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An Apple a Day – 5 Questions for Elizabeth Cramer-Ernst, NY Health and Wellness

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Located in Westchester and the Hamptons, NY Health & Wellness just expanded its talented clinical staff to include a new holistic health coach and anti-aging director, under the skillful leadership of the center’s new medical director, Elizabeth Cramer-Ernst.

Liz — a Nurse Practitioner with sub-specialties in Pediatrics, Women’s Health, and Psychiatry — brings over 25 years of industry experience to NY Health & Wellness.

She is a graduate of Adelphi University and SUNY Stony Brook, and holds a Columbia University Fellowship in Psychopharmacology.

And she’s been involved with Integrative Medicine since its inception, working closely with some the field’s leading pioneers, including Dr. Ronald Hoffman and Dr. Serafina Corsello.

Through comprehensive observation and supervision of laboratory tests and toxin cleanses, Liz closely monitors clients’ medical weight loss programs, resulting in highly successful outcomes.

She is also available for sick and well visits, and school/sport or work physicals at their offices. Other services include infusion therapy for health and wellness, surgery prep, flu like symptoms, and detox.

For more please read below — and visit www.nyhealthandwellness.com.

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Name: Elizabeth Cramer-Ernst (pictured above)

Age (if you want to give it up): 53

Occupation/Expertise: NY Health and Wellness Medical Director

Hometown: The Hamptons, NY

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1. What book should every one of your patients read? Why?

Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil. He is the grandfather of integrative and nutritional medicine, a Harvard-trained biologist botanist and medical doctor. Dr. Weil worked in mental health at the NIH and his books are all science-based.

As the book’s promotional material says:

“The body can heal itself. Spontaneous healing is not a miracle but a fact of biology–the result of the natural healing system that each one of us is born with. Drawing on fascinating case histories as well as medical techniques from around the world, Dr. Weil shows how spontaneous healing has worked to resolve life-threatening diseases, severe trauma, and chronic pain. Weil then outlines an eight-week program in which you’ll discover:

– The truth about spontaneous healing and how it interacts with the mind;

– The foods, vitamins, supplements, and tonic herbs that will help you enhance your innate healing powers;

– Advice on how to avoid environmental toxins and reduce stress;

– The strengths and weaknesses of conventional and alternative treatments;

– Natural methods to ameliorate common kinds of illnesses – And much more!”

Prescription for Nutritional Healing is my go to reference manual.

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2. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard? And what advice do you always give your patients? 

“The mind is powerful medicine.” Many physical illness begin with unhealthy patterns of thinking. Take care of your body AND mind.

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3. Are you staying healthy? If so, how do you take care of yourself? If not, what will you be doing to get back on track? 

In the past I took much better care of myself: vegetarian, yoga, sports, running, etc. I love to be active or I struggle with my weight. I’m in that “squeeze” generation right now: taking care of aging/disabled parents and kids and husband, and forgetting to look after myself. I constantly have to remind myself, and have just started NYHW pre-cleanse!

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4. Would you recommend any of the following to your patients? Why or why not?  

All of these are things most of us consume. However, trying to give up all at once is setting yourself up for failure. Most of these each have benefits as well as risks. I try not to be extremist in any direction.

a.   Coffee? 

Try to eliminate or cut down on coffee, as it has stimulant and diuretic effects. It also interferes with serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter.

b.   Vodka? 

Vodka is not the best choice.

c.    Chocolate? 

Small amounts of dark chocolate has soothing mental health benefits as well as       flavanoids/antioxidant properties.

d.   Eggs?

Eggs are a good source of protein; try to eat fresh, organic local, free range, etc.

e.    Cheese? 

Cheese is a hard one: If you are not on a cleanse or fast, it is a good source of protein, especially for children, as fat is needed for brain growth and myelination of the neurological system.  It is also rich in calcium and protein. However, it has saturated fat, lactose, milk protein/whey which some may be allergic to. It is known to bind to opioid receptors in the brain, which may be why so many of us like it!!

f.      An Apple A Day?

Apples are a good source of carbs, but can raise insulin; try with organic almond butter to slow the spike, and always eat organic apples. I have several trees in my yard with six different varieties!

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5. What trend or latest discovery in medicine/science fascinates you? 

I am fascinated by the Genome Project. The Human Genome Project (HGP), as the official website says, “was the international, collaborative research program whose goal was the complete mapping and understanding of all the genes of human beings.” Finding the genetic basis of disease as well as the best medicines and treatments based on genotype is absolutely fascinating and is extremely helpful in picking the right treatments and therapies.

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BONUS QUESTION: What else about you or your field would you like to add, promote, or discuss? 

I am encouraging women in the middle of their life to focus more on themselves. It is a crucial time to keep healthy, stave off disease, or correct any imbalances. We are always taking care of others: family, kids, husband, parents, working, juggling, and struggling. We need to embrace and expand woman’s health through knowledge and prevention and early intervention, just as we do with children! We want to live long, and HEALTHY lives!

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Garsya / Shutterstock.com; Portrait Courtesy of Elizabeth Cramer-Ernst