Doctor’s tip: Check out food for a healthy heart cooking class on June 22

Dr. Greg Feinsinger
Dr. Greg Feinsinger.

Did you know that June is National Men’s Health Month? The purpose is to encourage men to be proactive about their health by making healthy lifestyle choices and seeking medical attention early.

PCRM (Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine) has a series of cooking classes called Food For Lif and is offering several options for June having to do with men’s health issues. We are fortunate to have someone in the area licensed to teach these classes: Laura Van Deusen, at 970-424-2175 or She and Center for Prevention and Treatment of Disease Through Nutrition/La Clinica del Pueblo are collaborating on offering a PCRM class called Food for a Healthy Heart at 7 p.m. on June 22 at the Third Street Center in Carbondale. Men and significant others interested in taking this free, two-hour class should contact Laura.

The class will be in English, but if Spanish-speakers sign up, translation will be provided. It will address cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, with recipes and nutrition strategies for improving and reversing these conditions, as well as preventing and reversing heart disease itself as proven possible by Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Laura will do a cooking demonstration of three delicious, health-promoting dishes that participants will be able to sample and can easily recreate at home.

The reason this particular class was chosen is that heart attacks are the number one cause of death in American men (women, too, for that matter). Risk factors for heart disease have been discussed in previous columns and include the following: male over age 40, female over 50; blood pressure over 120/80; high cholesterol; prediabetes and diabetes; sedentary lifestyle; obesity, particularly extra weight around the middle; smoking; inflammation; sleep apnea; family history of heart disease; and the SAD (Standard American Diet).

Arterial health can be determined by Carotid IMT done at Compass Peak Imaging, or coronary calcium score done at local hospitals or other imaging centers.

PCRM was started by Neal Barnard, M.D. in 1985 to promote preventative medicine and to “make the world a better place for people and animals.” He has pushed medical researchers to stop using animals in experiments and has lobbied for more humane treatment of factory-farmed animals. Because it’s relatively easy to get people to donate money for animal welfare, PCRM is well-funded and has strong influence in Washington.

In 2015, Dr. Barnard founded the Barnard Medical Center in Washington D.C., which provides medical care to patients and through which he and his colleagues conduct medical and nutrition research. He has written 20 books, including “Eat Right, Live Longer,” “Breaking the Food Seduction,” “The Cancer Survivors’ Guide,” “Foods That Fight Pain,” “The Cheese Trap” and “Your Body in Balance.” He is respected in medical, researc and plant-based circles.

Laura was in the Peace Corps in Morocco and has a passion for teaching and helping people. She is a middle-school teacher in Rifle, adopted a vegetarian lifestyle as a chil and later became a full-fledged plant-based, whole-food advocate after learning about the health and environmental benefits it offers. She recently started her second PCRM 5-session classes for Latinos about cooking to prevent and reverse diabetes.

Other PCRM classes available on demand include Kick Start Your Health, Cancer Prevention and Survival, Employee Wellness Programs and Kids Health Programs.

Dr. Feinsinger is a retired family physician with special interest in disease prevention and reversal through nutrition. Free services through Center For Prevention and The People’s Clinic include: one-hour consultations, shop-with-a-doc at Carbondale City Market and cooking classes. Call 970-379-5718 for appointment or email

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