Dustin Rudolph Teaches You the Basic Principles of Lifelong Health
Dustin Rudolph is a pharmacist who wants to see his patients regain their health and become free of medications. He wrote The Empty Medicine Cabinet: The Pharmacist’s Guide to the Hidden Danger of Drugs and the Healing Powers of Food to help people looking for elusive answers about why they are sick. His book will show you a totally different approach to chronic illness – an approach that is not based on the pills, procedures, and surgery of conventional medicine.
The Empty Medicine Cabinet starts with idyllic memories of Dustin’s summers on his much-adored grandfather’s small farm in Montana. His grandfather lived what many would consider a model lifestyle, eating fresh, local foods, never smoking, and getting hours of exercise every day in active jobs. Yet he spent the last eight years of his life batting type 2 diabetes and heart disease. He became thin and frail, and passed away at age seventy-six from what Dustin now understands are preventable conditions. At the time, however, Dustin was inspired by this grandfather’s struggles to become a pharmacist to help other people live a healthy life.
After working with patients in both retail and hospital settings, Dustin was puzzled and disappointed to see that the drugs he dispensed for chronic disease did not actually effect cures. Patients remained ill,
and kept coming back for more and more meds. His book is sprinkled with dramatic stories of their downhill slides – and the message of hope from those who changed their lifestyle and got truly healthy.
Dustin teaches you key guidelines for choosing the nutrient-dense foods that can heal chronic illness. He does not shy away from telling you some foods are dangerous, even in “moderation.” His book is readable, scientific, and practical. You will learn how and why common diseases develop, and the food choices that can move you to permanent health without medications.
I have been fortunate to know Dustin while he was writing The Empty Medicine Cabinet, and had a chance to talk more with him about the book right after it was launched. I asked him how he decided on the title, and could practically hear him smiling over the phone. “I had numerous titles in mind, but this image just popped into my mind one day. I thought it was ironic to have a pharmacist write about avoiding pills, and it would grab people’s attention.”
Dustin shared the most important takeaway for his readers. “You have the greatest stake in your own health, and your decisions largely determine your health. You are in charge and can take control of your own life. You don’t need to feel doomed. This is a hopeful, empowering message and a promise only you can fulfill.”
I asked Dustin about the progressive worsening of chronic conditions that typically happens when people choose a standard American diet. “Because I’m working in a hospital now, my patients usually
take more than half a dozen medications. Some take as many as fifteen to twenty. What is apparent is that the more meds a patient takes, the more problems he or she has, and the worse they feel. Drugs interact with each other, and even with food, in ways that are sometimes unpredictable. Patients end up taking one drug to counteract the effect of a previous drug, all without getting to the root cause of why they are ill. It’s a snowball effect. Some medications are even addictive. A medication may have a benefit, but there is almost always a risk that is paired with it. I want to spare patients from this process, which happens so frequently because now there is a pill for everything. There’s even more need to be careful with drugs that are new on the market. Their most dangerous risks may not emerge for many years, then the drug is taken off the market or its use is closely limited.”
Because of the risks and ineffectiveness that plague conventional treatment for chronic illness, Dustin sees a growing interest among medical professionals of all types for whole foods, plant-based diets. He is hearing from pharmacists around the country who identify with his thinking and want to learn more. “We need all voices in this conversation. Pharmacists have an enormous ability to help patients in this area, but until now have been unrecognized. One of my goals is to change this, to bring in more pharmacists and other medical professionals to give patients the message of healthy food choices they need to hear,” Dustin shares.
The Empty Medicine Cabinet includes fifty plant-based, easy, delicious recipes. I asked Dustin which are
his favorites. “I love to cook, but because I am so busy, I cook in large batches and frequently enjoy leftovers. My favorite dessert is the apple-berry crisp. It tastes decadent, but is made with healthy ingredients and always satisfies my sweet tooth. For a leisurely weekend brunch with friends, everyone will enjoy the blueberry banana pancakes. My go-to dinner is the chickpea vegetable medley with brown rice. The flavors meld perfectly, and it comes together really fast.”
I’m happy that Dustin is sharing his invaluable insights with the world, and you will be too if you read his book. If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out an earlier interview that tells how and why Dustin changed to a whole foods, plant-based diet.
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Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now With Six Kinds of Whole Foods, a book that gives you more insight on maximizing the benefits of the nutrient-dense eating pattern that Dustin recommends.