{Rogue Habits Interview} Nutritionist & Intuitive Guide Venessa Rodriguez Brings Soul Back Into Healthcare

Happy to share this recent interview I did with Isabella Beham of Rogue Habits. We discuss my mission behind Wildly Rooted, Feed Your Wild podcast, my personal story, and my thoughts on healthcare today including some insight into autoimmunity & the broken healthcare system. Let me know what you think!

The original interview article was published by Rogue Habits and written by Isabella Beham.

Wild woman Venessa Rodriguez is a functional nutritionist and intuitive guide on a mission to bring soul back into healthcare through her Wildly Rooted platform and Feed Your Wild podcast. Her work is a beautiful mix of bringing ancient wisdom back into our daily lives, while reconnecting with the earth and caring for a bodies from a more spirit-centered perspective.

Wildly Rooted was a seed born out of a personal healing journey and a calling to service that began with Rodriguez’s mother’s experience with breast cancer. She describes her experience with the healthcare industry and her eventual death as both devastating and profoundly awakening. “I saw how broken and disempowering our healthcare system is and after her passing, I made a promise to myself, and to her, that I would do everything I could to support myself and others in their healing path so they didn’t have to suffer the same fate,” she explains.

With a mission to “bring the soul back” into medicine through radical nourishment of body, mind, and spirit. Her strives to build a community where we share wisdom from our ancestors and wisdom keepers, the latest scientific research, real life experiences, intuitive guidance, and nature. The idea is to promote health and regeneration, but also remain practice so that these tactics can be implemented in the day-to-day. “Connecting science, nature, and spirituality is a critical piece of this puzzle, and as a practitioner, I do this on an individual basis through functional nutrition and intuitive guidance with Akashic Records.”

Feed Your Wild podcast was a natural translation of what she was working to achieve as place to share what she’d learned. Years ago, she began recording audio and videos of interviews with various practitioners, healers, and teachers that she admired or worked with with no plan for what she’d do with the files. It wasn’t until four or five years later that the podcast came to be. Rodriguez had also been in performing arts as an actor and dancer since she was a child, so the podcast was a way to channel her creative expression. “I love listening to podcasts myself—I love the convenience of it, how you can listen while you’re on the go and feel connected to the hosts in an intimate way,” she says. “That’s important for me because I’m not interested in being anyone’s guru. I believe we all have gifts and wisdom, and we can learn and grow as peers uplifting one another. That’s the kind of relationship I wanted to create within our community.”

RH: Something you mention often on the podcast is the relationship between our spiritual lives and our health. Can you tell us a little more about that?

VR: I’ve come to understand that what is at the root of our collective dis-ease (i.e. growing rates of chronic illness, destruction of the environment, rising rates of anxiety/depression, etc.) is a disconnection from our inner truth and misalignment in our souls’ path. We’ve forgotten about our interconnectedness with the web of life and Mother Earth, and we got stuck in a materialist way of experiencing and relating to the world. In a way, it’s really like a collective trauma and soul loss… ancient medical traditions of all lineages did not separate spirit and soul from the body or medicine because they understood that there is no separation. So, to practice true holistic health, we must also tend to our spiritual health, or “spiritual ecology” as I like to call it, as an integral part of our overall health.

Spirituality can mean something different for each person, I’m not talking about religion here, but ultimately it’s about connecting to a deeper truth within ourselves and to something that is greater than ourselves. If we were equipped with teachings and practices as children on how to nourish our spiritual health, I think we’d create a very different reality.

RH: What do you think is the biggest health concern you see around women today?

VR: Trauma and stress. While we are not strangers to trauma as a species, we are new to the levels of toxicity, pressure, and disconnection from natural cycles and rhythms that we experience in today’s modern world. This is problematic because our innate capacities for self-healing are hampered by toxic overload, no time for rest, disrupted circadian cycles, the decimation of our microbiome, and so much more. That’s why we’re seeing unprecedented numbers of chronic illness and why many of the strategies or practices that may have been effective years ago are no longer working as they should.

Trauma is also compounded – unresolved or unprocessed trauma is passed on across generations and energetically. We are now able to measure this scientifically through the growing field of epigenetics, which has shown the impact of trauma on our genome… so the trauma that you endure today will alter the genetic expression of your future children and grandchildren.

On the physical level, trauma and stress suppress the immune system, alter your microbiome and nervous system, impact your metabolism and digestive function, and so much more. A good example of this is the CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study) a 10-year longitudinal study with 17,000 people that demonstrated a link between childhood trauma and the chronic diseases people develop as adults, as well as social and emotional problems.

On an emotional and spiritual level, trauma and stress are devastating and can create negative patterns throughout one’s life and beyond. That’s one of the reasons why I created my program Wildly Unstuck and made it free to anyone who feels that they need to start looking at these deeper layers and release old patterns or beliefs that no longer serve them. I see so many women today that have been to every doctor/therapist etc… and are not getting better because no one was addressing the root issues of trauma and stress in a holistic way.

RH: It seems like more and more people are being diagnosed every day with autoimmune disease. What are your thoughts there?

VR: It’s true, the rate of documented autoimmune cases is on the rise and I see it in my practice. There are a lot of theories out there, i.e. it’s the gluten, it’s genetic alterations, it’s toxins, it’s gut imbalances, it’s vaccines and antibiotics, it’s superbugs, etc. And quite frankly, it’s probably all of the above and that’s not even the whole picture.

