Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi everyone! My name is Carly Stagg and I am SO thrilled to be here and teaming up with Kristen for this blog project. I am a third-year nursing student (set to graduate with my BSN in 2019) and certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. My passion lies in merging functional and alternative medicine.
How did you get into the nutrition field?
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12, about 10 years ago. Needless to say, this was a huge-wake up call. Before diabetes, I pretty much only ate processed and refined foods, and didn’t even know what a “carbohydrate” was. For years, I used the traditional “carb and cover” medical advice that left me frustrated and with constant high or low blood sugar levels. When I finally eliminated most carbohydrates and sugar, I felt amazing and many symptoms disappeared. Discipline with my diet and lifestyle don’t leave me feeling restricted, rather, they give me the freedom to thrive and enjoy my life.
What inspired you to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner?
At the beginning of my college career, I’d planned on getting a degree in nutrition and doing an accelerated nursing program. I soon realized that the nutrition program left a lot to be desired. I loved my nutrition professors but the curriculum was dry and outdated. So in its place, I chose to change my major to nursing. After two years of pre-nursing, I decided to take a year off from school to complete the NTP program. It ended up being the best decision I’ve ever made! NTPs are amazing people, with a common goal: building better health for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Looking forward, what do you hope for your career?
My eventual goal is to be a nurse practitioner and provide holistic, comprehensive primary care. I want to be a compassionate PCP and someone my patients can rely on for not only traditional interventions but also diet and lifestyle modifications. My professional interests include preventative medicine for chronic disease management, autoimmune disease, and bio-toxin illness (CIRS and Lyme disease).
What are 5 fun facts about you?
1. I sing in a band at my church’s contemporary worship service! I seriously love it and it’s my major way of connecting with God.
2. I love to run (about 10-15 miles/week) and even coached cross country last year during my time off from school.
3. I have been going through a big health battle in the last year with CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) from an exposure to mold. Shawn Mynar's article on the topic explains it perfectly. I'm finally improving with lots of work and prayer- I will post about this soon!
4. I love personality frameworks and quizzes, much to the annoyance of my friends and family. Three of my favorites: I am an Upholder from Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies, INFP for Myers Briggs, and a Type 2 for the Energy Profiling framework from Carol Tuttle. The reason I love this: understanding the nature of those around me makes it much easier to act in a way that is respectful of our differences and similarities.
5. My summer Netflix addictions have included Hart of Dixie and Gossip Girl. I know it's terrible- please don't judge me 🙂
Any tips for someone just starting out on this journey?
Get to know yourself (your tendencies and personality) and make your changes based on that. Since I’m an upholder, I read the book about low-carb diets and management for type 1 diabetes. The next day, I started the diet and never looked back! But seriously, do things in a way that will work for you. Do whatever you need to do to make the changes you’ll make sustainable. Whether that means getting (healthy) takeout more often, only shopping at one grocery store, or meal prepping one day per week, all these things can contribute to physical and mental health. Healthy living is a journey, not a destination, so don't worry if you aren't "there" yet. Perfection is highly overrated 🙂