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Inspired by: Lissa Rankin

‘Inspired by’ is a series which highlights a person, movement or object that has inspired us here at Cedele. We believe in giving credit where it is due, and these posts aim to do just that. Take it as a peek into what drives us and our ethos. Hopefully, you’ll get inspired too. 

WE ARE CONTINUING our ‘Inspired by’ series, and just in time for International Women’s Day this week, we’re putting the spotlight on physician, speaker and New York Times bestselling author, Lissa Rankin.

If you recall, our previous post in the series featured the work of Brene Brown, specifically her TED talk on vulnerability. Similarly, we came across Lissa Rankin from a TED talk in 2011.


The Shocking Truth about Health

Titled “The Shocking Truth about your Health”, she opens her 2011 TED talk with a bold statement: “Caring for your body is the least important part of your health”. Rankin believes that the medical profession has got it backwards. Instead of shaping how we live our lives, the body is a mirror of how we are living.


“The body is brilliant this way. It speaks to us in whispers, and if we ignore the whispers of the body, The body starts to yell.” 


According to Rankin, our bodies are well-equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms. But these mechanisms are deactivated when your body is in stress response, also known as the body’s natural fight-or-flight response. From much of Rankin’s research, it is clear that she is passionate about finding out what makes people healthy and what predisposes them to illness. But beyond that, she is “on a mission to merge science and spirituality”, to “facilitate the health of the individual… [and] uplift the health of the collective”.

Her following talks at TEDx events point to this. In the most recent talk, she alludes to loneliness as the “#1 public health issue doctor’s aren’t talking about”. Emphasising the power of the tribe, she encourages us (her viewers and readers) to befriend ourselves, to be vulnerable. In sum, her research reinforces the notion that the greatest risk factor for disease is not a poor diet or lack of exercise, but loneliness.


Mind Over Medicine


[Left to right: ‘Mind Over Medicine’ by Lissa Rankin, Rankin speaking at a TEDx event]

Rankin’s turning point from conventional medicine came when she took a job in the posh Marin County, California. Despite following organic diets, working out with personal trainers, sleeping 8 hours every night, and spending money on the best healthcare, her patients were still ill. She began looking into the medical case studies of people recovering from seemingly “incurable” illnesses. The mind-blowing data is compiled in her book, Mind Over Medicine.

Her findings reveal a recognition of the body’s innate ability to self-repair. According to Rankin, our thoughts, feelings and beliefs can alter our body’s physiology. Her book digs into the scientific data that proves how loneliness, pessimism, fear and anxiety cause harm to the body. On the flip side, intimate relationships, gratitude and authentic self-expression allow the body to heal itself.


If you have the time, listen to Rankin’s interview with Jonathan Fields for The Good Life Project. (Perhaps in the car or this weekend over tea at one of our outlets?) Through the interview, you learn about Rankin’s own story – of how she felt called to medicine since 7 years old, how quickly her medical career derail and how she came back from that.

As you know, our philosophy here at Cedele is to help our customers “Eat Well, Be Well”. Rankin’s story and findings inspire us to take wellness a step further. Beyond providing wholesome food, we’re reminded to listen to our bodies – they are a mirror of how we are living. More than that, we hope that she inspires you to open your heart, to be kind and to remember we’re all connected.