We sat down with Dr. Gundry to learn more about his lifelong interest in medicine, his study of food as medicine (and his favorite Lavva flavor!).
When did you become interested in practicing medicine?
I decided to become a Doctor at age 10 when I read a book in my elementary school library called “All About You.” I never wavered.
What led to your study of nutrition and diet as a compliment to your medical practice?
At Yale University in the 70’s we were able to design our own major. I elected to defend a thesis that you could take a great ape, manipulate its food supply and environment, and arrive at a human being. I received an honor for my thesis and gave it to my parents. I went on to become a world famous heart surgeon and forgot about my thesis. Fast forward to the late 90’s when, 70 lbs overweight despite running 30 miles a week, going to the gym for one hour daily, and eating a healthy low fat diet, I was referred a gentleman who I call “Big Ed” in all my books, showed me that by following a diet that followed my Yale Thesis and taking supplements from a health food store, in 6 months he had lost 45 lbs and cleaned out 50% of the severe blockages in his coronary arteries! When I put myself on my Yale thesis, I lost 50lbs in a year and a total of 70 lbs and have kept it off for 20 years.
I subsequently started teaching my heart surgery patients these techniques and saw that their high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, arthritis resolved. So, after a year of doing this for a year as Professor and Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery, I resigned my position and set up a Clinic to put these teachings into patient care directly to reverse any disease process that they presented to my Clinic with.
What are your favorite foods? What does a typical day of meals look like for you?
My favorite saying is, “The only purpose of food is to get Olive Oil into your mouth!” My favorite foods are the chicory vegetables like radicchio, endive, frisée, and mushrooms, avocados, and wild shellfish.
What are your favorite prebiotic/probiotic foods (besides Lavva!)?
Since I have what I consider to be the best prebiotic and probiotic powders and supplements, all designed by me based on 20 years of patient research, at GundryMD.com, these are what I take and recommend. Also, the more resistant starches, like that included in Lavva (plantains and cassava), or in chicory vegetables, artichokes, sunchokes for example, the better. It’s important to remember that probiotics need prebiotics to work their magic.
In addition to food as medicine, what other modalities are part of your wellness practice?
I actually write prescriptions for patients to get a dog! Many have returned to tell me that that prescription was the most important Rx that they had ever gotten from a doctor! I also highly recommend time restricted eating and/or intermittent fasting.
What’s your favorite Lavva flavor? And favorite way to eat Lavva?
Blueberry and Strawberry, tied. As a smoothie with my Vital Reds and PreBiothrive powders. Wow! What a combo!