It has to be noticed that first-year medical students, from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest in Lebanon, spent March 12 preparing healthy food dishes in a home economics kitchen at West Albany High School.
The students were learning about the nutritional benefits of food during a culinary medicine class as part of a Lifestyle Medicine Longitudinal Track curriculum. The culinary class was led by Dr. Robert Ellis DO, an oncologist, and registered dietitian Sara O’Leary.
Ellis explained the medical benefits of the foods they made, and O’Leary discussed the nutritional aspects.
The lifestyle medicine track is an elective curriculum at COMP-Northwest that teaches students about lifestyle medicine for all four years of med school. Other topics include cardiac rehabilitation protocols, heart disease prevention and weight-loss/maintenance strategies for obese patients.
And Ellis said the cooking class on Saturday was not only a way to teach future physicians how to help their patients eat healthier but was also a way for the future doctors to demonstrate to those patients how to eat more nutritiously.
The dishes the students made included black bean brownies, lettuce wraps with peanut sauce and breaded chicken strips. The breaded chicken was made more nutritious thanks to it was baked instead of deep fried.
Med student Alan Perry helped make an herb dipping sauce made with coconut yogurt for the chicken. The sauce was made more nutritious by using herbs as flavoring rather than salt.
“The biggest thing is avoiding salt because most of us have too much sodium in our diets,” Perry said.
Perry said he was attracted to the lifestyle medicine curriculum because he used to be overweight. After losing 100 pounds, he was inspired to go back to college and earn his bachelor’s degree. Losing the weight led him to pursue medical school as well.
Med student Sarah Green found that the breaded chicken was an easy dish to make, and plans on cooking at home currently.
Before Green took culinary medicine classes, she was always eating out. “I ate out for every meal,” Green said. “So when I say I learned to grat