MY APPROACH

Philosophy

Unto the road of

YOUR Collardreams ~

[reclaimin’ gastric wisdom]

Chickpeas & Collardreams is an extension of the soul-aligning work I’ve done over the years, cultivating my personal food journey.

I know the implications of growing up in a society where my own culturally inherited “ways of knowing” were excessively rendered invisible, subpar & even backwards.

This also extended into the foods we eat. we’re bombarded with interjections of what we should & shouldn’t eat, which often takes us out of alignment with our unique set of bio-inidividual needs. “Beans & Rice are poor people’s food– not enough protein”.        “Umm, no. I’ll end up with Garlic Breath!”,”Why is there cinnamon in the rice?”, Ironically, these same Indigenous cultures have thrived as civilizations via Real Foods & Plant-based lifestyles. And by the way: Cinnamon is known to aide in Blood Sugar & Hormonal Regulation — helpful for warding off diabetes.

This platform will consistently reflect an abundant narrative of Diaspora & Resilience via the vehicle of those inherited Food Traditions. I’ve created this platform as a safe-space & hub for all of us that have experienced similar *Displacement* in spaces we simultaneously call *Home*.

During the times of U.S. slavery, the preparation practices of leafy greens was carried over from Africa & utilized to transform the discarded “scraps” of collard greens into an infamous soul food dish. Similarly, our communities across the diaspora have carried over culinary wisdom from varying motherlands & continue to make the most of what we’ve been given in order to thrive. It is this very legacy of endurance & nourishment that Chickpeas & Collardreams has been modeled after.

HOW I SUPPORT MY CLIENTS

My Approach

Comprehensive Initial Intake

NTPs use a range of tools & techniques to identify  nutritional imbalances and   deficiencies into re-alignment. 

It is a practice combining science-based principles with traditional natural wellness practices.

Your intake journey begins by utilizing a very in-depth Holistic Assessment to include Health History, Environmental & Stress Factors, & other unique concerns.

This inventory model has been used in traditional cultures across the globe & is the actual basis of what our current conventional medicine practices have been built on.  Thus we begin Our approach at the root source.

Individualized Nutrition & Behavioral Modification Plans

Upon completion of the Initial Intake, clients receive personalized consult on how to address their unique set of concerns, health/diet-related symptoms. This could entail a few minor tweaks in diet or a complete mindset & behavioral overhaul. I’m prepared to help you tackle it all with ease & grace.

Ongoing Support & Resources

Life is full of changes. This concept is reflected in our individualized Food Journey as well. Rather than “prescribing” a set regimen or modeling a fad diet– Nutritional Therapy is set on meeting the foundational needs of the individual as they arise & shift. As our bodies grow & shift, we need different means of support at different times.  I serve as a resource for periodic “tune-ups” & ensuring that your nutritive needs are met & in alignment for longevity.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Answers to Your Questions

What is Nutritional Therapy?

Is also known as Functional or Holistic Nutrition. The primary aim is to help support, reverse or prevent modern day ailments caused from poor Modern Diet.    In the field of Nutritional Therapy we believe that many of the ailments arising in today’s society can be effectively managed or even avoided through the use of proper integrative health (mind-body-soul connection) & nutritional support. 

It’s been scientifically noted broadly, that about 80% one our innate Immune System resides in the gut!  When our body experience weaknesses in the physiological foundation pertaining to the gut — “triggered” by disturbances such as poor dietary practices, anxiety/stress, toxicity, malfunction of the body’s organs is where many disorders start to arise. We start to experience undesirable symptoms.  While conventional allopathic healthcare models are set to only treat immediate symptoms, Nutritional Therapy Practitioners (NTP’s) aim to tap into the underlying “root” source causing the symptoms that we experience as “un-wellness”. Again, we start from a place of addressing the gut.

Nutritional Therapy takes comprehensive look at how the body functions as a cohesive unit & identifies the things that interfere with the body’s ability to optimally preform it’s innate tasks. Unlike conventional allopathic healthcare models of simply treating symptoms,  it is an integrative approach that takes comprehensive assessment of all organ systems in the body, environmental factors such as exposure to toxins, mental/emotional factors such stress,  – it’s modeled after traditional forms of healthcare & self maintenance that our ancestors have practiced across the globe

 

How it’s done.. 

I offer in-depth Functional Assessment, that takes an *integrative* look at the Collective Health, Nutrition, and Lifestyle factors that impact an individual. Once an Intake Interview & Functional Assessment is done, Nutritional Therapy aims to identify any deficiencies or imbalances that may be keeping you from optimal health. I then generate suggested actionable steps or protocols utilizing Whole, Real Foods to help support your BIO-INDIVIDUAL needs.  These include helping to identify healing opportunities within the hormonal, immune, digestive, and detoxification systems, among others that are of interest to you. We then use the therapeutic power of Real Foods to build the foundation of long-lasting optimal health.

 

Why work with Me?

I’ve extended my practice beyond the generalized perimeters of Holistic Wellness to address the needs  of those coming from more underserved communities. This includes utilizing approaches that are culturally in-tune, taking into account generational legacies of diaspora, marginalization & displacement, and sensitivity to concerns of accessibility.  Much of MY knowledge-base & personal approach is a fusion of studies  encompassing a background in Social Justice/Ethnic & Diasporic Studies, a solid grasp on comprehensive Holistic principles toward nutrition– rooted in scientific-based studies through the Nutritional Therapy Association & additional sourcing of informative research studies from world-renowned physicians leading the field of Plant-based Dietary Wellness. Ironically as a Vegan, I opted for coursework in an omnivorous program emphasizing, Ancestral & Paleo diets. It’s provided me a more rounded insight on the fundamentals of the evolution of the human diet, & building blocks for nutritive maintenance, which are pertinent when providing guidance on how to modify dietary protocols to suit the bio-individual needs of each client. No two protocols are ever the same.

