Season II Episode 3 – Perspectives on Gardening and Nutrition from Culinary Medicine: A Conversation with Dr. Sabrina Falquier

Date Recorded: 3/27/2024

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Check out Episode 3 of  Stocking The Pantry’s second season. Hosts Tee and Colby interview Dr. Sabrina Falquier, Founder of Sensations Salude in San Diego County.

Dr. Falquier is a board-certified Internal, Culinary,  and Lifestyle Medicine physician. She also serves as the Board Chair of Olivewood Gardens (tune into the podcast for more details). Dr. Falquier describes her work as empowering individuals to achieve better health through nutritional knowledge and culinary literacy.

Join the discussion by sharing your thoughts in the Podcast Category on the Nutrition Security Peer Learning Community.

New episodes are set to debut at the end of each month.

Come curious, leave inspired, and share your thoughts with us on Instagram at @leahspantryorg. 



[00:00:02] Colby D'Onfrio: Welcome to Stocking the Pantry, a CalFresh Healthy Living Podcast from Leah's Pantry. We'd like to acknowledge our funder, the CalFresh Healthy Living Program, an equal-opportunity employer and provider. On this show, we discuss any and all things community nutrition, food equity and nutrition security. This is a space for thought leaders to share success stories and strategies for equity-centered and resilience-building initiatives. We hope to foster collaboration and community as well as leverage strengths among listeners, guests and hosts as we share ideas and dreams of building a more equitable future where everyone has access to healthful nourishing food.


[00:00:49] Tee Atwell: Hello, and welcome to Stocking the Pantry. I'm Tee.

[00:00:54] Colby: I'm Colby, and we are your hosts.

[00:00:57] Tee: On today's episode, Colby will be speaking with Dr. Sabrina Falquier, a physician and entrepreneur.

[00:01:05] Colby: Dr. Falquier is the founder and CEO of Sensations Salud, a culinary medicine education organization. She sits on the board of Olivewood Gardens, a community learning garden in National City, California.

[00:01:19] Tee: At the heart of Dr. Falquier's work is a passion for merging Western medicine principles with community-informed nutrition education.

[00:01:29] Colby: She recognizes the variety of ways in which we connect with food in our lives and she strives to cultivate these many aspects into the education she provides.

[00:01:39] Tee: If you listen to our episode with Tulsa CARES in Season 1 or you've taken the meaning of food and life questionnaire, this idea probably sounds familiar to you.

[00:01:50] Colby: Dr. Falquier incorporates these multifaceted relationships with food into her work, promoting food as medicine.

[00:01:59] Tee: The concept of using food and diet as medicine has been around for centuries. However, it has only recently gained prominence in Western medicine.

[00:02:12] Colby: The Food as Medicine Movement is the philosophy that food and nutrition can support our health and wellness preventing or even combating diseases.

[00:02:22] Tee: Now, you may be thinking, "Yes, that sounds pretty basic." At its core, the idea of food as medicine is about as basic as it gets. However, with the consumption of processed food continuing to rise especially in the US, we are seeing a lot of diet-related chronic diseases, and we know that diet can strongly influence our health outcomes.

[00:02:49] Colby: Instead of prescribing more pharmaceuticals to fix health issues after they have taken hold, the Food as Medicine Movement asks us to consider using healthful foods and balanced diet as a medical intervention. One that physicians can even prescribe to their patients.

[00:03:08] Tee: Navigating health in our modern world has become complex and maybe we just need to get back to basics starting in part with the one thing that all humans need to survive, food.

[00:03:22] Colby: We are going to let Dr. Falquier tell you more about her work and the journey that got her to where she is today.

[00:03:30] Tee: Enjoy.


[00:03:36] Colby: Hello, Dr. Sabrina Falquier. How are you doing today?

[00:03:39] Sabrina: I'm fantastic. I'm so happy to be here having this conversation with you Colby.

[00:03:43] Colby: Oh, we're so happy to have you. Let's jump right into it. Why don't you tell me a little bit about Sensations Salud and how you got involved with Olivewood Gardens and The Kitchenistas.

[00:03:57] Sabrina Falquier: Essentially Sensations Salud is education and consulting company all about culinary medicine. It's really about empowering people to better health through nutritional knowledge and culinary literacy. The spaces, the words themselves, the sensations about waking up all your senses around food from where we acquire our food whether it's a farmer's market or a grocery store, or we grow it in our own backyard to preparing food and then sitting around in community enjoying that food. Again, having our sensations awakened through all of it.

