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Celebrating NTA Instructor, Cathy Eason: Watch the interview 

Celebrating NTA Instructor, Cathy Eason: Watch the interview 

On May 15, we had the extreme privilege of interviewing Cathy Eason, LMT, FNTP, AIP, GAPS, CFSP, BCHN®. She’s been a great asset to the NTA over the years and we couldn’t let her retire from the NTA without giving us the honor of an interview to showcase all the work she has done and how her legacy will live on through her students and colleagues.

Cathy Eason has been a Lead instructor for the NTA for 15 years and is currently teaching her 40th and final practitioner training for the NTA. A 2004 graduate of the first ever Portland class taught by NTA founder, Gray Graham and his remarkable assistant, Colleen Dunseth, Cathy has held many roles within the NTA including Board Member, Shareholder, Curriculum Developer, Director of Education, Lead Instructor, and Program Advocate. Drawn to the NTA by a plain white 4×6 postcard received in the mail a week before class began, Cathy went to a live info session and realized she’d found her people. She signed up the next day and the rest as they say, is history.

+ Watch the interview

INTERVIEW


Tell me about your proudest moments as an NTA instructor? What were 2-3 stories that you remember that made you most proud of making a career choice to be an instructor?

Helping build the NTA along with the handful of other early instructors. We were a very small but dedicated team of a director, an admin manager, and 5 instructors who had to teach ourselves to be teachers. We live lectured everything in classrooms, had to learn to be experts in anatomy and physiology, nutrition, healing tools, and touch. Three of us traveled across the country building venues and spreading word of the training. I’m so grateful I discovered this gift of teaching, and that I had the opportunity to grow myself in the process

Witnessing the personal and professional growth of so many students over the years, seeing the literal lightbulbs turn on and the look in people’s eyes when they finally “get it” and I know I’ve reached them with an important message. That’s when I know I’ve been a good teacher. I think I’m most proud of promoting the development of many of the current instructors who I know to be talented educators and practitioners and who once sat in my classroom as a student. To have them as peers and colleagues is an incredible honor.

Watching two students meet in class the first workshop weekend, the one token man in a class with 39 women. Before the second weekend I’d figured out they were dating when I busted them together on a conference call but knew they lived hours apart. By the midterm weekend they were a true couple sitting together at a table, and at the graduation party for their Portland class, they asked me to officiate their wedding. Of course I said yes, became ordained immediately, and with their permission to surprise them a bit, I wrote a beautiful One-Bowl bone broth experience into the wedding ceremony. I made the broth myself, lots of love went into it. We all cried at one point in the ceremony but held it together and I was super proud to announce Mr. And Mrs. John & Rosemary Fotheringham as husband and wife! Last December I had the honor of officiating the wedding of another NTP, my good friend and former NTA manager, Toni Blanton. She married her high school sweetheart in a lovely outdoor wedding. Who knows, maybe it’s my new profession 😊

Additionally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to reflect on my time spent with two beautiful people and fellow instructors for NTA who have unfortunately passed on. Our friend Jennifer Pecot, childhood friend of my dear friend and fellow NTA instructor Caroline Barringer, passed away of a sudden stroke as a healthy and vibrant 45 year old. I was on the phone with Caroline when she got the news Jen had passed, and days later we traveled to Florida together for her memorial services. Jen was a dragonfly, bright and flitting about and with an infectious laugh. She and I and Toni taught a crazy fun class in Austin together. Dana Brown left us 2 years later due to cancer, and she’s one of the smartest people I’ve met, super enjoyed spending time teaching with her and her dry wry humor had me laugh all the time. I miss them both but so grateful I knew them.

You have been an instructor with the NTA for over 10 years. What are some of the changes you’ve seen in holistic health both for the good of the world and things you think may be not so good?

I’ve definitely witnessed greater awareness of holistic health in general, and I’ve watched knowledge spread far wider in the era of the growth of the internet and social media. Water cooler talk has gone virtual, viral and global, and that’s a good thing when people are talking about ways to be healthier. Of course, not all of that is good information. It does seem there’s greater accessibility to a whole food diet and healthier lifestyle options, but we still are not serving those who need it most. There’s a large divide among socioeconomic and cultural groups who still do not have access to clean food and water, and these should be basic human rights in 2020.

