Speakers – Professional Track


Ethics of Prescribing a Gluten-Free Diet | Lisa Shaver, ND, LAc

The gluten-free diet is a frequent staple in a practitioner’s list of modalities to use for a myriad of conditions. “Try a gluten-free diet” or “go gluten free” has become a common phrase heard between friends and neighbors, nutritionists and bloggers. However, a gluten-free diet (GFD) is a medical prescription for celiac disease. When prescribing a therapeutic GFD prior to thoroughly testing for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), a practitioner is unwittingly denying that patient a chance at revealing the root cause of symptoms and a life-long/permanent systems-damaging inflammatory autoimmune process with grave associated repercussions. We wouldn’t ask a non-type 1 diabetic to “try insulin” – it’s inappropriate. As conscientious practitioners, the medical and health community needs to be diagnosing celiac disease appropriately, or thoroughly ruling it out, prior to prescribing a GFD.

Dr Shaver will present the top reasons why prescribing a GFD is unethical in the absence of first performing thorough testing for celiac disease and NCGS, from high risks of developing other unidentified autoimmune diseases to repercussions amid an entire family tree, to increase risks for cancers in celiacs who continue undiagnosed.

Dr. Lisa Shaver is a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist whose private practice focus lies in gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac disease/non-celiac gluten sensitivity, GERD, SIBO, IBS and other digestive disorders. Other expertise areas include hormonal imbalances, autoimmune conditions and neurotransmitter imbalances.

Dr. Shaver is past president and past board member of the Gastroenterology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and is a current member. She is a past member and co-founder of the SIBO Center for Digestive Health at National University of Natural Medicine. She is the branch manager for the Gluten Intolerance Group of Portland, a gluten-free educational, community and support group in Portland, since 2008, and board member of Camp Blue Spruce, a gluten-free, allergy-free camp for kids in Oregon.

Dr. Shaver has lectured at numerous national conferences, including the yearly Integrative SIBO Conference, the yearly SIBO Symposium, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians National Conference, NUNM’s Gastroenterology Conferences, Arizona Naturopathic Medicine Association’s Gastroenterology Conference, Institute of Women’s Health and Integrative Medicine, Food As Medicine Conference, amid other speaking engagements, interviews, webinars (such as the SIBO SOS Summits) and podcasts. Dr. Shaver is a guest lecturer at National University of Naturopathic Medicine’s and at Bastyr University on Advance Gastroenterology lecturing on celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity since 2012.

She practices at Hive Mind Medicine in Portland, OR.

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Infuse Your Food with Energy: A Chinese Nutritional Approach to Health | Ellen Goldsmith, MSOM, LAc, Dip CH

If you struggle making the right food choices to improve your health, you’re not alone. Many of us are confused about what to eat, driven by things other than common sense. But there is a solution, and it is rooted in the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine. It’s a system focused on accessing the therapeutic and energetic potency of food for healing that you can learn to adopt and integrate into your kitchen and everyday living — and its effectiveness is well documented over centuries of use. In this talk Ellen Goldsmith, LAc, introduces foundations of Chinese Nutritional Therapy and how to make simple choices when choosing what to eat, and ultimately how to prepare foods for optimal energy and health balance.

Ellen Goldsmith, MSOM, LAc, Dip CH, is author of the book Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine: +175 Recipes for Optimal Health, a book to help people understand and put the nourishing wisdom of Chinese medicine into everyday lives, where it matters most; the kitchen.

Ellen has maintained a private acupuncture and consultation practice in Portland, Oregon, for the past 20 years. She is on the faculty of the National University of Natural Medicine’s (NUNM) College of Classical Chinese Medicine and the Master of Science in Nutrition program teaching Chinese dietetics. She lectures widely and has hosted Healthwatch, a monthly radio show on KBOO.

Ellen’s commitment to increasing the public’s access to naturopathic and Chinese medicine is highlighted by her 12 years of service on NUNM’s board of directors, functioning on the Executive Committee as its chair; as well as her 8-year tenure on the Acupuncture Advisory Committee to the Oregon Medical Board. She lives in Portland with her husband and daughter.

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From Traditional Healing Onward: Honoring our Indigenous Roots | Gary L. Ferguson II, ND

Natural medicine has a deep connection to indigenous ways of knowing, healing.  In this presentation, we will explore the rich history of herbal medicine and healing traditions that contribute to the amazing efficacy of holistic naturopathic  and natural medicine. As we embrace these deep traditions and the ancestral wisdom they come from, we gain insight into healing mind, body and spirit.  In this session, we’ll do a deep dive into ways that Naturopathic Medicine can re-invigorate and assist indigenous populations in their reclaiming of these powerful medicines, healing ways.

