Meet Stephanie Paver

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Hello and Welcome! 

I want to share a bit of background so you can get to know me and understand the “why” behind my purpose. My mission is to help you leverage your diet and lifestyle to create the health you want. My goal is to teach you about your hormones so you can understand how they govern your symptoms and what to do about it. I also want you to know that the power lies with you. Your diet, mindset, stress response, exercise, sleep, environment, and beliefs influence your body’s internal communication system which in turn contribute to your state of health, resiliency, and ability to repair and heal.

My background is rooted in science, and I’m also open-minded and a progressive thinker. I am fascinated by ancient cultural practices, and I respect traditional wisdom. In my practice, I  fuse modern science with traditional healing modalities to solve your complex health challenges.

My Journey

My journey into the nutrition profession was influenced by my childhood years as a competitive figure skater. Early on I recognized a direct link between what I ate and the caliber of my practice session or performance. I obsessed over food labels, although I barely knew what they meant, and I was conscious of calories even though I had no understanding about my caloric needs. With my small frame and intense levels of exercise, I had little body fat and a very muscular physique. My coach told me that I didn’t have to worry about what I ate because “I would always be thin”. This bothered me because I knew that what I ate mattered, regardless of my body size and outward appearance, but I didn’t yet have the knowledge to articulate how or why.

My education was heavily food-science-based (which justified making “food” in a lab), and nutrition-care for the sick (which taught us to manage a disease instead of reversing it because it’s the best you can do). As an entry-level dietitian, I subscribed to and educated people about the industry definitions of phrases like “low-fat”, “high-fat”, “low-calorie”, “low sodium”, etc. I followed a low fat diet, because this is what I was taught. At one point, my cholesterol level was dangerously low at 111 mg/dL, and my percent body fat was considered “risky” at a low of 10.9%. At the time, I didn’t know that there was such as thing as “too low” in the cholesterol department, and neither did my doctors because no one ever mentioned it! I walked around with low cholesterol for years. I didn’t realize that this special molecule is needed to make progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, and vitamin D. It explains why I had irregular periods, was susceptible to illness, and experienced frequent mood irregularities.

Some of the symptoms that started in college and followed me into my professional life included major fatigue (I walked around declaring how tired I was constantly), joint pain (wrists and knees), heart palpitations, acne, weight gain, bloating, bruising, constipation, irritability, aggression, and irregular periods. Some of my labs were consistently off (low cholesterol, low white blood cells, low platelets, low alkaline phosphatase, elevated MCV, elevated MCH), but I presented physically well, so little was said or done to explore further.

For the knee pain I underwent a bilateral MRI which was completely unremarkable. For my wrist pain I was given NSAIDs and braces. For the heart palpitations I was told that since I worked out it was normal. The bruising I was told was normal. For irregular periods, I was told to take birth control, and for the bloating and lower quadrant pain I had a pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound which were normal.

As a working professional, I classically drank too much coffee, and I dragged throughout the day but was awake at night. I was always searching for what was “wrong with me”, preoccupied with why I didn’t feel quite right, constantly complaining about being tired (and “so cold!”), and earnestly believing I had cancer or some other major nightmare of a disease. One doctor suggested I had PCOS. Although the diagnosis wasn’t definitive, looking back, my symptoms do correlate. Nevertheless, it was a wake-up call. I was completely clueless about how my hormones influenced my symptoms. I had no idea about how my daily choices (diet, sleep, stress, exercise) affected my hormones. I overlooked my own nutrient deficiencies, a major cause of hormone imbalance.

Finding Solutions

I started listening to webinars on functional nutrition which covered topics like gene variants and detoxification. I read books on functional medicine which described the interplay between nutrients, immune function, and thyroid health. I did genetic testing and took a class in nutritional genetics during my Master’s program. I tested the level of vitamins and minerals in my body. And I got help. I hired a Naturopathic doctor who was able to see my issues through a different lens. By this time I had already discovered that I had severely low vitamin B12 and that I have several genetic variants that affect how I absorb, transport and recycle B12 in my body. I changed my diet, stopped drinking so much alcohol, adopted a routine sleep schedule, and took supplements to support detox pathways and nutrient deficiencies (I had a lot!). My journey to wellness is ongoing as I continue to understand my hormones, home my diet, and build mental and spiritual health.

Our Common Thread

I share my story so you know you are not alone. I think we’ve been down a similar path, one that entails many doctor visits, lab tests, confusion, overwhelm, and searching for solutions. You’re probably here because you’ve tried many things in the past, nothing worked, and you feel helpless. The hopeful news is that there is a fix. I know because I’ve done it, and I see improvements in my patients every week. I can help you, too. With a little grit, you can cultivate health and healing and take back your power over PCOS and other hormonal mayhem. It starts with getting to know what you need, learning what’s missing, finding the right tools, and adopting new habits that you can stick to for life.

I hope you find the information on this blog informative. Please leave comments below or email me directly.

In Health,