Build Me Up Buttercup

We’ve all heard quotes like the above one before – heck even The 3 Little Pigs taught us that a house made of brick was the way to go if we want to stay safe from the big, bad wolf.  Nutrition and health aren’t any different.  If we want to stay safe from the big bad wolf (a.k.a chronic disease and decreased quality of life) – we need to make sure our foundations are strong!

There are six factors to health that are considered to be “The Nutritional Foundations”.  

  1. Nutrition (seems kinda obvious hey?) – A diet of properly prepared, nutrient dense, whole foods.  I’ll delve more into this topic in later posts, but for now let’s just say that this IS NOT the diet that most North Americans are currently eating.  Think local, sustainable, seasonal, and organic vs boxed, bagged, refined and/or provided by a creepy giant clown with red hair.  You get the picture.
  2. Digestion – This will be our first deep dive. Without properly digesting the food we eat, balancing any of the other foundations is pretty much out of the question.  We need to properly breakdown food and absorb nutrients to support ALL of the other foundations. 
  3. Blood Sugar Regulation – The body must maintain its blood glucose level within a pretty narrow range.  Too low and you get cranky, shaky, and ravenously hungry – widely recognizable (particularly by my poor hubby) as HANGER.  Too high and it can damage our cells and tissues.  Prolonged high blood sugar can lead to complications including heart disease, vision impairment, kidney dysfunction and poor wound healing, which we often see in diabetics.  Constant cycling between high and low blood sugar (the dreaded sugar crash) also comes with its own set of issues, which is why it is important to ensure balanced energy levels.
  4. Fatty Acid Balance – Our bodies need healthy fats!!  Fats play so many important roles in the body, from providing building blocks for our cell membranes and hormones, to providing a dense energy source, to keeping us full and, most importantly, making food taste GOOOOOD! Hellooo butter 🥰!  The key word here is HEALTHY fats.  There’s a lot of stigma, fear and misconception out there surrounding fat and we are going to unpack and address ALL of that eventually!
  5. Mineral Balance – Minerals are our spark plugs and are needed by every system in the body.  In order to make healthy bones, we need minerals.  To get our muscles to contract and relax, we need minerals.  To transfer nutrients across cell membranes – you guessed it – we need minerals.  The kicker is, we cannot make our own minerals and, therefore, we must get them from the foods and beverages we consume.
  6. Hydration – YES!  Water is a nutrient!  Probably the most important nutrient and, sadly, the most common deficiency in our society as well.  Our bodies are composed of about 60% water by mass and pretty much every body process from digestion to body temperature regulation to breathing requires water.  Think you are drinking enough?  Here’s the thing – you can be drinking buckets full of water and NOT ABSORBING IT!!  We need the right minerals (called electrolytes) to be able to absorb and utilize the water we drink.  Every foundation supports the others!

So there you have it!  The six foundations of proper nutrition!  It’s a lot to “digest” (sorry – had to do it), which is why, in the next post, we’ll dive right into the foundation of Digestion – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly…. In the meantime, click on the post’s title and leave me a comment or question!  If you are on the shy side, you can email your questions to Thanks for reading!!


The Nutritional Therapy Association believes every person’s nutritional needs are unique to themselves and, by utilizing the wisdom of our ancestors in combination with contemporary research, we can work to balance the very foundations of our health and reverse the damage done by today’s modern diet.  The NTA provides us with the knowledge to transform an individual’s health using nutrient dense, properly prepared, whole foods.  They bring together like minded people to connect, learn from each other and work together to change the way society approaches health and wellness.  Nutritional Therapy Practitioners (NTPs), who are certified by the NTA, empower individuals to take control of their own health and work with them to reach their personal health goals.  Each interaction is adapted to the individual client to meet their specific needs — there is no One Size Fits All plan here!  By using proper nutrition, positive lifestyle changes and reversing nutrient deficiencies, NTP’s help set the stage for the optimal health each of us deserve!