Salud, I actually grew up in Mexico City. Spanish is actually my first language. In Spanish, salud means cheers, and it also means health. I love the idea of, "Yes, we're aiming towards optimizing our health, and we're also celebrating it." It's not the sense of if we're eating healthy, it's sterile and bland, or not related to my sense of what foods bring me joy, what spices are that I grew up with, rather it's really celebrating all of these. Part two of your question, so Olivewood Gardens is a nonprofit in National City, California. It's really near the Mexican border.

It is essentially 8 acres of land that was actually donated by the Walton family with the caveat that the land and the house had to be used towards giving back to the community including the gardens which the Walton family had converted into edible gardens. Olivewood Gardens has done just that. It just turned 13, so it's just a teenager. When I learned about culinary medicine. To go back a little bit with my history, is I actually was a primary care doctor in San Diego with a large multi-specialty medical group for 16 years. In 2016, I went up to Napa for a conference that's called Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives, and it's the collaboration between the Harvard School of Public Health, and The Culinary Institute of America.

When the keynote speaker started talking, I actually started crying, and I realized my world of loving food. I would talk to my patients about food, but it always felt almost like the side dish, pun intended. Whereas we really had to focus on the medications and this limited time, and then I realized there was a specialty where it really united evidence-based nutritional information meeting the culinary arts. I came back to San Diego, Googled teaching kitchens, and within two weeks, I actually walked into Olivewood Gardens.

It's been a space that really empowered me to feel comfortable moving away from that one-on-one in a room with a patient to now speaking almost more a public speaking scenario with sharp knives in my hand talking about nutrition and talking to people in something that is so personal because when we talk about food, it's different than smoking where our goal is to get to zero cigarettes. When we're talking about food and transitioning people to building blocks of food that are delicious for them and help move that needle, we can't tell people not to eat.

It's really getting into a really intimate conversation with people in this very different setting than one-on-one patient care. Then the last, so the Kitchenistas are the graduates of the adult program at Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center. They're under the umbrella of Olivewood. They have many different programs starting at 18 months through adults. Again, the Kitchenistas are the graduates from their cooking for Salud Adult Program which is an eight-week nutritional education program.

[00:07:21] Colby: That's such a beautiful way of weaving so many different things together. There's your background as a physician and realizing that food is more than just calories and something that we do because we have to do it, it really carries so much meaning for us. Then Olivewood Gardens, oh my gosh, I have seen some photos online and stunning. Just that whole environment made me excited about being outside, being on a farm, and I wasn't even there. [laughs] It's that gorgeous. Then, of course, the education aspect. It sounds like it's really a community aspect, too.

It's not just, like you said, one-on-one with a patient talking about, "Try to get this many carbs, this much protein." It sounds like it's really cultivating a beautiful culture of community. You were trained as a medical doctor, and now you're the founder and CEO of Sensations Salud and on the board of directors for Olivewood Gardens and an honorary kitchenista. How do each of these roles support each other? How do they intersect? Are there tensions that arise?

[00:08:25] Sabrina: It's funny that you ask that because I think a lot of the tensions come in my own. I would call it trauma otherwise initially. As I've grown as an entrepreneur and finding my voice where, again, when I worked for a multi-specialty medical group for 16 years, I got really good at seeing patients. I can almost have this 20-minute timer in my head. I knew what to do, I knew how to bill. I got really efficient at it. As I started to grow with these other voices, I found this tension point within myself of what was okay and what wasn't. I feel like the summary was communication is key. The work that Olivewood does is very similar to what Sensations Salud does.

The way I can explain it is I go to these meetings, I know the latest, essentially, evidence-based nutritional information, and my goal is to trickle it down to different communities. One of those communities being Olivewood Gardens. That's where the role of being essentially their consulting physician to make sure that they're giving information that's aligned. Essentially, there are programs and opportunities that come along to Olivewood that are beyond the bandwidth that Olivewood has right now. I'm not sure if it's beyond their bandwidth or not. A recent opportunity came about that I was asked to partake in, and I did start feeling that slight tension like, "Should this be under Olivewood's umbrella?"

