2021 Nutrition As Medicine Virtual Event

The 2021 Nutrition As Medicine virtual event, in partnership with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the EVMS M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health, is a virtual half-day integrative nutrition conference that recognizes nutrition as one of the cornerstones of our healthcare system.

Nutrition As Medicine is for both medical professionals and the community.

  • For healthcare providers, Nutrition As Medicine is a medical education opportunity that will help advance nutritional medicine throughout the patient care spectrum. 
  • For members of the community, Nutrition As Medicine is an opportunity to learn about the impact nutrition can have on gut health, diabetes, individual and family wellness, and improving quality of life through what you eat.

This year, you will hear from nationally-renowned nutrition experts, including Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Alan Desmond, Dr. Qadira Huff, as well as Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH, co-authors of the book Mastering Diabetes. In addition, the event will feature a plant-based live cooking demonstration with celebrity chef, Dustin Harder featuring recipes from his new cookbook, Epic Vegan Quick and Easy.

Registration Information (Two Categories)

  • $10 - General Registration
  • $60 - CME plus General Registration

100% of general registration fees will be donated to the Federation of Virginia Food Banks and Food Bank of the Albemarle.

After registration is confirmed, virtual event information - including conference link - will be sent to the email address provided before the event. 

Can’t Attend Live? Watch The Event On-Demand
This event will be recorded and access provided only to those who are registered before 12:00 pm EDT on Friday, November 5. The on-demand event will be available within one week through January 6, 2022.


For any other questions, please contact

For Healthcare Providers Seeking CME

  • The conference objective is to support the benefits of a plant-based dietary lifestyle through a review of current and progressive scientific research evidencing the preventive and disease fighting capabilities of whole food, plant-based nutrition. Geared toward medical doctors from a variety of specialty areas, as well as allied healthcare professionals, the information on plant-based nutrition will be presented with a commitment to intellectual integrity, without bias or influence.

  • Providers from all medical specialties, including, but not limited to, practitioners of family medicine, internal medicine, chiropractic, osteopathy, naturopathy, cardiology, vascular, oncology, immunology, endocrinology, urology, gynecology, geriatrics, pediatrics, lifestyle medicine, integrative medicine, functional medicine, physiatry, podiatry, surgery, neurology, psychiatry, and rheumatology.

  • This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Eastern Virginia Medical School and Sentara Healthcare. Eastern Virginia Medical School is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

    Eastern Virginia Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 4.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    Claiming CME Credit                                                   
    In order to received CME Credit you must register as “CME plus General Registration” before 12:00 pm EDT on Friday, November 5. An attestation & evaluation survey will be sent via Survey Monkey following the conference or completion of viewing a recorded lecture. In order to receive CME credits, you must complete the survey. Once the survey is complete you will receive an electronic certificate. If you have any questions regarding the attestation process, please contact EVMS CME at 757-446-6140 or

Agenda (all times EDT)

9:00 AM

Welcome & Introduction to Nutrition As Medicine

Cynthia C. Romero, MD, FAAFP

Director, M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health Eastern Virginia Medical School

9:05 AM

KEYNOTE: Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones and Health

Neal Barnard, MD, FACC

President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; Adjunct Professor of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine

9:50 AM


10:00 AM

Food, the Gut Microbiome and Bowel Cancer Risk: What You Need To Know

Alan Desmond, MB, BCh, BAO, BMedSc, MRCPI, FRCP

Consultant Gastroenterologist Devon Gut Clinic, Mount Stuart Hospital Torquay

10:45 AM  Q&A

11:00 AM

Teaching Kids the Blueprint for Health: The Role of Parents and Plants in Building Thriving Children

Qadira Ali Huff, MD, MPH, FAAP, DipABLM

Medical Director, Sprouting Wellness

11:45 AM

12:00 PM

Foods to Reverse Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD Co-founder Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green Robby Barbaro, MPH Co-founder Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green

12:45 PM Q&A

1:00 PM

Cooking Demonstration: Epic Vegan Quick and Easy: Simple One-Pot and One-Pan Recipes (Not for CME credit)

Dustin Harder

Chef and Author, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

1:30 PM Thank you and Closing Remarks

Speaker Biographies

  • President, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; Adjunct Professor of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine

    Presentation Title: Your Body in Balance: The New Science of Food, Hormones, and Health

    Dr. Barnard is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

    Dr. Barnard has led numerous research studies investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, hormonal symptoms, and chronic pain, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health, that paved the way for viewing type 2 diabetes as a potentially reversible condition for many patients. Dr. Barnard has authored more than 100 scientific publications and 20 books for medical and lay readers, and is the editor in chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians, a textbook made available to all U.S. medical students.

    As president of the Physicians Committee, Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research. His research contributed to the acceptance of plant-based diets in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In 2015, he was named a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In 2016, he founded the Barnard Medical Center in Washington, DC, as a model for making nutrition a routine part of all medical care.

    Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Dr. Barnard received his M.D. degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the same institution. He practiced at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York before returning to Washington to found the Physicians Committee.

  • Presentation Title: Food, the gut microbiome, and bowel cancer risk: what you need to know.

    Dr. Desmond is a consultant gastroenterologist who is dedicated to educating the public on the health benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet. He has made evidence-based dietary advice an essential part of his practice as a doctor specializing in gut health problems. He has presented at numerous international conferences and is an ambassador for Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, a non-profit group that educates members of the public, health professionals, and policymakers on the incredible health benefits of a plant-based diet. In the spring of 2020,

    he suspended his practice as a gastroenterologist to work on his hospital’s coronavirus unit, witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of this new disease on his patients.

