Welcome to the

Northwest Center for Food As Medicine

Mission of the Northwest Center for Food As Medicine

To offer a new paradigm of health and well-being, centering on the power of food as medicine, helping people prevent and reverse chronic disease, teaching the principles of sustainable weight loss, and by doing so, foster a healthy relationship to ourselves, each other and the planet. 

We offer free, scientifically based resources for self-education, as well as affordable consultations for additional support.  

NW Center

Plant-Based Nutrition for Disease Prevention, Reversal and Permanent Weight Loss

Check out the questions below to see if you can benefit from our services:

  • Are you tired of being tired?
  • Have you tried unsuccessfully to lose weight?
  • Do you have a chronic disease, like Pre- or Type 2 Diabetes?
  • Do you have a chronic condition, like hypertension?
  • Is your level of stress exhausting to you?
  • Do you feel empty inside?

If any of these are true, take back your power to heal with a Whole Foods Plant-Based Lifestyle.  To support you in making this transition, check out our program SELF-REfind:  Come Home to Yourself!

Living Plant Based Ideas:

Every month the Bux-Mont-Philly Vegan Meetup does in-person potlucks. Bring your favorite dish, enough for 5 or 10, and meet your peeps! To join click here (you’ll get invites each month)

Want help making delicious vegan meals in 10 minutes or less? Click here to watch Max Rivers cooking on Facebook.

SELF-REfind: Come Home to Yourself

The SELF-REfind program , a service of the NW Center for Food As Medicine, consists of FREE videos, podcasts, helpful links and resources curated for scientific accuracy and effectiveness, to make it easy for you to educate yourself on the extraordinary power of this lifestyle choice. 

Also available are affordable professional consultations and Care Plans to help you get started, and support you on this journey to transform your health.

We're About Education

Podcast: Interview With Holistic Coach Elise Rivers by Holistic Healer Chaya Cohen

At the Northwest Center for Food-As-Medicine (a division of CAMA), we are passionate about educating people about the benefits of a whole foods plant-based diet. 

As the owner of CAMA, when I educated myself about these benefits in depth (I’m a graduate of Cornell University’s Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Program), as well as hundreds more hours of study with plant-based medical doctors, such as Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Dr. Michael Klaper, and being 90% plant-based myself, I vowed I would bring this information to my patients. 

We can be 100% plant-based (vegan) or get most of the way there. The more plants, and the less animal products you eat, the better will be your results.

Effect on Heart Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes and Cancer

Plant-based eating is a lifestyle change, but well worth it, given the health benefits. This change is essential if we hope to eliminate the chronic diseases above including pre-diabetes, reduce our diabetes meds, lose and maintain our weight much more easily, and keep the likelihood of cancer beginning or recurring to a minimum

Animals and the Environment

We think it’s also no small thing that this choice will also reduce climate change (the animal industry contributes more to climate change than all transportation in the world combined!) and reduces the violence, suffering and environmental damage inherent in industrial agriculture. But whatever your motivation, eating many more plants and less animal food WILL transform your health (physically and mentally) for the better.


  • That pre-diabetes can be reversed with diet?
  • That diabetes can sometimes be reversed with diet, and often results, at a minimum, with medication reductions?
  • That reducing the risk of a cancer diagnosis or recurrence is greatly improved with a plant-based diet?
  • That conditions such as arthritis (even Rheumatoid) can be greatly improved with a plant-based diet?
  • That weight loss is often permanent with a plant-based diet?
  • That blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and the inflammatory markers that underlie chronic disease are ALL responsive to a plant-based diet? (no drugs needed to manage these conditions in many instances after adopting this diet!!)

Every 4 years the government recommends what should be on the American plate. If they followed the science (which they don’t, due to special interests) the recommendation would look like this.

A plant-based diet is the only method (including all other western interventions) ever proven to reverse heart disease, our #1 killer,  in the majority of patients.

As a result of its power, it is also able to help with all these other conditions.

Nutrition and Your Western Doctor

You are unlikely to hear about the food-as-medicine option from your western doctors because they are simply not educated about food as medicine as part of their training, and don’t know how to teach you to implement this solution.

We do!

We’re now able to offer a powerful key to lasting health and quality of life for your life time!

Consult Your Doctor About Changes in Medication

We encourage you to tell your doctor about your decision to become plant-based, and be sure to consult them especially for appropriate medication reductions, which will likely result (and quickly!) from following a plant-based diet.

You’ll know your doctor is educated in the current science if they support your efforts in this regard!

Make an appointment with one of our two plant-based nutritionists, Kirsten Puskar or Elise Rivers, to help you transition gently or boldly into plant-based eating. Kirsten services are covered by insurance in some cases, listed in her profile.

You can read more about our nutritionists on the staff page

Veg-Friendly Businesses
at your fingertips at PBMA.info

Go To
Interactive Map

We have grouped eateries, healing centers and veg-friendly businesses into what we are calling Plant-Based Mt Airy, to help you find and experience how easy it is to live a plant-based lifestyle here in our community.

An online, interactive map, with directions, websites and menus can be found by clicking here!

COVID, Your Immune System, Food and Lifestyle Choices

We deeply believe that continuing to increase the strength of your immune system (also supported by acupuncture), maintaining your overall wellness, managing your stress and taking care of yourself is critical to your well-being. We recognize that this has been a very stressful time for most, and we hope to support you now, as we have always done.

We believe it’s not a coincidence that the co-morbidities that COVID-19 exploits: heart disease, diabetes and obesity are the same health issues that arise from animal-based eating and highly processed foods (AKA the “standard American diet”).

Transforming your health in this way will not only help you resist COVID-19  but also other threats of infection in the future.

Our affordable, plant-based registered dietitian nutritionist, Kirsten Puskar is available to help you transition to a more whole foods, plant-based lifestyle (some insurances accepted).

If you’re just starting out and not ready to commit, you can also book an intro session online with Elise to arrange for a lifestyle/nutrition consult (or call 215-266-5757). This call is for people who want to discover how easy it can be to incorporate more plants in their diet, and why.


Read Elise Rivers’ article about the connection between Plant-Based Nutrition and COVID-19

Hear Elise interviewed on Gtown Radio’s “The Power of Food” show sharing her wisdom about Food As Medicine (1 hr).