From Student To Teacher: My Journey With Integrative Health
Teri Cochrane here! I'm an integrative practitioner, healer, businesswoman, advisor, and international thought leader in longevity and sustainable health. As you explore our unique approach to health at Teri Cochrane - Beyond Nutrition, I want to take a moment to introduce myself, my story and my mission.
How It Started
My passion for personalized health care began with my kids. After a 20 year career working as a risk manager in institutional finance, my son’s illness at a young age led me to change course & explore the world of nutrition and integrative medicine in search of a solution to his complex health challenges.
By age three, my son was suffering from failure to thrive, had the bone density of an 18-month old, and barely spoke. Life-threatening asthma, bleeding eczema and routine hospitalizations dominated our day-to-day lives, and in the second grade, he contracted strep throat 11 times.
Faced with what felt like an impossible challenge, I went to work, applying my risk management skills to save my son's life.
I poured over every book and resource I could find on holistic and integrative health, and even earned a second degree in comprehensive nutrition from Huntington College of Health Sciences. Through careful, dedicated research I was able to untangle the root causes of my son's ill health. What I discovered astounded me.
The food I was feeding my son - with all the best intentions - was actually making him sick. Standard American dietary staples like orange juice, wheat bread and even organic chicken were feeding pathogenic loads in his body and contributing to massive inflammation, disrupting his ability to thrive.
After dozens of doctors, endless rounds of antibiotics and steroids and disheartening dead-ends, it all boiled down to one thing: the food.
Armed with this knowledge, I began feeding my son differently. After three weeks of eliminating gluten, wheat, dairy, corn and peanuts from his diet, his symptoms began to improve. This brought about my nutritional epiphany: The foods we eat - and the way our bodies respond to them - determine the balance of our health.
My son was my first and most important client, and this way of thinking inspired me to take this approach with every one of my clients. Slowly but surely, I built a concierge-style integrative practice out of my family home, designing customized nutritional plans that took into account each individual's personal history, environment and unique nutritional needs. The rest, as they say, is herstory!
The Birth Of Wildatarian®
As I built my practice and learned more about the dietary offerings of the wellness space - from low-carb, South Beach and Atkins, to paleo and keto - I realized that the "diet" paradigm in the United States was fundamentally flawed.
The ever-shifting conditions of clients I saw in my practice only confirmed what I had come to believe: no one diet is right for everyone.
In response to my son's health condition - but also in response to the hole I saw in the world of wellness - I created the Wildatarian Diet, a revolutionary approach to nutrition and healthy eating built upon the unique nutritional blueprint of the individual.
Taking into consideration the disruption of the Earth's macrobiome - the result of generations of domestication, factory farming, genetic modification and the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides - I identified four common dietary disruptors: protein, fat, sulfur and oxalates - and began to elucidate how these "Big 4" disruptors have impacted our health.
Through 15 years of unprecedented clinical results, I developed a system of dietary roadmaps designed to match the unique health needs of a given individual, taking into account their personal history and current state of health.
At a glance, Wildatarianism encompasses the following principles:
- Wild-caught, wild-fed, sustainable plant and animal proteins
- Low mold, oxalate and mycotoxic legumes, nuts, seeds and produce
- Organic, grass-fed, non hormonally-treated dairy products
- Living As Nature Intended
Wildatarianism innately incorporates principles of sustainability, environmental pragmatism and stewardship of the Earth. It is a lifestyle with an outlook towards longevity and abundance, that disregards fleeting trends in favor of personalized solutions that combine ancient wisdom with a cutting-edge approach to health and wellness.
Thousands of clients have benefitted from the transformative power of this methodology and have embraced Wildatarianism as a part of what makes them whole.
The Cochrane Method® - A New Way To Heal
It turns out that my journey with integrative health would reach far beyond food - I soon found myself delving into the world of genetics as the final piece of my practitioner method fell into place: understanding the impacts of epigenetic expression. This course of discovery began with another one of my greatest teachers, my daughter.
My daughter, who was healthy as a child, became septic after a botched wisdom-tooth extraction at age fifteen. She almost died. The severity of the sepsis sent her to the hospital, where she spent several days. The antibiotic, clindamycin, saved her life, but it also shifted her gut biome, allowing candida to overgrow and cause a host of food sensitivities.
Nine months later at a ballet conservatory, she was incorrectly dispensed a supplement which caused her liver to become toxic. She stopped having periods and could not regulate her body temperature. Her insulin skyrocketed, she started losing hair, and she experienced repeated episodes of fainting.
Because her immune system was compromised, she contracted E. coli from tainted food a few months later. Her blood work also showed dangerous levels of biotoxins (dangerous molds and toxins in her body). After no medical professional could get to the root of why my daughter became so ill, I delved deep into the study of epigenetics, or how the environment influences genes.
I discovered that both my son and my daughter share three genetic polymorphisms with me. ‘Polymorphism’ is a term used in genetics to describe multiple forms of a single gene that exists in an individual or among a group of individuals. Sometimes, in response to certain triggers, a polymorphism can be expressed in negative ways and contribute to a health imbalance.
In my son’s case, his poor detoxification pathways combined with an overload of medications depleted his adrenal function and allowed the pathogens of strep, candida, and mold to flourish in his body. Thereafter, his digestive system, endocrine system, nervous system and gut biome took hit after hit.
For my daughter, a perfect storm of pathogens and liver toxicity shifted the expression of her genes and made her less able to digest proteins and fats. An interplay between bacterial pathogens and the Epstein-Barr Virus, the virus that triggers mononucleosis, combined to damage her digestive tract, tax her immune system, and cause systemic inflammation. Because of her rigorous ballet training schedule, her body was regularly producing excess epinephrine, also known as adrenaline — our most potent stress hormone.
This excess epinephrine contributed to a breach in her intestinal barrier which further weakened her immune system. The excess epinephrine congested an already delicate liver, making it more difficult for her body to process fats and other fat-soluble molecules such as estrogen, insulin, thyroid, and pituitary hormones, resulting in her hair loss and hormonal imbalance.
The legacy of my children - who are now strong, happy and healthy - became The Cochrane Method: my pioneering practitioner model that examines the intersection of genetic tendencies, energy and my client's current state of health to untangle even the most complex conditions in an average of three consultations.
For nearly 20 years, I have built a resume of clinical outcomes in private practice that have proved time and again the efficacy of my method, with results that span fertility, weight loss and autoimmunity to autism, mental health struggles, and end-stage cancer. I have also maximized the human potential in some of the world's top athletes and leading figures in entertainment.
I am beyond proud of this business and of the thousands of client transformations we have produced, striving every day to make good on our promise that nothing is impossible.
If you are new here, just beginning your own health journey, or simply looking to learn more, I encourage you to explore our resources, including nutritional tips and recipes in our blog section. For an even deeper dive and a guide to how to eat and live to your genetic blueprint, explore my book The Wildatarian Diet: Living As Nature Intended and take your first step to vibrant, sustainable health.
Welcome all. Let’s get wild!
To The Tru Of You,