My coaching practice is intuitive, seasonal, and rooted in the wisdom of nature. I believe that food should be nourishing and that eating is a celebrated act. I emphasize eating whole foods, that are nutrient dense, full of vitality and sustainably sourced.
Food IS Medicine, and we will work together to discover the perfect combination of plant-based support to serve the lightest, brightest, most authentic version of you.
Hello! I am Denise Pasquinelli, a functional nutrition and lifestyle practitioner practicing in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. I work with folks who are ready to feel good in their bodies again. I work in person and online to create lasting food and lifestyle changes.
I understand how disempowering it is to feel disconnected from our vitality! The food we eat, the work we do, the place we live, and the people we spend time with, all have huge affects on our health and well-being. Reconnecting to these important aspects of life creates the path to healing, and I would love to help you along the way!
MY PATH TO FOOD AS MEDICINE
Things really got started when I was living in New York City. I loved a lot about the city, yet I noticed I felt incredibly distracted, detached and drained — all the time! Much of this had to do with the declining health of my adrenals and the fact that I was walking around with the beginnings of Hashimoto's Disease (an Auto-Immune condition that attacks the Thyroid) and didn't know it. But I think I was also affected by the separation I felt from the food I ate and the natural world around me. I wanted to change something, and my food seemed like the obvious choice - food is so fundamental yet something I could control myself. Coming to this realization was empowering and sparked action!
I decided I wanted to eat more plants and less processed food. I remember looking at my pantry one day and vowing to only have jars of grains and beans and spices on there one day — instead of boxes and plastic. It took about six months to fully realize that goal, but I managed to transform the food in my home to be whole and closer to the source. I learned a few tricks in the kitchen that made cooking and eating a whole foods diet possible while maintaining a busy social life and a demanding career. I was involved in a CSA, I had chickens in my tiny Brooklyn backyard, and I was heavily involved in my food coop. The quest to clean up my eats came with the added benefits of community, joy, and support. The nutritional benefits were great, but that connection to my food, my health, and the role that food and nourishment played in my life, were the real profound shifts.
My perceptions changed, my relationships improved, my energy soared — I found myself attracted to the “right” things, the things that made my life feel good and whole. I started to keep track of this! Simply noticing how I felt after eating foods that nourished, vs foods thats didn't became intrinsically motivating. After this, I was sold on the idea that if we clean up our diet and have a sincere relationship with our food, so much can change! At about this time, along came the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), where I enrolled in the Health Coaching Certification Program. IIN was profound, because it introduced me to so many different approaches to food, health, wellness and psychology. It gave me the opportunity to find teachers that I really loved (Dr John Douillard, Andrea Nakayama, Dr Weil, Dr Mark Hyman, Dr Vasant Lad, and more!) as well as recognizing the approaches that just didn't work for me -- and this helped me to clarify my perspectives. IIN also introduced the idea that health coaching could be a career, and that definitely got me thinking! From there I practiced on the side while I worked as a User Experience designer with a variety of software companies. In my coaching practice I use my systems thinking and design skills all the time, as I aim to present health information in a "'digestible" and delightful way! I want to make learning about your body and your food easy and fun!
Recently my life has unfolded in so many different ways. I have moved back to the Pacific Northwest, where I am from. I built a tiny house with my partner and I have created multiple edible gardens all around my house. I engage with people over food, health, spirituality, shelter, plant based food and medicine. I have just finished a program called Full Body Systems with Andrea Nakayama which has laid the foundation for me to dig really deep into how our bodies work and how it is affected by nutrition. Understanding that has had a profound affect on my own motivation to make hard food choices, especially now as I work daily to manage Hashimoto's and be mindful of the stressors on my immune system. Understanding food and function has also had a huge impact on my work with clients! I love to help my clients understand how the food they eat is affecting their unique physiology! It is powerful and fun and leaves me feeling like a food - focused Sherlock Holmes ( BTW... I just L O V E Sherlock Holmes! )
Daily I feel I am witnessing the unfolding of positive changes in the world. Personally, I still have days that I feel low energy and foggy headed, but I also feel like I have tools to call my power back to me. Each step becomes more clear and more aligned with what feels good in body, mind, and soul -- in the moment. This all takes time and effort and intention — and the rewards are rich. Experiencing this for myself, and coming back to it again and again, is what has inspired me to share this with others.