    Certified in both gastroenterology and general internal medicine, Dr. Desmond completed his specialist training in Ireland and Oxford. He has a specialist interest in the role of diet in the prevention and treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. A member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, he has published several influential research papers in the field of inflammatory bowel disease and is a dedicated advocate for the gut health benefits, and overall health benefits, of a whole food, plant-based approach to nutrition.

    He shares his plant-based meals alongside the latest research in nutritional science and health on Instagram @dr.alandesmond. His research publications can be accessed at

    His new book, The Plant-Based Diet Revolution: 28 Days to a Happier Gut and a Healthier You, is available wherever books are sold. Find Dr Desmond on Instagram @dr.alandesmond Or join his online course The Gut Health Revolution at

  • Medical Director, Sprouting Wellness; Hyattsville, Maryland

    Presentation Title: Teaching Kids the Blueprint for Health: The Role of Parents and Plants in Building Thriving Children

    Dr. Qadira Ali Huff, MD, MPH, FAAP, DipABLM is a board-certified pediatrician, certified lifestyle medicine physician, plant-based advocate and mom. Dr. Huff practices as a primary care pediatrician in Washington, DC. She is also the founder/CEO of Sprouting Wellness, a virtual lifestyle medicine platform for families that focuses on healthful lifestyle habits, including plant-based nutrition, movement and mindfulness. Dr. Huff graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (M.D.) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (M.P.H.) with a focus on food systems, equity, and health disparities. Dr. Huff completed pediatrics residency at Children’s National Hospital with a training focus on underserved populations and health disparities. She is certified in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

    Dr. Huff serves as a public health and lifestyle medicine expert advisor to communities, organizations, and industry. Dr. Huff is an active member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. She also serves as a member of the Prince George's County Food Equity Council in Maryland, as well as on the Board of Directors for the Plant-Based Prevention of Disease non-profit. In 2019, she founded the Hyattsville, MD chapter of Walk With A Doc, a walking program that encourages community fitness and health literacy. Dr. Huff lives in Maryland with her

    family. In her free time, she enjoys exploring delicious plant-based foods while traveling, cooking at home, and cycling.

  • Co-founders Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green

    Presentation Title: Foods to Reverse Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes

    Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, and Robby Barbaro, MPH, are the team behind, an online coaching platform for people living with all forms of diabetes that focuses on low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition.

    They are also co-authors of the New York Times bestselling book, Mastering Diabetes.

    Khambatta has a PhD in nutritional biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002.

    Barbaro has a Master's Degree in Public Health, and spent six years helping build the revolutionary Forks Over Knives empire. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2000.

    Khambatta and Barbaro have been featured in media outlets such as The Doctors, NPR, CNBC, Healthline, VICE, Fast Company, WIRED, KQED,The Rich Roll Podcast and Plant Based News. They have spoken at major medical conferences including the International Plant-Based Nutrition Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant-Stock, and VegFest LA.

  • Chef and Author, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

    Cooking Demonstration: Epic Vegan Quick and Easy: Simple One-Pot and One-Pan Recipes

    Dustin Harder is the host and creator of the original vegan travel culinary series The Vegan Roadie and podcast Keep On Cookin'. Dustin currently works in culinary development with restaurants and non-profit organizations to implement plant-based recipes. He also works as a private chef and cooking instructor. Previously an actor in song and dance, Dustin gave up his tap shoes to study culinary arts at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC in 2014. He has since been featured in such publications as Eating Well, VegNews, Vegan Lifestyle Magazine,

    Chowhound, Vegetarian Times and Paste Magazine. Dustin appeared on Food Networks Girl Scout Baking Championship showcasing vegan baking paired with girl scout cookies in February 2020. Dustin is the author of three cookbooks; Epic Vegan Quick and Easy, Epic Vegan and The Simply Vegan Cookbook. The Simply Vegan Cookbook has been added to Forbes list of "Best Vegan Cookbooks".

  • Director, M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health Eastern Virginia Medical School

    Dr. Cynthia Romero currently serves as the Director of the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health at Eastern Virginia Medical School. In that role, she is working to improve the health of all people in Hampton Roads through collaborative educational, clinical care and research activities focused on addressing health disparities and eliminating healthcare inequities.

    Prior to joining the Brock Institute, Dr. Romero served as the Virginia State Health Commissioner. Previously, she was the Chief Medical Officer and Vice President for Quality and Medical Affairs for Chesapeake Regional Medical Center for 5 years while still seeing patients. Dr. Romero was in private practice for 16 years at Romero Family Practice with her mother as her partner and her father as her office manager. After her parents retired in 2010, Dr. Romero continued to see patients in the office until December 2016.

    A Hampton Roads native, Dr. Romero received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology and Economics from the University of Virginia and her Doctor of Medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School. She completed her Family Medicine training at Riverside Family Medicine Residency in Newport News. She completed a Primary Health Care Policy Fellowship through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources.

    Dr. Romero has been a strong advocate for her patients and for the medical profession through leadership in professional medical organizations. She has served as President of the Philippine Medical Association of Southeastern Virginia, Inc., the Medical Staff of Chesapeake General Hospital, the Tidewater Academy of Family Physicians, the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians, the Norfolk Academy of Medicine and the Medical Society of Virginia.

    Dr. Romero was raised with deep roots in the Filipino American community in Hampton Roads and currently serves as the Chairman of the Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater which oversees the Philippine Cultural Center of Virginia, the hub of activities in the

    region. She also serves as a member on the Hampton Roads Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team and as a board member for the Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System, Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Philippine Medical Association of Southeastern Virginia, Physicians for Peace, Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission and Virginia Beach Vision. She has recently been appointed to the Medical Society of Virginia’s Health Equity Work Group as well as to the Mayor of Virginia Beach’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Commission.