Food (and health) Philosophy
In a nutshell, I’m a data-driven nutritionist and health coach that also believes in the power of your body’s ability to heal and communicate its needs to you. I know how pivotal gut health can be to all other facets of our life, but also understand how important the full package is and incorporate mental health, movement, and fulfilling pursuits and relationships into our overall approach to better health.
I believe in identifying and resolving root cause issues to alleviate not only current symptoms but the larger underlying mechanisms that cause those symptoms.
In terms of food, not only should it be healing, it should taste wonderful to you and your family and be something that you can realistically incorporate into your daily rituals. There might be more extreme food regimens and restrictions during a time of healing, but in the long term, I want you to feel nourished and for your taste buds to be happy every day. Real food is the key to this approach.
Merging of all available knowledge
I believe in the importance of modern science and the wisdom of ancient knowledge. I think too often we take things as extremes, they are one or the other, but not both. It’s either science or it’s “woo,” not to be trusted.
I am a microbiologist, with 15 years of experience in western medicine administration with large healthcare networks, and I am pursuing a master’s degree in evidence-based integrative nutrition. I geek out on new nutrition research and am always signing up for courses with the latest research and testing out the latest diagnostics.
I’m also a yogi who’s found healing through acupuncture and massage and ancient practices of many indigenous cultures. I know my family, friends, and clients have experiences that don’t always match with the baseline scientific recommendation.
I believe in the body’s innate ability to heal itself. I believe in the language of the gut and that if we listen, our body knows what to do and will tell us.
I believe in data-driven approaches were possible. I believe in knowing all the science so we can make the best recommendations based on what has clinically worked for others. But I also know that every human is biologically unique and there are not one-size-fits-all solutions.
Basically, I’m a hippie scientist who loves all things healing and gut health and wants to do everything can to make you feel fantastic and full of life.
Real Food Heals. Gut Health is Essential.
My overall philosophy grows and matures the more I learn. I believe that is truly important for any professional in a fast-growing space. We know what we know today. And we do the best we can with what we know.
20 years ago, people didn’t talk about the microbiome. 10 years ago, people didn’t talk about celiac and 5 years ago people didn’t talk about gluten intolerance.
We didn’t talk about them because science hadn’t discovered them yet.
The current Eat Your Way Clean eating philosophy
My food philosophy has morphed as more research and education have become available and as I have had time to experiment with different foods and how they impact my body.
Gluten and Dairy
I stay away from gluten but believe that the reason it harms me is because of the severely modified strains available that are often mixed with heavy levels of pesticides and other artificial stabilizers and preservatives.
I avoid dairy but will eat fully pastured grass-fed and grass-finished butter as well as Ghee or make an exception when traveling.
Choose Meat Wisely
Meat sourcing is incredibly important. I eat grass-fed and grass-finished beef and dairy, source pasture-raised eggs, and try to purchase organic as much as possible.
Skip the Fillers and Preservatives!
Avoid all additives. Added sugars, preservatives, flavors, and colors are harmful toxins that we don’t need to eat and don’t really add a lot of value to our foods. I avoid them and I wish more products were available without them. Clean ingredient lists!
Pay Close Attention to and Reduce Added Sugars
Avoid added sugars. The WHO recommends less than 25 grams of sugar per person per day. We eat way more than that and it’s hiding everywhere!
There are several scientific names to hide sugars, so look for the total grams of sugar. If it’s above 7, think about it before moving forward.
When making your own sweets and treats, opt for natural sugars like maple syrup, local honey, dates, bananas, and other fruits. Occasionally coconut sugar works as well.
Avoid fake sugars!
We saw what happened with Aspartame. Other sugar alternatives like xylitol haven’t had time in the market to be tested for long-term effects. We know maple syrup and honey are good for you, so let’s stick with those in moderation when possible.
Eat Your Way Clean Lessons Learned
- Eat unprocessed food
- Make things from scratch
- Ingredients matter: skip all artificial fillers and additives, avoid natural flavors and gums
- Still eat what you love, just clean it up
- Fat is good! Eat good fats like olive oil, coconut, and avocado. Skip all hydrogenated oils
- Refined sugar is pretty bad. Straight up. Reduce sugar, especially refined and artificial sugars.
- Your body knows what you need and will crave things. For me, some examples are ice cream when I’m thirsty, chocolate for magnesium, and steak for iron. Learn when to listen and when to ignore (yeast overgrowth in the stomach and stress both signal sugar cravings!)
- Seek balance and intentional eating (aka eat what you crave when you’re hungry, within reason)
- Head-to-tail eating reduces waste, makes eating more economical, and provides a wider nutritional profile. Do it!