in light of all the ways she saw we weren’t using food to our full advantage, she’s raised her children to cook as a family and focus on making healthy food taste delicious.
Eating to fill a void is easier than eating for vitality. That’s how commercials, the nearly 200,00 fast food joints in America, and the absence of nutritional focus in traditional medical schools make it seem, anyway.
But if you don’t know how to navigate a grocery store to find whole foods, stock your pantry with healthy necessities, substitute damaging cash crops for life-supporting nutrients, cook for vitality with allergies in mind, or simply meal-plan to save your future self some trouble…
It can all feel daunting and impossible and – just pass me the menu for that pizza place, please!
What’s worse is, without guidance, you just don’t know what you don’t know.
If you’re familiar with Dr. Pedram Shojai’s Interconnected series, you know that our diets – both what we eat and the way we eat are a crucial puzzle piece in trying to maintain microbial diversity in our gut microbiomes and fighting off inflammation in the body.
Plus, our microbiomes are responsible for so much more than just digestion… they affect everything from our moods to our skin quality.
But to even begin to address the microbiome means beginning in the kitchen…
It’s important to think about the way we used to honor food and the process of cooking a meal before we could swing by a drive-thru on the way home.
To really get the most from our meals nowadays, we have to reevaluate how we shop, cook, and eat, especially in light of allergies, intolerances, and processed ingredients we’re all trying to avoid.
Which is lucky, because even your most basic grocery store can be a treasure trove for bon vivants who want to live and feel well.
Which brands do you buy? Which kind of oil soothes inflammation, and which kind irritates it? How do you know which flour substitute is the healthiest, and won’t make your cookies turn out funny? Should you even keep granulated sugar in the house? How long should one grocery trip last you – a week? Two weeks? How do you know how much of your meat to freeze, and what meat should you even be getting?
We are so fundamentally disconnected from where our food comes from, what it does to our bodies, what our bodies actually need that we’re not providing, and how to prepare the food we get…
It can feel much easier in the moment to just give everyone what they’ve gotten used to wanting and keep them all “happy”.
That’s what Dr. Cates is trying to repair – this broken model when it comes to thinking about and preparing food. She believes if she and her family can figure out how to make food work for them, they can help you figure it out, too.
Her son Tiernan is a newly-minted chef after graduating from the Park City Culinary Institute and now caters small private events using healthy, whole ingredients to create gorgeous meals. Her daughter Thalia, at only 13, is a pioneer in gluten-free baking, having a gluten sensitivity herself and refusing to accept a flavorless life without her favorite treats.
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I’m not a guru. I'm a guy who's walked the path and here to help. Take some tips and step into your own greatness. The world needs YOU—not more gurus. We need more leaders and not followers. I’m here to help you step into that. I’ve got your back. Now its time to learn some skills and commit to being awesome.
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The Urban Monk elegantly lays out a balanced way of life that can not only bring us back to health, but help us relax and smile while we do it. I highly recommend this book to anyone trying to get healthy in our fast-paced world.
Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine
Knowing that meditation is good for us isn’t enough. We need to practice it in our daily lives to actually benefit from it. The Urban Monk is a treasure, with many practical lifestyle hacks that can help you be happier and healthier.
MD, Founder, Amen Clinics and author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life
Combining modern Western medicine and ancient Eastern wisdom, Dr. Pedram Shojai’s cutting-edge, easy-to-implement program helps you burn fat, boost energy, and optimize your life to become an urban monk even in the most stressed-out environment. Can’t recommend this one enough!
New York Times best-selling author, The Virgin Diet and The Virgin Diet Cookbook
Written with page-turning verve, this book integrates ancient Taoist wisdom and modern brain science to offer hundreds of practical ways to feel better and do better right now. Funny, direct, and honest, PedramShojai feels like a trusted friend and teacher offering a full package of skillful means.
Ph.D., author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence
Pedram offers a fresh and unique perspective on life in the modern world. He truly is an Urban Monk and his friendly style takes us all along for the ride. If you deal with stress, time constraints, and the challenges of a busy life, this book is a must-read.
MD, author of New York Times bestseller The Hormone Cure and The Hormone Reset Diet
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