NJ Center for Plant Based Medicine
Karen Burzichelli, RN
As a Registered Nurse for over 30 years, I have always been interested in health and well-being. As a Labor-and-Delivery nurse, I have worked with women through their childbearing years, teaching them about childbirth, and helping them through the most difficult and exhilarating time in their life. While I still work as a Labor-and-Delivery RN, as I entered my 50s, and menopause began to creep in, I developed many health problems I was not prepared for.
I have dealt with digestive issues for over 25 years, without any real diagnosis or treatment except pills. I tried to deal with it the best I could, but it never settled down, and I never got it under control. Alas, I then developed a new set of health problems: arthritis in my knees as well as a herniated disc in my back - both associated with spending 30+ years of long hours on my feet! The treatment I received for these problems was steroid shots in my knees ( 3 rounds)and epidural steroid injections in my back (2) rounds. These where temporary fixes since they would only last a few weeks. Additionally, I had unexplained weight gain (10 pounds in one year), skin issues, and the worst: very low energy.
I was going to the gym and seeing a trainer three times a week, and thought I was eating healthy - but nothing was working! I was an empty-nester, as my twin girls had both gone on to college and began living on their own. I wanted to enjoy this time in my life, but I just never felt well enough. Everyday, I would wake with aches and pains in my knees and back, low energy, itchy dry skin rashes and digestive issues.
Finally, I would soon learn, by doing some research, is that food does not just contain calories, it contains information. Every bit of food you consume broadcasts a set of coded instructions to your body. These instructions can create either health, or disease. I never would have thought the food I was eating was affecting me so drastically. I transitioned into a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle.
By eating a whole food plant based diet, incorporating some vitamins and herbs, and eliminating processed foods that were causing my symptoms, I have eliminated all my ailments naturally, and have more energy now than I did in my 30s. I even lost 20 pounds without even trying! This health transformation led me back to school to learn more about how food and other factors affect our health. I now want to teach people how to use food as medicine and stay healthy. My hope is that others will feel as great as I do!
Khayriyyah Chandler, DO
She is a board certified family medicine physician licensed in NJ. She also practices lifestyle medicine, with a focus on plant-based medicine/diets, believing that many conditions can be treated with plant based diets, exercise, mindfulness, supplementation, and when we need it prescription medications. She received her training from UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine and Crozer Keystone Residency Program. She is an alum of Rutgers University.
She has three children and loves interior decorating and dancing.
During medical school, her health deteriorated. She found herself severely obese and in poor mental health. She challenged herself to ditch the medications, try to give food a try, with little directions. She had always believed in diet and lifestyle modifications to treat common issues. After finding a popular movie that introduced her to plant based diet, she knew at that moment, how much a diet could help a disease. Slowly after many years of transitioning, she lives a plant based lifestyle and continues to enrich her practice in this research.
When she opened her family medicine practice, after experimenting about what made her most happy. She found that plant based consultations had a special place in her heart. Soon she found that she had requests coming in from local patients...and not-so-local patients wanting a physician that supported their lifestyle. After this she decided to open the NJ-CPM in response to patient response. We hope to serve you well.