We were lucky to catch up with Francesca Orlando recently and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Francesca thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Is there a heartwarming story from your career that you look back on?
I work with people suffering from all sorts of ailments; some have been struggling with debilitating conditions for more years than they can remember. I will never forget a text message I received on Christmas morning. This client had been battling debilitating gut issues for years. She was wasting away, unable to eat and assimilate nutrients. After two months of working together, she had greatly expanded her diet, she was starting to gain some healthy weight, and her energy was finally back. On Christmas morning, I woke up to a message, “You have changed my life. I would probably be dead if it weren’t for you. Merry Christmas, and God bless.” I may have cried a little when I read it…
Francesca, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I have been a nutritional therapist for thirteen years. Overcoming my health challenges led me to this path, which also allows me to relate to my clients. I work with people suffering from chronic conditions, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, reflux, IBS. I work with couples going through fertility treatments, pregnant women struggling with morning sickness, gestational diabetes, and hyperemesis gravidarum. I also have an extensive pediatric practice: one of my specialties is diets for autism ADD/ADHD. I love my work; it is truly amazing to witness what a powerful form of medicine food is. I have been blessed to see remarkable changes in my clients.
If you could go back, would you choose the same profession, specialty, etc.?
This is a very important question and a tough one to answer… I love my job, it is rewarding, but it is also tricky. Food is not just calories and nutrients. There is so much emotional attachment involved in eating, and it can be challenging for people to accept that they need to modify their relationship with food to feel better. If I could go back, I would still love to work in healthcare, but I think I would love to be a nurse-midwife. I still entertain the idea of going to nursing school, but I am currently finishing a Master of Science in Integrative Nutrition, so, for now, nursing school is just a dream.
Other than training/knowledge, what do you think is most helpful for succeeding in your field?
I think empathy is an important quality to have when working in healthcare. It allows us to remain kind and see our patients and clients as humans. It helps me understand their struggles, never judge, and always try to find a way to encourage and foster change. Of course, I could not do this work without the extensive training I have had, but I think that empathy makes me a better practitioner at the core.
- Website: https://www.healthfullivingsd.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HealthfulLivingSanDiego
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/francesca-orlando-824b2636/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/HealthLivingSD