What does Whole Food, Plant Based Mean?

  • By Jengyu Lai
  • 19 Oct, 2016

Written by Kayley Gamm, RDN

Last night, during class 5 of the Cardinal CHIP program, we discussed the benefits of the whole food, plant based diet and what it meant to eat more and weigh less. We had a fun night last night, eating spaghetti squash and a quinoa southwestern chili. Spaghetti squash is a very versatile fall and winter vegetable. See below for tips on how to prepare spaghetti squash.

Whole Foods Market named plant-based everything a top 10 trend for 2016. Vegetables and grains are becoming the star of dishes rather than something that is being pushed aside or hidden in sauces and gravies. People are starting to celebrate the flavors and colors of foods that are grown and showcasing them in amazing dishes.
We here at Rochester Clinic have been working on bringing a whole food, plant based lifestyle to the community for over two years now, so today I am going to tell you the basics of this lifestyle.
The main key to following a whole food, plant based diet is to dramatically limit the amount of processed foods you eat, focusing instead on eating foods that are grown. This includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, bean and lentils, nuts and seeds and root vegetables such as parsnips and potatoes. Make these foods the stars of your meal and eat as much as you want.
Limit foods such as meat, eggs, dairy and fats and oils. These foods are processed, higher in unhealthy fats and take longer for your body to breakdown.
If you want to learn more about starting a whole food, plant based lifestyle, contact us here at the Rochester Clinic by calling 507-218-3095 for more information.

The last couple nights we have been having our CHIPPERS try spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash gets its name from the noodle like strands that are created by scraping the insides with a fork. Spaghetti squash is high in B vitamins, folate and potassium. It also has both omega-3 and omega-6, which are important as your body is not able to make them. It is bright yellow and oblong shaped.

To prepare a spaghetti squash, cut it lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and place cut side down on a baking tray.
Fill the tray with about ½ inch of water and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-40 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.
When the squash is done cooking, you should be able to scrape the squash horizontally with a fork, creating long spaghetti like strands.
Top the squash with your favorite red sauce or toss it with vegetables for a delicious main dish.

We also roasted the squash seeds for a delicious, crunchy snack. To do this, clean the seeds up and boil them in slightly salted water for about 10 minutes. This gives the seeds an extra crunch when baking them. Coat a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray, toss the seeds with any flavoring you like, I used paprika, garlic powder, a pinch of salt and pepper, and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, stir, then bake for an additional 10-12 minutes or until seeds are browned and crunchy.

Share with me your favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash!

News / Blogs

By Jengyu Lai 31 Aug, 2017

Healthcare costs in the U.S. are on the rise. It is estimated that 70-80% of healthcare costs are due to chronic disease, and the main reason for a trip to the doctor.


Exactly what is chronic disease and what can you do about it? Chronic diseases are conditions that cannot be prevented or cured by vaccinations or medications, nor do they go away on their own.


Common chronic diseases:

●    Elevated cholesterol

●    Type 2 diabetes

●    Hypertension

●    Obesity

●    Coronary heart disease

●    High blood pressure

●    Osteoporosis

●    Arthritis

●    Fatigue


However, living significantly longer and increasing quality of life is a reality, even for those with these chronic diseases. Modifications in lifestyle will lessen and potentially eliminate chronic conditions, and therefore increase quality of life and reduce medical expenses. You have the power to take charge of your health. This is lifestyle medicine.


Lifestyle modifications include:

●    Plant-based, whole food diet and nutrition

●    Physical activity

●    Stress reduction

●    Family/social support network


Through this evidence-based research, you can change the course of your health. With simple, fun, and flexible adaptations, the lifestyle medicine approach is a whole new way of living.


For more information on Rochester Clinic, the services and programs we offer, please give us a call at

507-218-3095, visit our website at www.RochesterClinic.com , or e-mail to Health@RochesterClinic.com .


We are happy to answer your questions and get you on your way to a healthy life!

By Jengyu Lai 03 Jul, 2017

Whether you’ve fully adopted a plant-based diet or are simply dipping your toes in the water, there’s no doubt that wholesome food is at the center of one’s wellbeing.


Here we’ve rounded up five of our favorite cookbooks that are chock full of nourishing recipes and nutrition tips that are sure to assist in your healthy eating goals:


1.         Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook

If you watched the Forks Over Knives documentary (read more about it here , along with the rest of our top documentary picks), you know what FOK is all about – the concept that degenerative diseases afflicting so much of the U.S. today can be controlled and even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. This cookbook features 300+ plant-based recipes which place fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes in the lime light.


2.         The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes

This cookbook came to fruition thanks to The China Study; a book touting one of the most comprehensive nutrition studies ever conducted which reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health and can halt or even reverse many diseases. The China Study Cookbook shares 120+ plant-based, nutrient-dense recipes that promote optimal health.


3.         The PlantPure Nation Cookbook: The Official Companion Cookbook to the Breakthrough Film

PlantPure Nation, yet another noteworthy documentary created by the same producers as Forks Over Knives, provides this trusty companion cookbook boasting 150+ plant-centric recipes. It’s also filled with tips, tricks, and grocery lists for people interested in a whole food, plant-based diet.


4.         Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes

Inspire healthful, plant-based eating among the whole family with this must-have cookbook from Dreena Burton. From delicious school lunches to appetizing on-the-go snacks, this book supplies more than 100 kid-tested and approved recipes and serves as an excellent reference for parents raising young ones on a whole food, vegan diet.


5.         Crazy Sexy Kitchen

Don’t let the risqué title of this one deter you. Author and cancer survivor Kris Carr attributes her triumph over cancer to her lifestyle changes, most especially her diet. After embracing a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods, she soon discovered the transformative power of nutrition and felt better than she ever had. This cookbook offers 150+ recipes that includes everything from fresh-pressed juices to delectable desserts.


Also recommended: Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, But I Could Never Go Vegan


What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Share on our Facebook page !

By Jengyu Lai 28 Jun, 2017
Knee pain is hindering your daily enjoyment. It hurts to sit; it hurts to stand. And exercise is out of the question. You have tried injections and knee braces but nothing is working. What do you do? Now is the time to call Rochester Clinic.

You will receive a thorough assessment from one of our physicians. Our goal is to stop the pain, find the root cause, treat the cause, and maintain a pain free state. Rochester Clinic and your healthcare team will look at your diet, physical activity, medications, and health conditions including injury, disease, and weight. We take a conservative approach to healthcare before suggesting surgical interventions. We have an on-site clinical laboratory, Digital x-ray, and biomechanics laboratory for the best assessments and diagnostics.

Simple changes in lifestyle choices may alleviate much of your pain. You will learn exercises to strengthen weak muscles, increase flexibility, and safe options for weight management to reduce pressure on your joints. Interesting fact: The foods you eat can help or hinder joint inflammations.

The structure of your foot and knee may also be a cause for your pain. High arches, flat feet, pronation or supination of the foot will affect the pressure and development of the knee. Something as simple as the right footwear or custom orthotics would provide pain relief.

We have the tools to help you be on your way to living a healthy, active, and pain free day!

For more information on Rochester Clinic, the services and programs we offer, please give us a call at  507-218-3095, visit our website at www.RochesterClinic.com , or e-mail to Health@RochesterClinic.com.

We are happy to answer your questions and get you on your way to a healthy life!

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