Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Picchetti-Moos.
Hi Natalie, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
It all started with a medical mystery and a devastating experience at the Olympic Trials.
I ran track and field for The University of Georgia and I was one of the best 1500m runners in the country, and every year I kept getting faster. But my last year of eligibility, and the year leading up to the Olympics, I noticed some very strange symptoms. My performances became shaky and deep down inside, I knew something was wrong. I tried articulating it to different doctors, but they would just look at me and think I was the epitome of health, being a high-performing athlete who qualified for the Olympic Trials. I checked all the typical boxes of health, unfortunately they couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Things escalated at my national qualifying race when I woke up with a sharp pain under the right side of my rib cage. I thought it was a cramp but it just wouldn’t go away and I tried everything to get rid of it, but it only got worse until one horrific evening the pain landed me in the emergency room as it took a turn for the worst and became the most unbearable and excruciating pains I’ve even experienced in my entire life. And the worst part…the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with me, absolutely nothing, it was unbelievable! They gave me hydrocodone and sent me with the okay to compete at both the National Championships and the Olympic Trials. What should have been the pinnacle of my college career became the most confusing and depressing races of my life.
After stepping off the track at the Olympic Trials, emotionally trying to process what just happened to me, my search for answers began. Something had to be wrong because where was all the pain coming from? I demanded more imaging be done, and after hitting some more dead ends, the doctor reluctantly agreed to do an MRI, and when the results came back, they finally saw what was wrong. I had a ruptured liver hematoma that caused internal bleeding. How could this happen? Typically this happens from a trauma like a car accident, but in my case there was no physical cause. No one had any answers. So I started seeing specialists that were supposed to be the best in their field. The answers I got – it just happens to people, it’s like being struck by lightning.
That answer was not good enough for me as that whole year leading up to the hematoma, I was struggling with my health, was experiencing unusual symptoms, and deep down inside I knew something was going on with my health. I didn’t get answers for years because I didn’t fit into the paradigm so no one knew what to do with me.
Then I moved to Austin, TX and my whole world changed. I met my husband, Dr. Noah Moos, who introduced me to the world of holistic health, chiropractic, and functional medicine. He opened me up to a community of people who looked at the body as a whole and looked beyond the typical disease states that get all the attention. I was looked at for the first time as a unique individual with atypical symptoms that were explained by the breakdown of basic fundamental physiology. I finally started to get some answers and my health started to improve, the help I got was life-changing.
Most importantly, the way I looked at health shifted and this launched me into my career. I got my Master’s in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine and dove into the intricacies and full spectrum of human health. After I graduated, I became a functional medicine nutritionist and started a holistic sports nutrition line – The Human Nutrition Project. My mission was to create products that were good for athletes and an education platform that could teach athletes how to actually be healthy.
Clearing up the confusion in athletes is important because my original ideas of what was ‘healthy’, turns out, wasn’t healthy at all, and recognizing a similar struggle with my patients made me realize this knowledge needs to get out and their needs to be a paradigm shift. In addition to discussing health issues, the athletes I worked with asked what sports nutrition products they should be using, and the answer was always – well, this one is decent, but….There was always a but. There was always something missing or there was some compromised ingredient that I knew was picked for profit and not for health. Most people don’t know what these ingredients are or why certain ones are important which is why we set out to create a sports nutrition line that is truly for the health and performance of the athlete, is at therapeutic doses scientifically proven to work, nothing gimmicky, no junk, just good nutrition that makes sense with no compromises.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Making a clean product was the biggest struggle so far mostly because of what goes on in the manufacturing business. In a sense, this made us even more aware because now we know what to look for in products from a manufacturing perspective. We get to see a side that most people don’t get to see and we notice when companies and products take shortcuts. We had to go through a couple of manufacturers with failed attempts, ingredient switching, and learning how to really look at the entire process. It’s tricky when things are natural because you have less options and you can’t compensate with fillers and additives. It’s also hard finding a manufacturer who is willing to do this, slow their machines down, work with difficult ingredients, and come up with creative solutions. Most companies want to add the fillers and keep things easy and fast. It’s been a bit of a struggle, but that means that we are sticking to our mission and not making compromises, which at the end of the day makes us happy that we are creating something we can be proud of.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about The Human Nutrition Project?
At The Human Nutrition Project, we are all about truth and transparency. We are healthcare practitioners at our core and our values are reflected in the products we create. Our ingredients are meticulously sourced for quality, purity, and bioavailability. Our formulas are physiology and science forward and utilize the best ingredients science and nature have to offer. The entire line is synergistically focused on the health, performance, and recovery of the athlete. We also want to promote wellness education with our online courses so athletes can truly understand how to balance their health and fitness. We make the complicated stuff easy to understand so anyone can take the information and make positive changes.
How do you define success?
Success for me is following my passion and putting it to work to help others. Because of the typical advice given to most young runners, I wound up sick, tired, & in the hospital. My body was broken down and falling apart. I consider it a success that I’ve been able to regain my health and make strides to get back to the things that once came easy to me. I also consider it a success when I can prevent someone from going through what I went through. When I started this project, my goal was to be a voice to those who were struggling with challenging health and performance issues. If we can help people understand their bodies and begin to make positive strides and change, I would consider that a major success.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.thehnproject.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_human_nutrition_project/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thehnproject/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ5UqGkBZk0Zm6zy5LqP3vA