Here’s a list of common myths that are associated with our job, our industry - and the reality of them. Followed by my story! I thank you for your interest and for reading my words! And yes, someone actually said to me once "Holistic huh? You gonna chant around me, dancing with a magic wand?" Hence - this post was born.
Registered Holistic Nutritionists demonstrate the importance of natural nutrition in complementary health care. The Natural Nutrition Program prepares holistic nutrition professionals in a very practical way to meet this goal through counselling individual clients as well as through community education. The connection between body, mind and spirit is an integral and important part of these studies. It is scientifically demonstrated that our state of mind and spiritual well-being affect our physical health. The study of this well-established phenomenon is not linked to any religious creed. It is purely academic and aims to enlighten in a broad way about the effects of life experiences and circumstances, on health.
The Natural Nutrition Program consists of courses covering natural nutrition relevant to each stage of life, as well as sciences and research in nutrition. It provides a strong foundation for a career in the complementary health industry.
What people think we do: Make you eat only goji berries, green drinks, herbs, barks & roots.
What I actually do: Encourage folks to move towards a whole foods diet that encourages the maximum benefit for their body. This means more fresh foods, whole grains and less processed foods. Depending on what they are dealing with, special "super foods" may be necessary for some time as an addition for specific ailments, but definitely won't be given as a first recommendation if the client is still eating a "traditional North American diet" high in processed foods, microwaved meals/fast food, packaged goods, candy, pop, etc. We work with where the client is at, and move at a pace that the client is comfortable with, adding foods and making changes as we work along together with the end goal being a body in better harmony.
We also believe that the best 'super foods' are simply real foods, like broccoli, apples or blueberries. We don’t force a specific style of eating on anyone*, and we educate and encourage clients to eat more nourishing foods like fruits & vegetables.
*Some Holistic Nutritionists' can be vegan, but not all Holistic Nutritionists are.
I believe strongly that we need flexibility in our diet, and if we just eat real food we do not need to label the way we eat. If we all just ate real food based on our bodies' needs (we learned and respected them) things would be a whole lot easier!
What people think we do: Put everyone on an intense cleanse - a “colon blow”- if you will.
What I actually do: Assess nutritional needs. At their request or if we have been working together for awhile, we'll assess if the client needs cleansing at the time. It’s not for everyone and it’s not for every time of year. It depends on many factors including whether or not the body is prepared for it, the type of lifestyle the client currently has and whether their liver needs a gentle boost or a bigger cleanse.
For safety, it is vital that we know medications/lifestyle of the client before making this type of recommendation. Do no harm. Again for safety, our cleanses are mainly done with food rather than herbs or supplements*. We like to work with food, that’s what we are trained in. Food is a better sense of cleansing for the body than any supplement that “cleans y’out.”
Again, cleansing can be therapeutic but it is best done with food. (Check out our super safe RESET cleanse here.)
**I believe strongly that supplements are not necessary for long term, and should be used short term only to bring balance to a deficiency, but it is not our strong point: our strong point is food.
I believe strongly that finding the root cause of issues using FOOD can move people away from the luggage of the supplement aisle.
What people think we do: Sell you (numerous) expensive supplements.
What I actually do: We work with food, and don't work with medications or herbs. (Not an herbalist.) We help you find which nutrients you may become deficient in from certain medications, and that is all. From time to time we can recommend certain gentle herbs for teas, but it will always be followed by "please check with your doctor/naturopath/herbalist/the package for directions on usage." We are not doctors. We do NOT diagnose a thing.
From time to time, we recommend high quality brands of supplements, but only from our own personal collection and personal experience based on quality for price, aligning with the client's budget. Personally, I have chosen not to be aligned with any supplement companies and do not plan to in the future. (I do however, make referrals to teas/herbs and the healing products at Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary in BC.)
Food is food. We work with food.
What people think we do: Chant around our clients with fairy wands full of magical herbs to balance their energy.
