Alanna DeSalvo Nutrition, Bay Area Functional Nutritionist specializing in gut health and blood sugar balance

MY MISSION IS TO HELP YOU LIVE A
VIBRANT & HEALTHY LIFE

Incorporate personal nutrition to learn how to listen to your body, ditch shame and diets, feel good, and enjoy delicious food.

ABOUT ALANNA

NUTRITION CONSULTANT (NC), RESTORATIVE WELLNESS PRACTITIONER (RWP), &
BOARD CERTIFIED HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST (BCHN)

MY STORY AS A HOLISTIC NUTRITIONIST

I love food. I always have. When I was in grade school I watched cooking shows, wrote about wanting to be a baker when I grew up, and as a teenager I started making dinner for my family. This was just the beginning of my ever evolving relationship with food.  

When I was around 13 I was a chubby, sugar addicted kid and I began breaking out with itchy red eczema all over my arms, legs and chest. I struggled to pinpoint the issue for a year but, I eventually found gluten as a main culprit and eliminated it from my diet. Mind you, this was before everything was marketed as “gluten free” and my only vice were gluten free bagels I ordered online.

Almost two years later, I broke my neck and woke up in the hospital with a spinal cord injury. That’s a whole other story but all of a sudden, I went from being this active teenager, to learning how to live my life with the assistance of a wheelchair. For the first five years of this adjustment I turned to food more than ever. To deal with the trauma and stress, food was my only constant; a source of comfort and pleasure when I was so unsure of everything else.

My health story took many more twists and turns over the next 10 years. On and off I experienced excruciating heartburn and painful bloating after a majority of meals. Overtime I slowly became more anxious and more depressed than ever before. I felt like my memory and mental clarity took a quick downturn as I started to experience constant brain fog and fatigue that made it extremely difficult to focus at work and contributed to a major lack of motivation.

My primary doctors weren’t equipped to provide any proactive advice, that I was so desperately looking for. I felt so alone. Then, the red itchy eczema patches started to come back, but this time on my face. I felt like there had to be an answer to why my body felt like it was slowly crumbling in my early 20’s. 

It wasn’t until this time that I started to discover the role of food as more than just a source of fuel and comfort. I wanted to go to a deeper level with my relationship with food. Simultaneously, my career stressors majorly began to disrupt my personal health and wellbeing.

Through the fatigue, brain fog and lack of clarity, I was in search of more. I wanted to find a different way that I could reignite my passion for food and desire to support others.

I was drawn to pursue food from a more functional perspective and found Bauman College’s Nutrition Consultant program. I’ve always known that food plays an influential role in our health, but I found myself being pulled to understand what that truly meant.

I knew food triggered a lot of pain in my body and I wanted to learn how it could impact me positively. Plus, I could share that information with those who may have struggled through their own pain and loneliness, as I had for so many years.

When I started studying Holistic Nutrition I kept finding numerous red flags that I related to. I was driven by sugar cravings, fatigued, burnt-out by stress, and I had been given a substantial amount of antibiotics in my childhood.

By stitching these pieces together I was able to shed light on my own health puzzle. With the help of my functional medicine doctor I confirmed that my microbiome was chronically inflamed with leaky gut and SIBO (small intestine bacteria overgrowth). Not to mention, my adrenals were severely stressed and my liver was off balance.

As a result of this discovery I completely transformed my lifestyle and learned how powerful food can be. I truly listened to what my body was telling me. What foods didn’t make me feel good or were hard to digest.

This caused major eliminations in my typical eating habits, so I truly had to widen my mindset and start incorporating more foods that were previously unfamiliar to me. This primarily included sustainable animal proteins, which were previously a very minimal piece of my diet.

Through this process I was able to deeply understand how food is our medicine, how strong our bodies are, and that it’s so important to listen to it. It’s not always easy but by committing to and trusting the process, we can find true relief and healing.

EDUCATION & NUTRITION CAREER

Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist (BCHN – candidate), NANP
Restorative Wellness Solutions, Level 3 Practitioner
Certified Nutrition Consultant (NC), Bauman College, 2018
Autoimmune Paleo Certified Coach, 2018
BS Hospitality Industry Management and Entrepreneurship, University of San Francisco (USF), 2014

My education and career has also been driven by my love for food. I received my bachelors degree from USF in Hospitality and business. My passions led me towards a dream of executing celebratory events. I was inspired to bring joy into people’s lives and I love how events bring people together to experience community and entertainment, usually centered around good food.

After graduating, I found myself managing the events department of a large restaurant in San Francisco. Hosting and executing events that allowed people to enjoy themselves and socialize over really delicious food. After working in the hospitality industry for nearly seven years I felt the stress load add up and my health and lifestyle unfortunately could not sustain it for much longer.

That’s when I came across Bauman College’s Nutrition Consultant program in Berkeley. I was inspired by my constant desire to learn, especially to learn more about food in a different way. I found a new passion to help people enjoy every day, by the power of delicious real foods. 

I am so happy that my journey has brought me to this place. As a nutritionist, my mission is to help people understand the science of human nutrition and establish healthy habits to overcome fatigue, stress, and lack of mental clarity so they can accomplish their goals and feel their best. My goal is to provide understanding of how food can impact us in so many ways.

Through my mission it is possible to make a healthy lifestyle more accessible so that people have the gumption to take on their life, implement a joyful lifestyle and create memories daily. I was able to find healing because I learned how and why my own body operates and reacts to certain foods. By teaching others how food affects the physiology of their body, they’re able to understand how to best fill their own plate.

MY FOOD & HEALTH PHILOSOPHY

  • You know your body better than anyone else. You and only you are in control of your health.
  • Health-care is Self-care. There is no change without action. Your body knows what it needs, you just have to learn to listen.
  • Food is our medicine. If we make the conscious choice, it can be so powerful.
  • Everything we consume, or don’t consume, serves a purpose. We are what we eat, but we’re also what our food eats, the soil it grows from, and moreover we are what we digest and absorb.
  • I approach health through balance. I believe health is about abundance, not deprivation. Life is meant to be enjoyed and food is a central factor that keeps us alive. By supporting beneficial habits we find what best serves our goals and can make space for alternatives that will keep us on that track.
  • Everyone is different and bio-individuality is important to find out what best serves you.
  • By understanding the science behind nutrition and how the body operates, it helps clarify what your body can thrive on, how to tune into it, and understand how to implement change.
  • Healthy food can bring you energy, clarity, better sleep, and can be fun and flavorful.
  • The body is meant to be in balance. Through diet, lifestyle you can help find your way back to this state of homeostasis.
  • The body presents imbalance through inflammation which can manifest through weight gain, fatigue, impaired digestion, skin irritation, and hormone imbalances. When these symptoms persist without attention they can progress to states of clinical disease like diabetes, autoimmune conditions, or cancer. I believe that by addressing inflammation in its primary presentations we can support our health and prevent potential progression. By addressing blood sugar regulation, gut health and adrenal function, the symptoms of inflammation can subside and the body can work its way towards restoration of homeostasis.
  • Nutrition takes shape in the kitchen. Cooking for yourself (and your loved ones) can be the greatest gift and form of self care. By providing what your body needs is one of the greatest forms of self respect.
  • I believe that food is so personal. We each inherently follow different ways of eating that best feeds our own body and follows our own beliefs. Food can be the greatest source of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Food is emotional. Food is culture. Food is energy and necessary for survival. Food brings friends and strangers alike together to share a meal. Food goes far beyond diet and it connects us all in so many ways.

 

Get In Touch

Schedule a Free Clarity Call with Alanna to learn more and discuss your goals.

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