Rani Polak, MD, Chef, MBA

Dr. Rani Polak is the founding director of both the Culinary Healthcare Education Fundamentals (CHEF) Coaching program at the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Center of Lifestyle Medicine at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel; as well as a Research Associate at the Department of PM & R, Harvard Medical School. Prior to this position he completed a Research Fellowship in Lifestyle Medicine at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, and a residency in Family Medicine at the Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel. Rani had the good fortune to be the founder of the Hadassah Healthy Cooking and Lifestyle Center and the Israeli Society of Lifestyle Medicine. His first lifestyle intervention won the Hebrew University’s Kaye Award Prize for innovation and his book, Delicious Diabetic Recipes, is a gold best seller. Dr. Polak’s focus, along with clinical care, is on nutrition education, and on clinical and translational research relating to culinary medicine and medical education. His current work is concentrated on the Culinary Coaching approach, which aims to improve nutrition through culinary training combined with health coaching principles. This approach was used through: 1) Patients CHEF Coaching telemedicine program, aimed at improving eating behavior of patients with cardio-metabolic risk factors. This was implemented at HomeBase, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and at dozens of practices nationwide, and 2) Clinician CHEF Coaching tele-training program, aimed at training clinicians in how to provide effective Culinary Healthcare Education. This was implemented in the Yale Preventive Medicine/Internal Medicine residency program, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and was recently approved by Harvard Medical School for Continuing Medical Education credits. Dr. Polak’s work has been featured in many media outlets including Scientific American, Herald Tribute, Jerusalem Post, and USA Today.


Posts by Rani Polak, MD, Chef, MBA

Love those legumes!

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Legumes like beans, chickpeas, and lentils are full of healthy nutrients, fiber, and protein, and a diet that includes them regularly can help lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more. It’s easy to incorporate more legumes into your eating pattern, starting with a recipe for hummus.

Home cooking: Good for your health

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Cooking at home is a great way to support healthier dietary choices; the next step, programs that provide instruction in cooking techniques, can help people understand what foods to choose at the store and how to prepare them, which can result in lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.