Hi, I am Sara Peternell
I’m a board certified holistic nutritionist and expert in family nutrition.
I’m also an avid public speaker on health and nutrition, and the co-author of a bestselling baby food cookbook.
I am super passionate about creating customized nutrition programs to help people meet their health goals.
Goals like fewer sick days, improved learning and creativity, stronger relationships inside and outside the family, inspired work in their jobs, schools, community and beyond. That’s because healthy people can achieve anything!
My family provided me an incredible foundation for my life. Growing up, things were easy, but when I left the nest and graduated from college, I faced some major health challenges that changed my life forever.
A healthy outside starts from the inside.
– Robert Urich
An Unexpected Journey
I hadn’t been on my own for long when a harsh reality kicked in. I found out that my chosen career path in marketing was pure STRESS and I got really sick as a consequence.
Long work hours and a ridiculously unhealthy lifestyle wreaked havoc on my immune system.
At just 22 years old, I was suffering from frequent colds, respiratory infections, skin rashes, poor sleep, anxiety and worsening irritable bowel syndrome.
I tried to fix my symptoms with way too much medicine.
I never cooked and I ate like crap. I was on the go, eating out, partying with friends after work – I even ate McDonalds! I always felt bloated, depressed and exhausted.
This endless cycle – working to pay bills without passion, waking up each day feeling worse – I knew it had to end.
Pay the farmer or pay the hospital.
– Birke Baehr
After trying yoga just one time, something clicked. The stress-relief combined with exercise helped me feel better. Over time, I developed a devoted personal practice, and became a teacher so I could share yoga with others.
Things started to fall into place, but something was still missing.
With a newfound curiosity about wellness, I enrolled as a part-time student in the rigorous Master of Nutrition Therapy (MNT) program at the Nutrition Therapy Institute (NTI). Their science-based program would teach me all I needed to know about food as medicine. I began learning so much and eating better.
Working full time, teaching yoga part-time, going to classes part-time – I was overwhelmed trying to tackle all of these things at once. But, this was a great turning point in my life.
Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body.
Healing Myself & A Leap Of Faith
During my advanced studies to become an MNT, I researched anti-inflammatory nutritional protocols to improve or reverse autoimmune disease. This topic interested me because autoimmune diseases affect nearly 50 million people, and there’s been a sharp rise in autoimmune disorders in the past few decades.
Many autoimmune diseases have stress at the root cause.
And, autoimmune diseases affected me personally. Years earlier when I was at my sickest, I had been diagnosed with both Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Celiac disease.
So, I applied these nutrition principles to my own life and I healed (reversed!) my autoimmune diseases. It sounded like a miracle to some, but I knew these diseases were reversible through changing diet and lifestyle habits and balancing the immune system.
Despite how crazy it seemed, I left my ten-year career in marketing to start my own nutrition business in order to help others.
So many people with autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, digestive troubles, infertility, and food sensitivities started coming to me for nutritional counseling, and they were getting better.
Don’t eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
– Michael Pollan
Learning From My Own Family
While finishing school, I got married and had a son - and later - a daughter. Both of my babies suffered from health conditions early on - digestive, skin and behavioral issues. As a mom, I began to see nutrition not just as my own personal mission. I was looking out for them too.
The complexities and importance of family nutrition values became paramount in my own household:
Being gluten-free, reading labels and cooking from scratch = happier tummies.
Feeding our kids’ healthy, whole, organic foods = fewer trips to the doctor.
Saying no to sugar, chemicals, additives and pesticides = good moods and lots of sleep.
Cooking fresh, delicious recipes at home = time spent together, slowing down.
You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces; just good food from fresh ingredients.
– Julia Child
Taking It To The Next Level
In order to serve families with the best, most current research and advanced nutritional science, I have attended numerous continuing education conferences, summits, trainings and workshops. I received certification as a First Line Therapy practitioner and studied blood chemistry analysis through coursework and complex case studies.
I am a member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP), and received my board certification in holistic nutrition in 2015. I am currently a member of the esteemed Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board (HNCB), as well as a member of Action For Healthy Kids parent advisory board.
As a graduate of NTI, I later became an instructor at the school, where I taught entry-level and advanced curriculum both in the classroom and online for five years. I have been a teacher, mentor and internship instructor for nearly 500 nutrition students in Denver, and around the country.
Recently, I have guest lectured several times for the Integrative Health Care Program at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.
I co-authored Little Foodie: Recipes for Babies and Toddlers with Taste, a best-seller on Amazon and in bookstores.
I have organized and conducted nutrition presentations for both corporate and nonprofit clients:
- Girl Scouts of America
- The Children’s Hospital
- Denver Catholic Charities
- ReDefining Able
- Academic Impressions
- Sewall Child Development Center
- Lucky’s Market
- MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers)
- Lakewood United Methodist Preschool
- Distributor Wire
- Fit4Mom – Greater Denver
- The Dailey Method – Denver & Boulder
Nearly two decades of nutrition expertise, combined with my experience as a mom, has resulted in a formula for success in working with all of my clients:
- Advocate for personal management and understanding of one’s health goals and needs.
- Measure and assess individual nutritional requirements.
- Develop and implement customized nutritional plans.
- Inspire healthy food choices, smart grocery store shopping, savvy food-label reading, and proper knowledge of food origin, quality and composition.
- Collaborate with other health care providers to support continuity of care - it takes a village!
The nutritional wisdom I have accumulated is from my own journey, as well as acquired from my beloved clients.
– Sara Peternell, MNT
Ready To Help You Too
I’ve been on quite a journey. These days, despite being busy running a successful business and raising my active kids, my energy is unlimited and I feel healthier than ever!
My practice has grown tremendously and I’ve learned more from my beloved clients than I ever dreamed.
The bottom line? My wellness philosophy is holistic and realistic. I strive to change the way people view their bodies and encourage them to live healthier lives.
You too can change your personal nutrition outlook and acquire the skills necessary to making lasting, positive changes.
I look forward to working with you soon.