What is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, anyway?

When I tell people I'm a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP), I get a mix of reactions: polite nods, confused smiles, and comments like "Oh, you mean a registered dietician?" or "Oh, like a naturopath?". But most often, I get this one: "What the heck is a nutritional therapist, anyway?"

This may sound a bit disheartening, but truthfully, if I had been asked what a nutritional therapist was two years ago,  I wouldn't have known either!

So! I am here to spread the good word about nutritional therapy and clear up the confusion. Let us start on our quest of discovery! First:

What is an NTP? (...and what it isn’t)

Let's start with the “isn't” part...

I am not a doctor or a pharmacist or a naturopath. I will not diagnose you or prescribe things or treat disease. Not my game.

But I am a trained nutritional professional. I will meet you wherever you may be on your journey, and together we will make a plan to propel you forward towards better health with the healing power of whole (tasty!) food. I’m your cheerleader and your coach and we are in this process together, 100%.

But do you even know what you’re talking about?

I went through a pretty badass (also educational) program with the Nutritional Therapy Association, where I learned what optimal function looks like in the body, how to address deficiencies, and create individualized nutritional protocols to improve the health of my clients.

So, Liz, what is unique to your practice?

You know how a one-size-fits-all shirt could more accurately be described as one-size-fits-no-one? Yeah. I’ve been there too. That is how I view common nutritional guidance.

"If you eat these three things or never eat those five things again, you'll be healthy!"

Ehhhhh.... Probably not true.
You know why it’s not true?

Because we are all bio-individual. Unique. Special. Everything your parents told you growing up. You're a goddamn snowflake. So what works for that snowflake over there, may not work for you.

Which is why I look at the whole person: taking into account lifestyle, diet, health history, and current nutritional deficiencies or imbalances in order to make recommendations that will make you feel like a rock star.

Deficiencies? Who you callin' imbalanced?

How can you tell?!

I've got a lot of tools in my belt for that one but my favorite tool is this fancy thing called the Functional Evaluation (please hold the “ooo’s” and “ahhh’s” until the end…!).

This is a hands-on, clinical approach that helps me identify inflammation, congestion, and other weaknesses that I then link back to specific foundational deficiencies or imbalances in the body. This helps me tailor my recommendations to your body's specific needs.

So no one-size-fits-all diet? Then what guides those recommendations?

Ah, this is where my philosophy comes in! As an NTP, I believe that optimal health is built on the foundations of digestion, hydration, fatty acid balance, blood sugar regulation, mineral balance and (most importantly!) a properly-prepared, nutrient-dense diet.

Is that fancy speak for “eat Paleo”?

Not really. But I do believe strongly in ancestral health and agree that the source of modern disease is our current standard American diet. For some individuals, a grain, dairy and legume-free diet may be the best approach, while others may tolerate those foods when properly-prepared. (Remember, you're a snowflake!)

My mission is to help you identify what foods serve your body best and to make you feel amazing, while leading you to better health.

In closing, I’ll leave you with this lil’ tidbit of advice to chew on... in fact, it’s the BEST ADVICE I can give you:

JUST EAT REAL FOOD!