I sat down with the executive director and full disclosure, "Here's what was offered, here's what we're looking at," and we were able to have this really open conversation about how to create a collaboration between this place that want my services and Olivewood but not necessaril Olivewood to take that on. That's partly the bandwidth. It really is about empowering and realize there's so much work to be done in this space, I think of almost like an octopus, the more legs we're able to get out there, the more we're able to expand this work to different arenas.

[00:10:15] Colby: How did the Kitchenistas Program come about?

[00:10:18] Sabrina: Initially when Olivewood started having their programming, it was actually a children's program, which still continues today. It was for fourth graders integrated into all the National City district schools where the fourth graders would come four times a year. Essentially, the first time they'd come, they'd plant their seeds in the garden. The second time they'd come and weed around their little [unintelligible 00:10:39] that was coming about. Third time was again re-weeding, but seeing their plant at a much bigger stage. Then the fourth time was actually cultivating, essentially, gathering what they had grown and then going into the teaching kitchen and actually cooking and then eating from what they grew.

Really seeing for a lot of the kids in this area who didn't know that carrots grew in dirt. This program was doing really well, and the kids would come home with the recipes or get excited about what they did and talk about it at home, but realized until we got to the people that were in charge of buying the food, preparing the food, that change was not going to be as long-lasting as we envisioned. That's where the Cooking for Salud program, which again, the graduates are named Kitchenistas after graduation. That's how it came about. It was really a need that the community was asking for.

[00:11:28] Colby: That's fantastic that they were really paying attention to the children and the long-lasting effect. Once the kids walked out the door, it wasn't, "We wash our, hands clean of this, not our problem anymore." Sounds like there was a lot of intention and care that went into the creation ofthe Kitchenistas Program because it came from a place of care.

[00:11:46] Sabrina: That has been the full ripple effect that has continued. All the programs that have grown out, so that's the fourth graders. Now, we have a high school internship program, and there's programs for them to learn, so composting classes and gardening and even mystery box challenges. Really getting all the different pieces of, "This is the importance of healthy dirt." Really going to these different pieces, and all of it coming because the community was asking for this. I love that you said, Colby, the sense of not assuming what a community needs, but really asking what would be helpful for you as a community to thrive.

For example, we got most of the demographics in the National City Area, it's Latino population. Most of the Kitchenistas were women up until about three or four generations ago. They call each cohort a generation. Now, we have some men that have gone through the program. We had one cohort that was mainly Filipino. Before we started that program, went into the community and asked what foods rang true to them. We didn't assume, "This rubber stamp worked here, so the same one's going to work there." Actually, the program is eight weeks and different volunteer chefs come for every week.

That was one of my true honors when I started being invited as one of the chefs. I wasn't just answering the doctor questions. I graduated to being one of the chefs for an entire week that they come. We invited different chefs for the Filipino cohort. We grew different produce in the garden all because of information that we got from the people that were going to be the participants in the program.

[00:13:18] Colby: It is so important to actually look to the community that you are trying to serve when trying to serve a community because otherwise, imagine a bunch of Filipino women walking into a room and they're like, "We're going to make a Mexican dish today," which I'm sure, very cool. Great to learn something new, but that meaning, that connection to the food that we're putting in our bodies is so important because that keeps people coming back, that gives them a sense of empowerment, a sense of agency over their diet, which is huge.

Just hats off to Olivewood Gardens for really taking that extra step to make sure they're meeting the needs of their community instead of saying, "This is what we have to offer. Take it or leave it." Can you describe Olivewood Gardens to our listeners? What does it look like? What does it feel like? What does it smell like when you walk onto the property? Hopefully, there's sunshine. What's the sunshine feel like on your skin? Can you give us a bit of an audio-sensory tour?

[00:14:18] Sabrina: I'm going to start with taking your freeway because that's one of the parts that's so striking. You're on the 5, south or north, and you get out on Mile of Cars Road. There's all these dealerships and fast food establishments. You know you're going to this place called Olivewood, and you know they grow food there, but the sense as you get off the freeway, and you're seeing the line of certain establishments literally wrapping around from the exit of the freeway. As you keep going just a little bit east, it turns from a lot of establishments, car dealerships into a neighborhood that's called Olivewood Gardens that actually used to be all, literally, olive groves and was a lot of farmland a long time ago.

