About Ahna Austin – Nutritionist
At a young age I developed stomach pains that became increasingly more painful over time. I struggled with keeping food down and tried to find a way to stop the pain. I was 12 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Grateful to have a diagnosis but also feeling, “now what?” I was told by my doctors that food had nothing to do with the inflammation and that medication was the only solution. I followed the medication trials but I was taken down by them time and time again.
I was in and out of the hospital numerous times for flareups. My first surgery was at sixteen years old. I told myself I would never go through another surgery. I promised myself I wouldn’t let this disease stop me from my dreams, and most of all my happiness. I knew there had to be another way.
I went to college and received my Bachelors in Human Development and Family Relations from Plattsburgh State. I then went on to Hunter School of Social Work for a year. In my second year I knew I needed to get a handle on my health as it was declining rapidly. The doctor told me I had to have a colostomy bag. I was determined that this was not going to happen so I began the search for health in earnest.
I found a retreat on the Big Island of Hawaii to cleanse and juice. After the cleanse I found my way to a raw vegan farm. On the farm I became certified as a Raw Food Chef. I created meals from the garden for residents on the land. This was an eye opener to conscientious eating and sustainability. I learned through the farm that everybody (emphasis on the word BODY) is different.
I gained my health/life back by eating fresh foods and being in a stress-free environment. From there I traveled the islands as a personal chef for families and individuals. I worked at multiple retreat centers. After three years of living on the island I moved on to Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon. I was their vegetarian chef for two years.
I left Breitenbush for an amazing opportunity in Italy. In September 2014 I taught a raw food workshop in Tuscany. The workshop was created to gain knowledge, understanding, and imagination of the healing properties of raw Italian dishes. The main concentration in this profession is creating food that is healing, healthy, and delicious.
For the past few years I have created healthy recipes and taught them in cooking classes and demos at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Oregon. The class is focused around partnering with a dietician. The aim is to show how fresh food can be prepared efficiently and flavorfully. The classes are geared to introducing new foods and having the participants prepare dishes that they can make at home. These classes are a beginning to creating a healthier lifestyle.
I have graduated with my Masters of Science in Nutrition at NUNM. With this degree I will be focusing on gut health. My primary focus is creating a sustainable lifestyle that is healthy and will help people with; Colitis, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Diverticulitis, and Leaky gut.