nutrition through the life cycle

Health behavior change is NOT fun or easy, and it's NOT about your willpower.

I bet you know this already, otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this. Making health behavior changes is HARD. It can even feel impossible.


A poll from 2010 found that only about 16% of adults reported successful health-related improvements. Of that 16%, 20% had improvements in weight loss, 15% started a regular exercise program, 10% improved their diets, and 7% reduced stress levels (1). Given this started with 16%, these are very small numbers!


Of those polled that sought to start their new year on a positive note by making changes like these, 78% of them who made health related resolutions noted significant obstacles that prevented them from meeting their goals. These obstacles included willpower, simply making changes, and being under too much stress to change (1).


These numbers are from 8 years ago, and in that time chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases have continued to rise in prevalence, signifying our challenges for getting healthy persist.


Making lifestyle and health behavior changes does not happen overnight.


It’s also not about willpower, even though we tend to blame our lack of it for failing to meet our goals.


The cards are stacked against us as we are bombarded with messages from the media to eat this and not that, look like this to be happy and successful, work harder faster and longer because that’s what success is all about… and much much more.


THIS mentality is what the problem is. Those that profit have brilliantly crafted a society in which they continue to profit, leaving the rest of us unhealthy, exhausted, and ready to give up.


There is another way.


Last week I divulged some of my personal health problems, and shared part of my journey with you. I say some and part because to be honest, I’m still working on piecing together the puzzle of my story for myself.


As I continue to heal, I’ll share more along the way. Writing about it and sharing it with you is certainly part of my healing process, so thank you for being a part of it, and sharing my journey with me.


Identifying the root causes leading to my rock bottom moment in urgent care isn’t easy. In part because there are so many (I mean countless) reasons why things took that nasty, yet faithful turn leading up to that event in 2016.


Often we have to hit our lowest low before we wake up and make changes. Change is awful, and it is less scary than feeling awful because at least we have become familiar with (therefore comfortable with) feeling like ass. 


We think we’ll change when we are ready. We are never really ready. Something just happens that gives us no choice. I’m thankful for that.


If I didn’t hit that bottom, today I might still be in a job that made me miserable. I’d still be starving myself leaving me completely obsessed with food and eating and therefore completely NOT present in all my interactions with others (business, personal, etc.). Those that know me well were even surprised to hear this part of it. Honest truth right now… it makes me sad and regretful that I missed out on so much of my life. Sure I’ve had great times, great experiences, a successful career, BUT I never enjoyed any of it like I could have had I addressed my health problems from the get go instead of letting them progress and take over my life.


Maybe I should have gone into acting. I played it all off so well in spite of how horrible I felt ALL THE TIME.


Of course I didn’t talk about all of this because if I did I knew I’d have to change my behavior and I wasn’t ready to do that. I never would have been ready so the universe created the perfect storm of situations (or really I likely manifested it all myself and the universe simply provided what I was unconsciously asking for, yes I believe in this stuff).


The good news is you don’t have to hit rock bottom. You don’t have to be forced to change.


You can take the bull by the horns and decide you’ve had enough. It’s time to be the version of you that you know you can be. The version of you the world deserves to see. We are each granted gifts that we are meant to share with the world. That’s why we are here. Denying your truth by remaining trapped in your uncomfortable comfort zone (funny how our comfort zones are actually our most uncomfortable places, think about it) is denying others the benefits of your true gifts.


Start your journey now, before you are forced to. You can make that decision. You have the power to change your life, to feel as good as you know you should, and to beat that rock bottom moment to the punch.


I can help guide you on your journey. I'd be honored to share it with you! To get started, schedule your strategy session via the button below. I'm looking forward to talking to you!



"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Functional and Clinical Nutritionist


PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this link to them!

You feel like SH*T more often than not and can't figure out why. I've been there too.

I’m glad you're here because I understand how it feels to be frustrated about not feeling well, and not being able to figure out why.

Like you, I’ve been to doctor after doctor, trying to ‘treat’ what was wrong with me, and nothing was working. Lab tests were even normal, I ate healthy food, exercised, did everything I was supposed to be doing, yet I knew something was wrong, because I didn’t feel well and my body just seemed to be deteriorating.

Finally, I figured out the problem. I was being treated for various symptoms, but the underlying problem was still there, festering, and continuing to wreak havoc on my body. No one was trying to determine WHY this was happening to me.