You get the sense they're starting to be a lot of older homes. The height of the buildings goes down. There's total residential area. Then when you go on the street of Olivewood Gardens, the first thing that you see, it's on a hill, there is a fig tree that's over a hundred years old, and there's only a few of those left in San Diego. It's not edible figs, which is a bummer, but it's just beautiful, the shading, the root system. You're struck with how large and old the space is compared to a lot of San Diego, which is really a young town. Then you walk through the gates, and there's an upper garden, one that is called the teaching garden, and there are different plots of growing planters.

That one is called the taco seasoning area. It's essentially anything you would use to put in tacos, so cilantro, tomatillos, jalapenos to make your salsas. There's also a passion fruit tunnel that kids can go through. It's passion fruit vines. In a month or two, you're going to have the most gorgeous flowers that grow. They look almost extraterrestrial. I think they're some of the most gorgeous flowers that they grow and then passion fruit, they look like little grenades. We just have tons of those on the grounds, and you just feel the sense of color. You mentioned if there's been a lot of humidity, you can see the sea air. You can see the ocean far off, but there's a sea breeze that you often feel and that smell of dirt in the air.

There's often people in the garden working in the garden, so either volunteers or some of the staff at Olivewood. There's always the sense of being greeted. There's often a kid's program. Again, an 18-month-old group in one end, and then there'll be Leonard, who's the garden manager, building an outdoor kitchen when we remodeled our indoor kitchen. He literally built an outdoor garden. This is 7 acres. There's an upper garden, there's a lower garden, and we just acquired another acre of land that is downward sloping, and it's edible fruit trees that we planted in that area. A lot of deliciousness growing.

Then the house is this pièce de résistance. When the railroad was being built from the East to the West, we did not know it was being decided whether it was going to end in Los Angeles or in San Diego. There were a lot of people in the San Diego area that were buying these mail-order homes. The Victorian house that was originally built, it was the Noyes family, N-O-Y-E-S, family that owned the house, and it was a mail-order home. There's a few of those in this neighborhood. We have kept a lot of the original furniture because when the family donated the house, they donated with the furniture as well.

Then we remodeled the kitchen to be more aligned with having teaching kitchen and more space for classrooms, but we kept it in the essence of still feeling like a home kitchen and feeling time-appropriate for being a Victorian house from the 1800s.

[00:17:50] Colby: That sounds amazing. Follow-up question, is the taco garden open for rent and can I rent a plot and live in the taco garden? [laughs]

[00:18:03] Sabrina: We do have open tours on a regular basis at Olivewood. They might notice if you have set up your tent or cot there, but you are always welcome. Olivewood Gardens is definitely a family, and we welcome new family members all the time.

[00:18:19] Colby: They might notice that all of the taco ingredients and salsa ingredients have gone missing. I can keep the tent pretty small, but when there's no cilantro in the garden, someone's probably going to notice. [laughs] Everything you described, I had goosebumps. It just sounded like the intention, and there's spirit. You mentioned the essence. It sounds like there's really been a cultivation of essence, and I can't put words to it, but the sense that you described sounds so welcoming and beautiful and serene. I think that's stunning.

You may have seen my face, my jaw dropped, but I did look up a passion fruit flower. Weirdest flower, I think, I've ever seen. It looks like an alien. It looks like something out of a Steven Spielberg movie, but totally stunning. How do you see your role in the program being a physician and an expert in that field and also as an honorary Kitchenista?

[00:19:21] Sabrina: Most physicians, we don't get much training in nutrition in medical school. Part of the work that I do is actually with the National Culinary Medicine Specialist Board to bring more culinary medicine into not just medical schools, but graduate programs and now food service as well. I know this is a bit of a tangent, but I'll come back to you, Colby, I promise. That sense that if I have a heart attack, and I'm in the hospital, that the food that's served to me, the discussion around the food in the hospital goes along with the medical recommendations that are being given by my physician and the whole team.

That's something that we're really working with is bridging these silos of all the people that are involved in our food system. School programs, churches, community centers, and making sure that we're all speaking the same language. One of the initial projects that I worked on is having the Kitchenistas go into each of the schools in the school district in that area and give talks about how can we give better food choices to the kids, like in parent-teacher association and fundraisers. Instead of nachos, can we alternate to baked tortilla chips with something that's healthier? They literally built a mobile teaching kitchen that the school district paid for, which was pretty amazing.

