Friday, July 27, 2012

Getting My Functional Diagnostic Nutrition On

Hmmmm.  It's hard to type with salt on your fingers.  I was craving popcorn ...

Anyway, I digress even before I get started.  Right.  We are writing about running ... old lady running ... masters running.  I am so very happy to write, according to that topic, that I am no longer injured.  While still getting periodic therapy, with the help of a great doctor and even more, the God given healing power within, the Achilles is strong.  So, more than enough on that topic.  Let's not talk about that for a while.

Popcorn.  Yes, food is on my mind.  Nutrition really.  I am a nutritionist by education.  I got that credential in the form of a Bachelor's degree in Food and Nutrition way back in the, ahem .... 90's.  I finished school and not long after, I began a family.  Once the boys came along (I have two sons, currently 19 and 17), I chose not to pursue any type of career, and worked through those years almost only from the home.  At one time a medical transcriptionist, and later a business owner.  None of it really involved Food and Nutrition, so there sat my degree and my education.  Was it just a waste of time, a waste of money, put it on the shelf as an "experience" without lasting value?  Well here's the answer to that.

A few years ago when I still lived in the San Diego area, there came a time in the circumstances of my life that I needed to begin working outside the home.  (Whew, this popcorn is good).  After what seemed like endless searching, endless attempts to respond to opportunities I thought were a good fit, I came across an ad for "An Executive Assistant needed for busy Entrepreneur."  Reading further it read something like:  Needs to be interested in health and nutrition (me, me, me), needs to have writing ability to ghost write (me, me, me).  There was more but I can't remember what else it said.  I sort of stuck on those two, but I know the other stuff was good too.  The point is, whatever it said was exactly what I was, am.  I responded immediately and had a glimmer of hope while still doubting I'd ever hear anything back, as had been the case 50 other times.  To my delight and joy I did hear back.  It turns out that my response was exactly what he was looking for.  I talked about my nutritional "background" and my writing gigs (along with samples), my view of allopathic medicine and the reasons why I gave birth to both my children at home, never having seen a doctor during those pregnancies (I had an exceptional mid-wife).  I explained that I was a competitive runner and in good physical condition with the mindset to remain that way.

To make a long story short, he promptly hired me and from day one it was indeed a perfect fit.  As it turns out, this Executive was a very busy clinical nutritionist.  He was busy because he also is the founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition which in a nutshell is using functional lab work to discover malfunctions within the body that are responsible for common health complaints and issues that most (probably all) people struggle with.  Things related to adrenal function, gut, immunity, digestion, pathology in the intestinal tract, steroidal hormone imbalances, and many other things.  He is a master at reading clues and following them until he has figured out the most underlying cause.  The treatment is often done with supportive supplementation and elimination of foods from the diet that are causing issues, removing pathogens when needed, correcting imbalances and other things depending.  This FDN guru, his name is Reed, not only founded this work but teaches it in an online course and to this day (4 years after he began teaching others how to do this) he has had hundreds of graduates spanning 35 different countries.  This man needed someone to help him out.  I truly did fit right in because, although I had not previously heard of FDN, I immediately embraced it, believed in it, and saw if work in his clients and students.

So to make another long story short.  When we moved to Santa Barbara, I attempted to commute to San Diego to maintain my work with Reed, but it became apparent that I was going to have to let that go.  I couldn't keep up the drive each week (3 days there, 4 days here) and he wanted his assistant in office.  We had to part ways, though it was a very positive parting.  And we had kept in touch since then.  I sought employment in Santa Barbara and was blessed with some opportunities, but always missed that perfect fit job with Reed (which wasn't really a job so much as just being a part of something that was making a difference).

This past April, as my contract with the school district as a PE teacher was winding down, I was needing to decide whether I would attempt to continue on in that capacity.  In all truth, there were a lot of reasons why I didn't want to, but felt I most likely would have to.  It was in that critical set of days that I heard from Reed (almost a year and a half later).  It seemed that he was continuing to grow in his work and needed additional support staff.  He wondered if I knew anyone who might be interested.  My question back, "Can this work be done remotely ... as in from Santa Barbara?"  And there began the continuation of my FDN career.

Beginning this past June, from a home office, I am experiencing what I believe my Food and Nutrition degree was meant to give me.  What I get to do though is so much more than food and nutrition.  While I work hard each day, I also am taking the FDN course.  I took it before, but never completed it.  This time I am jumping through all the hoops, learning the ropes, and within a few months, I myself will be a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist.  In the process, I'm working on my own health as well.  Everyone who has any issue at all, any symptom at all, also has opportunities to heal.  And athletes that are looking for top performance are even more in need of perfect function at every level.  And there's no one size fits all solution, even when it comes to proper diet - especially when it comes to proper diet.  So as an athlete, with FDN I am now able to fine tune my diet, work on malfunctions in my adrenal, liver, digestion and detoxification systems, support the areas that need support, and am getting rid of things that aren't supposed to be there.  I am finding the healing opportunities and doing something about it.

So this has been a weird circle to run around but I'm glad to be back to the beginning of it.  When it's all said and done there's just one thing I hope ... that popcorn fits into my "proper diet."  Oh, and Starbucks, I hope that fits in there too.


  1. However the definite effectiveness of these supplements to maintain good health is still being researched as still it can’t be said for definite that using nutritional supplements is useful or not.


  2. This insightful post is extremely helpful to me as I am deciding on utilizing FDN for clients. Your background in nutrition is helping me in my decision to help others in this manner. There is no telling how far this benefit will travel now. ;)