Once I began addressing WHY I wasn’t feeling well, instead of just focusing on the outward symptoms, things significantly improved.

For more than 15 years, I could not leave my house (thankfully I was working from home) after eating lunch because I’d experience horrible issues with IBS-D.

Diarrhea, gas, bloating, depression and anxiety, brain fog, insomnia, a stressful career (a big part of my healing was removing myself from that environment, and venturing out on my own to focus full time on my passion and career as a clinical nutritionist in 2017)… all led to my severe need to control something, anything, which turned into controlling what I ate.

Not to mention I was afraid to eat because every time I did, I’d experience gut issues, and literally not be able to leave the house for hours after a meal, and it went on for so long, it even seemed normal to me, this was my routine and my life.

In June of 2016, I thought I had a horrible flu. The urgent care doctor looked at me, and the pieces started to fall together… I was down to 98 pounds. My body was literally starving.

Talk about a wake up call. It was time to change. Time to change the way I took care of my body (I clearly completely had been neglecting taking care of myself while working to help others, talk about a wake up call), and time to change how I managed my health.

Enter the functional medicine approach to health. I have been able to identify and address underlying issues that were plaguing me all these years, and you know what, I CAN GO OUT TO LUNCH AND NOT PANIC THAT I’M GOING TO NEED TO BE NEAR A BATHROOM 30 minutes to 1 hour later (it was like clockwork).

I no longer need to schedule my food intake around my life activities. I literally would just not eat because I didn’t want to for fear of the outcome, and didn’t have time to end up in the bathroom for hours.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit not every day is perfect, far from it.

There are aspects of it all that I will need to work on likely for the rest of my life.

Healing is a process and often physical healing takes place more quickly than mental and emotional healing. Time heals ALL wounds.

Patience and persistence with protocols, and with ourselves as we navigate the muddy waters of healing are integral parts of the process.

It's messy, it's uncomfortable, and it's scary. It's also worth the benefits a billion times over. 

This is why I understand what you are going through, whether it’s gut issues or any other issue that hasn’t been resolved, because no one is looking for the WHY.

No one is addressing your health issues by taking into account your mind, body and spirit. A holistic approach is needed.

I’m a bulldog detective and use my strong knowledge of biochemistry and nutrition to tirelessly research and connect the dots to determine WHY.

I've also been in your shoes, and I understand the emotional, mental and spiritual components involved. 

You don’t have to do this alone anymore. I can help. My personal journey gives me a deep level of compassion and empathy for what you are going through. 

My path in life is to help you, because I know how.

As a team, we can fill in the blanks and determine the root cause of your problems, and develop a plan to help you reach your health and wellness goals.

If you’re ready to start getting the help you need, schedule your 30 minute strategy session with me. 

During our session we will talk about your health challenges, and the clues that have been overlooked to find the root cause of your problems. After our session, you'll have an understanding of how you can start to put the pieces of your health back together. We’ll also determine if I’m the right person for you to work with on a deeper level to finally heal your body, and discuss how that works.

>>>>>WORK WITH ME<<<<<

I'm looking forward to talking to you, and learning how I can help you reach your health and wellness goals!

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist
Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

PS. If you know someone else who could really use this information, please FORWARD this link to them!

Hello! Allow me to introduce myself.

I spend quite a bit of time talking and writing about nutrition from a biochemical perspective, describing how this applies to your health and wellbeing. I don’t spend a lot of time talking and writing about myself, and I don’t intend to because this is about YOU and not me. This week however, I’m sharing with you a bit about me, my approach to nutrition, and how I can help you meet your health and wellness goals. Whether you are looking to lose some weight and generally make some tweaks to improve your overall health, or are looking for answers to unresolved questions you have about why you haven’t gotten better by conventional medical treatment means, I can help you reach your health and wellness goals.  





  • Struggle with health conditions that aren't getting better
  • Take different medications to help relieve symptoms of those health conditions
  • Have tried a variety of diet plans and nothing seems to help
  • Have lab results that are "normal" and you still don't feel well
  • Have begun to believe your illness is all in your head
  • Want to optimize your, or your child's health and wellness




  • Functional and clinical nutritionist
  • Bachelors Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Masters Degree in Public Health
  • Masters Degree in Human Nutrition
  • Certified Nutrition Specialist




  • Together we can address your health and wellness needs to meet your goals
  • It’s all about teamwork, we are a team


Here are some examples of what I’ve addressed in partnership with my clients:


  • Low energy and fatigue
  • Food cravings
  • Resistant weight loss and unexplained weight gain
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Mood disorders
  • Neurodegenerative conditions
  • Digestive issues
  • Skin problems
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Migraine headache
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Sleep disturbances


If you have any of these conditions, or another chronic, complex condition your problems may be linked to imbalances in immune, metabolic and digestive function. 

