Jenna Volpe, RDN, LD, CLT
Hey there! I’m Jenna. I help people address and resolve stubborn, long-standing gut health issues, restore hormonal harmony, pacify anxiety, uplift the spirit, and improve your quality of life through evidence-based holistic nutrition and herbal medicine – so you can feel more vibrant and empowered.
I’ve been working in the field of clinical nutrition since 2007 and have been practicing as a registered and licensed dietitian and Reiki practitioner since 2011.
As my path has continued to unfold with lots of twists and turns along the way, I went on to also become a functional dietitian, holistic nutritionist, gut health specialist, certified LEAP therapist, and clinical herbalist. (I know – that sounds like a mouthful of clinical jargon. Read on to understand what all of that means, and how my specialty training can benefit YOU!)
It all started with a cup of tea
I entered the world of nutrition at age 16, while volunteering at a hospital coffee shop after school. One day, an elderly man ordered a cup of green tea and we began chatting. Before I knew it, I was being educated on the incredible power of green tea and how it was valued in Japan for preventing lung cancer among many who smoked.
When I got home that evening, instead of doing my homework I spent hours reading up on antioxidants, polyphenols and cancer prevention (typical teenage hobby, yes I know!). Something clicked, and my adolescent mind was blown. Why had I not heard about this sooner, and why was everyone not drinking green tea?!
If only I could thank this man for being the first catalyst in my career path so many years ago.
I knew without a doubt I had made the right decision when I chose to pursue an education and career in nutrition.
The “wounded healer”
Everything was great until my early 20’s, when I developed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut, heartburn, a slew of sudden-onset food allergies, food sensitivities, lactose intolerance, and an autoimmune condition called “eosinophilic esophagitis“.
Certain foods I had been taught were “healthy” seemed to make everything worse.
Prilosec, lactaid pills, endoscopies and restrictive elimination diets (out of desperation) were just not cutting it. I felt helpless and pretty frustrated that I wasn’t able to resolve this on my own after so many years of training in the health field.
As time passed, more adverse food reactions developed to the point where I became scared to eat anything I didn’t make myself, not knowing how my body would react. It was not sustainable.
At my wit’s end, in 2013 I started over and began working with a holistic nutrition consultant who taught me all about leaky gut and how to restore gut health with nutrition and holistic lifestsyle changes.
Low and behold, within about a year: gut issues subsided, food allergies AND seasonal allergies started to disappear (confirmed via annual RAST skin testing and blood testing at an allergy clinic), my monthly cycle synced up with the moon every 28 days, bloodwork normalized…
And best of all: I stopped having to go in for an annual endoscope with dilation (which I used to need, in order to keep my esophagus from clogging with scar tissue!).
Spoiler alert: I’ve been in remission from IBS, leaky gut, and GERD since 2014. (And I intend on keeping it that way!)
Again, through first-hand experiences as a “wounded healer” my mind was blown, and my level of understanding that “food is medicine” was seriously upgraded. I’m eternally grateful for this journey as it was major catalyst in my career path to becoming a gut health dietitian nutrtionist!
Education & Training
- Bachelor’s degree – Nutritional Sciences (Boston University 2010)
- 1200-hour accredited Dietetic Internship (University of New Hampshire 2011)
- Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist
- Certified LEAP therapist (CLT)
- Clinical Herbalist
- Certified Dietitian Nutrition Coach (Levels 1 & 2)
- 300+ hours of continuing education in functional nutrition, herbal medicine, gut health and mental/emotional/spiritual healing
- Usui Reiki I & II certified
- Intuitive Reiki I & II certified
- Jikiden Reiki Shihan-Kaku (Shoden teacher) – certified by the Jikiden Reiki Instutite
- Modern Mystery School initiate and Life Activation practitioner
- Certified Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Practitioner & Thought Field Therapy (TFT) Practitioner
Food is meant to be enjoyed
I believe food is meant to be enjoyed… from a place of reverence and empowerment.
A diverse diet made up of real, tasty, nutrient-dense food (the way nature intended) combined with balance, moderation, sustainability, inuitive eating, mindfulness, movement, and living in alignment with nature = the secret sauce to healthy lifestyle, in my opinion!
It all starts with clarity
It’s important to have CLARITY on what works best for your body and why, so you can make more informed chioces!)
Having clarity means first knowing and understanding your root causes (aka what kinds of underlying imbalances are causing your surface-level symptoms) – so you can then address any imbalances holistically, from all angles.
Mindset is key
I believe in cultivating a holistic mindset and practicing self-care as the foundation on which your healing journey can stand.
You can’t resolve long-standing health issues without first having a deep conviction, patience, resilencence, delayed gratification, and most improtantly – self-love & a sense of self-worth.
That’s why I love coaching – it helps integrate the KNOWING (integrative, holistic, and functional nutrition and herbal medicine protcols) with the DOING (implementation and consistency) – and that’s where the rubber meets the road.
One size doesn’t fit all
I believe in the concept of bio-individuality.
In other words, one size doesn’t fit all! As the old saying goes, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” What works well for some people could be harmful for others.
Your gut microbiome (the ecosystem of microbes in your gut) is as unique as your fingerprint. And the state of your microbiome is what essentially determines everything from your food preferences to your digestive patterns and immune function, to the state of your mental health, the types of foods you can/can’t tolerate, and SO much more.
You need more than a handout. You need more than a cookie-cutter diet. You need more than a few pills. You need a holistic, multi-dimensional, exceptionally customized lifestyle plan that will meet you where you’re at, and addess your health imbalances from ALL angles – from the inside out (starting in your gut!).
Restrictive diets and one-off interventions are not the answer
Reductionist thinking has unfortunatley led many to believe that simply cutting foods out of their diet is going to be enough to heal.
Or that their problems all boil down to “one thing”. This is simply not true. We are complex. We need a holistic-multi-dimensional approach to resolving longstanding health issues.
Cutting foods out of your diet is not enough, and focusing on subtraction without the proper addition of nourishing, supportive foods/herbs/supplements is just a recipe for nutritional deficiences and other problems!
If this speaks to you, let me save you years of frustration and wasted time throwing spaghetti at the wall.
Please reach out if you’d like to learn more about how we can work together. 🙂
A few fun facts
Outside my world of all things food/health, a few things that may surprise you about me:
- I can play the piano upside-down and backwards. Ask me about it some time. 🙂
- I jumped out of a plane (8000 feet!).
- I’m an empath! In other words, I’m very sensitive to the emotions and energies of people around me. I used to struggle with it, but now I wouldn’t have it any other way!