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Why I'm No Longer a Conventional Dietitian

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

I've been a registered dietitian (RD) since 2003 and have worked in many settings such as clinical, community, outpatient, health coaching, and fitness. Admittedly, I always felt that the nutrition counseling I was providing was missing something. For years I searched for the missing link without any success in finding what I was looking for. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but what I was doing in my career didn't feel 100% right.

How did I find the missing link I was looking for? In the worst way possible. In 2014 I developed life-altering chronic fatigue, after being fit and athletic my whole life, and became bed-ridden. Exercising and fitness was my lifestyle, my identity, part of my social network, and my lifeboat- and in an instant, it was gone. Losing the ability to be active was one of the biggest losses of my life. I went from running and lifting weights to barely being able to walk around the block. Simply existing as a human being became exhausting. Eventually, it got so bad I had to quit my job in San Diego and move back in with my parents in the Boston area.

Like most people with an invisible chronic illness, I was told by my doctor that there was nothing wrong.

She said, "You're just getting older and need to start taking better care of yourself". WHAT!? No, I don't think so. I was 38 at the time. I quickly realized I was not going to get the answers I needed from a conventional medicine practitioner. I had to find another way. In desperate need of help, I scoured the internet looking for answers. That's when I discovered functional medicine and a whole new world opened up to me. I knew this was the missing link in my career and it was going to give me the answers to my struggle with chronic fatigue that I desperately needed. I began devouring all things functional medicine in an effort to regain my life back.

It's been a long hard road restoring my health and although I have had some great practitioners along the way I've had to become my own health detective in the process. I've done countless diets, many protocols, and many thousands of dollars of testing to help restore my health from the ground up. While I was trying to pull myself out of my health crisis I got certified as a functional medicine nutrition specialist and graduated summa cum laude with a master's degree in nutrition and functional medicine. Getting this much education is very difficult when you have no energy. Sometimes I was too tired to sit up and I had to lay in bed and dictate my papers using my phone. Sometimes I had to skip a semester because I couldn't even do that.

Part of my drive in learning everything I could about functional medicine was my anger in not finding the answers I needed and the fear that my life was over and I would be stuck in my bed forever. I now know that experience was a gift, as awful as it was. It served as my internship and I learned things I could have never learned in school. As a functional medicine practitioner, I'm a life-long learner and I'm currently working on furthering my certification and becoming a credentialed functional medicine nutrition specialist through Next Level Functional Medicine. For other dietitians or health professionals who are interested in functional medicine, I highly recommend this program.

Now that I have healed my body, my anger has transformed into compassion and motivation to help others who know there's a better way, who needs a better way and is ready to do the work to get better. For those of you who are coming up empty-handed in the search for a health solution consider what healing the root issues of your health problems can do for you. I know first-hand this approach works through my own experience and through the results my clients get.

My story and what I have been through over the years is what fuels me to helps others who feel like they are at a standstill with their health. Functional medicine offers solutions to those that are not getting the answers they have been looking for to their health issues. This approach is also for people who want to optimize their health and prevent illness.

My approach as a functional medicine dietitian is to look deep into your health history, your current lifestyle (nutrition, stress, sleep, and movement), order and interpret labs (both conventional and functional), and customize a plan based on your individual needs. This personalized approach is your unique action plan to begin healing your body.

I'm happy to announce I will be practicing out of Dr. Mark Lique's office at Haverhill Family Chiropractic, located at 606 Broadway St Haverhill MA 01832. Dr. Lique is an outstanding chiropractor who also practices functional medicine and I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to be part of his phenomenal team.

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