A big focus of the program is the consideration of each person’s bio-individuality.  Bio-individuality is basically just a fancy way of saying that each person is unique and, as such, each of our diets (beyond being comprised of nutrient dense, whole foods) will vary depending on many factors.  These can include genetics, current health status, gut microbiome and even personal taste.  In fact, what is properly nourishing for a person at this moment in time may not be as nourishing further down the road if any of these factors change. (Pregnant vs non-pregnant, digestive health etc.)  Respecting bio-individuality is significant.  It highlights the fact that there is no single type of diet that will work for everyone.  The road to true health is dependent on finding out what works best for you in the moment and recognizing when your nutritional needs have changed.  Figuring all this out can feel a little like throwing darts at a moving target, but don’t worry!!  Nutritional Therapy Practitioners help clients learn to recognize and listen to what your body is telling you it needs (or doesn’t need!).  Our bodies have innate intelligence – sounds a little hokey I know!  But, the body uses this intelligence to govern every single action in our bodies, to heal itself and bring us back to optimal health.  To supply the body with the ingredients (or nutrients) it needs to carry out all these tasks, there are certain fundamental factors that need to be brought back into balance.  We refer to these as “The Nutritional Foundations”.  It’s kinda like building a house, if the foundation is shaky – that house isn’t going to stand for very long!  

In my next post I’ll go over what we consider to be the foundations of Nutritional Therapy and how they support our health! If you’d like to leave me a comment, click on the post’s title! Thanks!

Pharmacist to “Farmacist”….

Real Medicine

Nutritional Therapy??  I thought you were a pharmacist?!?

Well, I was!  Technically, I still am (licensed in Canada and all up to date on my continuing education units!)  So why the switch?  Most of you probably know my story, but for those of you that have somehow stumbled upon this newbie’s blog – let’s catch up!

I had been working in the health care system as a pharmacist for nearly 20 years (I graduated when I was 9 😉 ) when my husband was offered a dream job in the Seattle area.  We certainly weren’t looking for a huge life change, we had just finalized plans to build our dream house, both our families lived nearby and we enjoyed a close circle of friends – but after a lot of discussion and sleepless nights, we decided to take the leap and I hung up my lab coat, joining the ranks of the unemployed.

Initially, I fully intended to write the myriad of exams that would allow me to practice pharmacy in the States.  Having spent the first 6 months reviewing subjects I hadn’t thought about since pharmacy school (I’m talking to you Organic Chemistry!),  I soon realized that maybe the fact that I was dragging my feet in applying to write the exams was evidence that I really didn’t feel excited about returning to the dispensary.  What I had, though, was an opportunity to pursue a whole new passion!!  The only catch was that I had to figure out what that passion was.

I’ve always loved the sciences and learning about what makes us humans tick, it’s kinda my comfort zone at this point.  I also knew that my interest in all things food runs a lot higher than the average person who is just trying to get a meal slapped together at the end of the day.  I first started eating Paleo about 9 years ago when it was introduced to me through my Crossfit gym.  I’ve gone back and forth, tinkered with a more Primal style of Paleo, tried Keto and intermittent fasting.  Sometimes I was consistent and sometimes I was very inconsistent – but I knew from my own experience that a whole food, nutrient dense diet was a key foundation to health and vitality.  One of my biggest frustrations as a pharmacist was seeing people come to the counter to pick up their prescriptions for diabetes, heart disease etcetera and then seeing the junk they had in their grocery carts!

Combining these two interests led me to looking at different Nutrition programs.  I was feeling pretty defeated since most were very expensive and wouldn’t recognize the pre-requisites I completed all those many moons ago.  I didn’t want to go into debt and I DEFINITELY didn’t want to repeat Biology or English 101!  But the biggest reason I kiboshed these programs was that the curriculum offered in most of them didn’t align with my personal beliefs regarding nutrition.  Finally, I came across the website for the Nutritional Therapy Association and I thought “WOW – This is exactly what I’ve been looking for!”  Being the over thinker that I am, I talked myself out of it several times.  I have no experience in creating and fostering a business – how could I possibly make it work?  But I kept coming back to that website and, finally, took the leap.

My hope in pursuing this area of study is to educate and empower people to be proactive, not reactive, with their health and to encourage clients and other health care professionals to see proper nutrition as the first step in optimizing wellness.  I want to be a part of creating a positive shift in the healthcare system where people don’t just survive, they thrive. 

Next time – We talk Nutrition and what makes the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner program different!!  See you soon!