Cook Profile - Dorothy Mullen

Dorothy Mullen - The Suppers Programs

Dorothy is the Founder of the Suppers Programs and a leader in the community gardening movement in central New Jersey.  Suppers is a network of nearly free-to-users programs for people who are willing to make diet and lifestyle changes to achieve more vibrant health. The Program design reflects her combining of addictions models learned in a Masters in Counseling program at The College of New Jersey, her background in garden-based education, her passion for preparing delicious food, and her respect for the wisdom and longevity of the 12-step process. The program has no biases in favor of a particular diet; rather, it simply removes all processed foods from the menu and make delicious meals with everything else-real food! She is the author of Logical Miracles, a collection of stories by, with and for members of the Suppers Programs who have turned around serious health problems with food.


About the Suppers Programs

People who effortlessly sustain healthy change in their lives without help probably don't need us.  For everyone else, there is the Suppers Programs. Suppers is a network of support groups -- mostly in New Jersey -- where people gather in each others' homes to cook together, eat together, run food experiments, and help each other sort out personal best practices and pathways to a healthier life. It's a program, not a social club.

What you will see at a Suppers program is people having a great time! They come into our home kitchens and small public venues to strengthen their ability to "live according to their intentions instead of their impulses".  

If you're in New Jersey, come to a meeting.  The food is outrageously delicious and we'll teach you how to prepare it. If you're not in NJ, just let us know you're interested!  We have lots of good resources for you on our web site, even if we don't have meetings in your area yet.  And if you think starting a community of intention to live in a healthier way is a good idea, you can read Where There are No Suppers.


Websites

http://www.dorothymullen.com

http://www.thesuppersprograms.org

The Purple Apron Blog

 

Videos

The Suppers Programs- Introduction Video 

“Cook For The Health of It”- Princeton Community TV: 

Episode 1: Turning Around Rheumatoid Arthritis

Episode 2: Bone Health 

How You Feel Is Data 

How You Feel Is Data: Recovery from Alcoholism 

How You Feel Is Data: Children and ADHD

 

Social Media

http://www.facebook.com/TheSuppersPrograms

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/dor-mullen/4/b19/700

 

Personal Quotes

“How you feel is data!”

“Healing is a social experience.”

“Learn to live according to your intentions instead of your impulses.”

“If you can make a pot of coffee, you can make a pot of soup.”


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  • commented 2015-09-21 12:07:27 -0700
    I’m an autoimmune disease specialist (rheumatologist) with fellowship training in integrative medicine as well as environmental health, and I think a collaboration between Suppers and IRN is a great idea! Suppers has been an invaluable tool from my practice, giving patient’s important information on healthy eating, food choice, and how to help manage illness through food. Suppers is supportive to its clients and is run by fantastic facilitators, trained by the dynamic Dorothy Mullen! I regularly recommend patient’s to suppers programs, and they return to me invigorated and well informed. With the medical climate such that it is, with an enormous amounts of pharmacotherapy, I am thrilled to see Suppers get the attention that it deserves!
  • commented 2015-09-17 14:36:34 -0700
    Posting by Administrator on behalf of Kristann Heinz, MD, RD

    I am both a registered dietician and physician practicing Integrative Family Medicine. I was introduced to Dor Mullen when she came to our office to speak to the staff…although her reputation certainly preceded her! Anyone who has spent any time with Dor knows her to be vivacious and engaging. Her passion for healthful whole foods eating and teaching is infectious. Having spent many years in the public health world providing nutrition education, I was immediately drawn to Dor’s community programs that were implemented at a grass roots level. This allows her to support both those that facilitate the programs and those that come to share themselves as part of the group. Dor’s non-judgmental approach is evident in her own facilitated groups and her leadership material. Her philosophy allows people the space and opportunity to find out what type of whole foods diet works for their own “biologic individuality”. This ultimately translates into sustained and lasting nutritional changes that positively impact people’s health outcomes and disease progression.

    I was instantly hooked. Here was a program that mirrored everything I try to encourage during my patient visits. The Supper’s program offers a unique group learning experience about the healing power of whole foods! I became so interested in having the Supper’s Program in my area and in my practice that I, with a nurse colleague, became a facilitator! We now successfully run a monthly group that integrates with our medical practice.

    Kristann Heinz, MD, RD
  • commented 2015-09-08 14:09:14 -0700
    I had the good fortune of stumbling upon the Suppers Program during a time in my life when I was looking to expand my social networks and find like minded people who shared the same beliefs that I had about food and nutrition (I am a vegetarian who prefers to eat whole/unprocessed foods). I was specifically looking to expand on what I already knew about food and nutrition as it pertained to my lifelong weight struggles.