Autoimmune diseases are categorized as diseases in which the person’s immune system attacks their own tissue. But there are many different manifestations of this, and I’m also not convinced that it’s always the body attacking itself. I think it’s important to look at the individual and then patterns at a larger scale… for instance Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition of the thyroid that affects women 10 times more often than men. We know that it can be induced by viral infection, acute trauma or stress, and even pregnancy, and that there is usually a “perfect storm” of events that lead to the manifestation of the disease. Whatever the physiological reason behind the onset of Hashimoto’s, I think it’s interesting to observe that it is happening in our throat (5th) chakra area, the energy center having to do with communication, self-expression, creativity, finding your voice. The high prevalence of this particular disease in women makes sense looking at our history of suppression and what’s happening currently with finding our collective voice. In this way, we always need to look beyond the label of a disease and address the energetic and soul level imbalances behind a manifested disease in the body, as well as the physical and emotional reasons.

RH: What is one thing everyone can do today to improve their health?

VR: Discover one thing that brings you a sense of purpose, love, and joy… and commit to experiencing it every day. It doesn’t have to be big or take long and it should not deplete you in any way… so hugging your children, cuddling with your pets, cooking for your loved one, making things with your hands, dancing during lunch break, yoga teacher training, being of service to others in some way, etc.

Our healing capacity is amplified by an elevated state or vibration. It may sound cliché but literally raising our vibration energetically, emotionally, mentally, and physically to a state of love and joy provides the fertile soil for the seeds of health to grow and blossom. Our nervous system regulates, immune function balances, gut microbiome flourishes, we experience coherence in our heart-brain connection, I could go on.

On a quantum and soul level, this state allows you to tap into levels of potentiality that were not available before, so new possibilities and inspiration open up. If I’ve learned anything from working in the Akashic Records, it’s that we all have the choice and power to co-create a new story – we simply have to foster compassionate commitment to ourselves, and that takes true love.

Originally published March 2019.

Destined for dis-ease? Let's talk about your "mommy genes"...

Destined for dis-ease? Let's talk about your "mommy genes"...

Conventional wisdom would tell you that I’m “destined” for cancer. I’m my mother’s daughter - I look like her, we share the same blood type, I suffered from many of the same ailments as she did, I mean, half my genes came from mom! And yet, with some key shifts, so far I’ve been able to overcome a lot of the things that I thought would plague me for the rest of my life.

When a client tells me there is nothing we can do about their poor cholesterol/ weight/allergies/skin disorder/autoimmune disease/{insert challenge here} because it “runs in the family,” I honestly get pumped because it’s a chance to show them how shifting some key things in their life can lead to changes previously thought impossible.

So let’s take a look at some ways our genes are impacted and what we can do about it.

The Ultimate Guide to Knowing What, When, How to eat

The Ultimate Guide to Knowing What, When, How to eat

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had an inner Siri that just tells us what to eat and do when we punch in some coordinates of where we’re at in life at that moment?

Good news folks... we do.

You know what I’m talking about... that quiet, wise, sometimes nagging, but always loving voice inside that tells us things like what’s right from wrong, which opportunities to take and when to leave a relationship.

Sometimes it’s not a voice, but rather a feeling, a sensation, a knowing.

How I overcame obsessive thoughts & turned my health around

How I overcame obsessive thoughts & turned my health around

The other day I woke up with a memory of something from when I was around 12 or 13 years old. Something that I had long forgotten… As a young girl, I did pretty well in school, had good friends, had great parents and was generally a happy and active kid… everything was seemed really normal, except that I secretly dealt with some issues that I now identify as on the spectrum of OC (Obsessive Compulsive).

Meditation not your "thing"? Tips on what to do instead...

Meditation not your "thing"? Tips on what to do instead...

Someone recently sent me an article in the NY Times Opinion Pages called “Can We End the Meditation Madness?” The author describes the rise in “meditation pushers” and admits to not meditating himself, which can sometimes feel like heresy in this new age of mindfulness and yoga studios on every corner. And he makes some great points. Don’t get me wrong. I’m one of those meditation pushers - just ask one of my clients. Incorporating a regular and meaningful meditation practice in my life has made an incredible difference - it truly has altered and opened up things for me in ways I can’t even explain. And I understand how annoying that can sound to folks who have no interest in pursuing a practice. But I’d like to reframe the author’s argument in that article - while he may not be sitting in lotus position, eyes closed in front of an altar, he’s most definitely practiced meditation in his own way.

What Einstein can teach you about weight loss, creative insight + more...

What Einstein can teach you about weight loss, creative insight + more...

Last week I went off-grid and spent time in the woods wilderness camping. Think: hiking a couple miles to the campsite, hole in the ground for toilet, no cell reception and the sound of birds and coyote keeping us company. It was awesome. No sense of time other than the sun and moon light, and our internal clocks getting a reboot. Coincidentally I picked up a Scientific American on the way to the campgrounds for reading material... Special Issue: The 100th anniversary of Einstein’s theory of relativity, which shaped our entire understanding of space-time reality. For those who need a quickie primer on the concept of relativity, let me take a stab at it for you (bear with me... I’ll get to weight loss in a hot minute... this is important stuff, I promise!)

Feeding Ourselves Holistically: A Shift in Perspective

Feeding Ourselves Holistically: A Shift in Perspective

As a holistic integrative nutrition coach, my entire focus of work is on food. This scares the heck out of a lot of people and makes it socially awkward when I’m at parties. Food is a very personal thing and there’s usually a lot of judgement and confusion around food (this is the reason I abstain from sharing what I do at social gatherings now!). But the way I see food through the lens of my work is more than what we typically think of as food. I view food as medicine, food as nourishment, food as fuel. This is a very different concept from what is commonly considered in dietetics or a diet plan. I don’t align myself with any one particular diet or dogma and I don’t count calories or macronutrients in a diet, or create meal plans.