Kasia Kines Philosophy Who is Holistic Nutrition Naturally?
Hello and welcome to Holistic Nutrition Naturally. My name is Kasia Kines, MS CN LDN CNS. I am a Licensed Nutritionist in the state of Maryland, Certified Nutritionist in Washington State, and Certified Nutrition Specialist, which entitles me to licensure in a number of other states as well. In 2017, I will also become a DCN, Doctor of Clinical Nutrition. In fact, I am in the very first ever cohort of this first functional nutrition doctoral program ever! the 8 of us are paving the way, pioneering the field of Functional Nutrition, and, under the guidance of Dr Liz Lipski, we are working on creating the definition of Functional Nutrition. How thrilling is that. So now that this introduction is out of the way, let me share my philosophy and approaches with you (and who I am) that hopefully will inspire you, give you hope, and perhaps resonate with you.
“To inspire others to find exceptional health and a truer sense of nourishment through Holistic Nutrition, Functional Nutrition, and the model of Whole Foods and to help patients develop practical and sustainable strategies for their health goals. To change the world one person at a time, helping our planet to heal. To help medical doctors and other health professionals educate their patients so that they can experience more wellness and optimal health.” Kasia Kines
Honoring Natural Processes
I agree with the philosophy of naturopathic medicine (initially I thought I was going to Bastyr University to become a naturopathic doctor): a symptom communicates an imbalance, so it is important to find its true cause (be it emotional, spiritual, or physiological) and find long-lasting solutions. The body’s intrinsic capacity and desire is to heal and be in balance, also called homeostasis. That is why I will honor each patient as a whole person rather than a sum of the symptoms or diseases. That makes a lot of sense in medical nutrition therapy since food is never isolated from other aspects of one’s life, and since the wounds we may have in our relationship with food often run deep.
How I Chose my Schooling
The nutrition profession is quite complicated and political in this country; each state has a different licensure, while a few states have none. I decided to go against the grain and NOT become a registered dietitian as I was more interested in naturopathic medicine and functional medicine, and the education towards RD wouldn’t have given me what I was looking for. I chose the best naturopathic school in the country, Bastyr University, because it had pioneered natural science-based medicine, and it had a tremendous reputation, being called “the Harvard of Natural Medicine”. It happened to also offer an equally reputable clinical master degree in nutrition, which to this day is the best graduate nutrition program in the country. If I had my way, I would have studied many of the school’s programs, but with a gentle nudge of my husband I stopped at nutrition, and I am glad I did!
Nutrition is the Backbone of Health
The core of my life and my work is the fact that Food is Medicine. Food IS medicine. It is, it was, and it always will remain, no matter who we are and what we believe in. We now know that up to 80% of chronic disease stems from nutritional imbalances (think: deficiencies and excesses) that can be corrected. Food has a power to destroy us, and it has a power to transform us down to the cellular level. Food will influence your thoughts. All our functions, literally, depend on what we put in our mouth, and even more, on what we can absorb, or extract from the foods. Science shows us that food is information on the most cellular level, that something as simple as broccoli can “tell” the DNA to “not mutate”. What you put in your mouth impacts your thyroid, joints, quality of sleep, inflammation, and more. This is why I am a nutritionist and I help people heal. I have chosen Functional Medicine and Functional Nutrition and see myself as a Functional (Medicine Gut) Nutritionist because these address the root causes of most of your ailments, without addressing which, we only patch holes. Patients come to me from all over the US because of my specialties, philosophy, and training, which are not too common even in my field; many may struggle finding someone to help them locally where they live. They may have tried many avenues to get help and spent a lot of time and money without a resolution, and they are losing hope. I can never make you any promises, and there are many things I do not know and continue studying, and we will never know what our work will dis-entangle until we start working together. I do have a very deep level of commitment to each patient that hires me. With your help, I try to find root causes of your challenges. We can find foods that will help sustain you no matter how ill you are.
Why I am a Functional Medicine Gut Nutritionist?
Because Functional Medicine is the best way we have learned to address and repair the complexities of your health challenges, and because chronic disease generally starts in the gut even if you may not think so. Functional Medicine is Personalized Medicine where each patient is treated as a unique individual. It is a new paradigm in medicine that is patient-centered and looks at all systems communicating with each other and influencing one another. Your endocrine system talks to your neurological system as that talks to your gastrointestinal system and back. Your body is not a sum of organs but a complex, intelligent living multi-system organism! As a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, I literally investigate, like a private eye, how and why things may not connecting appropriately. This takes patience and time, constant study, detailed work, some testing, a lot of experience, and a committed patient who will help me do their part (we are partners). When you suffer from asthma, elevated cholesterol and skin rashes, rather than jumping to three medications, a Functional Medicine practitioner will investigate the root cause behind this situation in order to address the imbalances and fix them and will create a Personalized Nutrition Protocol for each patient.
