How I Became a Nutrition Consultant

How I Became a Nutrition Consultant

Tara Carpenter, NC.

Holistic nutrition for people on The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.).

Tossing leaves with joy!

I grew up in 1980 with a natural lifestyle; my mother cooked all our meals, and us kids attended a Montessori Farm School where lunch was made together. When I started public school in 5th grade, I bet I was the only one with lentil soup in a thermos and cornbread wrapped in a cloth napkin! We kept chickens, gardened, and drove hours to buy organic food.

Our home was minutes from Plymouth Plantation, where the Mayflower II once docked and pilgrims and indigenous people lived. My mother, a Montessori teacher also homeschooled my younger brother and sister would take us kids there often. I liked to help the women in the stone kitchen cook and care for the animals; talking softly as they worked.

My summers were spent with an Amish family in Pennsylvania, where the nights were pitch black and mornings filled with milking goats. There was a slow practicality living close to the land. We gardened, shucked peas, sewed, and ground corn for our breakfast porridge that simmer in a cast iron pot hung over fire and was served at dawn in wooden bowls.

At 12, I opened Fat Mamas Natural Foods Cafe to invite neighbors to dine at our family table. At 14, I bound a cookbook for kids with food allergies. At 16, I partied and ate pizza and in my junior year at University of Tasmania I re-connected with my natural roots when a friend invited me for supper … she had bread baking and homegrown herbs drying from the rafters. I was promptly “returned” to the ways of my upbringing!

In college, I worked at the 1st Whole Foods in Boston and met others who also fasted on wheatgrass, ate brown rice, and colon cleansed in tiny dorm bathrooms. In time, I yearned to understand the traditional healing properties of specific foods and on graduation day, a friend and I drove cross-country rejoicing at the hippy restaurants on the way.

In the foothills of California, I apprenticed with master medicinal cook, Cornelia Aihara. The days were spent chanting, walking barefoot in dew, applying ginger compresses for people with cancer, and cooking in a kitchen that sat atop a root cellar full of vats of soy sauce, umeboshi vinegar, and miso. Most of all this teacher taught love is ultimate healer.

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My 20’s were spent baking and studying massage at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, a community of 250 people perched on the cliffs looking over the Pacific Ocean. I also cooked at Tassajara Zen Monastery and trained to become a massage therapist. I loved my time in this raw, wild place.

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In 2001, I got pregnant and when my baby started solid food he had diarrhea, weight loss, and dehydration that was diagnosed as borderline Celiac Disease when he was 2. I removed gluten and top allergens to watch him bloom with color in his cheeks and finally he slept through the night! His transformation showed me how food can heal and harm.

My pregnancies were challenged by a rare condition called hyperemesis gravidarum. I could not lift my head or drink more than a teaspoon of water without vomiting. Driving, watching t.v., and reading caused the same reaction. The condition lasted 12 weeks with my 1st pregnancy, 17 with my 2nd pregnancy (a baby girl that I miscarried), and 40 with my 3rd pregnancy. This experience instilled strength in me to endure times when the light at the end of tunnel is hard to see.

In 2010, I was diagnosed with a systemic yeast infection and successfully healed myself with Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.) by hitting the bullseye every day, every meal. My discipline grew as I brought focus to my eating patterns and made changes to my daily life. During this time I promised myself that if I got better then I would help others to feel better too. I did get better and firsthand experienced the power of my body as a self-healing organism when given the tools needed to succeed.

Throughout my adult life, I have worked as a Therapeutic Chef from the kitchens of Hollywood to the hills of Vermont cooking wholesome, nutritious meals for individuals with dietary and health differences. In 2011, I received my holistic nutrition degree from Bauman College to offer nutritional consultations for healing yeast, bacterial, or viral overgrowth-related health conditions with The Body Ecology Diet.

There is a dance only you can do, that exists only in you, here and now, always changing, always true. ~ Gabrielle Roth🌸

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