I'm Natalie :) and I'm so happy you're here! If you found your way over to my website, you're probably an equestrian looking to get help in creating a healthier relationship with food, you may be interested in learning how to use nutrition to help improve your physical/mental health, athletic performance, or you may be interested in all of the above!
You may also be wondering what it would be like working together, so keep reading to learn bit about me, why I do what I do, and how I can help you heal your relationship with food so you can feel your best, learn to eat what you love without the guilt, and learn how to sustainably use food & nutrition strategies to help you level up and excel as an athlete and simply feel your best.
A bit about me
So, I'm Natalie, non-diet Registered Dietitian and sports nutrition coach by day and equestrian by all my other free time.
I grew up just outside Chicago and spent as much time as possibly could at the barn. I was a working student, showed, and did anything I could to excel my riding and understanding of horses, so I understand the drive, love, and passion we all have in this sport. I also know how physically and mentally demanding this sport can be, and the toll it can take on your relationship with food and your body.
I opened my private practice for equestrian athletes because of my own experience with diet culture in our sport, which you may relate to.
Growing up, properly fueling was never discussed or prioritized like it is in other sports. In fact, any discussion around food had a tendency to come from a place of restriction or from trying to eat in a way to change your body to fit a certain 'look' that's been idealized in our sport.
As a young rider, these harmful discussions around food led to me getting stuck in the binge-restrict cycle for years. It affected my energy levels, I wasn't as strong in the saddle, was constantly thinking about food, and I constantly felt out of control around carbs and sweets any time I had access to them.
Thinking back to my path that led me to where I am today, when I was riding in high school, even though I didn't realize it then, I was really underfueling as an athlete. What I also didn't realize until looking back was that I struggled with disordered eating for YEARS.
I was constantly thinking about food, I'd eat super 'clean' during the week, which led to bingeing on the foods I didn't let myself have on the weekend. When Sunday rolled around, I'd then tell myself, oh well, I already had this cookie or bag of chips or whatever it was I was restricting and I'd say 'screw it', so I'd eat the whole bag/box and tell myself that my diet starts again on Monday, I'll be good and start over again Monday. I'd also feel guilty and physically uncomfortable after eating those foods, which made me believe that those foods were the problem, when in fact it was the restriction that was at the root of the issue.
So, I know how challenging it can be to work through an unhealthy relationship with food - I've been there myself. I also know it's possible to make peace with food, which has allowed me to free up and shift my mental and physical energy to do the things I love, like riding!
I've not only done this for myself but have helped hundreds of other clients do the same, and I've done that through helping equestrians (and non-equestrians) learn how to practice and implement the principles of intuitive eating.
Not only have I seen how intuitive eating can positively impact my own and my clients' lives, but research supports it as a health-promoting and sustainable approach to eating, too.
If you told me back then I'd be able to make peace with food and eat what I loved, when I wanted without the guilt I wouldn't have believed you.
Fortunately, through learning the science behind dieting and learning how to implement the principles of intuitive eating, I was able to break out of that cycle and finally make peace with food. It's something that I now help clients do every day.
All of my personal and professional experience has made it my mission to do these three things:
1). Help you heal your relationship with food so you can relearn how to trust your body to tell you what, when, and how much to eat, have more energy, and feel your best physically & mentally in & out of the saddle.
2). Allow you to join a community of riders that have gone through similar experiences so you can connect and have a safe space to challenge the diet culture that exists in our sport. Diet culture can honestly be found on every corner of the internet, so I wanted to create a safe space where the only discussion around diet culture is challenging and moving away from it, not fueling it.
3). To shift the paradigm from one that normalizes disordered eating & body shaming to one that respects body diversity & promotes healthy relationships with food which is key to being able to successfully and sustainably incorporate sports nutrition tools and strategies to meet athletic and health-related goals.
If you made it this far, thank you so much for making time to read! If you can relate, are ready to heal your relationship with food and would like to work together, go ahead and click on the button below to set up a free discovery call to chat about working together.