Welcome, and thanks for stopping by!
I’m Caitlin 🙂 I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and also have a BS in Global Community Health and a minor in Nutrition from George Mason University (Go Patriots!) I grew up in a small town just outside of Harrisburg, PA, but I currently live in Denver, CO with my wonderful Fiancé. I am so excited to share my story with you, and provide you with guidance along your own journey to optimal health!
The vibrant lifestyle I now lead has been quite a trek of interesting turns and many, many frustrations. Growing up, I was full of never-ending energy and, as a competitive gymnast for 8 years, thoroughly enjoyed pushing my body to its limits- most of the time exceeding them. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and always remained a petite bundle of pure energy.
Abruptly in 8th grade, I started having panic attacks seemingly out of no where. I didn’t know what was happening to me the first time I had one, and despised the loss of control I felt over my mental and physical response to the panic attacks. After seeking help, I discovered what I had been experiencing was a repercussion of the constant stress I was putting my body through both physically and mentally- along with the crap I was fueling my body with- but I didn’t recognize the food component until much, much later.
“I despised the loss of control I felt over my mental and physical response to the panic attacks”
I decided to let gymnastics go and began Pole Vaulting for my high school instead. Panic attacks dwindled away over time as I learned to cope with my anxiety, but I still had many digestive problems and a constant unsureness as to whether or not I would make it home after a meal out, if you know what I mean. I started to not be able to eat anything I wanted, and I couldn’t seem to find a consistency in the foods I had troubles with. One day I would eat a salad and be totally fine, then the next day I would be running to the bathroom, cursing my stomach.
Sophomore year of college rolled around and I hit a breaking point. My digestive system was beginning to rule my life, so I sought out a gastroenterologist. I completed an upper GI endoscopy and was diagnosed with Gastritis (inflammation of the intestinal lining) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Being the analytical person I am, I couldn’t help but ask why. Why was my stomach lining irritated? Why was my bowel irritable? These diagnosis were not answers in themselves. I was told that I was producing too much stomach acid and was put on antacids for a few months, but found no relief whatsoever.
“One day I would eat a salad and be totally fine, then the next day I would be running to the bathroom, cursing my stomach”
After doing some research on my own, I began to understand that my GI tract was irritated because of what I had been putting into it, not just because it hated me and wanted my life to suck. So, I started going to a local Holistic Nutritionist who was confident in the healing qualities of a paleo-styled, whole foods diet. She believed that if I dedicated at least 3 months to a strict paleo diet along with some supplements to aid in healing my digestive tract, I would see significant improvements. She was certainly correct! Cutting out inflammatory foods, avoiding gluten at all costs, fueling myself with plenty of vegetables, meats, nuts and nourishing foods like bone broth and fermented vegetables, all led me to a different level of health I never knew before. Not only was my stomach trust worthy again, but I was sleeping better, was less moody, less anxious, didn’t crave carbs like a mad woman, and I had consistent energy throughout the day again like I did when I was a kid.
After over a year of paleo, I started noticing some new problems. I was fatigued, tired, and irritable on the regulr. After a 10 minute walk down the street to a local coffee shop, and I would feel ready for a nap. Not the “ahh.. I’m tired today, I could take a nap”, but “For the love of God I need a nap NOW!!”. The amount of training for D1 collegiate track and Crossfit in my offseason warranted a much higher carbohydrate intake than I was getting, and I learned that the hard way. I began reintroducing white rice and other gluten free grains into my diet for higher carbs and felt much better! Paleo? Nope. Feeling better with a tailored approach? Absolutely.
“Not only was my stomach trust worthy again, but I was sleeping better, was less moody, less anxious, didn’t crave carbs like a mad woman…”
Today I am happy to say that I have found a balance of things that works wonderfully for my unique body. It has taken years, literally, along with a true dedication to learning about diet, metabolism, digestive health, and overall biology of the human body. I have been to and worked with Naturopathic Doctors, Enzyme Specialists, Nutritional Therapy Practitioners, and Nutrition Response Testers. I have found that each practitioner seems to have their own niche of modalities that can create major success for clients, but they each stand by this pearl of knowledge: no matter what we put into our bodies -“healthy” food or “unhealthy”- if our body is struggling to process it because of a lack of enzymes, food allergies, food sensitivities, or other genetic/biological reasons, our body will treat that item as a toxin. It is so important that we all find our own individual “diet” which we can thrive on! Life was made to be enjoyed.
I look forward to guiding you in finding balance, enjoyment and happiness in your personal journey to health and vitality!