YOUnique Nutrition customizes advice
March 1, 2011
No two bodies are alike, so it’s not hard to understand why nutrition and dieting advice that works for one person would not work for another.
Every person needs health counseling that recognizes their unique "bio-identification," said Gina Van Luven. That’s why she founded YOUnique Nutrition.
Van Luven never had a stated goal of becoming a health expert; she just sought answers to her own problems.
"I had a lot of health issues growing up and was on myriad medications," she explained.
Van Luven lived her life in surrender to asthma, irritable bowels, arthritis, tendonitis, eczema and rashes, a plethora of feminine issues, and more, she said.
But when her three-year-old son began showing obvious signs of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, she decided to try changing their diet before starting him on medications.
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"Within days I completely changed the food in my house and within three weeks he was a completely different child like Jekyll and Hyde," she said.
Van Luven had started acupuncture for her own conditions and changed her own diet as well. She noticed improvements within three months and said she was basically cured of her ailments within 12.
"It was a miraculous recovery," she said.
Amazed by her results, people began asking her what she’d done. She decided to quit her job and take a completely different career path.
"People need to learn to control their own health and well-being," she said.
Van Luven said she doesn’t prescribe to any particular trend or fad. She understands all of them, and sees how each could help different kinds of people. And that’s her focus: individual treatment.
One person may need more animal protein in their diet, another may need less. Van Luven said her own body processes it poorly, while her husband and son have no problems. Everyone is encouraged to eat whole grains, but her son has trouble digesting whole grains.
And then there are personal preferences. Her daughter is a vegetarian and needs a special diet to ensure she gets enough nutrition.
Everyone should eat more fruits and vegetables, but some will do one body more good than another body, she said.
In addition to painting everyone with the same brush, one-size-fits-all diets tend to focus on the wrong health factors.
Apples and pastries often have the same amount of calories and sugars, but your body reacts very differently to each of them, she said.
"It’s not about the quantity of calories, it’s about the quality of calories," Van Luven said.
Another problem with "diets" is they try to get people from Point A to Point B quickly. But nutrition is about changing habits for life.
"It should be more like a road trip than like flying. You’ll see and discover so much more," she said.
Van Luven also believes in gradual change. Shocks to the system result in the brain fighting against the changes, she said.
Gina Van Luven