Doctor’s Tip: Food for Life Healthy Cooking classes available locally

Dr. Greg Feinsinger

With the dawn of a new year are you interested in improving your health? PCRM’s (Physician Committee For Responsible Medicine) Food For Life classes are available locally through a licensed instructor, Laura Van Deusen, in Rifle.

PCRM was founded in 1985 by Neal Barnard, M.D., originally from Fargo, North Dakota. Dr. Barnard is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and is an Associate Professor of Medicine at George Washington School of Medicine, in Washington, D.C.

Over 80% of the chronic diseases Americans suffer and die from are preventable with simple lifestyle changes (obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, dementia, inflammatory diseases, autoimmune diseases, many kinds of cancer). It has been said that the U.S. doesn’t have a health care system but rather a disease management system — we wait until diseases occur and then spend lots of effort and trillions of dollars managing them.

Dr. Barnard has been a pioneer in changing this dysfunctional and expensive system. He started PCRM to promote preventative medicine and to “make the world a better place for people and animals.” Examples of helping animals are that 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 is a powerful influence in Washington.

In 2015 Dr. Barnard founded the Barnard Medical Center, which provides medical care to patients and through which he and his colleagues conduct medical and nutritional 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, research, and plant-based circles.

PCRM offers meal delivery services, and remote and in-person cooking classes through licensed instructors such as Laura Van Deusen, a middle school math teacher in Rifle. Ms. Van Deusen was in the Peace Corps in Morocco, and has a passion for educating and helping people. She adopted a vegetarian lifestyle as a child, and later became a full-fledged plant-based, whole food advocate after learning about the health and environmental benefits.

The free “The People’s Clinic” in Carbondale for Latinos is collaborating with Laura who will give PCRM’s Diabetes Prevention and Treatment PCRM classes, which included videos and written materials such as recipes in Spanish. She is also currently offering different PCRM classes in Rifle through CMC, which anyone can sign up for, and is available to give other PCRM classes on demand. Other PCRM classes include Kick Start Your Health, Cancer Prevention and Survival, Employee Wellness Programs, and Kids Health Program.

Laura has also started a monthly plant-based cooking and social club in Rifle, similar to the plant-based potluck at 6:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of every month at the Third Steet Center in Carbondale. We are fortunate to have a licensed PCRM educator in the area. Laura can be contacted by calling 970-424-2175 or emailing The PCRM cooking class website is

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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