WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL NUTRITION?


Functional Nutrition emphasizes high quality, nutrient dense food that is diverse in phytonutrients to address clinical imbalances to move individuals toward their optimal level of health and away from the state of disease.

Functional Nutrition is an emerging speciality within the field of nutrition. The food we eat gives our bodies the information and materials we need to function properly. If we don’t get the right information, our bodies suffer and our health declines. In some case, even the wrong set of “instructions” can lead to inflammation, malnourishment and the increased risk for the development of chronic diseases and conditions.

In short the quality of the food we eat is central to the quality of our health.

Our approach goes beyond treating symptoms and is based on a partnership between you and the practitioner. It starts even before the initial consultation with an understanding of your unique biochemical and lifestyle factors which are evaluated by the through an extensive intake history.

 

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WHY DO WE NEED
FUNCTIONAL NUTRITION?


Chronic diseases are ongoing conditions that are preventable and treatable with diet, exercise, and therapy. Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States with 133 million Americans – 45% of the population – having at least one chronic disease. Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 out of every 10 deaths in the U.S., killing more than 1.7 million Americans every year. 

Here are some statistics on the annual impact of chronic diseases on our health care system:

  • 81%

    OF HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS

  • 91%

    OF PRESCRIPTIONS FILLED

  • 76%

    OF PHYSICIAN VISITS

My Approach


Now, more than ever, we have an abundance of health-related information at our fingertips – endless internet search options, online summits, podcasts, e-learning courses, local community events, books, magazines, and more. However, most people are overwhelmed and tired of the “trial and error” approach that often leads to short- term results or poor results altogether. It’s like having access to all the answers you need, but still being confused about which answers are right for you.

We all need expert guidance.

My role is to teach you how to consider your entire story – from your health history to your current lifestyle  – and connect the dots about how this impacts your current state of health. Functional Diagnostic Nutrition ® is a type of detective work that identifies the underlying and conditions that lead to disease instead of treating symptoms. Using functional lab work (when necessary), we recognize patterns of imbalance in the body and healing opportunities. I work collaboratively with my clients in a health building process. In other words, if you are not feeling well and the plan (or lack there of) you have been implementing over the years is not working for you, then it’s time to uncover what needs to happen. Your body wants to be well. More often than not, you just need to lift the burden of whatever is holding it back. 

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It would be my pleasure to support you.

I believe education is the key to sustainable results. It’s not enough to be told what to do anymore. You need to become the expert of your own body and have a practitioner on your team that is willing to guide you to this place of inner wisdom.

My goal is to educate individuals on the hidden connections to chronic disease and the healing power of nutrition and lifestyle. When you learn how to identify early signs of disease and dysfunction you can build resilience and health at home. Teaching others how to use nutrient dense food and the principles of Mother Nature to care for themselves is an important part of my mission.

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Meet your guide


More than anything, I am an educator. It’s not my job to heal you. You can heal yourself.

What’s missing from the current medical, integrative, and holistic model(s) of care is education – personalized education – about what’s happening in your body. If you have to rely on a practitioner to “keep you well” then you have not achieved optimal health. “Managing” chronic disease with supplements instead of pharmaceutical medications is still disease management. A lifetime of highly restrictive diets is not healing. True healing is possible when you know how to listen to the language of your body and how to identify what needs to be done to remedy what ails you.

I’ve done my job well when you feel in control of your own health.

Most people that come to me are experiencing symptoms of hormone imbalance, allergies, chronic digestive issues, skin conditions, autism spectrum disorders, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue or have “seen everyone and tried everything.”

My practice is primarily focused on functional nutrition (“food as information”). While my training is diverse and includes functional medicine, immunology, biochemistry, the microbiome, specialized diets, herbs, and basic homeopathy, my role is not to act as your practitioner by in these areas but instead to mentor you using with my training to support the process. We use the most innovative and advanced lab testing (when needed), along with a personalized approach grounded in nutrition, lifestyle and natural therapies to get you the relief you deserve and an approach that builds long lasting health and resilience.

  • Kathleen DiChiara

    Functional Nutrition Practitioner

    Kathleen DiChiara is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition ® Practitioner, Integrative Health & Nutrition Coach, Bio-Individual Nutrition Practitioner, Nutrition Educator and Author of the bestselling book, The Hidden Connection. She received specialized training in the biochemistry and specialized diets for autism, allergies, autoimmune and other chronic conditions and is a professionally trained chef. Kathleen is currently studying cell biology and the mitochondria.

    Kathleen works with clients all over the world and lectures frequently, both locally and nationally, on nutrition and its influence on conditions like Autism/ADHD, Autoimmunity, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Pain, Gastrointestinal Imbalances, Chronic Diseases. She also lectures on the connection between nutrition and the microbiome, including how to harness the intelligence of our microbes as part of our healing process.