Featured Student Member: Angie Wu

Angie Wu landscape

We’re happy to feature student member, Angie Wu, who attended our first Southern California DIFM educational and networking event in October! Angie is currently completing her master’s degree in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity at USC Davis School of Gerontology. She aspires to have her own private practice in the future with a focus in integrative and functional nutrition. She intends to incorporate genetic counseling as a means of devising the best version of personalized dietary interventions for each of her future clients. She is also currently volunteering for L-Nutra, a nutraceutical company, by screening and qualifying cancer patients for an ongoing clinical trial that aims to improve the quality of life of patients undergoing chemotherapy. In her spare time she enjoys cooking at home, hiking, bar method, yoga and biking along the beach.

Who or what inspired you to become interested in integrative and functional nutrition?

I always had a keen interest in integrative and functional nutrition. I humbly believe this is the only way nutrition should be practiced in all medical disciplines since no one human being is the same or has been exposed to the exact same external factors as another.  My experience during the study abroad program in Italy this past summer as part of my graduate degree in nutrition at USC further cemented my intrigue with integrative and functional nutrition. Under Dr. Valter Longo’s supervision and guidance, I was exposed to unconventional dietary methods that had great potential in reversing the adverse effects of aging and increasing healthspan. I’m also currently volunteering with one of the research dietitians who works with Dr. Longo on his current clinical study in determining the benefits of fast mimicking diets for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

What area of practice do you plan to go into and how do you plan to secure a job that utilizes integrative and functional nutrition?

Angie WuMy ultimate dream is to have my own private practice with a focus in integrative and functional nutrition. Following graduation this May, I hope to work with an outpatient private practice that will focus on utilizing integrative and functional nutrition therapy approaches in counseling and treating patients with any age-related or chronic diseases. As the fields of bariatric and oncology nutrition have piqued my interest recently, I wanted to further my education in both of these areas in regards to integrative nutrition interventions in treating and preventing various diseases. After graduation, I also plan to launch my nutrition blog that I hope will not only complement and supplement my future private practice but also allow me to disseminate the latest research developments to the masses.

What education or training in integrative and functional nutrition have you completed or what education or training in integrative and functional nutrition do you plan to complete in the future?

I’m currently in the process of completing the modules for Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certificate of Training Program and am finding the presentations extremely interesting and valuable. In addition, as part of a self-experiment and assignment for a graduate course, I recently completed a genetic testing and analysis of my own genetic code through 23andMe and Promethease to better understand my own genetic risk factors. It was truly an eye opening learning experience, and I highly encourage others to do the same. While our genetic code does not ensure any one disease state or outcome, it can provide a means for us and our clients in the future to better understand what their genetic risk factors are and adhere to a healthier lifestyle to reduce those risks. I believe nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics will be instrumental in the future for any successful nutrition practice and I intend to advocate such services to my clients as a part of my integrative approach.

What advice would you give other students interested in learning more about integrative and functional nutrition?

Angie WuMy main advice to other students is to always keep an open mind, especially with new research and reports of new findings that may contradict their current beliefs. They can offer insights and help provide a more robust approach in future private or institutional practice. Students should also tune in to DIFM’s webinars and complete the modules for the Integrative and Functional Training Program provided through the academy, both of which would greatly benefit anyone who wishes to enhance their current nutrition and dietetic education.

 

 

Thank you for sharing about your current and future aspirations with us, Angie!


