Who is Melanee
I am an integrative clinical nutritionist who focuses on helping clients optimize their mental health through nutrition and lifestyle change. I have a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition and am uniquely qualified to offer nutrition therapy from a functional medicine model. I know first-hand the power of nutrition to heal and am passionate about sharing my experience and knowledge with others.
When I’m not being a nutritionist you can usually find me hiking the many trails around my home, crocheting awesome creations, reading, boxing, doing yoga, or adventuring with my husband and children.
What Drives Me
Some time ago I began to experience symptoms that I couldn't explain. I woke up still tired. I didn't have the energy to participate in everyday activities. I started to gain weight. I turned to the medical community to help me with my symptoms and became extremely frustrated as time and time again I was told to eat less, exercise more and avoid carbs.
It wasn't until years later and thousands of dollars in medical costs spent that I found the answers I needed. My symptoms were not tied to a scale or a restrictive diet plan or a pair of jogging shoes. I learned that my personal biochemistry was imbalanced. All of the advice to lose weight to make myself feel better led to further weight gain and feeling worse about myself. Everything was upside down and backwards.
My experiences are not unique. As I work with clients every day who are increasingly exasperated with the "one size fits all" approach to health and wellness, I am driven to spread the message that your size is not the problem that needs to be fixed. You are allowed to seek better health without being dismissed based solely on your size. You are worth the effort of healing and guidance without being shamed.
Too often people feel their symptoms are all in their head, or that their experiences in their body are not worthy of treatment. We treat our bodies as the enemy, and feel if we worked harder we would finally be free of these problems. Problems we may have been led to believe we invented, or are problems we caused on our own. You deserve to be heard. Your experiences are real.
I believe in Health at Every Size (HAES). I believe in a weight neutral approach. I believe in taking the shame out of eating. I believe that your shape is not an indicator of your overall wellbeing. I believe all bodies deserve nourishment. And I believe that everyone deserves to feel good.
How I Got Here
MS in Clinical Nutrition
Intuitive Eating Counselor
BA in English Literature and Editing
200 hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor
Member of Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH)
Professional member of American Nutrition Association (ANA)
Board Certified Clinical Nutrition Specialist (CNS) Candidate
Internship through The Clinician's Incubator
Where I'm Coming From
I came to nutrition by a round about way. I developed an eating disorder in High School. I didn’t believe I had a problem. After all, my body wasn’t emaciated. I refused to seek treatment when my behavior was eventually questioned. I clearly didn’t fit the description of someone who needed help with an eating disorder.
Later, in my early 20s I was seeking my undergraduate degree, had recently married the love of my life, and had a bright future ahead of me. Yet I developed chronic pain and fatigue that could not be explained. I searched for years, but was always told my tests were “within normal limits.”
During this time I sought out alternative forms of treatment. I found yoga and became a yoga instructor. I loved the way yoga nourished my mind and body. I started experimenting with my diet and realized how influential our food choices are over our wellbeing. I began seeking out as much information as I could on nutrition.
Unfortunately, most of the information being sold as nutrition advice is extremely disordered. My eating disorder grew, and so did my waistline. Each time I failed at a new diet I spiraled deeper into my eating disorder, but surely it was all my own fault. After all, I wasn't living in a small body anymore.
I was fortunate to enter a graduate program to study Clinical Nutrition, a functional medicine approach to nutrition therapy. I have also been fortunate to have found help navigating through all the harmful messages we are fed about what nutrition and wellness should look like.
It took me years and years to get the help I needed. The battle to save my mental health as well as my physical health in a society that told me my only option was extreme weight loss and restriction has been painful and difficult. Yet, it has brought me my life's work.
Now as a practicing nutritionist it is my passion to help others get out of the diet culture that robbed me of decades of my life, and to bring hope to those who are not heard when they express that all is not right in their body. Your outward appearance is not an accurate measurement of your health.
Good nutrition is not extreme. You can make peace with food, and use nutrition to help you nourish your body and mind in a way that is peaceful. Your body is good, and worthy of nourishment.