Food is Medicine RVA groups

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This is a six month series of 12 members per group

These groups are designed to be an affordable way to receive health coaching in a small group where we employ diet and lifestyle strategies to create wellness.  The group is limited to 12 members to keep the cost affordable while still providing a significant opportunity for individual attention. 


Groups meet in person once monthly for two hours. We start the first hour with an information-packed lecture on a key topic and then follow this with group discussion.  As we will be bringing up a number of issues and topics that will require further examination during our discussions; there will be continuing support following meetings through the group's private Facebook page and scheduled emails. These are great platforms to dive into further detail into some of the topics or areas of concern that were raised during the meeting time. 


Cost is $300 for the six week series plus $30 to cover cost of materials. Locations are to be determined per group but convenient locations will be selected throughout Richmond.

Functional medicine principles are used to identify root causes for symptoms

We will be examining how our foods, lifestyles and environment are affecting our health.  There are some practices that are good for everyone but there are also certain changes that need to be individualized for your unique situation.  Please see the section below for more information about functional medicine, integrative and modern medicine. 

Members responsibilities

When you join the Food is Medicine RVA group you will complete a detailed, on-line Health History so that Terri can become familiar with your specific health journey and individual needs. 

You will receive a binder at the beginning of the program  that begins with goal setting exercises. The exercises at the beginning of the program are crucial to your success and you will be encouraged to set aside several hours for yourself as you invest in yourself for this process.  Remember, the best project you will ever work on is YOU. We are serious about making phenomenal changes that move you from surviving to thriving!

All members will be encouraged to participate in group discussions and share their experiences. There will be a mixture of introverts and extroverts but Terri will moderate participation to allow a safe space for each member to share their experiences, concerns, struggles and successes.

Each group will also be a “judgment-free zone”. You are encouraged to share not just your successes but also your set-backs; and we all struggle with set-backs from time to time. We will use the power of the group for support and accountability to get you back on track because we are all a work in progress! 

For more information and how to join

Please email Terri at: FoodisMedicineRVA@gmail.com

Functional Medicine, Modern & Integrative Medicine

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Functional Medicine is a relatively new field of medicine that was founded 30 years ago by Dr Jeffrey Bland and refers to something very different than what we currently refer to as conventional medicine, modern medicine or the current standard model of care. 


Conventional Medicine (also referred to as modern or allopathic medicine) uses drugs or hormones treat dysfunction or disease. The training in conventional medicine uses the standard model of care which is to diagnose a disease and match that disease with a corresponding drug which can be viewed as “downstream thinking.” Your conventional practitioner could decide to treat you, or refer you to a specialist who has access to the same basic tool: medication. This model can and does work well for acute diseases, trauma, infection, and emergencies but it fails in the care of the chronic western diseases that affect over 125 million Americans.


Integrative Medicine: This definition may change from practitioner to practitioner but essentially refers to incorporating supportive therapies such as massage, acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition in with a conventional medicine treatment. Definitely a move in the right direction.


Functional Medicine focuses on treating root causes of disease mostly through dietary and lifestyle changes but still does use medications as needed. Chronic conditions such as allergies, digestive, hormonal, metabolic and neurological problems, which most Americans suffer from on a daily basis, are finding solutions in the field of functional medicine. It is considered “upstream thinking”. 


Here are five basic principles that define it:


1. Functional medicine views us all as being different; we are genetically and biochemically unique. This personalized health care sees the individual, not the disease. It supports the normal healing mechanisms of the body naturally rather than attacking disease directly.


2. Functional medicine is deeply science based. The latest research shows us that what happens within us is connected in a complicated network or rather a web of relationships. Understanding those relationships allows us to see deep into the functioning of the body.


3. Your body is intelligent and has the capacity for self-regulation, which expresses itself through a dynamic balance of all your body systems.


4. Your body has the ability to heal and prevent nearly all the diseases of aging.


5. Health is not just the absence of disease, but a state of immense vitality. Here lies the clear distinction and definition of Functional Medicine. Instead of asking, “What drug matches up with this disease?” 


Functional Medicine asks the vital questions that very few conventional doctors ask: “Why do you have this problem in the first place?” and “Why has function been lost?” and “What can we do to restore function?” In other words, Functional Medicine looks to find the root cause or mechanism involved with any loss of function. It sees the body as a network that is looking for balance versus separate organ systems.