Dr. Sandra Musial MD, Food As Medicine Physician, Plant DocsWritten by MamaSezz Team
As we at MamaSezz well know, changing to a plant-based diet can change your life in ways you never expected. Some try a plant based diet for weight loss, others for disease reversal. In this series, we talk with some of the world’s most soulful, dedicated (and often funny) individuals. We get to hear their stories of suffering, transformation, and service — and we learn how food is an essential part of their journey.
This week, we're bringing you Dr Sandra Musial MD. Leaving a highly successful, well respected medical practice and a teaching position at one of top medical schools in the country for an entrepreneurial venture teaching nutrition is not the normal career trajectory for most MD's. But Sandra Musial is not your normal doctor. Inspired by of her deep interest in nutrition and the growing body of evidence of the power of nutrition to heal, Sandra transformed not only her career, but the lives of many of her patients and clients.
Here's her story:
Hi MamaSezz community this is Meg with MamaSezz bringing you another wonderful interview. Today we're talking with Sandra Musial, and she is a doctor a physician and she also has a plant-based practice and a fascinating story. I am delighted for you to hear it. It's interesting, poignant, and really relevant for today. So welcome, Sandra.
Dr Sandra Musial:
Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Absolutely, you know, I reached out to a lot of doctors because that was really our MamaSezz mission is to help as many people in a real way, you know, deliver on the promise of plant-based eating. So that when people switch to eating a more plant centric diet, they actually get the benefit from it. And so I was delighted to be able to connect with you. And that's how we did first connect. But then I saw you, you're all over the place. You're doing interviews with Chef AJ, and you're just doing some wonderful things. So can you kind of introduce yourself to our community? And then we'll get into a little bit of your backstory and what you're doing now.
Dr Sandra Musial:
Sure. Yeah, I'm Sandra Musial. And I started a company in 2019, called Plant Docs, which is kind of the third phase of my career. And I'm super excited to educate medical professionals and the public on the importance between nutrition, specifically eating a whole food plant-based diet, and health, and health outcomes.
How did you get started doing this? Were you always interested in plant-based eating?
Dr Sandra Musial:
I've always been fascinated by nutrition. I think my dad specifically helped with that, because he was interested. He was an engineer very methodical, and his brother died at a young age of a heart attack. And it motivated my father to learn on what we should be doing differently as a family. And we cut out red meat and cut out whole milk. And I think that made a real impact on me, I was very interested in what this link was, and he started getting Prevention Magazine and reading about it.
It led to me studying Nutritional Sciences as an undergraduate. And so I learned a lot about nutrition at that point. And I thought about being a nutritionist, but I kind of was more fascinated with the human body. I really wanted to go deeper. And I wanted to be the person prescribing the diet, not just following out a command.
Because I went, Yeah, I don't know. I started interviewing for nutrition jobs after college, and none of them were appealing and grabbed me. And so I decided to go to medical school after doing a couple years of research and I became a pediatrician, I fell in love with the pediatric population. And, also kind of paralleling, this was this kind of not wanting to eat animals, and not really understanding the difference between dogs and cows, and why can people eat cows and not dogs?
And so there was this overlap of kind of ethics and taking care of the animals on our planet and what's best for human health. And there was one particular patient that came to me that kind of changed the trajectory of my career. And she said, have you read The China Study?
And at that time, I had been telling parents to give milk because it's what I was taught and it's what the American Academy of Pediatrics supported at the time. And so I started, I read The China Study, and then it just led down this whole explosion of information that was out there that I had never been exposed to in medical school or in any of my training during residency.
I started feeling at conflict between being in mainstream medicine and feeling like I need to follow what the American Academy of Pediatrics is telling me to say, and what I really felt from all my research was really the way we should be eating. So I switched careers and went from a primary care practice to education and I started teaching the residents and the students at Brown University's medical school in Providence.
