top of page
summer segar, FDNP
I'm a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, Michigander, corgi mom, nature girl, Lyme warrior and lover of all things holistic health and wellness.
Let's Get Acquainted!
I'm a Michigan native and I love the outdoors. I live with my incredible fiancee and our spunky corgi Zu. In my free time you can find me hiking around Lake Michigan, snowboarding, creating digital art or reading research articles about hormones and metabolism (yes, I really am that obsessed with functional health!)
I graduated from the University of Michigan with honors in 2019 (Go Blue!) and received my certification as a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P) in 2020. I am currently pursuing a certification in bioenergetics as well. I believe root cause healing is a lifelong pursuit and I plan on continuing my education in this field for many more years to come.
This is Zu, the CCO (Chief Corgi Officer) of Heal with Summer
My Health Journey
buckle in, it's a long one!
My passion for health began at a young age when my mother was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I watched her struggle as even the best doctors in the US couldn't find the root cause of her severe symptoms. She was misunderstood, misdiagnosed and mistreated, over and over and over again.
Fast forward a few years, and I began suffering from the same symptoms. Extreme brain fog, chronic fatigue, severe cystic acne, anxiety, depression, insomnia, joint pain... the list goes on. Over a span of 8 years, I tried every remedy, diet and protocol you could imagine. I tried Keto, Paleo, veganism (for 4 years), the Autoimmune Protocol, Whole30, every topical under the sun for my acne, intermittent fasting, red light therapy, juicing, coffee enemas, no sugar/dairy/gluten, meditation, breathwork, journaling, therapy (physical, psychological & massage therapy), at least $10,000 worth of supplements and doctor visits... but alas, my condition only worsened year after year. There were many instances where I accepted that I was going to die. I wouldn't wish the darkness and hopelessness that I experienced upon anyone. The photos below show my cystic acne on an average day and what my vegan meals usually looked like (no bioavailable protein, excessive fiber, high amount of antinutrients like oxalates).
But I refused to give up. For the past 8 years, I've spent hundreds and hundreds of hours reading the latest developments in research on chronic illness, hormone imbalance, autoimmune disease, pro-metabolic nutrition and more. It's truly my obsession. This research led me to find Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, where I received my certification as a Functional Nutritionist. As an FDN-P, I gained access to a variety of advanced functional lab tests that FINALLY provided me insight where no doctors ever could. After running a GI Map, hormone panel, food sensitivity test and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, I finally received the answers I'd been searching for for over 8 years. My labs showed severe bacterial overgrowths in my gut, extremely low hormone levels (I had the hormonal profile of a 90 year old), mineral imbalances and failed cortisol output. My HTMA pointed towards low iodine status, which led me to discover I had low iodine levels and a serious sensitivity to fluoride. I also learned to monitor thyroid health using pulses and temps, which is how I learned I was severely hypothyroid.
If my training as an FDNP taught me anything, it's that these symptoms don't just materialize out of thin air. There is always a timeline which must be analyzed in order to get to the root cause of any health struggle, and that timeline starts from birth. I had colic and chronic ear infections the first 3 years of my life. I was formula fed and constantly on antibiotics - the perfect recipe for a leaky gut. Growing up, I was very active and generally "healthy", but my diet consisted of iron and PUFA-laden cereals, poptarts, ice cream, packaged foods and kool aid. By the time high school came around, I was a varsity athlete in multiple sports, trying to gain acceptance into one of the most prestigious schools in my state, and was utterly OBSESSED with losing weight. I was also put on birth control for my acne and PMS. I would starve myself during the day, go to volleyball practice, run 2 miles, then come home and binge a gallon of ice cream - it wasn't pretty.
After working myself into the ground during high school, I was accepted into my dream school. My first two years at school, I experienced severe emotional trauma from an event in my personal life. I buried it deep into my subconscious and pretended nothing was wrong. During college, I also got into bodybuilding and became a vegan - again, my sole focus was to lose weight. I had severe insomnia to the point I needed sleeping pills every night for years. I experienced frequent anxiety attacks and was eventually put on Zoloft by my university doctor. My body dysmorphia reached a new low. I remember in both of the photos below thinking I was too "fat" and that I needed to cut my calories more.
