I’m Terri Crystal, founder of Nutrition by Terri. I’m a certified integrative nutrition health coach specializing in the practices of functional nutrition and eating psychology. AND, I help people create health for themselves.
You might be wondering what functional nutrition and eating psychology are, so let me break it down for you:
1. Functional nutrition is a combination of functional medicine and the science of nutrition. So I look at signs and symptoms when working with a client, trying to determine where in the body something is not working as it should and then I turn to food to alleviate or at least minimize the symptoms my client is experiencing. Let’s take Betty, a client who was crashing in the middle of the afternoon and then getting a second wind late at night and unable to sleep well. Betty also wanted to lose 20 lbs. We looked at meal timing, evening and bedtime rituals, and what was on her plate for breakfast and lunch to break her out of her symptoms. The result was that she was no longer hitting the wall in the afternoon and she was able to fall and stay asleep more easily, feeling a lot more rested in the morning.
2. My other specialty, eating psychology is pretty interesting. Sometimes, when we’re not really in touch with ourselves, we eat, not because we’re hungry for food but because we’re lonely, frustrated, angry, upset, bored, fatigued (I call this wired and tired), stressed, feeling out of control with life, relationships, money, etc; checked out; disembodied. Eating Psychology looks to the emotional side of us to unravel the signs and symptoms of diseases and disorders. Take my client Jeff. Jeff has a high-powered job and is always thinking about work. He’s often stressed, doesn’t sleep well, gets angry easily, is overweight and has some acid reflux for which he was taking the purple pill. Now you would think that the purple pill would fix the acid reflux, but it actually makes it worse. There are a few causes for heartburn, but one of the main ones is actually low stomach acid. So, we worked to get him off the purple pill, bringing in some dietary changes to soothe the digestive system and build stomach acid. More importantly, we worked a lot on slowing down, chewing his food, and not being distracted when he ate. The result is that the acid reflux and stress diminished, and the weight started to come off.
Functional nutrition and eating psychology are not quick fixes. They take time! They are sane, logical, and practical ways to nourish people back to optimal health. Afterall, it most often takes years for a disease or symptom like sleepness nights, cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease to manifest….the body is pretty resilient until you continually punish it with processed foods, a high carb diet, and toxins day in and day out. So, what makes anyone think that a quick fix will cure years of assault on the body?
So anytime you hear that someone has a quick fix for you in the form of a diet and/or exercise program, run the other way!
And, here is where I differ from the ‘competition’. My education has not been provided for me by conventional medicine and thinking. I follow more ancient healing and mind-body wisdom. I don’t think the USDA Food Pyramid has a lot to offer us…….it’s pretty much lobbied for by the mega-food conglomerates (Kraft, Nestle, ConAgra, etc.). I treat everyone as unique because we are…we all have different genes, microbiomes, places of origin, families of origin, ways we handle life and stress, pre-dispositions to disease, genders, stages of life, and environments that we live, breathe, and work in. I know over 100 dietary theories and I will pull from all of them to individualize a nutrition and lifestyle plan for a client.
And, who are my clients? Typically I work with the 50+ crowd. And, typically they come to me for weight loss; and typically I find out pretty quickly when we start working together that the weight is a symptom of something else going on in the body and in that person’s life. While I’m getting them into healthier eating habits, we’re also working on the something else that is going on, whether its de-stressing, dropping the artificial sugars and the toxic sodas, learning the language of love toward yourself, or substituting in healthier snacks (I had an overweight, fatigued client who was a Dorito’s fanatic……I mean, she hit the vending machine at work every afternoon around 3pm. She and I were successful at weaning her off Dorito’s permanently and substituting in some delicious snacks that actually helped her lose weight).
Whether you know someone who has eating issues, needs to lose or gain weight, wants to get healthier using minimal drug therapies so they can live life to the fullest, or you know a medical practitioner who needs someone to talk nutrition to their patients, I can and would love to be of service!