A FRAME for Living Well

This article originally appeared in the spring 2021 issue of STILLPOINT, the magazine of Gordon College.

Navid Mahooti ’96, M.D., M.P.H.
Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care
Team Physician, Gordon College Athletics

They say when a silversmith sees his reflection in his handiwork, that’s when he knows the piece is refined and pure. Two weeks on a La Vida expedition are not unlike a refining fire for a traveler, who encounters transformational challenges and circumstances: Can I make it through fasting? How can I carry this 50-pound pack up a mountain? What is God teaching me? How do I respect my peers and the nature around us?

Like silver, the traveler emerges from the fire stronger, shaped by the experience. For Dr. Navid Mahooti ’96, two weeks of La Vida’s refining fire opened his mind to the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

It’s a concept the sports medicine and wellness specialist encapsulates with the acronym FRAME—Food, Rest, Activity, Meaning, Environment. “My passion is helping people to live better, fuller lives,” says Mahooti.

That means encouraging patients to get outdoors, eat well and make healthy lifestyle goals. “All five components tie into the undergirding pillars of wellness,” he says. “If one or more of these pillars are neglected or out of balance, it can affect our sense of well-being, and even manifest as an acute or chronic illness.”

As patients describes their concerns, Mahooti listens carefully with a goal not just to treat symptoms but to uncover the root of the problem and, when appropriate, incorporate FRAME into the treatment plan. The elements are primarily preventive but have the potential to reverse physical ailments like joint pain, high blood pressure and even type 2 diabetes.

For Mahooti, healthy habits include fasting, omitting processed foods, resting by journaling (a habit picked up from La Vida), exercising, feeding his spiritual life and being involved in mentoring relationships.

The key to FRAME is not just two weeks of discipline—but an entire lifestyle. In other words, less of a refining fire and more of an ever-present ember. “A person who thoughtfully contemplates and implements the concepts of FRAME,” says Mahooti, “will likely be better equipped to fulfill their calling and purpose in life.”