Local mother and entrepreneur finds calling and career in nutrition-based health practice.

Thrive Natural Wellness is celebrating its first year in business, helping clients achieve nutrition, mental wellness, lifestyle, and fitness goals.

Thrive owner Krista Watkins’s journey into nutritional health began with her own personal health and the health of her children.

It started back in 2008 when I started having issues with hair loss and bloating,” Watkins explains.

Through something called Nutrition Response Testing (NRT), a practitioner identified her food sensitivities and she started taking supplements to support her thyroid. It worked for her.

”My hair stopped falling out and I started to notice less inflammation in my hands and legs.”

Then, five years ago, Watkins was a new mom with a fussy and “colicky” baby. Her doctor recommended heartburn medication for her baby. But, since Watkins was breastfeeding, she sensed the problem was something simple, perhaps related to her own diet. She had her daughter tested using NRT and, after adjusting her diet to her baby’s food sensitivities, she was “a happy and content baby” again.

Watkins knew she wanted to help other people take control of their nutritional health.

Nutrition Response Testing
Nutritional science is built on the assumption that food and nutrition affect mental and physical health. Practitioners guide clients in adjusting their nutrition in ways that alleviate their individual maladies, taking into account food sensitivities and personal wellness goals.

NRT is a specific method of assessment developed thirty years ago by Dr. Freddie Ulan, a chiropractor in Florida. When Krista Watkins decided to launch her own wellness practice, she trained with Ulan Nutritional Systems to learn NRT.

Watkins is now a Certified Master Health Coach and Nutrition Response Testing Practitioner. She offers NRT in addition to personal health coaching, with services like guided grocery trips and pantry makeovers available.

Her practice specializes in pregnancy — helping moms prepare for a healthy pregnancy, helping them manage their wellness during their pregnancy ,and then helping with the transition into motherhood — but she works with clients of all ages and genders.

Clients come to Thrive Natural Wellness with a variety of symptoms. They’re often struggling with poor digestion, allergies, anxiety or depression, infertility, or hormonal imbalances. Often, especially in the case of gastro-intestinal issues, Watkins is their last resort.

“From my experience,” Watkins offers, “doctors are not always taught about nutrition.”

As in the case of her own daughter, she says the doctor’s first instinct was to treat the symptoms, not the cause.

Every Thrive client is addressed individually, on a very case-by-case basis, and Watkins explains that she is not anti-medicine. But, when traditional medicine doesn’t help, NRT can diagnose issues related to nutrition and offer an alternative plan for healing.

Taking the first step
For those who are interested in natural wellness but aren’t sure where to start, Watkins suggests her weekly coaching program.

For $25 per week, Watkins gives a weekly check-in call and access to an app where clients post their food, water, and workouts (if those are their goals). She makes suggestions for alternatives or offers recommendations to challenge them. 

If the problem is deeper, perhaps a frustrating symptom with no apparent cause, someone might consider trying NRT.

How does the method work? After filling out a symptom survey, Watkins will review a client’s symptoms and then test them. She says the testing is noninvasive and there is no blood work involved.

“I am using the nervous system to understand the underlying cause of ill health,” she explains. Her goal is to get to the root of the problem.

Thrive Natural Wellness is located at 463 Ohio Pike on the east side of Cincinnati. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram to learn more about the services they offer.
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Liz McEwan is a proud wife, mama, urbanite, musician and blogger. Follow her at The Walking Green and on twitter at @thewalkinggreen.