About Dr. Sarah Rattray
Many forces have come together to inspire the passion I feel for helping people become the healthiest, most vibrant versions of themselves.
A thread that has woven itself through my life and my career as a psychologist is found at the pinnacle of Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs: Self-Actualization. This concept has attracted me since the moment I first learned about it. I devoted my career as a psychologist to helping people attain that Self-Actualization as individuals and within their relationships. But a roadblock that I encountered – in both my clients and in myself – was that when we didn’t feel well physically, we didn’t have the energy, focus, ability, motivation, and calm, to work towards that self-actualization. To so many it was enticing but elusive.
A thread with building impact over time was in my own health. For my whole life, I had never liked walking, and certainly hated running. I couldn’t understand why people seemed so enthusiastic to engage in activities that hurt their hips and knees – everyone’s hips and knees hurt when they walked, didn’t they? When I took up dancing – first Israeli Folk Dancing, then social turning Waltz, then Salsa, West Coast Swing, and finally my beloved Argentine Tango – along with it came the escalation of knee and hip pain to a daily, persistent level. I woke up with painful joints, danced with painful joints, went to bed with painful joints. Ibuprofen was my constant companion. I had two thoughts about this: “Everybody gets something – joint pain was the thing my body got,” and, “I guess this is what happens with aging.”
Then one day I noticed some stomach discomfort every time I ate those “healthy” whole wheat crackers at night after dancing. I always did my best to eat what I knew (at the time) to be healthy. My Tango teacher had recently told me about a health issue he had – gluten intolerance. I didn’t know much about this, but when I noticed my stomach discomfort I decided to stop eating wheat. Not only did the discomfort go away, but some persistent skin irritation I’d had for over a year disappeared as well. Previously, that skin problem had gone away when I applied the prescription cream a dermatologist prescribed a year earlier, but it returned every time I stopped using it… it could disappear, but it never really went away.
After a while I forgot about not eating wheat, and had some again… and both the stomach pain and the skin problem returned. After a couple of rounds of that I learned my lesson. I stopped eating wheat altogether.
Now here’s what was astonishing. Three or four months later, I slowly realized that my joint pain was disappearing. I realized I wasn’t taking Ibuprofen every day. And soon, my joint pain was totally gone. Completely. After more than 15 years of joint pain that I had assumed was my permanent lot in life, it had disappeared.
My own health journey (and it’s still unfolding… this was just a little segment of it) is one of the many forces that shaped my passion for health. There’s more…
I’ve been a psychologist since 1988, with a private practice in individual and couples therapy. I was committed to helping people feel better and become the best that they could be – to be Self-Actualized as individuals and as couples. But along the way I noticed that, although many of my clients were motivated and seemed to be on the right track, they just didn’t have the energy, or the ability to think clearly enough, to follow through on what they discussed in our sessions. Some clients learned, grew, and moved on to live fuller, richer lives. But some clients struggled. They came in with their Venti coffee cups, their plastic trays of ready-made food, their sodas; their stories about their love for chocolate, their addiction to buckets of ice cream, the cereal they had for breakfast and dinner.
Time out for another force: the power of facebook. It was 2009, and somebody posted a link to Robert Lustig’s 90 minute biochemistry lecture on YouTube, called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth.” (Go to my Links and Resources page if you haven’t seen this powerful lecture yet, and for links to other resources I mention here.) I clicked through… and was mesmerized. This lecture is so powerful it is has over four and a half million views… which is astonishing for a scientific lecture, not light entertainment. I learned two life-changing lessons from this lecture.
One: the fact that sugar is truly poisonous.
Two: that there was a world of information on nutrition, health, and wellness available that I had not learned through the usual channels… and those usual channels had misled me.
My curiosity was awakened, and I started searching and learning. Soon I arrived at Sean Croxton’s Underground Wellness, and his wealth of podcast interviews with leading experts and practitioners in natural health. Of course I learned everything I could about gluten intolerance, and soon cut all gluten out of my diet, not just wheat. I learned about sugar, artificial sweeteners, soda, conventionally raised versus pastured meats. I soon learned about Weston A. Price. The GAPS diet. The Price Pottenger Foundation. Joel Salatin. GMOs. Mercury fillings…
Back to my therapy office. I had not been formally trained in physical health, but I was learning so much about I could see in my clients the health issues they were struggling with, disguised as mental health issues. It was as if I had x-ray vision, and could see through the outside right into what was really going on.
And one day Sean Croxton held a webinar with Reed Davis, founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition®. I felt that same gripping sensation as when I had watched that first Robert Lustig video. This was information that I HAD to know. Here it was, pulled together in one place, speaking a language I was drawn to learn, with the in-depth information, functional health values, and “alternative,” grounded attitude that I shared. I became a Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, and then a Certified Metabolic Typing® Advisor.
I continue to expand my knowledge about every aspect of natural, functional health, nutrition, wellness, science and food production in our environment, toxins, epigenetics, and the power of doing what we each know to be right for ourselves. I am filled with passion and energy for my health optimization clients, and am thrilled to help all my clients on the journey towards Self-Actualization in body, mind, spirit, and relationships.
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My Education and Training:
- Cornell University – BA in Psychology
- California School of Professional Psychology – MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology
- Certified Gottman Couples Therapist
- Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner (“FDN”)
- Certified Metabolic Typing® Advisor (“CMTA”)
I’m not a physician – I don’t diagnose or treat any illnesses. I help you use your symptoms to alert you that there are factors blocking your best health. We will use Metabolic Typing® to discover the right foods for your unique body, and we will use the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® approach of key, targeted lab testing, to uncover the areas where your body is out of balance. Through a custom tailored plan of Diet, Rest, Exercise, Stress-reduction, and Supplements, we will set out together on the deeply fulfilling journey of discovering what it can feel like to live life with your best, most vibrant, youthful energy; clearest, sharpest mind; calmest, richest moods; and freedom to devote your attention to what matters to you most, when your health is an asset, and not a distraction!
Together we will discover what is getting in the way of your body doing what it was designed to do – keep you running at your healthiest. The proven combination of nutrition and lab testing I use has helped many thousands of people restore health and feel better than they have in years. I will be by your side, and give you the time you deserve to understand and implement each step on your journey.