If you’re a student interested in networking with other integrative and functional nutrition-focused students and professionals and expanding your knowledge in this area of the nutrition field, check out our student membership here

Featured Member: Jena Savadsky Griffith, RDN

Jena Savadsky Griffith, RDN

We are elated to feature DIFM member, Jena Savadsky Griffith, RDN, who works in the community setting!  Having had a successful career in journalism, music and television production, Jena was inspired to redirect her work path and returned to school after transforming her own health and life with integrative and functional nutrition. Following a more circuitous route, Jena amassed certifications from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the Institute for the Psychology of Eating and a functional nutrition mentorship while attending and graduating from the University of Northern Colorado. She has been the main nutrition instructor for Charlottesville’s community education program for the past 8 years teaching about sugar metabolism, eating for energy and bone health, always with an integrative approach. Jena has a practice in Madison County, Virginia, where she specializes in digestive disorders and chronic pain. She is the Associate Editor and incoming Editor for the Integrative RDN, the newsletter for Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM) and recently authored the chronic pain chapter for an upcoming Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition Therapy textbook.  Jena recently co-presented on developing and integrative and functional nutrition toolkit for her local academy chapter and will be presenting on the same subject at the annual Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (VAND) in April. It is her intention to educate and inspire RD’s to embrace and practice integrative and functional nutrition tools, as we are ideally positioned to make the most difference in this country’s present health climate.

What is your area of practice and how do you incorporate integrative and functional nutrition into your work?

I was part of a generation that grew up on Captain Crunch, Kool-Aid and convenience foods and by the time I was in my 20’s I had unknown food allergies and a full-on health crisis. Before Integrative and Functional Nutrition (IFN) was given a name, an integrative and functional physician helped me to not only discover the root cause of my health issues and get well, but woke me up to the power of food and inspired me to change careers.

Experiencing the life changing benefits firsthand, IFN philosophies are inherently built into the way I think and practice. Although my main focus in private practice is digestive health and chronic pain, I teach several community education classes on topics that range from bone health to sugar metabolism to eating for energy. Nutrition can sometimes be the wild west and as people look for that one diet that will give them all the answers and perennial health, I like to cut through the fray and empower students, patients and clients to filter that information in order to find what is best for them only. There are as many ideal diets as there are people who eat!

Teaching is also a way to stay close to the issues that confuse people and the chronic health conditions they face. In my individual and class work, I take into consideration all parts of their lives, not just the physical aspects of calories, weight, nutrients. Certainly these are essential, but we often ignore other integrative parts of lifestyle, emotional and spiritual health that either contribute to or manifest as a physiological problem. We talk about sleep, activity, relationships (with food and people), work or service and how/where they find a deeper sense of life purpose.

Stress is a part of all of our lives, but if we don’t address how it’s currently being handled, reduce and re-strategize, then healing is difficult to achieve. When we sit down to a meal, we bring with us layers of emotions and years of experiences, in addition to our preferences, ancestry, beliefs and traditions. Not only do we all metabolize food and information differently, we all look at food differently on a plate. For some food is just calories, for others it may be guilt, potential muscle, pleasure or companionship, all in the same meal. In classes, when I talk about food or nourishment on a deeper level, there is recognition and an understanding about their own personal battles, what may be stopping them from taking care of themselves and how to change that.

On the more functional side, bio-individuality also rules. We assess what is happening on a biochemical level through functional and traditional labs and use all of the information to co-create specific diets and practices that will work for them in order to achieve their health goals and make change that lasts.

What are some of the results you have seen since integrating functional nutrition into your practice area?

IFN has been my approach from the start, so I can’t imagine practicing any other way. I was my first example of the wellness that an IFN approach can create. In order to get healthy, we focused on the gut microbiome, toxicities, deficiencies and addressed other existing life stressors like taking care of a sick parent and using exercise in a beneficial way. In this way, I was able to fully recover. Clients and students have achieved excellent results that include ending years of constipation, eczema, incorporating previously forbidden foods back into their diets, remission of crohn’s disease, reducing or eliminating pain, migraine reduction and/or elimination, weight loss and better sleep. Often people heal their digestive issues not only with diet changes, but when they find work they love, heal or end a relationship, find exercise they enjoy, etc. As food is our specialty, a basic philosophy is that any condition can be improved within 30 days if the body is given what it needs…proper, individualized nutrition.

Where have you completed most of your training in integrative and functional nutrition?

