Teryn Cook Buchanan, RD
INTEGRATIVE NUTRITION SOLUTIONS
for something nutrishus
While many dietitians are team members, Teryn's private sector team may be a little bit more non-traditional (or even controversial for some). It doesn't seem surprising that mental health or psychology still plays a role in her nutrition practice, considering her initial university direction. Dietitians continue to show that we like to keep ourselves busy and are always learning or seeking out certifications/additional education in our areas of interest and practice.
Why did you become a RD?
I always knew that my life’s work would revolve around helping others, I just didn’t quite know what that looked like. In college, I had declared that I would major in Psychology, however in my freshman year of college I took a General Nutrition course and that changed the path of my professional life for good. I was in love with studying nutrition and though I truly did not know what a Dietitian was, I knew that as long as I got to connect with people over discussions of food, that that was what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
What area of dietetics do you work in?
I work both in the private sector as the owner of Integrative Nutrition Solutions, a private nutrition consulting company, as well as in long term care in multiple skilled nursing facilities. At Integrative Nutrition Solutions, I work inside a naturopathic wellness center, Fresno Holistic Medicine, where I collaborate with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), holistic psychologists, and a chiropractor. We are a team of practitioners who truly focus on an integrative approach to healing.
How would you explain what you do?
I meet with clients with different health ailments and try to find the root cause of their disease, bad habits, and/or barriers to reaching optimal wellness. We not only focus on the foods they put in their bodies, but also dive into their mental state, environment, support system, sleep patterns, and physical activity. I have adapted a mind-body approach to assessing my clients because health is dependent on so much more than the foods we eat, one must take an integrative approach to understanding the other factors that play a role in our physical state.
What are your ‘typical’ daily/weekly tasks?
Right now, I shift my days and tasks between my two roles. I start my day in long term care by performing medical nutrition therapy (MNT) to our residents and supporting them through their healing, then I switch my hats and meet with my clients on a one-on-one basis in my office, all the while trying to squeeze in some time for my yoga practice. I am also the President Elect for the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Central Valley District and focus on ways to enhance the field of dietetics and support our members by providing them continued education and community involvement.
What has been your career path?
I started out in the private sector as a degreed nutritionist, once I became a registered dietitian, I landed a job in skilled nursing as an in-house RD. After a year or so, I was promoted to a corporate dietitian who traveled between facilities to perform medical nutrition therapy as well as audit and prepare the facilities for their annual state/medicare recertification survey. At the end of 2017 I decided to return to the private sector but on my own terms. My experience in health care was the driving force to opening my own practice where I could support clients in ways I felt was lacking from traditional health care.
What advanced education or special training do you have?
I have been trained by the Center of Mind Body Medicine in Food as Medicine. I am also currently training in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics via the Center for Lifelong Learning. I am a member of the dietetic practice group, Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine, and attend conferences and webinars that broaden my knowledge of integrative health.
In an ideal world, what does the industry look like 5 years from now?
I hope to see our health care system focus more on finding the root cause of illnesses and practice more preventative care to prevent chronic disease.
What are you passionate about in dietetics?
I am most passionate about digestive and emotional health and how they play a role in one another. I always try to touch on any symptoms of depression or anxiety with my clients because what we put in our bodies can either support those symptoms or make them spiral out of control.
What tip(s) would you give to our readers?
Give yourself grace and always focus on self-care because this is the only body that you get in this life.
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