While society tells us that any amount of overweight is harmful, the truth is that the risk to your health is lowest at a BMI of 25 (which is categorized as overweight), risks to your health don't increase until a BMI of 35 (which is Category 2 Obese), and it's only the fat around our midsection that is really dangerous. For these patients, I hold space for weight-neutral interventions where we focus on overcoming guilt about your weight, working with your body instead of against it, trusting your internal regulators, and to rediscover the joy of eating + moving in ways you enjoy + can sustain.
It's my deepest wish for you that you learn to love your body, but let's be honest - obesity is a serious medical issue + not something to sing about. When your BMI reaches 35, your risk of breathing problems, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney issues, gallbladder issues, gout, osteoarthritis, and 13 types of cancer increase dramatically.
Obesity is a complex issue that requires a thorough lifestyle intervention. With these patients, we work on effective eating patterns, hormone regulation, tweaking the home + work environment, family + social factors, cooking lessons - whatever it takes.
Insulin Resistance + Diabetes Management
Insulin is the body's primary anabolic (building) hormone + it's responsible for making sure that the nutrients you eat get into the tissues that need them to work + repair. Understanding how insulin works in relationship to the food you eat, the release of cortisol (your primary stress hormone) + how your body responds to both is the key to managing weight gain, glucose highs + lows, and reducing risks of the eye, kidney and nerve damage associated with your body's inability to use or respond to insulin properly.
Heart, Liver + Kidney Health
Newsflash: Every chemical reaction in a biological system affects every other part of the system. Put simply, while a medication may "solve" one problem, it's definitely causing a few more! One prescription eventually leads to two, which eventually leads to three, and so on... It's so common that there's a medical term for it - polypharmacy.
Let's just stop messing around with the pharmaceuticals + let's fix the root environmental causes of your discomfort + disease, shall we?
Food Sensitivities + Advanced Diagnostic Testing
Inflammation, Inflammatory Conditions + Anti-Inflammatory Diets
Using the LEAP protocol, we get to the root of your fatigue, brain fog, digestive problems, bloating, headaches, even aches + pains to not only identity + quantify your response to your unique "reactive" foods but also identify your safest foods - then we create an anti-inflammatory eating plan around those "safe" foods that you'll actually be able follow + enjoy. When the focus is on what you can have + includes foods you actually enjoy eating, you'll experience greater enthusiasm, adherence, and satisfaction with the changes.
Gut/GI + Immune Health
Inflammation, Inflammatory Conditions + Anti-Inflammatory Diets
Biologically, your intestines are the largest exposed surface of your body, the part of your body in closest contact with the environment, separated by a wall of only one single cell. It's home to 70% of your immune system, so much bacteria that scientists refer it them as a "forgotten essential organ" and even its own nervous system referred to as your body's "second brain."
The exposure of this system to harmful bacteria, yeast, viruses, parasites, antibiotics and toxins are the underlying cause of much of the chronic inflammatory disease in our society. Everything from fibromyalgia, rage, IBS, obesity, cancer, migraines, asthma, autism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, MS, depression, seizures, Crohn's, RA, and psoriasis are predominantly inflammatory or exacerbated by inflammation, and have a reliable nutritional component.
Feeding loved ones with dementia or home tube feedings
Caring for someone when they can no longer take care of themselves is extremely difficult - it requires patience, experimentation and lots of love all around. It's my honor to be of service to families as they adjust to their "new normal" and accommodate the nutritional, emotional and social needs of the whole family. For these patients, we set up relationships with equipement + formula suppliers, learn excellent food safety practices, tweak the environment to maintain the family meal structure, and find support for the caretakers.
What makes your needs unique?
For starters, your GI + immune systems make you incredibly unique. How your immune system + the trillions of bugs in your gut respond to the food you eat is as individual to you as your fingerprint. Figuring out not only what foods trigger inflammatory reactions, but what foods influence the most calming response, is the key to eliminating much of the fatigue, brain fog, digestive problems, bloating, headaches, and even aches + pains that so many of us suffer with in silence.
Your goals make you unique . Your diet will be very different depending if you're trying to lose weight or gain muscle.
Your personality makes you unique. If you're a hard-lined Type-A, then clear, fixed "food rules" may work perfect you because they reduce the amount of decisions you have to make in a day. If you're a more easy-going Type-B, then an intuitive approach may be best because it allows you the flexibility you crave (#same).
Your culture + preferences make you unique. If you don't eat meat or if you hate salads, your eating prescription should accommodate that (never let any nutritionist convince you that you MUST eat anything you don't like).
Your lifestyle makes your needs unique. The emerging science of epigenetics (how your DNA responds your environment) is proving that EVERYTHING you do affects how your cells metabolize nutrients + develop disease. Optimal nutrition is holistic + includes building nourishing habits around HOW you feed yourself, how you sleep, how you move your body, the quality of your relationships + social life, how joyful, spiritual + creative you are, and even your education, career + finances.
Personally, I fancy myself a "meat-eating vegetarian." While I eat mostly plants, I invest in high-quality meat + almost never turn down any food served to me with love. I enjoy a simple + traditional eating style that feels good + leaves room for the indulgences I love. I prioritize sleep, and prefer long walk + yoga to gym workouts. Taking care of myself this ease-full way has kept me at a healthy BMI of around 22 for the last decade. It took me years to figure what food + behaviors work best for me + my body - it's now my privilege to help you figure that out for yourself.
I've been chubby + I've been malnourished. I've been drug-addled + I've been health-OBSESSED. I KNOW what's it's like to not have a grip on, OR even to downright ignore, my body + health.
Even in the worst of it, I always knew deep in my heart that I wanted something more, something lighter. I wanted to experience my body without suffering. I wanted to experience my life from a fully functioning + high-energy body. But fuck...I had no health insurance. I had no money to eat organic or buy the supplements. And no one around me could help me because no one around me was living the lifestyle I wanted to create.
It wasn't until my desire to become the woman I imagined I could be, to glow from the inside out, feel sexy + exude confidence, and be an example to the people I loved, outweighed my fears + limitations that I was able to take radical responsibility for my own health. I haven't been perfect but I've made a lifelong + it's made all the difference.
Since then, yoga led me to nutrition, which led me to clinical dietetics, which led me here, to this place in time as a Registered Dietitian. And I feel so blessed because here is where I get to see you + meet you exactly where you are, to show you the way out of where you feel stuck, because I've put my body through hell + back, I've been where you are - and I know the simplest + most loving way through.