Jena Savadsky GriffithIn the beginning of my career, I just began reading every nutrition book printed. Later I got coaching certifications from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the Institute for the Psychology of Eating and did a year long mentorship in clinical and functional nutrition with Elizabeth Lipski, PhD, frequent IFM speaker and author of Digestive Wellness.

I’ve taken many classes and have done continuing education in herbs, Ayurvedic medicine, all aspects of gut health, thyroid conditions, cooking, essential oils, counseling and psychology. As a habitual seeker, I am always getting caught down the rabbit hole of research, which has served me well as associate editor of DIFM’s newsletter and hope it will do the same as incoming Editor.

What advice would you give anyone interested in learning more about integrative and functional nutrition?

Nutrition is the foundation of Integrative and Functional Medicine. In this system, food, and as a result, RDN’s have the potential to get the attention and respect it deserves. We now have consumers who have access to any information, so as a profession, it is our duty to educate ourselves on all things food as medicine and remain ahead of the curve. Anyone wanting to learn more about integrative and functional nutrition already has the curiosity and openness gene, so I expand on that. Find one thing that you’re interested in at a time, whether it’s an integrative therapy like yoga, meditation, herbs or analyzing functional labs, and practice, focus and gain confidence. If possible, get yourself a genetic test or an organic acids test and study it, learn how to analyze and interpret the results for yourself. In this way, when we speak about something we’ve experienced, an authenticity comes through and is felt by our patients and clients.

Joining DIFM is an obvious, inexpensive first step with many benefits. Simply having access to the integrative and function nutrition toolkit, reading The Integrative RDN in print and the content heavy online version exposes you not only to current information but a new way of seeing. You have access to webinars which then exposes you to other practitioners established in the field that leads you to other learning opportunities. It is easy to follow established IFM and IFN practitioners on social media and reputable programs are becoming more plentiful for the advanced learner. There are so many ways to get deeper into your craft…trust yourself and take action!

Thank you for the inspiration, Jena!


Learn and earn CEUs with our Archived Newsletter CPE articles!  Each article is worth one hour of CPE credit!  Access the articles by logging in here on our website under the Resources>Archived Newsletters tab.

Recipe: Spiced Chai Coffee Blend

spiced chai coffee blend

Add this homemade spiced chai coffee blend directly to your coffee grounds! This quick and easy trick packs some serious flavor without the need for extra sweeteners. It’s perfect for a holiday morning or any time!

 

spiced chai coffee blend
5 from 1 vote
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Spiced Chai Coffee Blend

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Add ground spices directly to the ground in your coffee pot before brewing.

  2. Add 10-12 cups water.

  3. Enjoy black or with a splash of cream.


 

Amanda LiptakAmanda Liptak, RDN, is a Dietitian who takes a holistic approach with her clients, educating them on whole food nutrition concepts and cooking methods. She is the creator of Nutrient Rich Life, an online resource for nutrition, lifestyle and fitness. As a fitness trainer for over 12 years, she works with clients on maximizing physical fitness and food to jump start weight loss. In addition to running her practice, Amanda manages an online support group, established in honor of her son who lives with severe food allergy. The resource helps educate parents on positive food allergy solutions, including allergy friendly recipes and menu development.

Recipe: Festive Rice Salad with Fresh Herbs, Pomegranate Arils, & Feta Cheese

festive jasmine rice

This festive rice salad is packed with antioxidant rich pomegranate arils and fresh herbs~perfect for a nourishing and festive holiday side dish, or to enjoy as a main dish any time of the year. It’s quick and easy to make, and super versatile too!

For an extra nutrition boost, make it with red, purple, or black rice, which is higher in antioxidants than brown or white rice. And, for easier digestibility, try sprouted rice, or swap the rice with your favorite sprouted whole grain.

festive jasmine rice
5 from 1 vote
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Festive Rice Salad with Fresh Herbs, Pomegranate Arils, & Feta Cheese


Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked rice (red rice, sprouted rice, purple rice, etc)
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs of choice (i.e. mint + flat leaf parsley)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, or vinegar of choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and stir well to combine. Serve warm, at room temperature, or may be made ahead of time and served cold.

