We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Sunny Brigham. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Sunny below.
Sunny, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. One of our favorite things to hear about is stories around the nicest thing someone has done for someone else – what’s the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
The kindest thing or things that anyone has ever said to me was thanking them for helping them transform their health. Most people struggle to prioritize their own health. They put everything else above investing in a qualified nutritionist to help them revamp their diets in a healthy manner. Most think a nutritionist is just going to tell them to eat more vegetables and it’s so much more than that. Food can create an environment where inflammation is high in the body causing things like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, joint pain, muscle pain or weakness, chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, hypertension, high cholesterol, and is a pathway to so many diseases. But when I get a note from a client who’s been working hard to make changes, it makes me feel good because I know that I’m doing my job…helping others heal. Those little notes is what keeps me going and I cherish each one I get.
Sunny, 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’m a clinical nutritionist and licensed dietitian nutritionist who helps women struggling with Hashimoto’s disease ditch the bloat, fatigue, and unexplained weight gain by helping them heal their bodies from the inside out and repair their relationship with food. There’s a lot that goes into changing diet and behavior modifications is a big piece.
We provide 1:1 nutrition consultations as well as group coaching to make it more affordable to as many as possible. Accessibility is important to me.
What sets us apart from others is that we understand seeing a nutritionist is expensive. We don’t ask those to do fancy testing if we don’t think it’s necessary. We also take a food-first approach by healing the body and their relationship with food. We like to help women struggling with late-night snacking and the guilt that comes with it to know it’s not a willpower thing and is a biochemical imbalance thing.
I’m most proud of my clients and the hard work they put into changing their lifestyles to better their health. I want potential clients to know that we never stop researching and trying new things.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
When I was pursuing my Master’s in Clinical Nutrition, we learned a lot about the body and therapeutic diets for specific conditions. When I first started, I would prescribe these therapeutic diets, load clients up with lots to focus on, and then see them again in 4 weeks. What I learned was I was setting my clients up for failure. I needed to alter my approach to best fit them. I had to unlearn the clinical approach and learn how to truly help people.
Today, I still use therapeutic diets but I go at a much slower pace. I try to weave in what clients are already doing with the changes we’re working on making. I meet them where they are and start building from there. I also see them much more frequently as well as I found that more communication and connection yielded a better outcome for my clients.
Training and knowledge matter of course, but beyond that what do you think matters most in terms of succeeding in your field?
I measure my success on my client’s success. Their success is my success. If they’re not succeeding, I’m not succeeding. Outside of training and knowledge in my field, I’ve found that truly listening, hearing, and helping those in need has been most successful for me.
Most of my clients have been to other nutritionists that haven’t been able to help them. And many mention they don’t feel heard by their physician or even friends/family. Because many symptoms that most people struggle with are invisible. If I can be that person that creates a space for them to be heard, that allows them to be more successful in altering their lifestyle…which helps me feel more successful. Like I’ve achieved my goals for them while they achieved their goals.
The professional photo was taken by Elisabeth Lee https://www.elisabethannephoto.com/