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A Conversation With... Dr. Edward Bauman
Executive Director of the Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts
Interviewed by Sam Rafoss
Dr. Edward Bauman, MEd, PhD
Michelle Gregg, Hello everyone and welcome to this exclusive All Things Healing Conversation with Dr. Ed Bauman. Most of you in the nutrition world already know who Dr. Bauman is… He is the Executive Director of the Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts and the creator of the Eating for Health nutrition system, which we call the E4H, and the E4H is the foundation for the Nutrition and Natural Chef Training programs at Bauman College. Dr. Bauman has been on the cutting edge of nutrition and a leader in the whole foods and holistic health fields for decades. Dr. Bauman, a warm, warm welcome to you and thank you so much for being with us today!
Dr. Ed Bauman, Executive Director of the Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts: Oh, it is so my pleasure to be with you and our audience.
Michelle Gregg: Oh, thank you. Interviewing Dr. Bauman is our own Sam Rafoss, the Co-Editor of the Holistic Nutrition page and a board certified holistic nutritionist. Sam has been with us for just about as long as we’ve been around and we absolutely love the energy and intelligence she brings to ATH. Sam, welcome and thanks for participating in another ATH Conversation!
Sam Rafoss: I am so excited to be here. Dr. Bauman, I have been a fan of yours for probably at least five years when... was introduced to me by one of your students. So, I am very excited to talking to you today.
Bauman: What’s new?
Michelle Gregg: Well, great! That makes for some wonderful synergy. I know Sam has some great questions to ask Dr. Bauman. So, you two, let’s let the games begin.
Sam: Okay, I’m going to start at the beginning. So, I’ve looked at your CV and you started with an education in political science and a teaching certificate. So, what was your plan then and what lead you to holistic nutrition?
"So I really made this lifestyle change to live on a farm when I was twenty three. I purchased an organic farm—this 170 acre farm in Western Mass."
Dr. Bauman: You know, Sam, I was born in Washington DC and I grew up downtown—I could see the White House—and I had the opportunity to be in a multi-cultural environment. Growing up in the 40’s and 50’s, I was really interested in making the world a better place and I was thinking politics might be the way to do it. Then education, then I got a little bit disenchanted with law school and had this revelation when I was twenty-three I wanted to study natural law, which meant nutrition and spirituality and Eastern and Western and all of that. So I really made this lifestyle change to live on a farm when I was twenty three. I purchased an organic farm—this 170 acre farm in Western Mass. for the astounding, large sum of $70,000. My friends are still on that farm and I’m here in California doing the fruits of all that living on the land and doing farms and restaurants and teaching.
Sam: Wow. So that led to your holistic nutrition career, your education in holistic nutrition and we all follow you. And now, you have you E4H system. Can you tell us about that?
Dr. Bauman: Sure. Going back historically in the late 60’s, early 70’s, my teachers were naturopaths. They were guys in their 60’s and 70’s and they were talking about “nature has a remedy” and “fresh, whole, and natural” and I got the opportunity to work with Michio Kushi, a macrobiotic teacher, and Ann Wigmore, who was a raw foods teacher, and Pavo Ravola, who was a European Naturopath and those kinds of folks. I learned a little bit from each of them, but I didn’t agree with anybody in totality. So, being an independent, creative thinker, I go, “I’m going to create a model that is inclusive of a lot of good things. It includes raw foods and cooked foods, it includes meats and non-meats. Being an organizer or a synthesizer, I decided to create a system or model called E4H, which was really looking at whole, fresh, local, seasonal, natural foods with individual choice involved rather than one size, fits all. I had the good luck to see it in my mind and then put it down on paper and use it as a teaching model and then, along with that, checked out conventional dietetics and conventional nutrition and found out—geez, it’s totally commercial! The whole system was based on refined, commercial food and animal foods and dairy foods that were loaded with chemicals and hormones and additives and it really didn’t have a natural basis. I wanted to create an alternative model to the four food groups, which became the Pyramid, which is now My Plate. The E4H approach has held up really well over the past twenty-five years and it has been adopted in a variety of different schools and clinical settings which makes me very happy.
Sam: Well, I love the E4H system, obviously, because it is a holistic approach.
"I decided to create a system or model called E4H, which was really looking at whole, fresh, local, seasonal, natural foods with individual choice involved rather than one size, fits all."
