On Monday, March 10th, the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) hosted another Meatless Monday cooking initiative for the resident doctors of Lenox Hill Hospital. Chef Richard LaMarita and Dr. Rob chose a southeast Asian vegan menu for this event and once again, the evening was a joy and the food was divine!
Chef Rich explained the inspiration for the menu, divided up the docs into small groups and off into the kitchen they went to cook. The smell of the food and the laughter of the group filled the space. Everybody was truly enjoying themselves while learning about some new techniques and ingredients. We were thrilled to have two medical students from Hofstra Medical School in attendance after meeting Dr. Rob and expressing their interest in the Fare Wellness movement.
What we love so much about NGI is their commitment to using only the finest and healthiest ingredients and Chef Rich always chooses such an incredible menu! The mission of these Fare Share classes is to show that cooking a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be bland or intimidating. There are so many delicious foods and spices to make eating healthy simple and delicious.
Thank you to the doctors for submitting their recipes and for being part of the Fare Wellness movement. If doctors know how to cook healthfully, they can pass these tips onto their patients. Thank you to the Monday Campaigns for partnering with us as well. Until our next event, remember, “Let food be thy medicine.” -Hippocrates
Last night, Dr. Rob attended a fundraising event for Toilet Hackers—a nonprofit organization transforming the toilet and sanitation crisis around the world. Toilet Hackers is committed to raising awareness and providing access to dignified sanitation to the 2.5 billion people without a toilet.
One child dies every 17 seconds due to lack of sanitation, unclean water and poor hygiene. Today, nearly 40% of the world does not have access to sanitation or toilets, or approximately the same number of people who live in the United States, India and Africa combined.
Access to sanitation will keep girls in school—one out of every three girls in Sub-Saharan Africa drop out of school once they start menstruating due to the lack of access to toilets at schools.
Access to sanitation will eliminate disease—improved access to sanitation and hygiene could liberate 1/2 of the hospitals beds in Africa. 1/10 of the world illnesses are caused by poor sanitation, bad hygiene and unsafe water.
Access to sanitation is good business—poor sanitation costs countries up to 7.2% of their GDP. Every dollar invested in sanitation brings an average $7 return in health costs averted and productivity gained.
Dr. Rob is privileged to be on the Toilet Hackers Medical Advisory Board. Here is more information on how to get involved: http://toilethackers.org/get-involved/do-epic-shit/
We sincerely hope you give a shit!
Last night at the Lenox Hill Hospital’s Department of Medicine’s annual Christmas party, Dr. Rob was honored to receive the “Stepping Up to the Plate” Award from his medical residents. The evening was held at the gorgeous D & D (Decoration & Design) Building in NYC, and the vibe was festive, indeed.
Dr. Rob wishes to thank all his colleagues and residents for this first-ever-of-its-kind award for “stepping up” as Program Director. This incredible group of young doctors should make all of us feel like we are in good and caring hands. Thanks for making Dr. Rob feel like a true New York Yankee…since this is the closest he’ll ever get….
On Monday, December 9th, Chef Michael Kiley and 16 chefs from nine North Shore LIJ hospitals joined Chef Richard LaMarita and Meatless Monday for a night of learning to cook healthy, nutritious and delicious meatless options at the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI). We were so delighted to be asked to participate in this first-ever “Fare Share” event.
Once again, Chef Rich LaMarita made the most incredible (mostly) vegan fare. Many of the hospital chefs were intrigued to learn how to prepare delicious vegetarian meals, so they can offer more vegetarian menu options at their respective hospital—for both the staff and the patients. I am so happy to say, the North Shore LIJ hospitals support “Meatless Monday.”
What’s so amazing about NGI is the care they put into choosing only the healthiest and finest ingredients. By the time our evening ended, many of the chefs admitted they had never enjoyed a vegetarian meal quite like the ones Chef Rich chose for us. It was so rewarding to see grown men completely satiated from a meat-free, plant-based meal. And, they seemed excited about the new creative possibilities.
Thank you again to Chef Michael Kiley for including us and for the blue chefs jackets. Thank you to Chef Rich LaMarita and all the chefs from the different hospitals. Also, this whole thing wouldn’t be possible without the amazing staff at the Natural Gourmet Institute. Thank you, once again, for opening your “home” to us. Until our next Meatless Monday “Fare Share” event….
This past October, Farmer Kristin and I planted organic herbs, medicinal plants, greens and flowers on the “Victory Greens” rooftop garden at Lenox Hill Hospital. Kristin gets all the credit here, as I was simply her “seed” eager to be watered and grow from this experience.
We are all so pleased how things are progressing at Lenox Hill Hospital and are so excited about using what’s been planted on the “Victory Greens” rooftop in the hospital cafeteria. I love hearing the stories from staff of how often they use “Victory Greens” to get some fresh air, eat lunch, and some doctors are even having meetings up there.
