My Story, My Passion
When I was four years old I became vegetarian. We had chickens as pets and I didn’t want to eat my friends (PSA: I am not anti-carnivore, many of my clients eat meat so don’t worry). My parents eventually took me to a doctor to make sure my diet was nutritionally adequate. She very harshly told me I would “never grow correctly”, would be physically weak, and have poor brain development. She offered me zero solutions and a lot of problems. I decided right then that a.) I didn’t believe her, and b.) I wanted to help people follow whatever diet they believed in, or needed to medically follow. (For the record – the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes vegetarian and vegan diets to be, “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases”). I am strong, smart, and my brain is working just fine thank you very much! The first tier of my interest in nutrition is peace with health – meaning finding whatever feels right to you and whatever diet or lifestyle speaks to YOUR soul, not for the approval of others. In my practice I see vegans, vegetarians, paleo, gluten free, carnivores, pescetarians, [and more] and I help them be the healthiest versions of themselves possible.
Also from a young age, I was able to connect the relationship between health and quality of life because of a family member who struggled with obesity. They were frequently unable to join for kayak tours, family vacations, and active outings because of their physical health. I saw the direct correlation between nutrition, fitness, and quality of life and again, wanted to do work to help people live better lives.
Fast forward through a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Nutrition, and working as an RD when I got an infection in my intestines (SIBO – small intestine bacterial overgrowth) that left me debilitated on medical leave, sipping pre-digested formula out of a straw. I couldn’t eat solid foods, lived on a toilet and my hair was falling out from malnutrition. I saw over 15 doctors who couldn’t figure out what was wrong or how to help me. I was finally cured through diet, lifestyle, and supplements to heal my body from the inside out. Now I see SIBO and digestive health clients every day in my Boston practice. We work to treat the underlying cause of their poor gut health, not just cover up the symptoms with medication.
Today I feel strong, healthy, and empowered. My body can do amazing things like pushups when I could barely walk a year and a half ago. Even after 6 years of nutrition schooling and 6 years practicing as a dietitian, the human body amazes me now more than ever because of my direct personal experience. They were some of the worst days of my life but it brought my career in wellness to a whole new level: the ability to help people on an even larger scale, with empathy in my bones.
My goal with Shanti Nutrition is to empower you to take back your health, whatever that means to you. Whether you want to eat healthier, follow a particular diet, or get to the bottom of your symptoms, I’m here for you. Empowerment in our health = healthier bodies = happier lives.
In peace (Shanti) and health,
Lexy Penney MS, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a variety of health and wellness experience. She has worked at some of Boston’s top hospitals including Beth Israel Deaconness providing nutrition care to chronically ill patients, specifically cancer care. Lexy graduated with her BS in Dietetics from the University of Connecticut. In 2013 she completed her Master’s coursework in Nutrition Education at Northeastern University.
Lexy has a strong passion for food and nutrition playing a seriously integral role in our health and well-being. She believes food can be used as medicine to keep us healthy, strong, and therefore happy. She strives to help a variety of clients achieve their nutrition and lifestyle goals. Lexy believes in a personal approach to health and well-being, not one size fits all.
Lexy completed her 200 hour registered yoga teacher certification from Radiant Yoga Boston. With her passion for nutrition and yoga, she is able to help clients adopt wellness practices incorporating them both.
Shanti Nutrition, LLC