I've been working in holistic health for the past 10 years.
What keeps you engaged in your work?
When I finally did go back to college to finish my undergraduate degree, I went back for nutrition and have been studying the effects of food and diet on health for the past 7 or 8 years. Nutrition keeps me engaged for a number of very personal reasons, but also in a very satisfyingly cerebral way too. It's such a new science that we are learning something unique about food every day - which is why one day saturated fat causes heart disease and then the next day there is no relationship at all. It's quite confusing but also humbling. It reminds me how small and insignificant we are in the universe, of how many complexities we have yet to even recognize, much less understand. It keeps me engaged and determined to understand so I keep going back for more.
What kind of clients do you like working with most?
I really enjoy reminding people how to enjoy food, which is probably not what people expect from a health coach or nutritionist. New clients often expect me to hand them a long list of foods they can never eat again, but in truth I loath restriction. Some of my favorite clients are women who have been dieting for years without getting the results they want, are hating their bodies and come to me to put them on a diet to lose weight. Instead, I teach them about the pleasure of planning, preparing, and enjoying (clean, whole) food, because putting intention and love into it makes it oh so satisfying it leaves no room for junk (food or thoughts/beliefs). It's a super simple approach to a super complicated issue, but I love showing women how to love food...and reap the benefits of a healthy relationship with it.
What are you currently working on in your professional life?
I am currently completing my first year of graduate school. I'm working on a Masters in human nutrition and functional medicine at the University of Western States in Portland, OR. It's awesome.
What is your favorite vegetable?
My dedication to loving one vegetable at a time is quite fickle. I seem to devote a year at a time to a single vegetable, then ditch it for love of another the next year. There was a year of the beet, followed by a year of the radish, followed by a year of the cauliflower. Currently, sweet potatoes are my favorite vegetable. I make sweet potato oven "fries" with coconut oil at least once a week and serve them with a generous scoop of mayonnaise. Oh man, are they delicious!
How do you celebrate living in your body?
Lately I've been really enjoying kettlebells. I was never very interested in physical activity - especially not the kind that is actually challenging - so it really surprises me how much I love it. I also practice yoga, which is something I started doing in high school to help me cope and it just stuck - I've been practicing for about 15 years now.
What do you look for in a health care practitioner?
I look for someone who can make healing a lighter burden to bear. I guess that requires compassion, an attentive ear, respect, and humility to recognize me as the expert of my body.
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