    The Suppers Program not only added to my knowledge about nutrition and cooking, it opened up my mind to the concept of food addiction all while offering me a community of like minded supportive people to learn along with.

    What really had me hooked was the fact that Suppers is such a grass roots effort that is as close to free to users as could be possible. In a world of individualism and commercialism, Suppers facilitators offer up their time and open up their homes for no profit, other than the joy of being able to help other people learn to cook and eat better, and gain better health. During the 2.5 years I have been involved with the Suppers Program now, I have personally witnessed many individuals in the program who have turned around daunting health conditions using the power of food.

    As a clinical psychologist, the knowledge I have gained through the Suppers Program has been invaluable to me. I now view people’s struggles with weight and food very differently which helps my clinical work tremendously. There can be a connection between what people are eating and their mood, and I am ever so grateful to be more aware of this as I work to help people regain better mental health.

    My belief in the Suppers Program led me to want to create my own Suppers meeting closer to where I live, so for the past year and a half I have also been a Suppers facilitator. Doing so has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people, and to spread the word of whole/clean eating and simple food preparation to others. Although I surely enjoy cooking, I am by no means a chef, but I am happy to offer what it is I know to others if there is a chance it may help them. More than the cooking though, I get to share what it is I know about food and nutrition with others (and they also get to share what they know with me) and I get to help create a supportive and non judgmental community for others to explore their own relationship with food, and that is something I absolutely love doing.
  • commented 2015-09-05 13:32:10 -0700
    I’m a Natural Chef and I feel that a partnership between Suppers and IRN would be a perfect match. What Suppers offers to the community is a platform, a safe space, a classroom, and education. Everything we wish we would have had and been taught as children and never were. Suppers approaches the problem of food insecurity, obesity, and general food health issues by recognizing without fear that the relationship individuals have with food is not natural and is fueled by addiction and chemical reactions. Using support, education, and delicious, delicious whole foods, Suppers is the only program tackling the problem at the root of its cause.
  • commented 2015-09-04 13:07:37 -0700
    I am a R.N. Health Coach and work with so many people that struggle with what to eat, food addictions, and yo-yo fad dieting. So many people go on, and off, restrictive diets that are the latest craze of the week. Through Suppers, Dor has created a personalized, welcoming environment where people are actively involved in preparing and cooking whole, fresh foods. Suppers encourages people to think about how what they are eating makes them feel, teaching Dor’s message of “How you feel is data.” Through this process, one can learn which foods are right for them to support their personal health and well-being. Supporting ourselves with quality food is the foundation of health; Suppers and IRN are partners in teaching people to create a foundation of health and wellness.
  • commented 2015-09-04 12:10:08 -0700
    I am an adjunct professor of Counselor Education and Dorothy has been a regular guest speaker in many of my classes because her Suppers program is phenomenal. Countless students have benefitted from what she teaches in Suppers and this program should be as well known as other life changing programs like AA. Collaboration between IRN and Suppers would TRULY be a perfect match!
  • commented 2015-09-04 11:02:37 -0700
    I have lived with insulin dependent type 1 diabetes for nearly 20 years, first diagnosed in 1996 at the age of 39. It was through my involvement as a Suppers Facilitator over the past 8 years that I have found my passion in life to support and guide other people living with diabetes and share what I have learned. Thanks to Suppers I was inspired to go back to school in my 50’s and train to be an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach for people living with diabetes.. all kinds from type 1 to type 2 to pre diabetes and other blood sugar related issues.

    Dr. Lustig’s work along with Dor Mullen’s work through Suppers have both changed my life.. for the better! For years I had struggled to follow the ADA guidelines for controlling my blood sugars with insulin. It never seemed to work and I lived on what is called “the roller coaster” of blood sugars… a very frustrating and exhausting way of life! Plus, as I ate all the carbs they recommended (30 to 40 or even 60 grams per meal), my insulin doses were high and I piled on the pounds. Even figuring out how to exercise regularly while living on insulin did not really make a dent in managing my weight, and in fact often added to my excessively high and low blood sugars.

    It was not until three years into my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes that I discovered the writings of Dr. Richard Bernstein and his book, The Diabetes Solution (now in its 4th edition). I experimented with low carbohydrate eating and the use of protein and fat and low carb vegetables, nuts and seeds as a way of eating to manage and better stabilize my blood sugar. Low and behold.. for me… it worked!!! Over a 3 month period I lost 15 pounds and brought my A1C down to 6.2 from 7.6. I was convinced that this was the path for me.

