MEET YOUR Nutrition coaches,
KIMBERLY ALEXANDER, NTP
& Melissa sher, ntp
I grew up in a “health-conscious” home in the 80’s and 90’s, when healthy meant Snackwells cookies, Gold 'n Soft Margarine, Basic 4 cereal, and corn was still a vegetable. Despite the bad information fed to my family through the media (and despite the fact that dessert was just as much a food group in my home as vegetables, fruit, and meat were) I was fortunately still indoctrinated with the message that eating well and being healthy are important, even if our practice in this arena was flawed. As I got older I started to investigate what “being healthy” meant for me.
The first iteration of this exploration meant becoming vegetarian and eventually vegan. I walked this path for 12 years of my life, starting as a teen ordering Big Macs with no meat (yes, seriously) and eventually learning about the importance of vegetables. Even still, I ate a lot of pasta and not-dogs, not-cheese, and not-meat products. It took a bike accident for me to figure out that all of these “not-” products, were in reality, simply NOT food. My body needed healing after the crash and, the very next day, after not having eaten it in 12 years, I craved chicken SO. FREAKING. MUCH! My body was trying to tell me something...
As the low-fat diet craze was in full effect I chose my animal products carefully. Fat-free milk and yogurt; only egg whites and chicken breast; and definitely no red meat. I felt better eating this way than when I was a vegetarian, but was left underwhelmed by the flavors and textures of my meals, often resorting to pre-packaged protein drinks instead of whole foods. Somewhere the intuitive part of me kept screaming that it made no sense to throw away entire parts of a food or to eat things made in a factory but the media is a powerful force.
Fast forward through lots of exploration into different fads… Over the years in the fitness industry I had become sick of all the messaging that we should eat a certain way in order to look a certain way. I died a little every time I saw marketing for a “beach body” or a “sizzling summer slim-down.” I was motivated to help people embrace being strong and competent over hitting a target weight or size or “look.” This meant we had to eat to FEEL awesome so we had the energy to BE awesome. I dove headfirst into the actual science of nutrition and what it actually takes to heal the damage we have all done to ourselves in the past, nourish our bodies for optimal health, and fuel our bodies for the fun activities we will explore in the coming years.
I specialize in helping people:
Regain digestive health.
Prepare for conception and pregnancy.
Reduce the effects of stress.
Optimize athletic performance.
When I was a kid I "got away with" eating whatever I wanted. By that I mean that I was so active that no matter what I ate I would not gain weight. “If you look good, you're healthy” or “If you exercised you can eat X,Y, and Z.” This is too often the line of thought in today's society. Growing up in Missouri, where my diet was a lot of refined carbs, a lot of fat-free milk, badly processed meat, and some vegetables at dinner, I couldn’t see the damage this diet was doing because I wasn’t gaining weight and I was getting the message that we could out-exercise our food.
I left for college with no idea how to cook appropriately for myself or how to move without a coach telling me what to do. It was college where I started to gain weight as my activity declined and my 3am pizza and beer every weekend increased. It wasn't until I moved to the Pacific Northwest that I began to learn and experiment with foods and varying my types of movement. I read every book, watched every documentary, and eventually found the Nutritional Therapy Association which aligned with my developing thoughts of supporting people's bio-individuality through a properly prepared, nutrient dense, whole food diet. The combination of practIcing what I was learning with food and moving in ways that I enjoyed left me feeling better than ever before.
Though we would like to think there is one protocol that works for everyone - because how easy would that be?! - there simply isn't. I work with people wanting to achieve optimal health by learning about and listening to their bodies. Becoming in tune in this way will open your world to what you WANT to do and eat rather than what we are told we should do and eat. Say goodbye to counting calories and miles on a treadmill. Say hello to butter.
People with digestive issues.
People seeking weight loss for health reasons.
People looking to improve athletic performance through nutrition.