I worked at the hospital there and I have a little freeness there to do other things. So I did a study trying to prevent moms from introducing juice and sugary beverages to infants and toddlers. I started a vegetable garden there. And I really, like the more I started doing this stuff with nutrition, I just really felt this passion to do more. And I dug into my own private education getting the plant-based certificate at E Cornell. I studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and got my health coaching certificate and Harvard chef coaching certificate. I just kept wanting to learn more and more. And then, go ahead.
I was going to say that's wonderful. You just, I think a lot of people, when the light bulb goes off, you know, and then they just dive in. And so it sounds like, that's your trajectory. But I'd love to hear more.
Dr Sandra Musial: 05:20
Yeah, well, the other thing that kind of happened at the same time after I read The China Study was, I shared it with my family members, because I said, this is important information that nobody seems to know about, and it shouldn't be a secret.
And at the time, my brother who's eight years older than me, had recently gone to the doctors, he was overweight, meat and potatoes guy, not super active. And he was told he needed to go on like a statin for his high cholesterol and blood pressure medicine. And at the same time, his neighbor dropped dead of a heart attack. And he was just like, something's got to change. And he read The China Study on a flight to Florida, and he said, you know, not the whole thing, of course, but he just started it, but it was enough that he said, I got to do this, this is for me. And so he went whole food plant based by the time he landed, and finished reading the book, and he was kind of my first patient, he changed his life, and he keeps saying, you saved my life, you know, like my blood pressure normalized, my cholesterol came down.
My brother's been plant-based now for about 12 years and he's super healthy. So that was a real inspiration for me. And I was like, geez one of the most satisfying things I've ever done was like changing the trajectory in my brother's life. And I was like, how can I start treating adults, I just wanted to transition.
I got board certified in obesity medicine. It's mostly an adult specialty. And at the time, we were talking about opening a pediatric obesity clinic at Hasbro Children's Hospital, which we did. And I worked there for three years, along with my other responsibilities teaching there. And I started talking to the adults too, because most of the adults of the obese children also were suffering from problems with excess weight and obesity and diabetes. And I would ask every single mother that had diabetes, if they were ever told by their physician that they could reverse their diabetes. And not one mom said that they knew that and
Type two diabetes?
Dr Sandra Musial: 07:30
Yeah. They never knew. They thought this is a permanent condition they're going to have for the rest of their life. That's what their doctor told them, or so they told me. And I feel like this is kind of malpractice. Like, it is not okay to not tell your patients there's another way besides meds that you can actually change your diet and reverse conditions.
So yeah, there was all this kind of passion, building all these different things that were happening. And then in 2019, I met Kim Anderson, who owns and runs and is the brainchild behind Plant City, which is our Providence Rhode Island’s plant-based food hall, and marketplaces, four different restaurants there, there's a marketplace, there's a coffee bar, there’s tequila bar, there's organic wines. And then there's like this community space in the basement for lectures, cooking demonstrations, yoga classes, whatever that are, you know, in this kind of realm of health and wellness and plant-based eating.
So she said, would you consider starting something here? I'd love to have you run some kind of a one month program where people come and get labs before and after. And I was so excited about the idea. And I was like, how can I do this? And so I just started making connections and trying to find other doctors to work with.
I found my two partners, Su Yun Lee and Steve Stein, and the three of us started Plant Docs. And on the day that Plant City opened, we started a program in July of 2019, we limited it to 20 and everyone got bloodwork before and after, we measured their weights, their BMIs, and their blood pressures. And I started collecting data, and I got permission from everyone to keep track of this because I just felt like over time, this will be really cool to see what kind of results we're getting in just one month of healthy eating.
