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Food Growth

Keeping the Mind, Body and Spirit Integrated and Healthy

A Living Balance was founded on the belief and premise that when given the right tools, our bodies can heal.

Meet founder of A Living Balance, Cindy Dupuie. She sees the body as a whole entity that needs to be teased and touched on every sensory level to keep the mind, body, and spirit integrated and healthy.

Since 2008, A Living Balance has helped clients reach their desired weight, improve energy and vitality, experience increased brain function, balance hormones, improve digestion, and reduce anxiety and depression.

In part this site focuses on courageousness. So I was eager to interview Cindy, a courageous entrepreneur who overcame her own health crisis and is now committed to helping others find the root cause of their health issues.

From the outset, when talking with Cindy, you can hear how she cares. She is kind, soulful, compassionate, intuitive and extremely knowledgeable.

Functional Medicine Nutritionist and founder of A Living Balance

Cindy, thank you for your time and for collaborating.
Let’s jump right in!

Cindy, tell us about you where you are and what you do.
Hi there, well, I’m at the stage of life where I have a lot more to look back on, than forward which is actually, in an odd way, nice. It doesn’t make me an expert on life but it makes me seasoned and maybe a bit wiser.

A Living Balance Founder
Cindy Dupuie

I’ve been interested in the human body since I was a teenager and after many stops and starts ended up becoming a Functional Medicine Nutritionist in 2008. I came to functional medicine, which is root cause medicine, via my own health crisis, as many of us do. Once I found the FM community and calling, I have not once looked back.

I founded A Living Balance on the belief and premise that when given the right tools, our bodies can heal. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to guide and educate people who truly want to heal and are willing to look a bit deeper and put in a little effort to be rewarded ten fold in return.

If you want to know about the more traditional things like degrees etc., I received my BS in Dietetics and Food Administration way back in the early 80’s and then became a certified yoga instructor in 2004 and I’m still teaching yoga. I was happily able to put my degree to use when I was training to become a Functional Medicine nutritionist.

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Photo by Cedric Lim Ah Tock

I live in LA and work in both LA and the OC (Orange County). I’m an OC native and am used to plenty of outdoor and beach time. I have two amazing grown sons, am a grandma, love to write/blog, teach, garden and cook. Nothing gives me more pleasure than having someone devour something I’ve made that I know is nourishing their body.

Cindy D’s Recipes available now

I have written one tiny but fun and beautiful cookbook that you can get for yourselves by going to my website and signing up for my email list. I send out pretty awesome recipes and interesting health related stuff semi-monthly. 

Please share your professional journey, what inspired you to be a Nutritionist?  
I’ve always loved food and have always been interested in the body. When I didn’t have the hours I needed to get into the Physical Therapy program at Long Beach State, I switched majors to Dietetics which was more science based and so glad I did as it put me in a much better position to move into Functional Medicine in 2008. 

What is Functional Medicine (FM)?
In a nutshell, it is healing from the root cause. Western medicine asks the ‘WHAT’, slaps a diagnosis on the ‘What’ and then treats the ‘WHAT’ with medications or a procedure. FM practitioners are trained to go further and search for the ‘WHY’. It’s not until we get to the ‘WHY’ that we can truly heal. Right?

For instance, someone has IBS. Standard protocol is their doctor gives them a medication to alleviate the diarrhea or constipation but the cause of the IBS is not addressed. 

The IBS could actually be caused by gluten intolerance, a leaky gut, SIBO, lack of digestive enzymes, a parasite, or bacteria, or inadequate bile. There can be a multitude of reasons that go unexplored and untreated so that a person will be dependent on medication for an extended time, often causing nutrient deficiencies and inflammation and more diseases popping up as a result.

Cindy in the kitchen
Cindy in the kitchen

Tell us about your current work and where you are headed professionally and/or personally.
Right now I’m really excited about a new online program I’m putting together to reach and help more people, making Functional Medicine more affordable and accessible. I plan on launching this, the beginning of 2021.

In the meantime, I’m continuing to help people with a lot of different health issues,  that they’re not getting help for from their regular doctors.

photo of pregnant woman wearing purple dress
Photo by I. Eka

My expertise is with digestion, (bloating, acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea), diabetes and pre-diabetes, weight-loss resistance, hormones, HBP, and heart disease. I know it sounds like a lot of areas but it’s not as far reaching as it may seem, when you think about how the body is all connected. I also help prospective parents get their bodies and homes ready to grow a baby in the best possible environment.

