Functional Nutrition



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Supporting Healthy Brain Function with Nutrition

Like the body, the brain needs proper nutrition to operate at peak performance.  Over time fast food, poorly balanced diets, chemicals, preservatives and the like take a toll on our brain, just like our bodies.

What is the connection between the Brain, Psychotherapy/Counseling, and Nutrition?  Neurofeedback, nutrition, and psychotherapy are processes that support the brain in a healing process, so the brain can operate in a smoother, more efficient pattern.  Imagine the changes that will take place in your everyday life once you boost your brain through targeted nutritional support. Consider nutrition to be part of the network that is necessary to rewire your brain.

Choosing the right foods provides the building blocks and fuel for a healthy brain. Neurofeedback and targeted nutritional support can enhance the results of psychotherapy and help boost brain functioning to its peak.

Despite constant media coverage, the majority of Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables each day.  In fact, a Johns Hopkins study found that less than 1/3 of American adults meet the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake.  Yet, scientists and health advocates are increasingly telling Americans that they must consume these kinds of foods in order to avoid a myriad of age-related problems.

Targeted Nutrition for Specific Conditions

Optimal nutrition benefits every aspect of brain health, but we can also use targeted nutrition to affect specific conditions, such as depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, autism, and more.

There’s a huge connection between mood and food. The gut-brain axis is getting a lot of attention from researchers these days, and rightly so. Did you know 95% of the body’s serotonin, the “happy” neurotransmitter, is made in the gastrointestinal tract? The gut is now called “the second brain” because of the direct line of influence it has on the brain and behavior. You can protect the health of your gut by eating more along the lines of a Mediterranean diet, which includes more plant foods and prebiotics.

Depression, migraines, PTSD, bipolar disorder, OCD, and ADHD all have a relationship with vitamin and mineral deficiencies, specifically magnesium, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants. These micronutrients are key components of brain balance, and nutrition counseling can identify where those gaps lie and how to close them.

We also must consider the quality of a food group. The brain is primarily made of fat, so it’s no surprise that memory problems and learning disorders can be improved by improving the type of fats in the diet. Getting enough healthy fats and antioxidants is necessary to protect the brain tissue. In fact, many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, are connected to an inflamed brain environment that could be cooled down with the right antioxidants from food.

Enhance Your Brain Health Journey with Proper Nutrition

Let’s figure out what you need to reach your goals.  Developing a healthy brain diet does not mean eating boring or exotic food.  To help you on your journey, The Brain Wave Center has partnered with Karen Reynolds RDN, LD, cFMN, CLT, CGN. Karen offers a myriad of Nutrition Counseling services and will help you choose the path that is right for You.


Karen Reynolds RDN LD cFMN CLT CGNKaren Reynolds RDN, LD, cFMN, CLT, CGN

A functional and integrative nutritionist, which makes her part science-lover, part investigator, part coach…and more! She is here to get to the bottom of your health challenges so you can feel better now, prevent problems down the road, and live vibrantly at every age.

“To heal and transform, we must look within. Although we seek clues from your one-of-a-kind history and genetics, the most powerful tools for transformation can’t be found on a lab report — they’re your intuitive knowledge, your self-awareness, and the belief you can change for a better life.” – Karen Reynolds RDN, LD, cFMN, CLT, CGN




Nutrition Assessment 90 minutes – $335 prorated
First, we dig deep into your health history and lifestyle to assess underlying issues and opportunities. Next, detailed genomic and nutrition testing help us identify deficiencies, sensitivities, toxicities, or imbalances and understand future risks. Our aim is to understand all of you, not just your symptoms.

• Consultations
• Packages
• Labs & Supplements


• Functional Medicine Nutrition
• Nutrigenomics
• Gut Health
• Brain Health
• Food Sensitivities


• RDN, LD, cFMN, CLT, CGN 30+ years
• Clinical RDN
• Chief Dietitian – Acute Care Hospital
• Food Service Director – Acute Care Hospital
• Wellness RDN – Acute Care Hospital
• Private Practice – Functional Medicine Nutrition
• Certified Pilates Instructor
• Certified Kaatsu Instructor
(Muscle and Neuroprotective Benefits)

Your body is complex! In my area, which is functional nutrition, I focus on how systems like your gut and brain interact with your genes, inflammatory processes, diet and lifestyle to bring your health, well-being and optimal longevity.

Here are some of the questions my clients ask about how it all fits together.

  • Does it help to know my genes? Aren’t they set in stone?

    Our biological individuality is dictated by our genetic variations. It’s the 0.1% difference in our DNA that makes us unique — from the color of our eyes, hair and skin to how we react to exercise, stress and food.

    Genes are much more complex than a fixed blueprint. Even identical twins with the same genes are often very different. Our genes are engaged in a complex dance with our environment that determines how they “express” or behave. This process is studied as the scientific field of epigenetics, and it means you can get different outcomes from the same genes, depending on the environment. Our lifestyle, our daily choices, what we eat, how we react to stress, what chemicals we are exposed to, and more, all have the potential to determine whether given genes get expressed or not.

