Cod Liver Oil

Tara, Holistic Nutritionist

I’ve been diagnosed with asthma, allergies, anemia, panic attacks, osteoarthritis, ADHD, and more; I know how uncomfortable life can be to live in a body that is anything but comfortable. Growing up the middle of 5 kids and a busy family, I anchored into a body with a drippy nose, itchy eyes, tight lungs, and fiery brain … sitting still was out of the question.

My mother drove hours to source organic food for our family (this was 1980, good food hard to find); she also kept a garden and chickens. Her efforts, plus my desire to get off prescribed medication, fueled my desire to feel better.

I took a long time to connect dots between food and how I felt; even longer to understand how childhood (and adult) stressors factored into my health. I’ve since come to see the emotional landscape as more tricky to traverse then the food I do or don’t eat; especially when trauma is involved. 

Growing Up 

When I was 12, I opened Fat Mama’s in my family kitchen; a restaurant with a healthy menu. At 14, I created allergen-free recipes for my mom’s Montessori school. In college, I worked at the first Whole Foods and stopped eating at the school cafeteria. I started fasting, dowsing wheatgrass shots, and doing colonics.

Yin & Yang

On graduation day, I traveled to California and found the book Zen Macrobiotics, which inspired me to apprentice with Japanese teacher, Cornelia Aihara, and learn the traditional principles of yin/yang. I cooked medicinally, chanted, walked barefoot in dew, and applied ginger compresses to those with terminal cancer; watching the water turn black from discharge. 

Esalen

In my 20’s, I studied massage and baked bread at Esalen in Big Sur. I let loose and cooked with more flexibility; while maintaining the inner discipline I had come to cherish. I also cooked at Tassajara Zen Monastery where kitchen life is quiet as can BE.

Pregnancy

In 2001, I became pregnant with my oldest son and suffered hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) for 12 weeks. In 2006, I became pregnant again and miscarried a baby girl. In 2007, I once again became pregnant and experienced HG for 40 weeks. I was unable to eat or drink more than a teaspoon of water without vomiting and took medication meant for people in chemotherapy. These pregnant periods instilled empathy for others moving through challenging experiences.

Celiac

When my oldest started solids, he became bloated with diarrhea/vomiting. The doctors didn’t know how to help and I was too busy being a single mom to really hone in on him. At age 2, he was admitted to intensive care for weight loss, listlessness, and dehydration and diagnosed with ‘borderline Celiac disease’. I was told to avoid giving him too much gluten. I did more than that. I took on a better job so I could be with him more, then I eliminated gluten and every top allergen (nuts, soy, eggs, seafood, dairy, fish, crustacean) and watched him bloom. His transformation motivated me to keep learning how food can heal and harm.

Balance

By 34, I began having panic attacks. This was my rock bottom. I had more health challenges then ever at once and felt swallowed by life. Thankfully, a Naturopath took the time to diagnose systemic yeast overgrowth and I used Body Ecology Diet to find balance. In 2011, I attended Bauman to become a Holistic Nutritionist.

Today

I no longer take medication or have panic attacks. I meditate daily, eat well, and live a slow life. My interest in healing runs deep as ever as does my desire to support each person I work with to heal and understand themselves on multiple levels; meeting you wherever you are to begin.

There is a dance only you know how to do. ~ Gabrielle Roth

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