Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Counselor
Whole Journey Founder
Hi there! First off, I want to say welcome and thanks for stopping by. My name is Christa Orecchio. I'm a clinical and holistic nutritionist and founder of The Whole Journey.
I am also a former caffeine and sugar junkie who was raised on pizza, pasta, and antibiotics. I had coffee for breakfast, candy for lunch, and cookies for snacks. I also had no energy and alternating anxiety and depression most of the time.
In my early 20's, I took a year off to backpack around the world so that I could "find myself", and ironically, I actually did.
Having a degree in international business, I spent the first few years out of college working in international relations and thought my next step would be to get a Master's Degree in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. It was most important to me that my life's work contribute to world peace.
But during that year spent internationally we were at war with Iraq, and I started to wonder if world peace would ever really be possible. Then I stumbled across a workshop in South Africa called "Optimal Nutrition for the Mind" led by Patrick Holford from the Brain Bio Institute in the UK. That workshop for me was one of life's defining moments. The light bulb went on that we could control how we feel, how we think, how much energy we have, and how much peace we emanated by what we chose to put in our bodies and how we chose to approach our lifestyle. It was an ah-ha moment. World peace begins with individuals attaining peace within them.
So I started with me. I took everything I learned there and immediately implemented it into my life. Embarking on a healing lifestyle change of whole, REAL food, customized supplements, and lifestyle adjustments (yoga!) were beyond transformative for me. For the first time in my life, I experienced energy all day long, enthusiasm, peace, confidence, great digestion, deep sleep, and lost "the last 10lbs". I just couldn't believe what true health really was. I wanted to help everyone I knew (and didn't know) experience the same thing! So I decided to leave the business world and do just that.
I attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC for health coach training as well as a Clinical nutrition program here in San Diego. I'm so eager to continue learning and growing in this field that I'm currently doing master's coursework with the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board. My approach is clinical with a functional medicine spin, meaning I am always looking to get to the root cause of whatever is going on with someone’s health. It also means that I view the body as a systemic organism and know that all organs, glands, and systems affect each other. “Let food be thy medicine” is my mantra and now the mantra of thousands of prior clients. See more about my philosophy below.
I had a thriving private practice for the past eight years with a team of nutritionists and chefs. I loved every minute of helping people bust the myths that they have to live with diagnosis, that healing is not possible, and that healthy eating is boring, hard, or time-consuming.
Last year the itch came to do more than what was possible in a one-on-one setting, so in December of 2013, I made a life-changing decision to close my private practice.
I instead created a series of online programs and courses, which mirror everything I did privately with individuals. At the same time, I also started my own TV show, which is now nationally syndicated. It focuses on teaching and sharing the concepts of functional medicine.
These changes are my way of reaching more people with the goal of presenting would-be esoteric health topics in a format that is fun, exciting, and easy to follow while also being much more affordable than working one-on-one.
I do not advocate any one specific way of eating. I believe every individual has distinct dietary needs based upon genetics, lifestyle, gender, blood type, stress levels, how they ate as a child, current state of health, and future health goals. Therefore, I focus on bio-individuality, while imparting a positive and empowering perspective shift around food that results in greater lifelong food flexibility.
I am the author of "The Whole Journey Food as Medicine Cookbook" as well as the co-author of "The Anti-Inflammatory Diet" with Cheryl Tiegs and co-author of "Whole Baby, Whole Mama" , a fertility book that helps couples in their mid-thirties to mid-forties conceive naturally and have a healthy pregnancy.
I also created The Whole Journey Healthy Product review site to help consumers know what products are truly healthy versus ones that purport to be healthy. This site helps users make the healthiest decisions at the grocery store without having to think so hard about it.
I'm also a TEDx speaker, and the weekly FOX nutrition expert where I impart a mind-body approach to eating and wellness every Thursday in a brand new five-minute episode of "Food as Medicine". Join our tribe here to get those episodes first!
I believe many people are unnecessarily suffering. My mission is to help as many people as possible first to heal, followed by achieving and sustaining vibrant health. When your health is thriving, you become a better version of yourself, and then you are able to contribute to your loved ones and to the world around you. This is my way of contributing to world peace. That is why I do what I do.
I'd love to know you on a first name basis - come on over and introduce yourself on Facebook or Instagram (@thewholejourney). Hearing from our tribe is the best part of my day! I'm happy you found your way to The Whole Journey and I hope our connection and the information you learn adds value and serves you well in your quest for knowledge and true, lasting health.
My Philosophy on Health
While most nutritional practices dwell on calories, carbs, fats, proteins and restrictive "good and bad" foods, The Whole Journey philosophy provides clients with the ‘tools’ to create happier, healthier lives in a way that is flexible, fun and free of willpower and denial. Emotional happiness and well-being come from living in a vibrant body. As your food changes for the better, your biochemistry improves, and as a result your mood, energy levels and outlook on life improve as well.
My clinical spin focuses on the concepts of functional diagnostic nutrition and functional medicine. I am always looking to find the root cause of illness and to help heal that first, in lieu of addressing individual symptoms. This way the body's own healing process works most efficiently and effectivley.
I am striving for a paradigm shift in how health is percieved and approached by individuals and also by the medical and scientific community. The Western model is very focused on bandaiding the symptom, which usually only leads to more symtpoms.
If you have a rock in your shoe, wouldn't you agree that it's better to take off your shoe and remove the rock versus taking an ibuprofen so that you don't feel the pain it's causing?
Better to find the root of your inflammation that is causing high cholesterol than to take a statin to control cholesterol. Doing that is kind of like removing the battery to your fire alarm.
I think it's about time the mainstream adopts this philosophy as well so that we can all enjoy a higher quality of life.
The Whole Journey approach to nutrition also focuses on elements that nourish other than food, including honest and open relationships, a meaningful spiritual practice, a career that inspires, understanding the emotional roots to physical illness, and embracing movement you enjoy. I refer to these elements as Primary Food and address each of them in all of my programs so that your life and perspective can truly transform.
By creating a balance between the clinical aspects of health, primary foods and the food one eats everyday, people experience gradual, yet steady postive changes in their health and well-being. This enables them to not only achieve their health goals, but to maintain them for life.
Blog & Video Categories
- Blood Sugar Balance
- Brain Health
- Digestive Health
- Eating Out
- Eating for Energy
- Eating for your Age
- Food Sensitivities
- Food Supply: GMO/Organic
- Holiday Eating
- Hormonal Health
- Kids Health
- Organs and Glands
- Popular Diets
- Quick Meals
- Randy & Christa Show
- Relationship with Food
- Seasonal Eating
- Stress Management/Emotional Health
- Super Foods
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Weight Loss
- Women’s Health