Photo Credit: Forgiving Belly
Based in Houston, Texas, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, Megan Garza strives to help people find the root cause of malfunction within the body. She’s seen her fair share of clients who may look like everything is normal from the outside…but they just don’t feel their best. Relate much?
Megan’s focus within her practice is on gut health, and she designs holistic, drug free protocols for her clients to heal imbalances, helping them reclaim their vitality.
Read on for our interview with Megan where she talks more about underlying causes that can contribute to low energy, inability to lose weight and digestive issues, and get a glimpse into her own healthy lifestyle, including her remedy for a sweet tooth…her freezer fudge. And yes, we scored the recipe for you.
TALK A BIT ABOUT YOUR WORK AS A FUNCTIONAL DIAGNOSTIC NUTRITION PRACTITIONER. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT TO SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER HEARD OF THIS?
A Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner focuses on the root cause of malfunction in the body with a focus of healing the whole body using holistic drug-free protocols. Our bodies naturally want to be at a state of balance. When the body is exposed to stress, both external and internal, it throws the body out of balance. Over time, if stress is not remedied, the body will develop symptoms or disease signaling imbalance in the body. Common symptoms include: digestive issues, fatigue, weight gain, achy joints and skin issues, just to name a few. As an FND-P, I focus on identifying and removing the hidden stressors instead of “slapping on a band-aid” approach. I take time to focus on clients’ main health complaints and run appropriate lab tests. Once the stressors have been identified, I work with clients by coaching them through a self-care model of removing the stressors, bringing the body back to a state of balance and allowing them to live a naturally healthy lifestyle.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN HOLISTIC HEALTH, OR WAS THERE ONE PARTICULAR EVENT THAT SHIFTED THAT WITHIN YOU?
Knowing what I know now, I realize that the antibiotics I took as a child did a lot of damage to my body. But my biggest shift was when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (low thyroid). From that point on, I suffered from hormonal imbalance for years. At the same time, I was struggling with weight gain and digestive issues. I was tired of being sick and tired. Once I started implementing a holistic approach and treating the whole body, I became obsessed with feeling my best and wanting to help others feel their best.
THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE WHO SEEM TO BE DOING THE RIGHT THINGS: EATING WELL, EXERCISING, SLEEPING, ETC, BUT THEY STILL FEEL LESS THAN ENERGETIC, THEY STILL HAVE DIGESTIVE SYMPTOMS OR THEY HAVE 10-15 POUNDS THAT THEY CAN’T SEEM TO LOSE. IS THIS SOMETHING YOU SEE A LOT OF?
Yes! I totally get it…I was one of those people! The reality is you could be living a healthy lifestyle or incorporating the “right foods” but there could be an unknown underlying issue causing your unwanted weight gain, your fatigue/low energy, digestive problems, etc. The underlying issues can stem from a parasite, bacteria, yeast, fungus, food sensitivity or other issues. Once we tackle the underlying issue and bring the body back to balance, inflammation is decreased which allows the body to work as it should. Today we are exposed to so many toxins, chemicals, metals and additives that cause stress and disease. The fact that people are listening to their bodies and are aware that the body is NOT functioning optimally is a huge sign that you’re on your way to health success.
DO YOU FIND THERE’S ONE THING IN PARTICULAR THAT SEEMS TO BE A TROUBLE AREA FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE WHEN IT COMES TO FEELING THEIR BEST EVERY DAY?
I feel like the common trend is to eat 5-6 meals a day. In my opinion, people are becoming obsessed with eating all day long. They’re thinking about their next snack as they are eating lunch. The truth is that eating this many times a day causes a rollercoaster effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels. The focus should be on eating a balanced meal filled with healthy fats, proteins and dense leafy green vegetables which will keep you full for 4-6 hours ideally when eating the right portions. When we allow our organs to do their job at the right times, the organs will work more efficiently without causing extra work on the body.
ONCE YOU AND A CLIENT HAVE IDENTIFIED WHAT PROBLEM MIGHT BE CAUSING THEM TO FEEL LESS THAN THEIR BEST, HOW DO YOU START WORKING WITH THAT PERSON TO CREATE CHANGE IN THEIR LIFESTYLE?
After discussing the client’s main health complaints, I will suggest the lab test(s) to best fit the client’s needs. When the lab results come in, I will create a customized protocol. It then becomes a self-care model with the client choosing to use the suggestions made in the protocol. Monthly coaching calls are in my programs for guidance, support and modifications along the journey of healthy living.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE PERSONALLY EVER RECEIVED AROUND LIVING YOUR HEALTHIEST LIFE?
Food is medicine. Nature is a resource that helps the body stay in alignment. Choose organic/local herbs, spices and plant based foods to feed and heal the body. Choose foods that make you feel your best. When you feed your insides good, nutritionally dense foods, it shows on the outside.
WHAT DOES YOUR OWN PERSONAL DAILY MOVEMENT LOOK LIKE?
Movement is such an important part of my life. It heightens my emotional vibration, helps lubricate ligaments and joints, builds strong lean muscle and helps detoxify the body. With that being said, I get started first thing in the morning. My morning routine starts off with rebounding on a small trampoline while playing a feel good song. Then I do the 5 Rites (these are 5 Tibetan yoga moves used by monks). I then either knock out my workout for the day consisting of either a walk, burst interval training, yoga or pilates. One thing I try to keep in focus is listening to my body and my adrenals. On days when I am more fatigued, I practice more gentle physical activity such as a walk or yoga/pilates. On days when I’m full of energy, I knock out a more intense workout.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR OWN FAVORITE HEALTHY TREATS?
Indulging in healthy treats is something I look forward to at the end of each day. Here are a few of my favorites: nut butter freezer fudge (recipe below!), chocolate fudge, almond butter chocolate cookies and dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds. I’m a sucker for sweet indulgences!
YOUR TOP 5 CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THEM FRIDGE ESSENTIALS?
- Goat’s milk (I use it in my coffee)
- Green leafy veggies
- Waterloo carbonated water
- Freezer fudge
WHAT’S THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS READY TO GET STARTED ON A PATH TO HEALTHIER LIVING?
Living a healthy lifestyle is exactly that — a LIFESTYLE. Today people are in search for quick-fix remedies. For some people, trying the latest diet or exercise trend will work for a while, then it will stop or the person will lose motivation and fall back into their old routines, known as the cycle of trial and error. If we just slow down and take time to care for our mind, body and soul, then a healthy lifestyle comes easily. It all starts with your MINDSET. Implementing daily meditation can be magical at the start of a day when directing your focus on staying on a healthy lifestyle track. We must make a healthy lifestyle a priority.
WHA’TS THE MANTRA YOU’RE CURRENTLY LIVING BY?
Move towards what makes you feel good.
MEGAN GARZA’S FREEZER FUDGE
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup coconut butter, softened in microwave
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon stevia powder
- Optional: crushed nuts or dried fruit
Combine almond butter, coconut butter, cocoa powder and stevia in a large mixing bowl until completely mixed. Pour mixture into a small (4×4) glass container and add any additional ingredients desired (nuts, dried fruit or sea salt); place in the freezer. Take the fudge out after 30 minutes and cut into squares or break into pieces at a later time.