I’ve also witnessed a loss in the art of the physical assessment in lieu of metrics to define health, which I feel misses a huge opportunity for healing. I will always contend that being with another person in session, seeing their physical presentation and observing cues from that, using touch to assess function and inflammation is necessary in addition to lab values and other information gathering tools. Healers are meant to lay hands on others.

Get out your crystal ball, where do you see the future of holistic nutrition going? What do you think will change for the industry, for practitioners and why?

I see holistic nutrition becoming more mainstream with less perception. This is a fringe movement. This pandemic has taught more people to wake up and pay attention to their health, and those people who are ready will be seeking more information so it’s time for us to step into that light even brighter. Virtual work with clients will become more standard, but again I worry this trend will miss some of the marks of healing I’ve found to be invaluable as a clinician. Holistic practitioners will need to step up their game in terms of validation of their information, we all need to do more research and be ready to show the science behind what we know, while also blending in our other skills in energetic medicine, psychology of eating, other tools.

As you move into the next phase in your journey, what are you most excited about personally and professionally?

Personally, I’m excited to explore more of myself outside of my career, with the use of a sensei or two. Everyone needs a teacher, even the teacher, and I have a couple in my life right now I’d enjoy spending more time with for personal and spiritual growth. I have a bucket list of goals including completing yoga teacher training at an intensive training in a tropical location.

Professionally I’m really excited for more time to devote to building the platform I started two years ago, Open Door Healing. I’ve also got about 5 books swimming around in my head that are needing to get on paper. And yes, paper, something you can hold, read, highlight, touch.

Tell us a little bit about open door healing. Where did the idea for your brand come from and what do you hope the impact will be on the world?

ODH is a platform for me to provide personal and professional development courses, where I will expand practitioner mentoring services, and where I will feature a collaborative cooperative healing community of people, products, services, education to serve the public. The inspiration came to me in meditation on the mat, funny how shavasana brings creativity swirling into my visions. I’ve developed a few more healing products to bring to market too.

If you could give a new practitioner one tip, one piece of crucial advice, what would it be?

It’s the same advice I’ve given every class I’ve ever taught: you have enough, just begin to do the work of nutritional therapy. There is no need to wait for more training, or until you have flashiest website or group program, you just need to start teaching others. You have been trained with an incredible gift, the power of the Foundations, and truly that’s the tool to bringing healing for others.

What is your hope for the future of the NTA community?

My hope for our community is that we continue to grow but stay grounded in the fact that what we offer is enough, we don’t have to be the Red Cross. That we continue to lead from a place of loving concern for others’ well-being, and that we develop greater diversity within our community as we also cast aside any divisions along party lines or opinions about the “right” protocol for leaky gut 😊 Our strength lies in our continued love and respect for each other, with a fair amount of gentle encouragement for all of us to learn more and be better providers of health information. I’d love to see everyone become Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition, as I believe we are going to need to align with other holisitic nutritionists globally and elevate ourselves professionally as the world sees it doesn’t have to just rely on allopathic medicine to be healthy.

Comments from our community:


“Cathy was my teacher in 2010 and has been my colleague for the past five years. She was inspiring as an instructor, she’s been inspiring as a co-worker, and she’s inspiring as a woman and friend. Cathy, I love you dearly. ❤️ “ – Victoria L. Jackson

“Cathy has been such an integral part of what the NTA is in my life. I feel so blessed to have had her as an instructor, be a group leader for her, and then be her assistant instructor. I was and still am always happy to pick her brain…she is brilliant, and knows how to present the curriculum so well. Her love for teaching this curriculum was always apparent, she believed in it, and helped us to understand and believe in it too. When that level is taught and cared for, the students go on to represent in a way that changes the world.” -Amy Lupton FNTP, owner Liferoot Botanicals

Want to stay connected with Cathy?

You can find her online at opendoorhealing.co and on Facebook

Nutritional Implications of Statin Drugs

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Nutritional Implications of Statin Drugs

QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC HEALTH RISKS INVOLVED WHILE TAKING STATINS?