This particular piece really fascinated me about what you did and are doing because that's the part that people need as well. And coming from the medical community and saying, this is the before stats, this is the after, this isn't anecdotal, it's happened with this person, this person and this person. And I think that is so powerful. And I just, I really want to thank you for doing it because that is the information, I think just like the China Study is filled with a lot of studies and science, and that can turn the cue for people so they know maybe this will work for me, maybe this is something and obviously is with your [unclear 10:22]
Dr Sandra Musial: 10:23
I put a lot of participants that were a little, like, skeptical and not sure, and I have one gentleman I remember in particular, who is a healthy weight, super active sailor, and like racing, sailing, like, even in the middle of the winter, just super active, but his father and uncles had severe heart disease and had died prematurely. And his numbers were not great, his cholesterol numbers, but he thought it was just like a genetic thing that he had no control over. And so he was kind of skeptical, but at the end, his numbers changed and then it changed everything for him. And, so he's one example of someone who kind of needed the numbers for that motivation to be convinced that it really could make a difference.
Other people have more obvious signs of disease, with high blood pressure, or they’re obese so they have diabetes, and they have other concerning things that are more obvious, heart disease is, can be tricky, there's plenty of people that dropped dead of a heart attack and never know how bad it was until suddenly the blood can’t flow to their heart.
Yeah, that was our backstory is my dad, athletic, slim, did not look like he had a heart attack and then went on to have other complications, Alzheimer's and things, and same with my mom, very active tennis player, looked great, fit, did yoga looked well but underneath there was a growing disease, she ended up with congestive heart failure. And that is what started MamaSezz, But you're right, that's the hidden one, you can look a certain way, and just, it really is a ticking time bomb.
Dr Sandra Musial:
And I think a lot of people don't understand, like vessel disease isn't just your coronary artery that feeds your heart, but it's the arteries that feed your brain that lead to Alzheimer's, the vessels that feed your kidney that lead to kidney disease. And even erectile dysfunction is the same thing. It's the vessels not working, not bringing blood where they need to go. And so when you're fixing your arteries, you're fixing them everywhere in your whole body, and your whole body starts functioning better.
So how do you get people to come to your class, so you had somebody who was reticent, what made him even decide to go?
Dr Sandra Musial: 12:51
His wife because she did it too me. But we have a few of those kind of reluctant spouses that are dragged and then are like, oh, this can affect me. I think we do have more women than men in the program. But it's more like 60, 40, it's not like 90, 10. So there's a lot of men interested in improving their health and are concerned about heart disease. So I'll just tell you a little bit about our program, we have, it's four weeks and the first and the last session are educational, and they're live or remote.
I have people from all over the country that are doing it remote at the same time that we're doing it live. And that's a little trickier because I can't get the blood pressure, so I have them send in their blood pressure, and their weight and their height. And then I send them a lab slip and they go to a lab in Montana or wherever they are, and then I go over the labs with them, and then we repeat the abnormal labs afterwards. And the second and the third class are all remote and they're cooking classes together.
And that all started out of COVID which I just think it's an interesting story because before COVID we had a different program that was all in person with no remote option and before anyone had heard of zoom, and all the cooking was cooking demonstrations so we would cook for everyone, every single class and everyone would eat it and say oh my god, this is amazing. But they weren't doing it themselves.
And when they switched over to remote and people were cooking it themselves, we just got such great feedback on like I never would have thought this miso [14:48] but now that you made me get it and I used it like I understand how to incorporate it in my cooking.
Oh, that's great. I think that hands on piece when you're actually doing it, it's a difference than kind of passively experiencing it. That's what we notice as well, people can just start.
Dr Sandra Musial:
Yeah, you just have to do it.
So after so they sign up for your program, education, they get their labs done, they learn about plant-based eating, they learn how to cook as well. And then you do labs at the end, is that how that goes?
Dr Sandra Musial:
Yeah, so anything that was abnormal in the beginning, we repeat at the end. And the different things we look for are we do like a fasting lipid panel looking for high cholesterol.
