By Laura Leite, FDN, Kresser Institute Trained Provider
Thank you for your visit and Welcome!
My name is Laura Mattos Leite, I am Brazilian, accredited in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition as well as in Functional and Evolutionary Medicine by the Kresser Institute. Here is my story:
Exercise, my invincibility cloak! Not really..
For some time I nurtured a belief that what made me immune to any illness was exercise. This belief got even stronger after I became a Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor. I thought that physical exercise gave me a certain "credit" that I could spend in over-consuming gluten, sugar, and not valuing sleep very much.
In fact, I've never been able to consume sweets, desserts and starches moderately like the "normal" people around me. I always wanted to enjoy the moment compulsively until I could not eat anymore. I would think: well, tomorrow I will run a few kilometers, and everything will be okay. I believed that being able to burn the excessive fats would be the solution to everything, and I did not know that I was increasing inflammatory markers in my body.
That was all okay for a while until... during a trip to India, I was affected by allergies that would wake me up in the middle of the night, my body covered in red spots, and I had the sensation of thousands of hot needles on my skin. I started consulting with a doctor there, and for the first time I received a suggestion to eliminate gluten from my diet.
Gluten-Free, The Fire of Curiosity
As I felt much better without gluten, both physically and in my ability to focus my mind, I became super curious. I began to study, and ended up becoming a Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach with a focus on Sports Nutrition.
I realized through my own diet habits that each meal counted for the short-term, and determined how I would feel that day and the next.
As time went by, I discovered that staying consistently "clean" from the foods that I knew that disturbed my body, would benefit how I would feel that month or that season.
Finding My Inflammatory Threshold
I began to observe in myself and my clients, that most of us have a toxin storage tank, or a inflammatory threshold, that starts feeling up when we are born. When it overflows, symptoms begin. For many the tank overflows in childhood, or in their teens or forties, or fifties. For me it started when I was about 27 years old.
I made only one single change of eliminating gluten. I felt so much better and have never since had any allergic reactions on my skin. I still experienced some bloating and indigestion from time to time but I wasn't sure of what else to do.
My Father's Inspiration and My Paleo Roots
Because of my fascination with the evolutionary perspective on human diets, in 2009 I began my own study in evolutionary biology and traditional diets of indigenous and paleolithic communities. That was when, for the first time, I started to have a real well based scientific glance of how our species evolved, and which foods saved us from extinction. It was a aha moment and made so much sense!
My father and brother have had a long history of projects with indigenous tribes in the Amazon up to today. My fascination with wildlife and traditional indigenous habits has always been present in me since I was a child. When I was little, I would be so excited with the gifts that my father would bring from the Amazonian Indigenous tribes. I would treasure those gifts and imagine who had made them and how their lives were.
Today I feel grateful that the interest for wildlife and indigenous cultures that my father inspired me to have never left me. I became curious to investigate how and why our diets evolved, and what traditional paleolithic communities lives were like. My father's legacy and inspiration made a full circle into my professional life.
Diving in and Meeting Chris Kresser
It became clearer to me that it was part of my mission to help others who wanted to return to a simpler diet and lifestyle template, similar to what our ancestors had. For that, I knew that I had to dive in the process fully, so that I would become better equipped to answer questions and guide others on the process of decreasing inflammation.
In 2011, after understanding more clearly what the human body is designed to consume as food, I moved to a safe starch and lower carbohydrate diet, based on an ancestral model, full time.
After being on the waiting list for a year and a half, in 2013 I became a patient of my current physician Chris Kresser. He has helped me immensely to deepen my understanding of the intestinal microbiome, the exposome, and their centrality in human health.
Nowadays I feel stronger than ever before, even though I have been diagnosed with autoimmune conditions generated by genetic mutations. Today, I can say that I was able to turn the mutations off, and am symptom free, if I follow simple tips that I learned by listening to my body and with guidance from Chris and his team.
