During her career of nearly 30 years, Los Angeles-based Deralee Scanlon, RD, has helped countless clients with adrenal, thyroid and liver problems, among others. In addition to running her practice, Beverly Glen Nutrition, she's logged more than 1,100 media appearances, written two books and is working on a third. Having addressed her own Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, she's following her “desire to educate and empower people to make small, positive lifestyle changes toward optimum wellness.”
What led to your career in nutrition and dietetics?
My parents, especially my mother, who was an advocate of the Adelle Davis nutritional approach, led me to nutrition. She did not believe in eating white-flour products or preservative-laden foods or sugar. Instead, we used 100-percent whole-grain bread, water-packed tuna or roasted turkey, and sugar was replaced with fresh honey from my father's beehives and Stevia leaf from my mother's herb garden. It planted within me the seeds of good nutrition and helped me to understand the joys of sharing that knowledge with others.
Tell us about your work and how it fulfills a need in your community?
My personal health interest has been in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, liver health issues and hypothyroid health concerns, which has led me to focus on these endocrine organs.
What inspired you to undertake this work or project?
I first became interested in adrenal fatigue as a result of my own type-A, driven personality and lifestyle, which left me with a case of adrenal exhaustion. Over the years, I have researched the condition and worked hard to rebuild my adrenals and make the necessary changes to my lifestyle. I learned to stop and "smell the roses" and to have a greater appreciation for the blessings in my life. The bottom line to remember is, when it comes to stress, remember that the occasional stressor can be healthy because it helps motivate us and helps us accomplish the important things we want to do in life.
Is there a particular anecdote or story that would illustrate why this work is so important and/or how it has made a difference?
I have worked with a number of individuals in my community. One in particular is a hardworking man who heard that I was an energy expert and asked for my help. He was drinking two energy drinks just to get through the day and finish his work as a general contractor, crashing at the end of each day. After listening carefully to his food choices, stress-coping strategy and amount of downtime, I made some suggestions about his lifestyle choices. His diet and stress levels were in need of an overhaul. He noticed an immediate improvement in his energy levels. Nowadays, whenever I see him, he tells me that he has loads of energy and no longer needs to drink energy drinks or other caffeinated beverages.
What do you find most rewarding about your efforts?
Being able to be of service to others and empower them — I just love the way it makes me feel!