You lecture, produce workshops and webinars. Are any webinars/ digital workshops scheduled that people may want to watch or purchase?
The new program launching in 2021 is all online and will be available for purchase. It allows a person to move at their own pace with the option to do it with or without group coaching and one-on-one time with me.

Currently, there are a few great free webinars accessible on my YouTube channel: Cindy Dupuie A Living Balance 

BraverGuide aims to inspire people to live courageously and boldly. To live well, we need a solid foundation. What are the pillars of living balance? 
My pillars. I think the most important pillar a person can have is a support system, a network of friends or people who you can trust to  lovingly call you out on your stuff and support and believe in you.  I’ve also found that a spiritual life of some kind is pretty important, just so we realize that there’s something out there that’s bigger than ourselves. I think it keeps us humble and hopeful at the same time.

Hands down the book I think everyone should read is  What The Heck Do I Eat by Dr. Mark Hyman. I actually recommend any book that Dr. Mark Hyman has authored.

The Vaccine Friendly Plan, by Dr. Paul Thomas: It helps to navigate the world of vaccines in the current climate where there’s a lot of questions and polarization as well.

Period Repair Manual, Dr. Lara Briden. EVERY young woman and her mother needs to read this! It’s a fairly easy read on the complicated subject of women’s hormones and women’s health. Dr. Briden is direct and thorough.

Personal Growth: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Tim Ferriss
Doctor’s Farmacy

As an Amazon Affiliate I earn on qualified purchases.

Each person who comes to you is unique with specific needs. A Living Balance helps clients reach their desired weight, improve energy, experience increased brain function, balance hormones, improve digestion and reduce anxiety and depression. Please walk us through the general process for a typical client. 
I start working with each client the same way, regardless of why they’re coming to see me. I do this as there needs to be good foundation established for anything to grow or change.

I start off by getting to know each client with an initial consult which lasts about 1 ½ hour. I ask in- depth questions and listen carefully to tease out history, eating and living habits, stress levels, and sources of stress. This is a critical step to connect the dots and to get to the ‘WHY’. This time is needed to determine a plan going forward. It’s also important to get know what makes the person in front of me tick. I have to know what they like and don’t like, if they are all or nothing type, who does the cooking in their house, etc. 

Obviously we should “let food be thy medicine,” however if we are very busy or stressed do you have a superfood powder you can recommend? Athletic Greens is a high quality complete super powder when we need that little extra help.

Do you have any recommendations for general nutritional supplements? Something everyone should take or when they need
a boost? 

Yes, These are my go to’s with all my clients.

Vitamin D: Almost 80 percent of the people who come into my office are Vit D deficient and that’s huge as it is an immune system modulator, can affect moods, and has a protective role in some types of cancer.

close up of fruits in bowl
Photo by Pixabay

Vitamin C: Is the backbone of our master detoxifier glutathione and a powerful antioxidant. It helps boost our immune system and support the adrenals. BTW, we use up Vitamin C like mad when we’re stressed or fighting a virus.

Magnesium: is the magnificent mineral that is responsible for over 300 actions in the body. Kind of important and at least 60% of people are deficient. It relaxes our muscles, de-stresses, helps to balance hormones and sleep. Here’s a link to a post that talks about the different types of magnesium and their benefits.

two jars fruit shake
Photo by Nuruddin Bharmal

Probiotic: Our gut is the seat of our immune system so having the right type of gut bacteria is really important. I prefer a spore based probiotic. Something like Megaspore 

High quality B-complex. B vitamins are needed for all sorts of body mechanisms and conversions, from assisting in the detoxification process, energy production and neurotransmitters production, making hormones and red blood cells and more. It’s really important to choose a supplement that has the activated forms of B-vitamins. A quick way to know if that’s what you’ve got is if your B-12 says Methylcobolamin and Folate says Methyl folate NOT folic acid.

I do have an online dispensary where you can find all sorts of very high quality supplements in one place at a 10% discount. Here’s the link.

If you’d like some guidance in choosing the right supplements specifically for you, you can schedule a free consult with me here.

In what situations could dietary supplements pose a health risk?
It is always good to check in with your doctor or better yet, your pharmacist, to see if a particular supplement might interfere or be contraindicated with medications. There are things like omega 3’s (which are wonderfully anti-inflammatory) being contraindicated if taking something like Coumadin.

Nothing I have recommended here should be contraindicated in terms of medication or procedures but again, it’s always good check.

I’ve found Keto to be very helpful to lose weight. What kind of diet would you help someone develop if they are trying to lose weight? Which aspects of nutrition would you address for someone trying to gain weight?
Funny thing, I find that the basic formula for losing weight, ironically applies to those who also want to gain weight. And that’s a diet higher in fat and vegetables, protein and very low in grains and sugar.