Recipe Notes

For ease of preparation, you can buy fresh pomegranate arils in the late fall and winter, or you can buy frozen ones year round.

 

For a vegan/dairy-free version, omit the feta cheese, or substitute with your favorite non-dairy cheese.

 

For a nut-free version, try sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts.

 

Yield; 6 side dish servings (¾ cup each), or 3 main dish servings (1 ½ cup each).

 

Dietary specifications: Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Low FODMAP

 

Nutrition for ¾ cup serving: 275 calories, 23 g carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 7 grams protein, 18 grams fat/5 grams saturated fat,22 mg cholesterol,  235 mg sodium.


EA StewartEA is an integrative dietitian, digestive health expert, and gluten free blogger at The Spicy RD. Her nutrition philosophy is simple…no one diet fits all, but a healthy diet is built mostly upon whole, fresh, minimally processed foods, with room to enjoy your favorite foods. Life’s too short not to eat the darn cookie!

In her private practice, EA works with women and men of all ages, to help them discover their own optimal balance of “feel good foods”, exercise they love, and a holistic lifestyle to help them live their healthiest, happiest lives.

Featured Member: Cary Kreutzer, EdD, MPH, RDN, FAND

Carin Kreutzer USC

We are excited to have our first dietetics educator, Dr.  Carin Kreutzer, take the stage as our Featured Member for this month! Dr. Kreutzer is an Assistant Professor in the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology where she directs and teaches in the Master’s Degree Coordinated Program in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity.  She completed a Dietetic Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, received a Master’s Degree in Public Health, Health Services Management and Administration from the University of Washington and completed a Doctorate Degree in Urban Education Leadership, with an emphasis in Educational Psychology at University of Souther California (USC), Rossier School of Education.  Dr. Kreutzer has been a practicing Registered Dietitian since 1982.  She co-directs the obesity intervention program BodyWorks, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the Alta Med Pediatric Clinic.  Her areas of research and expertise include obesity prevention and intervention, developmental disabilities and chronic illness, public health and nutrition education, nutrition and health literacy, health systems and health care access and nutrigenomics.  She has been the recipient of local, state and federal grants targeting health systems improvement, improved access to care and public health training and education. She currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of CAND (2016-2018).

What is your area of practice and how do you incorporate integrative and functional nutrition into your work?

As an educator most of my practice happens in the classroom.  In the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology I teach GERO 518 Topics in Clinical Nutrition.  Students, enrolled in the MS Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity Coordinated Program, are asked to “spit in the tube” and analyze their own genetic information.  Students complete a literature review, researching a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that relates to nutrition.  I also incorporated (group) threaded discussions on emerging nutrition topics (e.g. microbiome, CAM, supplementation).  In addition, guest speakers and webinars, including DIFM Webinars, help students to explore personalized, integrative and functional nutrition.

As a clinician working with families diagnosed overweight/obese, we do not prescribe diets. We work with families where they are to help them move to healthier eating and lifestyle practices, using grocery store tours to promote whole foods.

My focus right now, working with faculty in the School of Gerontology, is to advance use of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics into our clinical practice.  First we begin with awareness. Thankfully the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) has added a new competency for dietitians and dietetics programs to describe basic concepts of nutritional genomics.  We are on our way!

What ​are some of the results you have seen since integrating functional nutrition​ into your practice area?