After years of dieting, extreme stress, over exercising (I was at the gym 1.5+ hours per day 6 days a week) and poor diet (veganism for 4 years), my organs were alarming me in every way they could that they needed help, fast. Once I graduated from the University of Michigan, I completed my Functional Nutrition certification online from the couch as I battled severe chronic fatigue. It was a long, difficult road to recovery. There were many days where I could hardly get off the couch - I spent a lot of time feeling paralyzed and hopeless but I never gave up. I truly believe "your mess is your message". The bigger your mess, the stronger your message. My "mess" led me here, and I've dedicated the rest of my life to helping others find the root cause of their mysterious health conditions.
Now, I utilize a root cause approach to uncover hidden stressors in the body and work with women 1 on 1 to regain their vitality. I'm able to use my extensive research in pro-metabolic nutrition and my training as an FDN-P to bring long-awaited answers to those who desperately need them. In the end, I'm thankful for the wild journey I had to navigate to get where I am now. It's afforded me more empathy and critical thinking skills which I bring into my practice every single day. If you are reading this and you feel alone, or like you may never heal, please know this: you were born to heal. You CAN heal. I'd love to guide you through your journey and remind you of that every step of the way.
Near the end of 2021, I realized I still wasn't happy with the answers I received from functional lab tests like GI Map and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. Deep down, I knew there was still a root cause that I was missing. I dove deep into the field of bioenergetics and learned how to run and interpret bioenergetic scans. On my first scan, I found out my body was resonating with the Lyme bacteria (Borrelia), Pasteurella, mold (aspergillus), EMF sensitivity, and a number of additional toxins and parasites.
Thankfully, my preliminary work in the field of health and nutrition gave me a great foundation to start working on these pathogens. I learned how to open my drainage pathways, implement natural herbs and binders to eradicate toxins (thanks, Cellcore Biosciences!) and continued on my path of learning and experimentation. I went through many more cycles of chronic fatigue, experiencing flare up after flare up with no explanation as to why.
Finally, I was made aware of the detrimental impact of hidden dental infections. After almost a year of trying to find the right biological dentist to help me, I found out I had large infections (AKA "jaw cavitations") residing in my jaw where my wisdom teeth had been removed. After months of planning, I flew from Michigan to Portland, Oregon to stay for a week at Blodgett Dental Care and have all four of my jaw cavitations surgically fixed. When the tissue from my infections was sent to the lab for testing, it came back positive for Lyme (Borrelia) and a Lyme co-infection, Bartonella, along with unsafe levels of pathogenic bacteria that were living in my jaw. As I write this 3 weeks post-surgery, I am feeling better every day and plan to continue sharing more about my story as I continue to heal. I also include more information on finding and addressing dental infections in my new online course, The Root Cause Academy™. I've compiled all of the information I've learned so far on my root cause healing journey in this comprehensive, self-paced course. Tap the button below for more information, and stay tuned for more updates!
what is functional diagnostic nutrition?
I received my nutrition certification through Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. My FDN certification allows me to run functional labs like the GI Map, Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, hormone panels and more. I highly recommend this program for anyone in the nutrition or medical space who is looking to further their education in functional labs and utilize a root cause healing approach. One reason why I love Functional Diagnostic Nutrition is because they teach based on the phrase "Test don't guess." If you want to find the true root cause of any health condition, TEST FIRST! Don't rely on guesswork, whether you are working with a doctor or otherwise. I truly believe that the functional labs that FDN provides have the potential to save the lives of millions of people. If you are interested in enrolling in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, please let me know and I can send you my personal discount code!
I often get asked about where I gained my knowledge in the field of pro-metabolic nutrition. Unfortunately, my knowledge in this area was gained entirely from independent research. FDN does not specialize in pro-metabolic nutrition. If you're looking to learn more about this style of eating, I encourage you to research the work of Dr. Ray Peat PhD, Dr Broda Barnes and Morley Robbins. Additionally, I plan to create a comprehensive course on pro-metabolic nutrition in the near future. Stay tuned for the launch date!
Have questions about FDN or how to work with me? Please contact me or visit my services page to learn more!
bottom of page