Prevent Disease & Thrive: Michelle McMacken, MD on Holistic Lifestyle Medicine & Promoting Optimal Wellness Through Plant-Based Nutrition

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“The fact that [doctors] are not given the training to use what is almost universally recognized as the most powerful tool [healthy nutrition] is crazy.”

Michelle McMacken, MD

We need more doctors like Michelle McMacken, MD.

Board certified in internal medicine, Dr. McMacken is an assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine, an attending primary care physician at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital Center and director of the Bellevue Adult Weight Management Clinic, where she specializes in plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine.

Interestingly, Dr. McMacken wasn’t always all that intrigued by nutrition. Not surprisingly, her medical school experience was woefully lacking in this regard. But after eight years of medical practice, she was becoming progressively distressed by her obesity clinic patients’ general inability to get — and stay — healthy.

Determined to find better, more sustainable solutions for her patients led to a search engine result for “lifestyle change” that prompted Michelle to attend the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference– a game-changing experience that enlightened her to a holistic, disease preventive perspective on patient care that ultimately reinvigorated and forever altered her medical practice.

Beyond her one on one work with patients, many of which are underprivileged, what is uniquely inspiring about Dr. McMacken is her grant-funded commitment to study evidence-based nutritional protocols and apply the practical knowledge to faculty, colleagues & resident doctors. In other words, she is devoted to educating not only her patients about healthy nutrition, but her fellow medical professionals as well — filling the much needed gap in our current system of medical education.

This is an enlightening and highly informative conversation that explores:

  • the state of medical education with respect to nutrition
  • the responsibility of doctors to practice holistic, preventive medicine
  • the significance of a plant-based diet in promoting optimal wellness
  • Dr. McMacken’s personal & professional path to plant-based nutrition
  • the health impact of high protein diets, ketosis & glycogen depletion
  • the differences between animal & plant protein
  • alkaline/acid-forming foods and their impact on metabolism
  • paleo vs. vegan – finding common ground
  • the truth behind dietary cholesterol & saturated fat
  • the importance of aligning actions with values
  • plant-based patient case studies

I sincerely hope you enjoy our discussion.

What is preventing you from a more holistic approach to long-term wellness? I’d love to hear about your personal challenges in the comments section below.

Peace + Plants,


Listen & Subscribe on iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher Today’s show was sponsored by — The National Academy of Sports Medicine is looking for people who want an exciting career in the fitness industry, where you wake up every day doing something you love. Go to today and receive a FREE 14 day free trial of their fast and fun online program!


Background & Reference:

Resources Recommended by Dr. McMacken:

Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:

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Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.

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