Holistic Health and Wellness through Functional Nutrition Coaching

Holistic Health and Wellness through Functional Nutrition Coaching


On February 2022 Lunch and Learn Event: Children and Elderly, Relax Teams member Tracy Spiaggia shared her knowledge and expertise on Functional Nutrition

What the body really needs to heal

By Tracy Spiaggia

If you're an athlete and you're training for your sport, do you prefer a coach that would only tell you what to do and not do? Or a talented coach that could edify and build your skills up and hopefully have the skills themselves and can show you a technique or movement? It's very similar to where Tracy stands alongside the people she works with.

Tracy Spiaggia is a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach, Brain Health Specialist with Slingshot Health Coaching. Her passion is working with individuals and families who struggle with mental illness coaching them into a more peaceful, healthy, and successful life.

 At Slingshot Health Coaching, they do a deep dive into a person's entire life story, mining for potential triggers and looking for common threads that will lead up to answering the question “How in the world did this person end up in this situation where they're suffering to the extent that they are?” After knowing the details, Tracy crafts a very unique customized plan not just for the person but ideally for the entire family to get involved and give support for their loved one who's struggling. 

A customized plan will level up the way the entire home is living in terms of: 

  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Movement
  • Thought
  • Life
  • Communication skills
  • Relationships 

Tracy works on discovering the uniqueness of each person in that family both in body, mind, and in spirit so that all the needs are met, then typically those symptoms will alleviate because they've been met in a very holistic way.

Holistic Approach to Healing

The attention and deep dive into the biology of the person will help support them on a foundational level in terms of these biological necessities in order for us to heal. Every time a new client signs up with Tracy’s coaching program, she uses the ACE Study for assessments in her intake work. The results of that test will show how likely is the person in front of her, be it a tween, a teen, a young adult, or a full-blown adult,  to wrestle with a physical ailment as a result of trauma being stuck in the body. The truth is all of us are helpers and healers on an assembly line in this life. People who are suffering can make stops all along the way where there's room and a proper place for all of us and the work that we do. It's both symbiotic and holistically beautiful.

Tracy would come in and support the person, helping them understand the WHY instead of just giving a prescription, diet suggestion, telling them how many hours of sleep they need, or telling them how many minutes of movement in a day they need because that's authoritative. It puts most people in a very defensive posture and nobody likes to be told what to do. Instead, people like partnerships and people like to engage in new scarier activities with somebody. For instance, you're an athlete and you're training for your sport. 

Functional Nutrition

Tracy also mentioned that just recently she added family kitchen time and recipe preparation that are anti-inflammatory. When clients have a myofascial restriction or trauma in centers, their biology needs support in order for those detox pathways to open up for intercellular nutrition levels to rise to be held not just at RDA levels but also functional and optimal levels.

It's not just necessarily bringing somebody to that baseline of “you're alive, you're not dead” because it's so much more than that. It’s helping them understand the interconnectedness between what we eat, how we move, how we sleep, the bitterness and anger we hold on to, how we relate to others, the ability to communicate, the passion at work, opportunities to be creative and to be expressive in the world and also friendships. All of these things are what make us human, and that's what is unique about the work that Tracy does.

What the body really needs

There are plenty of spaces that people can go to as they struggle emotionally and relationally to get that talk therapy and other types of therapeutic skills in managing emotions and relationships. There is a whole biology piece that may not be getting enough attention. The body needs that cellular support because most of the time, these clients that Tracy works with have very congested livers because of all the excitatory hormones that are constantly secreted due to the trauma situations they're in. The liver has to deal with that raised cortisol, that high blood sugar,  and the dipping blood sugar. Good food is not readily accessible, what is accessible is dead food. 

“The biology piece is super important in coming around a person to help them experience true holistic health so that they can be released into a future that really is untethered.”

The Power of Food


good food is important for Functional Nutrition

“It is remarkable that the whole panel is also interconnected and it really holds a person's story. I love the story of Jen of the horticulture piece growing the basil and then giving her a skill set to appreciate the beauty of turning that into something delicious to eat. That's whole food and nutritious and brings the relational piece. Food has so much power in it, aside from sex it's the most intimate thing we do with other people. I could spend days preparing for the holiday, from marinating and thinking about the sides that complement the main course. 

When I prepare it and I set it in front of the people whom I love and watch them enjoy it, it brings so much joy to me. For the most part, everything I prepare is incredibly nutritious so I'm supporting their bodies as well. So the power in educating and inspiring people to let go of dead food, to let go of this idea that calories are simply just pouring gasoline in the car so it can go. Food for us is so much more than that. 

When you observe the animal kingdom, you don't see them eating outside of what is designed for them to consume in order to thrive. You don't see a fish flopping out of the water to go find a walnut. But we have access to everything and we just have ways of allowing our lives to go off design. And when we go off design, we trade one lie for another lie like: ‘I'm too busy to cook, let me just go through the drive-thru’. Instead of kind of defaulting to what was easier at that moment may be kind of pausing to assess your life to say ‘is there other areas I need to take a look at to yield more time to get healthy food on the table?’. The reason that's important is it really undergirds all of the work that everybody on this panel does.” 

Be Intentional 

Tracy also points out that everybody's work on the panel is so interwoven and interconnected with the other and it highlights the bigger picture of everything that people do matters. It matters for those that we intersect with in our lives. Our food choices aren't happening in a silo, our exercise and movement choices aren't happening in a silo, our refusal to go to bed and put the technology down is happening in a silo, it ripples out into every aspect of our lives. If we are going to do the really brave work of stemming the tide of generational trauma, we've got to get more serious and intentional about valuing and honoring the physical container that moves the soul about the world.

Signs of neglect

If we don't honor the body, then they're going to be chronically inflamed, always feeling ill, very irritable, and toxic on the inside. When disease presents itself, it brings to the surface all of those yucky emotions and experiences that are ping-ponging around in the body because we have no physiological bandwidth to handle the emotional stress that life will inevitably bring to every single person.

It's a continuum and there's never going to be one practitioner that will take one broken person and put them all back together.  This is what being a human being is all about, it’s looking around you for love so the things that are trapped in your body can actually finally exit and leave the body. Sometimes we say ”it's magical” but what you really mean is you feel loved, t's not magic. And this is what and why we're all here in the first place, to love others and to receive love and that is impeded when we don't live with our design.

Key Takeaways

  • Do an honest assessment of the way that you are living 
  • Be gentle with yourself but at the same time be brave enough to self confront 
  • Ask yourself this question, “After I've taken a good, honest, hard survey of my lifestyle, what's the one lifestyle choice that I can act on to improve upon and feel the wind and maybe then start to build some momentum towards a healthier way of being?

February 2022 Lunch and Learn Event: Children and Elderly

    Recommended Readings: 

  • Today’s Most Common Mental Health Problems
  • The Impact of the Pandemic on Children with Tracy Spiaggia, Brain Health Coach
  • Things you can do NOW to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
  • Can Emotional Trauma Cause Physical Pain?

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