To appropriately address your health needs, we need to take into account your biochemistry, and uncover the root cause of imbalances that may be contributing to the conditions you have. This is the functional medicine approach, and it looks at you holistically rather than as a set of symptoms. It’s about you as a person. You are not your illness, although you may have an illness. Just like you have fingernails, but you are not fingernails!

All of the systems in your body are connected. When one is not functioning optimally and the root cause is left to persist, it can adversely affect other systems, creating a domino effect of illness and disease.

Medications mask symptoms, leaving us unaware of the continued damage that is occurring within. 

Functional nutrition is the core of functional medicine and can help you reach optimal health with natural means (diet, lifestyle, nutrient supplements), whether you have chronic, complex health problems, or just want to improve your health and wellness.

You've changed your diet and nothing seems to work? We aren't just what we eat. We are what our bodies can do with what we eat. Rather than only making sure you are eating right, we need to make sure your body can digest, absorb and use nutrients from the foods you eat. Your diet may be stellar, but if your body can't use those nutrients, your perfect diet doesn't matter much, and won't help you feel better. 

All your labs are normal, and you still feel awful? Too often, our conventional lab results are "normal" yet we still don't feel well.  While labs may appear "normal" for conventional medical practice, they can be far from optimal and therefore underlying dysfunction can be causing your symptoms. This underlying dysfunction is where our opportunity lies to improve your health.

Why supplements? Nutrient supplementation can be a key factor for improving overall metabolic function, and therefore it can positively impact the issues you are experiencing. Often, due to long standing deficiency and imbalances, the addition of supplemental nutrients can help restore metabolic processes to their optimal state.

At Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, we focus on being healthy first rather than on counting calories, or implementing the latest fad diet. It is important to understand that there is no one size fits all approach. Your plan will be different from anyone else's, and may incorporate aspects of a variety of different dietary philosophies and protocols. 

Nutritional needs vary at all stages of life, from infancy to end of life. It is important to address these needs in order to obtain optimal health now, and in the future, and that's why I see clients of all ages. 

Nutrition is my passion. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I'll give you the personal and individualized attention you need to optimize your health

A message from me, listen now, and don't forget to sign up for my YouTube channel!

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If you are ready to challenge the status quo, and look at your health in ways you haven't before, schedule your 30 minute strategy session to work with me!

 "Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a functional and clinical nutritionist, I can help you interpret your body's nutrient needs and customize a plan to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition."
-Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Wishing you a delicious weekend!

Functional and Clinical Nutritionist

Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Caryn Brand Nutrition, All rights reserved. 

The body composition of children changes as they grow and develop, and this process can be dangerously misunderstood

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

This one is about a topic close to my heart because of personal experience, and because I work with parents and children of all ages to help them with general, as well as complex, nutritional needs.