As we brace for the winter, Farmer Kristin has more good ideas! We have plans to plant more during the month of December. It’s going to be a fruitful Spring! Stay tuned….
Yesterday, Farmer Kristin and I took a ride out to Riverhead, Long Island, to visit “Garden of Eve’s Organic Market.” What a lovely place! We had pleasure of meeting Eve and choosing our organic herbs, greens, flowers and medicinal plants for Lenox Hill Hospital’s rooftop urban farm, “Victory Greens.”
We are so excited to begin the planting process on Wednesday, October 16th. We both feel so grateful for this awesome opportunity! Come Spring, “Victory Greens” should be in full bloom. Stay tuned….
Your Fare Lady,
Last night, we had another “Fare Share” event at the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI). A baker’s dozen of Lenox Hill Hospital’s resident doctors were selected to come and learn how to cook healthy, vegetarian fare, with the intention of sharing some of these simple cooking skills with their patients.
Chef Richard LaMarita’s menu was once again—mind blowing! Beginning with some Agua de Jamaica and his chilled poblano soup and ending with his dark chocolate cake with homemade coffee ice cream. We all had a chance to learn some tips from Chef Rich and then split up the recipes in the kitchen. The young doctors seemed upbeat and grateful for the opportunity to mingle with each other outside the hospital. We did our “Fare Share” in the kitchen and then sat down together to eat, drink wine and enjoy the food—and each other’s company.
One of the night’s highlights was meeting the new CEO, Anthony Fassio. Anthony is Chair of Slow Food NYC: The New York City chapter of Slow Food, a non-profit, member-supported organization founded in 1989 to counteract the culture of fast food. Slow Food stands against the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. What a sweet and charming man! I know the school will flourish under Anthony’s guidance and we are so excited about our continued collaborations in the future.
The night would not be complete without a visit from Sid Lerner, CEO of the Monday Campaigns, and real-life “Mad Man.” Sid is always a pleasure to be around, and is such a creative inspiration for those of us who love to play with words and phrases. His vision and energy is infectious and I can’t help but to get a bit giddy when he’s around. Thank you for your support and friendship, Sid!
Thank you so much to all the staff at NGI who kept things flowing in the kitchen and for cleaning up after us. The night was lovely and we are already getting another date on the books. I met Dr. Annemarie Colbin during my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and hunted her down after her lecture to introduce myself. I followed up with an email about a potential collaboration. I am so happy to see the “fruits” of my labor. Dr. Rob is truly a visionary and trying to change the way doctors do medicine on a macro level is not an easy task. But, “One bite at a time….”
Planting the Seeds of Change!
Building “up” Victory Greens urban rooftop oasis and farm at Lenox Hill Hospital. Our amazing urban farmer and extraordinary engineers have been keeping busy: planters and beds have been created; some new furniture has arrived; and, soil and fertilizer are ready for seeds!
Check out the progress…and stay tuned!
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi
Today is a very exciting day for Lenox Hill Hospital employees! After eight years of being closed, the “Victory Greens” rooftop is now officially open. The hospital chefs prepared lunch for many excited staff members, as they mingled and enjoyed the open sky, fresh air and sunshine.
Dr. Rob was instrumental in opening up “Victory Greens” and so were a few other dedicated people. So far, there are flowers up there and a few benches; but, this is just the very beginning stages of what’s to come. Robert and I have already ordered new umbrella tables, benches and rocking chairs so people can eat, chill and rock—with the Manhattan sky as their backdrop!
A few months ago during the Urban Agriculture Conference, I met the most amazing woman who will be our urban farmer for the rooftop. She has already designated the space to grow herbs, medicinal plants, flowers and vegetables. We are also starting a composting program. By next Spring, “Victory Greens” will be in full bloom and I am so excited to be working as the farmer’s apprentice on this amazing project!
The hospital has many plans for “Victory Greens” including using it for cocktail parties, luncheons, meetings and interviews. We wish to thank the Engineering department, and a few other key people who, like us, were determined to make this happen. Robert and I hope the “Victory Greens” rooftop, combined with the Calm and yoga classes, will help ease the stress of our healthcare workers, because happier healthcare workers = happier patients. Stay tuned as we continue to plant the seeds of change for “Victory Greens.”
Julie & Dr. Rob
P.S. We wanted a modern version of a Victory Garden: As part of the war effort, the government rationed foods like sugar, butter, milk, cheese, eggs, coffee, meat and canned goods. Labor and transportation shortages made it hard to harvest and move fruits and vegetables to market. So, the government turned to its citizens and encouraged them to plant “Victory Gardens.” They wanted individuals to provide their own fruits and vegetables…. http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe40s/crops_02.html