Image by Masaaki Komori

Hey! I'm Emilia

Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Counsellor

Hi, I’m Emilia van Wijngaarden, a functional, holistic nutritionist operating online globally and serving locally in Łódź, Poland.

 

I help women reach their health and life goals after big life shifts, such as motherhood. The intention for this transformative process is to get in better shape, feel stronger physically and mentally, restore inner balance and have the energy to thrive.

As a side effect there might come an increased self-awareness, heightened ability to care for yourself and the family, and a resolution of unresolved health symptoms.

I believe only when our body works optimally, we are able to fully reach our life’s potential. We more often find ourselves in the right time & place; we attract grand opportunities; we experience intuitive guidance. However, there is one trick: it takes full commitment to the cause. That is why I only accept clients who truly want a lasting change, not a quick fix.

What I absolutely cannot accept in the medical world today is treating each patient in the same way. It's the lack of focus on the diet and lifestyle as part of the healing protocol. The lack of out-of-office support for our own care and that of our family. It hurts me to see young children being fed a diet which I know ruins their body and contributes to issues with health and education.

I remember a young, slightly-on-the-chubby-side me, crying on my mother’s lap after being told again, that I need to do crunches every morning, otherwise I will be fat, and that will be bad. Like really bad.

I remember confusion, fear, and helplessness.


 

What I wish for a younger me to realise is that simply doing crunches won’t matter for my physical body, if the external environment, (less than ideal diet at home) as well as the internal environment (emotions related to food and self-worth) are not in harmony in the same time. To have an understanding, that any change of a current state is a multilayered process, which involves all aspects of a person’s life.

Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

I am beyond grateful for my parents, as they did what they thought and knew best. I am grateful as those experiences showed me a wider, yet more refined perspective on the matter of a symptom and its roots. A true, lasting change is a process, and one to view holistically.

What also made it difficult for me to change my weight was my absolute love for food. This has led me to having a successful chef’s career for a time while living in Amsterdam. It was a great gift of learned skills, a gift that keeps on giving to this day and most probably till the rest of my life, but it has also depleted me of energy (as expected of a lifestyle fuelled by quick sandwiches, too much intensive exercises I did to make up for the after-work drinks, and way too little rest and sleep). 

I had to press pause. I embarked on a trip to Central America, which allowed me to nourish my body with sunshine and fruits, and it has also strengthened my relationship with yoga and herbs, so that upon return a few months later, I made them a part of my personal tool box. I changed some habits, thought patterns, and without realising, I no longer felt like my childhood terror will come true. 

In the same time, the unique microbiome of this land has unfortunately passed my still weak barriers, and initiated a chronic parasitic infection, which lasted for many months after. The doctors kept giving me super strong antibiotics, which helped for a short while, before the symptoms returned intensified. Alongside the treatment, there was no restoration of my beneficial microbiome. There was no diet change to starve the parasites and assist recovery. No mention of the healing power of sleep and stress avoidance. I was left miserable, my condition affecting my mood, energy, digestion, confidence - really, everything in my life. If only I knew then, what I know now!!

I looked for answers myself, in the realm of herbs, Traditional Chinese Medicine, alternative practices and cleansing. Unfortunately, apart from diagnosing I had a problem, I did not find a solution. I still felt miserable, and there was no-one to guide me in this process, no-one who could see me beyond the symptoms and the quick-fix. 

A real turning point was the blessing of a life growing inside me. Pregnancy allowed me to focus on what I knew that serves me best, my heightened intuition showed me the answers. 

I studied herbalism with the Herbal Academy, and although enriching, it was not enough. I knew there is something more. After giving birth to my beautiful daughter, I finally found it - it was functional nutrition.

I embarked on a fascinating journey through the body systems with Andrea Nakayama and the Functional Nutrition Alliance. Understanding the functional working of the entire body, seeing the person beyond their symptoms, and ultimately - absolute love and passion for helping others feel better. All deeply resonated with me, and it was a missing piece in my education up to date.

Today, I am the person I wish I had on my team when I first struggled with my health issues. In a therapeutic partnership, I teach my clients to establish functioning relationship with their body, to understand where the symptoms come from, and how to create a lasting change that leads to a more fulfilling life. I dedicate my time, my knowledge, and all my heart, to find a unique protocol and system working best for each individual.

Together, we evaluate the current situation and work towards reaching the most optimal outcomes. They are no longer alone in this process. This leads them to fall in love again with their life, and to move from process to progress.

It’s through education, not fear, that we are able to take the healthiest decisions for ourselves and our family.