Why did you decide nutrition was the right direction for you?
Since childhood growing up in Wisconsin, I have always been interested in health especially in the food arena. My mother was a great role model as she focused on health first yet allowed moderation in most cases. I didn’t really decide nutrition was the right direction for me. It’s in me. I feel it is an innate gift for me to share.
What was your education/training path?
As a teenager, I hadn’t considered a health field as a career and instead chose to major in computational math as I enjoyed problem-solving and it challenged my mind. I furthered my education with a master’s in business while I worked in a tech company for many years. Although the corporate life allowed for much personal and professional growth, there came a time in 2007 when I felt incomplete with a very strong urge to follow my passion around health. And once I pursued that passion, I’ve never looked back. After starting my own business, I’ve taken some nutrition and medicinal herb certifications as well as plant-based culinary arts. I worked as a raw food chef in a holistic cancer center in Mesa Arizona and further honed my skills. Today I eagerly absorb the latest research and trends in health especially in the food arena.
In your training, what are some things that really shocked you or changed your view? Misconceptions that you realized you had?
The most eye-opening moment in my training happened to be with a personal health challenge (no surprise). When I eliminated gluten from my diet and my pollen allergies and joint inflammation vanished I realized to what extent food had an impact on our immune system and overall health. I never experienced digestive symptoms with gluten but it affected me at a deeper level. And that’s how food works on our whole system. Finding food sensitivities is an important aspect with my clientele as huge health shifts often take place.
As information and research has changed over the years, what have you changed when dealing with your clients?
As more and more research reveals the truth behind our health and the food we eat, like microbiome in the gut for example, I take it all in and adjust lessons and information as necessary. My teachings are rarely static as they ebb and flow with each client and new information. The problem-solving aspect of customized consultations is where I thrive. In many cases it is my client’s experiences that teach me new information rather than studies.
In your opinion, pros and cons of a Keto diet?
I try to keep a common-sense mindset with diet and nutrition. The Keto diet has beneficial aspects no doubt. The overload of sugar and simple carbohydrates in most diets today are affecting health on so many levels including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, IBS, neurological issues and so much more. Removing much of the sugar and simple carbs in the Keto diet is enough to bring me on board and support those following this diet. Excess body weight plagues our vitality and the concept of burning more body fat (rather than carbs), just makes sense.
The cons of the Keto diet is that it can be strict to keep the body in ketosis. If diets are too strict it’s easy to fall off the wagon and throw your hands up in defeat. I like the concepts of reducing sugar/carbs the most about this diet and that alone will reduce excess body fat. The inflexibility of the diet may prove challenging for some.
Bulletproof coffee – Beneficial or just a fad?
Bulletproof coffee which adds a fat component slows the effects of the stimulants which makes perfect sense to me. Whenever we can slow the absorption of a stimulant, the effects of that stimulant won’t be so extreme, and you will benefit from it for a longer period of time. The same concept applies to the stimulant of sugar. If you drink fruit juice, that sugar enters quickly into your blood stream spiking blood sugar. If you eat whole fruit on the other hand, that fiber will slow the absorption of the sugar. Even better, eating fat like almond butter with an apple will slow the absorption even more. If you are a coffee drinker, yes to adding fat like coconut oil. A tip my husband discovered is to add the coconut oil to your cup as the coffee drips into it (and cacao if that is your thing). This will keep the oil from floating at the top of the cup.
Bone broth – does it really have magical gut healing powers?
The abundance of processed foods has wreaked havoc on our gut lining often creating leaky gut in individuals. This can cause serious health consequences as food particles and toxins can easily enter your blood stream causing immune response and often food allergies.
I do believe that bone broth is healing to the gut lining. But store-bought may have its downsides. With pasteurization laws, it may be difficult to get all the healing components in many of these processed foods. I suggest making your own bone broth. Visit a butcher for some bones (grass-fed beef) and simmer in a crock pot 24-48 hours.
How do things differ when working with your clients who don’t exercises vs exercise occasionally vs. high level athlete?
The degree to what my clients exercise will impact the amount of food they eat, potentially the frequency, and the ratios of carb, fat and protein. But there are other variables as well. If heart disease is a vulnerability, the ratio of fat may go down slightly and ensuring quality of fat choices (less animal fat, more plant-based). In addition, blood type can affect how we metabolize proteins which determine the type of protein one consumes. Just consuming more protein powder doesn’t always do the trick. In fact, I see more people over-consuming protein which puts extra strain on the body. Customizing to each client to their own vulnerabilities, lifestyle, blood types, food sensitivities, and how much they exercise is key to success.
What supplements do you suggest for athletes (if any) and why?
My target market is not athletes, but I will comment on supplementation in general. Since gut health impacts our overall well-being, I often will recommend a good probiotic although I prefer cultured and fermented foods to heal the gut. As research expands in this area, we may have better success with probiotic supplements reaching the colon. A good quality multi-vitamin is another insurance item to fill in any gaps not met with one’s diet. There are also common deficiencies that I recommend getting tested and supplementing as necessary. These include magnesium, vitamin B12 and D3. And I personally recommend keeping a good vitamin C with bioflavonoids on hand to keep the immune system strong. You can easily take more when feeling under the weather. Instead of taking antibiotics, that has been my go-to vitamin from sinus infection to tonsillitis. People underestimate its power.
Want to find out more. You can contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her online at www.truebalancewellness.com