Heidi Buttery, Certified Nutrition Consultant
As a young girl growing up on the East Coast, I remember picking blueberries and apples, when in season and being curious when my mom would bring home an exotic kiwi from the grocery store. We ate very simply – usually chicken, a side of pasta, and vegetables. Little did I realize that many years later when I moved to California, lifestyle, diet and nutrition would profoundly impact my life.
I have always been an active person. As a child, I studied martial arts and as an adult, I run, swim, practice yoga and do Pilates, amongst a few other activities. In 2011, I learned basics of road cycling and joined a local triathlon team, Team Sheeper in Menlo Park. When I signed up for my first iron distance triathlon, I decided to deeply study the nutritional aspect of my training. I wanted to understand the impact of food on my performance as an athlete and maximize my race day experience.
It didn’t make sense to me to fuel my workouts with a lot of added sugars and processed grains, as I had done before, following traditional sports nutrition advice. These foods quite often provided a short boost of energy, but left me with sugar crashes and an unhealthy gut, prompting GI issues, especially in long-distance events. I upgraded my fueling from prepackaged energy bars to natural foods, packed with the nutrients I needed, such as unsweetened coconut flakes, raw nuts and homemade whole-food energy bars. After my body adapted from primarily burning mostly sugars to mostly burning fats, I felt an extra level of endurance and decrease in recovery time, even for my most strenuous workouts.
Besides the positive changes I saw in body composition, I slept better and felt a more consistent energy throughout the day. This made me more mentally alert than before and gave me a sense of calmness, which I apply to all aspects of my life – family, friends and other relationships.
Since this recent transformation, I feel compelled to share what I found to help others. By making small, gradual diet changes, incorporating a holistic view on health, people can enhance their lives. We are born with one body, so it is vital and essential to maintain it as our strongest asset – our protection against the stresses and diseases that everyone increasingly faces.
Click here for more of my story!
As I mentioned before, my journey into whole foods nutrition began a few years ago after I signed up for my first Ironman Triathlon (which took place in 2013). I knew I would need additional calories in my diet for training and it didn’t make sense to me to just increase the pre-packaged energy bars and eat more pasta.
I transitioned to eating whole foods and immediately had lower inflammation in my body and speedier recovery times overall. By the time I crossed the finish line, 9 months after these dietary changes, I felt strong and invincible. I began to study nutrition more closely after that and when I realized I could start to really help others, I decided to transition careers from the financial industry to the health and wellness industry.
I applied to a school (and now graduated from) Bauman College that fit my dietary principles: whole food driven — Also seasonal, local, unprocessed and organic. Within this program, my passion grew deeper and I realized I can truly help people through dietary and lifestyle changes. I think the best changes are small, yet gradual and build over time. You can make a positive impact to your life and vitality.
I do it because…
I believe people don’t realize how good they can feel once they begin making healthy choices – whether in diet or lifestyle.
Because it’s a good proactive measure for your health and preventative medicine against modern day disease.
It’s empowering to be able to enhance your health through your plate – helping your confidence and self-control, as much as your physical health. I’ve been studying nutrition for a few years and have worked with many people from many socioeconomic backgrounds, lifestyles and goals. Everyone has a unique life and deserves a unique plan to get them to the best health, which is why I work 1-on-1 with clients, or in small groups, to help them with their dietary needs and healthy lifestyle planning.