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Network in Action Interview with Yvonne Matthews of Nutrition Designed


Sharon: Hello, everyone, this is Sharon Heller with Network in Action, and I'm here today with Yvonne Matthews. Hello, Yvonne.

Yvonne: Hello!

Sharon: Let's start with you sharing a little bit about your company Nutrition Design.

Yvonne: Yeah, thanks, Sharon. So I am a certified holistic nutritionist and herbalist centered here in Denver, but I practice one on one private consultations. And also, I do some group consultations or group programs every now and then. Also, this year I kind of took on a new role as one of the lead nutrition instructors at a new school here in Denver, certifying nutritionists as well. So lots of fun stuff going on.

Sharon: Thank you. One of the things that I was thinking about and planning for this interview today was, these days information is just so readily accessible. We can hop online, we can Google stuff. It seems like the market and the Internet is just saturated with information about nutrition, supplements, diets, exercise. It's just all right there at our fingertips. So what are the benefits of working really personally with a nutritionist such as yourself versus just finding the information that we need online?

Yvonne: Yeah, I call that Dr. Google. I know I'm not the only one. Yeah, there are so many benefits, I think, to working one on one with any kind of practitioner or coach of any kind. Just the personalized attention that you get, that you can't get on Google.

Yvonne: A great example, I was seeing a new client this morning who, she's had some disordered eating habits, some emotional eating binges. And we were talking about where some of that stuff might have stemmed for her and she started talking about her childhood and some specific moments with her parents and experiences that seemed fairly traumatic, maybe not on the big scale of traumas, but traumatic for her and really has influenced how she eats and views food or doesn't eat.

Yvonne: And so I was just thinking, when you mention that question, like, how do you Google that? You can't, I mean, it's so personalized, this approach needs personal attention. And we all come, every single person I see, even if they are a student in class or somebody that walks through my door as a client, we all come with our own set of baggage, good and bad.

Yvonne: And it's hard to Google everything when you need that of individualized attention. Like, I'm not a therapist, but I do end up playing therapist a lot of the time. And thankfully, I work in an office full of therapists. So if I need more support, I can send them to a therapist. But yeah, I mean, you could Google some basic nutrient needs like milligrams of B9 or whatever.

Yvonne: But then... more of a fat-soluble vitamin-like you should probably have a blood test for us to determine where you are at because as a fat-soluble vitamin, it's not just going to get flushed out of your system. It might really be toxic at some level or just not enough. So there are so many factors into just kind of have a professional who's educated and knows where to start, and who else they might need to talk to, too, because I definitely don't think I'm a one-stop-shop by any means.

Sharon: Yeah, those are really good points. And I know I get really overwhelmed with all the conflicting information out there. It's like "eat lots of protein, don't eat protein". This whole carbon protein war that's going on, I don't know what to think about most of it. So it sounds like your approach is really individualized and working with your clients.

Yvonne: Yeah, very, very much individualized, I think when I was first starting out about five years ago, I got really frustrated because I thought I could have like a plan and a protocol in place to work for this one specific group of people.

Yvonne: I started out specializing in women's health and specifically hormone balance, whether it was female trying to get off birth control, which is kind of where I started this journey for myself, or someone trying to get pregnant or going through menopause, whatever that was for a specific female set. And I got very frustrated very quickly because I thought it was specific enough that I could find a way like, OK, first we do this and then we do this and then we do this.

Yvonne: And I quickly found out, like within a year or two that like that's even as specific as you can get. There's no one size fits all for anyone, because if there was, I wouldn't have a job.

Yvonne: They wouldn't need me. Everyone would be in perfect health. So, yeah, it is very individualized. And people just need a good education that they can trust. Like you were saying, like Google is all over the place sometimes, so.

Sharon: Yeah. And to have that information customized to my specific needs, I can imagine that makes all the difference.

Yvonne: Yeah. It really does.

Sharon: And can you talk a little bit about, I know that you have an offer that you have created during this particular period of time. Do you want to talk about that?

Yvonne: Yeah. For the last six weeks or two months, I've not been to the offices, a lot of us haven't been. So I've been gearing more towards virtual, which is great because I've been seeing clients all over the country the entirety of my practice, but now obviously more and more so.

Yvonne: But when everything started, I was wanting to offer something to people that maybe didn't need a six-month program or a three-month program, but maybe just needed some answers that they could trust, aside from doing some like Instagram lives and things like that, which I did at the very early onset, but kind of tinkered a little bit towards the end.

Yvonne: The service, I thought would be most helpful would be just a quick 30 minute, 60-minute, virtual console at a sliding scale. So I would put a suggested donation or offer out there, but really, it was whatever you can afford to pay. And if it's more, great, and if it's less great, if it's absolutely nothing and you need help, I want to be there for people and realize that everyone is in a very unique situation.

Yvonne: And so I felt that was helpful, especially for people who might be immune-compromised, have questions about their safety. What can you trust, a lot of people, a lot of anxiety about going to the grocery store right now, I mean, even for me. And so I know other people are having questions if I'm having these questions. So, I think I'm going to keep going to. It seems like something that could always be useful.

Sharon: Well, I hope some folks reach out to you specifically in that area. And I was wondering, and I'm going to put you on the spot here, but if there's like two or three things that I can start doing today that are going to help me stay healthier during this period of time, you have a few suggestions for me?

Yvonne: Sure, I always have suggestions, I think the first one that always comes to mind and people always want to punch me in the arm for it, is to stay hydrated. It's something we all know to do. But it's so, so important that even mild dehydration; and I've been doing a lot of talks on mental health lately and anxiety and depression because it's a lot of what people are feeling for now or for the first time now, and dehydration, even mild, can really mimic the symptoms of anxiety and irritability. And so it's extremely important.

Yvonne: And I think a lot of people turn to stimulants like caffeine and alcohol in times of comfort and need. And so if you're going to do that, just to make sure you stay extra hydrated, do a one for one if you're going to have a cup of coffee, make sure you have a glass of water in between that and maybe your next cup of coffee and the same with the alcohol. So, yeah, that would probably be my number one tip.

Yvonne: If I had to give a second one, it would probably be to focus on eating a solid breakfast and or lunch. I think as the day progresses, we have had made a million choices and it gets harder and harder to make those choices. I think a lot of us call that willpower, and as our day goes on, our willpower goes away. And I think it really just is, the energy that we have expended all day thinking and doing things. And also our blood sugar plays a role in that.

Yvonne: So if we can focus on getting a good breakfast and a good luncheon, then if we have pizza rolls around the dinner, you don't maybe feel so bad. And you really loaded up a lot of your nutrients at the beginning of the day. So I feel like that's always helpful for people because those choices, at least for me, those choices at the beginning of the day seem a lot easier at the end of the day, right?

Sharon: That's a good point. I always weigh my vegetables until dinner time, maybe I should start a little sooner.

Yvonne: Yes. Make some in there somewhere. I have like an automatic salad for some reason. I've gotten on the salad, especially now that it's spring and a little bit warmer at every lunch I'm home. I usually have things to make a salad and it's just become a real habit of mine. And so anything you can do, whether it's like a bowl of soup or, I don't know, something that's got loaded vegetables and proteins and fats in it. Yeah, get them in where we can

Sharon: Ok, well thank you so much, Yvonne, for spending a little time with me today and stay healthy.

Yvonne: You, too, bye


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