Vanessa Berenstein, MA RD FMN CCH
Integrative Registered Dietitian
Certified Clinical Herbalist
Certified Functional Medical Nutrition Therapist
Masters in Sustainable Food Systems
Certified Mindful Eating (MB-EAT) Instructor
Natural Products Consultant
Healing your relationship with the mind, body & ecosystem
(Reiki I, II & Access Bars)
Heart Math Resilience Mentor
Mental Health First Aid
Spiritual Emergency Training
Rapid Rewire Method Self Mastery
Mind Body Program for Symptom Reduction, Benson-Henry Institute
As a teenager, I was overweight, unhappy with my body and tired of dieting. I was bullied and often pressured by others to fit into what was considered "thin" and "beautiful." Through a surprisingly fun experience at "fat camp," I realized that the most important reason for me to change my diet was to help myself get healthy. When I let go of other people's opinions and began focusing on healing body shame, I felt much less pressure. I was focusing on my health for ME. I started researching and reading everything I could about nutrition, began monitoring my portion sizes, and exercising regularly, With this health-focused weight loss, I stopped dieting and taking shortcuts. I began prioritizing my health, having fun, experimenting with cooking and listening to my body. I even lost 50lbs in the process!
I completely turned my life around.
In college, I started pre-med, thinking it was the best way to help people with their health. After taking one nutrition class, I shifted gears. I realized nutrition was the foundation of health that affects every health condition. When I learned about food systems in a health policy course, I realized I knew very little about how food is grown and the laundry list of ingredients in "health" products. I had lived in cities my entire life without any direct connection to my food. To learn about nutrition from the source, I decided to spend almost 2 years living and working on organic farms and ecological villages in Mexico and Argentina. It was in these communities that I began to truly understand where my food comes from - everything from the moment a seed is planted until it reaches our plates.
Planting a seed, watching it grow, caring for it, harvesting it, processing it, and ultimately eating it allowed me to participate in my food system. Having a direct relationship with each step in this process opened my eyes to the power of food and its impact on our bodies and our environment.
During that time, I also began learning about meditation, yogic philosophy, Native American spirituality, and intuitive eating. Awareness of my mental and emotional health helped me not only heal my relationship with food, it also repaired my relationship to myself. I learned how to truly enjoy life to the fullest and focus on all the amazing things in my life. Gratitude, self-love, and self-compassion quickly became a daily practice that has led me to manifest abundance and balanced health.
While working at an integrative medicine clinic, I saw patients with incredibly complex chronic pain conditions, autoimmune diseases, and numerous co-morbidities. At the time, I didn't understand spiritual hygiene and ultimately took on a lot of my patient's symptoms, as I am a highly empathic practitioner. I became incredibly ill, with no clear biological diagnosis that could be identified. I initially targeted physical symptoms. However, I wasn't able to fully heal until I addressed the physical expression of energetic and spiritual trauma that I had taken on from others and my own traumas. That year, I went through significant traumatic health events and came out with an intense spiritual awakening that changed my entire life.
Through awakening, I learned the true meaning of transformation and all of the slowness and presence it takes to heal from scratch. With strengthened spiritual awareness, I have been able to holistically support my clients. I truly believe spiritual health and embodiment is the missing link to help people create lasting, sustainable change and overcome blocks to healing.
My passion is to help others experience these powerful transformations and make empowered choices that change their life. My counseling style focuses on creating dynamic, interactive experiences that inspire people to take control of their health and thrive. I make it as simple, delicious, and fun as possible for my clients to turn healthy behaviors into sustainable habits.
What if the process of getting healthy could be enlivening, approachable, and even blissful?