Traditional doctors and I, we do not get along so well. Holistic medicine has saved my life more than once, and to be quite frank western medicine has often hurt me more than helped me. For the past 10 years I have used vegan nutrition, herbs, supplements, and alternative healing modalties to get over colds, flus, chronic illness, you name it. There is an amazing growing community of functional doctors, doctors who are traditionally trained in western medicine, but who also seek training and knowledge from alternative medicine, or what I like to call natures medicine. It is so incredible to see this shift in perspective, this amazing movement that is occurring within western medicine. Doctors realizing that nutrition is imperative to living a healthy life, and that more than 16 hours is needed to truly understand and appreciate it. Dr. Beth Ricanati is a functional Womens Health physician who works on prevention of illness, nutrition, stress management, hormone balancing and more! Her new venture House Calls for Wellness, was born out of her passion & belief that health & wellness begin at home. House Calls is a social media content provider of simple, practical ideas for how to implement having a healthy home, room by room. Beth is an absolute joy to talk to, filled with knowledge and a desire to constantly learn more, discover more. In order to reach people around the world, we need Doctors like Beth, we need people to open their minds, hearts and souls to ALL healing. Western medicine has its place, there is a reason for its existence, but there is also a place in daily life for holistic wellness and prevention of disease. Enjoy getting to know beautiful Beth, her journey in medicine and her thoughts on the future of medicine!
Hello Beth! So lovely to have you here! To jump right in, what called you to medicine, and then to functional medicine?
I went into medicine with the sole purpose of working with women. I had been exposed to women’s health issues in college and decided then that if I wanted to have an impact, going to medical school would be crucial! I expanded my focus from women’s health into women’s health and wellness after being in practice for a while and common themes – nutrition, exercise, stress management and sleep – kept popping up.
When did your love for Nutrition truly blossom?
When I was pregnant with our first child, I really began to focus on what I was eating and the impact that it was having both on my and our child. Then, as we began to raise our three children, we put a great deal of emphasis on the foods that they ate ~ the additional benefit was that my diet improved. Simultaneously, I was working with patients with eating disorders at this time, and so the medical complications of disordered eating were foremost in my mind.
Did you grow up in the kitchen?
My mom made a homemade family dinner at least 4-5 nights a week throughout my child, so fortunately I was always around cooking!
What is your take on our Medical System? Where do you see room for improvement?
We focus a great deal of our time and energy and money on treatment; I’d rather focus on prevention: it’s easier, has a greater impact and is significantly cheaper. Fortunately I do see improvement now, much more so than when I was training. More and more, both clinicians and patients are open to both traditional medicine and more alternative approaches. I think that they work so well together!
Your take on our modern food system? How do you think we could change for the better?
Between the advent of the internet and social media, and our changing climate (think: drought here in California) and our increasing knowledge about how various foods affect our health and wellbeing, I think that we are at moment in time when our food system is changing for the better. The 70s and 80s were a time of burgeoning unhealthiness – high fructose corn syrup, fast food proliferation, processed food proliferation – and now in the early 2000s we are realizing the impact of those choices and making different, more informed choices. I am optimistic.
What do you want others to take from House Calls for Wellness?
House Calls for Wellness is a movement that prescribes simple, practical and easily attainable ideas for a healthy home. That’s it. No fancy gimmicks. Just simple advice to help us get and stay healthy room by room.
What are your ultimate goals for House Calls for Wellness?
I want to continue to inspire women and to dialogue with women about how we can be healthy in body and mind, starting in our own homes. I am amazed what Martha Stewart did for elevating peoples views of their homes; I can only aspire to bring the same focus to the health and well being of the home.
Top Five places you would like to visit in the world and why?
Greece: I’ve always wanted to sail in and around the Greek Isles. I love the contrasting blue and white images that I’ve seen.
Ireland: It sounds so romantic; all that greenery and fog and history!
Japan: That the Japanese have an appreciation of exquisite detail and finding beauty in everything has always appealed to me.
Galapagos: I have always wanted to see the birds that Darwin wrote about, now more than ever given the risks to the islands with climate change.
Montana : Big Sky country. Say no more!
What are some of your favorite daily rituals?
Morning prayer of gratitude
Emptying the dishwasher while making coffee
What is cooking for you? What does it make you feel?
I LOVE to cook! I cook everyday; it’s meditative for me. I can so easily loose myself in thought cutting vegetables, for example. I love to create something out of nothing; in fact, my favorite meals are when I just open the fridge and see what I can put together in some new way. Leftovers not only taste better the next day, but are so much fun to play around with & make something new!
An easy healthy recipe you would like to share with us?
Roasted chickpeas are a go-to snack at our house:
1 can of organic chickpeas (I’m a Trader Joe’s gal, but from wherever is fine)
To taste: (this is the best part: pick what you want, change it up depending on your mood) salt and pepper, garlic powder, turmeric powder
Extra virgin olive oil
I rinse the chickpeas until the water runs clear, then dry them. Lightly coat with olive oil and spices and spread evenly on a cooking tray. Bake in preheated oven (375 degrees, or hotter if you want crispier!) for at least 15-20 minutes. I like them a bit softer than my husband, who likes to roast them a bit longer. Cool and enjoy!