Below are some resources that I hope you’ll find helpful as you grow your private practice (I know they’ve helped me!). I’ll be continually adding things to this list, so check back periodically for updates. 🙂
P.S. Some of these links are affiliate links – that means that I do make a small commission if you decide to purchase through these links (no extra cost to you either way). The commission that I earn allows me to provide you with tons of info/expertise free of charge without the annoyance of unsightly ads. Also, all of the opinions provided are my own – I don’t recommend anything that I don’t use or believe in.
Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, MD
In Mind Over Medicine, Lissa details the body’s ability to self-heal after having battled a health ordeal of her own that conventional medicine didn’t have the answers for. Written from the perspective of a physician who previously practiced conventional medicine, Mind Over Medicine offers insights into the miracle that is the human body. Lissa presents peer-reviewed evidence (along with several anecdotes) to plead her case and she goes into depth about how to activate the body’s self-healing mechanisms. Every health professional should have a copy of this book.
IFNA offers functional nutrition training that’s geared towards dietitians. There are several different learning tracks/modules that you can complete online (there’s also an onsite culinary immersion experience available) – choose the tracks that interest you the most and earn continuing ed (135+ CPEUs currently available), or choose to complete the full training (along with exam) to earn the IFN Certified Practitioner credential.
IFNA covers a wide range of topics from a functional perspective and each topic is presented by a different expert (the course materials are also peer-reviewed by IFNA’s faculty and advisory board). Additionally, IFNA has partnered with the Institute for Functional Medicine, which really adds to the credibility of the training.
I’ve personally completed Track 1 (which I found to be incredibly valuable) and I plan on taking tracks 2 and 3 over the next year or so.
Although LEAP-related activities are no longer approved for CPEUs (long story – for more info, check out this article written by a colleague for the Montana AND Food for Thought Winter Newsletter), it’s still an invaluable educational opportunity for dietitians. Inflammation is tied to many chronic health issues and learning how to utilize specialized testing and designing targeted elimination diets can be a tremendous asset to your practice (not to mention the positive impact it’ll have on your clients!).
Before I took the CLT course and started utilizing LEAP in my practice, I was almost ready to give up my RD credential. I was tired of helping clients achieve only mediocre results and I didn’t feel like my conventional dietetics training offered the level of education that I was seeking in order to best support clients. LEAP opened up my eyes to this whole side of nutrition that I hadn’t even considered: the immune system’s responses to foods. I discovered that with a customized approach to eating (based on blood testing), the outcomes can be truly remarkable and even life-changing.
One of my first LEAP clients was a chronic migraineur – she suffered from 4-day-long migraine episodes at least once or twice per month (in addition to frequent headaches between migraines); this occurred for OVER 10 YEARS. Imagine how debilitating that must’ve been! Within a couple weeks on LEAP, her headaches and migraines were nearly non-existent (and she experienced a nice turnaround in her other inflammatory symptoms). After this client’s experience, I was sold.
Since then, I’ve been able to help clients with IBS who had 12+ visits to the loo per day have normalized bowel movements for the first time in years. I’ve helped clients with clinically diagnosed depression and anxiety get off meds (with doctors’ blessing/guidance) because they no longer needed them. I’ve helped clients with hypothyroidism achieve markedly improved lab markers (without meds). Hell, I’ve even helped my own step-father cut his A1c in half within a matter of a few weeks… and this was after he cut his Metformin in half in week 1 (he also dropped 20+ pounds, experienced better digestion, and his aches and pains vanished, among other benefits).
All of this occurred because of some shifts in eating… swapping out the highly inflammatory foods for ones that the immune system treated as less of a threat. When you remove that inflammatory burden, it’s truly amazing at what the body is able to accomplish.
(FYI, people can develop a highly inflammatory response to just about any food – it’s VERY individualized. I’ve had clients react to some of the most seemingly innocuous foods… lettuce, garlic, parsley, turmeric, ginger, tea, coconut, you name it. This is why utilizing blood testing can be a total game-changer for your clients.)
Now, I’m not claiming that LEAP is the be-all-end-all… there are often other imbalances that also need to be addressed (like nutrient deficiencies, dysbiosis, chronic stress, etc), but LEAP can help establish a nice foundation to build upon and it can help make any additional interventions/protocols work more effectively.
If you’d like to learn more about LEAP and MRT (MRT is the blood test that pairs with the LEAP dietary protocol), check out Oxford Biomedical’s site (you can purchase the training directly through Oxford here). Susan Linke (an extremely knowledgable RD and LEAP mentor) also has some helpful info on her site (she’s the lovely lady providing a brief overview of MRT/LEAP in the videos that I included below). If you choose to move forward with purchasing the Certified LEAP Therapist training, feel free to list me (Amanda Austin) as the dietitian who referred you (LEAP therapists can earn discounts on future MRT tests when referring colleagues to the training). I’d also highly recommend selecting Susan Linke as your preferred mentor if you don’t have someone else in mind already.