Get Your Complimentary Consult with our New Holistic NutritionistFriday, April 7, 2017 0:03
Welcome Alaya Wyndham to the Nutrition Team
What inspired you to become a Holistic Nutritionist?
I’ve always loved food and my parents were good role models for me…they tended to focus on consuming healthy, whole foods and supplementation – teaching me to cook and bake at a young age and letting me experiment lots in the kitchen. Fast forward to college, where I majored in science with a minor in writing for undergrad and found myself drawn to several different specialties (allopathic and natural medicine, environmental science, neurology and geology). Meanwhile, I worked full-time as a wine sales person to earn a living, during which I became a COMPLETE foodie, as I was exposed to amazing gourmet food and fresh ingredients on the regular.
In 2006 I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy by my naturopath, after years of suffering digestive issues and stomach pain. It was a virtuous moment for me, as I’d long suspected a food allergy was at work, but couldn’t get my allopathic primary care physician to agree to a test. So, I switched to a naturopath, and the allergy test was one of the first things she did. Once I knew I was allergic to gluten, I made the change to a gluten free diet immediately and began to feel great. So much of my digestive trouble disappeared! This sparked my interest in nutrition even more and I began to research quite a bit, and experiment with different types of eating for myself, to figure out what worked best for my body, and what would bring me to an optimum state of health and wellbeing.
In 2009 my life flipped upside down when I found out I had a benign brain tumor. I had been having some pretty serious neurological and endocrine symptoms, and though I knew what had been causing them, the doctors I worked with didn’t offer up much of a solution to helping me manage them. As the tumor was small, and I was young, they wanted to take a watch and wait approach, which meant I would be living with these symptoms indefinitely. This is when I took matters into my own hands, and began my next phase of research and self experimentation to figure out how I could manage my symptoms and find health within myself, despite my condition. I became way more serious about diet and lifestyle practices, body-mind-spirit, and was able to put my symptoms into remission over time. I was able to live with the tumor for 6 years before it was removed, because I learned to take the best care of myself. It was after this experience that I knew I wanted to focus on nutrition moving forward, and once I had my first son, I was able to take the time to make the career change.
What role has nutrition played in your own healing journey?
It has played an immeasurable role in my healing – several times in my life. Food really is medicine and when you recognize this, you become empowered to heal yourself. Most recently, post operative nutrition was a literal lifeline for me and aided my recovery from a very major surgery. I’m so grateful I had the knowledge of my own profession to guide me! After having my brain tumor removed in March 2016 (while raising 2 young kids and running a nutritional consulting business!) I had to adapt to a new reality; the surgery had removed the nasty tumor, but left me with the left side of my throat paralyzed, including my vocal cord and the muscles used to swallow food. So, as I began a long and difficult rehab process, I had to get as much nutrition into my body in liquid form, because it was all that I could swallow with out choking. I used my knowledge of whole foods nutrition, and worked to balance macro and micro nutrients, to ensure I was getting what my body needed to survive and thrive. It takes a lot of energy to heal, and it takes perhaps even more to chase 2 and 3 year old boys, and so I had to be on my A-game as far as nutrition goes. Not to mention – having the tools to take care of myself nutritionally, gave me confidence and calm psychologically. And my healing process has been successful because of it all.
Why are you passionate about holistic nutrition and food as medicine?
I’m passionate about holistic nutrition because I love and believe in whole person health and healing. You won’t fully heal the body without nourishing the mind, spirit and heart. With holistic nutrition, I can take wisdom and recommendation from both ancient healing modalities, such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as current scientific research and modern measures of data, such as blood type, and research-backed dietary styles, to formulate the best nutritional plan for each individual. In addition to working with practical and physically-based nutritional healing modalities, I have the honor of counseling clients through a more inclusive health journey, as they’re encouraged to include their unique psychological and spiritual realities as an important part of their healing. Also important to this type of holistic nutritional approach, is that it allows for the client to become actively involved in their wellness journey; I get to be a guide and partner in each person’s healing, and I get to help empower people to heal themselves as much as they can. I believe that this type of empowerment, which encourages ownership of healing, and thus honoring one’s own body wisdom, is key to long-term lifestyle changes and health. Real food nutrition coupled with compassionate counseling can support whole person healing and promote the transformation process that we all deserve to undergo, should we choose to live into this process.
What would you say to someone who is skeptical about how seeing a Holistic Nutritionist might impact their life?
I take a gentle and thorough approach, and welcome you to sit down with me and have a conversation about what’s going on with your health currently, what has and hasn’t worked in the past, and where we might go moving forward to help you accomplish what you desire for your own health. The holistic approach allows time for real discovery, as opposed to a rushed and clinical experience. This approach makes room for the use of many complimentary healing modalities, to ensure the most custom plan for you, instead of a cookie-cutter approach commonly used in a clinical nutritional setting. It welcomes you to address not just physical complaints, but to delve into the psychology that accompanies the physical. If an allopathic or western approach has left you feeling less than healthy; has set limits to your healing; has told you that you’re a mystery who must just live with any number of undesirable symptoms, try the holistic approach. If you want to gain energy, feel vital, support your goals, figure out the root causes beneath any number of stubborn symptoms, while having a voice, and taking a more active role in your own healing, try an holistic approach. If you want to work with someone who is a research nerd, who loves modern science, and who also honors the ancient healing modalities that have served people for thousands of years, give me a call. And remember; it all starts with real food. There’s no denying that real food promotes health; we can start as simply as this, and identify the best real foods for you, to help you feel your best.
What are three things someone can do immediately to start improving their health, from a nutrition perspective?
1.) Eat real, whole foods. If it came from the earth and if it’s in its whole form or close to it, you’re on the right track.
2.) Ditch the sugar! Sugar causes inflammation, which is the root of disease.
3.) Eat a breakfast that is rich in protein and healthy fat, such as eggs and avocado, as it will help stabilize your blood sugar and give you sustained energy as you tackle your day.
What are some of the most inspiring transformations you’ve seen in your clients?
Speaking to the whole person healing that I’m so passionate about, the best transformations include body, mind and spirit. With one client I was able to help identify food allergies and offer up a plan to help her feel better than she’s felt in years, while also supporting her on her journey into longterm self love. She lost almost all of her physical complaints by changing her diet. She lost weight and felt supported in her fitness goals. She also began to prioritize herself and delve into what fills her cup more. She bravely began to change her lifestyle practices to allow self care and personal enjoyment into her routine. We’ve cooked, laughed and cried together. Her ongoing transformation has been remarkable and inspiring.
Anything else you’d like to talk about?
At the root of my love of nutrition is my love of food. Healthy food does not and should not equal boring or bland food. I’m wildly passionate about cooking and recipe development; the kitchen is my happy place! If you are looking for a meal plan, trust that I consider pleasure as much as I consider health. If you want to learn how to cook using real food ingredients, I can assure you that it’s one of my favorite parts of my job and it would delight me to help you learn some new kitchen skills. Let’s get cooking!
You can follow Alaya on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook to check out some of her delicious daily doses of healthy #foodspiration. Check out her warm, savory version of the traditional green smoothie with her Green Smoothie Soup Recipe.
Contact Alaya by email for a complimentary initial consultation, the first step toward achieving your goals for wellbeing.
Alaya shares #OneSimpleThing you can start doing today to feel better in your body: