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Dr. John  La Puma

Dr. John La Puma

Founder of CHEF Clinic®

Dr. John La Puma

Founder of CHEF Clinic®


John La Puma M.D. is board-certified in internal medicine, a professionally trained chef and urban organic farmer. Founder of CHEF Clinic®, a national medical practice, Dr. La Puma is formerly a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago and Professor of Nutrition at Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, and serves on the advisory board of the Tulane University School of Medicine Center for Culinary Medicine.

The Wall Street Journal has called him “a secret weapon” in patient care, the Consumer’s Research Council has named him “one of the country’s top physicians” and he has been featured on Dr. Oz, Today, GMA, and thousands of media outlets around the world. He is considered the godfather of culinary medicine and the founder of clinical nature therapy in the United States.

He graduated from the University of California in Santa Barbara, Baylor College of Medicine, did his residency in Internal Medicine at the West Lost Angeles VA Hospital and the first postgraduate fellowship in the U.S. (at the University of Chicago) in clinical medical ethics and general internal medicine, pioneering ethics consultation in the hospital. He attended the now Culinary Institute of America (Chicago), cooked Fridays at Chef Rick Bayless’ Topolobampo for four years, and then taught nutrition at the Kendall College of Culinary Arts. He founded CHEF Clinic® and ChefMD, and taught the first culinary medicine, cooking and nutrition course in a U.S. medical school, at SUNY-Upstate, with Cleveland Clinic Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Michael Roizen. Culinary medicine is now taught in 40% of medical schools.

Dr. La Puma received Permaculture Design Certification, and California Naturalist Certification, and has identified Nature Deficit Disorder as a clinical problem, with its sequelae amenable to treatment with specific nature therapies.

Dr. La Puma is a New York Times best-selling author twice, for ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine and The RealAge Diet, the latter with Dr. Roizen. Dr. La Puma’s seven books have sold over a million copies and have been translated into eight languages. His most recent book is REFUEL® (Harmony, 2014), a simple, effective 24 day eating plan to get men healthy and boost low testosterone naturally.

Dr. La Puma has lectured on nature therapy and culinary medicine at Harvard, the University of Chicago, TEDMED and Kaiser Permanente and aboard The World. With Leeza Gibbons and Joan Lunden, Dr. La Puma co-hosted the national cable weekly series “Health Corner”, underwritten by Walgreenʼs, for Lifetime TV for five years and 120 episodes, created the “ChefMD” character, and then wrote, hosted and performed two PBS “Eat and Cook Healthy” Specials, and helped to create the material for four more. He currently hosts the series “ChefMD Shorts with Dr John La Puma” on PBS, broadcast nationwide, and has walked with his patients regularly since 2001.

An active member of the True Health Initiative, his current work focuses on nature therapy: exploring natural settings and approaches used to restore health, reduce stress and reset behavior.

Dr. La Puma farms avocados, rare citrus and medicinal herbs and spices on a certified organic demonstration and teaching farm in Santa Barbara, California.

Speaker Videos

TEDx: Make yourself better with what you eat

TEDMED: Culinary Medicine in Action


Speech Topics

Culinary Medicine: What Is It & What Can It Do For You?

Make Your RealAge Younger, Create a Blue Zone & Fill Your Own GreenRx

Nature Therapy: Make Yourself Stress-Free with Nature

How Climate Changes Your Health

How Your GreenRx Can Help You Breathe Free, Fight Infection, Be Well

Make Your Heart Greener: Are Trees More Powerful Than Statins in Preventing Heart Disease?

Why Gardening, Inside or Out, Can Save Your Life & Your Telomeres

Nature Deficit Disorder: Make Yourself Happier, Slimmer, Sharper with What You Eat & the Right Dose of Nature

Virtual Reality & Pain Relief: See the Sea & Be Pain