A Board Member’s Holistic Nutrition Journey

Tammera 2017

What Holistic Health and Nutrition Has Brought to Me
Contributed by Tammera J Karr, PhD BCHN, Director-At-Large

My journey into the world of Holistic Health began in the late 1970s when a great aunt gifted me with an herbal nutrition book. At sixteen, I intuitively knew the movement into a natural, grounded, self-sustaining lifestyle was my salvation.  It would be decades before I learned the root of herbalism reached back four generations in my family. The connection to this cellular tradition was as strong as ancient ponderosa pine, facing seasonal change anchored in bedrock.

Tammera’s Blue Cornchip Nachos

One single event involving the quality of life and health for a loved one propelled me to learn more about nutrition and how it would help my family and clients. With ensuing years, I have worked with a wide variety of clients and conditions. In natural health, especially in Holistic Nutrition, the name of a disease is not the focus of care. The focus is the client, their story, and their journey.  Many illnesses share symptoms and begin with nutritional deficiencies that trip the DNA switch into illness. So many of these degenerative and chronic illnesses could have been prevented with real food and optimized nutrition and lifestyle, if utilized earlier in life. Today, holistic health providers are at the forefront of knowledge on healing chronic health conditions with food, herbs, nutrients, compassion, and energy.

Tammera using family cast-iron to cook mushrooms

I know “our cells carry the memories of our ancestors,” and by 2017, genetic studies were published on nutrition and life events of grandparents that affect the health of children and grandchildren.  This validation has added a new level of dedication and drive to my vocation of Holistic Nutrition. Every year, science opens more doors of understanding into the wisdom and knowledge of our ancestors. Now science supports my ancient intuitive knowledge, and that is spiritual food unsurpassed and humbling.

I believe our history, tradition, and passion are the keys to moving forward on a journey of health,  where we are strong in the knowledge that we can make a change; a change that empowers us and one that moves us forward into a new place of strength.

Tammera in period clothing presenting at the 2016 NANP Conferenc

As a new non-nurse member of the Oregon Holistic Nurses Association, I am very proud of the work being done by OHNA members, as well as by my primary accrediting body, the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP). As a member of this community of professionals, we build credibility together with a commitment to community. Through advocacy, education, and tradition we are vested, and empower those around us.

What have I gained? I know absolutely with the aid of Holistic Nurses, Nutritionists, Herbalists, Energy Workers and many others, we can regain lost knowledge, stand firm in confidence in our role as healers in the present, and plant healthy seeds for the future.

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