Dr. Bauman: Well, it lets people make choices and be who they want and evolve and discover and not, “I’m going to count my calories” or “I’m going to eat in a model someone else created for me.” It’s really encouraging people to understand nutrition and to really see that nutrition really is a science and that cooking is an art and that eating is a choice and that living well is a skill. All of that bundled into E4H where it’s not just information or it’s not just sensuality and pleasure, but there’s a lot of intention in there. As we get older, we change. All of us are getting older and a lot of people are fixed in old ideas. I’m looking to create some kind of excitement, energy and creativity, really, to help us adapt to these environmental times because things are kind of falling apart. Having a whole foods basis—it’s not only diet—it’s lifestyle, it’s attitude, it’s social relationships, it’s work, it’s purpose that has a huge amount of integrity. And when the food has integrity, the self has integrity, and the mind has integrity and that really puts us—it’s more than three carrots and two pieces of peanut butter or something. It’s beyond the food. It’s really the way of life that is holistic because it’s looking at the relationships between all kinds of different dimensions of life and the relationships to life.
Sam: I couldn’t agree more.
Dr. Bauman: Yes? Awesome!
Sam: So, and the opposite of what were just talking about is the typical, standard American diet.
Dr. Bauman: Yes!
Sam: So, you’ve touched on it: full of refined foods, the sugar, the salt, the fat. How do you help people move from that sad diet to the E4H system?
Dr. Bauman: Most people learned what they know about nutrition through television. And television has told people a bad set of goods, really! So, the idea, really, is turn off your television and have dinner with us and go to the store with us and learn about fresh and natural and go to your farmer’s market and explore and even put some roots in the ground and plant some foods or grow some herbs or get a cookbook and get people together and make nutrition and eating a home sport—an activity. Not just, yes, I can just go to the store and buy something already made. So, the bad news is people are sick and they’re even sick of bad food. The good news is there’s plenty of good foods around and the access to good foods is getting better all the time. The thing about eating for good health is that it’s seasonal and geographic. If you’re in Canada in the winter your choices are a little more limited than if you’re somewhere else where there is fresh food year-round. It’s just really fun and interesting to freeze and can and dry and make preparations and you can eat good fruit in the winter when you put it up in the summer when it came in. What I’ve found is we learn from healthy people that health is like an epidemic. I really to spread the virus of wellness and health and vitality by sharing it with people and being with poeple and not teaching people what to think, but encouraging people to think for themselves. And, in doing that, there’s a lot of fun, colorful experimentation with whatever foods are available and that’s really what helps people to go out. I just really want to eat better. Being with you, this food is amazing. Kids like it and people with all different backgrounds who haven’t had experience with a variety of fresh, natural foods get turned on to it.
Sam: Well, especially when they learn how.
"Cooking is an art and eating is a choice and living is a skill."
Dr. Bauman: Yes, it’s a skill! Remember I said cooking is an art and eating is a choice and living is a skill. It’s a skill just like playing the violin—you have to have a teacher and you have to practice. That’s why I created schools that were skills based and not just information based and not just commodity based, because nutrition has become just a big, fat commodity. Everything has become something to sell. It’s a bar to sell, or a supplement to sell or even a diet program to sell and it’s not intended to be that way. It’s part of life, and part of the Earth, and part of animals and humans finding things that support their life. As people get older it’s even more interesting, because people have time on their hands, is teaching cooking classes and nutrition classes and health. Just teaching people what it looks like and how to create health, not just fight illness. It’s very cool and people respond because it’s a universal desire to be well.
Sam: I agree and it is very cool.
Dr. Bauman: It is! It could go anywhere with anybody in any ethnicity because I like cultural nutrition. If I’m dealing with Eskimos, I want to learn from Eskimos. If I’m dealing with Chinese or Asian people, I want to work with Asian thought and Asian food patterns, et cetera. It’s constant learning for myself, and students, and constant sharing and trying things. I taught my class in Spanish. I speak Spanish a little bit, but I would love it when my students would just do a lesson in Spanish. I wouldn’t know what they were talking about, but I could see the excitement of it. Then I would sample the foods and I’d go, “Wow, I can taste what’s in that food, that’s good stuff.” So, eating and cooking really pulls people together and it’s its own language. I was a chef in Brazil and was the only American in this restaurant. I had a lot of fun because I knew how to cook. And you pick up a lot of things doing it together.
Sam: And food brings people together.
Dr. Bauman: Totally, and that’s the idea.
Sam: So, moving on from the health system. I really want to know about your cleansing as a big part of what you teach and your two yearly retreats. It’s on my bucket list to get to one of your retreats so tell me more about that!
It’s nice to have a time when you’re with 20, 30 people and you’re in a beautiful place… You can begin to feel your breathing come back and your clarity come back and your spirituality be with you because you’re not as caught up in a rat race.