We do an inflammatory marker called high sensitivity CRP, that's more specific for cardiac disease and risk for cardiac disease. We check liver enzymes which assess fatty liver disease, which is a very common problem for people that have excess weight and are eating too many fatty calories. And we check for pre diabetes or diabetes by looking at an A1C a hemoglobin A1C. And so if any of those things are abnormal, we repeat them afterwards. And then I just started collecting the data. And right now, we have like 13, or 14 groups that have gone through because we had a big hiatus during COVID before we started up again.
I'm actually working with a professor at the Brown School of Public Health to look at the data and look at its statistical significance. But so far, three of the items are showing statistical significance, the total cholesterol drop, and the average drop is 38 points. This is the average for people
In 4 weeks they are getting results?
Dr Sandra Musial:
Yeah, it's dropping 38 points. And that's only for people that started over 200. And then for the people that have LDL elevated over 100, the drop is 22 points. That's the average.
So we've had people drop 60, 80 points in their LDL, or just come down 10 points, it depends. I think on what is a good question, like, how much did they cut out all the extra oils. So I don't have that information but I do know that this is what we're seeing and it's statistically significant.
The triglycerides are dropping, but it looks like that might not be significant as far as when you look at the numbers and the values. But the other significant drop is the high sensitivity CRP, so the inflammatory marker and cardiac risk is dropping a significant amount.
Wow. So the inflammatory marker, I know that a lot of Alzheimer's and brain health is also related to inflammation, is that something that is also a marker for that as well, so that you can, just like if you're helping your heart, you're helping everything?
Dr Sandra Musial:
When you're helping your heart, you're helping everything for sure. But this marker is, there's something called a CRP, which is C reactive protein. It's a nonspecific inflammatory marker, it can go up with any infection or inflammation that you might have in your body. So even if you had like an ear infection, your CRP will go up. But it is a short term measurement. So like, if you had inflammation last week, it will quickly like go down or go up day by day.
But the HS the high sensitivity C reactive protein is more specific for cardiac. And so that was the recommendation by a cardiologist that I consult with on this, to measure this.
Wow. And that is the information that we all need. What is one other thing that you've noticed in just the food side of things is, and maybe you can speak to this, if you have some information of the people who went through your first group, how are they doing now? And how are people able to stay with it? I think we see a kind of loop where there's so many other factors, personal family dynamics can be challenging sometimes. What are your main challenges?
Dr Sandra Musial: 19:25
Yeah, I don't you know, I have everyone's email and I have reached out to people, but I don't know. People don't always get back to me. I once sent out a survey for everyone that's ever gone through but people are busy and they didn't get back to me. So I have a few people I stay in touch with but I'm guessing the people that stay in touch with me are the ones that are successful, and that people who didn't stick with it are really not going to stay in touch with me. So I think that's really important data to know is, is this sustainable?
I think an important message for everyone is it doesn't have to be 100%, Yes, you can do it 100% get all the nutrition you need, and it would be probably healthiest diet if it works for you, right? If you feel good about it, but if you're feeling like you're deprived, and it's causing you a lot of stress to be 100% whole food plant based, then maybe it's not right for that person.
And anything from you know, there's a huge spectrum of eating from totally ultra processed foods that are fatty and animal based to a 100% whole food plant-based diet. And so what I try to teach is, like, anything in the right direction, is an improvement, and you're going to see an improvement in your health, and it doesn't have to be 100% but I hope that the message that people are getting are, here are just like, 1000 ways to eat healthier, just all these different ideas.
And I think the other message that we talk about, and I just hammer in to everyone is like, when you're choosing healthy foods, you're eating gifts for your body and for yourselves and for your microbiome, like you're feeding everything in your body. And every time you make a choice to have anything that's whole food, plant based, you're eating all these gifts for your body, that's helping you.
And so I think it changes the way people think after they go through the program, when they eat, they're going to think about like, Oh, this is like they say, they hear my voice in their head saying like, what's the gift? That this spice or adding the onions to this or adding flaxseed to your oatmeal or whatever it is.
