AHF-NY Presents a Panel Discussion

on Strategies for Implementing a Plant-Based Diet

By Leslie Rosen

Clinical Nutrition Manager (CNM)

     On February 20th, AHF-NY held its first member education series meeting for 2019.

The theme was Strategies for Implementing a Plant-Based diet. Despite severe New York weather conditions, 67 persons attended. The format was a panel discussion, and was hosted by member hospital, New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The panel was moderated by board member, Dr Michael C. Williams, Director of Nutrition services at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.


     AHF-NY recognizes that the evidence today shows that a plant-based diet can decrease the risk for heart disease, obesity, certain cancers, cognitive decline, and diabetes. So, the goal of the discussion was to inform and encourage operator members to incorporate plant-based concepts and menus in their facilities.


     The panelists were Ruth Greenfield, MS, RDN, CDN, Clinical Dietitian Cardiac Service Line at New York Presbyterian Hospital/WCMC; Gary Apito, Chief Operating Officer Rouxbe Online Culinary Training; Monika Sheikh, LEED GA, Corporate Sustainability Program Administrator NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital; and Efrain Diaz, Sous Chef New York Presbyterian Hospital/WDMC.


     The discussion led with suggestions for meatless Monday’s, farmer’s market in cafeterias,

less meats, better meats, more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, alternative protein sources, and healthy fats.  A major focus was emphasis on the importance of spices and herbs as well as a variation of color, texture and flavor on the plate, and suggestions on how to communicate the message of adapting to a plant-based diet. 


     Attendees were hosted to a plant-based dinner showcasing items such as beans for chili, lentils and cauliflower to replace meat in tacos and thus reduce overall food costs. Additional resources on the topic was provided as well as posted on the Chapter’s website.