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Plant Person Profile: Lillie Rosenthal, DO

Plant Person Profile: Lillie Rosenthal, DO

Meet Dr. Lillie Rosenthal, an expert in lifestyle management with a focus on injury prevention, pain management and integrative health.

Hi Lillie! Tell us a little about yourself:

Hello Plant People! I’ve always been a 'plant person' per se, as well as an independent thinker and a bit of a hippie :)

I eat plants, I grow plants and I prescribe plants as medicine for my patients with pain problems.

My interest in health began in my teenage years when I became a vegetarian, a dancer and the manager of the health food co-op at my university. I decided to apply to medical school because I wanted to help people become their healthiest selves.

I am now a practicing plant based physician (osteopathic physician and specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation), speaker and author. I help people with pain and injuries to feel and function optimally. My personalized lifestyle medicine approach gets to the root cause of pain- as pain is a signal that the body is out of balance. I am so lucky to have the privilege of guiding and empowering my patients to optimize their health and wellness. I consider myself a MEDICAL ACTIVIST - advocating for the health of my patients and the planet!

What are you reading right now? 

I read EVERYTHING!!!

I love learning and reading everything about nature, health, social science, medicine, climate change and nutrition. I am always interested in the arts, psychology and relationships. It’s all connected. 

I am deeply interested and committed to moving the needle towards better, healthier, more sustainable and more ethical. 

I am currently consuming all research, opinions and science related to COVID-19 so I can continue to be a trusted resource for my patients on medical decision making and all things HEALTH! 

Who are three people who have influenced you lately?

My beautiful daughter: age 21, she just finished her studies in Biology and Nutrition at Cornell University. She inspires me every day with her quiet strength, quick wit, humility, intellect, compassion and the grace at which she moves through the world. 

My amazing dad: age 86, he is generous, fully present, loving, silly, plant based and enjoying his 4 mile runs everyday!! A great example of “self care as healthcare.”

Michael Greger MD: a rockstar author who digests the global research and publishes on the plant based pathway to health! 

What's your relationship to the world of "wellness"?

Wellness is a choice and a way of life. It is a 360 commitment to make everyday choices that support your mind and body as well as the planet! It is a conscious decision to behave in a way that considers impact and the future.  

What do you love about it?

I love that we have choices and can influence our health as well as the health of others by how we live. If we create a balance of mind and body, we then have the freedom and energy to engage, produce and live fully. So many of us live in a state of depletion and do not realize that sustainable health is a choice!  I love that we can inspire others by creating and sharing a healthy meal and perhaps influence positive change.

What needs to be changed?

We must rethink our healthcare system! Instead of treating symptoms and disease, we MUST think upstream focus on prevention and empower people to make everyday decisions to support their health (food, sleep, exercise, stress management) . This is truly the best medicine - no side effects! This is the only sustainable strategy. 

I've written about this extensively. 

What do you think is the most common misconception people might have about managing their own pain?

A pill or a procedure is never the full answer to pain problems! Pain is a symptom.  not a diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis is essential to identify before choosing a pain management strategy. People need a trusted partner in investigating the root cause of pain and a responsible plan that is efficacious with minimal or no side effects.

I've written a lot about this "pain puzzle," too. 

You have a fascinating five point plan when it comes to managing pain and taking charge of our vitality. Can you tell us about it?

I firmly believe our DNA is not our destiny

My 5-point plant powered pain management plan is an evidence based approach to treating pain and optimizing health

  1. Food as Fuel: A whole food plant based diet with lots of water for hydration reduces inflammation and supports immune function 
  2. Movement as Medicine: One hour of cardio is optimal...walking counts. A healthy body and mind reduces pain.
  3. Stress Less: Increased cortisol from stress causes more pain problems. Deep breathing, music and meditation can help mitigate.
  4. Sleep: Sleep is a critical pillar of a healthy lifestyle Less booze, more snooze to strengthen our immune system and keep pain away.
  5. (DE)Vices: Refrain from smoking and vaping. Shut off those screens one hour before bed!

It's not an official part of the plan, but I recommend Plant People products as needed to optimize the  pain prescription above

If someone is just getting started, which “point” would you recommend they start at?

Start with food. Add more fruits and veggies! Swap out beans for meat and eggs. Enjoy a colorful and delicious meal that will help you feel and function better. You will sleep better and have more energy for exercise!  

What's your personal #1 must-do tip to feel whole, nourished, grounded?

I run 3 miles every day in nature - Central Park is my oasis! 

My #2 and #3 are whole food plant based food to nourish my mind and body and my 

9 hours of sleep - my superpower!!

To learn more about Dr. Rosenthal and her approach to personalized pain management and patient care philosophy that supports optimal health and well being, check out her website.  

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