Dr. Bauman: You’re pretty far from kicking the bucket, I’m sure. It’s not feast or famine in that every day is a good day for eating. When we do a cleansing program or a fasting program, which I’ve done 28 years every year, it’s very comfortable, and very supportive, and very nurturing. We go to a place in a natural environment, a kind of spa. It’s like the Bellagio in the Red Woods. I mean, it’s gorgeous. We do teas, broths, juices, and smoothies. In smoothies I put a little protein powder and green powder in one of these beverages and it helps people support their blood sugar. So, it’s not quite as extreme as a juice fast or water fast, which I don’t do. And then we have yoga, meditation, exercise, swimming, hiking, and, every night, there are healing classes. Each night I teach, we have a theme and a topic and a discussion and it’s getting away from television and all that stuff. The hardest thing for people is to turn off their cell phone or computer, because you keep looking for messages from the outside world. It’s nice to have a time when you’re with 20, 30 people and you’re in a beautiful place… You can begin to feel your breathing come back and your clarity come back and your spirituality be with you because you’re not as caught up in a rat race. We do a four day program in the spring and a seven day program in August, I think this year it’s August 4th through 10th. It’s life changing because when you get there, you get into a quiet, simple, healthy, fun mode… You start thinking about, “How am I going to take this home?” So, the effects of these programs usually carry people for several seasons and for a lot of people it’s like, “Wow, I do not need coffee! I feel so good now, I do not need coffee, and I do not need sugar. I’m going to make a commitment to living in a more joyous, happy way.” You have to have a taste of that is the only way to carry it forward. Doing it as a group is way easier than trying to do a fast or a cleanser alone. We don’t do any powders or pills. It’s just natural foods and good lifestyle.
Sam: That’s the best kind of cleanse, in my opinion.
Dr. Bauman: And it’s fun! It’s like going to camp for us, we have time and everybody gets in the kitchen and learns how to make juices and soups and teas and very hands on… We do arts and crafts, so it’s fun, and it’s not just health practices. It’s hanging out with friends and family. People make some really nice relationships and they think, “Oh, yes! That’s the kind of person I am. Now I remember when I’m not so caught up in things. This is how I am and this is how I will be.”
Sam: Sounds amazing.
Dr. Bauman: Come, come, come! I hope to see you and many of our listeners.
Sam: I will, I will. So, we’re moving on to the unregulated field of holistic nutrition and you work very closely with the NANP, the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.
Dr. Bauman: I’m the grandfather of that group. I started it twenty years ago.
Sam: Oh, my.
Dr. Bauman: So, what is that? Just like American Medical, American Dental, American Nursing, American Dietetic Association, we created our own association where I hope to define the scope of practice and the standard of care. When you see a nutrition professional, there’s some kind of similarity and continuity of practice. It’s not all over the place and that’s one of the things that has limited our field, professionally, is inconsistencies. We have a national board exam which is moderately rigorous, meaning people who go to an approved school like the Bauman College can sit for this exam. If they pass, most of my grads do (all of them actually, but one and she missed it by a point but she’ll get it next time), it adds a level of third party credibility. If people in Canada or people in the South or North or East are looking for a nutrition professional who works with whole foods, which could be a natural chef or a nutritionist, there is a nice directory—you can go in by zip code and see who’s nearby. We also have conferences and continuing education; all kinds of professional support for one another so that we can bring this profession to the medical field and create a marriage between health and medicine so that people who are ill are also learning how to be well. That’s really my overarching goal: to create national wellness programs that are supported by the government and funded by insurance companies so that anybody, not just people with money, can learn about healthy eating and healthy living. Really, how to cultivate a sense of strength and beauty and love within themselves whether they’re sick, which can be prevented, or through a recovery process, which is most of what happens since people don’t wake up until they’re kind of falling apart. NANP is a tremendous organization for our listeners to know to see who’s out there and what is holistic nutrition compared to the practice of dietetics. And, in a quick sentence, dietetics is really treating disease, they call it medical nutrition. Holistic nutrition is looking at whole people, explaining and teaching people some of the antecedents or the underlying causes of illness, and teaching people what they can do to reverse that and create a health pattern. They’re very different and within our profession, there’s room for dietetics and holistic nutrition and different schools of thought. It’s good to have diversity, and choice, and value.
Sam: I couldn’t agree more and I’m looking at the time and I have to ask you our final question. I could sit here and talk all day on this subject, but I have to ask you: What tips and inspiration can you leave our listeners with?
