Investigating Health Challenges with Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson

Investigating Health Challenges

In case you didn’t know, let me give you a little back story about me.  I spent 15 years working as a crime scene investigator and forensic scientist. Throughout that career, I developed great skills in solving mysteries, asking great questions, looking for and analyzing evidence to solve crimes, and explaining complex scientific topics to non-scientists.  These skills inadvertently ended up being what helped me solve my own health challenges.  
How, you might ask…well, when I first started focusing on my health, I simply followed the standard advice.  My top concern at the time was heart disease because that is what runs in my family…so I followed “heart healthy” dietary advice.  This meant I was eating a lot of whole grains, vegetables, and low fat foods as the American Heart Association recommended.  Unfortunately, this common advice didn’t help me.  I went from having some early stages of heart disease to having even more significant plaque and arterial damage.  
It didn’t make any sense to me.  Why would the recommendations make me worse?  Was I just doomed because of my family history?  I didn’t think so.  In fact, I knew that wasn’t true.  Genetics absolutely do play a role, but more often what really runs in families is habits, choices, and preferences.  These are what truly lead to heart disease in most cases.  

Scientific approach

So, I put on my lab coat and started looking at my life and my health like a scientist, conducting my own investigation.  My doctors weren’t any help – they kept telling me I was young, not obese, and to just continue with my “heart healthy” diet.  Everything was normal and there just wasn’t much else I could do. 
I didn’t buy it. And neither should you.  

Conducting the Investigation

So, I did a ton of research, ordered a bunch of lab tests, used health technologies for myself and got to work gathering the evidence.  
When I stepped out of the mainstream messaging, I found completely different recommendations for my health – in fact, much of it was the complete opposite of that advice. 

Analyzing the Evidence

My blood work showed that I was becoming insulin resistant and had blood sugar imbalances (moving in the direction of Type 2 diabetes) and I had several nutritional deficiencies due to my low fat, limited diet. 

My stool test showed that I was seriously low in good bacteria, had multiple opportunistic bacteria overgrowing, and I had poor intestinal health. 
All of this was contributing to poor digestive capacity, poor detoxification, and chronic constipation (which I also had not recognized was true for me until this point).  Having only 1 or 2 bowel movements per week is not only painful, but very unhealthy.  I didn’t know…that had been my normal my entire life.  

Eliminating the Perpetrators

Now, I knew exactly what my perpetrators were – low good bacteria, high bad bacteria, poor digestive enzymes, poor nutrient absorption, vitamin deficiencies, inadequate nutrient intake, and I was eating the wrong foods at the wrong times (far too often).  

Cleaning Up My Scene

Armed with this information, I implemented a targeted protocol to remove, replace, repopulate, repair, and rebalance my body.  I cleaned up the scene of my body and my lifestyle to support optimal health. 

Protecting My Scene

Once everything was restored, I implemented protections to maintain the ideal health.  This included implementing healthy routines and boundaries in my life, along with including a wide variety of foods for nutrient and bacterial diversity.  

Pristine Scene Method

Altogether, this entire journey has prepared me to help my clients on their journeys as well.  I now call this my Pristine Scene Method and it has 5 steps. 
  1. Investigate your case:  this is where we do a deep dive into your current status, likes, dislikes, current experiences that you’d like to stop experiencing, what you’d rather be experiencing instead, and ultimately what your ideal outcome looks like.  We also conduct laboratory testing to fully assess imbalances, hidden infections, and get a good baseline for your health at present. 
  2. Analyze the evidence:  once we have conducted the full investigation and gathered all of the data, I then analyze all of the evidence gathered so that I can create my top recommendations to move you toward your ideal health.  
  3. Eliminate the perpetrators: this is where we implement the targeted protocol to eliminate or remedy any findings from your evidence. This might be eradicating pathogens, correcting nutritional deficiencies, reducing inflammation, or repairing other damage as noted.  We also eliminate stressors, toxins, and other harmful things from your life that are contributing to these perpetrators causing symptoms or imbalances. 
  4. Clean up the scene: this is where we expand your foods and activities as wide as possible so you can live your best life, enjoying your food and actively participating in every aspect of your life.  Adding things the bring you joy and make your life more beautiful and enjoyable.  
  5. Protect your scene: this is where we create a lasting plan so you can maintain those amazing results for life, always knowing what to tweak or modify as things change in your life.  This includes having great routines, habits, and boundaries to keep you healthy, happy, and vibrant.


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