I would like to better understand the health implications for individuals currently taking statins to ‘manage’ their high cholesterol, specifically for those with long term statin exposure. If certain statins prohibit the absorption of vital nutrients, how do we ensure our clients are getting these nutrients? Additionally, being that cholesterol is so essential to how our body functions, what happens if cholesterol levels drop too low while taking statins? What are the specific health risks involved and how can we manage this from a practitioner perspective?

INSTRUCTOR RESPONSE: BY JANINE MARTIN HORST, NTP, CGP ON DECEMBER 1, 2015

Well, to start with, statins do have the potential to cause a number side effects, including: edema, myalgia, diarrhea, nasopharyngitis, arthralgia, pain in extremities, urinary tract infections, headache, increased ALT, upper respiratory tract infections, abdominal pain, and constipation. The primary nutrient deficiency associated with statin drugs is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), but some statins have also been associated with deficiencies in vitamin D, calcium and potassium.

WHEN CHOLESTEROL LEVELS DIP TOO LOW, A NUMBER OF SYMPTOMS ARE COMMON. COGNITIVE DECLINE IS ONE WORRISOME SYMPTOM; LOW CHOLESTEROL LEVELS HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH DEMENTIA, DEPRESSION, BI-POLAR, AND OTHER MENTAL DISORDERS.

Since cholesterol acts as a healer and Band-Aid in the body, this capacity will be diminished as well. In the case of the cardiovascular system, for example, while lowering cholesterol may decrease the incidence of arterial blockages, it can increase the incidence of weaknesses or damaged areas in the arterial walls that are prone to bursting and hemorrhage. While we as Nutritional Therapy professionals cannot ask our clients to stop any prescription medication, we can educate them on the side effects and problems associated with the medication and encourage clients to discuss these with their doctors. We can also recommend that clients supplement with CoQ10 and the other nutrients mentioned above to try to mitigate deficiencies. Strengthening the foundations with clients as we do in nutritional therapy will often help address the imbalances that were causing their bodies to produce excess cholesterol in the first place and may result in their cholesterol lowering naturally. We need to advise any clients taking statin drugs that they should notify their doctors about the changes they are making and have them adjust their dose or wean from the medication as needed to prevent their cholesterol levels from dropping too low.

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Is it Best to Eat Complex Carbs in the Evening?

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Is it Best to Eat Complex Carbs in the Evening?

QUESTION: IS IT BEST TO EAT COMPLEX CARBS IN THE EVENING?

Hi Caroline, In the Healthy Hormone Diet and the most recent NTA audio recording, it mentions to “save complex carbs for the evening meal”. I’m assuming the reasoning is to prevent hypoglycemia during the night? Is this advice specifically for those with blood sugar dysregulation or for everyone? It seems to go against popular belief about eating complex carbs during the day to burn them off. Appreciate your input. Thanks, Bernadette Abraham

ANSWERED BY CAROLINE BARRINGER, NTP, CHFS, BRP, CGP

Hi Bernadette, The “complex carb in the evening” recommendation is exactly for what you described: to prevent blood sugar dips (hypoglycemia) during sleep at night. This is often helpful for people who experience hunger upon waking, and who wake up during the night (thinking it’s just because they need to go to the bathroom). Some will have hunger pangs, while others will not, but complex carbs later in the evening can be a tool in an NTP’s toolbox to help Band-Aid this symptom for a client while working on the overall Foundations. This approach will not be appropriate for everyone, but a clue to take in during the Initial Interview are the questions about sleep and what time a person wakes up during the night. Eating complex carbohydrates at night will be especially useful for those who are hungry and can’t get back to sleep unless they eat something. If we eat a reasonable serving of carbs in the evening, it doesn’t mean we can’t utilize them appropriately. We should be using fat as a main fuel for long burning energy, but the body still needs healthy carbs in the correct ratio to protein and fat for the body to have access to quick energy if needed (stored glycogen, for example). The complex carb included at the evening meal is not intended for burning off, but is to ensure that the client will have optimal glycogen stores to use while sleepingso that the adrenals are NOT fully engaged (client’s eyes stay shut). We just want to be sure that our clients don’t overeat a carb in the evening because that will trigger too much of a spike and then the dip will come later – possibly while they’re sleeping. With Support, Caroline

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

caroline.pngCaroline Barringer, NTP, CHFS, BRP, CGP is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Master Certified Healing Foods Specialist, Birth Renaissance Practitioner, Certified GAPS™ Practitioner, author, international lecturer, Weston A. Price Chapter Leader in New York, former CEO of Immunitrition, Inc.®, and current Founder and CEO of Freeway Foodies, Inc.®. She is also the creator of the “Certified Healing Foods Specialist (CHFS)” Training Program, a food intensive course taught nationwide that focuses on properly prepared, whole food cuisine and probiotic nutrition. Read Her Full Bio Here.