In reference to nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics I have encountered enthusiasm, mistrust and a range of responses in-between.  There is still much research needed before we can be in a strong position for most SNPs to make clinical decisions or recommendations.  We must continue to rely on laboratory indicators as well as family history.  But I do believe we need to begin to educate ourselves so that we don’t get left behind.  By default I discovered that my husband did not like cilantro, and when asked why he said “It tastes like soap”.  So it was no surprise to find out that he carries the allele rs72921001 (C,C), with the C,C alleles research shows cilantro is more likely to taste like soap.  In my own 23 and Me SNP analysis I found out that I am a poor metabolizer of caffeine.  While I already knew I should not have coffee late in the day, I did not know that with my family history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) too much caffeine is not a good idea as a slow metabolizer.  These reports can potentially tell us information that we may not want to know.  I have a number of individuals I have helped review their Promethease results find that they are carrying APOE4 alleles (one or two) with evidence linking the SNP to risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s.  You have to be ready to accept any information you may receive.  Some people would prefer to not know their disease risk, especially if the scientific research is not definitive.

How does my culture influence practice of integrative and functional nutrition?

Cary KreutzerI am a California native, as well as my parents.  My family ancestry is Irish, German, Scandinavian.  We subscribed to the “Western Diet” unfortunately, so I can only say one of my father’s favorite foods was pork chops and sauerkraut.  It was through my experience with my dad, diagnosed in his 50’s with CVD, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, overweight and stress, and unable to adopt lifestyle and diet changes that led me to dietetics.  My cultural practice regarding diet and lifestyle is very different from my upbringing.  As I have learned about integrative and functional nutrition through my work and continuing education, I have adopted practices for myself and my family.

Where have you completed most of your training in integrative and functional nutrition?

I have participated in continuing education through conferences, webinars and reading, seeking to apply integrative and functional nutrition into my own practice (clinical, educator).  As a member of DIFM, I have taken advantage of most every opportunity.  I am considering additional certification in the future.  I joined the International Society of Nutrgenetics and Nutrigenomics (ISNN) to learn more about this field, attending their recent international congress in Los Angeles.  I have been reviewing 23 and Me and Promethease reports and advising colleagues and students since 2014.  This past summer I was asked to be one of 30 nation-wide educators, brought together by 23 and Me, at their inaugural summit to explore how genomics can be integrated into the classroom.

What advice would you give anyone interested in learning more about integrative and functional nutrition?

Cary KreutzerBe open to learning, attend conferences, seek additional training, start with yourself.  I have always been interested in genetics. At one point I was interested in being a genetic counselor.  So learning more about genomics and exploring ancestry along the way became a “weekend and evening endeavor”.  I started with me, then asked my family members if they would spit in the tube.  While there is much we still do not know, we can become familiar with what is possible.  When friends or clients tell me something is working for them, my first response is to find out more and not place judgement, seek to understand. What works for one client may not work for another.  The field of nutrition experiences new discoveries every day, moving toward personalized health, that embraces integrative and functional medicine is the future.  One size no longer fits all in healthcare.

Thank you, Dr. Kreutzer, for sharing about your unique experience with integrative and functional nutrition!


Are you an educator interested in including integrative and functional medicine concepts into the classroom? Watch our webinar on “Incorporating Integrative and Functional Medicine Competencies into Dietetics Education: A Call to Action!” by Debra Boutin, MS, RD in the Archived Webinars section of our website.

FNCE® 2017 Session Review: Minding Your Peas and Qs: Plant Protein and the Quest for Wellness, Quality and Functionality

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Minding Your Peas and Qs: Plant Protein and the Quest for Wellness, Quality and Functionality

FNCE® 2017
Date: October 22, 2017
Speakers: James D. House, Ph.D, P.Ag; Alice Henneman, MS, RDN

Session Description: As the demand for protein foods increases globally, the need for quality plant-based sources is becoming increasingly important. The United Nations named 2016 the International Year of the Pulse to raise recognition of both the nutritional value of pulses as well as their potential impact on sustainable food production and food security worldwide. North America still relies heavily on animal proteins, especially compared to the rest of the world. However, interest in plant-based diets is quickly growing. Increased consumption of plant-based proteins can benefit both vegetarians, vegans and omnivores by helping to reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Plant proteins are also a good source of fiber, which is currently one of the top nutrients of public health concern in U.S. diets.

