Unlike conventional medical and dietitian approach to treating chronic disease while alleviating symptoms, treating being the main word, Project of Health focuses on addressing root causes of disease, root causes of why you feel unwell what causes your health imbalances, and reversing when possible by using food and lifestyle as medicine. In my years of clinical practice, I have learned that there is no one way that is best, no one way that will work for everyone, and so I like to use a combination of principles including Functional Medicine Nutrition, modified Medical Nutrition Therapy, and Intuitive Eating.
Functional Medicine Nutrition Approach entails patient-centered care that addresses underlying root causes of disease by using systems biology oriented approach, food as medicine, the impact of environmental and toxic burden, personalized lifestyle approach as well as lifestyle techniques that address, enrich and empower the core of our emotional and mental well being. New retrospective analysis at Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, found that patients with diagnosed inflammatory arthritis treated with functional medicine approach showed improvement in all primary outcomes including pain, mental health and global health scores when compared to the conventional standard of care alone. (1)
As per The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, MNT- Medical Nutrition Therapy is a specific application of the Nutrition Care Process that is focused on the management of diseases by registered dietitian – nutritionist (RD, RDN). MNT involves in-depth individualized nutrition assessment and duration and frequency of care using the Nutrition Care Process to manage the disease. My modified approach would find a home in the root in these principles with the ultimate goal of achieving optimal individual health, not just management of disease and or symptoms.
Intuitive Eating as a lifestyle technique takes part of my program simply because it teaches us to listen to our body cues and to have a real and good relationship with food, ourselves, our body needs, cues of fullness, hunger and satiety. As a principle, more or less it is something that I have always practiced and has been part of my upbringing, and later on part of my everyday life. It is a beautiful, simple, yet very helpful and powerful principle that if applied daily, as a form of habitual practice, might do wonders. It might contribute for you to finally give up that struggle and feelings of guilt every time you reach for that piece of cookie or that piece of the pie. It is a guiding principle that will help you understand yourself; help distinguish your needs from your wants, will teach you the power of modesty and hopefully bring back joy when you think of food. My goal is to search and guide you to find together what eating patterns, lifestyle, environmental exposure, sleep and relationships behavior will benefit you in your search for achieving optimal health and well being, not just absence of disease, and alleviating symptoms.
At the center of my approach upon which success is crucial is the therapeutic partnership that develops between you and me. It is a team effort that starts at the beginning and during this journey of reaching optimal health for you. It follows a route which is not one size fits all. It does not provide a magic pill, plant or most recent diet fad that will work magic for everyone. The beauty of this combination approach is that is designed to work specifically, just and only for you. It will be tailored specifically to your body needs, to your readiness to change, and it will target specific imbalances your body shows after evaluating your medical, lifestyle history as well as available blood lab work you can provide. It is why it is of crucial importance to take your time and answer as detailed as possible the multipage questionnaires that will be made available for you once you decide to take the road to your health and wellness with Project of Health. Also, in order to be able to establish and look at patterns, sending me your most recent 2, 3 blood lab results you have available from your previous doctor visits will only aid me into understanding your imbalance and how your body is dealing with it. Also, it will be a starting point, a baseline so to say that we can use as a referral to evaluate our progress.
Timeline of What to Expect:
- Answer provided questionnaires upon sigh up: this will help me understand what you are going through more. It will be a window towards addressing possible root causes of your health issue. They will seem like a lot, I am telling you this even now, before you even consider doing this, however, their importance, their role in this journey it is crucial.
- Send me your most recent and or last 2 or 3 available lab results you have- to help me look at and establish patterns.
- Initial 90 min consult with a functional dietitian: will allow for partnership to develop, personalized dietary plan to address your imbalance, flexible diet and lifestyle recommendations.
- Ongoing communication via your personal project of health dashboard, education materials pertaining to your well being, weekly messaging and updates.
- Ongoing as needed Medical Symptom Questionnaires to validate progress.
- Additional 2 or 5 x 30 minute follow up consults, depending on the plan preferred and chosen by you.
I rely greatly on, or I should say, I rely mostly if not only on using food as medicine. Most likely, upon initial consult I will recommend some minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and or botanicals to help your body reach optimal levels, and or address depletion of other ones, however, once we achieve homeostasis and balance, my ultimate goal, if and when possible is to reach a point where you will decrease, and or totally eliminate intake of any kind of supplements, to rely on nourishing your body from real food sources, and maybe giving an additional boost from time to time in supplement form.
I am a strong believer that information is powerful, and so I will be there to show you support, guide your way, and provide all the information you will need to understand what is happening, why, and what you can do to help yourself and take back control of your health and well being.
In my programs, there is a focus on multiple pillars of optimal health: Metabolic, GI Health, Optimal Weight Loss and optimal Detoxification program. Needless to say, in each of them, I will focus on your health and wellbeing as a whole, in a systems-biology kind of way, not a quick fix of 2 weeks meal plans to promote water loss or alleviation of stomach issues and claim some unsustainable results.
In Metabolic Health program, I focus on addressing the imbalance of blood glucose, lipid levels, blood pressure and healthy weight/waist circumference->the infamous visceral adiposity which is one of the biggest drivers of chronic inflammation and contributor to chronic disease.
GI health program focuses on addressing the imbalances of the GUT. Imbalances that manifest in multiple forms, such as issues with digestion and absorption, modulation of the GUT microbiome, symptoms associated with the increased intestinal permeability-leaky gut, dysbiosis as a result of long term use of antibiotics, reflux disorders, long term PPI use, gluten sensitivity, etc.
Weight Loss Program, initially addresses the general terrain of overall health, looks into imbalances, environmental impact and review the role of obesogen toxins, behavior and emotional impact on weight, and together we create a plan that will be work in progress to achieve your optimal and healthy weight. It is of crucial importance to create a plan and lifestyle that will be easy to follow for the long term, not just for a given window of time, because optimal weight loss entails reaching and keeping your optimal weight on. It means creating a diet plan and lifestyle that you can follow, and eventually live it, not only a loss of x amount of pounds.
My Detox program follows the guidelines and principles of functional nutrition to enhance your body ability to detoxify and biotransform. I will provide sequenced support, guidance and knowledge to teach you how to use real food, food groups and color as means to promote more efficient capabilities of your body to detoxify. I will craft personalized dietary recommendations and food plans to ensure safe detox, regular elimination and bile flow function.
If you feel you are ready to take back some form, if not total control over your health and wellness, desire to be an active participant in your health and wellness journey, if you think it is too little, too late, but deep down you know that your hope and desire still rests somewhere, then Project of Health might be the right step and choice for you. If you believe you are ready and worthy of investing into your own self by optimizing your health and wellbeing, by living rather than following and being a victim to your symptoms, if you ask yourself when was the last time you felt good, and the answer does not come up that easily, then maybe, just maybe, Project of Health might be your next logical step. I am looking forward to working with you, and share your experience that you will undertake to result in a better, happier, healthier, mindful version of yourself.
Bid you great health,
Biljana Sofronijoska Rece RDN, LD, IFMCP
1. Droz N, Hanaway P, Hyman M, Jin Y, Beidelschies M, et al. (2020) The impact of functional medicine on patient-reported outcomes in inflammatory arthritis: A retrospective study. PLOS ONE 15(10): e0240416. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0240416
Biljana Sofronijoska Rece
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