Carly Stagg and Chelsea Blackbird are co-creators of The School of Christian Health and Nutrition. They teach holistic health rooted in Biblical principles and certify people who are passionate about health and Jesus to become Christian Health Practitioners. Carly is a Family Nurse Practitioner and functional nutritional therapist. Chelsea is Christian Health Practitioner and nutritional therapist. They have combined the very best of their functional health training and clinical experience to offer a comprehensive program that fully integrates spirit, mind and body.
In this episode, both practitioners share their heart for a holistic, Biblical perspective on health that is often missing in the world of health and nutrition.
Download and listen here or find wherever you get podcasts.
More people are struggling with mental health issues than ever before, and more people are looking for lasting solutions by addressing the root cause through multiple modalities. Sanare Today is a revolutionary set of thirteen clinics that combines therapy, natural medicine, nutrition, and coaching to help people thrive.
Rachael Bevilacqua is the Vice President of Sanare Today. She has a master’s degree in clinical counseling from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and is a personal trainer. Her passion for combining revolutionary therapy techniques, food, and movement comes from her experience as an athlete, coach, and clinician.
Dr. Kate Henry is the Director of Functional Medicine at Sanare. Kate’s study of nutrition, botanicals, and lifestyle medicine allows her to offer unique expertise and cutting-edge solutions for mental and physical health conditions including depression, anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, and more. She’s passionate about doing the medical detective work to help people find their root cause and become free of the things that are holding them back.
In this episode, we dive into the world of integrating mind-body methods to improve mental health for good. Download and listen here or find wherever you get podcasts.
Meg Gerber is a Functional Medicine Dietitian, best-selling author, and the founder of Grounded Nourishment. Meg specializes in working with individuals who struggle with cognitive digestive issues. Through her own journey of digestive struggles and autoimmunity, Meg has learned the power of being in your body and listening to its needs. Her #1 bestselling cookbook is available for purchase on Amazon.
Download and listen here, or find wherever you get podcasts.
I was medicated for bipolar disorder for 18 years. Ten years ago, I went off anti-psychotic medication. Eight years ago, I weaned off my remaining medication, an SSRI antidepressant.
Today, I am mentally healthier than I’ve ever been, particularly in the last five years, since I have been (mostly) gluten free and eat a lower carbohydrate diet. In fact, my husband would agree that since I changed my eating habits, there has been more of an increase in my mental stability. The times that I consume a bit of gluten here and there, and eat a little more carbs than usual, I typically start to sense some mental instability creep up. The connection between gluten, carbohydrate content, and psychiatric disorders has much clinical evidence behind it, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
I always feel the need to offer a few disclaimers before I share more of my story. Number one, I never encourage anyone to go off medication cold turkey or without the support of a medical professional. Unfortunately, many medical professionals don’t offer much caution in the tapering of medication, so there must be more of a support team in place, in my opinion. Going off medication cold turkey can lead to many unfavorable side effects and can often lead to a person feeling worse than they did BEFORE medication, so it is a very bad idea.When I weaned off my last med, I had a support team in place, and I had established many health practices that had me in the best physical shape possible. It wasn’t a quick decision; it took a lot of detailed planning and prayer.
Number two, every mental illness manifests differently in every individual who experiences symptoms. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1999, back when they still called it manic-depressive illness and didn’t distinguish between bipolar 1 or 2 as they do now. The symptoms I experienced at the time met the diagnostic criteria. Unlike most clinical diagnoses, diagnosing a mental illness means checking boxes on a list of symptoms, not looking at a blood test – and definitely not a brain scan. Because of that, and because I no longer experience the same symptoms, I consider myself to be in remission from this illness.
Here are the symptoms I experienced at the time that categorized me with bipolar disorder: periods of depression, lasting longer than a week where I felt fatigue, loss of interest in regular activities, sadness, apathy, worthlessness, and an inability to get out of bed at all. I also experienced symptoms of mania and hypomania, which meant that for short periods of time I felt increased energy, euphoria, an inability to sleep or slow down, racing thoughts, distractibility, and an increase in risky behavior and impulsivity.
Polyvagal Theory is a term thrown around quite a bit in the world of counseling and functional medicine, but how does it play a role in our stress responses in the day-to-day? That’s what this episode focuses on. This is a deep dive into understanding what it means to be in a state of “fight, flight, or freeze,” and how to support your body in healing so that you can become more stress resilient!
