The integration of functional nutrition with your massage, acupuncture, or chiropractic practice satisfies the whole-body approach and belief that our body systems are complex and interdependent. The whole-body approach — or functional medicine — does not divide the body into multiple systems, but rather looks for “the root cause of a collection of symptoms.” Integrating holistic practices can greatly benefit your clients and patients on their journeys toward wellness.
If you believe that whole, real, and nutrient-dense foods are medicine to the body and you have a passion for teaching others how to live healthy and active lives, then becoming a nutritionist may be the best career path for you. If so, it’s important to understand what nutrition programs offer and what things you should consider prior to applying.
Holistic nutrition works with the interplay between science, nutrition, and a person’s health. Nutrients from food should be our body’s fuel and first line of defense, as the quality of our food directly corresponds to our quality of life. Imbalances in one area will cause a disturbance in another area, therefore, using a whole-body approach is necessary for achieving balance, health, and longevity.
The goal is to bring balance to the mind, body, and spirit through whole foods, activity, and supplementation. A whole-body holistic approach respects that the human body is “one cohesive unit of complex systems that work in harmony when provided the necessary components for optimal health.”
Holistic nutritionists seek to bring health and vitality to people’s lives by balancing the body, mind, and spirit — a whole health approach. The focus is on improvement in health through consistent healthy eating on a daily basis and healthy and mindful living. Recommendations are made based on the uniqueness of each individual, particularly the differences in biochemical makeup and personal heritage.
Dr. Jerome Craig teaches in the Functional Nutrition program.
Manda Draper is a nutritionist who graduated from the Masters of Science in Nutrition program at the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM). Manda is the coordinator for the Food as Medicine Institute. She teaches the FAME series, a 12-week, community based, cooking, and nutrition course. Prior to completing her masters degree, Manda served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. As a Food Security volunteer she created a nutrition and feeding program for mothers with malnourished children. Manda’s passion is to encourage the growth and wellness of local communities through cooking and nutrition education. Manda will be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from April- September while maintaining an entirely whole foods based diet.
Heather Pratt is a natural born foodie with a passion for the medicinal effects of food. She is a Master Nutrition Therapist and is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and has been helping people to improve their health with nutrition for the past 10 years. She works for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage as a Nutrition Writer and regular contributor to the Natural Grocers Health Hotline Magazine, where she educates staff and customers alike on how to use food and supplements to enhance their health. She also teaches nutrition classes to the public and offers individual nutrition counseling.
Susan Barendregt is a Functional Nutritionist and is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition. She has also earned a degree in Statistics and a certificate in Massage Therapy. Susan has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals since 2012. She has been in private practice for a decade and currently maintains a virtual practice which allows her to live the mobile lifestyle she enjoys. Susan presents nutritional education seminars for businesses and at professional conferences.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” — Hippocrates
This idea that food should be our medicine is not a new one. In fact, it is the cornerstone of a modern day nutritionist's work. The role of a nutritionist is to help prevent disease and promote good health by encouraging an active lifestyle combined with healthy eating habits.
Alan is an Irish educated paramedic with previous experience in a variety of settings in Ireland, Europe, North America and the Middle East. He is adjunct faculty with Portland Community College, faculty in the paramedic programs at Fanshawe College, London, Ontario, Canada and a Paramedic Educator with Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He is also a Prehospital Emergency Care and First Aid Program Manager with the International Committee of the Red Cross. He provides consultancy services to a number of organizations worldwide on research, clinical governance and educational matters. He is an editor and peer-reviewer for several publications including the Irish Journal of Paramedicine, and has affiliations with several organizations around the world as a paramedic researcher.
Alan joins the Functional Nutrition instructor team to bring his expertise of research to the program. As a functional nutritionist, it is vitally important to discern between science-based and non science-based research. Alan has a background in teaching paramedics, and for the Functional Nutrition program he teaches the Research and Evidence-Based Practice for Nutritional Therapy course in Term 1.
Alan also teaches in the Foundations of Clinical Research program in the modules Good Clinical Practice and Overview of Study Design.