In this world, where life is fast and furious and sometimes tough, there’s nothing more important than intimate and authentic connections with a loving community of sisters. This monthly Q&A series is all about sharing some of my favorite women in wellness and how they shape, shift and uplift others to live life more fully. I’m happy to welcome Kristin Dahl of Dahl House Nutrition to the blog this month. Kristin is an LA-based holistic nutritionist, chef and co-author of The Art of Wellness. I vibe with her approach to food and wellbeing, emphasizing that we all show up with unique bio-individual needs and should approach our personal wellness practice from this flexible perspective…
Every great journey has a story, tell us about you and your journey towards holistic living?
My turbulent youth was filled with many ups and downs. I’ve always been a light, energetic, and passionate soul but that light was dimmed by many factors that were out of my control. I grew up in an emotionally toxic environment and most of what I ate was void of nutritional substance. For many years, I struggled with severe depression, anxiety, and body issues. I was a vegetarian from a young age, but didn’t know how to care for my body, and so I filled up on all the wrong foods (mostly empty carbs and comfort foods).
Around the age of 20, I found yoga and began the journey to the center of myself. I sought the support of holistic health professionals, therapists, and healers. Simultaneously, I completely transformed my relationship to my fitness, food, and lifestyle. The transformation occurred when I learned how to get in touch with the true needs of my body and mind on a moment to moment basis. I started exercising to feel good rather than to look good and began eating more nourishing foods. This radically shifted my mental health, digestive issues, and other ailments and brought me closer to myself. I finally felt a sense of freedom and liberation from the depression and discomfort of my youth. For the first time, I felt true happiness, confidence, and connection to the world around me.
Transforming my relationship to health transformed my relationship to life. I dedicated the following years of my life immersing myself and adopting a holistic lifestyle. I studied nutrition, herbalism, shamanism, yoga, and plant based cooking. What I learned has forever changed the way that I live and I am beyond grateful for the ongoing benefits. Much of my time is now spent caring for myself through a holistic approach and sharing my wisdom with those I love. My goal is to continue to grow, educate myself, and help others achieve optimum health.
At what point in your journey did you decide you wanted to make a career out of your experience?
Dahl House Nutrition was created over five years ago and was inspired by my own radical transformation. I wanted to share my experience and knowledge, while supporting others in positive change. I’m now L.A. based, but I built my practice in New York City while juggling a multitude of other work. At the same time, I was also enrolled in several courses at the Natural Gourmet to learn more about creating healthy, balanced, and nutritionally dense meals, so I could offer that gift to others.
My practice has led me to connect with many beautiful people. I now meet privately with individuals, connect with those overseas through Skype, and cook almost full time. Most recently, I partnered with a dear friend of mine, Stephanie Rice, with whom I wrote The Art of Wellness, which is a foundational guide to holistic health.
Dahl House is an ever-evolving portal of healing, transformation, and community. The more my practice grows, the more I grow and expand myself, thus expanding the scope of what I am able to contribute to the lives of others.
How would you describe your approach to wellness? What modalities do you work with?
Creating health and wellness is a dynamic and ever evolving process. My approach is focused on nourishing all aspects of our lives to create harmony, balance, & peace: physically, spiritually & emotionally. To me, true wellness is caring for yourself and nurturing all aspects of life to live each day fully and vibrantly. In my practice, I focus on preventive measures, clean diet, regular physical exercise, time in nature, social connection, and relaxation. All of these aspects affect the body on a cellular level, either stressing or supporting regeneration and optimum health.
Generally, I stick to a gentle approach when it comes to healing modalities. I’m a huge fan of using herbs, medicinal teas, tinctures and culinary herbs to balance the body and support immunity. I suggest regular massage or acupuncture for Qi flow and keeping fluidity and openness in the body. I also recommend regular detoxification from sweating in a hot yoga class or infrared sauna. Both boost immunity, improve circulation, and stimulate purification. Essential oils are another tool I use and recommend to re-center and restore health. One of my favorite things to do is take an evening Epsom salt bath with 10-12 drops of essential oil, then use additional oil for grounding before bed.
If you could name 3 women who shaped your life and work, who would they be?
My mother passed when I was a baby & she will forever be my angel & guiding light. My Best friend’s mother Jane, who has supported me and inspired me so much with her passion for life, creativity, and continuous growth. My mother in law, Jude, who lives life by her own rules and inspires me everyday to be more loving, playful, and open.
How do you balance your work/personal life?
Balance is an ongoing, lifelong process. Things are rarely in a perfect equilibrium to one another but I do my best to re-center myself and pull my self back when life is feeling a bit chaotic. I always make sure to set aside time for myself: time to connect with friends and loved ones and time for creativity. Feeding my creativity keeps me feeling happy and fulfilled. It’s even better when my creativity is paired with my work = double fulfillment.
What ways do you nourish yourself daily?
Through music, exercise, time outdoors, cooking, and connecting with my love. Most mornings are spent exercising either outdoors or in to get my energy flowing. The evenings are generally spent grounding myself through nurturing elements like tea, essential oils, Epsom salt baths, deep breathing, stretching, and most recently, hypnotherapy.
How do you handle negativity or competition in your work/personal life? In what ways do you support women to rise above this pattern and uplift each other?
I’m always looking for the good in everyone and everything. I tend towards positive thinking and try my best to surround myself with like-minded individuals. Staying in my center and true to my own energy & beliefs keeps me in harmony with those around me. It’s a competitive world out there but we’re all in part of the human race and the most important thing we can do is support one another to grow and expand, connecting more as a community. I do my best not to feed into negative conversation or patterns and work to be open, inclusive, loving, and kind. Through my work and social channels I inspire, motivate, and support positive transformation.
Tell us about a dream project or collaboration you’re manifesting? What do you desire to (co-)create? What’s on the horizon for you!
I’m working on several things at the moment! Stay tuned….
My dream is to take my experience, passion, and evolving wisdom and touch the lives and hearts of many people, continuing to inspire positive change & transformation so that others can live more fully and open hearted.
Your parting wisdom + the most transformational piece of advice you’ve received:
Modern life continuously pulls us away from the most important gifts that we have inside ourselves. All we need for fulfillment lies at the center of ourselves. Know that though it can be powerful to envision and dream of the future, this moment is all we ever really have. Each moment and experience is so beautiful and all part of this incredible and unique journey of life. Enjoy it, here & now.