They had everything they needed to be able to do these talks. I worked with the Kitchenistas to give-- There was a slideshow, and to create essentially evidence-based information on the slideshows. I would give that, and then I would talk to the Kitchenistas to make sure that they understood the science, but then also to make sure the language was appropriate. It was by design that it's always Kitchenista to Kitchenista, essentially peer-to-peer giving that information. Rather than me coming in with my white coat, I'm doing air quotes here, like, "Here's the doctor telling us what to do." We really felt it was really important that it came in an even plane essentially.

Again, I went through the ninth generation partly to see what questions were coming up during each of the eight weeks. Also to slowly, again, gain that language, what is being talked about. Because as we all know, a lot of the conversations, there's what's on the script, but a lot of the essence, going back to that word, is what happens between the lines. Being able to be around the space once a week, three hours a week for those eight weeks really was important. Essentially, if I had to summarize, the biggest thing as my role and the role of Olivewood in general is empowerment. Empowerment for anyone who walks in the door.

I walk in with all these letters behind my name and a doctor degree. I was empowered to find this voice I didn't have in me. A Kitchenista walks in who could be documented or not or was raised in a household where there was these expectations of what was assumed life was going to give this person. By going through not only the Cooking for Salud Program and becoming a Kitchenista, but staying involved and finding what's in them that they never thought would be a part of their existence. We have a few Kitchenistas, they've gone into City Hall and have opened new businesses in the area that brings more produce. The voices that the Kitchenistas have found for themselves that is rippling throughout the community is giant.

[00:22:22] Colby: There has been a lot of talk recently about food as medicine. As a physician and as someone who works with Olivewood Gardens, how do you see Olivewood Gardens and the Kitchenistas fitting into this?

[00:22:35] Sabrina: For me, stepping away from that sterile white coat doctor's office environment and going into different communities, and again, asking what's necessary. Every community is going to need different things. What empowers-- Again, it's not just about the food. The more traditional, you come into my office and I realize maybe you're anemic, and I'm giving you this sheet of paper that says, "Here's some high iron foods." I may not even take into account with that list whether you eat meat products or not. There's just this very side, it's not even part of the conversation, it's moving it to the side, whereas with Olivewood, with the Kitchenistas, it's really pulling into people's own communities.

Again, we're saying Olivewood and Kitchenistas is an example here, but this is happening all over the place. The list is endless. It's beyond the food. Again, if I give you a script on how to get your iron levels up, I'm just going to keep going with that example, "What foods are healthy?" I'm doing air quotes here. We leave out all the rest of it, of that sense of community, that sense of what access do we have to groceries, to farmers markets, to land, to grow food. If we leave all of that out, we've lost people. Even in the Cooking for Salud, it's eight weeks. Yes, we're talking every week, one core piece of how to move that needle with food choices, with food preparation knowledge.

If we don't talk about the lack of community or traumas that may have led or finances that are restricting people's choices, or somebody in the household who likes certain foods and gets angry if anything else comes in the house. There's so much that plays a role in that. That's why I say food as medicine is so community-based, and that's what I love about the work. I feel like I've gone from this sterile, white coat space into this colorful, beautiful space that is the Olivewood because essence, and flavors, and individuality. That's one of the things that helps it thrive so much.

[00:24:31] Colby: When we meet the community where they're at and take into account, "Why should this matter for someone? Why should increasing their iron levels matter? Why should eating more high-iron foods matter to them?" If it doesn't matter, they're not going to do it. Once it does matter, then they might see the agency of, "I do actually have control over this. This is something that I can do for myself," and it can be actually an empowering process instead of a deficit.

[00:24:57] Sabrina: Yes. To go along with that, Colby, that sense of you're educating with the goal of knowledge and understanding as the block, not red foods, green foods, like "This is bad for you, so stop." It's like, "Help me understand what this food is doing to my body short and long term, and what alternatives there are that may have a different, more positive effect?" Moving away from vilifying certain-- I wouldn't even say food groups, I'm thinking there's can be vilification about Mexican food in general. Stopping these broad strokes of just painting something as good or bad and rather moving into a space of helping people understand and giving pieces, seeds of empowerment so movement can be made into a space that is more nurturing long-term.

