Achieving vibrant health involves many different factors. Eating whole food while reducing processed food, quality sleep, healthy sunlight exposure, movement, mobility, stress management, meaningful relationships, novel experiences and reducing toxin exposure are all vitally important aspects of health. I have the privilege to consult with patients and clients about lifestyle factors like these on a regular basis. However, my favorite place to begin is with food. Our diet impacts the way we feel and function on an everyday basis. The connection of food to our physical and emotional well-being is not new to those of us that are connected to a whole food lifestyle. Although these ideas have been gaining more acceptance in mainstream medicine, I don’t think we’re there just yet. Recently, one of my training partners relayed a conversation she had with her doctor in which she was told that diet had no effect on her menstrual cycle. Seriously? Several months ago, a cardiopulmonary practitioner told me that eating whole eggs everyday would kill me in a matter of months if I didn’t workout regularly. And most recently, another “coconut oil is going to kill you” article reared its ugly head across social media, once again scaring and confusing the masses. So while we’ve made a lot of headway in the real food movement, there’s obviously still more work to be done. My job in private consulting and teaching classes is to provide evidence-based information and try to reach as many people as possible.
Philosophically, my work is driven by these guiding principles:
To date, there are approximately 7.6 billion people on this planet. Knowing this, it only stands to reason that there is no one diet that is meant for all of us. I’m a Vanessa-terian. You are a you-aterian. We all have our own unique needs.
The diet that heals you is not necessarily the diet that sustains your health long term. Our dietary needs evolve, (just like us) and there are many factors involved.
You are what you eat, digest and absorb. It’s possible to eat a balanced, whole foods diet and still have nutrient deficiencies if digestion and absorption is impaired.
The greatest indicator of functionality as we reach our golden years is strength. Healthy body composition and maintaining muscle mass is vitally important.
Chronic inflammation is the common denominator underlying in chronic disease. Identifying the areas in our lives that promote inflammation is key. This is multifactorial, as diet, negative thought patterns, poor sleep, etc. play a role in whether inflammation is being quelled or promoted.
Along with 19 years of clinical experience in Chiropractic, here is what I’ve done additionally and how it guides my work:
100% food-focused approach to nutrition. The therapeutic application of whole foods to create completely holistic nutrition programs. Not specific to any one dietary approach, but rather a program that combines science, evidence-based nutrition and traditional food methods to create healthy meals, recipes and education to address specific dietary needs and conditions.
Functional medicine is a method of addressing underlying dysfunction based on the understanding that each person is truly unique. Functional Medicine identifies the underlying causes of dysfunction by combining careful listening with laboratory testing to arrive at a conclusion, then utilizing the latest research, diet, supplements and other lifestyle factors to restore balance in the body.
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