My passion is to extend dignity and grace to those who are suffering while working with them to improve quality of life, gain self-empowerment, and understand more about what may be going on in their bodies through the intricate and beautiful world of food.
Sometimes the most ill people around you are those who appear to have no physical problems.
My journey into the world of nutrition is one of survival and a search for hope. I grew up with the mindset that the harder you push yourself, the stronger you are. Upon joining the U.S. Air Force, I began to push myself harder than ever before. Sickness, fatigue, depression, anxiety - all of these were just weakness to be overcome by ignoring them and pushing onward. Six years, three warzone deployments, and one exhausted twenty-five-year-old later, I flat-lined. I began experiencing severe sleep deprivation, emotional and mental agony, and a host of physical symptoms that made normal daily life impossible. After seeking the care of a series of doctors I emerged with a prescription for an antidepressant and absolutely no answers. Panic and helplessness always threatened to take control.
I took action. I experienced for the first time what is called functional medicine and functional nutrition. Attending online health summits, I listened to doctor after doctor present segments on gut health and disease all from a functional perspective and all adhering consistently to a science-based yet holistic view of health. Medications were by no means dismissed, but the focus was on the intense ability of the body to heal when supported appropriately, with nutrition offered as a first line of defense. Enthralled, I began to see that I needed advanced training to really gain answers and enrolled in a functional nutrition graduate program. My approach to health has never been the same.
With each project I undertake (a master's in nutrition, weekend seminars for health practitioners, and online continuing education courses), I see how incredibly powerful nutrition is for each person's unique biochemistry. One-size-fits-all approaches often fail. Too many complaints are masked by pills or, worse, assigned to the psychosomatic category. I am in awe of this masterpiece called the human body. And I cannot believe the courage and grace I meet with daily in those who are suffering. We are human souls, not charts and labs. Never discounting the value of quality science in the pursuit of using nutrition to promote wellness yet never forgetting to offer dignity and compassion to the man or woman suffering next to me: these are things close to my heart. I am so grateful to have been as sick as I was for those years and even more joyful to have begun unearthing the thousand ways we can impact our health and take back power over our well-being. It is my extreme privilege to be able to offer nutritional care: It is truly our first line of defense against illness.
1. You have far more power over your health than you may realize.
2. It is never too late to begin changing for the better.
3. Nutrition is your secret weapon in both health and disease.
4. You are your health's greatest ally.
5. Food is meant to be a blessing and an adventure.
6. Your struggles and symptoms are real. If someone does not understand what you are going through, that does not negate the reality of your suffering. If someone tells you that you are fine or there is nothing you can do because lab values are normal, that is not the end of the road.
7. Diet and lifestyle are absolutely pivotal in fostering wellness and alleviating suffering.
I love attending continuing education seminars. Typically the only nutritionist among the crowd of doctors, I have found that cutting edge information on biochemistry is crucial to my skills as a nutritionist.
My most recent foray has been to dive into the world of functional immunology via attendance at Cogence Immunology, a rigorous, one-of-a-kind, cutting edge immunology program. This course takes from 2-3 years to complete and is a comprehensive look at all things immunity with special emphasis on autoimmune disorders. I have not found anything like it anywhere else.
It augments my nutritional knowledge to better serve those with immune malfunction and is so specialized that I have not yet found any nutritionist colleagues who have experienced the course. This foundation allows me to work with autoimmune guests and their nutritional needs at a level of expertise that is both unique and specialized in approach. Working with me is not like working with your typical wellness coach.
My programs are highlighted by an emphasis on medical literature/research, therapeutic and targeted use of food and professional grade supplements, avoidance of fads unless they are already researched and valid, tracking of biochemistry and symptoms, continually asking "why" not merely "what", and a search for more answers and more wisdom at all times.
Master of Science, Functional Nutrition and Medicine, University of Western States
Certified Massage Therapist, National Holistic Institute, 800 hours, Cert. 83473
Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, American Military University
Oxford University, New College, Tutorials in Shakespeare & C.S. Lewis
Presidio of Monterey Defense Language Institute, Chinese Mandarin Fluency Course
Kharrazian Institute, Hashimoto's: Clinical Strategies and Treatment Applications
Neuroendocrine Immunology of Mucosal Immunity (Apex Energetics)
Mastering Functional Brain Chemistry (Apex Energetics)
Mastering Functional Endocrinology (Apex Energetics)
Mastering the Thyroid (Apex Energetics)
Mastering Functional Blood Chemistry (Apex Energetics)
International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation Seminar