[00:25:43] Colby: Absolutely, yes. Those broad strokes are very technical, and they're important. We need the metrics and we need the research to inform our decisions, but as care providers, those aren't always necessary. Sometimes understanding someone's story and where they come from, that's more necessary because when we understand where someone has come from, why they eat the way they do, their personal goals, that makes a person feel seen. I think as humans, we all just want to be seen and accepted. If we go into a doctor's office where they're pointing out all the things that we're not doing right, that doesn't feel very good.

If we enter a space where someone points out areas we can increase and shows us how to do it and why it's important and how to make it fun and make meaning out of it, that builds community. As humans, we're social creatures. I think we automatically want community. Food is a great way to do that and a great vehicle to bring people together.

[00:26:38] Sabrina: One of my favorite parts when I was still doing patient care regularly is asking people not, "Do you remember what you ate in the last 24 hours?" Because right there as a patient, most of us are now editing like, "Oh, yesterday wasn't my best day," or, "What should I tell this person in the white coat?" More entering into the conversation, like, "What are your favorite snacks? What are foods that are your go-tos at home that you really love? How do you feel after you eat those foods?" Really gathering information Again, asking, going back to that, not assuming, but truly asking.

With those answers, my culinary medicine brain is saying, "This person is a sweet snacker or a savory snacker, or this person loves these herbs and spices, or doesn't eat any meals except dinner time." I'm gathering information, just like if someone's telling me they're diabetic, and I might be thinking, "What food changes can support them? Is there medicine needed to support them?" The culinary medicine with the food choices is saying, "This is something that maybe we can work on transitioning." Someone eats sweets all the time, giving them an option that would still give that sweet craving, but again, nurture their health in a much better direction. I'm going from their starting point rather than what I feel should be the starting point. [chuckles]

[00:27:46] Colby: Equity is more of the goal now because we understand everyone starts in a different place, so they're going to need different inputs and different support to get to the same place and the end goal. Is there anything that you would like to highlight or plug?

[00:28:00] Sabrina: Two things to continue this conversation and these visuals. Number one is there is a movie that was made about the work at Olivewood Gardens called The Kitchenistas, and essentially the website is, and you can see the preview for the movie. Actually, it's streaming on Apple TV, on Google Play, on Vudu. Then it also is on PBS, not irregularly, it's been shown throughout the country. The movie actually was selected for 10 film festivals. One of the highlights after I left patient care was actually going to many film festivals to really promote the film and really extend that conversation about how food as medicine can look in a specific community with the goal, now that people have to be at Olivewood, but the goal of saying, "You know what? You can do this in your community, too."

Then the other piece is I am the host of a podcast called Doctors+ Premium. Really, the name comes from that all the guests that we have are either doctors or PhDs who use food as medicine in one way or another in their practice. We've interviewed anything from an oncologist who works with a naturopath doctor in the same office, which is not usual. We've talked to a PhD that focuses on diabetic care, a dermatologist who really talk about what foods can really help to decrease really common skin diseases. We talked to someone who works with ayurvedic. We're actually recording our last episode for this season really shortly.

It's been really exciting to have these conversations and to see how many different spaces that food is coming into the more traditional patient care. We are growing. The culinary medicine world, the food as medicine world is growing, and it's so exciting. The other piece about the Kitchenista Program that merits highlighting is that it's an eight-week program, but when it concludes, the Kitchenistsas continue to have not only monthly meetings to really keep that community moving forward, but from what comes out from those meetings, they have a lot of workshops to really help them on whatever is shown an interest.

Public speaking classes or getting a food handler's license or how to talk to City Hall. They've gone to City Hall, like I mentioned before. Actually it'll be something where they need to stand in line for 10 hours, so different Kitchenistas will come periodically and bring food for them and make sure they're hydrated and bring umbrellas if they realize it's sunny out. Truly the sense of helping each other in whatever is the strongest for each of them. That's a big highlight. Then the other piece is that as the program has grown, there's actually several hundred people on the wait list to go through this program.

The program is free for the participants, so it all comes from different grants and donations that go directly to Olivewood Gardens. One of the pieces that we realize is the people that have the most priority to get accepted are people that live in the community itself, and we learn that. I think any nonprofit really learns from just experience that people who live farther away, we would lose them afterwards. The goal is really, again, not just to go through the program as a, "Oh, that was a fantastic eight-week cooking program," but to realize that it was the effects that the program and the community can have for people.

