Root is proud to announce our growing team with the addition of Dr. Marzena Slater, functional medicine specialist. Dr. Slater has been studying and practicing functional medicine both with patients and within her own lifestyle for the past several years. She brings a unique experience and niche area in digestive disorders as well as athlete performance optimization. She was also captain of her college tennis team! We asked Marzena a few questions:
Why did you become interested in functional medicine?
I discovered functional medicine the year I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Having gone through many years of stomach problems and navigating a complex medical system, I was told I would have to be on medication for the rest of my life and that even dietary interventions would not resolve the issues. That’s when I started experimenting with diets on my own and tried the FODMAP diet, which helped immensely with my symptoms. I realized then, that I had to find alternative ways to heal. That is when I became personally and professionally interested in the field of functional medicine. Having been trained in traditional medicine- functional medicine, initially, was a leap of faith for me but it has helped me tremendously. I am excited to partner with my clients and share with them what I have learned to help pave their path to healing.
What are your special areas of interest in functional medicine?
Based on my personal journey of applying functional medicine to heal inflammatory bowel disease, digestive disorders and autoimmune conditions this is where I will focus. I am excited to share all that I have learned with my clients and look forward to creating innovative and personalized plans for people on their road to better health.
I have been an athlete my whole life including on a college performance level. I understand the importance of staying active and I continually pursue a life of vitality. I understand how important individualized dietary support is for athletes. I have a strong interest in optimizing nutrition and lifestyle for sports enthusiasts from all walks of life and at all athletic levels.
Why did you decide to join Root?
Most traditional medicine models have neither the time nor resources to give people a chance to tell their full health story let alone provide personalized care that is heavily weighted on diet and lifestyle change. At Root, this is not the case. From the moment I stepped into Root Functional Medicine practice, I felt at home. The atmosphere here is welcoming and the staff kind and collegial. I am excited at the opportunity to be part of the dedicated and innovative team, and practice the functional medicine model.
Where do you like to go when you eat out?
Anywhere that has healthy options! I have been gluten and dairy-free for almost 2 years now, which makes eating out a challenge at times. But I have found most restaurants to be accommodating- you just have to speak up.
When are you happiest?
When I am with my family and out in nature. Preferably both. ☺
What is a health tip that you personally do?
I love to exercise- it is my ultimate stress relief, reset button, zen, etc. I try to get out and do something daily. I am an avid runner but also enjoy walks, hiking, skiing, and pretty much anything outdoors in nice weather.
Recently, I have tried to add relaxation techniques – mindfulness and meditation into my routines. It’s amazing how easy it is to skip that part of the day, but what a profound difference it makes when you regularly incorporate it into your life. I feel more relaxed and focused when I take the time to do it.
My diet is overall clean and non-processed. I mostly cook at home. In the last 2 years my husband has joined me on the health journey and has cleaned up his diet with fantastic health results. My kids are still a work in progress but my older one is reading labels now- which is a huge step.
What is something you can teach us about?
I was a tennis instructor in my previous life, so if anyone needs work on their forehand- I can be of assistance. ☺
What do you want clients to know about working with you?
Functional Medicine is how I grew up and what I believe in- for the longest time I didn’t realize it had a name. It’s a lifestyle choice to eat whole unprocessed foods, stay active and connect with both people and nature. It is the practice of good self -care that is the lifetime recipe for prevention and reversing the path of chronic disease. I believe in the natural healing power of food and the ability of every individual’s body to heal when provided the right ingredients. I am excited to work with each one of my patients to find their personalized recipe for better health.
What’s the best part of your job?
Partnering with my clients on their health journey, providing the knowledge, tools and guidance to help them take control and improve their health to live their best life.