Chris Y Perez

"Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food"
- Hippocrates

About Chris Y. Perez

Chris Y Perez graduated as Master Nutrition Consultant from the College of Naturopathic Medicine. Member of Association of Naturopathic Practitioners and General Naturopathic Council. Author of “If Grandma was a Doctor: The Science behind traditional remedies.” She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Embrace Autism, a non-profit empowering parents through child-centered therapy. After pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a successful career as an Environmental Manager, she realized her new role and higher purpose in life. The premature birth of her twins shifted her career from environmental scientist and power plant manager to home and therapy planner and provider for her special needs twins. When the progress of her teenage twins slowed down, she turned to nutrition. Gaining newfound hope, she pursued further studies, becoming a nutritional therapist.

Not The Usual Nutritional Therapist (Scientist turned Nutritionist)

Book Author, Chris Perez

If Grandma was a Doctor: The Science behind traditional remedies

In general, nutritional therapists aim to help clients achieve optimum health and well-being through evidence-based food and lifestyle interventions. They help review your history to identify root causes of problems and create viable, long-term solutions for healthy living.

In my journey to becoming a nutritional therapist, I have realized that my calling is to serve children with special needs. Having a son with autism and cerebral palsy, and a daughter with global developmental delay and previous seizures serendipitously led me to this path. My journey has taken me from the great desperation in the early years, to hope and continued progress of my teenage children and a personal mission to help other families facing similar challenges.

Partnering with parents is one of the most valuable tools in my practice.  I strongly believe in parents’ intuition and their unremitting hope and ability to move mountains to help their children!

My doctor told me I would never walk again. My mother told me I would. I believed my mother.” – Wilma Rudolph

Wilman Rudolph suffered from polio as a child. Her doctors were probably accurate based on the evidence at that time. However, her mother’s intuition was more accurate. Wilma Rudolph became the fastest woman on earth, winning 3 gold medals for track and field in the 1960 Olympics!

A parent’s intuition always points towards good investigations, root cause analyses, and thus creates viable treatment plans. Thankfully science has caught up, confirming the effectiveness of nutritional tools.

It is vital to work with parents, especially for children who have limited ability to verbalize how they feel.

Solving autism, and similar special needs conditions, is like solving a complex puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle that we solve brings our children to better well-being and meaningful living.

It is important to explore all potential aspects that could affect a child’s growth and development, such as:

  • Gut-brain connection
  • Digestive insufficiencies 
  • Gut dysbiosis and infection
  • Energy and mitochondrial function 
  • Methylation and detoxification 
  • Nutrigenomics
  • Food intolerance
  • Puberty and hormonal imbalance in young women 

I prioritize gentle nutrition plans using food as medicine and simple lifestyle adjustments because many special needs children are too sensitive to handle more aggressive treatment options. As a result, I see more steady progress in my children and clients.  

Why I became a nutritionist

Chris Family
Perez Family (L-R) Ian, Chris, Nathan, Amor, Gil

Among my 3 children, we have had to deal with some of the toughest childhood health challenges. My premature Nathan has autism and cerebral palsy. His twin sister, Amor, was diagnosed with global developmental delay (GDD). She developed mycologic epilepsy at age 4 which she outgrew. However, when we reached puberty she developed hormone/menstruation-related. When I thought things could not get worse, they did. My youngest and healthiest son, Ian, developed eczema when he was 7 years old. 

It was so easy to just throw my hands up in the air and give up. But by God’s grace, I somehow managed to pull myself together. I put on my usual problem-solver hat and decided I could help my children overcome their challenges.

Every night, I would tuck my children to bed, and then stay up to research how I would improve their health. When my daughter developed puberty-related seizures, I decided to formally study nutrition since I was spending so much time researching the root cause of seizures to adequately address her challenges. One year into my studies, Amor’s seizures stopped. By the time I graduated, Amor had been 2 years seizure-free. We asked our neurologist for a brain wave scan or electroencephalography (EEG). After the scan the doctor said that Amor’s brain waves were “clean” and she was not likely to have any more major seizures.  Amor used to collapse then have tonic shaking for about 3 minutes. These happened regularly around her menstrual periods but stopped after we addressed the root cause of her seizures with nutrition. Amor remains seizure-free today.

Nathan was diagnosed with autism after he regressed in his toddler year. He lost his ability to speak and sing. Play therapy turned things around and he regained intentional speech.  Progress slowed during puberty. However, when nutritional therapies were introduced, Nathan’s progress began to pick up again. Nathan showed more cognitive and physical gains. 

Ian’s eczema finally cleared after understanding how food plays a major role in healing.  

My 3 children may have had tough health challenges. But through our journey, we have been blessed with the knowledge of how we can use something as simple as nutrition to heal. I cannot think of a better way of using our lessons learned than by helping other families with similar health challenges.