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Putting the person back in personalized nutrition

Joan, a 60 year old woman and cancer survivor originally came to me looking for help with weight loss. As you'll read in her account of our time together, we dove into much more than what she was eating.


In our initial session I listened to Joan's story and learned that underneath her weight woes, there were much deeper issues to tap into. My priority with whomever is in front of me is to consider the person's whole story, from birth to present day. We spend time looking at the Wheel of Health in order to see what area of living needs the most attention. Then we create a health plan together, rather than place a cookie cutter agenda upon the client. Oftentimes one sees a healthcare provider and the practitioner is focused on the immediate situation, disregarding the lifetime of events that make up who we are as a whole being. Lifestyle Medicine peels back the layers of who we are in order to feed the body vital nutrients that support our physical, mental, and psycho spiritual selves.


My CALMTM program is an approach in educating and experiencing. The education is about understanding the relationship between the body and inputs from the environment, diet, stress, lifestyle, etc. The experiencing is using various tools (food, movement, mindfulness, communication, affirmations, supplements, oils) to move out of disease and sense greater health from the inside out. I learned Joan is a skilled cook, has an awareness of healthful ingredients, and made clear she did not want to give up the pleasure of food. We created a plan together that included more attention to meal planning, food journaling, exercises in awareness of behavior, and supplementation. Here, she describes what worked from our sessions together.

"Marti Wolfson’s approach to health has been unabashed success for me! Hooray!

Over the years, I have pursued many avenues to health & wellness with a wide range of professionals – nutritionists, integrative medical professionals, personal coaches, weight loss programs – you get the idea. Most have formulaic approaches and doctrines for success. But no-one had ever really listened to ME and the way I lead my life, and customize a holistic approach.

Enter Marti …

I first met Marti at a cooking class in a small town in NY’s Hudson Valley. Yes, the food was great, but I was also very impressed with Marti’s knowledge of how to source and use quality ingredients; add healthy substitutes and really think about food. She answered a bevy of questions about food and diet unrelated to the class. I was not surprised as she is an accomplished culinary professional. I decided to engage her personally, as my quest for a healthy, integrative solution, was still ongoing.

Marti’s multi-pronged approach is unique. The starting point focused on me and my family - our habits, behaviors, our family history with food, likes and dislikes, sensitivities, etc. These questions were all part of Marti’s understanding of our environment.

Then came a thoughtful questionnaire, complete with prompts for feelings & circumstances, while eating. The “feeling and circumstances” portion of the food journal were revelatory! It brought a level of awareness that I had not experienced before.

I had also requested assistance with menu planning and meal suggestions. Marti put together a sample 2-week menu, and recommended several cookbooks, as well. Marti continued to encourage me to be aware of feelings/circumstances while eating. One of the books Marti suggested, A Mindful Diet, proved to be a key to my understanding of ingrained habits. The insight I gained from Marti and A Mindful Diet helped bring to the forefront my ingrained, unconscious behaviors. I’ve have had numerous “Aha” moments which have proved more helpful than any other “tool” I have used.

And finally, we talked about supplements. An often-overlooked part of an overall health plan, in my experience - usually relegated to “Do you take a multivitamin?” Marti suggested a modest list of supplements - no over-the-top list of supplements to cure all ills.

Marti’s multi-pronged approach continues to be the cornerstone of my personal journey:

  • Inventory of habits and history for me and my family

  • Assessment of feelings and circumstances

  • Introduction to a world of fabulous, healthy cooking

  • Awareness!

  • Supplements

I am sure I have tapped only a small portion of Marti’s talents. I can only attest to my own personal experience. But through all of this, Marti has never made me sacrifice my enjoyment of food!" Joan L.

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