Employee Spotlight: Dr. Evelyn Zeiler

Health in Focus is with Dr. Evelyn Zeiler, who has worked at TNHF as a Clinical Researcher since 2019.

Why did you join the TrueNorth Health Foundation research team? 

I first learned about TrueNorth Health Center at a vegan conference in 2018, where I heard Dr. Michael Klaper speak. I really liked the idea of a center focused on medically supervised, water-only fasting and a whole-plant-food diet. I was impressed to learn how many differently trained doctors worked at TNHC, and the most important part for me was when I found out that the TNHF was conducting research.

I really like working in an environment with such a huge diversity of knowledge and expertise. It can be alarming to see people not eating for more than a month, so it's good to know that there are professionally trained doctors taking great care of the patients. There is also a lot of caring between staff. This creates a very positive energy and a great working environment. I feel that I can confidently study fasting patients because I know they are well cared for and that their health is the first priority. Ethical research is very important for me. 

Tell us more about your background! 

I studied Bioorganic Chemistry in Germany and, after my PhD studies, moved to the US for postdoctoral research training at Harvard University. The Natural Sciences and observing how Nature works has always fascinated me; my focus on health was gradual but ended up a very strong personal interest. After my postdoc, I learned more about health related topics. I learned hands-on about organic farming, traveled, learned yoga, and adopted a raw vegan lifestyle. I also started to practice water-only fasting.

Why are you inspired to study the effects of water-only fasting? 

Water-only fasting has been known for centuries for its health benefits but there has not been much research done on humans, especially on a biochemical level. There are a lot of case studies about the physical effects, but I'm really interested in what's happening with human biochemistry. And as a vegan, I'm not a fan of animal studies. I want research participants to consent first.
What are you most passionate about in the field of health and wellness right now?

I'm very passionate about food, and I create lots of raw vegan recipes that are SOS (Salt, Oil, Sugar)-free. I also like to lecture on my experiences with this lifestyle and do food demonstrations. My favorite dish is just whole unprocessed ripe fruit, Durian is my favorite. But I do love mixing whole foods and making raw vegan pizza, pasta, avocado toast, etc. Regular exercise is important to me too. I enjoy everything that is healthy, being healthy is actually really fun.