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Evolution of Nutrition Practice: Transformative Insights from Clinical to Functional Dietitian

What is Functional Nutrition and how can it help? When I first heard the term "Functional Foods" I was quite intrigued. At the time, I was working in my 25th year as a Clinical Dietitian at our local cancer center. I came across a list of 'functional foods' for cancer survivorship. So I began to research and this led me to discovering the Integrative Functional Nutrition Academy. Within months I began training and embarked on a whole new journey of nutrition. One that I could not have imagined would lead to such a profound transformation in my life, both personally and professionally.

Each and every lesson in Integrative Functional Nutrition I found myself saying repeatedly "this can really help people". If you are intrigued too, let me share with you my top transformative insights.

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition". Thomas Edison

Count Plants, Not Calories

Long gone are the days of counting calories because let's be real, when it comes to nutrition not all calories are created equally. In my new nutrition paradigm, I count plants, not calories. And it is not just about quantity but quality with variety and colour.

What is the ideal count? Personally I aim for a daily minimum of 8 and ideal of 12 servings a day. One of my most significant personal changes is now I use different herbs, spices and herbal teas as added doses of nutrition that I never used for nutritional benefit before. I am constantly looking for creative ways to add plants to my daily nutrition.

Embrace the Healing Properties of Food

I first fell in love with nutrition in my teenage years with a love of studying plant medicines, herbal remedies and nutritional prescriptions for healing. This is led me to my degree and professional career in clinical nutrition that emphasized medical based nutrition therapies.

In Integrative Functional Nutrition, I have discovered nutrition in a 'whole new and healing way'.

In essence, I have returned to why I fell in love with nutrition in the first place. I love applying the fundamental healing properties of food for my clients and helping them achieve amazing health and healing just by changing their daily nutrition habits.

You Can Unlock The Body's True Healing Potential

“The greatest wealth is health.” Virgil

The body has an incredible ability to heal itself, we just need to give it what it needs. This has been on of the more significant insights for me professionally. In my clinical nutrition world, my work with diseases processes was limited to a patient's hospital stay.

In my functional nutrition world, I bear witness that body's amazing healing potential. I have seen individuals neglect the needs of the body for decades and in a matter of months begin to restore the systems to optimal function. We can live with energy, vitality and an abundance of health.

There Is No One Size Fits all Diet

Functional Nutrition has taught me a highly personalized approach to providing nutrition care. In the clinical nutrition, just as there is a pill for every ill, there is a diet for every disease.

In functional nutrition, the belief is that one imbalance in the body may lead to many conditions and one condition in the body may lead to many imbalances.

A personalized nutrition approach means understanding the complex interplay of diet, lifestyle and environment that addresses the root cause of system imbalances and conditions. My current professional approach involves creating individualized plans based on this comprehensive understanding of each client's specific needs, addressing the root cause and optimizing functioning of body systems to provide sustainable solutions to health and healing.

Detoxification Matters & It's Not What You Think It Is

The one single area of nutrition that I have newly discovered is nutritional detoxification. It astounds me that in my 10+ years of academic nutrition I have never come across this nutrient dependant process.

When I used to think of detoxification I thought of strange concoctions, juicing, restrictive diets and cleanses.

I had no idea that detoxification is a very critical process in the body which depends heavily on powerful nutrients like antioxidants, sulfur, B vitamins and certain amino acids. This has been a huge game changer for me. Detoxification is about restoring key vital nutrients the body needs to eliminate accumulated waste so that you can activate a state of healing and repair within. It is not just nutrition but a lifestyle as the art and science of holistic health.

When It Come to Weight Loss: Address the Stress

When you think of working with a Dietitian, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

To lose weight, right ? This is what I found when I first started in private practice. Nearly every client wanted me to help them lose weight. And quite honestly, I was daunted by this task. I laughed at myself because I would say "let me help someone with stage four pancreatic cancer, no problem, but a relatively healthy women who wants to lose ten pounds, I had no idea what to do". So I have to dive deep into the science of weight loss in order to help my clients.

The number one thing I learned about sustainable weight loss is: you have to address the state of the nervous system. If someone is in a state of chronic stress, or fight or flight, the body will not easily release it's stored fuel. This is why most crazy fad diet plans only bring fleeting results. The secret to lasting weight loss and the foundation of my program is activating a state of healing and repair within.

How Has Functional Nutrition Transformed My Life

Embracing functional nutrition has been completely transformative for me. Adopting a whole foods nutrition diet and integrating a detoxification lifestyle has brought me boundless energy, vitality and a deeper purpose for honouring heightened health in my daily living. This transformation definitely did not happen over night, it has been a journey. This new lifestyle has been a driving force in my professional life, as I say I have learned about nutrition in a 'whole new and healing way' that I believe can really help people. I have become a passionate advocate for holistic health and healing, combining my trainings in functional nutrition and meditation and mindfulness. The personalized health plans I create for my clients healing herbs, spices and functional foods as well as mind-body practices. It is the foundation of what I call 'mind-body nourishment' and the three pillars of my healing approach : nourish, with food as medicine, meditate, with mind as medicine and connect, with purpose as medicine.

If you want to learn more about how functional nutrition can help you, schedule a free 15 minute call with me and let's connect.


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