Eating should be a pleasurable, joyful experience, one that nurtures our body, mind, and soul.  Sharing food is a universal way for humans to bond with each other  and celebrate life’s milestones.

Optimal nutrition maximizes fitness and prevents disease, while a sub-optimal diet weakens the immune system, causes overweight and obesity, and contributes to most chronic diseases, particularly type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some forms of arthritis and many cancers.
Every few months, a clever entrepenuer publishes a best-seller promising amazing breakthroughs on nutrition.  There is much conflicting information and contentious debate about what constitutes an optimal diet.  Most of this is just hype to sell books, supplements, the super food du jour, and weight loss programs.
Fortunately, for many years, high quality scientific and observational studies on nutrition have repeatedly demonstrated the same findings. All

over the world, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, or religion, the healthiest people eat mostly:



  • A wide variety of plants
  • Whole foods
  • Fish
  • Anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric and ginger
  • Small amounts of high-quality dairy  products such as aged cheeses and yogurt
  • Very little sugar
  • Very little meat
  • Sufficient calories to maintain a healthy body weight without storing excessive fat.

Healthy people do NOT routinely eat:

  • Sugar or artificial sweeteners
  • Preservatives, dyes, binders, and synthetic flavor enhancers
  • Much meat, especially cured meats
  • Heavily refined grains
  • White starchy foods
  • More calories than needed to maintain a healthy body weight

Holiwell Health teaching kitchen

Healthy people do not drink their calories.  They drink water, tea, coffee, and a little wine.  They do not take lots of supplements.  They get their vitamins and minerals from natural foods sources. However, supplements may be very helpful if true vitamin and mineral deficiencies are present, and Dr. Ballard can test for these deficiencies if indicated by your symptoms.

An optimal diet is a foundational part of your integrative healing plan.  Once an optimal diet is implemented, most patients are delighted as their blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipid levels improve, their body weight normalizes,  their energy level increases and their aches and pains disappear.

Because we understand that food is medicine, Holiwell Health features a beautiful teaching kitchen where our clients can learn how to prepare optimally healing meals from a gourmet wellness chef, Rhona Kamer.  Michelle Eckhart, RD is available for individual consultations and assists with our cooking classes.  She can craft a nutrition plan that can reverse obesity, Type 2 diabetes, inflammation, and improve overall health and wellbeing. 

I look forward to helping you develop a personalized nutrition plan to achieve your optimal health.