I was a skinny young child. I remember pants would slide off my hips because I had none, and my mother was always trying to find clothes that fit me properly. I also remember being a pretty big eater as a child (nothing has changed there actually). Around 5th or 6th grade (so about age 10-12 years), during my physical, the doctor told my mom, with me right there, that I was putting on too much weight and she should watch what I was eating. Fast-forward to my 40s, about 20 years of disordered eating, working on recovery (it will always be something that’s a part of me), and now seeing children as a clinical nutritionist, not much has changed when it comes to the type of advice I was given so many years ago by that physician. We are a society overly concerned with weight, leading to negative feelings about body image. This is especially dangerous for young children.
During middle childhood (about age 5-10 years), body fat percent drops to a minimum of 16% in girls and 13% in boys. Around age 6, a growth spurt occurs called BMI (body mass index) rebound, and it results in an increase in height and weight (adiposity or fat mass). The increased body fat is a marker for the pace of puberty. In girls this happens earlier than in boys. Girls may have a 19% increase in body fat, and boys 14%. This increase, especially in young girls, can lead to concern that they are becoming overweight. Body composition changes dramatically in girls during puberty.  Lean body mass percent decreases, and body fat percent increases. During puberty girls can have a 120% increase in body fat. In order for a girl to start her menstrual cycle, she needs to have at least 17% body fat, and then body fat must be at 25% for her cycle to remain regular. This gain in body fat in girls is normal and required for normal physiologic function, yet it is often viewed as negative, leading to compromising health behaviors like excessive dieting, restriction, and exercise, and use of diet aids and laxatives that can lead to disordered eating, eating disorders, and severe health related consequences.
As a parent, you can reassure your child that changes in body composition are a normal part of growing up. Take care not to reinforce a preoccupation with size and weight. Keep in mind that children have the innate ability to internally control their energy (calories from food) intake. These internal cues can be altered by external influences. Children of parents who control their child’s eating have a lesser ability to innately respond to their own energy needs, meaning these children lose the ability to respond appropriately to their innate nutritional needs, and their internal controls of hunger and fullness. Parents who experienced difficulty controlling their own intakes may impose more restrictions on their children, and this transfer of unhealthy eating behavior may influence children as early as preschool age. If mom is on a diet, her daughter is likely to follow suit. Imposing controls and restrictions over dietary intake can actually promote increased intake of ‘forbidden’ or ‘restricted’ foods, and may be a risk factor for developing obesity in the future. Dieting, dietary restrictions and controlling child feedings ignore internal cues of hunger and fullness, and can contribute to the onset of obesity, and the beginning of eating disorders.

Keep in mind that boys are affected by disordered eating and eating disorders as well.
For more information or for help to ensure your child gets the nutrition he or she needs to grow and develop optimally, contact me today!
Brown J. Nutrition through the Life cycle 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth; 2011.

"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a clinical nutritionist, I can help you connect the dots to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition." -Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist

Wishing you a delicious Friday and weekend!

Jennifer, MPH, MS, CNS
Clinical Nutritionist

Is your child a picky eater? What you need to know.

Photo credit:  Sharon McCutcheon

Photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon

I work with the Breathe Institute in Westwood, CA to provide nutritional counseling and coaching services to patients that we serve. Many of our patients are young children, described by their parents as picky eaters. Parents bend over backwards to get nutrition, any kind of nutrition, into their children for fear of them not getting adequately nourished. Understandably so. BUT there are some caveats. 

Picky eating is a common challenge in young children. At the Breathe Institute, we see issues like tongue-tie and lip-tie that make it difficult for children (even for adults) to eat certain foods because of anatomical restrictions in the oral cavity. 

In the absence of anatomical problems or health conditions that make it difficult or uncomfortable for children to eat certain foods, picky eating can just be a normal bump in the road of childhood development. For example, learning to control the tongue is a skill that has to be practiced, and sometimes kids just have issues with certain textures. This is particularly the case when a child transitions to eating solid foods. 

Did you know it can take introducing a new food multiple times before it is accepted? Some children will take to a new food after a couple of introductions, and with others, it may take anywhere between 10 to 20+ introductions! If your child doesn't like a new food the first, or even eighth time you offer it to him, this isn't a reason to throw in the towel. Eating a variety of whole real foods is important for your child to grow and develop normally, and you CAN get them to eat these foods.

Here are some ideas that may help:

  1. Keep offering the food you are attempting to get your child to eat. Your child does not have to eat it. Simply exposing your child to it however is an important part of the process. It is ok for your child to pick up the food, play with it and feel it. This allows your child to get used to the food and it is part of the process.

  2. Wait to offer your child a new food until he is really and truly hungry. If he’s already full from eating other foods, there won’t be much motivation to try something new.

  3. Children are very impressionable, and are great imitators. They will be more likely to want what you are eating, so make your own dietary choices wisely.

Do not panic! While it is frustrating to get your child to diversify his dietary intake, if you are anxious during meals, he’ll pick up on it.

Your child may simply need the time and freedom to explore eating new foods. Be patient, be persistent, and watch the magic happen.

For more tips for your picky eater, you can download this free handout. You can also work with me to develop a longer term plan to make sure your child gets the nutrients he needs to grow and develop, especially if he is experiencing health conditions that make proper nutrition difficult. 


"Your nutritional needs are as unique as your fingerprint, and they are dictated by your individual biochemistry. As a clinical nutritionist, I can help you connect the dots to reach your health and wellness goals. This is personalized nutrition." -Jennifer Caryn Brand, MPH, MS, CNS, Clinical Nutritionist