What Does Nourishment Mean? by Angie Neison, MD
This weekend I reached out to Angie Neison, MD, family physician and culinary medicine physician in training. I was interested to learn how she defines nourishment and how she advises her patients on the best ways to nourish themselves and their families.
What does Nourishment mean to you?
I talk a lot about Wellness in my practice. My instagram handle came from the idea that Wellness comes in many flavors to nourish your mind, body and soul. I whole-heartedly practice this philosophy with my patients.
Nourishment gives meaning to food.
Nourishment gives life to your body.
From the plants grown in the soil, to the person we share that meal with, nourishment fosters all the connections around us. Whether it’s through food, movement, restoring the body and mind and giving it proper rest, we can all take in small ‘sips’ of nourishment that can make a life thrive amidst a fast-paced world.
How do you advise your patients and their families in nourishing themselves?
I meet patients along their journey. I never push, but I hope to inspire and encourage. I ask them what they eat, how they move, who they connect with and feel supported to keep their mind, body and spirit in better balance. I tell patients that nourishing themselves daily will keep their health in check until the next time I visit with them. It is these changes they’ll thank themselves 30 years from now.
What are 1-2 things a person/family can do to start on a more nourishing path?
We are all busy. It is hard to practice all the things we know we need to do to feel well. However, I tell all my patients that your next wellness opportunity is waiting for you at your next meal. Everyone needs to eat. Food is life, love and all around us. Starting with just more vegetables in our life. This one change can make all the difference! Aiming for 1/2 a plate of vegetables and fruits, then noticing different varieties of colors, textures, and smells that make your plate come alive with flavors!
I also love the connection with others around food. It is a way to bond over cooking, enjoying and experiencing a meal. Children need to feel that family cohesiveness around a table to build healthy relationships around food.
Lastly, I think one of the most important aspects of wellness is sleep. Without proper rest, who will want to exercise or eat well? Sleep is vital and I address this topic with my patients often. If anyone reading this is having trouble sleeping, please discuss it with your physician.
Any more thought provoking ideas?
As a parent, I know how challenging it can be to get food on the table, especially if you want it to be nutritious. However, the best gift you can give a child is the art of play in the kitchen. If every child grew up learning how to make vegetables delicious, we could change the world.
Kids love to play in the kitchen! If you have young kids or want to give the gift of a culinary memory to a child, get them in a kitchen. Most kids love painting olive oil on veggies, cutting vegetables with different knives, mashing or rolling whole wheat dough all the while curiously tasting what is in front of them. And if you have older children, please get them in the kitchen too. Being comfortable in the kitchen is an invaluable tool for all to have.
Angie Neison, MD
Dr. Angie Neison is a board-certified Family Physician and currently enrolled at Tulane’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine. She has extensive knowledge in nutrition and preventive medicine. She trained at the world’s largest medical center at the University of Texas in Houston, Texas. After seeing a broad scope of diseases, she realized her desire to help patients was going to be beyond just treating an illness. Her focus and specialty became management, and more importantly, prevention of disease. Her philosophy is to treat the Whole person, with mind, body and spirit in mind.
She does regular cooking demonstrations with her sons and their peers, even as young as 2 years old! She maintains an active presence on her social media page Flavors4wellnessMD where she hopes to inspire patients and families to pick flavorful ingredients to make delicious, easy meals that the whole family will enjoy.