Alison Birks, MS, AHG, CNS is one of Connecticut’s most highly recognized Nutritionists and experts in Herbal Medicine. Her breadth of knowledge has ushered in her success as a Holistic Health Counselor, Nutritionist and Clinical Herbalist for over thirteen years.
My Nutrition Philosophy
Eating well means choosing the most nutrient dense foods the earth has to offer.
Our physical health is created and maintained through the nourishment given to us by the plants and animals we consume. We must pay close attention to the way our food is grown and processed if we are to live a vital, disease-free life. Wholesome food is real food that is organic, minimally processed and locally grown. Fresh, organic produce and humanely raised animal foods should make up the bulk of a healthy diet. Transitioning away from a diet high in refined sugars, starches and fats creates a foundation for health. Traditional methods of food preparation also enhance the nutritional quality of the foods we eat.
For thirty years I have been living and promoting an organic lifestyle. Although my personal food choices have changed over time as my understanding of the science of Nutrition has changed, it is more apparent than ever that
a healthy diet of wholesome, nutrient dense, organic foods is the most essential factor in preventing disease and safe guarding health.
Natural therapies such as herbs and targeted dietary supplements can complement, but don’t replace this need for a healthy diet. Integrating a wholesome diet with natural therapies and conventional medicine must be the way of the future, if we are to thrive. As a practitioner, I welcome collaboration with your physician or other health care provider, in order for you to receive the best healthcare possible.
Herbal blending is the ancient art of combining herbs to promote health and to prevent or treat illness. A medicinal “herb” can be derived from any part of a plant for its therapeutic value. This ancient science is over five thousand years old, and while still new to modern America, these treatments are still used today in 75% of the world.
An herbalist is an expert in the practice and study of administering traditional medicinal herbs. The primary focus of an herbalist is to treat people as individuals irrespective of the disease or condition they are experiencing.
Health progress begins when the body is able to use its innate healing power through the use of herbs, diet or lifestyle change. Herbalists treat the body first to engage its natural healing capabilities, as compared to modern medicine that generally confronts the disease or condition. Herbs are used to maximize one’s health potential. For thousands of years medicine has been thought of as an art, not just a science. It takes a skilled and knowledgeable individual to properly facilitate an individual treatment plan.
Instructor at The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition
Alison is an Instructor at the newly formed Institute of Sustainable Nutrition in West Granby, CT. She co-teaches the “Science of Nutrition” and “Herbs: Remembering our Roots” in this 12- month certificate program.
The Institute of Sustainable Nutrition is an innovative model for nutrition education. In this one-year hands-on program, you’ll explore the science of the human body and its relationship to food, herbs, and the natural world, along with the seasonal changes that shape our health and well-being.
Classes integrate the science of nutrition with the hands-on components of garden and kitchen. You will experience a comprehensive and well-rounded understanding of food and herbs as they relate to your health and well-being.
Most lessons take place in the gardens, the wild, and the kitchen! The concepts come together to create a practice – so that every day, you celebrate and enjoy simple, delicious, real food, grown close to home. At the end of the program, students are eligible to earn a Certification in Sustainable Health and Nutrition.