    Another factor to consider is that genes vary in how powerfully they can potentially impact our biochemistry. For example, an individual who carries a gene variant associated with Alzheimer’s Disease called APOE4/4, the strongest genetic risk factor with an increased risk from 50-90% (depending on which study you read), would want to seek help through carefully screened medical, nutritional, behavioral and environmental modifications. However, if the gene variant is lower power, the potential for Alzheimer’s Disease is low and would not warrant a warning signal.

    Understanding our genetic code can have a significant impact on our health. We can look at how our genes work together in cellular pathways such as detoxification and inflammation; energy systems such as weight gain and loss resistance; and functional systems such as brain and vascular health. Traditional healthcare approaches predominantly look at finding symptoms and making them less bothersome. This is what we call treating downstream. Often this is unsuccessful or unsustainable — working so far downstream misses the “why?” Understanding your genes helps you get closer to the why, so you can work upstream to address existing conditions and head off problems down the road.

  • What is Nutrigenomics?

    Genes + Nutrition = Nutrigenomics

    Our DNA affects how we respond to food, toxins, exercise, stress, medicine, supplements and much more.

    Nutrigenomics explores how foods and nutrients change the way our genes express themselves, while Nutrigenetics looks at how we respond to nutrients based on our genetic profile. Knowing both your Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics enables tailored nutrition, lifestyle and environmental recommendations that can effectively reduce the risk of disease and optimize health. It is a precision plan specific to you and only you.

  • What will my DNA report tell me and how can I use the information?

    Your DNA report provides personalized recommendations for targeted supplements; specific nutrients for your body’s needs; and environmental, lifestyle, and exercise strategies that will have a great impact on your overall health. During your consultation we will discuss specific ways to optimize your DNA in areas that you are challenged by; for instance, digestion, mood disorders, memory, cardiovascular health, inflammation, detoxification, recurring injuries and more.

  • How do we know what nutrients my body needs?

    DNA testing can identify certain gene variances that affect how you transport, synthesize, convert, or absorb vitamins and nutrients. For example, genetically, you may have a reduced ability to transport vitamin B12 into cells. This nutrient is essential for both brain and blood cells as well as making DNA. Your unique variance would require you to focus on an active form of vitamin B12 supplementation and utilizing animal protein for your vitamin B12 source.

    In addition, micronutrient tests can pinpoint just where your nutrient deficiencies are. With supportive nutrition and sometimes supplements, we can correct these imbalances.

  • Why does inflammation matter?

    Your digestive system is the Grand Central Station of your body, the hub through which you take in, digest, and absorb nutrients. It plays a central role in the health of your body.

    Inflammation is our body’s natural response to our immune system, and much of our inflammation is triggered in our digestive system.

    Constant, low-level immune system activation from toxins, pathogens, diet, food sensitivities, leaky gut, dysbiosis and genetics lie at the root of many serious illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and cancers.

    Inflammation can be a good thing until it gets out of balance. It can be acute or chronic, beginning as a warning that tells you something is wrong. Over time, if left untreated, it then becomes chronic systemic inflammation. Most people do not recognize the signs of inflammation as an indication of a much bigger health issue.

    Common symptoms of chronic inflammation:

    • Acne
    • Anxiety
    • Bloating
    • Brain fog
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Declining memory and cognition
    • Depression
    • Digestive issues
    • Environmental toxins
    • Excess alcohol
    • Excess exercise
    • Food sensitivities
    • Gut dysbiosis
    • Insomnia
    • Insulin resistance
    • Joint pain
    • Lack of exercise
    • Leaky gut
    • Obesity
    • Standard American Diet (SAD)
    • Stress
    • Trauma
    • Weight fluctuations

    Because chronic inflammation contributes to so many of our society’s most debilitating conditions —including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disorders — addressing chronic inflammation can be an effective whole body approach to treating current illnesses while preventing future conditions.

    Most importantly, a healthy digestive system is THE KEY to overall health, through managing inflammation and making sure you get the nutrients you need for activity, balanced immunity, growth, repair and other vital processes.

    Nutrition plays an important role in taming inflammation, and anti-inflammatory diets work particularly well.

    An anti-inflammatory diet works to control chronic inflammation. Choosing foods with specific nutrients is what is important to help your body maintain optimum health.

    By reducing pro-inflammatory foods (such as red meat, refined and processed foods, sugar, oxidized cooking oils and alcohol) and eating foods rich in protective anti-inflammatory phytonutrients (including berries, colorful veggies, nuts, herbs, tea and dark chocolate) you can reduce inflammation, experience more energy and optimize your health.

  • Can my body remove toxins?

