Category Archives: Functional Nutrition

A Functional Nutrition Approach to Supplements

Today I want to share my stance on supplements.  Some people believe we should be able to get everything we need from food, and others rush to supplements before ever considering food.  My perspective is somewhere in the middle and I share my thoughts on supplement use in today’s video:


Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Supplements can help to correct deficiencies and provide extra support that the body needs.
  2. Therapeutic doses of many nutrients aren’t found in normal portions of food and supplements can be considered in these cases.
  3. Supplements aren’t a cure-all for your symptoms – they can’t outweigh the negative effects of an inflammatory diet.  So before considering supplements, make sure there aren’t other obstacles to healing in your way (like eating inflammatory foods or getting poor sleep, etc).
  4. The quality and form of nutrients in your supplements matter!  The website I mentioned in the video for finding high quality supplements is

How what you eat can help you take back your life

As much as I love shopping at the health food store (or on the Thrive Market website), and spending time cooking in my kitchen, the REAL reason I love Functional Nutrition so much comes down to this:


Changing what you eat changes how your body works which changes how you feel.


If you’re dealing with symptoms that are getting in the way of your daily life (like headaches, bloating, joint pain, other chronic pain, chronic fatigue, or any number of other symptoms), don’t lose hope!  You likely have more control over your health and how you feel then you realize – and it all starts with what you eat.


Watch today’s video to hear more about how what you eat can help you take back your life.



As Dr. Mark Hyman says, food really is information for your cells, telling your body what to do and how to operate.  It really is amazing how much we can influence our health with what we eat!


What’s your take on this?  Have you experienced a change in your symptoms based on what you eat?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments!

Are you playing target practice with your symptoms?

Do you ever feel like the world of health and medicine is too compartmentalized?  You have to find a specialized practitioner for every symptom you experience.  Or maybe you try to address things on your own, managing your bloating one way and your fatigue in another, and doing something else for your joint pain.  This can all add up to a laundry list of food rules, supplements to try, and even medications to take.


In today’s video, I talk about how to find a better approach that will help you feel better in more ways than one:



If you’re anything like me, you have more than one thing going on with your health at any given time and it all gets to be too much!  Trying to address each symptom you experience individually is like playing target practice, and it can be overwhelming, time consuming and exhausting especially when the things you try or the practitioners you see aren’t helping you feel that much better.


I don’t claim to have the answer for every ailment under the sun, but I have found an approach that is more effective than this endless, and many time futile, target practice.  Read more »

3 Tips for sticking to your healing diet on Thanksgiving

Today, as promised, I’m sharing my strategies for sticking with your healing diet over Thanksgiving.  I recorded the video below live on Facebook yesterday (hence the quality issues!) and I hope these ideas help you as you prepare for tomorrow’s festivities!



To recap, here are some things to consider before you sit down for your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Have a clear understanding of which foods you can definitely eat, which foods you definitely can’t eat, and which are ok on occasion (your “bike lane” foods)
  • Recommit yourself to why you are eating this way and the benefits it brings you

Once you have given that some thought, you can use these strategies for managing the holiday meal:

  1. Be prepared with alternatives!
    • Make sure you don’t feel deprived by having alternatives to your favorite dishes.  For example, since I don’t eat refined sugar, eggs, etc, I make my own pies with “Melanie-approved” ingredients!  If you’re in a pinch, take a trip to a health food store this afternoon and see what you can find there.
  2. Allow yourself to enjoy the foods on your “yes” and “sometimes” lists!
    • Again, I’m all for holiday meal enjoyment with no guilt or deprivation.  A holiday meal is definitely the perfect time to indulge in those “bike-lane” foods!
  3. Don’t get too hungry!
    • You should still eat a good breakfast and remember to stop eating when you are 80% full to avoid getting uncomfortable or having regrets about what you ate.

I hope you savor the meal and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Remember this when you get overwhelmed!

This time of year can be overwhelming as the holiday season starts to approach. I also see a lot of overwhelm when it comes to sorting through the limitless amount of information that’s available these days regarding health, food, and nutrition. So today I’m sharing a quick, simple reminder to help you move out of overwhelm by moving into action! And I also mention the cringe-worthy breakfast I used to eat 8 years ago! Hey, we all have to start somewhere!


And since it’s less than 1 week until Thanksgiving, I’ve also included the pumpkin pie recipe I’ll be making below the video, so be sure to check that out!


This is the gluten-free, grain-free, refined-sugar-free, dairy-free and egg-free pumpkin pie recipe I’ve been using for the past few years.  I do make some adjustments to the recipe:

  • I use walnuts for the crust
  • I use 1tbsp pumpkin pie spice instead of the individual spices.
  • Instead of agar I use 2tbsp gelatin whisked into 1/2 cup of the coconut milk. I add the gelatin mixture to the pot after everything else has simmered.


