It’s not every day you have access to the skills and expertise of a registered dietitian with 30 years of experience in improving women’s health. Yet that’s who I had the opportunity to connect with – our community’s own, Annette Presley. As part of our It’s OKAY! Pause, Breathe, Proceed event, Annette has compiled nutrition guidelines for mental health. You can access these by registering for the event here, and afterward, we’ll be sharing our Mental Health Resource Guide with Annette’s guidelines along with other tips for your wellness.
Annette is also a Certified Functional Nutritionist, Root Cause Protocol Consultant, Certified ThetaHealer, best-selling author, speaker, widow, and mom to two 20-something kids and a shih tzu. Her favorite thing to do besides spending time with her family, relaxing on a beach, or body surfing is to help women feel better.
So, I wanted to ask questions of Annette that a patient unfamiliar with her program would ask. Maybe these are questions you might want to ask a dietitian or perhaps you’ve just thought about them. Either way, Annette’s expertise and her heart to see women healthier and happier come through loud and clear!
1) I like the sound of an integrated care plan. How does that work in my everyday life?
With an integrated plan, we look at you as a whole, so not just one organ here and an organ there, but you as a whole person. So, we look at your stressors, lifestyle habits, your daily routine, labs, food preferences, how one thing might be affecting other things and then we can come up with a plan together that gets the results you want and fits into your life so you can do it.
2) I’ve never had a hair tissue mineral analysis done. What’s that like and what can you find out?
The hair test can show us how stress is affecting your minerals and how stressed you are. If we see a high magnesium level, for example, that doesn’t mean you have too much magnesium, it means your body can’t hold onto the magnesium, so you need more. The test gives us a picture of the imbalance in your body so we can create a plan to bring it back in balance. The only difficulty with a hair test is you need at least an inch of undyed hair at the scalp.
3) Is it true that you can learn about my hormonal balance with a DNA test? What else can you learn through this test?
Sort of. A DNA test is like a blueprint. It shows us where to look when you don’t feel well. We are looking at, what I call, glitches in your genes that make you more susceptible to things like nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalance, metabolic dysfunction, a reduced ability to detoxify, or a reduced ability to carry out certain functions like methylation (a process in the body). We can also get clues as to why you might struggle to lose weight and why it’s so easy or hard for you to gain weight. I find this test most useful for those who have symptoms that just don’t resolve no matter what they do and those who have struggled to lose weight or keep it off or those struggling with infertility.
The good news is that our genes are not our destiny, and we have the power to turn off the genes that cause disease and turn on the genes that keep us well.
4) My doctor’s office draws my blood whenever I go there. What’s the difference between their blood work and your dream lab panel?
Doctors read labs in search of a diagnosis and a lab value has to be at a certain point for a diagnosis to be made. So, they are looking for things like diabetes, hypothyroidism, or osteoporosis.
When I look at labs, I’m looking for subclinical nutrient deficiencies that affect the structure and function of your body. These deficiencies show up long before a lab reaches the point of diagnosis, which means that you can make some changes in your diet and lifestyle and possibly avoid getting to a diagnosis. Because I’m looking for nutrient deficiencies rather than a diagnosis, I need a few extra labs that are not typically done on a routine visit.
5) Which of those lab panel tests do you consider the most important one to have and why?
I think my dream panel (with or without the thyroid panel) is the most important because it can tell us the most about the structure and function of your body. The HTMA is the lower-cost option and would be the second-best test.
6) I’d like to know why I’m having trouble losing weight, can one of these tests show that?
Yes, all the tests can give us clues as to why you struggle with weight. In the blood work, I might find that you have too much iron in your tissues where it causes oxidative stress which makes it difficult to lose weight. The DNA can show us what kind of exercise you are best suited for and how long it takes you to feel satisfied with food (like how big a serving do you need to feel full). Stress is a huge part of weight gain, so a hair test can let us see how stress might be impacting your weight.
7) Will I have to avoid my favorite foods?
It depends on what your favorite foods are and how much you desire to be healthy. I’ll be honest, there are some really bad foods and beverages out there and if you eat them all the time, you are not going to improve your health or lose weight. There is no magic pill or miracle cure that can keep you well on a crappy diet.
But sometimes it can be as easy as making a simple switch, like going from margarine to butter.
You are in charge of your health and the program is here to empower you to choose the things that honor your mind and body. You deserve to enjoy your life and the people you love. It’s difficult to do that when you feel like crap.
Thanks to Annette I now have a different perspective on how diet and nutrition can make such an impact on areas of my life. You can reach out to her at Revived Woman to learn more.
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