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My Story

Early Interest in Health & Nutrition

I've always had an interest in health and nutrition. As a child in San Diego, I was fortunate to have grown up in a home that emphasized whole, fresh foods and avoided processed foods. It set a good example to follow, and, excluding those misguided college years, I've tried my best to do so.

More than twenty years ago I observed a couple of changes, one external and one personal, which further convinced me of nutrition's importance and led me to change my career focus to helping others in this area.

External Change

In my prior work as a self-employed business consultant to high-tech companies, I, of course, paid for my own health insurance. The premiums regularly increased by 15-20% each year, and that was for a high-deductible policy intended for healthy people. I thought to myself that there's no way these cost increases can continue if health care is to remain affordable.

As I looked at the issue more closely, it became clear that there are several other significant trends that call into question the future of health care.

On the demand side, there's:

  • An aging population with increasing health care needs
  • An increasing incidence of chronic disease, especially among younger populations
  • And an increasing rate of environmental contamination and related illnesses

On the supply side, in addition to the insurance cost increases, there's:

  • A decline in the medical coverage offered by many health plans
  • A rapid increase in health care costs
  • And a health care system with a focus on break/fix

Undoubtedly, without a greater focus on preventive care, the system can't sustain itself. The demands, in terms of both use and cost, will just be too great.

Many practitioners acknowledge the critical importance of nutrition in preventing and managing chronic disease. Yet, for the most part, the current traditional medical system, constrained by a lack of nutritional training, short duration patient visits, and an emphasis on pharmacologic drugs, does not effectively implement nutritional concepts in practice.

Even though modifiable non-genetic factors, such as diet, exercise, and environmental exposures, are responsible for an estimated 70-90% of deaths in the U.S.[1], an emphasis on nutrition remains elusive in traditional medical training and care. A recent survey of nutrition training in medical schools revealed only 25% of schools require a separate nutrition course, with students overall receiving less than 20 hours of nutrition education during medical school.[2] Clearly, this situation presents both challenges and opportunities.

Personal Change

At about the same time as I was looking at the external health care changes, I began noticing some changes in my own health, including chronic fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, eczema, hair loss, increased blood pressure, and more.

Fortunately, I read an article in the local newspaper about mercury poisoning caused by high fish consumption. The signs and symptoms discussed in the article closely matched those that I was experiencing. The similarities made sense, as I had increased my fish consumption in recent years. I quickly stopped that, researched the different available treatment options, and put together a recovery plan. Nutrition, along with safely removing existing heavy metals from my body, played a key role in the recovery process. As a result of the efforts, all of the poisoning symptoms entirely disappeared.

Needless to say, this personal health experience reinforced for me the importance of nutrition and highlighted the significance of environmental toxins in chronic disease. The firsthand experience and recovery helps me to better empathize with others and to understand the challenges that they face dealing with their own complex health conditions.

Looking Ahead

With both the external changes and personal health experience in mind, I decided to pursue a Master of Science degree in nutrition with the University of Bridgeport. The program, which I completed with honors in 2005, provided a solid foundation in science- and evidence-based nutrition concepts. I also became board certified in nutrition through the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) and earned the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential.

I truly believe that nutrition is the key to helping restore and maintain optimal health, and that this training and ongoing learning in the field will allow me to help others to understand and benefit from the ways in which nutrition can make a difference in their own lives. With all of the changes occurring in the health care system, the importance of knowledge, self-empowerment, and preventive care have never been greater.

I look forward to helping you to take control of your health.

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[1] Textbook of Functional Medicine - Jones DS, Quinn S, 2005, p. 15

[2] "Nutrition Education in U.S. Medical Schools: Latest Update of a National Survey" - Adams KM, Lindell KC, Kohlmeier M, Zeisel SH, Academic Medicine, Vol. 85, No. 9, September 2010

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