    However, my endocrinologist called this approach “fringe” and “quackery.” After this trial period… I firmly KNEW what worked for me… but I could NOT SUSTAIN this approach. NO ONE I knew was eating this way. Not my doctor nor my diabetes educator. They told me I needed to eat 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrate in EACH meal! I had learned that eating just 6 to 15 grams worked best for me. Not my husband or family. None of my friends. And I didn’t really know anyone else with type 1 diabetes who I could turn to for support. So over time the bread and grains and processed cookies and cakes found their way back into my life.

    It was not until I heard Dor speak about The Suppers Program in her home in 2007 that I realized that I had found the support I was looking for all these years. Even though she was speaking about sobriety, I could relate to the swings in blood sugar and the resulting cravings that are brought on by too much sugar, sweeteners, starches, fruit and processed foods. While I had an inkling of WHAT to eat… I could not seem to figure out HOW to eat this way on a meal by meal, day by day basis. How do I make simple whole foods interesting and delicious? How to get my family interested in eating the same way as I needed and wanted to? How do I make the right choices for my body when I am surrounded by bagels, pizza, pasta, cake and cookies???

    Suppers came to my rescue! After a year of attending meetings for myself, I helped Dor facilitate a Wednesday Lunch Suppers meeting called “Suppers for Stable Blood Sugar”. We had no problem consistently filling that weekly meeting. It was obvious that I was not the only person struggling to manage blood sugar, weight, cravings, energy, mood and diabetes…

    I have now been facilitating two Suppers meetings every month for over 8 years. Based on growing demand, I added a dinner meeting once a month for people specifically with a diabetes diagnosis… including prediabetes. We grew so large in numbers that we moved out of a home setting and into the professional kitchen and cafe of our local YMCA. Here we can now accommodate upwards of 18 people in the kitchen all helping to chop, slice, spiralize, cook, mix, blend, roast and sauté our way to a blood sugar stabilizing, low carb, Paleo-based whole food meal. We cook together and bring the paper recipes to life!

    Then all together we all sit down, pull out our blood sugar meters, our insulin pumps, our CGMs (Continuous Glucose Monitors), and our insulin pens and syringes and get ready for our meal. These are steps we all must do every time we eat… and typically do in isolation. Having a meal where we can do this all together and feel “normal” is freeing, supportive, inspiring and educational. there is so very much we learn from each other in how to manage the day to day minutia of living with a chronic disease like diabetes. At Suppers WE determine what is “normal” behavior. All this support empowers us to go home and continue to practice these critical self care behaviors. Suppers helps us fight the “burn out” that so often comes from these necessary practices.

    What makes Suppers so unique, is that once you actually participate in the food prepping and cooking, it empowers you to go home and make that recipe for yourself. Many people actually leave Suppers meetings and go right to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients to make at home what they had just learned how to prepare at Suppers. I have been doing this for years and years. Funny how there is always another dinner to think about and the consistent need for ideas and inspiration!

    Thank you for listening to my story and how Suppers has changed my life. I am so excited to support this alliance with Dr. Lustig’s IRN programs in the hope of bringing more healing, support and sanity to the lives of many more people living with diabetes. Suppers works… peer to peer support works.. health coaching works… all because they meet you where you are at, right now in time… without judgement… and empower you to expedient and find your own path forward to healing… we have your back!

    Karen Rose Tank, MS, CHC
    Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
    Specializing in Diabetes
  • commented 2015-09-03 09:28:10 -0700
    I am an RD who works in the same community as Dor. In addition to attending several Suppers meetings and events myself, I have been referring patients to her Suppers programs for the past few years. The hands-on approach that Suppers offers is unlike any I have ever known. It is one thing to TELL or TEACH someone how/what to eat, but a completely different thing to INVOLVE someone in the process in a loving, non judgemental, and enjoyable way.

    Dor also brings home the concept that there is no one diet that fits all - which is something I wholeheartedly believe. Suppers welcomes vegans and paleos alike. The common denomiator is whole fresh, unprocessed food.

    I often think of the saying “you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Suppers is a program that gets the horse to drink!

    Collaborating with IRN is a match made in heaven.
  • commented 2015-09-03 04:55:26 -0700
    I’ve been grateful for the work of Dr. Robert Lustig and have incorporated Robert’s knowledge into my holistic bone health coaching practice for a decade now.

    When I met Dor Mullen I was struck by her clear vision, her drive of bringing people back to the kitchen and her profound mantra of “your body is data”.

    To date, I have held 52 Suppers Programs with my co-creator, Vicki Sarnoff. I focus on Feeding Strong Bones, Vicki’s focus is Autoimmune issues - Strengthening Your Immune System through food.

