Michelle Hurn RD, LD
Michelle Hurn is a registered and licensed dietitian with eleven years of experience as a clinical, acute care dietitian, lead dietitian in psychiatric care, and outpatient dietitian. While practicing inpatient and outpatient care in the hospital setting, Michelle discovered a disheartening connection between high carbohydrate, low fat, “sugar in moderation,” nutrition guidelines she was required to teach, and the rapidly declining health of her patients.
Michelle is an endurance athlete, and she has competed in 12 marathons. In 2019, Michelle decided to follow a LCHF, high animal protein diet to see if it would alleviate severe muscle pain she was experiencing. Not only was her muscle pain gone in a matter of weeks, her decades of anxiety began to fade. Michelle is the author of the book, “The Dietitian’s Dilemma,” detailing how the current nutrition guidelines came into existence and advocating a low carbohydrate, animal-based way of eating as an option for individuals struggling with diabetes, mental disorders, eating disorders, sarcopenia, and heart disease. Michelle won her first Ultra Marathon covering 44.63 miles in a 6-hour time frame.
Antonio C. Martinez II is a native New Yorker, and the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Brooklyn Law School. He attended the United States Capitol Page School and is a graduate of New York Military Academy.
Robert Cywes, MD, PhD
Dr. Cywes is Dual Board Certified in General Surgery and in Pediatric Surgery. He specializes in Pediatric and Adult obesity, diabetes and metabolic management including bariatric surgery. His focus is on helping people understand and treat the true cause of obesity and diabetes. He has been doing bariatric surgery for 19 years and has performed around 7000 surgeries. Despite this, Dr Cywes firmly believes that obesity and diabetes are not treated by surgery, however, surgery may be an invaluable tool along the journey of becoming carbohydrate-free.
His medical training began in Cape Town, South Africa where he received his medical degree from The University of Cape Town training with Prof Tim Noakes amongst others. In 1989, Dr. Cywes moved to North America and completed a year-long residency in pediatric surgery at Ohio State University’s Columbus Children’s Hospital before moving to Canada where he completed his general surgery residency and specialized in minimally invasive surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Cywes also earned a PhD in liver transplant immunology and the effect of glucose metabolism on vascular endothelium injury, working with Dr David Jenkins, the father of the Glycemic Index.
After completing his pediatric surgery fellowship at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Dr. Cywes was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Paediatric and Fetal Surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee where he did hepatic stem cell research. During this time, Dr. Cywes became increasingly interested in adolescent obesity and the impact of carbohydrates on the liver and metabolic syndrome in young patients.Dr. Cywes’ research led to a comprehensive understanding of the toxicity of chronic excessive carbohydrate consumption as the primary cause of obesity and so-called obesity-related co-morbidities.
In the late 1990s Dr Cywes understood that the prevailing treatment of obesity using a Calories in, Calories out (CICO) model was erroneous, and he developed the Carbohydrate Insulin Model of Obesity and Diabetes (CIMOD). Using this model in combination with his understanding of the psychology of addiction, he developed a clinical program to treat obese adolescents using this approach. Dr. Cywes relocated to Jacksonville, Florida where he joined the Department of Pediatric Surgery at the Nemours Children’s Clinic and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. This led to a national meeting in Jacksonville where guidelines for adolescent obesity surgery were established.
In 2004, Dr. Cywes established Jacksonville Surgical Associates to continue his work in both adolescent and adult obesity treatment and surgery, and in 2013 opened a practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. He now works with a highly experienced team of professionals from a variety of medical sub-specialties to better care for obese patients. He has developed the practice into a nationally recognized Center of Excellence for obesity surgery. The practice uses a cognitive behavioral therapy approach that addresses carbohydrate addiction, along with bariatric surgery, to help patients manage the cause of their obesity long term.
Based on his extensive clinical research and observations, Dr. Cywes lectures internationally regarding the physiological impact of carbohydrate consumption as the primary cause of the current Chronic Non-Communicable Disease (CNCDs) epidemic. He also lectures on the behavioral aspects of carbohydrate addiction as the cause of obesity and obesity-related co-morbidities and the use of substance abuse methodology, rather than a diet and exercise approach, to the effective long term treatment of obesity.
Dr. Cywes is a member of ASMBS (American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) and is a member of the ASMBS Childhood Obesity Committee. He is also a member of APSA (American Pediatric Surgery Association). He has earned a Centers of Excellence designation by the Surgical Review Corporation. Dr. Cywes trains other surgeons to perform bariatric surgery as well as developing an aftercare model to help patients maintain weight loss. Dr. Cywes and his team are active in obesity research, including an ongoing Adolescent Bariatric Surgery trial. He has become one of the foremost authorities in the treatment and management of obesity in adolescents.
Dr. Cywes co-authored a book, Diabetes Unpacked outlining an effective approach to understanding and treating diabetes into remission. His vast experience in pediatric and general surgery serves him well in using bariatric surgery to treat obesity in both adults and children. Dr. Cywes maintains an active clinical practice in Palm Beach Gardens and in Jacksonville as well as being active on conveying the CIMOD message on social media and through his website.
Mark Cucuzzella, MD, FAAFP
Dr. Mark Cucuzzella is a Professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He is also a LtCol in the US Air Force designing programs to promote health and better fitness in the military with the USAF Efficient Running Project. In military and civilian community he has been a tireless promoter of healthy movement, nutritional interventions in patients with any spectrum of the metabolic syndrome, and injury free training for running. He was a lead writer of one of the first grants supporting education of Medical Students in nutrition and physical activity in Medical School. Mark is also the lead on a large USDA grant to double SNAP benefits at Farmers Markets- the goal is reducing food insecurity as a barrier to healthier eating.
Dr. Cucuzzella has been a competitive runner for over 30 years — with more than 100 marathon and ultramarathon finishes — and continues to compete as a national-level Masters runner. He has won the Air Force Marathon twice. He is the race director of Freedom’s Run race series in West Virginia and director of the Natural Running Center, an education portal designed to teach healthier running . Dr. Cucuzzella is also the owner of Two Rivers Treads — A Center for Natural Running and Walking in his hometown of Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Mark’s vision of a future of health is housed in his site www.drmarksdesk.com. Mark’s innovative work and story has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, Outside Magazine, Running Times, Runners World, Air Force Times, the Washington Post, JAMA, Blue Ridge Outdoors, and other medical and media outlets.
To find Dr. Cucuzzella online, go to: Website.