Debra Duchin is a food therapist by day and yogi by night. As a valued member and influential part of our community we wanted to get Deb's spin on how to live a healthy lifestyle. 

To get nutritional and wellness advice from Deb visit her at our challenge kick off party next weekend. 

Saturday, March 14th: Pure West, 12:15-2PM
Sunday, March 15th: Pure East, 12:15-2PM

1.) What inspired you to become a food therapist?
Twenty-two years ago I was diagnosed with a disabling, autoimmune disease and doctors said that it would plague me for the rest of my life. I was motivated to undo this fate and tried many healing modalities - this was the beginning of my journey to complete wellness. Today, I am disease free, active and vibrant. I have made it my mission to understand the healing properties of food and want to share this knowledge with as many people as possible.

2.) In your opinion, what is the importance of diet and exercise?
The combination of diet and exercise is HUGE! What we eat and how we move completely affects our physical, emotional and mental well-being.

3.) What one food is your guilty pleasure?
I LOVE chocolate. Really decadent, rich dark chocolate covered almonds dusted with cacoa.

4.) What advice can you provide to someone who is trying to "lose weight" quickly?
I prefer slower, weight loss methods that create lasting effects. If you want to fit into your skinny jeans quickly, begin the day with at least 16 ounces of warm water, with a splash of lemon. Throughout the day, nourish your body with wholesome, real (not processed or packaged) whole foods. Chew well and slowly. Digestion begins in the mouth and when you couple it with self love and movement, the weight will fall off.

5.) What is your daily diet?
An abundant array of fresh, colorful, seasonal, mostly plant based organic foods that are deliciously prepared and made with love. 

6.) How often do you exercise?
I have a daily commitment to yoga (which occasionally might mean legs up the wall). Brisk walks and bike rides on the river further sustain me.  Throughout the day I find clever ways to keep moving and elevate my heart rate - like taking a few trips up and down the stairs while waiting for the subway.  

7.) What is your favorite type of exercise?
Yoga...and only taking it at Pure, of course!

8.) How did you enter the wellness space?
After healing myself, I earned my Holistic Nutrition Certification from Columbia University's Teachers College combined with a Food Therapy Certification from Dr. Annemarie Colbin at the Natural Gourmet Institute. I have had the honor to study with remarkable healers in the far corners of the world and am inspired to share what I have learned. My education in bio individuality guides clients toward simple and attainable ways to make informed and luscious food choices that best nourish their bodies. Our bodies have astonishing abilities to heal when we lead them in the right direction.

 20 years ago, the wonderful Dr. Frank Lipman was my guide towards wellness and told me, "to truly be healthy, one must do yoga." It's a mantra that I live by to this day. 

9.) What's one food you can't live without?
Impossible to pick just one but I love most everything at our Farmer’s markets. An abundance of just picked, colorful, seasonal, nutrient dense fare bursting with flavor, vitality and life force. Know your farmer, know your food!

10.) How do you stay hydrated? 
I drink at least half my weight in ounces of water per day. I can never get enough!

11.) What wellness services do you provide?
Personal Wellness Transformations - I help my clients understand the emotional connections we have with food. I also host private and small group healthy and scrumptious cooking parties, to bring different networks together and learn from best practices. Corporate Wellness Programs and Customized Nutritional Guidance for Individuals and Families are also part of my practice. I'm looking forward to sharing my journey at the Challenge kick off parties next weekend!