When we met with Karin G. Reiter earlier this year, she generously showed us around her thriving vegetable patch at home in tropical Singapore. Today, after recently relocating to Tel Aviv, we reconnect with Karin during her morning drive, watching as she effortlessly navigates errands and the tasks accompanying an overseas move. With the oceanside cityscape escaping in the background, we get the sense that Karin is an unstoppable force — a true expert in finding ways to upgrade the quality of living. Our conversation revolves around how she has overcome her health challenges, how she understands the process of change when it comes to wellness, and her conviction with functional medicine nutrition as the path toward achieving well-being.
The answers weren’t always clear to Karin. After undergoing years of suffering from auto-immune diseases such as Hashimoto’s and celiac disease — accompanied by painstaking visits to doctors for traditional treatments — Karin decided to investigate alternative methods to improve her symptoms. She wanted to know why she kept falling ill and why she continued to struggle with health issues. Everything changed after a friend suggested she see a naturopath. Her knowledge was illuminated by discovering the gut’s role in overall wellness, and how a healthy digestive system is the basis for good health. In total, it took her on a path of 15 years of rediscovering her health.
“Every time I visited the doctor, they told me I needed more medicine and steroids; I needed to have surgery in my sinuses. That's when a friend suggested I see a naturopath. I did a food allergy test and gluten ranked very high for me. After a week without it, all my mucus dried up. I could breathe through my nostrils, which was incredible! I decided to enroll in a nutrition degree. After completing it, I decided I was going to make it my career.”
The confidence she gained with healing foods led to formal study of advanced nutrition, where Karin cemented her conviction of using nutrition as the north star to improve well-being. Building a foundation based on functional medicine nutrition, Karin launched Nutritious & Delicious, helping to secure her place as an acclaimed Functional Medicine Practitioner, speaker, and consultant with a mission to help people look and feel incredible through nutrition, lifestyle, and biohacking to reverse one’s biological age.
When asked about public awareness of nutrition for good health, Karin reflects, “it’s still in a process of change…still in an education phase.” Karin’s vision to make functional medicine mainstream includes a combined approach to wellness: upgrading lifestyle through nutrition. It’s this process that she sees facilitating transformational life changes in those she supports.
"You have nothing to lose. You can only get better. Give it six months. You gain the confidence that you’re doing the right thing."
But what happens when someone doesn’t want to invest the time and effort it takes to reap the benefits of nutrition and lifestyle changes to reverse health issues? We need to change the way we think about improving our health.
"We have to make that change to be convinced. Figure out another path. You have to really have to want to go down that path. It’s a process."
She worries about those who don’t prioritize gut health as a marker for their well-being. With digestive dysfunction, “you don’t need to have symptoms. The gut is often the root cause of many of our health issues, specifically, leaky gut. Think of your gut like a long, hollow pipe that is very very thin — one cell layer thin — and it separates everything you breathe, eat, and drink from the rest of your body. But when your gut is leaky, then you start running into problems.”
With Nuguru, Karin has empowered others with a moveable feast to make lasting life changes anytime, anywhere. She has developed a wide range of holistic wellness programs to arm wellness seekers with experiential knowledge and tactical training to take control of their health and well-being. Her expert-led course, “No guts, no glory!” is a six-day, interactive program that demystifies gut health, educating wellness seekers on the benefits of fermented foods and supporting the community of course participants to create their own probiotic-rich treasures such as sauerkraut, kombucha, beet kvass, switchel, coconut yogurt, and more. A big advocate of fermentation, Karin shares how regularly consuming fermented foods can impact one’s wellness. “There are proper studies showing that women and men who eat three cups of sauerkraut a week can reduce their incidence of hormone-related cancers — that’s breast cancer, prostate cancer — by 70%!”
“Supercharge your immunity” provides key knowledge and methods to strengthen our body’s natural defenses against infections, helping us to avoid illness and disease through nutrition and lifestyle upgrades for optimal health. Her digital guide, “Love the Skin You Are In” takes a comprehensive five-pronged approach to sustainable weight loss that taps into holistic methods to lose weight and keep it off.
Karin’s expertise isn’t limited to adults. As a mother of two children, Karin is passionate about helping kids cultivate a happy relationship with food, no matter how young they are. To support parents of picky eaters, Karin developed “From fussy to foodie”, a self-led course loaded with easy-to-implement strategies to convert anxious mealtimes into successful suppers.
Says Karin, whose daughter used to be a picky eater, “Children become picky eaters because they’ve lost this connection with food, which is so integral for them. Children need to touch, smell and play with food in order to learn texture and flavors. One of the things I try to teach is how to foster this relationship with food. When I go to schools to work, I do something called food art. I let five-year-olds peel and chop food. We make amazing pictures with fresh ingredients, and you would be surprised at the number of kids who ask if they can eat the food afterward.”
LISTEN: Karin speak about the issues that can arise from picky eating
“I think it’s the role of the parents or caregivers to teach kids how to be healthy balanced eaters, to not be afraid of taking the plunge, and to be open-minded. If they don’t like it, it’s fine. But if they haven’t tried it, who knows?”
Seeking to further help parents of children who suffer with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and ADD, she developed her self-paced program, “Brain foods for hyperactive and inattentive kids”, to address their child’s nutritional needs in boosting cognitive function.
Karin realizes that making changes to lifestyle and nutrition may not be an easy task in the beginning, and change is often misunderstood by many. But by building awareness of the benefits of functional medicine nutrition, we can take the first steps toward achieving wellness.
"I always tell people: progress, not perfection. People think healthy eating means giving up their chocolate cake, their noodles, but you don't need to go from eating your regular food to lettuce and seeds. That's not the point. The point is to eat a balanced diet that also makes you happy, because food for us is nourishing. Not only on a physical level, but a mental and social level. I'm all about having a discussion. What are some changes that won’t stress you out?"