Carly Stagg is a former nutritional therapist turned family nurse practitioner specializing in functional medicine. Her professional practice focuses on autoimmunity, hormone balance, and thyroid care, as well as complex chronic conditions such as mold, Lyme, PANS and PANDAS with a nurturing, gentle approach. She is passionate about the innate self-healing capacity of the body and especially practicing medicine in a way that supports the body in regaining balance rather than competing with its natural state. She currently sees patients via telehealth at Ritual Functional Medicine. She has partnered with Chelsea Blackbird in creating the upcoming School of Christian Health and Nutrition, a 9-month training program focused on empowering and equipping those who feel called to work in the field of health and nutrition.
Download and listen to this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.
I remember when I was first diagnosed with all my mental illness labels, and how I was told I would struggle for the rest of my life. I felt isolated and insecure, believing I was the only person to struggle from something as heavy-sounding as “manic-depressive illness.”
Today, with mental illness labels becoming ubiquitous features to our modern society, we are becoming more accepting that mental health is something we need to support. But to heal? To reverse symptoms? THAT sounds like a foreign concept.
Survivors exist. Those of us who have gone through the labeling, the medicating, and the treatment and have come out on the other side with new tools that work long-term… we exist too. That is why I was so excited to invite fellow survivor Dr. Christina Bjorndal on the show.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND is an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders. Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is recognized as one of the top NDs to follow by two independent organizations. Dr. Chris has helped many patients achieve physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. She has written four books on mental health as well as created two courses – a 10-week course for individuals and a Clinician’s Integrative Mental Health 10 week course.
Download this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.
Struggling with a chronic illness can feel defeating, and struggling with multiple chronic illnesses can feel debilitating. This episode is for anyone who suffers from autoimmune disease or any other limiting label.
Amber Satterfield is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the Founder of Feel Good Nourishment, where she specializes in helping people who suffer from gut health issues and autoimmune diseases. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2008, followed by rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and cancer in the subsequent years. It wasn’t until she found functional medicine that she says her life & health changed forever. After her own journey, Amber became passionate about helping others do the same in their own bodies. Amber is now sharing her personal healing story in her new book, “Thriving with Autoimmune Diseases”, coming out later this year.
Download and listen to this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts.
Have you heard the phrase psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology? Well, you have now!
In this recent episode, I pick Dr. Aaron Hartman’s brain on the topic of long Covid and why creating a healthy immune system impacts everything else in our bodies! We discuss the unique interconnectedness in our bodies and the latest and greatest in health research.
Dr. Aaron Hartman is the founder of Richmond Integrative and Functional Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. He helps his patients identify leverage points in key areas of their lifestyle & health that harness their body’s remarkable power to heal and begin living the vibrant life they deserve. He has participated in over 60 clinical studies and has become the ‘go to’ doctor for difficult and hard cases in central Virginia – positively impacting his own daughter’s MS with his unique, integrative approach to health.
Download and listen here or find wherever you get podcasts!
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (what they then called “manic depressive illness”) in 1999. While the diagnosis matched the symptoms I was experiencing, the treatment I received never seemed to make things better… and they never treated the root of why I was struggling.
While I have shared about my personal experience with bipolar disorder, PTSD, and depression and I have interviewed many different experts who share ways to treat the root of chronic disease, I have never devoted the majority of an episode to bipolar disorder and its root causes.
Ellen Vora, MD received her B.A. from Yale University and attended Columbia University medical school. She’s a board-certified psychiatrist, medical acupuncturist, and yoga teacher. Dr. Vora takes a functional medicine approach to mental health—considering the whole person and addressing imbalance at the root, rather than reflexively prescribing medication. Dr. Vora’s book, The Anatomy of Anxiety, comes out in March 2022.
Recording this episode was personal for me. It helped me put together the puzzle pieces of my health even further. Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts.
Amy Spindel is a functional holistic nutritionist with a mission: to help moms and kids feel happier, calmer, and more energetic so that they can enjoy their best life. She applies a multidisciplinary approach, exploring and supporting mind, body, and spirit, to determine and then provide support around the root causes of why someone does not feel their best.
She received her masters in holistic nutrition from Hawthorn University with additional training from the School of Applied Functional Medicine, and also holds a masters in social work from Columbia University. She is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition, Applied Functional Medicine Certified, a Certified Gluten-Free Practitioner, and trained in culinary arts. Amy owns Food With Thought Nutrition, a functional nutrition and health coaching practice in Plano, TX.
Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts.