I recently had the pleasure of interviewing one of the most respected voices in the field natural health, Dr. AnneMarie Colbin. Dr. Colbin is the Founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, the oldest natural foods cooking school in the US. She has also authored many best selling and invaluable books including Food and Healing and The Whole-Food Guide to Strong Bones: A Holistic Approach. Dr. Colbin gave insightful answers to some of the questions I am most frequently asked.
Integrative Mom: What do you think is the biggest factor in the rise in infertility in recent years? What advice can you offer women trying who are trying to conceive?
Annemarie Colbin: There are many factors involved in infertility – birth control is probably one, where women/couples wait too long to get pregnant, and then the body is not willing. Or the poor diets of people, too much sugar and stimulants, too many drugs, and so on. In some cases there may be too much stress, too much work, not enough time to just be present to the body’s needs. Sometimes for men their sperm is damaged from excessive sports, erroneous diet, too much alcohol – it’s a lot of factors.
The best technique I heard about for women who try to conceive is to go on a 7 to 10-day juice-fruit-vegetable fast. It should be carefully done, under the supervision of someone who knows the techniques of fasting and coming out of a fast. I have heard of a good number of successful pregnancies after a fast.
IM: If there was one thing you wish all pregnant women knew for the health of their babies, what would it be?
AC: Don’t take drugs when you’re pregnant, and as little as possible for the baby also – careful with antibiotics, vaccines, over-the-counter drugs – the less the better. Drugs don’t create health, they may keep unpleasant symptoms at bay.
IM: Many of my readers are mainstream, yet because they are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or have children, they want to take charge of their health and start living a more natural, healthful lifestyle. What are your top three “non-negotiable” rules to adhere to when it comes to healthy living?
AC: Eat homemade/home cooked food – vegetables, grains, fish, meats, eggs, nuts and seeds, fruit.
IM: What is your favorite kitchen tool and why? Is there something all moms should have in their kitchens for the health of their families?
AC: Every cook should have a good 8″ knife and know how to use it. It encourages cooking! Also some good stainless steel pots, a cast iron skilled, and a set of wooden spoons.
IM: What are you currently working on or involved in that you are the most excited about?
AC: My school, the Natural Gourmet Institute, is going full blast and our students are doing great all over the country. Besides enjoying my Cont. Ed. course that I teach at the NGI on Food Therapy, I myself am looking forward to teaching a course at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in August 2010, and maybe more next year.
Many, many thanks to Dr. Annemarie Colbin! She is an inspiration and a wealth of information. If you live in the New York City area, I encourage you to visit the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health, where Dr. Colbin teaches a number of popular lectures, offers a wide array of cooking classes for the general public on many styles of healthful cooking, as well as lectures on the uses of food as a healing tool for various health conditions. If not, read one of her books or visit her website for enlightening articles on everything from food and health to parenting. (Here’s a link to my favorite, called Carrying Baby) You’ll be glad you did.