Dr. Gary Ferguson is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and Healthy Communities Consultant living in Anchorage, Alaska. For the past 17 years, Dr. Ferguson has worked across Alaska (and beyond) to address the social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that contribute to the health, well-being of Alaskans. He is a facilitator, motivational speaker, health coach and technical consultant to communities and agencies around how to more deeply address contributing factors to health and well-being. He is Aleut/Unangan, originally from the Shumagin Islands community of Sand Point, Alaska. Dr. Ferguson has a deep passion for reclaiming the indigenous medicines of the First People of Alaska, and is a regular speaker, teacher in promoting Alaskan Plants as Food & Medicine. He is the co-creator of the Store Outside Your Door/Alaskan Plants as Food & Medicine Initiatives.  His past positions include providing clinical services to his home region at Eastern Aleutian Tribes, serving at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium as Senior Director of Community Health Services and at the Rural Alaska Community Action Program as Chief Executive Officer. You can learn more about him at the following sites: drgaryferguson.com

https://www.facebook.com/drgaryferguson/
https://twitter.com/NaturewayAlaska
https://www.linkedin.com/in/drgaryferguson/

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Kitchen Culture: How Learning to Ferment at Home Promotes Healthy External and Internal Microbiomes and Helps Us Connect to our Human and Bacterial Ancestors | Chelsie Falk, ND

Humans have evolved alongside bacteria internally and externally for all of humanity. There is a growing interest in understanding and researching the human microbiome and numerous health and disease connections have been made pertaining the health of our internal microbial communities. We will explore culture in the microbial sense and culture in the human sense as the two collide when we discuss the processes of fermentation, which is found in every civilization across the globe throughout history. Fermented foods and/or the knowledge to make these items have traveled the globe with human migration sometimes against great odds. In this talk we will consider how teaching people to ferment foods and beverages in their own homes may have an impact on creating a healthy kitchen microbiome, and thus may positively impact their health through improved internal microbiomes from the regular production and consumption of fermented foods.  We will also discuss how these techniques are a way to connect back to our ancestral diets.

Chelsie Falk, ND, is an assistant professor full time for the nutrition masters program at NUNM. She teaches a variety of traditional classroom courses ranging from Pathophysiology to Nutritional Supplements, and a variety of hands-on cooking courses in the NUNM teaching kitchen including Fundamentals of Nutrition, Applied Medical Nutrition Therapy and evidenced-based Detoxification and Cleansing. Some of her favorite courses in the kitchen are her Healing Foods courses. In these courses students explore the healing properties of a variety of foods by learning to cook them. She loves sharing the joys of fermentation, sprouting, dehydration, and traditional foods and cooking methods from across the globe. All the while challenging the students to expand their definitions of healing foods.

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Food Story Coaching – A Narrative Approach to Improving Change in Patients | Ian Rubin, MA, Food Story Coach

Helping clients start, succeed, and sustain meaningful dietary change is one of the hardest jobs for any wellness practitioner. A multitude of powerful forces, including cultural, psycho/spiritual/emotional, and cognitive, throw up hurdles, keeping patients from applying the nutrition knowledge they already have and keeping them from being ready, willing or able to receive and implement new information that would improve their health. Dietary programs given to patients are rarely successful due to these facts. A new approach that increases patient efficacy and program adherence is needed. Food Story Coaching is one such system that takes an inside-out approach to creating behavior change. Drawing from MI, health coaching, and positive psychology, Food Story Coaching is a deeply humanistic way to empower patients to make longterm dietary change.

Ian Rubin, MA, is a wellness coach, founder of Wholeself Wellness LLC, and adjunct faculty at NUNM. As a coach and teacher, his speciality and focus is Food Story Coaching®, his proprietary approach to food and wellness coaching developed over the last 13 years in one-on-one and group work with clients. This approach is driven by his passionate interest in food culture and psycho/spiritual/emotional forces; that is, the intersection of personal, social and anthropological forces that influence our daily food choices.

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The Ethics of Dietary Prescribing: First Do No Harm  | WendyLeigh White, ND, MS

The principles of naturopathic medicine can be applied to explore disordered eating and the ethical implications of dietary recommendations. What is ‘normal’ eating and does that definition apply to everyone? Are healthcare ​practitioners​ screening patients for eating disorders or disordered eating patterns? Learn to assess and protect patients from the harms brought on by inadvertent food and body shaming.


Dr. WendyLeigh White 
is a practicing naturopathic doctor and nutritionist since 2008. A “nature cure” approach to prevention and healing empowers her patients to understand the interconnected systems of their bodies and their specific needs. In this way, they can learn to tune in to their body’s signals. Only then can they know what it needs to heal, to thrive. Individualized nutrition, homeopathy, lifestyle recommendations, and botanical medicines are used to stimulate healing in her naturopathic medical practice. Her NUNM MScN classes include “The Psychology of Eating” and “Eating Disorders & Intuitive Eating.” https://drwendyleighwhite.com/my-story/

More speaker info coming soon!