Instead of you have to because it's healthy, this is a gift. If you're doing a four week program, people at the beginning to end they're actually going to physically feel much better. So you've anchored them there in health, it's kind of like my friends who have gotten sober who have gone to AA. At one point, they may have gone back out, but they said AA wrecked their drinking, because they knew, they know how good they felt. And so they ended up eventually getting sober.
I think that for the people who may not be talking to you, right, the seed has been planted and a very positive one. And then clearly, by framing it as a gift, I think that's even better that you know, and you've experienced it, and you've seen the numbers.
Dr Sandra Musial:
That is an excellent point. And I love that metaphor. And I do try to stress that when you go through the program, you don't have to do 100% when you, even during the month, but you're not going to see the results in the laps.
So if you really want to know, like, think of it like a little experiment, if you really want to know how good your body can feel in just one month, give it a try. It's not like the rest of your life, it's only four weeks.
So, just give it a try. And just do it for the four weeks and see how you feel. And then you can decide after that, oh, maybe I'll a lot of people say oh I’ll eat plant based when I eat at home, but then when I eat out, I'm going to have what I want so I don't feel deprived or breakfast and lunch, I'm going to eat whole food plant base, but at dinner, I'm going to eat whatever. I mean, it's whatever works for you. I'm just trying to help shift people in a more healthy direction,
I think and I love the gentleness and the clarity. Those two things, I think, like love and discipline, they go really well together. One area that you spoke about is working initially with obesity, and the issues there. And what I'm fascinated by are family systems and eating patterns and what happens to people, when your family is eating a certain way, and then the kids are eating a certain way and there is a generational history of obesity. What challenges have you found in shifting that whole dynamic or have you found, and what have you discovered that might be able to help people?
Dr Sandra Musial: 24:29
Big questions. I mean, now I'm working with adults and usually the adults that come to me they're there for themselves and it's their kind of personal mission. Other people benefit in their family and I do give lots of suggestions for like make chilli that's completely whole food plant based and then make this beef on the side or whatever, ground beef and then the family members that want the beef can add that in, but that way, you don't have to make two completely separate meals. It helps shift the family in a healthier direction.
I found it very challenging working with the children when I was in the pediatric obesity clinic. Very few and I can remember exactly who they were, but very few families embraced it as a whole family system and said, We are all going to do this, because not just does my child need it, but obviously, my husband and I need to make these changes too, and that was so fun, but that was usually not the case. There was often, parents didn't really want to change what they were doing, they were just bringing their kid in because they were told they had to, and maybe they didn't really understand the importance and the impact that it was going to have on their child.
That was very frustrating, because I felt like I knew it and I just couldn't get them to understand I had parents that were like, You mean, I have to stop buying potato chips for myself, because my child shouldn't have them, and they would be angry at that. So there's all different kinds of families out there. And people, I think it's tough in like a lower income, single parent home, where the parent’s working and they just pick up McDonald's on the way home, and that parent is 23 and was raised by someone who's now 43, who never cooked for them.
So now you have this other generation, their parents never cooked for them and now they're a parent, they have no idea how to cook broccoli, or rice, so I think people need to learn to cook again, which
I hadn't thought of it as this kind of systemic issue that young, we were more like it's easier, but not don't know how. And that's really fascinating, where there's like a whole generation that has lost now with the advent of fast foods and processed foods that are just so easy.
People aren't cooking. And so they didn't learn how to cook. They just don't know how and so it's not even one of the choices. That's fascinating. So that's like a whole other topic we have to get into. But just to address that. And that young
Dr Sandra Musial: 27:37
The people who are attracted to the Jumpstart your health programs that we run at Plant City tend to be a little more affluent and educated. They've found Plant City, they're interested in plant-based eating, they've found my program.
So it kind of filters out a lot of the population or there's like a selection bias if you would. So in my study, we're really not looking at something that's generalizable to all populations, unfortunately, but it does tell you that if you make these changes, which anyone can, because what you eat is a choice, you can have these healthier outcomes.