In retrospect, when I look at the way that I cared and didn't care for my body, it is one of the best learning materials I have had. Today I am grateful to have been able to turn back pathological processes, and have transformed this experience into a tool to know myself and to help others.
Departure from Conventional Personal Training
My research on evolutionary biology and Paleolithic communities cultures also had the biggest impact on how I trained and worked as a personal trainer. After working with the conventional model of training and sports nutrition for 9 years, I truly felt like I was not taking the time to do the homework I needed to do.
For me there was a gap in the conventional personal training approach. It had become a established and accepted culture of dependency on workout sessions in the gym.
My clients were dependent on intense and frequent exercise sessions to get the results we wanted. Frequent and excessive exercise was used as an antidote to a diet and lifestyle filled with triggers and inflammatory agents. Over time, this antidote would become less and less effective and sometimes even caused greater damage.
It was then that I started to study the ways that our ancestors moved, and how that, combined with a ancestral template of diet, created the synergy to bring about a more ideal body composition. All clicked into place! Close friends, as well as my body proved this to be true. What a relieving and energizing discovery!
Then came the time to help those who had been chronically immersed in the unnatural ways of exercising and were looking for a change, like I had been!
Getting Specialized Credentials.
When I obtained my credentials in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, I was authorized to prescribe and interpret laboratory tests for my clients. This opened a new perspective for me. I was able to see the mechanisms behind the symptoms, via the optics that I gained on hormones and other functional markers. It took the personalization that I offered to my clients to a much more holistic and realistic level.
Since then, I have followed my passion to study the periodization of sports nutrition with the evolutionary approach. Taking into consideration the hormones, our intestinal microbiome, the gut-brain axis and an improved ability to successfully manage autoimmune diseases.
In 2016 I was accepted to participate in the training that Chris offers for professionals in Functional and Evolutionary Medicine, the program called ADAPT. This training is a super-practical opportunity to be networking with a small group of Functional Medicine Mds and practitioners, and it has really raised the bar for the way I approach each case.
At The End of The Day, How does Science Help?
I practice a personalized, non-formula approach with clients. I also practice reserving time each week to study and stay up to date with science as much as I can. This allows me to go back on my word when it is needed. As much as it may seem difficult to accept that certain approaches are no longer valid, I will always do it. This commitment is the prerequisite of respect for myself and my clients.
In my view, authentic science is the one that helps us to discover our true nature and return to it, to understand our evolution and, if everything goes really well, to attain a simpler and happier life!
The central point for me is: whether the end result of having a certain knowledge will help bring greater joy into our lives, and help us to live our dreams fully.
I often experience the convergence of the good feeling of helping others with transparency, with my personal happiness. I enjoy the successes, and feel grateful for the failures, and what they teach me along the way.
There is nothing that compares to the gratitude of helping someone succeed, achieve their goals, feel energized without any stimulants, return to moving their bodies with lightness and vitality, have refreshing deep sleep, heal their health, and realize their dreams!
Josiane and Gratitude
Finally, to talk about me, I must also talk about Josiane Giaretta, my life partner and work buddy. Our meeting happened with great synchronicity. Amongst so many gifts, she is a turning point in the way I relate to ingredients in the kitchen. Since we've been together, to the great relief of all my friends and family, my creativity and cooking skills are so much better! I thank her every day for the inspiration that she brings in my heart and for the joint passion we have for the exaltation of simple ingredients. I also thank her for never taking my "Paleolithic Perspective" as restrictive, but as an opportunity to grow and create. Thank you Jo!
I thank all the teachers and mentors I had along the way, those who trusted and were patient with me, and especially the greatest of all, my own body, that showed so much patience and resilience, even when I was not listening.
Thank you again for the visit! May your journey with your body be full of achievements,joy and fun!
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Josiane Giaretta, Nutritionist, Post-Graduate in Gastronomy, Specialized in Functional Gastronomy.
Check back soon for Josiane's bio!