Becoming a Holistic Nutritionist
Tara Carpenter, NC.
I offer holistic nutritional support for people of all ages healing yeast, bacterial, and viral related health conditions with The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.).
I grew up in the 1980’s with a natural lifestyle; my mother cooked all our meals and where I attended Montessori Farm School, we made lunch in the kitchen as a class. When I started public school in 5th grade, I am certain to be the only one with a thermos of lentil soup and warm cornbread in cloth napkin 🙂 We kept chickens, gardened, and drove hours to source organic food and clothing.
Each summer, I lived with an Amish family where the nights were pitch black and the mornings a quiet sanctuary. I loved to milk the goats! There was a practicality to living off the land, a slowness I fell into easily. We gardened and filled the root cellar by day and in the evening shucked peas, sewed quilt pieces, and ground corn for morning porridge that simmered in a pot hung over the fire and served in wooded bowls with fresh butter.
At 12, I opened Fat Mamas Natural Foods Cafe and invited neighbors to order from our family table! At 14, I bound a book of recipes for kids with food allergies. At 16, I was only interested in parties and pizza and not until my 3rd year in college did, I re-engage with my natural roots. I was in Tasmania at the time and a friend invited me for a meal. As I walked in her kitchen the smell of bread baking and herbs drying from ceiling brought me back to the cozy feel of my childhood home.
In my senior year of college, I worked at Whole Foods and met others who juiced wheatgrass, fasted, and did colonics in tiny bathrooms! We were complete geeks and in time, I yearned to understand the traditional healing properties of specific food and ways of preparing for long-standing health conditions. I bought a van to drive cross-country and rejoiced at the hippy restaurants on the way! In the foothills of California, I learnt from master medicinal cook, Cornelia Aihara. I chanted, walked barefoot in morning dew, gave ginger compresses to those with cancer, and cooked in a kitchen atop a cellar of wood vats full of soy sauce, ume vinegar, and miso. This teacher taught that pure love is the ultimate healer.
My 20’s, were spent at Esalen in Big Sur baking for a community of 200. Perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, I also cooked at Tassajara Zen Monastery. Soon after, I became pregnant with my first son …. when he started on solid foods, he became sick with diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, listlessness, and dehydration. At the age of 2, he was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I removed gluten and all common food allergens and he bloomed before my eyes. This health transformation inspired me to continue learning how food can heal and harm.
I was distracted from my learnings for years on end due to having a rare prenatal condition hyperemesis gravidarum that affects 1% of women. During these dark periods of gestation, I could not lift my head, drink more than teaspoon of water, drive, watch television, or read a book. This condition lasted a full 12 weeks with my first baby, 17 weeks with my baby girl (I miscarried), and 40 weeks with my last baby. This experience instilled strength inside of me for enduring difficult times when the light at the end of the tunnel is hard to find. I was malnourished after each baby.
In 2010, I was diagnosed with systemic yeast overgrowth (a.k.a. yeast infection) and used The Body Ecology Diet to balance my body. For 3 years, I hit the bullseye and grew into my ability to bring inner focus and outer discipline together. In the throes of healing, I promised to help others in a similar situation if I got better, which I did and seemingly all at once! I was on my bed and felt a propeller-like engine whir to life in my stomach. From that day on, it never stopped. In this way, I experienced the power of our body being a self-healing organism.
Throughout my adult life, I have been a Personal Therapeutic Chef in the kitchens of Hollywood and the hills of Vermont. I cook medicinally for digestive health with a focus on healing yeast, bacterial, and viral infections. I prepare wholesome, nutrient-rich meals for the family, despite individual differences. In 2011, I received my holistic nutrition degree from Bauman College and began to offer phone consultations to people worldwide.
There is a dance only you can do, that exists only in you, here and now, always changing, always true. ~ Gabrielle Roth