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Natalie Cashman, clinical nutritionsit at Durham Family Chiropractic. | Photo by Diana Carr.

Nutrition services began with personal journey

Natalie Cashman, of Wallingford, knows firsthand the importance of eating well. “I was overweight as a kid,” she said, “and by the time I got to high school I was obese. I struggled with health problems, but wasn’t getting much help from doctors. By 2010, I was getting sick every time I ate. But when I cut out gluten, it was a complete change. I stopped getting sick, the joint pain and the skin rashes went away, and I lost 180 pounds. I realized it was not so much about the calorie intake as about the quality and the types of food I was eating. I was eating a whole foods diet, with less processed food.”

She went on to become a clinical nutritionist, and now runs her business, Cashman Nutrition, out of the office of Durham Family Chiropractic, as well as out of a Wallingford office. She also does consulting over the phone and on Skype as well as blogging for Fresh Food Network (www.freshfn.com), offering weekly recipes, articles on seasonal produce, and nutritional information.

Her consultations are tailored to each individual. “I come up with a plan that is good for the client and is in line with their beliefs,” Cashman said. “For instance, if they’re a vegan, I’m not going to tell them they need to eat meat. The best diet in the world isn’t going to work if the person is unable to follow it.”

She starts first with the diet, suggesting the removal of processed foods and an increase in fruits and vegetables. “There’s no supplement that’s going to reverse a poor diet,” she said. “People want miracle weight loss pills, and they’re not out there. I tell my clients to drink lots of water – half their body weight in ounces – and I tell them to stay away from soda and high fructose corn syrup.

“There are times when people need supplements. Most will benefit from a probiotic or a good quality fish oil, which is anti-inflammatory. A good quality multi-vitamin is okay but a lot of the over-the-counter ones have cheap fillers.”

Cashman sees the typical American diet – it’s inflammatory, has too many processed foods, is high in sugar, and is laden with chemicals and pesticides – as the cause of many health problems. It contributes to heart disease, autoimmune diseases, cancers, obesity, and diabetes. “Nutrition can help such a wide variety of disorders,” she said. “There’s a big movement right now on nutrition for cancer and autoimmune disorders. Vitamins and minerals have a tremendous impact on your health.

“One of the worst things our country did was to promote a low-fat diet, which usually contains a lot of sugar and chemicals. Fats are good for you as long as they are healthy fats, like nuts and seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, and pasture-raised animal fats.”

Cashman has come a long way from her childhood diet of things that came out of a package or a can. She and her husband eat “a very clean whole foods diet.” She has vegetables with every meal, even breakfast, and makes sure she has healthy fats and protein every day.

“I love being able to help people make changes,” she said. “They come back to me and they’re happy and glowing. I can see it physically. I can hear it in their voice. I can see their joy. It’s very rewarding.”

To learn more about Cashman Nutrition, call (860)398-4621, e-mail Natalie@CashmanNutrition.com, or go to www.CashmanNutrition.com.



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