By: Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, CMS, Founder of HME

Contributor:  S. Woo

Spoiler Alert ☺   Culinary Medicine blends the art of food with evidence-based medicine to help support and improve health outcomes for people.

The goal of culinary medicine is to help people strive towards making good eating decisions for nutritionally appropriate meals for their goals.

I asked one of my close friends the other day about the New Year’s Resolution he made about eating healthier and losing a few pounds. He winked and said with a chuckle, “It was just that time of year, man…” 

But, what if those healthy eating promises you made to yourself were not inspired by January 1 but rather following a doctor’s visit?

What if your doctor’s or dietitian’s advice required you to eat a certain amount or type of food to help improve your health because of diabetes, heart disease or obesity – you’d give it a try most likely, wouldn’t you?

You may have noticed on the Healthy Meal Express website on the Nutritional Page that we describe our meals as “Culinary Medicine inspired.”

Defining Culinary Medicine 

Some believe that culinary medicine is nutrition, dietetics, or preventive, integrative, or internal medicine. Others think that it is another term for culinary arts or food science or just some type of diet philosophy. * That’s not it! 

Let’s set the record straight: Culinary medicine is built on evidence-based science. It takes the beauty and art of cooking and food and combines it with the science of medicine.

The goal of culinary medicine is to help people strive towards making good eating decisions for nutritionally appropriate meals for their goals.

These meals help to achieve your personal goals and support your medical therapies. In addition, culinary medicine meals may help to maintain well-being, and potentially delay or prevent the onset of disease progression.

The principles of culinary medicine have over the years become widely accepted to the point that The Tulane School of Medicine introduced culinary medicine into their academic program under the guidance of Dr. Timothy Harlan also known as Dr. Gourmet.

What Does ‘Culinary Medicine Inspired’ Mean? 

Now that we know what culinary medicine is, we turn to answer this question.

We know that having a chronic condition like diabetes, heart disease or obesity, usually means the need to adopt a different lifestyle when it comes to food and daily living. This can be VERY overwhelming, especially at the start.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I didn’t know what to do and where to start. The more I researched and read the mountains of conflicting information, the more confused and frustrated I became.

My personal experience:  When I went to look for food that the doctor said I should eat, I couldn’t find meals that tasted good and were easy to prepare. Also, the meals needed to be quick to make and that I could eat on the go with my busy lifestyle, let alone something that I would stick with for the long-term. So, yes, I get it.

My vision in creating Healthy Meal Express is to help others like me, no matter their chronic condition or personal goal, and to avoid the aggravating frustration that I suffered.

We should all have easy access to delicious meal plans that follow the doctor’s advice, AND without the stress of planning, calculating and even less preparation.

All of our Culinary Medicine™ healthy meal programs follow the nationally published dietary guidelines of the respective leading health associations for certain chronic conditions, using the Mediterranean and DASH diets.

We do all the shopping, nutritional calculations, preparation and cooking – you just “heat it and eat it”.

I am always happy to answer any questions on the subject. If you have any, please email me at

* Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine. Culinary medicine may impact the need and amounts of different medical and prescription therapies and this will vary on an individual basis. Information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only and not meant as medical, nutritional or pharmaceutical advice.