Food as Medicine

Want to learn how to find health and healing in your kitchen? Join the AANMC and Dr. Cory Szybala for a free, informative webinar to learn how your food choices can nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Good nutrition is core to overall health, and fundamental to the naturopathic approach to wellness and disease management. Learn the dos and don’ts and how to empower yourself and others to make lasting dietary and lifestyle changes.

*Webinar does not qualify for CE

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About the Presenter

Dr. Cory Szybala is a licensed naturopathic doctor who believes in helping his clients discover optimal health using an integrative and individualized approach. Dr. Szybala is committed to providing quality naturopathic care to men and women of all ages. He enjoys integrative family practice and has special interests in men’s health, pediatrics, blood sugar dysregulation, and digestive health. It is his willingness to listen to the whole story and dedication to integrative health that drives his patient care.

While in school at the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Szybala developed a passion for clinical nutrition. It was during this time that he discovered, and quickly became a member of, the acclaimed Food as Medicine Everyday series (previously known as the Ending Childhood Obesity Project). The series, which is still going, includes twelve workshops demonstrating simple techniques for selecting and cooking delicious, nutritious whole foods and how they influence individual health outcomes.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Dr. Szybala was mostly influenced by a conventional healthcare model. It wasn’t until after his graduation from Indiana University with a bachelor’s in biochemistry and minors in psychology and biology that he realized there were other types of healthcare models. In his practice Dr. Szybala combines this previous experience with conventional medicine with his background in biochemistry and his passion for integrative medicine to develop a more holistic, preventative and individualized approach to healthcare.

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*The information you submit in this registration will be used to inform you of updates to this event and will enroll you in the AANMC newsletter. The AANMC values your privacy. Please see how we protect your data in our privacy policy .

Dr. Cory Szybala – NUNM

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Born and raised in the Midwest, Cory Szybala, ND was always interested in healthcare but did not have much exposure to it outside of the conventional model. After earning a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Indiana University, working as a nursing assistant at a local hospital, and shadowing a number of different providers in the area, he decided to relocate to Portland, Oregon to pursue research.

“After working with so many amazing practitioners in multiple disciplines of medicine, I felt there was a ‘gap’ in what I consider true primary care medicine. It wasn’t until I moved to the West Coast that I heard about naturopathic medicine, and once I did, I felt as though I had found true primary care medicine – medicine that works on a preventative, holistic, and integrative level.”

NUNM as a springboard

While living in Portland, Dr. Szybala visited the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) campus, shadowed students, and spoke with administrators before deciding to enroll in the naturopathic medical program. “Each school has its very own unique personality and I felt like NUNM fit mine. Not only did I graduate with the information and skills necessary to help patients, but I was also able to make lasting friendships with colleagues, professors, advocates of the medicine, and more.”

As a student, Dr. Szybala was a member of the acclaimed Food as Medicine Everyday series, and the Naturopathic Medical Student Association (NMSA). His experience working with NMSA allowed him to stay up to date with state licensure and scope initiatives, which helped him gauge where he wanted to set up his future practice.

Finding fulfillment as an ND

“Since graduating I have worked as a consultant, a researcher, adjunct faculty member, as part of a team dedicated to sharing the knowledge of healthier food choices through the Food as Medicine Institute (FAMI), a public speaker, and now private practice owner. The wealth of knowledge that you learn while going through naturopathic school and thereafter is more powerful than you think.”

Dr. Szybala enjoys providing an individualized holistic/integrative approach to each of his patients. “I am passionate about discovering the reason(s) behind a particular issue and working with a patient to come up with the best solution(s) for them. To be able to truly deliver primary care to those who need it is not only rewarding but absolutely necessary.”

Dr. Szybala and his wife – Mollie Parker Szybala, ND operate Sun Valley Natural Medicine in Ketchum, Idaho. They each work part-time at the clinic while pursuing other interests. Their work outside the clinic has helped establish themselves in the community, and has doubled as a marketing outlet.

The Szybalas enjoy spending time in nature, hiking, skiing, and attending young professional outings.

Advice for aspiring NDs

Dr. Szybala encourages prospective students to shadow multiple NDs, and to experience different models of practice, business, and naturopathic specialties. “The flexibility is one of the most appealing parts of the naturopathic profession.” It’s up to you to determine how you want to use your degree. What career path will you take?