Legumes, including soybeans, peanuts, pulses, and peas along with nuts, seeds and whole grains are all good sources of plant proteins. Only a few plant proteins, such as quinoa or soy, are considered “complete,” so eating a variety of these foods is essential to ensure consumption of all essential amino acids. Classic complementary pairings include rice and beans or bread with peanut butter. For vegetarian or vegan individuals who consume only plant-based proteins, it is necessary to ensure adequate intake of complementary proteins, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium and zinc.

The presentation concluded with a few ideas about how to successfully encourage clients and patients to increase their consumption of plant proteins.

• Demonstrate how to replace animal protein with plant protein in familiar recipes.
• Encourage use of canned beans to easily add to salads, pasta, soups and casseroles.
• Use “indulgent” labeling to name recipes and increase their appeal (ex: Slow-Cooked and Sassy Baked Beans vs. Healthy Baked Beans).
• Improve digestibility by increasing amount and frequency slowly, soaking and cooking beans from scratch and drinking plenty of water.
• Share strategies for dining out. Encourage patients to check menus online or call ahead. Many international cuisines, such as Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern, often have many plant protein options.

Written by Flannery Nielsen, a Master’s student and 2018 Dietetic Internship candidate at Bastyr University.


Want to learn more about plant proteins?  Check out our Members-Only Archived Webinars here on “Soyfoods, Soy Isoflavones & Health” and “Reducing our Environmental Food-Print”.

Recipe: Pumpkin Custard with Hazelnut Pecan Date Crumble

Pumpkin Custard with Hazelnut Pecan Date Crumble

This recipe gives you all of the flavors of pumpkin pie without the fuss of making a crust. Perfectly portioned and easy to make, it would be a shame if you reserved this nourishing sweet treat solely for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Custard with Hazelnut Pecan Date Crumble
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Pumpkin Custard with Hazelnut Pecan Date Crumble

Servings 6

Ingredients

Custard

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter or raw cashews, soaked 4 hours, then drained
  • 1-2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp ground pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of sea salt

Crumble

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Place all of the custard ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth and well mixed.

  3. Pour mixture evenly into six 6-ounce (¾ cup) custard cups. Place custard cups in a large baking dish. Pour boiling water into baking dish around custard cups to a depth of 1 inch. Place baking dish on oven rack in the center of the oven.

  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until centers are almost set. Carefully remove custard cups from baking dish and cool on wire rack.

  5. To make the crumble, place pecans, hazelnuts, dates, and salt into the bowl of a food processor and process until nuts are finely chopped and incorporated with the dates to create a sticky, granular consistency. Crumble on top of custard cups.

Recipe Notes

Cook’s notes: If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, use 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon dried ground ginger.

Labels: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo


Lisa MarkleyLisa Markley, MS, RDN is a dietitian, culinary nutrition expert, and co-author of The Essential Thyroid Cookbook: Over 100 Nourishing Recipes for Thriving with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. As a seasoned culinary educator and recipe developer, Lisa translates nutrition science to the plate using health-supportive ingredients prepared with peak flavor, seasonality, and nutrient density in mind. She shares her kitchen wisdom and food-as-medicine recipes to teach others how to harness the healing power of whole foods for vibrant health.

Recipes shared with permission from The Essential Thyroid Cookbook by Lisa Markley and Jill Grunewald, published by Blue Wheel PressTM. Recipes © 2017 by Lisa Markley, MS, RDN. Food photography © 2016 by Kenny Johnson.

Featured Student Member: Tammy Jordan

Featured Student Tammy Jordan

Who or what inspired you to become interested in integrative and functional nutrition?

