Hi! I’m Natascha.
A functional health coach dedicated to teach women like you how to get to the root cause of your autoimmune thyroid condition (Graves’ or Hashimoto’s disease) instead of only covering up symptoms. I can help you take charge of your health. So you can ease and reverse your symptoms, rebuild your health and get on with your life.
My passion for health coaching started through my own journey with an autoimmune thyroid condition. Getting diagnosed with Graves’ disease has been one of the best things that has happened to me. I’m serious!
What started off as another negative life experience for me, turned into something profoundly positive and empowering. Because I’ve learned and experienced that there are other ways you can resolve (to be clear: not cure!) your thyroid condition. You can rebuild your health despite an autoimmune thyroid disease, ease and reverse your symptoms and enjoy your life again. And I’d love to teach you how.
A couple of months after the birth of my first daughter, I started experiencing hyperthyroid symptoms. Including unexplained weight loss, joint pain, tremors, heat intolerance, a racing heartbeat, heart palpitations, hair loss, depression, and anxiety.
A few months later, I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, autoimmune hyperthyroidism.
My endocrinologist at that time strongly recommended removal of my thyroid (preferably via radioactive iodine). Given my severe symptoms, he was convinced there was no point in taking anti-thyroid medications. That would only delay the inevitable: removal of my thyroid.
As I wasn’t willing to give up my thyroid, I chose a different path to get well. This path was based on working on the underlying causes of my condition. These included but were not limited to health issues such as food sensitivities, digestive issues, gut dysbiosis (an unhealthy microbiome), infections, blood sugar instability, liver dysfunction, challenges with detoxification, and nutrient depletions.
I addressed those underlying causes through lifestyle changes, including profound changes to my diet. These changes were well worth it. Six months later, I was mostly symptom free.
My blood test showed that my thyroid hormone levels as well as my thyroid antibodies were well within the normal range. And I seemed to have no more deficiencies of any nutrients (the list I’d been checked for was long).
As an additional benefit, I was also free of IBS symptoms (severe cramping and bloating), which had been bothering me since my teenage years.
I felt happy and grateful that I had chosen to listen to my inner voice. That had told me that destroying my thyroid wasn’t the solution. And had driven me to find a better way.
I also felt deeply proud of my body. For the first time ever. I used to think my body was somehow broken. Also, my my first endocrinologist didn’t think my thyroid could be saved. Yet, my thyroid was working again. Flawlessly. On its own.
This felt like a miracle… but it wasn’t. I simply gave my body more of what it needed and took away some of its main obstacles. As a result, my body bounced back beautifully. That’s what’s called “resilience”.
Resilience is within each and every one of us, including you. And it became my wish to share this with other women so that you’d get the same opportunity to experience this resilience that’s within you. So you can feel at home in your body and get on with your life.
I believe in root cause resolution of disease. Or functional solutions to disease. This involves finding out what’s going on underneath the surface. Why do you have Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s? Why do you experience certain symptoms? I believe symptoms are merely messengers telling you something is off. Although they can be very annoying, they’re not the problem. They’re only the result of the problem. To find a more structural solution to your condition, you’d need to start working on finding and addressing your underlying causes or root causes. An important part of this investigation will be focused on the gut. Why? Because that’s where about 70-80% of your immune system lives.
Too many people have their thyroid needlessly destroyed. If I’d listened to my first endocrinologists and doctors, I would’ve lost my thyroid. Most of us get told there isn’t anything we can do ourselves to get well. But that’s simply not true. The way you live your life and how you take care of your body matters! I experienced this. And many others do too. Unfortunately, there’s too little education on what people can do for their own health if they have an autoimmune thyroid disease. And this is a strong driver for why I started my practice.
You’re unique. Each and every one of us is unique. Even though you and I may both have the same condition, the reasons or triggers for getting this condition likely differ for us. So, we also need a personalized plan to recover our health. Specifically tailored to our needs. This includes diet. There’s no single one diet right for us. Your ideal diet looks different from mine. And your dietary needs change over time. They depend on your genetics, where you live, your childhood diet, your age, your gender, your current state of health and more.
Your support network during your health journey is key to successfully achieving your health goals. Especially from the people closest to you. For instance, if you set health goals for yourself that your partner doesn’t support, you may find it difficult to reach them. Because if he/she doesn’t support you in your health goals, this may (unintentionally) hurting your efforts. I didn’t realize how important this support was at the time I was diagnosed. And I feel grateful that my husband was and remains very supportive every step of the way.
I also believe in accountability. We need to work together with someone who holds us accountable. This significantly increases your chances of success. Change is hard. We are wired to resist change. What may seem easy for some (e.g. removing gluten from your diet) may seem like a total nightmare for others. Working with a health coach can make it easier to change. Simply by explaining to you and reminding you why you need to make these changes.
Your mindset makes all the difference. Do you believe that your body has an innate ability to heal? Does that idea resonate with you? What you belief is essential to rebuilding your health.
Inspired by my own journey back to health, I wanted to share my experience with others like me. That’s why I decided to become a functional health coach. I put my corporate career to the side and went back to school. I enrolled in the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN) program.
In 2016 I became a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner (FDN-P). As an FDN-P, I’m trained to work as a kind of health detective. I can help you find out why you’re having symptoms. What’s at the root of your condition. You can think of factors such as digestive challenges, compromised gut health, food sensitivities, hormonal imbalances, detoxification issues, liver dysfunction, dysbiosis in your microbiome, and more.
As an FDN-P I have access to functional lab tests. These tests can help clarify what areas are not properly functioning. What your body’s struggling with. They can also be powerful tools to motivate you to do the work. As you’ll be able to clearly see on paper what’s not functioning well and where your body needs support.
In addition, I continued my studies with Andrea Nakayama’s and Functional Nutrition Lab’s Digestive Intensive Course and Full Body Systems Program. Both deepened my knowledge about the body’s major systems including the digestive, immune, endocrine, and central nervous system and their complex relationship with each other. As well as the role of food in supporting the health or functioning of those systems.
I grew up in the Netherlands where I received my Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Out of university, I started working in corporate banking and risk management.
I’ve always been interested in traveling and experiencing other cultures so when I had the chance to move to New York City, my husband and I jumped at the opportunity. After 5 years in New York City, we, together now with our two little girls, moved to Austin, Texas. We’ve adjusted nicely to the vast landscape and warm weather that comes with living in Texas.
Besides my passion for anything related to health, I love all things design, drawing and painting. Therefore, often in my free time you can find me in museums or taking art classes.