Holistic Massage School Applauds ‘Food Is Medicine’ Initiative for Californians

Healing Hands School of Holistic Health, (Healing Hands), commends the efforts of California State Senator, Ben Allen and Assembly members, Richard Bloom and Blanca Rubio”, said Paula Curtiss, Founding Director. “On Friday, May 4, they initiated a pilot Program named: “Food is Medicine” to deliver free meals to Medi-Cal recipients in need of a specific diet to manage their medical condition.  As a school of the Holistic Healing Arts, we’re extremely pleased that California Doctors are now recognizing and prescribing food as Medicine”, she continued. 

The Food is Medicine initiative was based off recent research published by MANNA, a non-profit organization that delivers nourishing food to chronically ill people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The study revealed that customized meals reduced the number of patient trips to the hospital and the need for long term care after a hospital stay, by 23%.  These meals not only enhanced patient quality of life, they facilitated a major reduction in hospital costs as well. 

Customized meals are being distributed by the Food is Medicine Coalition, comprised of dozens of nutrition service providers, like MANNA.  These providers are dedicated to providing nutritional services to individuals with serious and/or chronic illnesses within their communities.  The Coalition also promotes nutrition education, research on health outcomes, and research on cost of care for individuals receiving medically customized meals.

Medically customized meals are designed by a Registered dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and reflect proven nutritional guidelines for specific medical conditions.  Factors taken into consideration during meal creation include the patient’s illness, medications, allergies and tolerances.  Patients with cancer for example, are instructed to eat high-calorie meals.  Patients with Diabetes, on the other hand, need meals low in sugar and processed carbs.  Individuals suffering from cardiovascular disease require low cholesterol & low sodium diets. Though requirements may differ, one thing’s for sure, what a patient eats has a major impact on their mood, and health outcomes.

The Faculty at Healing Hands believes that while customized nutrition may be key to improving outcomes for those struggling with disease, holistic nutrition is key to preventing it in the first place!  Accordingly, the school offers an exceptionally popular course, ‘Holistic Nutrition, taught by Herbal Medicine and Nutrition Educator, Shana Lipner-Grover. Holistic Nutrition starts August 24th at the Escondido campus (Register by Aug. 10th). In Shana’s class, students examine the basic nutrients in food and how they affect the mind and body. Students are introduced to healthy recipes and develop a customized nutrition plan.  What students learn in ‘Holistic Nutrition’ helps them build a strong foundation for their own and their clients’ long-term health.

A trail-blazer for Massage and Holistic Health education in SoCal, Healing Hands has prepared more than 7,000 Graduates for success as Professional Massage Therapist and Holistic Health Practitioners. Boasting more than 80 Massage and Holistic Health classes, you can learn everything you need to know about the Holistic Healing Arts at Healing Hands.  Check us out online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills, (760) 946-9364 in Escondido, or (858) 505-1100 in San Diego. Healing Hands School of Holistic Health is “Touching Lives, Touching Hearts”, since 1992.

Holistic Massage School Shares Five Strategies for Grocery Shopping for Optimal Nutrition

“We all know that food ordered at a local Diner or Buffet can be filled with empty calories and ingredients that aren’t always the healthiest” said Harmony Curtiss, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health – Laguna Hills (Healing Hands).  “By selecting and cooking your own meals, you are empowered to take charge of your nutritional intake which is essential to Holistic Health”, she continued.

According to researchers in Australia who examined the habits of 1, 136 women, food shoppers who made a habit of planning meals made better shopping decisions.  The evidence showed that those who pre-planned and shopped with grocery lists ate more healthfully than those who did not.  Shopping choices for these women included more fruits, vegetables and healthier product options. The study also found that approaching grocery shopping as a holistic practice to nurture yourself (and your family) as opposed to a chore, made a huge difference.

To ensure that your next trip to the grocery store is one you’ll look forward to, the Faculty at Healing Hands has put together five ‘Insider Tips’.  These tips will help you navigate grocery stores and find the best products, so you receive the best return for your nutritional dollar.

Tip #1 – Even those of us who do read labels acknowledge they can be extremely confusing. Fortunately, experts say that as a rule, the fewer the ingredients listed on the label, the healthier the food.  So, the best option is to select the product with the shortest list of ingredients.

Tip #2 – Observe your product’s positioning on the shelf.  Be aware that the big food companies pay “slotting fees” to position their products on the shelves at eye level.  The tactic usually leaves the top and bottom shelves open for healthier, more natural alternatives.   So, be prepared to look high and low for the most nutritious options.

Tip #3 –Shop the circumference of the store to find foods with the best nutritional values.  In most grocery stores, the healthiest food items can be found along the walls, rather than within internal isles.  Fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and fresh meat, poultry and seafood can all be found around the edges of the store. Typically, nutritionally less potent, processed food items are moved to the inner isles, and often can be avoided all together.

Tip #4 – Remember the Nutrition Pyramid and be sure to include your daily requirement of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and low-fat protein sources when planning meals and creating a shopping list.  The Pyramid model does not take into account dietary restrictions of all individuals, so learning what YOUR individual needs are, is equally important.  Having healthy selections readily available can keep your blood sugar balanced and curb unhealthy food cravings and impulsive eating.

Tip #5 –  Beware of deceptive marketing tactics. Many conglomerate companies use words that sound healthy to ‘spin’ the description of their food product.  For example, the term ‘Whole grains’ ensures the product has not been refined and stripped of most of its nutritional value.  The term ‘Multi-grain’ on the other hand, is deceptive as it may or may not have been refined, so it offers no guarantee of its nutritional value.  Learning differences such as these can help you avoid consuming foods with empty calories.

At Healing Hands, our wonderful Faculty  inspires students with the most comprehensive massage therapy and holistic health courses in southern California! Please see the full schedule of courses. Founded in 1992 Healing Hands has prepared more than 7,000 Graduates for rewarding careers as Professional Massage Therapists and can do the same for you. If you’d like to learn more about our programs, please contact us.