Dawn Schenone, MSACN, CNS, LDN
My name is Dawn Schenone and I am the owner of The Functional Nutritionist, LLC. I’m a board certified nutritionist trained in a functional medicine approach and I hold the Certified Nutrition Specialist® certification, which is the gold standard for advanced nutrition professionals. I currently practice in Illinois and virtually.
I am beyond passionate about helping people reach their true potential by getting to the root cause of their weight loss resistance and chronic health issues. Without these things holding you back, you can focus on the things you enjoy most in your life- your partner, kids, grandkids or hobbies that you haven’t been able to enjoy.
Being sick and overweight is a huge distraction, and I will work very hard to resolve the root cause of your issues so you can focus on what is important to you!
My Health Journey
I have experienced many of the same issues you may be going through now. I struggled with my weight at different times in my life, and I still have to work hard at making the right dietary choices.
I had a long battle with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) after a bout of food poisoning subsequent to several rounds of antibiotics for a sinus infection. This was the perfect storm for creating intestinal dysbiosis. This dysbiosis and subsequent leaky gut, eventually led to an auto-immune disease – Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I honestly never thought this could happen to me!
This caused me to gain 40 pounds in a matter of two years with no changes to my diet! I tried so many different things to lose the weight, but it just wouldn’t budge. I never would have known I had this issue since most of my thyroid labs were normal, until I finally tested the right thing. Once I got to the root cause of my mysterious weight loss resistance (auto-immunity and hormones) and addressed it, the weight is now coming off. I did this through the right diet, supplementation and lifestyle changes.
I’ve dabbled in many diets – vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, paleo, keto, SCD, gluten-free, and a raw foods diet, but I have been plant-based most of my life. I know first-hand how nutritional deficiencies can develop on a plant-based diet if you aren’t eating the right foods, and my overall health suffered because of this. Once I corrected these deficiencies by eating a more balanced diet and taking just a few supplements, I am now moving my health in the right direction and I feel great! This is actually what drew me to becoming a nutritionist.
Another area that I’m interested in is cognitive and neurological health. I have a family history of cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. I spend a good amount of time researching this area, and I see how nutrition and blood sugar regulation plays a pivotal role in preventing and correcting these disorders. I do believe these disorders can be reversed or slowed for many people.
I hope by sharing my story, it inspires you to get to the root cause of your own weight loss resistance and chronic health issues. It can be done when you have the right team!
As a clinical nutritionist using a functional medicine approach, I focus on getting to the root cause of your issues and not just hiding symptoms.
This approach can help with weight loss resistance, fatigue, cognitive issues, blood sugar imbalances, allergies, thyroid disorders, adrenal issues, women’s health, cardiovascular disease, chronic stress, inflammatory conditions, gastrointestinal disorders and more.
These are all just symptoms of an imbalance in your body. The key is to find and correct the imbalance and your body will do the rest.
I believe strongly in the power of whole foods and herbs. By incorporating antioxidant rich, plant-based foods into your daily life, you can achieve optimal health by supporting the body’s natural healing process. This doesn’t mean you have to be 100% plant based or have a perfect diet at first. Everyone’s journey is different and I always meet you where you’re at.
It’s more about choosing healthier options and getting the nutrients your body needs to perform at its best. Progress, not perfection!
When finding balance again, you can resolve the weight loss resistance and lose the weight once and for all! You can have more energy, look and feel younger, concentrate better, decrease pain, and feel lighter!
My practice brings the science of nutrition into your kitchen so you can feel empowered to take charge of your own health. I promise – we will use delicious simple plant-based recipes that you will love!
Education and Credentials
Illinois Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN)
Certified Nutrition Specialist®
Master of Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition, New York Chiropractic College
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago
Culinary Nutrition Essentials
While all nutritional related concerns are welcome, my functional nutrition practice specializes in working with woman who are struggling with weight loss resistance by getting to the root cause of their weight gain.
My approach addresses the whole person by looking at dietary, digestive, blood sugar, hormonal, environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors allowing you to finally address YOUR specific root cause of weight loss resistance.
I believe the best diet to support weight loss is a phytonutrient rich whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet. When addressing your root causes of weight loss resistance and also incorporating anti-inflammatory whole foods, you will finally feel like your true self again. I can help make your transition to a plant-based diet much smoother by teaching you all of the nuances of this way of eating.
After completing a thorough intake form and initial consultation, we will work as a team to determine what protocol is best for you. The main goal will be to find a holistic solution that addresses diet, lifestyle, motivation, education, health conditions, personality, and your social environment. Nutritional deficiencies and opportunities for improvement will be identified, addressed and monitored. I may recommend functional testing but in many cases this is not necessary.
The evidence based approach I take with each client is unique and individualized. Your action plan may include recommendations for diet, supplements, herbal support, stress reduction, exercise, sleep hygiene, detoxification, and goal setting as well as educational materials, recipes and diet plans.
We will work together to determine which foods are ideal for your body. While whole foods are best to meet your nutritional needs, there are some instances which require additional supplement support. Your individualized plan will support your unique circumstances and detail the steps needed to achieve your personal goals.
Consultations are available through HIPAA compliant telehealth video conferencing or telephone by appointment. My practice is 100% virtual so there is no need to sit in a waiting room and waste time traveling to your appointment.
For weight loss resistance, choose the Weight Loss Resistance Package and for everything else choose the New Client Package.
If you aren’t ready to commit just yet or have a few questions, I also offer a complimentary 15 minute phone call to see if we are a good fit.
You can book any of these appointments here.
Thank you for visiting.
Dawn Schenone, MSACN, CNS, LDN
A Certified Nutrition Specialist® is credentialed by the American Nutrition Association® through its Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists™.