I love this recipe because it doesn’t require baking – just press the crust into your pie plate, mix up the filling on the stove, pour it into the crust and chill!  If you can’t do nuts, you can substitute any other pie crust you like, or simply make a crustless pie!



I hope these ideas were helpful for you, and next week I’ll be sharing some more tips on how to stick to your healing diet (if you’re on one) over Thanksgiving.

Your lab results are true, but…

Have you ever gotten some lab results and thought, “Yes, I finally have my answer!”.  As much as we all would love to have an easy solution to our chronic symptoms, I find that it’s rarely that simple.


A phrase I like to keep in mind as I’m gathering data about myself or my clients is “True, but partial”.  In this week’s short video, I explain how adopting this perspective can help you continue to move forward as you uncover what’s going on in your body and how you can best support yourself.


I’m also sharing an example from my own food allergy results below the video!


Here’s a “true, but partial” example:


I decided to get a food sensitivity test 4 years ago, and here’s a snapshot of part of my results, showing IgA and IgG antibodies to certain foods: Read more »

How to uncover what’s triggering your symptoms

Do you have a hard time sorting through your symptoms and trying to figure out if something you’re doing is contributing to what you’re experiencing?


There are many variables that can affect how you feel throughout the day, including:

  • what you eat
  • how much water you drink
  • how much sleep you get (and WHEN you go to bed)
  • how your digestion is functioning
  • how your blood sugar responds to what you eat
  • what kind of movement you get in throughout the day
  • and more!


In today’s video, I share a simple strategy for starting to put the pieces together for yourself.  Doing this can really help you identify changes you can make to your routine that will help you feel better.


Here’s the tracker I mentioned in the video.  (Note that you can use the “mood” section for ANY symptoms at all, or anything else you want to keep track of).


And here’s your homework!  Choose one thing (or a few things!) you can start tracking next week.  Just write down your observations without any commentary or judgment.  Then come back to it after you’ve got 3 to 7 days of data and see if there are any connections you can make!


Good luck and let me know how it goes!

My (functional) approach to weight loss

I’ve thought about sharing my approach to weight loss for a while now.  I’ve hesitated since it’s not my primary area of focus, as my main goal is to help people with chronic conditions and chronic symptoms feel better by learning to support their health through targeted food, supplement, and lifestyle choices.


At the same time, I have been successful at helping clients lose weight and you likely know that I also helped my husband lose 100lbs and keep it off for almost 7 years.


So I know it can be done, and yet in certain situations it can be difficult to find a successful approach.  In today’s video, I’m sharing my thoughts about weight loss and what I’ve seen to be most effective.


Here are some key takeaways: 
Read more »

Your first step in using nutrition for healing

There is so much nutrition information available online these days which can either be really helpful or really overwhelming!  I remember when I first decided to go grain-free in 2009 because I accidentally had a grain-free day and noticed that I felt better!  So I got curious, and of course googled “grain-free diets” and almost NOTHING came up!  It’s hard to believe that now!  I found ONE book on the topic and I’m sure there are hundreds of books, websites, and articles dedicated to the topic now.


So in that sense, I’m glad the internet has exploded with resources for people who are trying to make dietary changes so they can feel better.


The question becomes, where do you start?  What do you do first?  I addressed that question in my video this week:


If you want to skip ahead to find out what I recommend as your first step, I start talking about it specifically at about the 1:45 mark!

And remember, like I said in the video, none of the resources out there take YOU into account.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help figuring out the best dietary direction for you.

Curry chicken saute recipe

Last night I didn’t feel like making dinner (yes, it happens to me too!).  I pulled together the things we had on hand, and I made up a dish that turned out to be really delicious!  My husband said I should make it more often, so I decided to share it with you too!


I’ve shared before that I rarely cook with recipes these days, and I typically don’t really know what’s for dinner until a few minutes before I start cooking.  I make sure to defrost some meat the night before and always have veggies on hand either from our CSA or the grocery store.  Then I just pick a few things to cook each night!  It’s a method that works really well for me right now since I don’t spend any time meal planning and still get a healthy from-scratch meal on the table most nights.


You’ll find the recipe I made up last night at the bottom of this post.


And for this week’s video, I’m sharing a live interview from earlier this week.  I was asked all sorts of questions about functional nutrition and my business in general and I’d love for you to tune in if you missed us live!


Here’s the recipe I came up with last night:


Curry Chicken & Vegetable Saute

Ingredients Read more »

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