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The Health Science Podcast | Episode 068. | February 22, 2024
 068: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired with Dr. Kerry Graff 
 068: Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired with Dr. Kerry Graff 

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In the realm of healthcare, fear often becomes a driving force for individuals who have recently received a traumatic diagnosis like heart disease, Type II diabetes, or cancer. It’s within this landscape of apprehension and uncertainty that Dr. Kerry Graff, a seasoned practitioner in lifestyle medicine and family practice, extends her expertise.

In a recent interview on the NHA Health Science Podcast, Dr. Graff shared insights into her unique approach, emphasizing the importance of addressing fear as a motivator while promoting sustainable lifestyle changes. Although many professionals might choose to use fear to motivate a patient, Dr. Graff uses a more positive approach.

Dr. Kerry Graff’s venture into lifestyle medicine unfolds as a narrative of transformation, driven by profound moments and a commitment to holistic well-being. With over 26 years of conventional medical practice, her evolution into a board-certified lifestyle medicine physician has reshaped not only her professional approach but also her personal health journey.

Aha Moments: Catalysts for Change

Dr. Graff’s initial shift began with two pivotal “aha” moments. The first crystallized during a patient’s narrative, emphasizing the significance of addressing root causes over symptom management. This revelation prompted Dr. Graff to explore comprehensive solutions beyond traditional medications.

Her second “aha” moment occurred on a personal level when confronted with health challenges like hypothyroidism, depression, and excess weight. The documentary “Forks Over Knives” triggered a transformative shift, inspiring her to adopt a whole food plant-based diet. This decision led to swift improvements in her health, solidifying her belief in lifestyle interventions.

Board Certification in Lifestyle Medicine

In 2017, Dr. Graff achieved a significant milestone, becoming one of the first 204 individuals globally to attain board certification in lifestyle medicine. This certification became a cornerstone, reinforcing her dedication to evidence-based science and the promotion of whole plant food diets and healthy lifestyles.

Love.Life Telehealth: A Revolutionary Platform

Dissatisfied with the limitations of traditional healthcare, Dr. Graff embraced a new frontier: Love.Life Telehealth. This innovative telehealth service allows her to extend her expertise beyond geographical constraints, guiding individuals across the country towards holistic well-being. Dr. Graff advocates telehealth as an ideal platform for lifestyle medicine, where physical examinations take a back seat to empowering patients for positive lifestyle changes.

The Six Pillars of Lifestyle Medicine

Dr. Graff’s practice revolves around the six pillars of lifestyle medicine: addressing substances, dietary choices, physical activity, stress management, quality sleep, and nurturing positive relationships. In initial consultations, she collaborates with patients to set specific goals, emphasizing positive motivators tailored to individual needs.

Within the telehealth setting, Dr. Graff employs diverse resources to guide patients in stress management, sleep hygiene, and exercise routines. This collaborative approach extends beyond a single visit, ensuring ongoing support and communication.

Holistic Well-being in Action

Dr. Kerry Graff exemplifies a holistic approach to healthcare, seamlessly blending her traditional medical background with a preventive focus on lifestyle changes. Her journey serves as an inspiration for individuals to seize control of their health and embrace well-being as a lifelong endeavor.

As healthcare paradigms evolve, platforms like Love.Life Telehealth redefine accessibility to personalized lifestyle medicine. Dr. Graff’s dedication echoes a broader shift, emphasizing prevention, holistic well-being, and the transformative impact of lifestyle choices.

Episode Highlights 

[00:00] Introduction 

[02:00] A pivotal experience with a patient that was a big “aha” for Dr. Graff.

[05:00] Dr. Graff’s personal “aha” experience with WFPB that changed everything. 

[08:30] The 4 Leaf Survey and the power to reveal one’s eating habits. 

[13:30] Discovering others practicing lifestyle medicine swings the door open. 

[14:45] From a micro practice to adding in telehealth services.

[18:00] An indication a patient is open to lifestyle medicine.

[24:30] Three things that will impact your health negatively.  