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Low Calorie Diets Explained

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Low Calorie Diets Explained

QUESTION: IF LOW CALORIE DIETS EVENTUALLY MAKE YOU STORE MORE FAT, WHY IS IT THAT THEY HELP PEOPLE LOSE WEIGHT?

A low calorie diet will initially cause a person to drop weight. When the body isn’t given enough fuel, it starts to tap into its own stores of energy. The body will atrophy the muscle and eventually start using up the fat. Many dieters are “skinny fat” because they look ascetically thin, but their body has lost mostly muscle weight because of caloric deprivation. Often they don’t have a healthy body fat % even though they look like they do when wearing those skinny jeans. The dieters are seeing change in their body, but it is a short term weight loss that is unsustainable (if a client wants to be healthy, drop weight long term, and not stress about every calorie that goes into their mouth.) When the body is deprived of a sufficient amount of calories for a prolonged period of time, the person’s metabolic rate slows down. The body basically stretches calories to get the most out of them. Low muscle mass also contributes to a slower metabolism. Low muscle mass is caused by eating too few calories, and a slow metabolism is bad for long term weight loss. When people cheat or come off their low calorie diet for even a day, they often gain several pounds. Why? Their body is in starvation mode. It is holding on to every calorie that enters the body and is trying to store those calories for the next day of “famine.” These low calorie diets are very confusing and frustrating for dieters, who will drop the weight short term, and then hit a wall where they can’t seem to lose any more. They often cut back a few more calories and see a slight weight loss. This fuels their fire, making them think that cutting calories is the answer. The vicious cycle continues and can lead to a serious eating disorder.

HOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO WORK

When the body’s foundations are supported, the body and the brain work together to naturally regulate food intake and thus weight. For example, digestion health and hormone balance help a person to trigger satiation and therefore not overeat. Also, eating the right macronutrient balance helps a person to not overeat. Think about it… how many avocados can a person really eat at one sitting? If people’s nutritional foundations are balanced, not only will they be able to drop weight when needed but also gain weight when needed. Eating a sufficient amount of good quality calories and good sources of fat can help to increase weight if someone is really struggling to gain. Also, NTPs would do well to investigate adrenal and thyroid health if a person can’t gain after balancing the main foundations. Gentle exercise is also an important component to dropping or gaining weight in a healthy manner. This is a topic that I’m very passionate about. I’ve seen so many people (especially women) wreck their metabolism and spiral into eating disorders because they didn’t understand that there was more to dieting than calories in, calories out.  

erin-fouschee_round.pngAbout the Instructor:

Erin Foushee, NTP, is the founder and owner of Fortis Wellness, LLC, a company dedicated to strengthening individuals and companies in the greater Washington D.C. area through preventative nutrition and fitness programs. Erin is also the developer of the Fortis Corporate Wellness Program, which provides a tried-and-true business model and workshop materials for NTPs to market, sell, and service the program to companies in their area. Erin has experience with numerous facets of the wellness field and has enjoyed working with a variety of clients, including nationally ranked athletes, business people, senior citizens, and children. Her passion and mission is to educate Corporate America and the next generation of NTPs about the power of preventative wellness.

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Is it Safe to Exercise When Ill?

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Is it Safe to Exercise When Ill?

With cold and flu season upon us, many of you will be faced with the question, “Can I work out or should I rest when I’m ill?” The answer to this question will be based largely on the type of illness and whether or not fever is present.

WHAT IS THE ILLNESS?

