How Functional Nutrition Differs From The Rest
Functional Nutrition is a brand new service offered within our studio. It’s one we love, one we believe in, and one we think offers many people a new brand of understanding of themselves, their body, and “why” behind different ways that they are feeling. But, in a world where we are offered so many services and treatments as a form of helping us to feel better – Functional Nutrition is a treatment we’d love to see better understood.
So what, fundamentally, is Functional Nutrition?
Functional Nutrition stems from the Functional Medicine pathway of our health and wellness system. That is: a branch of treatment that first and foremost focuses on the PERSON as at the center of our treatments, rather than the DISEASE that you are proposed to have. We care about how you feel, how each and every part of your body is coping, every symptom that you experience (even when you don’t believe they could be connected) and what matters to you at your core too. In that way: we can create a holistic solution and wellness for you, rather than just a solution to merely one most-prevalent problem at the time.
Functional Medicine is commonly known to feature each of the following:
- It is patient-centered rather than disease-centered, with the goal of promoting health that extends beyond the absence of disease.
- The practitioner evaluates clinical imbalances within biological systems and identifies points of connection that reveal the underlying cause of disease or dysfunction.
- The aim is to treat the root cause of disease to promote healing, instead of treating symptoms to provide temporary relief.
- Lifestyle changes are heavily emphasized in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.
- Through a therapeutic partnership, the practitioner and the patient work together to achieve goals.
So – when we apply this to the nutritional perspective, functional nutrition is simply using nutrition (how you nourish your body) to see the root cause of what is going on.
The difficult and confusing part about our bodies that is often overlooked: Is that it could be many symptoms that you experience, with a handful of causes, or one single cause creating many conditions. Either way, we seek to find what is at the bottom of it all, rather than taking a band-aid approach. We do this by mapping together your symptoms, your history, family history, pathology and functional testing, and the whole package of you as an individual person and set of circumstances.
We also look at the function of the food you are taking in. Considering it’s the one thing we do each and every day, it really is astounding it’s impact. Once we shift the timing, quality, and make-up of your plate, we can start to see huge changes in your skin, your energy, your performance, your focus, and any discomfort in your body. Then there are specific conditions. We look at issues like autoimmunity, blood sugar dysregulation, hormonal imbalance, skin conditions, gut health, mental health, improving your energy, and lifting the veil on brain fog. All things that play a major factor in our health and wellbeing, and result in us feeling far more under the weather each day.
Included in Your Functional Nutrition Session
Within our Brisbane Yoga Studio, our functional nutritionist, Belinda, has a single, number-one focus: changing your relationship with your health and your self.
In order to see changes in the needs of your body, we must also work on the beliefs, thoughts, and feelings in your mind. By changing the stories we tell ourselves, we can start to create changes in our actions. This is the key to long-term shifts in your health.
Holistically, Belinda looks at the 5 pillars of health to help you shift out of a state of imbalance, back towards homeostasis. When we mention the 5 pillars, we are talking about each of the following:
- The power of food as medicine
- Moving in ways that enrich your body
- Having a deep and restful sleep
- Management of stress and your nervous system
- Your mindset and relationship with food and the world around you
This passion and practice, like many, comes from a personal space for Belinda. And through her personal experiences that so many of us can relate to, from Chronic Acne, Hormonal Imbalances, Adrenal Fatigue, Sports Injuries, and battles with mindset, we have someone who truly understands some of the frustration with alternative treatment options, and the power a utilisation of the pillars can achieve.
Within a functional nutrition consult, you and Belinda will work together to dig deeper into the root of the cause. Starting with the basics of your health and family history, and then begin making changes on some of the low-hanging fruit. We start by building a solid foundation, maybe do some further investigations with your doctor or more advanced testing privately, and taking a look at how your history and habits are informing your symptoms. We work through each of the 5 pillars of health – food, movement, sleep, stress, and relationship with self – to find balance and bring your body back to alignment.
About Belinda, Functional Nutritionist at Elements Studio
Belinda started in a unique sport: roller derby. As a determined and driven person, and someone also balancing part-time work and full-time university, she found herself truly burning the candles at all ends (something many of us are a little guilty of, right?). As we tend to find in circumstances like these, her body started to fight back with extreme pain in my legs, making me unable to perform at my best.
That was when Belinda found yoga. Yoga rehabilitated her body, brought her back to life, and started to teach her all about the magic of the nervous system. And in turn, that brought her further towards the path of functional medicine.
When Belinda started to get into exercises and movement, she found a realization of the joy that comes with using her body to become stronger and more powerful. From there, it was a short walk to understanding that nutrition played an even bigger role in feeling her best and clearing her skin in ways no medication was ever able to do. This leads her down the path of gut health, food allergies, and intolerances, and the way we have access to food and movement that can make us feel like a brand new version of ourselves, that we have so much more control over how great we can feel than we can ever find in a pill. That empowerment and realization was one Belinda found so much passion in, and decided then and there, that she must share it with the world!
One of the major things that Belinda found towards functional nutrition, is that all health begins with the gut. And with help and treatment of the gut, using food as medicine, a vast range of issues and conditions were improved, if not alleviated. So many issues radiate out from poor gut health, whether it’s skin issues, bloating, weird toilet times, poor immune function, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, or struggling with your energy to get through the day. We start there, then we look at specific conditions like fueling your movement practice the right way, acne, eczema, chronic illness, PCOS, endometriosis, wayward periods, IBS, IBD, or just looking to optimize how you are feeling and showing up in the world.
However, through all of Belinda’s experience in practice, she found that mindset is always the key. How many times have you googled some diet or another, a friend told you to try something, you downloaded the PDFs and looked at a heap of recipes – and then never did anything about it? Or bought a supplement that you thought would change your life, and never opened it? Or even decided you were ready to totally radicalize your workout program, that you were going to hit the mat every day, then hit snooze and not actually made the change? We all do it.
Turns out, our brains are super malleable, but they are also lazy. It’s easy for us to ingrain the same choices over and over again. But they are adaptable. It takes a deeper connection to your why, to the beliefs and thoughts that are creating your actions and behaviors. From there we can make real long-lasting changes.
And for that reason, Belinda learned how helpful it is to work with people on a more long-term basis, and that accountability, along with mindset shifts and understanding the why behind your changes really helps people connect with their treatment plans.
Finding out more with Functional Nutrition
Connect with our In-Studio Functional Nutritionist – Belinda!
Find Her on Instagram at @connectedwithbelinda
Or – Email your questions about functional nutrition directly to Belinda!
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org