Bridging the Gap Between the Culinary and Medical Fields: FRESHMed

by Deirdre Appel

Name: FRESHMed

What They Do: FRESH Med is an integrative health practice that is changing the traditional approach of “a pill for an ill” to one that addresses the root cause of disease. The practice combines the best of what conventional medicine has to offer, including medications, diagnostic testing, tools and technologies, with clinical nutrition, functional medicine, health coaching (grounded in positive psychology), complementary therapies, as well as extensive and innovative testing. FRESHMed believes healing should be a fully collaborative partnership between the doctor and the patient, and that teaching and promoting wellness are just as important as treatment.

How They Do It: FRESHMed is a three-person team that includes a physician, a clinical nutritionist and a health coach. Together their expertise offers patients a holistic view of their health. Their typical patient is someone seeking a preventive, holistic approach to health and wellness; who has not achieved full relief of symptoms with other types of medicine; who has a chronic dietary disease; or who has a medical problem and is interested in reducing dependence on medication or in supplementary care. Patients visit their office in Manhattan (see location below) for consultations before the team decides on the best treatment plan for the individual. 

Mission: The FRESH approach stands for: Food, Relaxation, Exercise, Sleep, and Happiness. Members of the practice consider each of these a pillar of well-being and understand the critical role food plays in our health and healing. 

Latest project/campaign: Founder Dr. Graham is a Meatless Monday ambassador. Meatless Monday is a nonprofit public health initiative founded by Sid Lerner, chairman of The Monday Campaigns. The initiative is in association with the Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion at Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse universities. Meatless Monday encourages the public to cut back on meat consumption one day a week to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, and lessen the environmental impact of meat production on climate change, water and land use. Earlier this year at the Healthy Food Expo New York, part of the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, Dr. Graham conducted a featured session, “FRESH Food Tips for a Sustainable and Healthy Lifestyle, One Meal at a Time”.

Major Funding: Revenue from client services 

Profit/nonprofit: Profit

Annual Revenue: N/A

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: Dr. Robert Graham, the founder of FRESHMed, has completed 600 hours of culinary training at the National Gourmet Institute’s Chef’s Training Program – a nationally accredited program licensed by the New York State Department of Education that teaches students healthy cooking techniques, how to source ingredients, how food can heal, and recipes for traditional flourless, vegan and gluten-free desserts and breads. His background and interest in food as medicine helped him to bridge the gap between the culinary and medical fields and he plans to use his training to create healthier options in hospitals and restaurants, as well as in his patients’ kitchens. 


Location: FRESH Medicine at Shift, 95 University Pl. 8th Floor, New York, NY 10003

Core Programs: Integrative internal and functional medicine; culinary medicine; clinical nutrition; yoga; health coaching; acupuncture; corporate wellness

Number of staff: Three: Physician, Clinical Nutritionist, and Health Coach

Number of volunteers: None

Areas served: New York City

Year Started: 2017

Founder: Dr. Robert Graham 

Contact Information: Those interested in learning more can fill out this contact form


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