    What if you were around pesticides and chemicals because of your job or through household and garden products? Perhaps you live or work in a water-damaged building or a home where mold thrives?

    Detoxification is the body’s natural way to neutralize and get rid of toxins. If the body is unable to flush toxins out, they build up and create health issues such as brain fog, tiredness, neurological decline, and general aches and pains in the body.

    Yes, you can optimize this natural detoxification process. Learning how your biochemical pathways are functioning will guide us toward which supplements work best, how to modify and enhance your diet, and where you should look to reduce toxic exposure.

  • What is brain health?

    Brain health involves your ability to function effectively in your life and work. It goes beyond having healthy intellectual abilities like thinking, learning, problem solving and remembering. It also reflects your ability to relate and communicate to others, and to experience a healthy balance in your mood and emotions.

    We used to think brains didn’t change much after you reached adulthood. Now we know better! Your brain can adapt and grow every day, throughout your life, which means you always have the chance to change it for the better through diet, exercise, and engaging in a life you love.

  • How do genes affect my memory? Am I at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease?

    Of all the organs in your body, your brain is the hungriest for nutrients and energy and the most vulnerable to toxins and stress. Your brain is responsible for cognitive function memory, thinking, learning, focus, attention and much more. Genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP’s) can impact brain health and cognitive function.

    Nutritional medicine, lifestyle modifications, exercise, brain games and targeted nutritional supplements can help overcome genetic variances and outsmart brain disease.

  • I have MTHFR, what can I do?

    Your genes are not your destiny! We know that genes work together, just like members of an orchestra, which is why we don’t look at a gene variation, like MTHFR, in isolation.

    We look at a group of genes and metabolic pathways to understand your genetic code. Using this analysis, we put the pieces of your DNA blueprint together to create an impactful health plan with nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, and environmental recommendations.

  • What are the benefits of exercise?

    The physical benefits of exercise include increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Increased blood flow improves cognition, mood, memory, and attention span. Exercise also strengthens muscles and improves cardiovascular health.

    Exercise improves:

    • Sleep
    • Immune system
    • Cognitive performance
    • Physical performance
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Balance
    • Weight stability
    • Brain health
    • Gut health
  • Can exercise improve my memory?

    Absolutely! As we age, certain parts of the brain shrink, but aerobic exercise can help to increase the volume of the brain, slowing down or reversing memory decline. Did you know that the strength of someone’s leg has been shown to predict their future cognitive well-being? Not only does the strength of your leg reflect how much exercise you’ve been doing (which has many benefits), but building lower body strength in particular actually helps grow new neurons in your brain!

  • Are brain exercises helpful?

    Keep learning! Your brain acts like a muscle, growing stronger when you use it. When you challenge your brain in new ways, such as through social interaction or problem solving, it engages in a process called neuroplasticity, reorganizing, growing new neurons and adapting to what you ask of it. One great resource is BrainHQ, an on-line brain training program that helps with attention, memory, navigation, and people skills.

  • I know I have food sensitivities; what can I do?

    Food sensitivity testing is the most effective way to identify which foods are a challenge for your body. From there, we can create a customized Resilience Roadmap to address your sensitivities, expand your range of nutritious foods, heal your gut, lower your inflammation and regain your well-being.

  • Can you tell me about your PreCODE/ReCODE program?

    You may have heard or assumed that, once Alzheimer’s has taken hold, there’s nothing to do to prevent it from progressing. However, new research in the area of brain health is empowering people to understand and address their risks for Alzheimer’s disease by removing dietary causes of inflammation; optimizing hormones, trophic factors and nutrients; and eliminating toxins from their lives. These changes can prevent, slow or even reverse the progression of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s.

    To give just one example, a recent study of those who were positive for beta amyloid (an indicator of Alzheimer’s development) were able to stave off cognitive decline and loss of brain tissue by walking 8,900 or more steps a day. That’s just about 4 miles a day — a small and often doable price to pay for maintaining the thoughts and memories that make you, you.

    I’m excited to share that I have obtained advanced certification in PreCODE/ReCODE, a forward-thinking, science-backed protocol for potentially reversing the symptoms of cognitive decline and optimizing brain health.

    PreCODE/ReCODE was originally developed out of the work of world-renowned Alzheimer’s researcher Dr. Dale Bredesen for those with subjective cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease.

    It is a highly individualized protocol which requires clear interpretation of labs, precise understanding of key supplements and the crafting of a customized nutrition plan.

    To learn more about Dr. Dale Bredesen and his pioneering work on Alzheimer’s prevention, check out his fascinating book, The End of Alzheimer’s: The Bredesen Protocol.

    And, if you haven’t yet, you can read about my personal experience with Alzheimer’s and why I’m so passionate about helping people prevent this tragic disease.

I’d love to answer YOUR question. Although everyone can benefit from a comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle program, each person I work with is unique. Let’s chat about what’s holding you back. Contact Us