Lifestyle Medicine Summit 2014 with Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd at the Metagenics Lifestyle Medicine Summit 2014. Image courtesy of Metagenics.
Naomi Judd at the Metagenics Lifestyle Medicine Summit 2014. Image courtesy of Metagenics.

Knowledge in Nashville!

Metagenics, Inc. hosted its third annual Lifestyle Medicine Summit, held on September 26-28 in Nashville, TN… and I’m so glad I was part of it!

The event drew more than 600 attendees and included workshops and lectures from a large group of respected leaders in the functional medicine field – many of whom have made significant contributions to transforming patient care–shifting the focus away from symptom control toward seeking and treating underlying causes of illness.

Through their individual efforts, and by educating and empowering other practitioners, these leaders seek to effect positive global change in healthcare costs, the food and pharmaceutical industries, and ultimately for our children and their futures as they inherit the systems we have created.  It was a truly inspiring weekend!

I Know Where I’m Going, Don’t You Want to Come Too?



And, yes, Naomi Judd was there! She shared her very personal story of using multiple functional medicine modalities as she navigated her recovery from Hepatitis C.  She attended sessions on both days of the summit – asking intelligent and insightful questions. She related how good nutrition, exercise, counseling/stress reduction, connecting to nature and family were a complete cure for a disease she was told was terminal. Now in her late 60’s she feels it is her mission to tell her story and educate others on the curative powers of lifestyle medicine.

What I Learned…

There is no way to relay all I learned in Nashville, but here’s a little sampling of my take away’s:

  • 10% of the carbohydrates in breast milk are not digestible or absorbable because they are meant as food for friendly microbes.
  • Probiotics taken prior to flu vaccines have been shown to enhance the antibody response without any changes in inflammation.
  • The states with the highest antibiotic use also have the highest incidence of obesity.
  • Children receiving antibiotics in their first year of life are more likely to be overweight when they reach kindergarten.
  • Mark Houston, a leading, world-renowned integrative cardiologist, reviewed current research on assessing cardiovascular risk. He reminded us that about 50% of those who have a myocardial infarction have NORMAL LDL and total cholesterol, so looking at particle sizes is much more predictive of cardiovascular risk.  We’ve been looking at particle sizes of cholesterol for risk assessment at Leaves of Life for years. In fact – we even offer a lab test for it!
  • Michael Nova, CMO of Pathway Genomics talked about how the new science of epigenetics is beginning to help reveal how the choices we make can change our genes as well as those of our children. In the next few years, this will be increasingly possible since approximately 1,000 human genetic trials are published EVERY MONTH. At Leaves of Life, we are currently utilizing multiple genetic tests to help us individualize patient care.
  • Mark Hyman, MD, chairman of the Institute For Functional Medicine and a bestselling author of several books, made the following excellent points:
      • You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet
      • Many Americans are spending more time watching cooking on TV than cooking themselves
      • On average, Americans consume 146 pounds of flour and 153 pounds of sugar yearly
      • Children consume an average of 34 tsp of sugar daily
      • Obesity risk increases by 60% in children who drink 1 pop daily
      • Many of the drugs that treat heart disease cause or worsen diabetes and many of the drugs that treat diabetes cause or worsen heart disease. Dr. Hyman coined a term for these types of drug/disease relationships: Pharmageddon
      • People have more control over what they eat than how much they eat, based on brain chemistry
      • The only bread Dr. Hyman approves of is one you can stand on without squishing it
  • Dr. David Katz, MD is director and co-founder of the Yale Prevention Research Center and principal inventor of the Overall Nutritional Quality Index. This index is used by a growing number of grocery stores to rate food by its overall protein/carb/fat ratio, types of fat, vitamin and mineral content, fiber, glycemic index and more.  If it’s not at your grocery store, ask!  Check it out  at

This weekend I’ll be at another conference, and I’ll be sure to pass along some of the highlights!


Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread
Recipe courtesy of Against All Grain. Photo courtesy of Leaves of Life.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter or tahini
  • 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tbsp soft ghee, coconut or palm oil plus more to grease pan
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1-1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp grain-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Lightly grease an 8-1/4 by 4-1/2 inch loaf pan.
  3. Place a piece of parchment paper on bottom of pan.
  4. In a high-speed blender/food processor, combine eggs, sunflower butter, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, oil or ghee, lemon juice and vanilla.  Puree until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add arrowroot powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, lemon zest, ginger and salt.  Blend for 30 seconds until well combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  7. Bake 60 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Remove loaf from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing.
  9. Allow to cool completely before eating.

Delicata Squash Rings

Recipe and photo courtesy of Leaves of Life. Crispy and salty on the outside, sweet and tender on the inside…these delicata squash rings taste like dessert—and no need to remove the beautiful skin


  • Delicata squash
  • 1-2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut delicata in half shortways and remove both stem ends.
  2. Remove seeds with a spoon and slice into 1/4 inch slices.
  3. Arrange on a cookie sheet and drizzle with liquid coconut oil, then toss to coat.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through cook time.


Try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon to enhance the sweetness and help balance blood sugar.