As far back as I can remember I’ve always been fascinated by the ‘food as medicine’ movement and the concept of personalized nutrition. It was only after I had applied for graduate school and arrived in the States last year from the UK that I came across the DIFM DPG group on the Academy’s website. It was great to find a community of other nutrition students and Registered Dietitians that share similar values to myself and embrace the integrative medicine model. Another reason that I was drawn to the field of integrative and functional nutrition was the emphasis on incorporating mind-body modalities such as yoga, meditation and tai chi into patient care. I trained as a yoga instructor after graduating from college, and I still use the postures and breathing exercises that I learned all those years ago to help me feel calm and grounded.

What area of practice do you plan to go into and how do you plan to secure a job that utilizes integrative and functional nutrition?

My primary interest is in mental and gastrointestinal nutrition. I first became interested in mental health after attending a conference and hearing Patrick Holford, a well known Dietitian in the UK, speak about the mind-food connection. My interest in gastrointestinal nutrition stems from clinical courses during my Masters and an internship I completed at a private practice in New York  where I worked with an RD that specializes in the area. The evidence supporting the brain-gut connection is compelling, and I would love to combine these two areas through research or working with patients in a hospital setting. I also believe that nutrigenomics will be a key part of the future of dietetics, so I hope to gain more knowledge in that area and provide personalized nutrition for patients.  I plan to learn as much as I can about these areas during my dietetic internship next year and perhaps enroll in advanced training courses offered by the Academy.

Featured Student Tammy Jordan

What education or training in integrative and functional nutrition have you completed or what education or training in integrative and functional nutrition do you plan to complete in the future?

Over the summer I completed the first module of the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certificate of Training Program. I’m now half way through the second module on gastrointestinal health, which I’m finding fascinating.  I also recently took an online course with the Institute for Functional Medicine on methylation strategies in the clinical management of depression and cardiovascular disease.  I’m delighted  that I was awarded the professional development stipend for student members by DIFM only a few weeks ago! I plan to use the stipend to attend the Integrative Healthcare Symposium Annual Conference in February next year in New York where I’ll be listening to a number of experts discuss nutritional solutions to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. Following the conference,  I will be writing an article for the DIFM newsletter about my experience and how other dietitians can integrate this research into their practice.

What advice would you give other students interested in learning more about integrative and functional nutrition?

My advice for anyone interested in learning more about the field would be to attend as many conferences and courses in your spare time as possible. Completing the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certificate of Training Program is a great way to broaden your horizons and learn more about opportunities in the field. Good luck!


Tammy JordanTammy Jordan is obtaining her master’s degree in nutrition at Hunter College in New York. She is passionate about functional and integrative nutrition and is particularly interested in gastrointestinal and mental health disorders. She currently works as a volunteer in the research department at NYU Langone and sits on the Student Advisory Committee for the Academy. In her spare time, Tammy enjoys practicing yoga, trying out new fitness classes and exploring the Manhattan restaurant scene. She can be found sharing recipes and foodie tips on Instagram at jordan_nutrition

Recipe: Turmeric Cauliflower Rice with Roasted Squash and Chickpea Curry

Turmeric Cauliflower Rice with Roasted Squash and Chickpea Curry

I’ve always been fascinated by the potential of using food as a form of medicine.  While the ‘food as medicine’ movement has been around for several decades, it’s only recently that we have begun to fully understand the biological mechanisms underlying the nutritional power of certain foods.  Turmeric has been used in integrative and functional medicine for hundreds of years to treat a whole host of conditions including diabetes , skin diseases, infections  and hepatic and inflammatory disorders. The medicinal properties of the spice are believed to emanate from turmeric’s active component, curcumin.  Studies have shown that curcumin can modulate several signaling pathways and regulate pro inflammatory mediators . This powerful antioxidant can be taken in supplement form or added to your favorite dishes.

This fall inspired recipe incorporates turmeric with an array of healthy vegetables in a creamy, coconut based sauce. It takes just 35 minutes to prepare and is made with simple, everyday ingredients.

