Like so many others, my dedicated interest in all things food and nutrition was born out of my own challenges with food, body and health. These personal challenges are what motivated me to pursue a career as a nutritionist, but unfortunately studying nutrition alone did not immediately give me the answers I was looking for, nor did it restore my health and relationship with food.
For almost a decade I battled food and sugar addiction, weight and mood changes, digestive and skin issues, as well as a debilitating period of insomnia and chronic fatigue. My lethargy affected my ability to stay active and productive, and I began to feel as though my life was eternally on pause. I still had much to be grateful for… but I also wasn’t living the healthy vibrant life of a health professional.
The more I studied the more frustrated I became with the conflicting nutrition science. I experimented with more contradicting diet modalities than I care to count, yet my health challenges and disordered eating tendencies were relentless. As I started my career and began working with clients I soon realized I was not the only person that nutrition education was failing to heal. The nutrition wasn't working, and it simply wasn’t enough.
Throughout all of my traditional nutrition training I couldn’t help but notice that the psychology of eating was never addressed, literally not once. We see a deeper approach taken for those with diagnosed eating disorders, but what about the rest of us? What about our societal weight and body image challenges? What about the binge eaters, the emotional eaters and the chronic dieters? What about those with health challenges who know how they’re supposed to eat, but are repeatedly unable to stick with it? As I moved through my training and began my career in clinical nutrition, this lingering concept kept returning to the forefront of my mind.
Through my own research on integrative and functional medicine I began to learn that a lot of the conventional nutrition education I had received is outdated and ineffective, and that a traditional whole food approach is both more sustainable and more helpful in treating a host of chronic and autoimmune conditions. I also received further training in Eating Psychology and learned about the intimate connection between brain and body and how much our thoughts influence our food choices, our metabolism, and ultimately our weight.
In combining these two fields I not only began to heal my relationship with food, but my health challenges improved dramatically. The combination of doing some deeper work while balancing my body with more of the foods I was designed to eat began to stabilize my symptoms. I was only adding things to my diet and lifestyle versus eliminating or depriving myself of anything, but my body and my health were responding. As I began applying what I learned in practice, I soon found that my clients nutrition and health challenges could also be effectively addressed with a deeper and more natural approach.
Finding balance in my life ultimately required turning away from strict diets in order to go back and address deeper inner challenges first. Cultivating self-love and exploring who we are and what we want out of life often must precede our dietary changes. If we change what we eat but we don’t change who we are or how we’re living then we enter the pool of chronic dieters who can’t ever seem to make it stick. This certainly doesn’t mean traditional dieting and nutrition education can’t work, but the fail rates are staggering.
Functional whole food nutrition is extremely powerful and deeply healing but we often can’t reap the benefits if we fail to address the inner challenges that keep us stuck. Through my own personal process and my experience with clients, healing requires opening up to a new approach. The process is certainly not the quick fix we are often promised but it does offer a path to healing our relationship with food, finding some inner peace, and taking back our health.
I’m ultimately grateful for all of the struggles that brought me to where I am today. It would be misleading to say I don’t still face challenges every day, but that’s the beauty of this life and all its imperfections. Our healing journey never really comes to an end. Optimal health and quality of life is within reach for all of us, we just have to muster up the courage to dig a little deeper, cultivate some compassion for ourselves and our journey, and make the decision to dive into the process of healing head first.
I’m glad you’re here.
In Good Health,
Stephanie Michelle Scott, RDN is a Nationally Registered and State Certified Dietitian Nutritionist. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics from Colorado State University and went on to complete her Dietetic Internship rotations through the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is a certified Health and Wellness Coach through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and completed training in Eating Psychology as a Mind Body Nutrition Coach at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating under Marc David, MA. She also recently began training for certification as an Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner (IFNCP) through the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy.
Stephanie has clinical nutrition experience in the acute care hospital setting including weight loss counseling, diabetes management, and post-surgical medical nutrition therapy. She has worked in residential treatment for at-risk youth offering services for a range of behavioral and emotional issues and served as the primary dietitian nutritionist for an adult recovery center for substance abuse and eating disorders. Currently Stephanie works with outpatient clients and specializes in nutrition counseling for eating disorders, weight loss, food addiction, emotional eating, body image, and chronic dieting.