We had the good fortune of connecting with Teresa Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Teresa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I woke up one day in May of 2015 and my world was dimmer, darker. I didn’t know it then, but I was slowly going blind. I was in my forties, a single mom, and a nutritionist with more than twenty years of experience. I had done everything right, and yet my vision was beginning to fail. For decades, I had focused on food and diseases, and how diet can impact your health. It wasn’t my diet that was causing my blindness—it was my environment, specifically the mycotoxins of fungus and mold.
My doctor told me that toxins in my environment were being stored in my fat cells. I happened to be genetically predisposed to be more affected by toxicity, and my body’s way of responding was to go blind.
I knew that carbohydrates create more fat in your body because they convert to sugar. To get rid of the toxins, I needed to change the environmental factors but also give the toxins less places to hide in my body. In November of that year, I took my first class on the ketogenic diet.
My disease kept progressing, so I started looking for more information on the relationship between keto and toxins. I started taking a class at the Academy of Integrative and Functional Nutrition. One of my classes was given by Ms. Beth-Zupec-Kania, a dietitian-nutritionist from the Charlie Foundation who has implemented ketogenic therapy in her patients since 1991. Her classes on functional nutrition provided the final pieces to the puzzle for me. I applied her concepts of Keto, fasting, and using food as medicine to combat the toxins, and four weeks later, my vision was completely restored.
My doctor was shocked. As one of the top corneal doctors in the country, he hadn’t seen this kind of transformation before.
I went through menopause around this same time and had zero symptoms. I was quickly realizing that Keto could be used for more than just combatting the toxins in my body. The more classes I took from Beth and Denise Potter, and the Charlie Foundation, the more I learned and began applying with my clients.
I was just as startled as my doctor had been. This was the first time I saw people reversing diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and a host of other illnesses. For twenty-two years, I had done what traditional dieticians do—prescribe foods that helped alleviate the symptoms. This was the first time I was seeing reversals in my patient’s diagnoses, saving both the people I cared for, and my family.
In November 2015, I learned the Functional Nutrition Approach, where we assess the nutritional therapy based on lifestyle changes, genetic modifications, and alteration caused by exposure to environmental toxins. We need to understand the big picture and the needs. As experts, we use our role in nutrition to provide personalized guides for our clients.
My mother had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and sadly died a few months later. My aunt was diagnosed with the same disease. I put her on a Keto diet, and she’s completely normal now. This is a disease that usually kills people within a few months. On Keto, my aunt went from being too tired to walk to doing Zumba classes three times a week. She went to Duke this May for a follow-up on having a kidney transplant, and the doctors sent her home. “Keep doing what you’re doing,” they said. “Your labs are perfect.”
After my personal experience, I understood that we need to treat our clients and their illnesses with unique methods to their problems. What may be effective for one person may not be as effective for another. We need to find out the root cause of our diseases.
In July of 2017, I decided to start my own company, Curious Mind RD, located in Clearwater, Florida, to help clients and provide the personalized care they deserved. Today, I continue to provide nutrition counseling that focuses mainly on personalized ketogenic nutrition therapies.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
One of the most difficult moments, I have had was when my son was diagnosed with Coats’ Disease, a rare eye disorder involving abnormal development of blood vessels in the retina. From that time until now, my role in life has been to support my son as a loving mother. How great is the power of being mother! We always seek the best for our children. Since my son was diagnosed, we only heard from his doctors that he could go blind at any time because of his medical condition. As a mother, I applied my knowledge in nutrition from the point of view of integral nutrition. The key to his recovery was to evaluate his genetics, as in my case. My son says that understanding his genetics, at that time he was only 13 years old, was his best gift in life. Today he continues his conventional medical treatment, and he continues applying what I have learned as a mother and a professional. Today my son leads a normal life at the University of Florida. I am a proud Gator mom.
I have been on my personalized ketogenic therapy for six years now. After my personal experience, implementing functional nutrition for my clients has helped me change so many lives. I am an experienced Advanced Practice Registered Dietitian with training as a specialist in:
*Identifying adverse food reactions, with emphasis on food sensitivities as part of Integrative and Functional Nutrition.
I coach my clients and their families through the safe and effective use of nutrition therapies and protocols for metabolic and auto-immune diseases as well as neurological disorders. Symptoms can include muscle weakness, diabetes, hearing and vision loss, kidney failure, heart disorder, and dementia. Mutations caused by the environment are generally confined to specific organ regions and buildup over time, leading to certain forms of cancer and an increased risk of age-related disorders, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disorder, and Parkinson’s disorder.
Curious Mind RD is a nutrition therapy counseling via virtual practice focusing especially on the various types of ketogenic nutrition therapies that will allow you to get into ketosis including:
*Classic ketogenic diets
*Modified ketogenic diets.
*Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil
*Low glycemic index therapy
*Intermittent Fasting approach.
My primary goal is to empower individuals with the knowledge to follow nutrition therapy to help control their disease and positively impact their quality of life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have many fun memories in Miami. A few years ago, my son was recognized as one of the best students in Florida at the Marlins Stadium. We love baseball. Another favorite place is the Miami Zoo. I love the interaction with the dolphins. I can’t wait to go back!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to my mentors from The Charlie Foundation and the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy. They changed my personal and professional life.
Other: Teresa Rodriguez RDN, IFNCP, CNSC, LDN, CLT Integrative & Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner Renal Dietitian Board Certified Nutrition Support Clinician Keto Dietary Advisor Diploma Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist Certified LEAP Therapist Ketogenic/Low Carbohydrate Dietitian Formal nutrigenomic/nutrigenetic training (IFNA, 3X4) Phone: 727.366.9963 https://linktr.ee/curiousmindrd https://teresarodriguez.mybcard.net/
Image credits: Yenis Mooradian USMediaBuzz – CEO