My goal is to help you find the cause of your pain, repair the damage, improve your quality of life for good, and save you thousands of dollars in medical bills when you have been told that “you are fine” or that it is all “in your head”.
My passion is to find what we can do to help you achieve the best and healthiest life. I am not in this business to give you a diet. I am in the business to improve and, better yet, change lives. It is the most beautiful and the most rewarding thing I could ever experience – watching you recover and thrive. Your success is my success. That is my business.
Food is My Medicine
At one of the Institute of Functional Medicine conferences I attended a number of years ago, Dr. Mark Hyman, MD said something that stuck with me, that if you practice medicine but you are not practicing nutrition, you are not practicing medicine. That is why at the very last moment, I chose a nutrition degree over naturopathic medicine. When my brother was a child, my mother discovered he was grinding teeth at night and fed him a whole lot of blueberries until he flushed his parasites out with his stool. That is all she did. It is a true story, and it did take a whole lot of blueberries. You see – food alone can have a profound effect on the human body. So how could I NOT become a nutritionist when Food is Medicine?
Trouble in Paradise
They say you are what you eat. That is a great start, and I wish it were true. You are what you absorb. People are ill! They do not absorb well! We are overmedicated, overfed and malnourished and we do not even know it. We are insulted with chemical exposure, electromagnetic radiation, pesticides, herbicides, long working hours, intense long term stress, and mediocre foods that lack the nutritional density of the same food just 50 years ago. And as a result, many people’s ability to assimilate what they eat becomes compromised…I see deterioration of the gastrointestinal tract (remember? I am a gut nutritionist for a reason…) including leaky gut, and once that happens, you are inviting mounting food sensitivities, deficiencies and eventually diseases of various types or parasites… This is where many of my patients have to subsist. My goal is always to repair the GI tract and your food first, as these are your doors to health. Without a healthy gut, you cannot have optimal health, no matter what you eat. And just to warn you…health starts in the colon. If you do not move your bowels twice a day without straining, you have to agree that there is trouble in paradise: Welcome to Functional Medicine Gut Nutrition!
How I Became Interested in Nutrition
My mother, who is a retired nurse, has always had a keen interest in nutrition and Food as Medicine, and we discuss nutrition every time we talk on Skype. She still sends me books and articles on wellness, natural medicine and cut out articles about nutrition news from Poland. Now a senior, it seems that my mom is the only person she knows that is healthy, without medications, and eating consciously for her own wellbeing. She sits in the sun whenever she can and thus has never been depressed; on the contrary- she tells the best jokes, and a lot of them, and people flock to visit her for laughter therapy.
From childhood till early adulthood, growing up in Poland, however, I experienced years of bouts with candy addiction (I stole money for candy once…), endless tooth cavities and yeast infections, and when in college renting rooms, enough packaged foods for three lifetimes. When I bought a tiny condo in Gdynia and finally had full access to a kitchen (well, a kitchenette of a size of a half bath in the US)…to make my own foods, sugar and yeast cleared up.
I became much more aware of wellness, disease, and foods when I moved to the US in 1996 – I saw first morbidly obese people in my life, tomatoes tasted like water, and apples tasted like plastic. My life in the US led me to ache to share with Americans what foods used to be and what they could be again: Food as Medicine. I invested in my own health and healed my chronic back problem with targeted chiropractic care, I had all mercury amalgams removed, and I cooked whole foods at home. After a successful 20 years+ in teaching and aching to contribute to natural medicine and to change the world, I could not see ANY other thing to do than just – nutrition. Fast forward two decades, and the decision to become a nutritionist has been the best professional decision I had made. My knowledge allowed me to provide the best healing support for my family and myself. The right tests, the right foods, the right supplements… I have been able to support over a thousand patients with multiple medical conditions…In short, I am grateful that my move to the US ignited my renewed love for nutrition so that I can now help people like you and support my own family towards better health.
Kasia Kines, a person…
I live in Baltimore, MD, together with my husband and our companions a cat and a parrot (yes, they are ok together). When not studying nutrition, doing my doctoral homework, or sleeping, I am probably in the kitchen cooking, reading some recipes or studying new research on Hashimoto’s or brain/gut function…. If I am out and about, I am having tea or a green juice with a friend or having Indian food out with my husband. If I have a choice – I am probably walking somewhere on the beach with my feet in water and my face in the sun (like mother like daughter). I was spoiled by growing up within 10 minutes’ walk from a public beach in Poland. That I miss every day.
After finishing the doctoral program, I have a long list of catching up to do. I love music and do not have time to enjoy it now due to school work on top of clinical demands. I look forward to visiting my mother and the beach in our hometown more often, swimming with wild dolphins (at least once), playing more guitar, learning to play piano again, having a band (!!!), learning flamenco, traveling more with my husband and cooking more together, and getting him to dancing classes with me again! And my big goal is to have an amazing working kitchen with a fabulous vegetable and herb garden in our dream home.
Kasia got me through a period of anxiety, depression and even tremors.~ M.S.