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Ron, you mentioned Keto: Keto specifically, can be a game changer for a lot of people, especially those with pre-diabetes, diabetes, seizures, and cancer. To really go Keto, is not for the faint hearted. And I rarely ask my clients to be on a strict Keto eating plan for more than 3 months, especially women. 

Women are a bit different than men, and seem to need a little more starchy vegetables and perhaps a few grains to keep their hormones humming along nicely.

There are multiple factors to be considered when choosing the right eating plan for a person:

  1. Establishing what are we trying to do
  2. Can the current state of digestive system handle certain foods
  3. What is a client’s dietary preferences, ie vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, etc.
  4. Is there autoimmune disease or a sensitivity to oxalates
  5. What is their life schedule like
  6. Do they like to cook

Having said that, the eating plan that I recommend most often for my clients has been coined by Dr. Mark Hyman, the Pegan diet. It’s a hybrid of Paleo and Vegan styles of eating and is a style of eating that most of my clients can adhere to for life.

You focus on the root cause of most chronic disease and focus on the digestive system, hormones, and detoxification systems. What are some of the things we can all do to balance these systems?
Ahhh! I love this question! First and foremost is to eat a nutrient dense diet full of color, good fats, preferably organic and grass-fed meats. Diet is # 1. We can’t exercise or supplement ourselves out of a bad diet.

sharing cherry tomatoes
Photo by Fauxels

Fiber, greens, good fats and protein all have the ability to change our gut flora (bacteria), balance our most important hormone, insulin and to help boost our number one detoxification organ, the liver.

After diet comes sleep, body movement, reduced stress and toxic exposure.

BraverGuide, in part, is about eating healthy and being fit. Are there any health books or fitness must-haves? 
I’m not the fitness guru ☺ but I do like to recommend the app Down Dog for yoga.

Any thoughts on how people can achieve their health goals and aspirations? 
Yes by taking bite size pieces and then organically building on those. For instance, instead of committing to go to the gym 5 days a week when you haven’t been going for months or years, just commit to doing pushups and/or sit ups for 5 minutes while your coffee is brewing. Get up 10 minutes earlier and do 10 minutes of a gentle yoga 3-4 days a week. Little bites seem to work better than big ones.

Understanding why you’re doing sometime hard things and making changes is really important too. Write it down so you can revisit your ‘why’ when the going gets tough. 

Have at least one other person on board supporting and helping you be accountable to doing what you need to do to keep the ball moving forward.

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Photo by Pixabay

What is Environmental medicine?
Really good question! It’s a dive into better understanding how environmental toxins play a role in our health from infertility, diabetes, autism, liver disease, cancer, skin issues, etc. Understanding how to best measure our toxic load, the sources of toxins, and the easy quick things we can do to start reducing our exposure. Some people are affected more than others to environmental toxins genetically.

What are some signs that one should see a Functional Medicine Practitioner/Nutritionist.
The first sign would be you’re not happy with what’s going on with your body or how you’re feeling and you can’t seem to get any answers from your personal doctor or Dr. Google and you’d rather stay clear of the one size fits all approach of treating symptoms with medication.

A few simple questions for fun!
What’s your favorite dessert?
Paleo Lemon Pound Cake.

What’s your favorite meal? Or top 3?
Sweet Potato Crust Quiche, Steak Fajitas (minus the tortillas, beans and rice but with extra veggies and lots of guacamole). 

When the pandemic is over or when we have a vaccine where do you want to travel first and why?  We’re planning on Cuenca at the end of March-this will be our third attempt to get there-third times a charm, right? We’ve been wanting to explore Ecuador as a possible place to retire and to explore the beautiful flora and terrain.

What’s your favorite place you’ve visited? Hands down Cuba!

Where would you most like to live in the world? Haven’t explored enough yet. Next stops are Cuenca, Spain and Portugal. 

How can people reach you? Please share a website or other information. and follow me on instagram@ cindy_dupuie,  I have a few webinars to view on my YouTube Channel- Cindy Dupuie A Living Balance

Thank you Cindy!

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  1. Hippocrates was right our food should be our medicine. It’s a shame we’ve had to relearn this lesson. I do keto and it has been so good for my health; wish I’d been more aware of the healing nature of food earlier in life. Great article!

    • Thank you for your sweet comment! Yes, since we don’t have anything without our health, you would think our culture would make health a higher priority. At least your on the road now!

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