Join Dr. Szybala for a free webinar – Food as Medicine

“During my time shadowing, preceptoring, working with FAMI, and now working in my own practice, I have seen food be a huge factor in the health and well-being of my patients. It is often a first-line defense, as well as a great way to empower your patients to take their health back into their own hands.” Dr. Szybala’s webinar will cover how to use food as medicine in a naturopathic family practice, what to consider when prescribing a healthy diet or lifestyle, how to prepare your clients for success, how to troubleshoot, and when to follow-up. Click here to register for the Food as Medicine webinar.

Learn more about Dr. Szybala:


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NUNM in a Complex and Changing World

Clean water. Healthy food. Sustainability. Access to health care. Social justice. These issues have become part of the realities of our everyday lives and can no longer be ignored or passed on to someone else. The planet is a smaller place. The world is more connected than ever. We can no longer separate the health of the planet from the health of the individual.

At NUNM we think and act “wholistically.” Whole person. Whole community. Whole world. That’s why we offer our students unique opportunities to act at each level of the macrocosm.

Like all naturopathic medical schools, we provide care to underserved patient populations in order to make a difference in our local community. We have community clinics throughout the Portland-metro area in accessible places like multi-unit housing centers, churches, and community centers. We do it differently by providing clinical training opportunities in the profession’s only Tier Four Patient-Centered Primary Care Home naturopathic teaching clinic.

Do we embrace the principles of naturopathic medicine? Absolutely. We seek the “and,” not the “or.” Our new president, Christine Girard, ND, MPH, knows we can do both nature cure and primary care. She’s done it. We are disruptive innovators. Our Director of Helfgott Research Institute, Ryan Bradley, ND, MPH, knows. He’s written about it in Medicina. His article, “Naturopathy as a Model of Prevention-Oriented, Patient-Centered Primary Care: A Disruptive Innovation in Health Care,” speaks to how naturopathic medicine can both disrupt and run parallel to  conventional medicine, securing its future.

We research what we do on the community level. Our most recently published community-based research project was the Food as Medicine Everyday (FAME) research project published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2019 (Tippens KM, Erlandsen A, Hanes D, et al. Impact of a Short-Term Naturopathic Whole-Foods Based Nutrition Education Intervention on Dietary Behavior and Diabetes Risk Markers: A Pilot Study, J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Feb;25(2):234-240.). The FAME project evaluated a multi-site, community-delivered, nutrition education intervention on eating behaviors and cardiometabolic risk factors including weight and inflammation.

And speaking of Food as Medicine, everyday, since 2014 we have partnered with the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, providing incarcerated women with basic nutrition education and equipping them with tools to overcome the many obstacles to healthy eating. Talk about doing good work in our local community.

Do we work internationally? Yeah, we sure do.

NUNM is the pioneering site for an international longitudinal cohort study focused on student health. The International Cohort on Lifestyle Determinants of Health (INCLD Health) is a longitudinal cohort designed to measure students’ dietary and other self-care behavior, as well as stress and wellness, to learn the trajectory of student quality of life and health over the course of their education. Online data collection, remote blood-spot sample collection, and 16S RNA microbiota sequencing are among the innovations in INCLD Health. NUNM is actively recruiting students, with Endeavor College of Natural Health (Brisbane, Australia) and Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Toronto, Canada) aiming to recruit in 2020. INCLD Health provides students with an opportunity to experience research first-hand through active participation, as well as help grow the structure for future research.

In fact, we’ve recently expanded our global reach. Dr. Girard speaks often of her interest in the area of intersection between naturopathic medicine and public health both locally and globally.

We continue to position ourselves in the global community. Having recently acquired IPSL: The Institute for Global Learning, we have expanded the opportunities for NUNM students to participate in service-learning programs as part of their degree. In addition, we now offer two international master’s programs: Master’s in Community Organizing and Social Activism and Master’s in International Development and Service. These international programs offer students more opportunities to explore the world and to become change leaders and advocates for social justice.

Christine Girard, ND, MPH

President, National University of Natural Medicine

So, do you want to change the world? Yeah, so do we. Come join the changemakers. NUNM.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

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