What is Integrative Nutrition? We sat down with nutritionist, Neeyaz Zolfaghari to learn more.

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Tell us about yourself!

Hi there! My name is Neeyaz Zolfaghari, I'm Iranian American, a triple fire sign (Sagittarius sun, moon and Aries rising), a Projector and INFG! I was born and raised just outside of Los Angeles, lived in New York first half of my twenties before moving back to California to be closer to my family. I'm a Holistic Nutritionist and Nourishment Coach, meaning that I help guide others towards finding rituals that best nourish themselves and their lifestyles using best practices suitable for them as an individual. I'm also a Yoga Instructor and specialize in Thyroid Yoga!

If you had a song to define your life, what would it be?

Just one?! These questions always stump me, because I am horrible at remembering song titles. I can hum almost any song, but don't ask me to tell you what the song is called haha. Let's see, Never Growing Up by Monteur is a great reminder to keep things playful, fun, invite joy into your life. You're never too old for it!

How would you describe your philosophy on health and nutrition?

Health is subjective, it means something different to each person. When I work with someone, I get to know them as a person. I love hearing about their life, their interests, their desires - these help me to grasp an idea of what health for them as an individual looks like. So when I look at health from a bird's eye view, I don't look at solely the person in their physical form. Rather I dismantle it a bit to see this person as multiple body types - physical, emotional, mental, energetic, wisdom - and then bring in practices and rituals that are sustainable and whole body encompassing to support that unique individual.

How did you get into nutrition? Tell us your story!

Like most others who work in nutrition, I grew up adoring food. Being Iranian American, I was raised to honor and respect food not just for having access to it, also for its remarkable benefits for the wellbeing of my body. I was taught that food provided from Mother Nature was the best medicine and that every ailment could be cured by food. Having these experiencse in my subconscious self, came to surface when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease before my twenties and when I first hand experienced what a profound difference food made for my healing, I knew I wanted to take this knowledge and extend it to others.

What exactly is integrative nutrition? How does it impact our health?

Integrative nutrition takes into account the whole person and all the various facets that can impact a person's health and wellbeing. Nutrition, sleep, stress management, all of it. The way that I like to define integrative nutrition is all the practices in your day to day life that nourish you. I believe in nurturing and nourishing our bodies with positive affirmations and thoughts, nutrient dense foods and advantageous routines that help to build a balanced life and obtain optimal health.

What does a typical day in the life look like for you?

No day is the same! Some days I'm on Zoom calls, talking to clients and patients. Other days I block off for myself to create and brainstorm, and some days I'm doing all the administrative stuff that's required of running a business (these days, it's taxes!). However, I bookend my days in a similar fashion because this structure helps keep me grounded. My mornings are technology free until after I've had breakfast. I wake up around 6/6:30 am, sit in silence for 20 minutes, take my dog out for a long walk, workout, get ready for the day, have breakfast and either journal or read, then start my day. The second half of my days consist of tidying up my workspace, journal brain dumping, sit in silence for 20 minutes, take my dog out for another walk, have dinner and up until an hour before I go to bed when I turn my phone off, I'm either reading, catching up with a friend or watching something on Netflix. That last hour before I go to sleep, I'll do another meditation, read or write, do some light movement and go to sleep!

What's the biggest change that you've seen in the wellness industry since the beginning of the pandemic? How did you adapt?

One of the biggest changes I've seen come to the forefront, is people's desire to know more about how to better take care of themselves. I remember when this all first began, I was talking about how supporting our immune systems year round is radically important. I received a flood of messages from people asking me, "how do I do that?" and it was then that I realized, our systems need to make it a priority to better educate people about how to support a healthy body and not just suppress symptoms when something comes up. I think that this curiosity amongst the greater population will continue, people want to take care of themselves, they just need sound direction and guidance through all the noise.

Enjoy this? You'll love Neeyaz's Space in Deim. Download Diem here

and then join her Unspoken Nutrition Space.