Turmeric Cauliflower Rice with Roasted Squash and Chickpea Curry
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Turmeric Cauliflower Rice with Roasted Squash and Chickpea Curry


Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 head cauliflower grated finely
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powdered
  • 2 carrots peeled and grated

Vegetable Curry

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 squash chopped
  • 1 can organic light coconut milk
  • 1/2 can chickpeas
  • 1/2 can tomatoes
  • 4 c spinach chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
  • 8 dried apricots chopped
  • 4 cloves, garlic
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 c cilantro chopped
  • 2 tbsp sea salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds

To garnish

  • 1/2 c pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 390 degrees F. Add the chopped squash into a large bowl and mix with the olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Once thoroughly mixed, spread the squash out on a foil lined baking tray and roast for 20 mins.  

  2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan and add mustard seeds. Wait until they start to pop and then add the garlic, cumin and chili flakes. Cook for 2-3 mins.

  3. Add the apricot chunks and spinach to the saucepan. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt. 

  4. Add the canned tomatoes and stir to combine. Turn down the heat and simmer for 3-4 mins until most of the liquid has been removed. Add the chopped cilantro to the saucepan.

  5. Add the coconut milk, roasted squash, and chickpeas stirring occasionally, bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

  6. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in another saucepan. Once hot, add the grated cauliflower, stirring continuously for 2 minutes.  

  7. Add the turmeric powder and grated carrot to the saucepan mixing well and cook for further 2 minutes.  

  8. Meantime, roast the pumpkin seeds in a dry, small saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes for garnish. 

  9. Split the rice and curry between plates, sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Vegan │   Lactose free │ Gluten free  

For more information on turmeric and other herbs and spices, check out our Fact Sheet in the Members-Only Resources section of our website.


Tamsin JordanTammy Jordan is obtaining her master’s degree in nutrition at Hunter College in New York. She is passionate about functional and integrative nutrition and is particularly interested in gastrointestinal and mental health disorders. She currently works as a volunteer in the research department at NYU Langone and sits on the Student Advisory Committee for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In her spare time, Tammy enjoys practicing yoga, trying out new fitness classes and exploring the Manhattan restaurant scene. She can be found sharing recipes and foodie tips on Instagram at jordan_nutrition.

Recipe: Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto

pumpkin seed cilantro pesto

This amazing pesto combines protein-rich pumpkin seeds and liver detoxifying cilantro into a delicious pesto that can be used as a dip for vegetables or a sauce for spaghetti squash.

pumpkin seed cilantro pesto
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Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto

Makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro (approximately 1 bunch)
  • 3/4 cup baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons chickpea miso paste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. To toast pumpkin seeds, heat a dry skillet over medium and spread pumpkin seeds evenly in the pan. Heat seeds for 2-3 minutes until they become fragrant and begin to pop.

  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine pumpkin seeds, cilantro, spinach, garlic, lime juice, miso, oil, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. Thin with additional oil, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Cook’s notes: Try parsley in place of cilantro, if desired. Sunflower seeds make a delicious substitution for pumpkin seeds.

Chickpea miso adds the savory umami flavor usually created by Parmesan cheese traditionally found in most pesto recipes.

To freeze, scoop into a freezable container leaving 1 inch of space at the top to allow pesto to expand as it free.

Labels: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Paleo, 30 minutes or less

For more information on detoxification, check out our members-only Archived Webinars.


Lisa MarkleyLisa Markley, MS, RDN is a dietitian, culinary nutrition expert, and co-author of The Essential Thyroid Cookbook: Over 100 Nourishing Recipes for Thriving with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. As a seasoned culinary educator and recipe developer, Lisa translates nutrition science to the plate using health-supportive ingredients prepared with peak flavor, seasonality, and nutrient density in mind. She shares her kitchen wisdom and food-as-medicine recipes to teach others how to harness the healing power of whole foods for vibrant health.

Recipe shared with permission from The Essential Thyroid Cookbook by Lisa Markley and Jill Grunewald, published by Blue Wheel PressTM. Recipes © 2017 by Lisa Markley, MS, RDN. Food photography © 2016 by Kenny Johnson.