We love sharing the stories of the providers who use Healthie to help their businesses grow. Meet Chris Shuff RD! Chris is a registered dietitian who owns his own practice, Love & Fire Nutrition, where he specializes in sex nutrition. Chris shows others how nutrition can support fertility, boost libido, and improve sexual health. Be sure to check out his blog on Love & Fire Nutrition for some quick tips! We at Healthie were so fortunate to get the chance to speak with Chris Shuff to hear about his practice, Love & Fire Nutrition and hear what advice he has to share!
Tell us about your path to becoming a dietitian!
Chris: Well, I was interested in architecture for a long time as a kid and had even taken a number of college-level courses in high school. Then, I took an introductory nutrition course in college. After that, it was all over. I saw the progression of obesity and knew it would be a burden on Americans for a long time to come. I wanted to help, knew there was a secure future in it, enjoyed learning the material and was good at the science behind it. I decided to switch my major to dietetics.
Healthie: Tell us all about your practice, Love & Fire Nutrition! What is your approach to care?
Chris: In one sentence, to ignite sex lives and strengthen relationships through health and nutrition!
I am a hopeful romantic. I believe love and life passions can help save, change, and enrich lives. When someone is pursuing health with a primary motivation of achieving some form of sexual health, that’s where I enter the picture. The client goals can vary, but I find that the deep-set motivations are almost always selfless. Whether to please their partner or give new life, a client reaches out to me to achieve an improved sexual well-being through small step-by-step goals that harness diet’s ability to improve the outcome.
Healthie: Can you tell me a little about what your professional experience has been like in this field?
Chris: First of all, whose ears don’t perk up when they hear the term, sex nutrition? The funniest response I get is, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” as if they think they heard me wrong. The next biggest questions I get are, “what is that?” and “what can you do as a dietitian to actually help with that?”
To answer the first, I generally describe sex nutrition as having to do with fertility, libido, and sexual performance. To answer the second, I share that it hasn’t been easy but the evidence is there. It all started while I was working with my career coach and dietitian, Chere Bork. I was contemplating what the next step in life was, and it turned out I liked sex and nutrition. Shocking, right?! We both agreed the topic sounded fun, unique, and right up my alley. I began looking into whether the idea of sex nutrition was actually a valid avenue to pursue. There’s a lot of bogus theories out there but when you’re truly looking there are many efficacious strategies as well. It’s hard, but they’re there. As I explored, I found that many people were struggling with these issues. Worst of all, they were struggling quietly. Love, sex, and fertility are things we all desire but few people are comfortable talking about them personally, let alone professionally. They are so tied to our identity, especially when they’re dysfunctional, but no one is talking about it. That’s when I knew I had to help.
Healthie: On your blog, you have a lot of great advice on how nutrition can improve your sex life. What is your favorite tip?
Chris: Wow, that’s a big one. Honestly, I don’t think I can pick a single favorite, but I am really interested in nutrition’s ability to increase nitric oxide levels which are needed for sexual performance. I’ve been following the work of a lead researcher in the nitric oxide field, Dr. Nathan Bryan, who is dedicated to increasing awareness about the subject. Our ability to produce nitric oxide reduces with age and other factors. On top of that, nitric oxide is pivotal for successful arousal in both males and females. For example, a majority of males who don’t respond to the drug sildenafil (Viagra) are most likely not producing enough nitric oxide and therefore the drug can’t be effective. By improving nitric oxide levels through targeted nutrition approaches the underlying deficit can be corrected and the male can once again enjoy intimacy on a regular basis. Check out my website and blog for more information about my sex nutrition tips.
Healthie: Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I have to ask: which aphrodisiacs would you recommend for a romantic dinner date?
Chris: Oh, aphrodisiacs. What a fun and complex subject. I’d recommend addressing the physical, mental, and nutritional aphrodisiacs for a great romantic dinner date.
First, ensure you get your blood pumping on Valentine’s Day. Take the time to be active, get the blood circulating, release stress, and get those feel-good endorphins going. My favorite for this would be high-intensity cardio. Leave the strength and flexibility training for later. 😉
Next, start putting yourselves in the mood with sensually appealing foods. Pick foods that you make you think about intimacy. These really could be anything. A banana, oyster, or peach due to their obvious resemblances. A meal that takes you back to a really great night of passion. Get yourself thinking sexy.
Last, choose foods that will harbor your inner sex panther and avoid food choices that are going to do the opposite. Take it easy on the carbs, sugar, and alcohol. Not to say you should avoid them altogether, but wait until after the night’s main event. Root beer floats or dark chocolate covered strawberries are my favorites. For dinner, think about a fancy wilted spinach salad, roasted beets, a homemade chimichurri sauce over flank steak or a delicate soup prepared with a homemade stock that’s really heavy on the celery. These foods are going to help increase circulation to all the right places. And in case you didn’t notice, have the evening in. The whole process will make you both hot with passion.
Healthie: How do think technology is changing the way dietitians are practicing care?
Chris: Technology is so awesome! I seriously love it! It is automating the monotonous tasks of the past and letting people better apply their intellectual talents. It is making the world so much more connected. Queue telehealth.
It originally was meant to serve health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) and has now amplified to a whole new level. Modern telehealth is combining automation technology with the ability to see specialty dietitians from across the globe. I’m a perfect example. Telenutrition helps me connect with very specific clients on a much larger playing field. The use of telehealth enables me to serve the people I truly want to help despite geography and eliminates many barriers to specialty care. I love it.
Healthie: Why are you excited about using Healthie?
Telenutrition is still a very new thing. There are many companies out there doing one thing great but it’s hard to find a company that is doing everything great. Aspects of the practice like appointment scheduling, billing, live video, and e-signatures haven’t been so well connected in one affordable platform until Healthie. I was using countless separate platforms to meet my needs. They were all excellent but all separate. I found Healthie to be a great all-in-one option. I know it is going to make my life a lot easier not to mention enhancing my client experience.