One of my goals with Plant Docs is to, I'm in the process, I'm a nonprofit, but I'm in the process of getting the 501c3 status, and then get grant money so I can spread the word to different lower socioeconomic communities. I have this kitchen that I was affiliated in the past where I did a summer program for inner city kids that were struggling with obesity and overweight, and it had an exercise component and nutrition education component, and a cooking component. And they have this great demo kitchen in South Providence, which is a more at risk kind of zip code area.
I would love to run this program there and reach a completely different segment of the population, but I would need the insurance companies to reimburse for it, right now everyone's paying out of pocket. And it's very affordable for someone who has a salary but for lower income people it's not within reach.
I think that's one of the challenges of persception that it's more expensive to eat whole foods than it is processed foods, and in some cases that is real. And initially, it may be less satisfying because of the way that food is put together, on the food side, business side we have a long history in the business, we know what food companies do to make food really palatable for people extra sugar, extra oil, extra fat, it's just this combination that everyone knows. And I think that is hard for people to get started if it's a stretch financially, and it's not something you find as interesting to eat, or as immediately satisfying. I think that's why it's hard to do it, but it sounds like you've got the whole package to make it fun and enjoyable and to bring it to other communities.
Dr Sandra Musial: 30:26
Yeah and I'm very aware of how to do it on a budget because of the obesity clinic, which was a lower income population.
So I found a website called budget bites that I loved that kind of really produced kind of affordable recipes online. And, we have one, it's not even a recipe but that we share at our first cooking class and we call it any bean, any green, any grain, and for someone who's, I mean, for anyone, this is what I think of as a go to plant based meal that gets you all the nutrition you need, you just pick any bean, and beans are super affordable, they're like the most affordable high quality protein source out there, especially if you buy them dried.
So there's any bean and then any grain and yes, it's probably more money to buy brown rice than white rice but if you're not buying cheese and beef and chicken, it's not any more money, and then any green, and that can be a frozen bag of kale or fresh collards or whatever green. And you cook those three things and you have a full plant-based meal. And then we teach this
Your slogan right there, I love that
Dr Sandra Musial:
Any bean, any green, any grain? Yeah
It just levels it, it makes it really, really easy to that it’s not hard, it’s so simple, you can look at your pantry, Do I have any of these three in any combination thrown together and I’ve got a nutritionally sound meal. That is great.
Dr Sandra Musial:
It's really that easy and it's balanced. And then at the same class, we teach this lemon tahini cashew sauce that we kind of developed and it's so good, and you'd pour it over the any bean, any green, any grain and it's delicious. But we have like we share a bunch of oil-free sauces that people can add to that recipe to make it more interesting. Or you could just throw some salt on it.
This is great. And for anybody listening to this, we're also going to put the links to all of these programs in the post so you'll be able to see it, and hopefully take advantage of it, either. Because you can go to your program, whether they're remote or in person, right?
Dr Sandra Musial: Correct.
And when does your next one start? The Jumpstart.
Dr Sandra Musial: 32:51
Yeah, our next Jumpstart is going to be four Thursdays in January. Yeah, we're in the middle of one right now that's finishing up tonight actually. We usually do four a year and in addition, I'm doing a jumpstart your health for cancer survivors. And it's specifically focused on foods that fight cancer. And that was a five week, just one hour class with a short discussion on some food that's been shown in research to have anti-cancer benefits, followed by a super simple recipe.
So the whole class is just one hour. And then we have cooking together with the Plant Doc's classes, which has been a once a month cooking class with that same model of let's all just cook together.
So I send out the ingredients, and everyone cooks together in their kitchen and we just walk you through a recipe. So it's great for people who are a little nervous about new cooking techniques or ingredients they’re not familiar with and want to do it, it's like we're all cooking together. We have fun. Everyone asks questions
So it’s a community, you're kind of doing it with people, and it's a little bit of a commitment, but not overwhelming. That sounds great. I mean, what you're doing is so exciting to me and I wanted to circle back. So you switched careers in a sense, you just said, I’m going here, and you went all in. I mean, that's a very big deal for a doctor and I don't want to just glaze over that because that's massive.
