Dr. Janel Gordon, M.D., DipABOM, DipABLM, is a Triple Board Certified Family, Obesity, and Lifestyle Medicine Physician Leader, experienced in Corporate Employer-Sponsored Healthcare, HealthTech Startup, and Primary Care, with clinical expertise in obesity and chronic disease prevention, management, and reversal. She is certified in Culinary Coaching by Harvard Medical School and Plant-based Nutrition by the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Recently, Dr. Gordon was selected as a Leading Physician Well-being Fellow with the American Academy of Family Physicians, through which she received additional training in executive leadership, quality improvement, program development, and systemic change.

What was the inspiration behind your career?

Dr. Janel: As a child, I enjoyed science, anatomy, and helping others. Even my 5th-grade autobiography states that I would be a physician and live in Louisville, Kentucky. Coincidentally, I attended medical school at the University of Louisville. The unfortunate mounting of chronic disease in this country further inspired me to focus my career on family, obesity, and lifestyle medicine. I’m currently pursuing certification in culinary medicine as well.


What makes your approach unique? 

Dr. Janel: I am authentic, transparent, empathic, and honest. I believe in shared decision-making with patients with hope of helping them make the best decisions for themselves and their families. I enjoy traveling, attending conferences, and networking with colleagues from around the world, both in person and virtually. This approach allows me to offer the latest treatment recommendations and humbly interact with individuals of varied backgrounds. My patients are from all over the world, with different languages, religious backgrounds, cultural norms, and foods.


Do you believe in work-life balance? If so, how do you maintain it? 

Dr. Janel: I believe in prioritization, delegation, and outsourcing. Our desires and obligations may flex throughout a month, quarter, or year, so I adjust as needed. This can help keep anxiety at bay.


What are a few things people can do to maintain a healthy weight, even during the holiday season? 

Dr. Janel: Get up and get active, eat breakfast, drink water, limit sugary beverages and alcohol, mind your portions, and stop eating at the first feeling of contentment.


What are your thoughts on plant-based diets? Who can benefit from this type of diet/lifestyle? 

Dr. Janel: Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and legumes are full of fiber, which keeps us full longer, aids in digestion, contributes to a healthy gut microbiome, and keeps blood sugar and cholesterol controlled. These foods are also full of antioxidants which help prevent and combat the inflammation underlying many chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and cancer.


How important is nutrition to overall health? 

Dr. Janel: Nutrition is number one. Physical activity and sleep are number two. Stress management is vital.


What are some risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus? 

Dr. Janel: Heredity, history of gestational diabetes, overweight or obesity, lack of regular physical activity, lack of restful sleep, stress, high intake of refined carbohydrates, saturated fat and ultra-processed foods.


Connect via Instagram:

Photo Credits: Photo Provided