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Westport Nutritionist Helps Clients Find Balance

How can something as simple as good health be so complicated? If you take care of your body -- feed and rest it well, exercise it frequently -- then you should live a long and healthy life. But it's just not always that, well, simple.

"To say the human body is a complicated organism is an understatement," says Alison Held , a Westport-based clinical nutritionist and certified metabolic typing advisor. Alison, 35, grew up in Westport and has been in private practice for more than two years. She specializes in medication-free, natural solutions to address her clients' health complaints. Most importantly, she says, she tries to "find the underlying cause -- or causes -- of patients' problems so that we don't only treat the symptoms."

Alison believes there is a general misconception about nutritionists that needs clearing up. "Some people think that nutritionists primarily counsel people with and about weight issues," she says. But she doesn't only see people who want to lose weight. In fact, she says, clients will often seek her out "in order to be more healthy, which often involves a certain amount of weight loss." In addition to slimming down, Alison's clients experience improved digestion, increased energy, clearer skin and strengthened immunities, among other attributes.

A critical component of Alison's customized wellness plans is the way she tailors each program to the client's individual needs. "When nutrition is concerned, there is no 'one-size-fits-all,'" she says. Her programs are, she adds, "Practical, results-driven and effective." They include a "nutritional jumpstart and lab-testing analysis." In it she pairs clinical, comprehensive lab testing (from a urine sample and a small finger-prick of blood) to give clients an individualized roadmap of their bodies. A state-of-the-art laboratory assessment allows her to identify areas of imbalance not typically found in standard lab tests.

Alison suffered from digestive issues in her early 20s and found relief in part through rigorous attention to what and how she eats. She believes "there are many factors in day-to-day life -- environment, stress, lifestyle and others -- that can deplete a body, or conversely, can be too excessive for the body to handle."

So it's all about finding one's balance. Alison says, "People have to understand what makes and keeps them healthy. I can help teach them about the biochemistry of their bodies but in the end," she says, "It's up to them to find the balance that keeps them healthy." It's that simple.

How do you keep yourself balanced nutritionally? Let me know here.

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