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?
My 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?
My 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!