I just wrapped up an incredible interview with cardiologist Dr. Clifford Morris at Heritage Gardens where he shared with me his vision for a happier and healthier Hopewell.
Dr. Morris has a completely different view of healthcare and “life care” and is leading our local communities toward a vision of healthy communities with bright futures. “We know what it takes—having good people around you, a connection with something bigger than you, having a purpose every day and supportive family and friends in your life—and learning a whole new relationship with food.”
Local youth experience gardening, healthy eating, and positive life skills with Dr. Morris.
We’re standing in the middle of Heritage Gardens, one of Dr. Morris’ favorite places in Hopewell and a centerpiece of his approach to healthy living. As I look around, I see a vegetable garden that seems a little out of place. “What’s that?,” I ask Dr. Morris. “Oh that’s a very important part of what we’re doing here in the garden. That’s where we educate kids on how to grow their own food.” He shares how he and others work with children and families with strained financial resources. “Low income typically means higher sodium diets,” he says.
So with the help of Master Gardener Diane Cook, he teaches young people about environmental diversity—how a diverse soil and environment made up of minerals, nutrients, water, worms, bugs and other critters combine to create healthy fruits and vegetables. “Basically, we learn, play and pick in the garden! And what the kids pick, they eat. Don’t let anyone tell you kids don’t like fresh vegetables—they love ‘em!”
FOOD AS MEDICINE
“High blood pressure and diabetes are purely related to lifestyle. And sadly, we’ve got more kids with high blood pressure and diabetes than ever before in history.” Dr. Morris tells me our bodies have an infinite ability to maintain and heal themselves. “Our bodies know exactly what to do with nutrients—how to target them to locations in the body that need repair and healing.” So with a diet of fresh food and daily physical activity, one can look good, feel good and even save money in medical costs. He’s working to create more vegetarians (plant-based diet) and pescatarians (seafood as the only meat source). He even envisions Garden to Table events at Heritage Gardens where volunteers and local vendors offer fresh and prepared foods to families and local citizens. Through such events, people will learn to grow, select and prepare food in a way that creates healthier communities and better lives.
Learning a new relationship with food is only part of Dr. Morris’ approach to healthy living. In our next blog, learn how any kind of movement also supports healthy eating and a long life.
Dr. Clifford Morris, cardiologist and healthy living advocate
Fun for the Family!
The entire family can have fun and stay healthy together at the City Point 5K and Kids Fun Run on Saturday, October 26, 2019, at the Hopewell Community Center! Registration and details at www.hopewellrecandparks.com/5k.
A special thank you to Dr. Morris for partnering with John Randolph Foundation as a top sponsor of the City Point 5K & Kids Fun Run for many years!Tags: Dr. Cliff Morris, Food as medicine, Heritage Gardens, Morris Cardiovascular & Risk Reduction Center
This post was written by Ann Easterling