JESSICA KOUKA, NTP
I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certified through the Nutritional Therapy Association since 2013. The NTA’s philosophy is that “the myriad health problems plaguing modern society result from weaknesses in the body’s physiological foundations brought on by poor nutrition”. My dietary recommendations are founded on the notion that we need to get back to the traditional, nutrient-dense, properly-prepared foods which gave health to people generation after generation. This stands in contrast to the modern lifestyle which has resulted in chronic degenerative diseases. I enjoy seeing others’ love for real food come alive as they start making more and more connections between what they eat and how they feel.
My role as NTP at Deep Roots is multifold. I work together with Dr Luke to select or develop dietary protocols to address patients’ needs. We also work together to choose targeted nutritional and herbal supplementation to increase the effectiveness and ease the difficulty of the dietary changes. I help with the practical implementation, finding recipes and tools to make the diet work with an individual’s capacity and lifestyle. I’m there as a coach and companion for the journey, helping people stay motivated and encouraged. I can offer Constitutional Hydrotherapy, which is a great time for me to check on progress during a nutritional program while giving a valuable treatment that enhances the effectiveness of the diet. I can also do the blood draws for an extensive food allergy panel which has been an invaluable tool for many patients. At every appointment for nutrition or hydrotherapy, the doctor will also come in to see you to answer questions and give guidance.
I specialize in nutritional therapy addressing immune health, blood sugar balance, and digestive function. I love helping people learn to eat in a way where they get from meal to meal feeling full and satisfied, with reduced cravings for sugar and good energy and mental focus. And I love to hear the words “My digestion has never been this good!” Autoimmune conditions are also one of my favorites to work with.
I grew up in Salem, OR and majored in International Studies at George Fox University. I did graduate course work in linguistics and spent 6 years working as a linguist in the Republic of Congo with Wycliffe Bible Translators. I was married in Congo in 2009. When my daughter was born in 2011, I saw my health decline, which is considered a “normal” phenomenon these days. Shortly thereafter I discovered the “Nourishing Traditions” cookbook and a passion for nutrition was ignited. When I moved back to Salem with my husband and daughter in 2012, I set out to begin a new career in this field. I didn’t realize, however, that along with nutrition, stress management needed to be a major part of my own health recovery. I began seeing Dr Gonzales as a patient in 2014 and after a few months felt like a new person! Working at Deep Roots since 2015 has been a tremendous honor and joy.