Differentiating between the three types of viruses that are most likely to rear their ugly heads during this time of year is the first step in deciding whether to rest or keep on moving.
  1. About 40 percent of colds are caused by the rhinovirus.1 Headaches, loss of appetite and general aches and pains are rare with the common cold. Fever, if present, will be low grade and usually last one or two days. A mild sore throat and cough may also occur.2 Moderate exercise during illnesses associated with the common cold is acceptable provided there is no fever. Frequency, intensity and duration should be modified to make workouts less strenuous until symptoms have subsided. In addition, adequate water intake is imperative! It is important to note here that one should never train or otherwise engage in strenuous activity when a fever is present due to the risk of heat stroke!
  2. Headache, sore throat, cough and general aches and pains are usually severe in the case of influenza. Fever is high and lasts 4-5 days. In addition, fatigue and exhaustion may be moderate to severe and can linger for up to three weeks.2Generally, anyone who shows signs of systemic illness—fever, excessive fatigue, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes— should not train. Recovery usually takes about two to four weeks, especially to avoid complications. Only during the period of convalescence, a week after complete absence of symptoms, should sports or exercise be resumed with a gradual return to normal activity levels in time.1
  3. Lastly, mononucleosis (mono), caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, is characterized by a mild headache, low grade fever lasting 7 to 10 days, severe sore throat and swollen lymph nodes, moderate aches and pains, and loss of appetite. Fatigue and exhaustion may last up to 6 weeks. In addition, it is very common for the spleen to become enlarged and for occasional jaundice to occur.2 As with influenza, these signs of systemic illness require ample time for recovery before resuming physical activity. Remember, this should be a gradual return to normal activity levels. In the case of an enlarged spleen, it is especially important to gain clearance from your physician before engaging in contact.
Most importantly, listen to your body. If you push too hard, you may risk prolonged illness and possible injury. Here’s to a happy and healthy winter! 1Misigoj-Durakovic, M., Durakovic, Z., Barsic, B. “To Exercise or not to Exercise in Acute Upper Respiratory tract Infections.” Kinesiology 37, No. 1 (2005): 5-12. 2Saremi, Jodai. “Upper Respiratory Viral Infections in the Athlete.” American Fitness, Nov/Dec (2007): 60-63. Jennifer Pecot is a Certified Personal Trainer, Master CHFS, and NTP. She is Co-CEO of Immunitrition, LLC operating the southeastern division based out of Orlando, FL.

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Chocolate vs. Cacao

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Chocolate vs. Cacao

UNDERSTAND THE TERMS

Chocolate and cocoa both derive from the cacao tree and its beans, and both undergo a similar process to turn them into the finished product. In chocolate, the cocoa butter is not removed during processing. Natural cocoa’s finished product, on the other hand, has little or no cocoa butter, and is usually a powdered substance. Both pure chocolate and pure cocoa are dark and bitter to the taste. Cacao nibs are basically raw chocolate.

HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF CACAO

Therefore, in all three variations, the cacao bean is the basis.  There are great antioxidant properties to raw cacao, but all variations contain a substance similar to caffeine. Many like to substitute carob powder, which comes from the pod of a tree that grows along the Mediterranean Sea, for the cocoa powder because it does not contain the caffeine. You will find, though, that even though it is tasty…it is not like real chocolate (in my opinion). But, let’s take the desire for chocolate a step deeper. If someone is really craving a lot of chocolate, it is typically a sign of magnesium deficiency. Many times, by increasing magnesium in the diet through food and supplements, or by maintaining magnesium stores by balancing blood sugar, for example, the cravings are reduced. Large amounts of magnesium are depleted when the body needs to process high quantities of glucose. As a side note, when I learned this nutritional wisdom as an NTP student, I went a bit overboard on the magnesium to the point where I would feel nauseated when I walked down the chocolate aisle at Whole Foods! I don’t encourage this, but it was interesting.

janelle-johnson-grove-300x300.pngABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Janelle Johnson-Grove, NTP, MSEd, is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and professional educator who received her Masters in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Janelle combines her passion for nutrition with her knowledge of effective educational practices to the NTA program classroom. Janelle is also the owner and founder of SageFire Wellness, a nutrition consulting practice based in Cincinnati, Ohio. To complement and deepen her wellness work with individuals, Janelle studied with the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Along with her functional an educational approach, she integrates the mind-body connection to help clients improve their relationship with food and overcome mental and emotional roadblocks to nutritional practices. Janelle’s knowledge and passion for nutrition, education, and the emotional dynamics surrounding food and food choices infuse her work with professionals, students, and clients.

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