I’m Cynthia Mendoza, a chef, certified GAPS coach and integrative health coach based in Monrovia, California. I’m a lover of food and a collector of cookbooks.
I had enjoyed a long and successful career in Information Technology, managing large organizations but my dream was always to get out of the board room and into the kitchen.
During my 20 plus years in corporate America, I suffered on and off from anxiety, hormonal imbalance and a myriad of digestive problems, albeit whose symptoms were manageable.
In the summer of 2018, though, I became very ill. I had difficulty eating the foods I loved, I lost over 30 pounds in a six-week period, and could not sustain my weight. I became severely emaciated and frail. I was afraid, but determined to get better.
After a multitude of doctor visits, lab tests, ultrasounds, a colonoscopy and an endoscopy, I was finally diagnosed. I had SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth), Pancreatic Insufficiency, Post-Menopausal Hormone Levels, HPA Dysfunction, Low Vitamin D Levels, Hypercholesterolemia, Systemic Inflammation and Hypothyroidism.
This is where my health journey began.
After being diagnosed with this long list of ailments, my first step was to leave corporate America and dedicate myself to learning as much as I could about nutrition and health.
I had already gone to culinary school and had completed an internship at a specialty café and market place specializing in whole foods, traditional diets and fermentation. This is where I first learned about the GAPS diet, one of the emerging nutritional solutions to addressing gut-related ailments.
Recalling my experience at Culture Club 101, I quickly shifted my food to a nutrient dense whole food diet and dusted off my copy of the Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride MD.
During this time, I sought help from practitioners of all modalities – Functional Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Homeopathic, Psychology; each of them opening doors for me.
In the end, the GAPS Nutritional Protocol along with a “deep dive” detox program would help me reduce my body burden, restore my immune system and begin to heal. It was by adopting a properly prepared nutrient dense whole foods diet and detoxing my body, that I was able to regain my health.
I understand how the challenges of ill health can be scary and isolating.
I believe that properly prepared nutrient dense whole foods and healthy lifestyle practices are our best medicine.
I believe that the body has the knowledge and ability to heal itself; if we listen to our body and respond to its signals, wellness can be obtained.
I believe that nutrition is fundamental to good health. The Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ (GAPS) Nutritional Healing Protocol, is an efficient way to support digestion, detoxify, restore the immune system and allow our body to heal.
I believe in addressing the root cause instead of suppressing symptoms with prescription and over-the-counter medications.
I will support your bio-individual needs by making customized recommendations that “meet you where you are”.
I will share my experience, including the lessons I have learned through my own mistakes, tips and resources, in order to support your personal wellness journey.
I promise to help you feel encouraged along the way.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an option in Computer Information Systems
I completed my culinary education at Ecole de Cuisine under the tutelage of French-Algerian Chef Farid Zadi and, food historian and writer, Susan Parks
I am a certified Health Coach by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN)
I am a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Coach by Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride and GAPS Training, LLC
I am a graduate of the Nutritional Therapy Association certified in Functional Nutritional Therapy
I am a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), and the Weston A. Price and Price Pottenger Foundations
Lastly, I promise to “practice what I preach” and continue learning in order to bring you the best nutritional protocols and wellness advice to support your personal health journey