Hi, I’m Christa. I’m a nutritional therapy practitioner and massage therapist, and I’m really ridiculously passionate about eating good food.
Other hobbies include sleeping, dancing, singing very loudly in my car, hanging out with my awesome husband, traveling, beach-ing, and wishing I had a dog.
I wasn’t always interested in being healthy.
I definitely grew up eating cocoa puffs and hostess cupcakes, and I didn’t think much of it. I also had a lot of health issues, but I didn’t think much of those either.
By the time I was a senior in high school I had decided to be a vegetarian, mostly for fear of becoming fat. I ate lots of soy products and low-fat-heart-healthy-whole-grains, and thought I was doing myself a favor. I felt terrible all the time. I barely had the energy to make it through my classes, my skin was constantly breaking out in cystic acne and bouts of eczema, and I would regularly pass out when my blood sugar dropped too low. Looking back, I realized I was also dealing with insomnia and depression, but so were a lot of my friends, so I kind of thought it was normal.
I was very much entrenched in the western medicine paradigm, so naturally I went to the doctor. For my skin, I was offered birth control. For my eczema, I was offered topical steroids. For my hypoglycemia, my doctor handed me a picture of the food pyramid and encouraged me to eat more whole grains. I wasn’t getting better, but I didn’t know what else to do.
It wasn’t until I went to college to pursue my melodramatic dream of being a professional dancer/singer/actress/waitress that I began to recognize that I had a real problem. I felt like there was a brick in my stomach all the time. It hurt to eat. It hurt not to eat. I didn’t have the same stamina that my classmates had, and the theatre program I was in was pretty competitive, so not feeling like I could keep up was a big problem.
Luckily my sister was at NCNM studying to be a naturopathic doctor at the time, and when she heard about what I was dealing with, she suggested that I should visit her and talk with her ND. He ran some tests and gently talked me through some diet and lifestyle changes I needed to make. First and foremost: I needed to ditch the wheat. (There were plenty of other changes I needed to make, but… baby steps.)
That was the first time I was exposed to the idea that wheat is highly inflammatory, and meat is actually important. I argued and argued, “but the FOOD PYRAMID SAYS….” until I decided that I didn’t have anything to lose. I was sick of being sick, and desperate for something to make me feel better. I went through my dorm room and threw out all the gluten-containing foods. (Mind you, this was back in 2005 when ‘gluten free’ wasn’t a thing yet… My roommates looked at me like I was a crazy person.)
It was really, really, really difficult at first–especially as a college student with a meal plan. I found myself doing well for a few days, and then binging on cookies from the cafeteria until that familiar ache in my stomach set in. But once I finally committed to it, it changed everything for me.
I had forgotten what it felt like to feel good!
The first thing I noticed after eliminating gluten from my diet was a dramatic increase in my energy levels. I no longer felt fatigued at school. My stomach suddenly felt more comfortable in my body. After a week or two, I noticed that my eczema was clearing up on its own. After a month or so, my face was slimmer, my clothes fit better, and my family and friends commented on how I seemed to be in better spirits. I had so much more energy to invest in school, work, and relationships… It was pretty mind altering. Wheat had been touted as a health food by all of my doctors and teachers, and yet it was wreaking havoc on my body.
My sister was super patient with me as I asked her every question ever. She helped me to understand how and why my body reacted the way it did, and what I could do to improve further. She got me started with some awesome books that I obsessively devoured. This small diet change had such a dramatic effect on me that I developed a nearly insatiable interest in natural health and nutrition.
I have since given up on the theatre world in pursuit of holistic health, and I love every minute of it. (Don’t worry, I still sing in the car. Nobody is missing out.)
I don’t want this story to make it sound like I just removed gluten from my diet and then everything was perfect. I have gone through many, many dietary changes and healing modalities in an attempt to kick my deeper, more stubborn health issues. Some of them have been so challenging that the only way I can make sense of them is to help others with the information I’ve learned. I still have some lingering health issues that motivate me to keep my lifestyle clean and to keep learning about the human body, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to use what I’ve learned to help people.
So, I started a health website.
As someone who has gotten really sick on a “Standard American Diet”, I can attest that there is a lot of misinformation floating around our food system. My goal is to help clear it up so that YOU can take charge of your own health.
This website isn’t about telling you what to do. It’s not about being a food snob, or making you feel guilty for eating x, y, or z. It’s about empowering you to make informed decisions about your own health so that you can freely consume whatever you choose while maintaining a solid understanding of what foods will help you achieve your health goals.
And so That Nutrition Blog was born. I hope you will find lots and lots of interesting and helpful information here. :)
Love and Tacos,
P.S. I’m a nutritional therapist, not a doctor. Please don’t mistake this blog for professional medical advice. If you have any serious health stuff going on, seek out an actual doctor who can help you decide what’s best for your body. If you’re on a prescription medication, don’t stop it or start any new protocols without talking to your doc first. K, thanks!