Kristine M. Kierzek
Sarah Axtell has long believed in teaching her patients to skip processed foods and cook at home. He wants everyone to cook.
He started blogging about food and recipes while in medical school, and continued to share recipes when he moved to Wisconsin. In 2011, he opened Lakeside Natural Medicine, 3510 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood.
In March, the clinic moved to a bigger room and Axtell fulfilled another dream: his own kitchen to teach healthy cooking and offer workshops. Now, naturopathic doctors are offering demonstrations and workshops in space, starting with a virtual “Food Is Medicine Workshop” on October 17th. It costs $ 39, and includes cooking demonstrations and recipes. Registration required, call (414) 939-8748.
Question: What is your background?
Answer: I’m from Cincinnati and went to UW-Madison for undergraduate, where I studied nutrition. After graduation, I can go to medical school or become a dietitian. Both areas are lacking. I did some research and found a naturopathic medical school. I attended the oldest naturopathic university, in Portland, Oregon, National University of Natural Medicine. My husband is actually from Milwaukee, so that’s my connection…
I opened a clinic in 2011, Lakeside Natural Medicine. This is a family business. My husband, Chris, is a business manager. … We now have two other naturopathic doctors with us. We just moved and doubled our size in the new building. I have a kitchen now. It has always been my dream.
Q: What exactly do you mean by food as medicine?
A: My goal in working with patients is to teach them which foods are suitable for them and which foods are not suitable for them. Food can be the source of what makes us sick, but it can also be the most powerful medicine for healing.
Q: What are the biggest challenges in teaching about food from your perspective?
A: The food industry is a big challenge. I’m against that. Cooking doesn’t have to be homework, expensive, or difficult. We were told by advertising that cooking was difficult. There are all those prepared and over-processed foods that can really do us a favor. I work with patients to get the basics of eating real, whole foods.
Q: How much time do you spend cooking each week?
A: I probably spent three hours on Sunday preparing for the week. This is a time of self-care for myself, but also for my family. I set us up for success this week. I don’t have time during weekdays to cook complicated meals. I cut vegetables. I make soup that freezes easily. I made a collard green bandage that my girls love. I boil the collard greens and fill them up. It was the ultimate win as a parent. I get some leafy greens for my kids, and it’s an easy dinner to do at night.
Q: What did you learn to make mealtimes more successful?
A: I make a menu every Sunday. Monday is always salmon Monday. That ensures we get salmon once a week. I switch sides. Tuesday is taco Tuesday. That makes it easy to simplify.
Q: What is one recipe that everyone can or should learn?
A: Make a green smoothie. I teach most of my patients to make smoothies with vegetables. Not everyone will cook, but getting vegetables every day is important. … The keys to smoothies are leafy greens and a source of protein. To keep you full, it’s not just fruit.
Q: Who is the target audience for food as medicine?
A: Anyone. We all have to eat, and whoever is ready to take care of their own health, it starts in the kitchen …
I also started a video with my children during the quarantine. We came to the clinic and prepared healthy food. It’s my passion, to take the kids to the kitchen. If we can teach children to cook from an early age, with real food, that’s prevention. The purpose of this new room is to gather in this teaching kitchen.
Q: How do you help people create new eating habits?
A: Adding new habits to established habits will help in long-term success. I talk about food as medicine, but I also try to get people to exercise. If you are used to drinking coffee or tea, when you brew it, you have three to five minutes. Get on the floor when no one else is around, do the planks. You have now added a new, healthy habit to an established habit.
Q: Who is your mentor and inspiration?
Q: When and why did you start your blog?
A: I started blogging about nutrition when I was in naturopathic medical school. I am breastfeeding my oldest daughter, Cece. It took him to a different level. I feed other humans, but I am very hungry …
I’m back in Milwaukee, and I know people will want prescription resources. Whenever I make it in the kitchen, I post it and blog.
Q: What can people expect from the upcoming virtual workshop “Food Is Medicine”?
A: I worked on three different recipes for the workshop: almond-crusted chicken, autumn harvest salad with maple tahini dressing, then a bite of an unbaked brownie, only five ingredients. People can follow along and create them during this live streaming workshop. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people who like simple recipes.
Q: What’s always in your kitchen or fridge?
A: Lean protein, organic ground turkey, organic chicken, wild caught salmon, walnuts. I eat walnuts every day. You can use it as a pesto base, on a salad, or simply combine it with dark chocolate chips and you have a healthy trail mix. And produce, plants – 75% of my diet is plant-based, and that’s what I encourage people to eat.
Table Chat features interviews with Wisconsin residents, or Wisconsin natives, who work in restaurants or support the restaurant industry; or visit the chef. To suggest individuals to the profile, email [email protected]
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]