The Doctor is In: How Food Can Change Your Life

A FREE Online Speaker Series with Plenty of Food for Thought!

Presented in English, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese



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Tuesday, January 25

Food & Mood

Depressed? Anxious? Bad Mood? Find out how food can make a big difference for you, and school children too!
Wednesday, February 9

Food: Nature’s Medicine

Plant-powered nutrition can help us prevent and treat the top health challenges.
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Thursday, March 10

Food Addiction & Weight Loss

The food industry intentionally addicts us. Learn the secrets to weight loss while eating more than ever!
Wednesday, April 13

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: You Can Do It!

We’ll debunk the common myths and learn now to reverse type 2 diabetes in as little as 3 months!
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Tuesday, April 26

Food & Equity

Racial bias in the official food guidelines hurts people’s health and the environment. Learn the truth about the food that will help you thrive!

Tuesday, May 3

High Blood Pressure or Cholesterol? Heal Your Heart with Food

Learn what to eat and what not to eat, to prevent or reverse America’s #1 killer.

Speaker Information

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Angela Crawford PhD (Food & Mood)

Angela Crawford, Ph.D. has over 23 years of experience as a licensed psychologist, providing psychotherapy to address stress, anxiety, and trauma, with a focus on strengthening holistic well-being.  She is certified as a master vegan lifestyle coach and educator through Main Street Vegan Academy, and holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies at eCornell.  Dr. Crawford is currently conducting research for a book on the transformational impact of a plant-powered, vegan lifestyle for mind-body-spirit.  She also serves as a Psychology Consultant for WeDidIt.Health, an on-line platform where individuals can share and discover the health benefits of a plant-based diet. She lives in Vestal, NY. 


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Ashok Nagella, MD (Food & Mood)

Dr. Nagella is an ABPN Board Certified Psychiatrist that mostly works with the pediatric population but also with some adults. Many of these patients struggle not only with mental health issues (mood, anxiety, disruptive behaviors such as ADHD/ADD, aggression, anger, developmental delays, impulsivity, psychosis, autism, etc.) but also struggle with major medical issues such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity (often very severe), asthma, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea to name some of the conditions caused by an unhealthy diet.  This is happening increasingly in kids at increasingly younger ages.

Dr. Nagella has been in practice since 2002 and has worked mostly in the Chicago area during this time with a brief stint in Tucson and Prescott, Arizona. He attended Medical School at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and earned his medical degree in 1997. He completed his Medical Internship and Adult Psychiatry Residency at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, IL in 2000. Dr. Nagella also completed additional Fellowship Training at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2002.

Dr. Nagella’s interests related to medicine include improving lifestyle habits to optimize longevity, mental, and physical health. Related to this, he is passionate about educating people that not only can these healthy lifestyle habits improve physical and mental health and longevity, but also can help us conserve critical resources (i.e. water, land, rainforests, healthy soil, etc.) and help us fight the existential threat of climate change.

Dr. Nagella and his wife have healthy, energetic twins that eat an almost entirely plant-based diet. Some of his interests include running, reading, bike riding, playing basketball, playing catch with his children, going to museums, and playing tennis with his wife. Dr. Nagella and his family also love animals and contribute to organizations that fight animal cruelty and provide safe sanctuary for farm animals and wildlife that are injured and/or ill.


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Bandana Chawla, MD (Food: Nature’s Medicine)

Dr. Bandana Chawla is a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine. She graduated from UT Southwestern Medical School and completed her residency training at the Texas Medical Center. She has been practicing as an internist in the Houston area for over 20 years. Over the years she has incorporated the tenets of Lifestyle Medicine (LM) into her practice and has seen her patients lose weight, improve their diabetes and several other health conditions. To build on this success, she co-created practice which focuses on eating the right types of food, being fit, reducing stress, and connecting more to achieve holistic wellness. She is also the co-founder of Peaceful Planet Foundation, 501c3 nonprofit, which fosters Peace, Health and Wellness in Houston and the surrounding communities.



