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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014


Conference explores 'The Healing Power of Food' Oct. 23 at Allegheny General Hospital

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Allegheny General Hospital’s Integrated Medicine Program will present “The Healing Power of Food,” a one-day conference aimed at helping people make the best food choices to optimize their health, Saturday, Oct. 23, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The day will include a panel discussion with local integrative medicine health practitioners, an examination of various healthy diets including plant-based, Ayurvedic, Mediterranean, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Macrobiotic. The afternoon will include cooking demonstrations and the opportunity to purchase healthy goodies.
“Research clearly shows that the right food choices can prevent and even treat many diseases and conditions,” said Betsy Blazek-O’Neill, MD, Chair of the Integrated Medicine Program at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH). “With ‘The Healing Power of Food,’ we want to help you learn more about healthy diets and determine what eating style is best for you, given your needs, health status and circumstances.”
Nationally-known author Dr. Will Clower will discuss “The Fat Fallacy,” and local gardening expert Doug Oster will discuss his latest book, “Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil.” Participants will learn about the scientific evidence behind healthy eating, and also learn quick and easy ways to prepare healthy and delicious meals.
The morning’s discussion will be followed by an afternoon of cooking demonstrations a variety of savory delights for lunch. Free Reiki and chair-massage sessions will be offered throughout the day on a first-come, first-served basis.
Conference participants include:
-Dr. O’Neill is the Medical Director of AGH’s Integrated Medicine Program, which combines conventional medical treatment with complementary approaches such as acupuncture, yoga, and relaxation therapies. Dr. O'Neill is a board-certified physiatrist (specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation). She attended the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, receiving her MD degree in 1987. She performed a general medical internship followed by a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency, both at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She is a senior attending physician at Allegheny General Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Drexel University Medical School. Dr. O'Neill lectures extensively in the Pittsburgh region on healthy lifestyles and wellness.
- Jennifer Whiteside, M.Ac., a licensed acupuncturist who practices in AGH’s Integrated Medicine Program, has studied Chinese Herbal Medicine and various styles of Japanese Acupuncture and Acupressure. She received a master’s degree in acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture and a bachelor of arts from the University of Notre Dame. She treats people of all ages from infants to the elderly for a variety of conditions including pain, digestive difficulties, gynecological issues, stress, smoking cessation, allergies, asthma and autoimmune disorders. Her holistic approach to health empowers patients to better care for themselves by offering guidance on nutrition, breathing techniques, meditation and exercise.
- Janet McKee is a board-certified Holistic Health Counselor and a certified member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, affiliated with Columbia University, she helps clients achieve their wellness goals in her private practice. She works with individuals as well as groups, teaching how food and lifestyle choices affect one’s overall health and well-being, and teaching enjoyable and effective dietary and lifestyle improvements. In addition, she offers corporate wellness workshops. She represents The Cancer Project, founded by Dr. Neal Barnard, in Western Pennsylvania and on the web. McKee’s web site is at www.janetmckee.com
- Doug Oster is the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Backyard Gardener and co-hosts the popular “Organic Gardeners” show Sunday mornings on KDKA-AM. He also appears Thursdays on KDKA-TV’s “Pittsburgh Today Live” and is a regular guest on the Morning Living Show for Martha Stewart Radio on Sirius XM. Oster also writes an herbs/cooking column for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. He contributes to Pittsburgh Magazine, Table Magazine and The Heirloom Gardener. He also just released his third book “Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil,” and has co-authored two others, “Grow Organic” and “A Gardener’s Journal.” Oster lists as his most satisfying accomplishment founding “Cultivating Success,” a garden program for foster and adoptive children that operates in two counties near Pittsburgh.
- Dr. Lina G. Thakar is founder and director of Ayurveda in Pittsburgh and is a licensed practioner of Ayurveda, a holistic approach to health that seeks harmony in life and nature. In her native India, she received a bachelor’s degree in Ayurvedic medicine and surgery from Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya. Known as “Dr. Lina,” she lives and promotes a complete Ayurvedic lifestyle and teaches Ayurvedic nutrition and cooking classes on healing herbs and spices, and cooking methods for restoration of health and balance. Ayurveda professes that food is the first and most important tool in healing, and that eating foods that are local and in season, and that match your own constitutional needs, is most beneficial to your health. Her web site is at www.AyurvedaInPittsburgh.com
- Rosemary Traill operates “Cooking Green With Rosemary,” offering natural food counseling and cooking instruction in Sewickley. Her interest in macrobiotics began after her mother’s death from breast cancer and after her own health began to deteriorate. She credits her education at the Kushi Institute and the Vega Study Center with healing her migraines and eczema, and improving the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. In 2003, Dr. Antonia Demas certified Traill to teach the “Food is Elementary” program, now operating in four Pittsburgh schools. Traill has helped many people, including those suffering from serious illnesses, make changes to their diets, and offers monthly cooking classes, private consultations and lectures. Her web site is at www.cookinggreenwithrosemary.com
- Dr. Will Clower is an award-winning author who applies his knowledge of neurosciences to explain how people in the Mediterranean culture enjoy rich, healthy foods and yet stay thin, healthy and long-lived. Inspired by the people of France, his breakthrough book “The Fat Fallacy” has been featured in numerous media outlets including The View, Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, USA Today, New York Times, Reader’s Digest and Cosmopolitan. Dr. Clower also brings his skills as an educator to corporate wellness environments, medical centers and academic institutions, making the healthy Mediterranean lifestyle accessible to Americans. His work has also been applied to a successful program for school children in sixth to eighth grades in Pittsburgh and New York City.
The conference will be held in AGH’s George J. Magovern, MD, Conference Center, 320 E. North Ave. on Pittsburgh’s North Side. Cost is $30 and all proceeds benefit AGH’s Integrated Medicine Program.
The days schedule:
- 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. – Registration.
- 9 a.m. – noon – Discussion of “The Science of Healthy Eating,” with Dr. O’Neill and other conference presenters.
- Noon – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch
- 1:30 – Doug Oster cooking demonstration, “Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic”
- 2:15 – Dr. Lina Thakar cooking demonstration, “Cooking with Ayurvedic Spices.”
- 3 p.m. – Janet McKee cooking demonstration, “Delicious Desserts.”
To register or for more information, call (877) 284-2000. Interested vendors or exhibitors may email sven@peaceburgh.net

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