We asked Autumn to share some information about herself and her experience as a dietician.
Why did you choose a career in nutrition?
As with so many practitioners in natural health, I decided to go into nutritional counseling because of my own health struggles. I spent 10 years battling with the ups and downs of irritable bowel syndrome, progressively losing weight, becoming sicker and sicker, until I finally figured out that I was gluten-intolerant. Once I started avoiding gluten, 95% of my symptoms suddenly disappeared, and this inspired me to help others optimize their health through diet and lifestyle.
What kind of success have you seen in your patients?
I do a lot of work with food intolerance and allergies. Patient after patient is coming back to me—months after pursuing food sensitivity testing—and telling me how amazing they feel now that they're avoiding the foods they previously ate. For some, their diarrhea, bloating or (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) GERD has disappeared. For others, they're no longer muzzy-headed or their joint aches have decreased significantly. Recently, a patient who works at a coffee company came to me with ill-defined symptoms, some stomach upset, headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and trouble losing weight. We did the testing and she came back sensitive to coffee, among other foods. She started avoiding all the reactive foods and immediately noted a marked decrease in ALL her symptoms. One day she accidentally drank some coffee and started to get tightening in her chest and a pounding headache, proving to herself that she truly WAS sensitive to coffee and needed to avoid it in order to feel completely healthy.
Are there common myths about health and nutrition?
I think the most common misperception about nutrition is that there's one correct way to eat, one cure-all supplement. If we think of all the hundreds of cultures in the world, we come up with a hundred different ways to eat. In India many people are vegetarian, while Eskimos traditionally eat a lot of fat and meat, yet both peoples are essentially healthy. Each person needs to decide, based on how they feel physically, mentally, and emotionally, what foods work best for their body. Stop worrying about the latest fad diet, supplement, or "superfood."
What are some of your other interests?
Outside of nutrition, though not that far removed, I love to shop for food, read food magazines, and cook! I also love hiking and cuddling with my dog, Duncan the dastardly dachshund. I adore reading and movies, and my favorite Sunday activity is sitting at Miro, drinking tea with my husband.