[00:31:04] Colby: It really is a community-based and community-oriented program. Everything you have said about that, from the fact that they want people who are close by to continue that community, to other Kitchenistas bringing umbrellas and food and the public speaking courses, it's so strength-based and so tailored to the individuality of each generation. Like I said before, we all just want to be seen as humans. We want to be seen and accepted, and when that happens, beautiful things come out of it.

[00:31:34] Sabrina: Thank you, Colby. This was really a fantastic conversation. I appreciate your time and your questions, really insightful. Thank you.

[00:31:41] Colby: I am honestly just so inspired through this conversation because talking about food as medicine, and it's just great to talk to like minded people who have such great energy behind them. It makes the world feel a little less dark.

[00:31:56] Sabrina: Then last, if people want to hear more about my work, so I have a website, or on social media Sensations Salud, and I'd love to continue this conversation with anyone who would like to continue it.

[00:32:07] Colby: We will be posting all of those links in our show notes, so head over there. I have to ask Dr. Falquier, what do you stock your pantry with?

[00:32:18] Sabrina: I feel like this is a two-part answer. Number one is, when I'm cooking, I often will play music. The music I play has a lot to do with where I'm feeling emotionally that day. That's part of the stocking the pantry is honoring the emotion that we're having at the time. I say we, because often my next door neighbor and I will text each other like, "Oh, I'm listening to this music today," and we feel the feels of each other. That would be one of them. Then the other one is the literal stocking of my pantry. As I always talk about making our life as easy as possible, so stocking a pantry for when I am not in the mood to cook but don't want to order out.

Having canned beans, having whole grains. On the weekends I always try to cook a couple whole grains, so they're already cooked. I'm not waiting 45 minutes for them to be finished. Having food that I've made before and frozen, like a soup or Bolognese. My daughter loves the Bolognese I make, so I try to stock that up. Honoring that even though I love to cook, there are days I do not want to cook, so stocking the pantry in a way that allows for all the cooking moods.

[00:33:23] Colby: I love that. Even the best chefs don't want to cook sometimes. [laughs]

[pause 00:33:28]


[00:33:44] Tee: What an interesting and absolutely inspiring conversation.

[00:33:50] Colby: I couldn't agree more. What really stood out to me in our discussion was her passion, her humility, and her strong commitment to community and education.

[00:34:03] Tee: Yes. I loved hearing her talk about her role as a physician. Most notably, she isn't there to tell people what to do because the medical evidence says so, but more as an educator, a collaborator, a guide, someone to interpret the jargon field studies for her community, so non-medical people can understand. She can meet them where they are and empower them to make change, instead of simply telling them to do so.

[00:34:36] Colby: It's an effective way to integrate evidence-based practice and guidance into community settings.

[00:34:43] Tee: Yes. Although she didn't explicitly say it as such, this is definitely a trauma-informed approach. I heard collaboration, empowerment, and peer support is very strong themes in her work and that of Olivewood Gardens, all of which are integral pillars of trauma-informed care.

[00:35:04] Colby: Absolutely. If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Falquier's work or Olivewood Gardens, check out the links in our show notes. Personally, I loved and highly recommend The Kitchenistas documentary, and you'll get to see those beautiful gardens that Dr. Falquier described in her interview.

[00:35:26] Tee: All right. Thank you so much for joining us today.

[00:35:30] Colby: Join us next time for more fruitful conversations. Until then.

[00:35:35] Tee: Ciao.


Tee: This podcast is a product of Leah's Pantry made possible by the funding from the United States Department of Agriculture, the USDA and their supplemental nutrition assistance program, SNAP, an equal opportunity provider and employer. Visit for healthy living tips. Thank you so much for hanging with us, and I want to ask you this question. Do you know of any thought leaders or someone doing great work in your community? We would love to interview them, and we'd love to hear from you. Find us online at or on Instagram handle @leahspantry. Or email us at [email protected].

This podcast is a product of Leah's Pantry made possible by the funding from the United States Department of Agriculture and their supplemental nutrition assistance program, SNAP, an equal opportunity provider and employer. Visit for healthy living tips.

[00:36:42] Colby: Stocking the Pantry invites guests with a wide variety of opinions and perspectives. Guest opinions are their own and do not represent the views of Leah's Pantry.

[00:36:54] [END OF AUDIO]