This is a quote that I include in every one of my programs, it is from Michio Kushi, founder of macrobiotics, and it speaks to why I just love to do this work:
Creating P E A C E at all levels is a big part of my path -- whether it is in the world, in our backyards, in your heart or in your guts -- Whatever the environment, I'm excited to be a part of making change.
I received a certificate in Holistic Health Coaching from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City, studied under Andrea Nakayama of Replenish PDX in her acclaimed Full Body Systems functional nutrition training, and am a current candidate for certification as a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner with Andrea Nakayama at Holistic Nutrition Lab. My education has included intensive studies of the digestive, immune, urinary, cardiovascular, endocrine, nervous (brain) and reproductive systems. I am also well-studied in multiple dietary theories, contemporary health issues and topics, Eastern and Western nutrition, with a particular emphasis in the wisdom of Ayurveda.
I also have a Masters in Library and Information Science from the Pratt Institute and a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre Arts from Linfield College. In all that I do art, storytelling, authentic expression, community, curiosity, and empowerment are immensely important! I will work with you to make this journey an interesting ride! I believe that finding fun and cultivating curiosity for what is happening inside YOUR unique body does wonders to keep motivation high while on this transformational journey.
SOME OTHER TASTY TID-BITS
I L O V E personality tests, astrology, and other modes of understanding and relating to ourselves and others. I find that when we understand our unique biases and tendencies, we can use that information as a healthy foundation for growth.
If you're into that too -- then here are some of my favorite tools for understanding:
- Astro line-up: Our astrological charts offer a glimpse into that unique sliver of time when our souls started off on their journey! This offers a specific lens for perceiving the nuances of personality, character, passions, and motivators. I love to incorporate this into my work with clients in subtle ways... My line up: Aquarius Rising, Libra Sun, Capricorn Moon, Cancer North Node
- Myers-Briggs Type Identifier This test was developed based on the work of psychiatrist Carl G. Jung who recognized that people's behavior was the result of their preferred methods of engagement within a particular set of mental capacities. This test is widely used to discover work that satisfies -- based on our natural tendencies! I am an INFP. Sometimes called the a healer or the mediator. Developer of the test, Isabel Briggs Myers says, "INFPs excel in fields that deal with possibilities for people." I say Y E S S S S to that!
- Four Tendencies Framework This test was created by Gretchen Rubin author of The Happiness Project, and Better Than Before - a book on making new habits stick. This framework was created while writing Better Thank Before, when Rubin discovered that the key to making new habits was to understand how we respond to expectations. I like to use this framework in partnership with my clients! Me -- I am a Rebel!!!
- Enneagram The enneagram is another personality test that helps us to understand our temperament. I am a 5 - the Investigator and a 9 - the Peacemaker with some heavy 4 action - the Individualist.
- Love Language: Knowing how you like to give and receive affection (and how those close to you do) can create so much harmony! Truly, this simple bit of wisdom can change everything for your relationships! For me -- I love me some Quality Time + Acts of Service
Thanks for letting me geek out!
If you're curious...do explore for yourself!
Oh and... I live in a tiny house, like to grow food and medicinal herbs, love to sing/dance/kirtan/laugh/cry, and just can't walk away from a wooden soled shoe.
I would love to help you to discover all the possibilities that exist for YOU!
If this feels like a good fit, I encourage you to take this quick health survey and book your F R E E Discovery Call with me today! No pressure, just an opportunity to chat and see if we would be a good fit for each other!