Beverages are more important than food. How about that? You always think of nutrition and you think of food. We need to hydrate and we need water, tea, juice, and broths.
Dr. Bauman: I’ll give you three quick ones, okay? Beverages are more important than food. How about that? You always think of nutrition and you think of food. We need to hydrate and we need water, tea, juice, and broths. Broths are usually herbal, mineral kinds of liquids that are mineral rich. So, for people who overeat or people who need to cleanse, having a higher amount of liquid—half a cup or a cup every hour of clean fluid without any sugars or artificial sweeteners—is really wonderful. That’s number one. Number two is: eat a little less. Eat to ninety percent capacity instead of one hundred and ten percent. So that difference makes an amazing shift in your energy, your weight, your mood and all that. It’s really overcoming this notion of food scarcity, which is, “Oh, God! This could be my last supper so I need to eat a little more because who knows when I will see food again.” But that’s not the case. Eating a little bit less allows more energy, air, and more light to come forward. If you eat a little more frequently, that’s fine if you don’t overeat. The third thing is blessing the food and sharing it—being a part of that essence of life and being life affirming, even if somebody has a life threatening illness. By eating nice food, creating a good environment around the food, sharing it with loved ones, giving thanks to spirit and creator and all the people that brought that food forward, it elevates the energy of the food and makes it a sacrament, not in a religious way, but in an appreciative way. If we do that, it helps us, and if we teach that to our friends, family, kids, and parents, it changes the whole culture. Food is an incredible, powerful tool on many different levels to bring people together. Fresh, natural food is a heck of a lot better than stale pizza that we microwave.
Sam: It certainly is.
Michelle Gregg: Wow, okay, you two. That was such a blast and so life affirming. What a delight to listen to you two talk. Sam, I’m with you, I’m adding a Dr. Ed Cleansing Retreat to my bucket list, too, and that sounds like so much fun. Thanks so much to you Dr. Bauman – we’re so fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from you! You’re such a wise and inspiring mentor and you really know how to make healthy food and healthy living fun, I can tell. And thanks so much Sam!
I know everyone out there has enjoyed and benefited today from the wonderful stuff that has been shared here today. And if you’re curious to know more about Dr. Bauman and the Bauman College of Nutrition and Culinary Arts, please visit their website at www.baumancollege.org. After having read or listened to this interview we really encourage you to leave your comments and questions with us – either in the comments section at the bottom of this page or you can visit our Holistic Nutrition forum and Sam will be glad to hear from you there! Once again - Dr. Bauman, Sam many thanks! And until next time everyone… please, be well.
Have a comment or question? Visit our Holistic Nutrition Forum to start or join a conversation.
About Dr. Edward Bauman
Edward Bauman, MEd, PhD (University of New Mexico), is the Executive Director of Bauman College Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts. He is a ground-breaking leader in the field of whole foods nutrition, holistic health, and community health promotion. After three decades of in-depth study of worldwide health and nutrition systems, Dr. Bauman created the ‘Eating for Health’ (E4H) nutrition system which is the foundation of the Bauman College Nutrition and Natural Chef Training Programs. In addition to his Director responsibilities, Ed works closely with the Academic Dean on ongoing curriculum updates. He also facilitates the bi-annual Bauman College Vitality Fasting Retreats in Northern California.
Ed Bauman is also the Director of Bauman Nutrition, a natural health clinic in Sonoma County, California, where he and his staff provide nutritional consultation to individuals, families and business groups. Their work includes a wide range of functional metabolic assessments and health research for serious health problems. For more information see: www.baumannutrition.com.
Dr. Bauman is currently an adjunct faculty member at JFK University in Pleasant Hill, CA. He is the past president of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) Board of Directors. Dr. Bauman is an active member of CAN-C, the Sonoma County Community Activity and Nutrition Coalition. He is working to bring the Eating for Health approach to community agencies and clinical health care settings, both locally and nationally.
Ed Bauman's Curriculum Vitae.
About Bauman College
Bauman College Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts provides training and certification for holistic Nutrition Consultants, whole food Natural Chefs, organic and vegetarian personal chefs, natural food caterers, special dietary needs chefs, and nutrition career training for those interested in promoting optimal health using current nutritional science. Bauman College graduates are using their specialized nutritional science and culinary arts to pursue careers in public, private, and hospitality and restaurant industries. Bauman College's course offerings cover a wide range of holistic nutrition programs based on holistic nutrition learning modules and provides students with the information and skills they'll need to excel in their chosen field.
For much more about Bauman College and careers as a Nutrition Consultant and Natural Chef, click here.