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How Did I Get Here? – An Introduction

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

I didn't take a traditional path to a career as a Registered Dietitian (RD). I didn’t go to college right out of high school planning to pursue dietetics. As a former division 1 athlete, exercise science or nutrition seemed like an obvious choice for many of my fellow athletes. I tend to move away from the crowds to do my own thing. Find the gem, the overlooked, the underdog. Maybe because I often feel overlooked too and have to do something unique to stand out. I certainly felt overlooked as a patient.

How did I get here? I was a healthy, competitive volleyball player and accomplished student in my early 20s who became a wife, a mom, a coach, a loose-leaf tea blender and director of operations, a missionary, a volunteer for non-profit organizations, an ambassador for justice. My health seemed to spiral downwards over the course of a decade despite my attempts at a healthy lifestyle.

With multiple autoimmune diseases, gut and malabsorption issues, chronic infections, hormone imbalances, sleep disturbances and metabolic challenges, the layers seemed endless. Allergists, GI specialists, ER physicians, OB/GYNs…they either scratched their heads or handed me medication with very little attempt to relate to my story or hear what my goals were for my health. I lost an organ in the process, only to end up back where I started two years later, severely underweight and malnourished while raising two young children. I used to be thriving, so what changed that I no longer was and how do I get back to healthy? What caused this?

Me holding my second son in 2017, underweight and malnourished.

In 2016, a functional medicine practitioner I was seeing when chronic fatigue and concerns with infertility were at the forefront suggested we look into my genetics. A simple cheek swab later and the “Aha!” moment came. Some of my B-vitamin and methylation SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) jumped off the page and started to put the pieces together in my mind. I thought to myself, “Why aren’t more people doing this kind of testing?!” It seems to take out some of the guesswork to point us in the right direction, and that direction can frequently be confirmed with lab work.

From that first taste of nutrigenomics, I poured myself into studying the medical literature on my own and following the pioneers and experts in the field while pursuing a career that would complement its practice. The science is there, we just need to know our biochemistry well in order to find the genetic hiccups in our pathways that manifest in disease. The solution to your ailing health is often rooted in your genetics. By adjusting the nutritional terrain and environment you live in, we can improve your gene expression to become fruitful, optimizing your health and performance.

Me in a much healthier state carrying my boys in 2020.

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