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Munish Chawla, MD (Food: Nature’s Medicine)

Dr. Munish Chawla is a board-certified physician in Diagnostic Radiology and Lifestyle Medicine. A long-time practitioner of meditation and yoga, he adopted a plant-based lifestyle in 2013. Upon becoming aware of the research proven health benefits and the evidence-based approach Lifestyle Medicine uses to treat and reverse chronic diseases, he became certified in this new and exciting specialty. He is especially passionate about this specialty because it gives the patient agency into taking control of their own health. With this new clinic, LifestyleDocs, Dr. Chawla hopes to not just reverse diseases, but guide and support his patients in achieving holistic health and wellness. He is also the co-founder of Peaceful Planet Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of adults and children through plant-based nutrition and mindfulness.



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Chef AJ (Food Addiction & Weight Loss)

Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-exclusive diet for over 45 years. She is the host of the television series Healthy Living with CHEF AJ which airs on Foody TV. A chef, culinary instructor, and professional speaker, she is the author of the popular book Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight, which chronicles her journey from an obese junk-food vegan faced with a diagnosis of pre-cancerous polyps, to learning how to create foods that nourish and heal the body. Her latest bestselling book The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss: A Revolutionary Approach to Conquer Cravings, Overcome Food Addiction and Lose Weight Without Going Hungry has received glowing endorsement by many luminaries in the plant-based movement.



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Shayla Toombs-Withers, DO (Food Addiction & Weight Loss)

Dr. Shayla Toombs-Withers is a double Board-Certified Family and Obesity Medicine Physician. She earned a Doctorate Degree in Osteopathic Medicine from the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed residency medical training at the University of Cincinnati/The Christ Hospital.  She has practiced in the field of Family Medicine for over 12 years. She earned a certification in Plant Based Nutrition in 2016 and has personally lived a plant-based lifestyle for over a decade.

After practicing in a variety of Family Medicine settings, Dr. Toombs-Withers held the desire to incorporate her deep knowledge of medicine, plant-based nutrition, and athletic training to provide comprehensive primary care to her patients. She has trained as an endurance athlete completing numerous marathon, triathlon, and Ironman 70.3 and 140.6 races. She founded the Essence of Health Wellness Clinic in Chattanooga, TN in 2019 to provide a unique, holistic, form of medical care, incorporating lifestyle guidance to prevent and manage chronic diseases. Her basis for health and practice style are in line with two of her favorite quotes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and “let food be thy medicine.”

Dr. Toombs-Withers is married to her husband Travis, and mom of three boys: Hillman, Harrison, and Hugh. She loves Chattanooga and all of the outdoor activities it has to offer. And when she is out of the office, she enjoys cycling, hiking, camping, swimming, triathlons and trail running.


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Robby Barbaro, MPH (Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: You Can Do It!)

Robby Barbaro, MPH graduated from the University of Florida and is the cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green. He worked at Forks Over Knives for six years before turning his attention in 2016 to coaching people with diabetes full time.

Robby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12 and has been living this lifestyle since 2006. In that time, while eating pounds of fruit every day, his HbA1c value has never exceeded 6.4%, and his blood glucose has been stable and easy to manage.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at Whole Foods Global Headquarters, VegFest LA, Plant-Stock, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Vice, Thrive Magazine, Diet Fiction, Thrive Global, BestLife and the wildly popular podcasts Plant Proof and Nutrition Rounds, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes with Cyrus Khambatta, PhD.

Robby enjoys exercising every day, spending time with friends, and sharing his lifestyle on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.



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Neal Barnard, MD (Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: You Can Do It!)

Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Dr. Barnard has led numerous research studies investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, and chronic pain, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health, that paved the way for viewing type 2 diabetes as a potentially reversible condition for many patients. Dr. Barnard has authored more than 100 scientific publications and 20 books for medical and lay readers, and is the editor in chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians, a textbook made available to all U.S. medical students.

As president of the Physicians Committee, Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research. His research contributed to the acceptance of plant-based diets in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In 2015, he was named a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In 2016, he founded the Barnard Medical Center in Washington, DC, as a model for making nutrition a routine part of all medical care.

Working with the Medical Society of the District of Columbia and the American Medical Association, Dr. Barnard has authored key resolutions, now part of AMA policy, calling for a new focus on prevention and nutrition in federal policies and in medical practice. In 2018, he received the Medical Society of the District of Columbia’s Distinguished Service Award. He has hosted four PBS television programs on nutrition and health.

Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Dr. Barnard received his M.D. degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the same institution. He practiced at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York before returning to Washington to found the Physicians Committee.



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Cyrus Khambatta, PhD (Reversing Type 2 Diabetes: You Can Do It!)

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-author of many peer-reviewed scientific publications.

He is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. He co-created the Mastering Diabetes Method to reverse insulin resistance in all forms of diabetes, and has helped more than 10,000 people improve their metabolic health using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, intermittent fasting, and exercise.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ACLM), Plant Stock, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on NPR, KQED, Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Fast Company, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts Plant Proof and Nutrition Rounds. He is a co-author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes with Robby Barbaro, MPH.


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Tracye McQuirter, MPH (Racism & Food)

Tracye McQuirter, MPH, is a public health nutritionist, author, speaker, and 35-year vegan who has been teaching people how and why to live a healthy vegan lifestyle for the past 30 years. She’s the author of the book Ageless Vegan, which Library Journal starred as “raising the standard of plant-based cuisine,” and the national best-seller By Any Greens Necessary, which established her as one of the most influential vegans in the country. She recently created the 10 Million Black Vegan Women movement, helping one million black women go vegan each year for the next ten years to change our health paradigm now and for generations to come. Amongst various other accolades, The New York Times called Tracye’s work a key reason for the popular rise in veganism among African Americans, who are the fastest growing vegan demographic in the country.


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Milton Mills, MD (Racism & Food)

Milton Mills, MD practices critical care medicine in the Washington DC area, and has served previously as Associate Director of Preventive Medicine and as a member of the National Advisory Board, for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). He has published several research journal articles dealing with racial bias in federal nutrition policy. He frequently donates his time via practicing at free medical clinics, and travels widely, speaking at hospitals, churches and community centers throughout the country. He was featured in the films “What the Health,” and “The Silent Vegan,” as well as several others. 

A major focus of Dr. Mills’ patient advisement as well as his lecturing, is the use of nutritional measures to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases. He notes that the scientific research literature shows plant-based diets as supporting better overall immune system function, and during work with HIV-positive and AIDS patients at clinics, he’s observed that those who go vegetarian seem to improve, with increased energy and higher T-cell counts. He therefore hopes throughout the future to examine further the relationships between diet and immune functionality, particularly the effects of plant-based eating choices upon outcomes for HIV-positive patients.



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Jane Esselstyn, RN (High Blood Pressure or Cholesterol? Heal Your Heart with Food)

Jane Esselstyn RN is a fresh, charismatic voice who brings her perspective and passion as a nurse, researcher, mother, and teacher to the forefront of the plant-based movement. She presents her work, research, and high energy demos around the world- and on her YouTube channel with her firecracker mom, Ann Esselstyn.  Women, families and community drive Jane’s work forward. She is the host of the annual conference, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease for Women, which is focused on the power of plants! Jane claims, “Prevention is the new cure, and the most powerful, relevant, and protective medicine available”. With full enthusiasm, Jane co-founded Well, Now! Camp – an activity -filled, creative escape for Plant-Based Women Warriors – because vitality rocks!

Jane is an avid and inventive designer of plant-strong recipes and the co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook. She created the recipe sections of #1 NYTimes bestseller, Plant-Strong and The Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue, by Rip Esselstyn. And she is a co-author of The Engine 2 Cookbook. Jane brings her infectious energy and straight forward message to her presentations, cooking demonstrations, and cookbooks with clarity, hilarity, and a can-do attitude.



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Kim Allan Williams, MD, MACC, FAHA, MASNC, FESC (High Blood Pressure or Cholesterol? Heal Your Heart with Food)

Dr. Williams is Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Rush University and specializes in cardiology, prevention and cardiac imaging. He also serves as Associate Dean for Faculty Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Rush University, where he focuses on recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities and women. He has served on numerous national committees and boards including serving as the President of the American College of Cardiology, President of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Black Cardiologists. He is also the founder of the Urban Cardiology Initiative in Detroit, Michigan to reduce ethnic heart care disparities, and continues community-based efforts in Chicago at Rush. A native of Chicago’s South Side, Dr. Williams has over 30 years of experience as an educator, researcher, and physician.



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