Hi! My name is Olivia and I am a functional nutritionist with a passion for healing holistically through food as medicine, mental/emotional awareness, and addressing root causes! Through my education at the Nutritional Therapy Association and my own health journey I have learned so much about the different facets of health and I can't wait to share with others and help them heal!
In our day and age of constant information, it can get really hard to understand what the basics of good nutrition are. We hear millions of different viewpoints and opinions on what the best diet is, what new supplement we should be taking, and what “healthy” really means. I am here to let you
know it doesn’t need to be this complicated. Nourishing your body can be simple, intuitive and fun by learning some of the basics of functional nutrition.
What is functional nutrition?
Functional nutrition is an approach to nutrition centered on the idea that food should be nutrient dense, real, and bio-individual. Everyone’s bodies may need different nutrients depending on your makeup and where you are in life. For example, a pregnant woman who is trying to feed her growing baby may need different nutrients/foods than a college male athlete who is doing vigorous conditioning daily. That is what bio-individuality is, feeding your body for YOU!
The easiest place to start is by understanding that our body needs whole foods rather than
processed foods. Whole foods are in their natural form, meaning they haven’t been altered. An example of whole foods are things like: kale, berries, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, nuts, etc. Processed foods are changed from their natural form. This can mean adding chemicals (yuck!) or extracting nutrients. Examples of processed foods would be things like goldfish, loafs of bread, condiments/sauces, macaroni, candy, chips, etc. Once you have this simple principle down, you can start being more mindful of what is in your pantry/fridge/grocery cart. Evaluate the amount of processed vs whole foods you are consuming on a daily basis and try to make a conscious effort to have whole foods take center stage. Whole foods are jam packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and all things that our bodies thrive off of.
The next basic principle is bio-individuality. How do you find what works for your body?
Mindfulness, being in tune with yourself, and trial and error. Some people’s bodies don’t love dairy, others don’t love gluten because it triggers inflammation, but some people can tolerate both. Paying attention to how you feel 30 min-2 hours post meal can help you understand what works for your body. Did you have stomach cramps, acid reflux, or digestive issues after your meal? Or on the flip side did you feel energized, calm and full after your meal? The latter would mean the food you’re eating is serving your body. If your food isn’t making you feel good it’s an amazing cue from your body that your bio-individuality may not need that food right now.
Takeaways: two simple places to start are to evaluate if you are eating primarily whole foods or processed foods and then get more in tune with your body by paying attention to how you feel with your current diet. Our bodies will give us amazing cues to let us know what we need more or less of.
Hope this is a great starting point,