Florida Keys Business
Sunday, June 2, 2013
My kitchen prescription: The healing powers of good food

Editor's Note: Please join us in welcoming to our Sunday pages this week, new columnist Rich Patten, who will be making your health his business over the next few months. Rich was a familiar face for nearly two decades behind local pharmacy counters He recently retired and is embarking on yet another health-related adventure. Rich will spend the next six months attending classes at New York City's Natural Gourmet Institute and sharing what he learns every other Sunday.

Please join me in welcoming Rich, as he makes our health his business.

-- Mandy Miles, business editor

Wow, I did it.

I resigned from my secure job and am jumping into my passion. I'm still pinching myself from the reality. Sometimes I'm numb with disbelief and sometimes I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

My name is Rich Patten and after 28 years as a pharmacist, 19 in the Lower Keys, I decided it was time for a change.

These past two decades have been rewarding and stimulating in a number of different ways. I absolutely loved every minute I worked serving the Keys communities answering questions about health conditions, medications and filling prescriptions. I hope and feel that I helped a good number of people, as residents and visitors alike became my friends and neighbors.

Some customers were more challenging than others and made my work interesting. I cherish every one of you and consider our time together extremely rewarding.

When I attended Wayne State University I was thrilled to learn about pharmacology and how modern medicine can help people. Over the years I've learned that medication serves a purpose and can extend life, but it does not always provide the quality of life most people strive to achieve.

There is a definite movement in this country among medical professionals and the scientific community regarding health and nutrition and I am excited to be part of it; however, I have come to realize that perhaps I was working at the opposite end of the spectrum.

I'm now ready and eager to serve you in a different capacity. I hope to enhance your health and alleviate your medical conditions with a different approach: My Kitchen Prescription.

I'm convinced that health is best enhanced, maintained and recovered through nutritious eating and cuisine, and not through pills alone.

Of course nutritious eating must begin with quality ingredients and healthful preparation. I've always loved preparing delicious meals for my friends and family. Now I'm taking it much further by attending a culinary program in New York City. My plan is to obtain the very best natural and health-conscious culinary training available and bring it back home to Key West, where I'll infuse it with an island flare.

So I'm headed to the Big Apple in just a couple of days to attend the Natural Gourmet Institute, the leader in health supportive culinary arts and theory. I am packing a bag, along with my science and pharmacology background and will be training for six intense months.

I want to take you with me on this life journey by inviting you to join my culinary adventures here in The Key West Citizen every other week. I hope to share insights into nutrition, health and some awesome recipes that will provide a tasteful cure.

Come with me. It's going to be a blast and it is certainly going to change my life.

Perhaps it will change yours, too.

Wish me luck.....

richardpatten@ymail.com

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