Good question. Not a lot of people are aware of what a Functional Nutritionist is or how we help people. It’s a relatively new term for nutrition and nutritionists as well as functional medicine practitioners and it is gaining traction in the health and wellness world. Many people are finding positive results for their health concerns or they are mixing allopathic medicine (conventional medicine) with holistic or functional medicine and having positive results!

Here’s the update: I graduated from my Functional Nutrition Coaching Program in December 2018 (happy dance). I’ve added it to my Holistic Nutrition diploma and I’m incorporating it into my bizz in 2019! I consider myself a Functional and Holistic Nutritionist 🙂

I worked on my functional nutrition course on the side of work and other stuff for over a year so I am pumped to have graduated with honours and wrap up that chapter. (No more schooling for a little bit…. I promised myself lol!)

So you may be wondering: Jill what the heck is a functional nutritionist anyway? And how can it help me?

Today I am going to fill you in on exactly that .. let’s roll

Functional Nutrition

Looks upstream:

Just like Naturopathy and Functional Medicine. We try to find what isn’t functioning right in the body and what is, and we try to look upstream and find root cause. (Functional + Holistic Nutritionists do not diagnose disease though! You’ve got to work with your MD or ND for that). Health is multi layered and multi factorial, so when the body is out of balance eg. hormonal issues, we want to dig deep, get a full health assessment and health picture, review the appropriate tests and help bring the body back into balance using whole foods, lifestyle tweaks and smart supplementation.

Works closely with clients in a partnership:

As a Functional Nutritionist we help to guide and expedite our client’s journey to reaching their health and wellness goals and the client is expected to take a self motivated and empowered approach to their health as well. When this happens, magic can happen!

Isn’t a one size fits all approach:

Every BODY is uniquely different. From a person’s biochemistry, genetics, physical fitness, mental and emotional health to stress levels and dietary habits – all of these factors are taken into account. There is no ONE perfect diet and workout regimen for everybody and this is why the Functional approach makes sense. It takes a personalized holistic approach.

We find and customize a diet and lifestyle that works for each client’s unique needs so they can thrive and feel their best. (So.. no I am not going to make you go vegan, or be on a strict paleo diet lol! What works for one person may not work for another) Note: I will push plantiful eating all day long err day though 😉

functional testing

Gets nerdy with science:

Oh don’t get me started on nerding out with science. I love getting nerdy! Functional Nutrition has many layers to it. You can be way down the rabbit hole of science info or you can be dipping your toes in, but either way some science is always involved. I’m currently learning (and loving) the GI MAP test which can show how a client’s gut health is looking, as well as the DUTCH test which is a gold standard of hormone testing.

I am in the midst of incorporating more practical lab tests that my clients can take independently (at home), which can help to guide their wellness plan. Right now my 1 on 1 coaching program (the Wildly Well Program) includes a free hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) which can tell me a lot about your health/wellness profile and helps guide your program 🙂

Getting nerdy with science is extremely interesting and can really help a client to dig deep and uncover areas that need support!

It’s practical:

Health transformation is not a quick fix or overnight job. It’s also not a band aid approach. It’s not a “start eating clean on Monday… start your 2 week cleanse/diet program.” This is not how I roll!

Change and healing takes time. My approach is to help my clients make gradual small tweaks to habits and routine and gradually these changes can snowball and after a few months, my clients have made drastic changes and feel the benefits without it feeling completely overwhelming. It has become part of their lifestyle. We don’t expect perfection. You do NOT have to spend hours upon hours at the gym or in the kitchen preparing food. Healthy living can be simple and part of your lifestyle!

I want healthy eating, stress management and healthy living to be part of your lifestyle too 🙂

And that’s it! That is a brief snapshot of what a functional nutritionist is in a nutshell! I probably missed some points, but I think you get the idea…

So what's a functional nutritionist anyway?

Moving forward I will incorporating more functional nutrition and blend it with my holistic nutrition education. My 1 on 1 program is evolving and I will be incorporating more lab test reading and lab testing to add to my clients wellness programs.

If you are looking for some support and guidance on your health journey and you’d like to learn more – book a free discovery call HERE and we can chat about you, where you’re at, where you’d like to be and how I may be able to help.

PS: I’ve got a wicked group program coming up for women who want more energy and less stress. Stay tuned for that, and if all goes as planned it will be launching this Summer 🙂

Cheers to a healthy as heck 2019,