Dr. Robert Graham is a Harvard-trained researcher and physician. He is board certified in both Internal and Integrative Medicine, trained in Holistic and Functional Medicine. Dr. Graham received a Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health while completing three additional fellowships in General Internal Medicine and Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies at Harvard Medical School as well as Medical Education at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His clinical research focused on health disparities, integrative therapies including dietary supplements amongst racial and ethnic minorities. He also completed course-work in Mind/Body Medicine, Positive Psychology, Lifestyle Medicine, Culinary Medicine, Botanical and Traditional Chinese Medicine. In 2018, Dr. Graham became one of less than twenty doctor/chef’s worldwide, as he obtained his culinary degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute.
Dr. Graham is a public health scientist, health service researcher, TED speaker, food activist and Chef. Dr. Graham believes medicine needs a FRESH start. Together with his wife Julie, they founded FRESH Medicine and FRESH Med U. FRESH Medicine is an integrative health and wellness center located in NYC. FRESH is an acronym for the five ingredients in their recipe to health: Food, Relaxation, Exercise, Sleep and Happiness.
Dr. Graham is the proud son of a farmer and an immigrant born and raised in Jackson Heights in Queens, NYC. A lifelong “food fighter” and a leader in the field of Integrative/Functional and Holistic Medicine he has prescribed “food as medicine” for over 15 years, has taught over 1000 healthcare workers, mostly doctors, how to cook whole food, plant-based meals, and created the first edible rooftop garden on a hospital in NYC. He served as Medical Director of Internal Medicine Primary Care Center, Program Director of Internal Medicine, Director of Integrative Therapies, Head of Employee Wellness for a large healthcare system in New York and provided strategic oversight, direction and leadership across all activities related to the health and wellness, health promotion and disease prevention.
When not seeing patients, Dr. Graham trades his white lab coat for chef’s whites with the goal of expanding his toolkit both for use as a healthcare provider and as an advocate for a new model of integrative, “food-first” lifestyle-focused healthcare called Culinary Medicine. Dr. Graham serves as the first Chief Health Officer of a food company called Performance Kitchen where he not only advises but also designs medically tailored meals for patients with chronic diseases. This allows doctors to prescribe meals, or “food as medicine” which are covered by Advantage Medicare Plans and hopefully Medicare under Bill H.R.5370 – Medically Tailored Home-Delivered Meals Demonstration Pilot Act.
In 2019, he and Julie launched an online self-care “university,” called FRESH MED U. FRESH MED U allows people and companies to learn remotely, on their own time, using their intrinsic motivation to achieve their FRESH goals and live healthier and happier lives. They currently consult with multiple Fortune 2000 companies as corporate employee wellness vendors. Lastly, in the fall of 2021, Dr. Graham was asked to be part of NYC Mayor Eric Adams Food Transition team, focusing on institutional foods, a true honor for a native New Yorker.
On this episode, Dr. Graham shares his one way ticket to ancient Greece in the 5th century BCE during the time of Hippocrates, the father of medicine. In the course of our conversation, Dr. Graham shares some of Hippocrates’ teaching including “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Dr. Graham also shares his work on FRESH, with NYC Mayor Eric L. Adams, the Aman Hotels, and more.