What I actually do: Yes, I’ve actually had people say that to me. Well, something along those lines. The word "Holistic" can really throw some folks off! Some clients have been nervous for the first meeting, conjuring up images in their imaginations about what exactly it is I do and what the session will be like with me. A meeting with me is simply a conversation. Holistic to me means that we look at the WHOLE person - not just their diet but their emotional balance, lifestyle, genes/family history, fitness levels, nicotine/drug/alcohol use, sleep habits, work/career, family life and much more.
It also means that I can let the client guide the session based on what I sense the client needs at that time. This means if my intuition tells me something is up, I can ask the client if we should look more deeply to that area. If we hit a wall, I can ask you "What can I do to support you best right now? What can I do/can we talk about right now that will help you?"
In my experience, I have found that client guided sessions makes folks feel like they get the most of the session. It also allows me to serve the person in front of me better. Things just got better for everyone!
Holistic can also be written as Wholistic, which gives a better indication of the style of consulting and our food choices as a whole. (See what I did there?!)
What people think we do: Fix people's bad eating habits. In the blink of an eye.
What I actually do: Allow people time to learn that bad habits take time to form, and new habits can take lots of time to stick. I help clients to find their strength, wisdom and intuition within their own bodies, giving them the tools to make better food choices for their own health - not for anyone else. This empowerment sets you up for the best success possible.
(Due to the high amount of e-mail I receive regarding this education at CSNN & it's RHN career: If you are interested in training to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, please contact me via e-mail and I will send you a detailed sheet that can hopefully answer all your questions.)
Be-In a Holistic Nutritionist..... (My story, as per requests!)
Okanagan raised. 18 years in small town.... the West Coast looked promising.
I got laid off from a desk job and it was the (scariest) best thing that could have happened. Transplanted to Rainbow Road in the hippie capital of BC: Kitsilano, in Vancouver BC and training in Holistic Nutrition. It was a dream living with 9 fabulous Canadians & Europeans. Magical things happened as I worked to receive my diploma and I came back to the Okanagan in 2011. I spent the post-diploma summer working on an organic farm in Osoyoos in an apprenticeship.
What I learned during my apprenticeship was the magic and fragility of nature, and how the dirt felt on my hands. I wanted everyone to take a summer doing that, drenched in sweat and just giving to the land, nothing monetary in return. It was the perfect dry heat, blue skied magical extension to my beautiful time at the Coast.
Autumn came and I knew that I was ready to start business. I started writing a blog from the perspective of my hippie 'alter-ego' Moonchild. (A nickname from friends in Vancouver) but it was more of an online journal than anything else. I started doing small gigs here and there and since I had started brewing kombucha in 2010; I became a mad scientist in my own kitchen, and after a year of practicing "The Art", friends started asking to buy my kombucha.
I was selling my kombucha locally in the Okanagan valley, and starting to consult on making dietary changes. It was challenging and huge learning curves made their way into my life. Moonchild blog got deleted - you're currently reading my new blog, its much, much better!
Local Okanagan Nutrition Programs
Now I sell the Okanagans' original local kombucha. It is still made in small batches though so I can retain that good energy in it that everyone liked. If you out grow certain things too much, its just not the same quality.
I make food & lifestyle programs for my amazing clients who struggle with weight, who can't make the changes they need and need coaching on eating the way they know they need to. I do one-to-one work and offer a signature program called Change Makers.
Points in the Journey
In 2012, I joined Get Bent and became their in-house Holistic Nutritionist.
In 2013, I co-hosted Mondays on an award-winning internet radio show with Dennis Walker.
2013-2014 I taught courses and developed practicums while on the faculty of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
In 2014 Lutz Nutrition was awarded a Top 40 Under 40 for entrepreneurs in Penticton.
September 2015/October 2016 featured on CBC Radio as the local fermented foods specialist, I continued to take my fermentation workshops throughout the valley and do more public speaking gigs. Fermenting the Okanagan is my online group, feel free to join me there!
2016 I joined the Green Vanity and became their in-house Holistic Nutritionist.