[30:00] Meeting patients where they are at with improvements.

[32:30] Addressing gut health issues that make solutions tolerable.

[37:00] Musician, athlete, and a new book round out Dr. Graff’s life.

About Dr. Kerry Graff

Dr. Kerry Graff, a distinguished medical professional, earned her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1994 and completed her family medicine residency at UPMC Shadyside in 1997. For the past 26 years, she has been a stalwart practitioner of family medicine in the scenic Finger Lakes area, based in Canandaigua, NY.

In 2014, Dr. Graff underwent a profound personal health transformation through the adoption of a whole food, plant-based diet. Deepening her commitment to promoting holistic health, she attained the T. Colin Campbell Plant-Based Nutrition Certification through eCornell. Since then, she has been actively engaging with patients, imparting the benefits of plant-based diets to reverse diseases.

A trailblazer in the field, Dr. Graff joined the American College of Lifestyle Medicine in 2014, positioning herself as one of the inaugural 204 board-certified lifestyle medicine physicians globally in 2017—the very first year board certification became available.

In 2018, Dr. Graff extended her impact by joining Rochester Regional Health. While delivering comprehensive primary care services to a select panel of patients, she assumed the pivotal role of Lead Lifestyle Medicine Physician. Here, she left an indelible mark by establishing a groundbreaking lifestyle medicine consultation service. Dr. Graff tirelessly worked to integrate lifestyle medicine throughout the health system, contributing to provider education, identifying, and nurturing providers interested in lifestyle medicine board certification, and spearheading lifestyle medicine program development.

In September 2023, driven by her unwavering passion, Dr. Graff transitioned to a role as a dedicated lifestyle medicine consultant. Devoting 100% of her time to her mission, she continues to advocate for transformative healthcare practices.

In a voluntary capacity, Dr. Graff serves as the Chief Medical Officer of 4Leaf Global. Additionally, she co-authored the impactful “4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health—Using the Power of Food to Heal Ourselves and Our Planet.” Demonstrating her commitment to societal well-being, all proceeds from the book are directed towards initiatives fostering plant-based eating for both human and planetary health.

Dr. Kerry Grafff’s illustrious career exemplifies a steadfast commitment to advancing healthcare through lifestyle medicine, contributing to the well-being of individuals and the planet.

More information 

About Dr. Frank Sabatino

As a recognized authority on the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, Dr. Frank Sabatino has cared for and inspired thousands of people for over 40 years. Dr. Sabatino has a PhD in cell biology and neuroendocrinology and has done extensive landmark research on calorie restriction, stress, and aging. He currently is on staff at the TrueNorth Health Foundation in Santa Rosa, CA, and serves as the Director of Health Education at the NHA.

Dr. Sabatino’s passion and life’s work include raising awareness about the benefits of whole-food, plant-exclusive nutrition (without added salt, oil, or sugar), health rejuvenation and stress management.

About NHA

The National Health Association (NHA), founded in 1948, is a nonprofit organization that promotes the benefits of a plant-based diet. The Association provides educational materials, educational events, and services to thousands of people around the world.

The mission of the National Health Association is to educate and empower individuals to understand that health results from healthful living. The NHA recognizes the integration of all aspects of health: personal, environmental, and social.

The NHA also provides travel experiences around the globe through the NHA Plant-Based Travel and cruise division.

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A unique benefit of the NHA Conference is the selection of two medical students who receive a full scholarship to the conference.

Contact Wanda Huberman for more information on how to apply for the scholarship.  [email protected]

NHA membership

For a very nominal investment, you can enjoy incredible benefits of the NHA membership.

Members of the NHA enjoy a subscription to the award-winning quarterly health journal, Health Science, access to the “Members Only” section of the NHA Website (which contains all 43 years of back issues of the magazine),  the ability to download for free many classic out of print eBooks on the history of the Natural Hygiene Movement, including Fasting Can Save Your Life and The Greatest Health Discovery, discounts on books, and early notice of the NHA events.

Only $35 a year for basic membership within the United States.

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