Dr Sandra Musial:
It was really challenging because I had spent my life building this career and then an Assistant Professor at Brown University teaching the medical students at one of the top medical schools in the country that's like, quit my job and start teaching nutrition. Yeah, it was hard. I went to a professional life coach person I needed someone to tell me it was okay to follow my dreams to quit my job. And it happened during COVID, which made it a little easier because my clinic was inner city, it was in the basement of this hospital where some rooms had no windows. And we often got the fumes from the ambulances above that would build up. I mean, and then we're on the computer all day, which I hate. And then add to all that, wait there's two things, you got to wear your N95 all the time, and I would get migraines from the pressure on my face. And then the hospital is like, we're going to do renovations down here. Start like with their Jack cameras. I'm like, Okay I’m done
Tell you something. Oh, my goodness
Dr Sandra Musial:
Yeah, it was time to move on. And I never looked back once I left it was a hard detachment. But yeah, it's been really fun. It's been a year and a half now of not having that job and just building Plant Docs and trying to get the word out and trying to get this study to a place where I can publish it. So it's very exciting.
I'm just thrilled, I'm thrilled that I got, you know, I kind of believe in serendipity, and things opening up. And I think it was a nice serendipitous moment that I met you. And we hope that we can support you in any way that you know, put the word out about what you're doing. I just think it's so wonderful to have so much knowledge and people who really understand the science behind it and the experience of it and have compassion, be able to teach that. And you plant that seed and it will just you don't know who else, like with your brother, you know, it saved his life more than likely. And so this is exactly what we're all about at MamaSezz is your mission. And so anything that we can do is to support you. And I'd love to have you back on as well, as you're going through these things, and anything new that you have, we would love to share it with our community because you're just down the road from where we are so
Dr Sandra Musial:
Thank you. That's really generous.
Absolutely. We're very excited about what you're doing so
Dr Sandra Musial:
Yeah, and I feel like the more kind of collaborations between the different levels, people doing different things within this whole food plant-based movement, the better. And one thing I feel like, it's part of my mission is it's not a fad diet, right? It's so different than anything else. This is science, and this is evidence based. And this is really part of medicine, and it should be part of medicine. And this is a movement, not a fad diet. It's not going anywhere, people are going to learn about this, it will be taught in medical schools, it's starting already. But it's going to take, I don't know, a generation, several decades, probably before the medical community embraces it fully, and gets it. But it will happen.
I think it will. And it's interesting that I think part of what will help solve that are insurance companies. Because like Kaiser Permanente, they see the value. And it's not like they're super altruistic, although the people there have been lovely that we've worked with, but they get if people are eating this way, they're less likely to have a heart incident, that's going to be a massive insurance bill.
And so when insurance companies are putting, which feels like odd bedfellows, doesn't it? Like, are lobbying for what you believe in, that could turn the tide a little bit when they begin, where for some programs, Blue Cross, Blue Shield we’re reimbursable. And so and that's phenomenal that some people are able to get our meals that need them, and other like healthy meals. And so I think you're right, it's slow but sure, but it's your type of work. And all of us in this community that just stay the course, I think we're going to make a difference. It's going to happen. It is happening. Our time is just about up but I just wanted to thank you again.
I absolutely I know you're super busy. And I really appreciate you taking the time, I can't wait to share this with our group and we're going to talk again soon, I'm sure
Dr Sandra Musial:
Great. Thank you. Thank you so much.
Learn more about Dr. Sandra Musial and Plant Based Docs
Sandra Musial, MD, is a physician specializing in food as medicine. She earned a BS degree in Nutritional Sciences and an MD degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has worked in a private practice and at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, RI teaching pediatric residents and medical students.
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