    As part of this healing through whole food movement, having The Suppers Program align with IRN would be a wonderfully supportive collaboration.
  • commented 2015-09-02 12:17:15 -0700
    Next month will make 5 years since I met Dor at an American Diabetes event. She was serving chili for breakfast! The smells lured me in, but the truth in her simple message is what has made me a devotee of Suppers. When you listen to your body and feed it real, single-ingredient delicious food, it will thank you in ways you couldn’t have imagined. I went from being skeptical about having a meal in a stranger’s home, to a member with dramatic blood sugar results eating delicious whole food, to a Board member excited to find new ways to spread the word about the logical miracles I’ve experienced at Suppers. This collaboration with IRN is such a wonderful idea!
  • followed this page 2015-09-02 12:08:09 -0700
  • commented 2015-09-02 08:21:54 -0700
    I am an avid follower of Dorothy Mullen and the Suppers Programs. I have referred a number of patients to her programs and plan to continue to do so. Her work and the work of the organization are a vital part of the community and I hope that through an alliance with IRN her voice, joining those of many others, can be heard on an even broader scale
  • commented 2015-09-02 07:17:53 -0700
    Years before I learned about the Suppers Program, I started following IRN’s Robert Lustig’s work years when I read Gary Taube’s “Is Sugar Toxic?” piece in the NYT (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html). At the time I was addressing various health concerns through experimentation with the Paleo diet. Fast forward to 2014, I started attending Suppers meetings and found the following Suppers Concepts to be particularly helpful:
    (1) The courage and power to change our individual biology lies in the challenging work of diet and lifestyle change.
    (2) Poor health and addiction are the logical consequences of leaving the body [and the body’s needs] out of the mind-body-spirit equation
    (3) Food is our country’s most expensive national addiction
    (4) It is easy to develop “appetite foolishness” in a culture that combines a food supply that is more like drugs than food with intense profit margin
    (5) If we do not consciously work on change, we will be run by our default settings or “automatic choices”
    (6) Many people who have dissimilar-sounding diagnoses are actually closely related because the diet and lifestyle changes needed to turn them around are virtually the same.
    (7) The internal observer may be more helpful than the over-used internal judge
    (8) How you feel is data!!!

    I could go on. There are more key concepts. I feel energized and inspired going back to my Suppers Facilitator’s Manual to review them all. However, two things have been crucial in my own “recovery”. First, the environment of non-judgement made it possible for me to start considering myself with that lens. I am learning to be the observer instead of the critic. And this opens the door to all kinds of information about what works (and what really DOES NOT WORK) for my body. Second, the community support and sense of connection, conversations held over the cutting board while we prep meals, the sacred boundary of anonymity, the import of each and every story and voice around the “family table” has created for me an intricate safety net… a place where I could bloom and start to offer my own resources of support and community-building.

    When I started medical school 18 years ago, I thought I’d go into the field of Community Oriented Primary Care. While life presented twists, turns, and choices that led me in other directions, I feel that I am back on that journey… working, and working for, The Suppers Program. The key is to figure out how to make Suppers accessible to a broader audience. With the perspective of years of medical training, reading, and personal experience, I think Suppers provides a framework, one answer, for healing communities, for advancing our public health. A collaboration with IRN may be the path to taking Suppers beyond Princeton, beyond New Jersey, to advance the health of communities far and wide.

    Jessica Stevens, MD/MPH
  • commented 2015-09-02 06:24:18 -0700
    Dorothy Mullen took two simple but revolutionary ideas - what you put into your body affects your health, and if you give a man a fish he eats for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he eats forever - and has built an ever expanding, positive, loving and supportive community around cooking and food. Her success is due not only on her passion for her subject but her ability to make cooking accessible to everyone. Capable of breaking complex processes into easy “I can do that!” pieces she has made cooking less scary, more fun and a family/community building exercise rather than a chore to hold body and soul together. The Suppers Program allows brings diverse groups of people around a table, to delight in the present and the abundance that is possible.
  • commented 2015-09-02 04:04:54 -0700
    The suppers “healthy eating support program” and programs like it will become the future of healthcare as the chronic disease health crisis in this country is mostly related to the mismatch in how we eat (processed food) with how we are genetically programmed to eat (food from the earth). Congratulations on your collaboration with Dorothy and the “Suppers Program”! Stephen Lewis M.D., Founder, Human Wellnome Project
  • commented 2015-09-01 19:22:03 -0700
    I love the idea of a collaboration between Suppers and IRN. I am an endocrinologist with a focus on prevention. In my view, what the world needs is more Dorothies and more Suppers; local programs where I can refer patients to re-learn how to eat well, how to enjoy cooking from scratch, how to love what nourishes us and in the process feel supported and become healthier. Way to go! Maria (Adi) Benito, M.D.
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