It was an exciting week last week. After a month of waiting, I finally got the call that I graduated! I am officially a Registered Holistic Nutritionist!
I had a feeling I would get the call that day. My husband had set up my new desk in my office the night before, and my gut just said, "Today is the day!"
Since I haven't officially celebrated yet - it was almost a week ago that I got the call - today I'm taking some "me time" to really slow down and enjoy this milestone (and recover from a go-go-go weekend!). And, boy, it feels good!
I dropped my kiddo off at my parents' house this morning. First thing, I threw a roast in the oven for later, prepped some bone broth in the Instant Pot, and tidied the house a little bit. Then I took a loooong, hot, lavender bath, with Stress-Away in the diffuser and Grey's Anatomy playing on my laptop. Then I enjoyed a restorative yoga sequence and short meditation - which always inspires me to write, so now I'm here - smelling a delicious, slow-cooking elk roast, with my feet up, excited to answer some of your Qs!
So, let's get right into it!
What does a Holistic Nutritionist actually do?
Basically, I do one-on-one consultations with people like YOU to restore and protect your health and wellness using real food, natural supplements, self-care and mindset work.
Through intake forms and chatting at the initial appointment, I learn more about you and your goals. Maybe you want to improve your energy + sleep; reduce bloating, anxiety, PMS or headaches; lose 10lbs; or maybe you have a specific diagnosis you want to work on, like diabetes, hypertension or multiple sclerosis. Maybe you're wondering what nutrients are important in pre-pregnancy, pregnancy + postpartum health, or peri-menopause + menopause.
All of these goals or concerns are individual to YOU. There's not a one-size-fits-all health plan for these concerns. Everyone is different!
And that's where I come in! It's my job to create a personal wellness protocol JUST FOR YOU, based on your history, current symptoms and state of health, how much stress you're under, what your job is, how your finances are, how busy you are, what medications you're on...
I come up with a plan unique to your needs. Like I said above, we focus on real foods, natural supplements (if necessary), self-care and mindset work.
The reason I'm called a holistic nutritionist is because I focus on the whole person. If you just want a meal plan - yes, I can still help you out! But this journey is a lot more than which foods to eat and which foods to avoid. Food is definitely one of the places we start, but we'll also take into consideration some of the other elements that affect our wellness - such as stress, toxins in the home or at work, movement/exercise, and some of the big guns, like self-love and self-compassion.
To break it down even further:
What do you mean by "real food"?
So, this is something I am truly passionate about and one of the main reasons I studied to be a Holistic Nutritionist. I believe in getting back to basics with nutrition - going back to a time before processed foods comprised such a heavy portion of our diets. Real food means all the natural, unprocessed foods that don't require an ingredient label - well-raised meats, wild fish, whole fruits and veggies, unprocessed nuts and seeds...
Everyone has unique nutritional needs, but getting back to basic foods, without a long list of chemical ingredients, is a great place to start. Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally against all processed foods - but I am a huge advocate for reading ingredient labels and choosing high quality products.
What do you mean by "natural supplements"?
Natural supplements are products with a clean ingredient list (no fillers!), that use whole ingredients when possible. These may include bottled capsules, tablets or liquids, some herbs or essential oils.
What do you mean by "self-care"?
We live in a go-go-go world filled with a multitude of different stressors coming at us at all times. It's well known that this stress is one of the the root causes to many health issues.
So what can we do to reduce it? Or how can we adapt to better handle it? Self-care can be as simple as taking a walk outside, painting a picture, or journaling in the evening.
I like to describe self-care as "tuning in" - asking yourself the question: What does my body need right now? Or: What do I need right now? And then going from there.
What do you mean by "mindset work"?
How you see yourself and what's going on in your life can have a dramatic impact on your health. Did you know that looking in the mirror and thinking negative thoughts about yourself, poking at your body parts, or saying, "I wish I was ______ (thinner, prettier, taller)" actually sets off your body's stress response and causes changes in your body's chemistry?
Developing a loving mindset can change your perception of the entire world, and improve your health and relationships with yourself and others.
What can I expect at an appointment with you?
I accept clients online, over the phone, at my home office in Grandview, or at my Dauphin office.
An initial appointment is 90 minutes. Prior to your appointment, you will be emailed intake forms to complete before we meet. In your first session, we'll go over your intake forms, which are an overview of your health history and your current goals and concerns, and questionnaires detailing your current symptoms. I will begin creating a protocol for you during this time and generally give you a print-out or email copy at the end of your appointment. This protocol will include dietary, supplemental and lifestyle recommendations unique to you. There will often be extra handouts, including recipes and additional information about your plan. Occasionally I will have to do extra research - which may mean you receive your other recommendations within the week. If you request a meal plan, which costs extra, I will get this to you within the week.
Between sessions, I am available for light support to answer short questions by text or email. If you have a list of questions, we will address them at the follow up appointment.
A follow up appointment is 30 minutes and typically occurs 2-6 weeks after your initial appointment. At the follow up, we will go over your progress and make any necessary adjustments based on your concerns.
We will focus on finding the root cause of your concerns. We often dive deep into digestive, intestinal, immune and hormonal health, or other areas, depending on your goals/concerns.
What I do not do:
I do not diagnose. I make recommendations based on diagnoses made by other practitioners (ex: depression, ulcerative colitis) or work on specific symptoms (ex: heartburn, irritability).
I do not use Canada's Food Guide. I give dietary recommendations based on your current state of health and goals.
I do not use fad diets or low calorie diets. In fact, we won't be counting calories or macronutrients at all! I will help you to find the right amount of food for you based on your current state of health, goals, activity level and how you feel.
Well, that wraps it up for now! Please let me know if I can answer any more questions for you.