Live Nourished | Nutritional Therapy Conference

pork bone broth with black cumin seed oil, coco butter / ghee fat bomb, medicinal mushroom powder.  ohhh, Portland i how I love thee.

pork bone broth with black cumin seed oil, coco butter / ghee fat bomb, medicinal mushroom powder.  ohhh, Portland i how I love thee.

We're wrapping up our fourth week in the NTP program and I'm still getting adjusted to the workload, and my new "routine" for self study. I’m going to try out some serious time blocking in the early AM hours this coming week, to try and get a better handle on the reading.  Soooo. much. reading.

This program is definitely a big commitment, especially coming in without a lot of nutrition background and a more-than-full-time job in another field.  After the initial sense of overwhelm wore off (that first week was rough!) I’m feeling up to the challenge.

I love books like Gretchen Rubin's The Four Tendencies and other titles that I guess would be considered self help-ish.  Have you taken the quiz yet? I'm what Rubin calls a "Questioner" and tend to spin-off and go into detail to research every last little thing.  I find that sometimes I get a little caught up in the minutiae and dedicate too much time to one thing or the other.  Sometimes, this leads to analysis paralysis. 

I found one of our course assigned books, Motivational Interviewing in Health Care, super helpful in framing both my current employment situation in sales, and also how I might deepen my practice as a health coach.  The book itself was succinct in its idea, but when I found myself dabbling in it too long at one point I just had to cut off my engagement for another time and move on. It’s easy to get sucked into the rabbit hole!

The view from Jen's place in Portland. Like waking up every morning to a warm, let's meditate-over-the-river hug.

The view from Jen's place in Portland. Like waking up every morning to a warm, let's meditate-over-the-river hug.

I decided to attend the Nutritional Therapy Association annual conference in Vancouver, WA, and added on a day for a pre-conference business workshop.  I hoped that diving in and seeing the NTA in action would be a huge motivator. It was definitely the right choice. I had such a nice time staying with Jen in Portland, and lyft-ing up to Vancouver to the conference location each day.  We hardly went out, except for a meal at Bamboo sushi, my favorite for GF sushi.  We made fathead pizza TWO TIMES, and hung out at swanky soaking spa Knot Springs. The time off did put me behind in my course workload, and I'm still playing catch up as the weekends are really my time to sit down and study.  The experience was worth getting a little behind.  I'm taking it day by day and trying to break everything into manageable chunks.

Sharing some of my speaker highlights from the packed conference schedule.  The theme of the conference this year was “Live Nourished”, and I was so impressed by the number of different perspectives and modalities the speakers represented when asked, What Nourishes You?  When the NTA says they take a bio-individual approach, they are serious.  The other thing that really blew my mind was that for a nutrition conference, there was so much emphasis placed on everything outside of food.  There were workshops on sleep, meditation, eastern philosophy, business topics, photography, movement, special diets and complex client cases. The list just went on and on.  If a topic didn't feel quite right, or I just needed a break, it was fine to move from room to room, or check out the exhibit hall offerings.

A few takeaways to remember from favorite speakers -

Dr. Param Dedhia – Dr Dedhia is the MD at Canyon Ranch Spa and opened the program with a dynamic lecture.  He created a circle of mental, physical, spiritual, social well-being as the picture of health. He talked about sleep, and how the way we live our day effects the quality of our sleep.  Are we exercising or drinking too much caffeine to allow rest to take place? He also emphasized the importance of that 2nd half of a night of sleep, and how crucial that sleep is for mental / emotional repair.

Dr. Keesha Ewers  - When Ewers said the practice of Ayurveda believes that “autoimmune disease is undigested anger”, I felt a personal connection.  The comment took me a minute to process.  As someone who first developed autoimmune symptoms during a time of intense job stress, I often think about the way our genes and our environment co-mingle.  Dr. Keesha has a powerful story that is worth checking out! Her practice integrates Ayurveda, functional medicine and psychotherapy.

Business Mastermind with Beth Manos Brickey – Beth from Tasty Yummies  led a 3-day workshop with a new special guest each day – Jeniffer Alburquerque of Naked Flavors, Alison Marras from Food by Mars and Emily Schromm.  If I were forced to choose one workshop, this would be it. Mindfully spread over the 3 days, they explored topics like finding your unique voice, and how to create and maintain work & life balance.  These women are all relatable, highly motivating and doing great work in their respective niches.   One great takeaway - you don’t have to be everything to everybody!

Marie Manuchehri – Marie was incredible! She had a unique ability to lead the entire conference hall through a very clear and deep energy meditation.  Marie is a clairvoyant and healer who found her gift while working as a hospital nurse, connecting deeply with patients. She took us through the clearest explanation of the chakras that I’ve received, some of that work can be found here.

Donna Jackson Nakazawa – Jackson Nakazawa is the acclaimed author of The Autoimmune Epidemic and Childhood Disrupted – How Your Biography Becomes your Biography, and How You Can Heal.  With her own healing story as a foundation for her talk, she wove in her work with childhood trauma, mindfulness, and brain plasticity.  I have so many of her books marked to read.  Nakazawa makes a point that no drug treats the parasympathetic nervous system. 

After a few years of soaking in information via all the blogs and podcasts I can fir in my day, this was my first time attending a nutrition conference.  There were a lot of fan-girl moments.  I was a bit overwhelmed and even a little nervous to be around so many incredible professionals in this field.  I left with more clarity about my path.  Even if you’re not a member of the NTA, this is such a worthwhile event and I can’t recommend it enough.  Already looking forward to next year.

Just casually hanging out with fitness superhero Emily Schromm

Just casually hanging out with fitness superhero Emily Schromm

Melinda StaehlingComment