On this episode of Lift U Up: Inspiring Health Stories, we’re talking everything breast health, the methods of cancer prevention, and the powers of plant-based eating. Our guest Dr. Kristi Funk is a wealth of knowledge, known for her work as a board-certified physician, TV personality, author, and celebrity physician. In this episode, Dr. Funk tells the story of her path towards advocating for the breast health of women around the world, and provides actionable advice for breast cancer prevention.
Becoming Dr. Kristi Funk
Like many people, Dr. Kristi Funk has a path that wasn’t completely linear. She started her college career with coursework in psychology and drama. One long night, during her first ever all-nighter, Kristi had a thought creep in that would not leave her mind; she should become a doctor. She first discounted the thought as a sleep-deprived distraction, but two days later, it was still in the back of her head, so she thought it might be worth listening to that voice.
After those two days, on a summer mission trip in Kenya, Kristi spent time with kids and formed a bond, making each other laugh and forming a connection despite their language barrier. This connection led her to realize that she did want to become a doctor because of how much health matters. Disease robs people of joy, and the joy she felt on that trip was everything she needed to motivate her on this journey.
Not “Just” Breast Health
Fast forward, and Kristi changed her courses to pre-med, graduated with only one extra year, and moved on to medical school. Every residency and rotation she pursued, she fell in love with. Eventually she moved back to LA for a fellowship in breast surgery. Because of its reputation as being easy, her first instinct was of pride, that it was somehow beneath her and her skills. She realized – to her patients, it was never “just” breast surgery. With that realization, she pursued breast surgery and has had the time of her life working in the field for the last 20 years.
A Global Impact
In Dr. Funk’s career in breast health, she accomplished a lot and was also faced with a lot of challenges. She and her husband opened The Pink Lotus Breast Center in 2009, and thanks to the unsteady economy at the time, they worked especially hard to keep it open. Luckily, unpredictable challenges led to unexpected doors opening for them along the way. These challenges led to her authoring her book, discovering the impact of plant-based eating for her family, and transforming the scope of what she was able to give to her patients. She’s tried to change the mentality of a cancer patient from one of despair to one of growth. She works with her patients, teaching the things that they can do differently to make their lives more joyful.
Along with her clinic’s work on local patients, their branch the Pink Lotus Power Up reaches women globally with resources and community. Dr. Kristi and her team provides resources for both women diagnosed with cancer and those interested in prevention, through free videos, blogs, and other sources of actionable lifestyle changes.
What else can you expect in this episode?
- How and why Dr. Funk dove into science when writing her book, and the impact that had on her profession and her personal lifestyle.
- Dr. Funk’s take on the power of what’s on your fork.
- How their service “Breast Buddies” is important for women of all backgrounds in finding community and support.
- The big and small things that you can do in your lifestyle to reduce your risk of cancer.
- The piece of advice that will stick with Dr. Funk for life.
Where to find Dr. Kristi Funk and The Pink Lotus: