Vanessa Fitzgerald, better known as @VeesHoney, is a Certified Health Coach and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner. She has a private practice based in Los Angeles where she helps people achieve optimal health. Vanessa specializes in hormone balancing, autoimmune issues, skin health, detox from meds, digestive health, IBS, PCOS, the thyroid, weight loss, anxiety, depression, and more. She offers personalized health, exercise, and lifestyle coaching both in person and over the phone. Along with diet and exercise changes, she tests people for immune challenges, food allergies, heavy metals and more in order to find the underlying causes of symptoms.
Read on to learn more about how her own auto-immune conditions led to the discovery of Nutrition Response Testing and how she’s feeding her skin from within.
Tell us about yourself, how did you get into Nutrition Response Testing?
I've been passionate about health for as long as I can remember. It all started when I hit puberty and my skin began to break out. After doing my own research, I realized that what I put in my body had a direct effect on my skin. Years later, after having been through the ringer with medications and autoimmune issues, I was looking for a way to heal my body. After trying just about every modality out there, I stumbled across Nutrition Response Testing. My symptoms went away almost instantly and after that I was hooked.
How did being diagnosed with PCOS, celiac, and Hashimoto's impact your perspective and approach to health?
Having been diagnosed with multiple autoimmune disorders, I realized that everything in the body is connected. I learned through my own healing process that symptoms in the body are simply a cry for health and that there is typically a stressed organ or system in the body that is causing these symptoms to occur. I also came to the conclusion that if cells can degenerate then they can most likely regenerate. I've also learned through my time as both a patient and a practitioner that it is imperative to look at the full picture - not only physical, but emotional and spiritual as well.
You use the method called Nutrition Response Testing to look for underlying causes of symptoms your patients are having. Tell us more about this method. How does it work?
Nutrition Response Testing is a non-invasive system of analyzing the body in order to determine the underlying causes of ill health. When these are corrected through safe, natural, nutritional means, the body can repair itself in order to attain and maintain more optimum health. Nutrition Response Testing analyzes different areas on the surface of the body that relate to the state of health and to the flow of energy in each and every organ and function of the body. This information is derived from the part of the nervous system whose job it is to regulate the functions of each and every organ. Each area that gives a response represents a specific organ, tissue, or function, and indicates the effect that energy, or the lack of energy, is having on the body. By testing these organs / areas, we have a system of monitoring your body at each visit that has proven to be extremely accurate clinically, and that helps us identify exactly what the body needs and how well we are meeting that need. Our next step is to test specific, time-tested and proven, highest-possible quality nutritional formulas against those weak areas, to find which ones bring the organ/areas back to strength. Our decades of clinical experience tell us that when we have found the correct nutritional supplements, as indicated by this procedure, and have worked out a highly personalized nutritional supplement schedule, we have identified the most important first step in correcting the underlying deficiency or imbalance that caused the organ/area to be active in the first place. By following the program as precisely as possible, you are well on your way to restoring normal function and improving your health.
Has your practice shifted at all with the growth of your online community?
My entire practice started because of my online community. I don't advertise anywhere or allow people to book through my website. My clients either find me from a referral or instagram.
How do you teach the connection between nutrition and the skin to your clients and your online community?
Your skin is your largest organ, so if you are lacking in essential nutrients, the skin has nothing to pull from. Just as with soil, you need to water and care for that soil to produce the best possible food. By drinking an adequate amount of clean water and refraining from overindulging in things that dehydrate the skin such as caffeine, sugar and processed foods, you're already one step closer to more youthful skin. Incorporating quality protein, healthy fats, and certain greens help deliver nutrients and antioxidants to your body's mitochondria. Mitochondria play a vital role in the skin and it is fundamental for processes like cell signalling, wound healing, pigmentation, vascular homeostasis and hair growth. Some of the best foods to boost mitochondria include low-mercury wild-caught fish, grass-fed meat, nuts (especially walnuts), seeds and egg yolks, oily fish, avocado, olive oil, and bone broth.
At the moment, you are working on an anti-aging skin supplement. That is so exciting! Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Yes! My supplement line is called Paya Health and we are launching our first product called Superior Skin. I co-founded it with two other amazing women who have both previously founded successful health and wellness companies. After doing a tremendous amount of research and knowing that healthy skin comes from within, we formulated a product to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, minimize and even clear breakouts, increase collagen, and boost that overall youthful glow. A great bonus is that it can even help in healing eczema and psoriasis! The key ingredient is an ingestible retinol and being that retinol is a powerful antioxidant, consuming it can simultaneously work on reducing inflammation by boosting the immune system. While topical retinol definitely helps improve the appearance of skin, it can also dry out the skin and cause flaking. Paya Health Superior Skin acts low and slow (meaning no redness or flaking), which is ideally how we want to age!
What is one wellness tip you have for the LINNÉ community?
Follow your bliss and don't take life too seriously. Life is meant to be enjoyed and as we get older we lose our childlike wonder. Play more, laugh more, love more.