Susan Testa, MS, RDN, LDN
I hold licenses in Maryland and Delaware and provide my services remotely via our telehealth services. I have experience in a wide variety of diseases and conditions but specifically in mental health and brain-related health issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, bi-polar and more.
Our Special Nutrition Services
I also supervise and mentor graduates who have recently completed their Master's degree in nutrition and are acquiring their supervised practice hours to attain board certification to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS). In this model, our graduate-interns are directly involved in providing nutrition sessions to some our clients. Our graduate-interns lead the nutrition sessions. The sessions are all performed remotely through our telehealth services at no charge which allows us to offer more affordable nutrition support to those in need.
Early in my career, as I gained experience in standard nutrition patient care, I began to realize the conventional nutrition assessments and cookie cutter diets I was providing for my patients were not acknowledging
their uniqueness. It was common to apply a particular diet for a particular condition without considering the individual’s distinct needs biologically, chemically, environmentally, socially and other important factors that make a person unique. More emphasis was placed on the amount of calories rather than the quality and functionality of food and nutrients. This was the standard medical nutrition therapy model at that time which in many ways still prevails today in conventional medical institutions. I was frustrated with this myopic view and made the decision to redirect my focus and training to a more "whole person" philosophy.
Today this holistic approach is addressed within what we call “Integrative and Functional Medicine.” The Integrative and Functional Medicine model embody’s a much more ‘”inclusive” approach to addressing a person’s health conditions through a “whole person” and “whole systems” approach, searching and addressing the underlying root-causes that utilizes a more complex and broader set of assessments that uncover a person’s individual needs. These wide range of assessments able the clinician to provide a prescriptive food plan, individual functional foods, supplementation, lifestyle and integrative health approaches to overall personalize a nutrition and lifestyle plan to improve our client’s health outcomes and overall goals.
I have learned and seen throughout my 25 years of experience, nutrition and lifestyle are two of the main determinants of health. Providing optimal nutrition is one of the most important areas in the prevention and treatment of disease, specifically chronic disease, along with mental and emotional health, disordered eating, athletic performance and much more. It is vital for every individual to have access to good nutrition knowledge and the provision of quality nutrition care.
Client Nutrition Care
To provide nutrition health care to all individuals that is accessible and affordable; to identify and treat our client’s unique health needs and empower them with the knowledge and wisdom to create personal wellness and optimal health outcomes.
To provide clinical training and education to new nutrition professionals; to identify the unique educational needs of those new nutrition professionals seeking education and clinical practice mentorship and empower them with the knowledge, confidence and experience to create a personal and meaningful learning journey.
Our Core Principles
Focus on Relationship-Centered Care that creates a safe and healing space and strives to relate to individuals with grace, kindness and acceptance, emanating from the attitude of unconditional love as life’s most powerful healer.
Include Integrative & Collaborative Care to provide comprehensive care that is safe and effective care, that is collaborative and interdisciplinary, and care that respects and joins effective interventions from all sources, to include emerging practices.
Discern an Individual's Uniqueness rather than the standard labeled conditions or challenges.
Promote Optimal Wholeness to meet the highest level of functioning and balance to include the physical, environmental, mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of human experience.
Support Innate Healing Power of the body, mind and spirit by the provision of an optimal endogenous and exogenous environment to evoke the natural healing process.
Empower Self-Care habits that help to be the best in mind, body, and spirit.
Commit to Conscious Communication through thoughtful dialogue that is embedded in reflective listening and timely responsiveness.
Provide Equitable Access to Nutrition Healthcare and Educational Opportunities to individual-centered integrative care and education opportunities without regard to race, gender, identity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation or religion.
Teach by Example by Influencing clients and students through our own example and lifestyle choices and learning experiences.
Strive for Nutrition Care & Educational Excellence by providing the most clinically relevant, evidence based and practice-informed integrative and functional nutrition informed available
I hold degrees from the University of Buffalo and University of Chicago Medical School and completed my clinical training at the University of Maryland Medical Center. I trained extensively in naturopathic medicine under the supervision of naturopathic and medical physicians and completed specialized certification courses in functional nutrition. I gained my clinical practice experience in both acute and chronic patient care in numerous settings: hospitals, medical clinics, rehabilitation, skilled nursing, integrative medicine clinics and private practice throughout my career and have developed a variety of academic clinical nutrition courses, internships and program curricula. Currently, I hold my private clinical practice remote via telehealth. I serve as faculty for Masters degree level students at Maryland University of Integrative Health and provide supervision and mentoring to post-graduate students as an Approved CNS® Supervisor.