Food allergies & intolerance
Healthy cooking / meal planning
Diet and Detoxification
I'm Tamara and I love food. I mean really love it...maybe you can relate. But what has changed over my lifetime is my idea of what good food is and how I can change my health by the choices that I make on a daily basis.
I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner with a B.S. in Biology from Texas A&M University. I moved all over Texas growing up until I was in 6th grade when I moved to Round Rock, TX just outside of Austin. It was in the 10th grade that I became best friends with Sunil, my now husband. We both went to Texas A&M and even lived together for a year (just as friends!) but started dating about a year and a half after I graduated. Y'all. This man is a success story! He made it from the "Friend Zone" to "Hubby"! I would say he is the lucky one, but that is not true, I am totally the lucky one (except when it comes to meal time, then he is the one who really hit the jackpot).
My husband and I live in Houston, TX with our two fur babies, Windsor and Willow. The obsession we have for the both of them is BIG. We love to travel, eat good food whether it be home cooked or at restaurants, spend time outdoors and live an active lifestyle. The ability for us to live such an energetic lifestyle has a lot to do with how we treat our bodies and what we fuel them with. But that has not come without work or frustrations and it is still a journey for us both.
I was always an active kid, played outside daily, rollerbladed like it was my life and took dance multiple times a week. I also had frequent headaches as long as I can remember. Starting in the 8th grade I started getting debilitating headaches, often numerous times a week. My mom would often have to pick me up from school because of these headaches and eventually she took me to the doctor who determined that I was indeed having migraines. They gave me a shot of Imitrex, wrote me a prescription for it, and sent me on my way. Looking back, it kind of blows my mind that there was no questioning to what I was eating or doing before the onset of the migraine, it was just an immediate prescription. My mom and I eventually connected the dots on our own that the blue slushies from the lunch line, yes I was a typical 90s kid who ate ALL the processed foods and sugar, were the cause.
In addition to my frequent headaches as a kid, I rarely had bowel movements and could go a week without a single bowel movement which meant I often dealt with severe cramping and bloating. In college I had a couple years of being mostly vegetarian and for once I was really paying attention to the food I was eating and trying to be sure I got a lot of vegetables into my diet. I saw some improvement, but was still wildly irregular. My headaches were very regular, and I had migraines almost monthly. Not to mention I also dealt with three upper respiratory infections and two G.I. viruses just my freshman year. By my junior year I had Mono just two weeks after my 21st birthday. I drank frequently, like many college students do, which certainly helped attribute to my health issues, and by the end of college I was dealing with constant fatigue, inflammation, poor digestion, and a weak immune system.
Fast-forward to 2015 when I started Crossfit with Sunil and our diets really started to change. We, like many other ‘Crossfitters’, started following a Paleo diet and I found myself cooking in new ways that I never had before, paying attention to the ingredients in pre-packaged foods and feeling the best that I had ever felt. I was having DAILY bowel movements. That was HUGE for me. My headaches became less frequent and the ‘puffiness’ I felt like I always had was gone. Over time I was able to go from a strict Paleo diet to one that included some high quality dairy, grains such as rice or quinoa, and more fruit and have found that works very well for me.
Sunil on the other hand had a bit of a different experience around the time we started Crossfit. Initially he did not follow a strict Paleo diet and was having constant "Where is the bathroom?!" moments, if you know what I mean. He eventually got a food allergy test done and found that he was in fact, and just as suspected, intolerant to wheat, eggs and numerous nuts. Sunil has numerous environmental allergies as well and in addition to digestive issues, he suffers from eczema and has since a very young age. The truth is, Sunil's health journey as been a huge catalyst to me pursuing my certification in Nutritional Therapy. His intolerances are how I have become an expert in cooking with regard to food allergies, intolerances, preferences (the only meat he eats is chicken - no beef, pork or fish) all while trying to meet certain health goals. He has seen drastic improvement in his digestive issues and even his eczema (when he is actually following protocol). He continues to be a source of motivation for me continuing to learn as much as I can about nutrition, supplementation and its overall effects on our health.
Moving back to a little more about me (and not about my bowel movements), I worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for 12 years (that might be the first time I just added up those years and I kind of just blew my mind), taught high school Biology in low-income schools for two and half years and have worked as a licensed assistant in Real Estate. I used to be embarrassed by the fact that I seemed to never be content with my job, and was always getting a new certification or license, but the truth is, it was all leading me to here. Nothing has lit my soul on fire the way that Nutritional Therapy has and it literally encompasses everything that I love into one career - food, health, science, serving others, education, entrepreneurship, and so much more.
I tell you this to just remind you that I am just a regular person too, and if I can make my health a priority in a confused and busy world, so can you. I have spent years now fine tuning what works for me, and even that sometimes gets unbalanced and I have to re-evaluate my own body and symptoms and adjust accordingly. We are each biological individuals that require different foods, supplements, and alternative therapies and my goal is to help you find what is going to work best for you.
I am full of gratitude that you are here and I can't wait to help you find balance, comfort and happiness! Remember, when you eat well, you live full.
April 8, 2017 | Austin, Texas
Windsor & willow