What Nutri-Therapy *isn’t*

Nutritional Therapy is NOT a replacement for medical advice ( as our current conventional healthcare system is set up– Nutritional Therapy Practitioners are not granted license to diagnose, treat disease, or write prescriptions for pharmaceutical medications). NTP’s DO frequently work alongside other healthcare professionals involved in  those aspects of client care. Both in-office or as an outsourced referral, NTP’s are requested to contribute support & reinforce prescribed therapies via our unique approaches to facilitate dietary/lifestyle changes.

Many clients seek NTP services for more holistic, in-depth exploration of health conditions & diagnoses not offered by their standard physician/dietitian.  Nutritional Therapy respects each person’s bio-individuality, each plan is unique to your lifestyle, needs & goals rather than offering a cookie-cutter protocols provided in conventional allopathic healthcare.   Outcomes will vary among individuals for this reason. Nutritional Therapy  focuses on replenishing the body’s natural healing processes, intuitive function, towards unique balance. Hence, it isn’t gimmicky nor “weight loss driven”. There is no “magic pill” to cover up symptoms. Rather than quick fixes we offer a realistic journey toward therapeutic wellness. Focusing on root causes of symptoms, NTP’s work with Whole, Real Foods before resorting to supplements.

Do you “Prescribe” Medicine?

My approach centers on supporting our body’s innate ability to regulate itself & heal without invasive interventions.  You’ll see we will always begin by emphasizing whole REAL FOODs first before resorting to recommendations for holistic supplements. Nutritional Therapy was indeed THE fundamental means of treating disorders before the development of pharmaceutical drugs [whose ingredients are often a *refined & processed* variation of natural “home remedies’ our ancestors used]

For those eligible clients showing signs that they may benefit from additional holistic supplementation– I am granted access to Professional, Clinical-Grade Holistic Supplements. These form of supplements are not available as standard over-the-counter use & are only intended to be used for the individual they’ve been recommended to. All recommendations come as a secondary service & are not a necessity to reap the benefits of a Nutritional Therapy protocol– ultimately, as with all parts of the therapeutic journey, you have to make the ultimate decision of what aligns best with your needs.  I’ve been trained to to cross check how suggested supplements may [or may not] interfere with any current prescriptive medications– ultimately it is the responsibility of the individual to check in with their designated physician to ensure that Nutritional Therapy protocols do not adversely interfere with pre-existing, upcoming medical care. 

While I am equipped to collaborate with your current doctor in providing my insight on how your holistic needs may be supported through suggested supplementation, I am not a physician so will never under any circumstances seek to prescribe medications or supplements.

Do I need to go VEGAN??

My practice stresses the importance of eating wholesome Real Foods as a means towards sustained wellness. There are those who opt for an omnivorous Real Foods approach if that’s what they have been accustomed to. The goal would be to reduce or eliminate processed, refined foods for the range of  more wholesome & “cleanly” derived Plant & Animal food sources.  I’m not here to judge or convert but to assist those seeking a path towards less harm — to themselves, to the animals & planet.  I understand that journey looks different for everyone. 

While folks are free to call themselves what they like, I do make the distinction between Vegan & Plant-based lifestyles.  Opting to reduce or remove animal foods from one’s diet for personal health care, I’d classify as a Plant-based approach.  The benefit of opting for a Plant-based diet is that it remains more flexible for those seeking to greatly increase their intake of Plant-foods yet still includes options of integrating animal food sources one deems suitable for their personal nutritive & wellness journey. 

Choosing Veganism is a personal & individual choice and may not feel suitable for everyone.  I recognize Veganism as a practice rooted in an ethical concern for animal welfare– it is a lifestyle choice that extends beyond diet & into abstaining from animal sourced clothing, body care & reducing one’s carbon foot-print on the planet. I advocate to de-colonize our understanding of Veganism — which has developed a stigma of being for “elitist, privileged, White folks”.   Contrary, the true principle of Veganism intertwines with Indigenous values of living in harmony with the earth. Another example, are the deep followers of Rastafarianism who intricately acknowledge the systemic war-fare waged against Communities of Color via our modern food system, & hence advocate to abstain from animal & processed foods.  Fundamentally, Vegan principles acknowledge the ways that our modern commercial Animal Agricultural system is out of line with our traditional Human-Animal bond.  Indeed the majority of the global non-Western diet remains fundamentally Plant-based by nature, not Carnivorous.  

Should I DETOX first?

While many hubs of thought heavily promote a range of detox methods prior to shifting into clean foods approaches– harsh detoxes actually isn’t advisable for many people & could cause more harm in the process.   I advocate for gentle approaches towards transitioning into Real Foods.  The reason for this is that a body that has been heavily saturated by a history of unhealthy foods, likely isn’t equipped with functional “detox pathways” to release toxins once they begin their detox. Closed pores, fatty liver, tired kidneys & other blockages in the body will not allow the body to dispose of toxins as needed which can lead to toxins being released from fat & tissue… but with no exit doors…they will re-circulate in the body.  Toxic overload.

Only after a complete Intake Assessment of your current health state will an evaluation be made of a suitable strategy for you. I currently provide RESTART *Sugar Detox* & FINALLY FREE *Real Foods* Challenges– both are offered as  group courses & 1:1 private therapy plan for eligible clients.  These services I offer, differ from a regular “detox” model because they rely on the principle that  the body is self-cleaning & regenerating in it’s own *innate* healthy state– without  intense intervention. Both programs are designed as gentle approaches to curb cravings & addictive patterns for sustainable, lasting results.

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