Robin Berzin, MD
Coffee tables. Dining tables. Picnic tables. Desks. Think about all the places you sit down at a table each day to eat something, what they look like, and what goes on them.
Are these events shapeless automatic moments, dictated by unseen forces and inconsequential? Or, is each one of them life-defining? How do you know?
As a doctor it is clear to me that what we put on our tables each day is the absolute most important determinant of our health and well-being. And yet from rampant food allergies, to toxic additives, to misinformation about fundamental nutrients like fat and carbs, what’s happening on our tables has become a serious mess.
But I know it does not have to be this way. What’s on our tables does not have to be toxic or damaging. It can be - and should be - conscious, beautiful, pleasurable, and healing, every time.
I know this because as a functional medicine doctor I literally spend my life thinking about health and food and how they go together, and about how to help people find ways to eat their way to healthier bodies and healthier lives. Patients come to me with all kinds of symptoms, but as we get down to the root causes of why they feel how they do, food is inevitably part of the problem and the solution.
But what you eat isn’t something your doctor controls, even one as food-focused as me. It’s something you control and can totally figure out for yourself with a few basic guidelines. This is why I collaborated with my friend, chef Carolina Santos-Neves, and created Table, my 12 day detox program that shows you how to set your table for health.
I actually kind of loathe the word “detox,” to be honest, because it’s reductionist and implies some kind of sketchy weight-loss scheme, and Table is neither. Yes, Table will help you lose weight if that’s your goal, but it goes way beyond that. Table is essentially the core program I put many of my patients on when they come to see me, because I know doing it will reshape the trajectory of their health for the rest of their lives.
Table is a simple structure for how to eat for wellness. It’s not a punishment or a fast, or an all raw/juice/liquid or some other unsustainable craze. It’s about eating good food that will help your body remember to do what it knows how to do: heal and detoxify.
Life gets busy, and I find I need structure too. There are events and dinners and work meetings that get in the way of my eating the way I know will make me feel energized, calm and good in my skin. And then there are the people who I love to spend time with, but sometimes they get in the way of getting to yoga, or the gym, or meditating, or even just taking the thing so many of us secretly want but resist - a night off to cook and get to bed early.
So Table is a roadmap based on the route I have seen help my patients, and myself. Table is also a shelter in that it’s a way to say no, temporarily, to all of the outside demands that keep you from giving yourself what you need.
I looked to Carolina for the recipes because eating for a healthy full life means eating exactly the kind of food Carolina cooks, which is food that’s made from fresh, whole, organic ingredients, that contains a good balance of protein, healthy fat and fiber, and that’s profoundly delicious.
Ok so what is Table and what happens if I do it? It’s simple.
You cut out a couple of problematic foods like gluten, dairy, and alcohol.
You eat delicious, clean food that is as satisfying as it is nourishing.
You have a healing rice-based protein shake for breakfast each day and take two natural supplements. These are the building blocks for a well-oiled metabolism.
You do it for twelve days, whether that’s in chunks of three days, six days, or one 12-day straight shot, depending on your goals and your schedule.
We send you the supplements, shakes, and a beautiful book with your plan and chef Carolina’s recipes. Everything you need is also online, and we host Google Hangouts to answer questions.
That’s it. Table is designed to help you feel good, from having more energy and better sleep, to losing weight and getting past cravings.
But most of all it’s designed to help you recreate the moments you sit down to eat at a table, so that they are as conscious, beautiful, pleasurable, and healing, as possible.
Robin Berzin, MD is a functional medicine doctor practicing in New York City. She is also the creator of Table, the 12-day detox program that teaches you how food can heal your life. She is a graduate of Columbia University’s medical school and appears regularly in the media including for Veria TV and Vice, and is a speaker for organizations such as the Clinton Foundation, Health 2.0, and the of Medicine Summit, and is a regular contributor to MindBodyGreen, The Doctor Blog, Aloha, and other publications.