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For Anne Park, D.O., Family Heritage and Holistic Lifestyle Run Strong

November 24, 2021

Clinical Contributors to this story:

From an early age, Anne Park, D.O., understood the power of medicine. A child of immigrants, she grew up in the Bronx, New York, helping her parents run their family-owned drug store.

“My father was a pharmacist back in Korea,” explains Dr. Park, an internal medicine doctor at Hackensack University Medical Center. “There were a lot of immigrant communities in the Bronx, and the immigrants didn’t have insurance to go to the doctor. So if they were sick, they would come to the drug store. They didn’t know where else to go. My dad would help them. It was really nice to grow up in that kind of community and witness my parents being so giving.”

The fact that Dr. Park eventually ended up in medical school is thanks in large part to her drug-store upbringing. “I love being at the bedside and talking to my patients, and that comes from being in the store,” she says. “It’s where I learned to speak to people—manning the cash register and taking cues from my dad. As I look back on it now, that was my apprenticeship.”

When she’s not at patients’ bedside, Dr. Park can be found pulling weeds and preparing nutritious meals.

Where does your interest in nutrition come from?

I noticed I was entering a really skinny, lethargic phase in my life. I had no muscle, and I was tired and fatigued all the time. So I started researching and became interested in metabolic health, which looks at insulin resistance and how many carbohydrates your body can tolerate—eating in a way that’s kind to your liver and your pancreas. It’s a more holistic approach to medicine that includes medication where appropriate but also looks at food. For me, that means a low-carb, Mediterranean diet. I’ve been living that way for about six years.

Have you been able to adapt any of your favorite Korean dishes to your healthy lifestyle?

Shirataki noodles are low-carb noodles that you can find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. They’re extruded from the root of the konjac plant, which has been used for a long time in Korean and Japanese cuisine. I make a popular Korean dish called chapchae using those instead of typical yam noodles, which are very starchy. For sweetness, I use a sugar alternative, all-natural erythritol, instead of granulated sugar or honey.

What’s something you do to relax when you’re not working?

I love to weed my garden. It’s therapeutic to me. I have three teenagers, so being able to go outside and have some quiet time to myself is huge. I like to listen to podcasts while I’m out there. It’s a great way to decompress. Plus, it’s useful. It’s not a waste of my time, because it actually helps my house.

Next Steps & Resources:

Meet our source: Anne Park, D.O. To make an appointment with Dr. Park or a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.

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The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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