7. Nutritional Interventions for Chronic Illness – Kammie McClintock

This week’s podcast is as informational as it is inspiring. Before she became ill, Badass Kammie McClintock led an extraordinarily active life, and she enjoyed sports ranging from yoga and silks to trail running to mountain biking. Now, she’s directing that energy and drive to regaining her health.

Kammie: Yoga Instructor | Nutritional Therapy Practitioner | Chronic Illness Warrior

Kammie knows the chronic illness world well. She’s been diagnosed with (in chronological order) spherocytosis, Crohn’s, internal hemorrhoids, ulcers, diverticulitis, Sjogren’s, a fistula, erythema nodosum, toxic mold exposure, heavy metal exposure, active EBV, Herpes-6, Lyme, and neurological auto-antibodies. She’s endured a splenectomy, gall bladder removal, appendectomy, and surgery for deviated septum.

As she shares in our conversation, Kammie spent a couple of years pursuing conventional medical treatment for her symptoms. She adjusted her diet, took her prescribed medications, adjusted her medications, saw additional specialists—but she was still sick. Her medical team told her that she was looking at a lifetime of immunosuppressants and biweekly bloodwork. Recently, she’s begun working with a functional medicine practitioner, which she describes as a turning point. 

Noticing the impact that going gluten-free made in her health, Kammie decided to enroll in a nine-month program with the Nutritional Therapy Association to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, with the goal of helping herself get well and then helping others do the same. As she was preparing for her final exam, she endured a dramatic crash in her health, but she graduated as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner in the spring of 2019.

In this episode, Kammie works to give our audience some general guidelines and suggestions for using nutrition to support and restore wellness. She talks about key topics that are the focus of the Nutritional Therapy Association, which uses a “food first” approach to creating health: digestion (eat slowly, be mindful, chew food thoroughly), blood sugar regulation, fatty acids, minerals, and hydration. She also discusses the role of fermented foods on restoring the microbiome’s diversity, especially after a round of antibiotics—unless a patient is histamine intolerant.

Kammie’s recommendations are as follows:

  • Eat real food (avoid processed food)
  • Avoid unrecognizable ingredients
  • Eat seasonally and locally
  • Eat organic whenever possible, or wash with vinegar/water solution
  • Cook at home, with batch cooking when helpful

Kammie emphasizes a lesson that she learned in adjusting from reading textbooks to practicing what she’s learned:  “We’re all bioindividual…You kind of have to expect the unexpected and be prepared to adjust accordingly.” She explains that what worked for one person ten years ago might not work for that same person today. “We need to drop the diet dogma and any fear around food; go with the flow and learn to tune into your body and accept that things change.”

Links from our discussion:

To contact us about the podcast or your own Badassery, email podcast@chronicallybadass.org. And, for your daily dose of Badass athletes who are redefining what it means to be chronically ill, follow @chronicallybadassclub on Instagram and Facebook.

Podcast music by: Caleb Ritchie

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