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Episode 210: What Exactly IS 'Functional Nutrition'??

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Do you ever feel like your body has turned against you?

I know I have. 

Through hypothyroidism, hashimotos, acne, leaky gut, SIBO, h pylori, mold, candida, and hair loss, my own health journey has felt like a torturous game of wack-a-mole. As soon as one symptom drops off another pops up, and it's been hard not to resent my body for it. 

But if there's one thing I've learned as a functional nutrition practitioner and patient it's this: symptoms, be they fatigue, brain fog, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, skin issues, mood issues, sleep issues, PMS, migraines, or stubborn weight are nothing more than your body’s only way of saying one thing… ‘HELP’. 

That realization is what drew me to functional nutrition coaching. I wanted to help people stop battling their bodies and understand them instead. 

I wanted to give people an avenue of healing that wasn't just sticking a bandaid on the problem. 

I wanted to give people the tools to not just address surface-level symptoms, but help their body function better. Because if we can improve the way your body works at a cellular level, miracles can happen regardless of what official diagnosis, condition, or stubborn symptoms you may have. 

And at the end of the day that's what functional nutrition is really about. Getting under the hood and supporting your body as a whole. 

But I know that can still feel a bit broad and esoteric. And if you're interested in investing in functional nutrition coaching, you're going to want to have a firmer idea of what you're getting yourself into. 

Hence: today's podcast. 

I'm going to break down some terminology and key pillars of functional nutrition coaching so you walk away knowing if it's the right next step for you. 

If it is, holla at ya girl - just click here to book your free consultation!

Upstream vs downstream:

When we work together you’ll hear me talk about upstream dysfunction versus downstream symptoms/diagnosis. Many health professionals will look at what symptoms/diagnosis you have and get to work prescribing pills to mask your discomfort. 

But my question is, what happened in the body that led to those symptoms in the first place? 

They didn’t just appear out of nowhere (even though it sometimes seems that way)... they’re a downstream effect of an upstream problem, so we have to travel upstream if we want to fix it.

Think about symptoms like weeds in your garden. You can cut them down time and time again, but until you pull them up by their roots they’ll just keep coming back with a vengeance. 

Metabolic Chaos

A lot of people think about the body in a very linear fashion: x problem leads to y effect. But the body isn’t a chain of events, it’s a web wherein dysfunction in one area can both cause and be caused by dysfunction in another area. This is metabolic chaos.

For example, if your tests show you have high cortisol (our main stress hormone) and pathogenic overgrowth in the gut, is the overgrowth causing the stress? Or did the stress hinder your immune system making the overgrowth possible? We’ll never know. And that’s OK! 

This is why we address the body as a whole. We believe that when we remove as many stressors as we can from the body, we tap into its innate healing ability allowing it to unravel the complex web on its own

The body knows best, we just have to get out of its way.

HIDDEN Stressors

Speaking of removing stressors from the body, it’s important to note that ‘stress’ in functional nutrition doesn’t just refer to emotional stress. It refers to anything that causes a loss of health or function.

And while we will look at mental/emotional stress and its impact on your goals, we’ll also use labs to identify HIDDEN stressors in 6 key areas: Hormones, Immune, Digestion, Detoxification, Energy production, and the Nervous system.

When we get all of these systems back online and working together, that’s where healing can happen and your health can flourish! 

The Process of Functional Nutrition Coaching

So how does this all come together when actually working 1:1 with a coach?

Step 1: A consultation conversation where I'll ask you questions about your goals, struggles, habits, and health history to get an idea of how I can best support you since nutrition coaching is a very individualized journey. Click here to book yours!

Step 2: Fill out a metabolic chaos scorecard. This is a rating system for every symptom you can think of and gives me an idea of which systems in your body are struggling the most. Your results will determine the labs I recommend. 

Step 3: Functional labs. Since functional nutrition coaching is all about getting as close to the root cause as possible and stopping the cycle of trial-and-error, we always want to test, not guess. The labs I offer will identify those HIDDEN stressors we talked about and will guide the protocol I put together for you. 

Step 4: Your customized DRESS protocol. For every client I create a DRESS protocol which stands for Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress management, and Supplementation. What I put in your protocol will depend on your metabolic chaos scorecard, your personal preferences and lifestyle, and the results of your labs. (For example, if we find pathogens in your gut we'll have to do an eradication protocol. Or if we find you're in full adrenal exhaustion we'll do an adrenal re-building plan.) This way we're leaving no stone unturned when it comes to giving your body exactly what it needs to get better. 

Step 5: Making adjustments. This is where coaching calls come in. Every week or every other week I check in on the progress of your symptoms, your level of adherence to your plan, and answer any questions you have from the week prior.

We dig into the nitty gritty space where plan meets life. If a habit we set isn't working for you we find a way to tweak it, break it down, or swap it altogether to make sure you're continually seeing progress without feeling like your world has been turned upside down.

Step 6: The extra goodies! In addition to your labs, plan, and coaching calls I also grant access to my entire library of nutrition trainings covering every health-related topic you can think of: gut health, hormone health, cravings, stress eating, habit change, all-or-nothing mindset, sleep, motivation, time management (because one of the biggest barriers to habit change is lack of time), binge eating, meal prep, portion control, and more!

You get countless recipes, pdf's, and resources to guide you through every step of the program. 

AND you get unlimited messenger support which is basically like having a coach in your pocket! So if you have a question, need accountability, are going to a restaurant and want help navigating the menu, want to celebrate a win, or talk through a challenge, I'm right there for you! 

Intrigued by the possibilities of reclaiming your body's harmony and well-being through functional nutrition coaching?

Picture a life where your body's whispers of distress are met with understanding and effective solutions.

Whether you're struggling with fatigue, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, or persistent discomfort, I'm here to offer you a holistic path forward.

If this resonates with you, I invite you to seize the moment and click here to book a free consultation with me. Your body is ready for a fresh start – are you?


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The information shared in this blog and podcast are intended for informational purposes only. They are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any health conditions and you should always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.


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