Practitioner Spotlight: Douglas J., Functional Nutritionist and Holistic Health Coach

Up next for our Practitioner Spotlight is Douglas J., a functional nutritionist and holistic health coach. Doug shares his wealth of integrative lifestyle tips at our Solano Avenue location in Berkeley, Calif. Check back regularly to meet more of the team you will connect with in stores!

Why did you decide to pursue this path?
I chose to study Functional Nutrition and become a Holistic Health Coach so I could help people discover healing opportunities tailored to their lifestyles. I was surprised by the generic suggestions given to my father by the conventional health care system when he became ill (e.g. “no fat” and “no salt”), and shocked at how little lifestyle advice was available. Healing plans did not seem to be tailored to the patient’s individual needs.

Maintaining health is a constant balancing act. It’s about finding how to relate to the world in new ways, whether that’s through exercise, rest, diet, stress reduction, motivation or a combination of all the above.

The ideas that everyone’s body functions in a different way and that health must be customized made sense to me. Functional nutritionists take a deeper look at how a body’s systems function using data from lab tests. Being able to assess that function and improve areas of dysfunction strikes me as incredibly valuable and interesting. Through holistic health coaching, I can provide the consistent follow up and support that people need as they implement various diet and lifestyle changes.

What’s your favorite part of being a practitioner?
Knowing that I made a difference in someone’s life. When customers tell me that their lives have tremendously improved based on our work together, I know that I am doing something meaningful with my time and really helping someone in need.

What Pharmaca product can you not live without?
There are many amazing products at Pharmaca, so this is a hard question! A quality multivitamin is foundational to maintaining good health. I think everyone should take one as an “insurance policy” to make sure most micronutrient needs are met. Your body has to have adequate levels of the basic nutrients in order to function properly.

If I had to choose one, I would go with the PhytoMulti by Metagenics. It contains highly bioavailable nutrients, including certain B vitamins that many people do not absorb well through food sources. It also contains specific phytonutrients that support proper physiology and DNA stability. It’s one product that provides multiple nutrients many Americans may be deficient in. And it’s only available through Pharmaca or a practitioner.

What’s your top tip for staying healthy?
Think of health as lifestyle balance. It requires paying attention to relationships and happiness as well as being in touch with your physical body. Many of us choose to focus on one aspect of health and exclude many others. I see too many people exercising all the time and then eating junky food, or taking a huge list of supplements while ignoring their need for meaningful relationships. It can seem difficult to balance all of life’s demands and know what to focus on, which is why I think everyone should work with a good Holistic Health Coach or Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist at some point to get a baseline on how to balance holistic health in our fast-paced, ever-changing world.