Introducing: Stephanie Bird, Nutrition & Food Science, Gut Thinker, and Mission Statement

stephanie bird santa cruz municipal wharfI thought I’d update some info about myself, in case you’ve stumbled across this blog on a random journey through the internet. I contribute information infrequently, and also post on Facebook on the Gut Thinking group. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Science, Dietetics emphasis and taking the exam to be a Registered Nutrition and Dietetic Technician. Please find my career portfolio online at StephanieBird.com. 

My mission: To compassionately help people with a variety of health concerns find better living through diet changes and supportive strategies including recipes and sharing of knowledge, with a dash of humor if it helps. 

Gut is my co-pilot. Most people know what it’s like to have a “gut feeling.” We work on instinct to make decisions based on what we know to be true

I have spent my life trying to get my diet right because I discovered along the way that what I eat definitely impacts how I feel that day, up to several days after. Sure, I’d heard the whole “you are what you eat” bit growing up, but I hadn’t realized until my late 20s how literal that message is.

For me, that meant the things I was eating weren’t adding up to a healthy-feeling me. In order to change that, I have been on a quest since 1999 to figure out what types of food make me feel good without feeling bored or punished.

This also meant I had to do a lot of research on my own, as I discovered that even most of the health professionals I talked with weren’t aware of the various problems people suffered as a result of eating foods not suited for their best health. Sure, doctors and dietitians knew that if you were diagnosed with celiac disease, you needed to avoid gluten. If they knew about interstitial cystitis, they may have found some of their patients/clients respond well to a low-acid diet. And to those “fortunate” enough to have a cut-and-dry positive result to a food allergy, as opposed to a vague food intolerance or other adverse food reaction, then they knew to recommend a diet without that food in it, and could prescribe antihistamines or other treatments to ease symptoms.

However, functional conditions such as dysphasia (difficulty swallowing) or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) aren’t as cut and dried. Dysphasia could be related to eosinophilic esophagitis which is related to allergy (back to not knowing again!) and IBS could be triggered by food such as the group known as FODMAPs, or just be the way the gastrointestinal tract misfires.

I focused my studies on Nutrition and Food Science, with emphasis in Dietetics, so I ultimately will be able to work with media, researchers, and food companies to help develop and provide information to others who have health issues they may not realize are related to their diets. The didactic program I completed was through California State University at Chico, and I have also taken science courses at Huntington College of Health Sciences of Knoxville, TN; California State University at Sacramento; and University of California at Santa Cruz. I am currently certified in ServSafe and HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points).

See my LinkedIn profile for more information.

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