Catching Up with Melina Jampolis, MD
by Mommy MD Guides cofounder Jennifer Bright Reich
I have one of the best jobs in the world. I get to meet and talk with fascinating people and share their tips and experience with other moms to help them lead healthier, happier lives. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Melina Jampolis, MD. Dr. Jampolis is one of those people who does it all—so well. She’s a mother, physician, author, and entrepreneur. Here’s our recent chat.
How did you decide to specialize in physician nutrition?
When I finished my residency, I became very disillusioned with the practice of medicine. I felt that I spent 90 percent of my time putting patients on medications. I was making pharmaceutical companies money, but not doing a whole lot to impact patients’ health.
I took a position doing physicals at a weight-loss clinic, and I suddenly discovered that by helping people learn more about nutrition and better manage their weight, I could profoundly change people’s health—and their lives. It was a “light bulb” moment for me.
Your book, The Calendar Diet, looks terrific! How did you come up with the idea for it?
I took some time to think about what I do that’s most successful in helping people to lose weight. I realized that it’s my month-by-month coaching, where I talk with people about the challenges they face at different times of the year and we brainstorm ways to meet those challenges.
Plus, I look at ways that you can work with the seasons to make weight loss easier, such as eating fruits and vegetables that are in season and combating winter cravings in a satisfying way.
I combined these healthy eating tips with cutting-edge exercise ideas, such as high-intensity interval training. The Calendar Diet isn’t a fad diet; it’s a lifestyle.
Your Dr. Melina Bars look great; I love that they have no trans fats or HFCS. Can you tell me more about them?
As a busy doctor, I find myself constantly suggesting that busy people eat protein bars as between-meal alternatives. But I couldn’t find the perfect bar on the market to recommend!
So I went to a food science lab and explained the bar I wanted to create. After months of trying different formulations, we came up with a great snack that keeps hunger at bay and blood sugar levels stable. The bars contain no trans fats or artificial sweeteners. My son loves to eat them too!
My coauthor and I are big believers in the importance of omega-3 fatty acids. I see you recommend Omax-3. What makes it unique and recommended?
While it is not always true with supplements, with omega-3s, you get what you pay for. Omax-3 has both purity and potency. For purity, it’s a pharmaceutical-grade, easy-to-swallow soft gel dietary supplement that delivers the highest omega-3 purity levels available
For potency, Omax-3 delivers 91 percent pure omega-3 content, as compared to many over-the-counter omega-3 capsules, which deliver only 30 to 50 percent purity—and mostly fillers.
Omax-3 also has a unique ratio of EPA to DHA, which has great health benefits. For example, it’s been shown to help reduce inflammation, an important contributor to diseases including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, skin aging and heart disease, as well as maintain healthy triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
It’s ironic that I’ve spent much of my career taking people off of the medications and supplements that they were taking, but omega-3s—in the right purity and potency—can really make a difference in people’s health.
What are you looking forward to in the future?
I’m very excited about the concept of food as medicine. I look forward to learning more about how foods work on a cellular and molecular level. I’m also interested in the idea of nutrigenomics, which is learning more about gene-food interactions. We are moving toward people being able to have more personalized nutrition recommendations. This will help people to learn the optimal diet for them. That is really going to take “food as medicine” to the next level.