The term phytonutrient is a broad term for natural compounds found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, seeds, and legumes that are responsible for giving plants their distinct color, taste, and smell. Each phytonutrient performs specific activities and modifies different physiological functions in the human body, including balancing hormones and protecting the brain, heart, blood vessels, and bones.

More than 25,000 phytonutrients are found in nature, and they come in all different colors, including green. If we eat the same foods over and over again, we may be missing out on a wide range of important phytonutrients! It’s important to eat the recommended 9 – 13 servings of fruits and veggies a day, including 1 – 2 servings of different green foods.

Green Food Health Benefits

Green foods contain a long list of phytonutrients that provide important benefits to your health: 

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Blood vessel health 
  • Bone health 
  • Brain health 
  • Cell protection 
  • Heart health 
  • Hormone health 
  • Metabolic health 

Ideas for Incorporating More Green Foods Into Your Diet

  1. Add greens (arugula, kale, lettuce, spinach) into your morning smoothie⁠⁠
  2. Have a cup of green tea or water with lime juice instead of soda or coffee⁠⁠
  3. Add green herbs and spices like rosemary, oregano, dill, or thyme to season meat or vegetable dishes
  4. Have an avocado in a salad or on top of a hamburger or grilled chicken breast⁠⁠
  5. Make a stir-fry with bok choy, broccolini, or edamame
  6. Bake brussels sprouts with drizzled olive oil as a tasty side dish ⁠⁠
  7. Make guacamole with fresh cilantro, green peppers, and avocado
  8. Add peppers, spinach, or diced asparagus to an omelet⁠⁠⁠⁠

Green Fruits

  • Apples 
  • Avocado 
  • Bitter melon 
  • Green grapes
  • Kiwi 
  • Limes 
  • Olives 
  • Pears 

Green Vegetables

  • Arugula
  • Artichoke 
  • Asparagus 
  • Avocado 
  • Bean sprouts 
  • Beet greens
  • Bell peppers 
  • Bok choy 
  • Broccoli 
  • Broccolini 
  • Brussels sprouts 
  • Cabbage 
  • Celery 
  • Chard greens
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumbers 
  • Dandelion greens
  • Edamame
  • Green beans 
  • Green peas
  • Kale
  • Lettuce 
  • Okra 
  • Mustard greens
  • Snow peas 
  • Spinach 
  • Tomatillos 
  • Turnip greens
  • Watercress 
  • Zucchini 

Green Herbs & Spices

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Terragon
  • Thyme

Green Beverages

  • Green tea 

Kaitlin Cooley, FNP-C

Kaitlin Cooley is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner who offers primary and acute care for adults and children. She has experience working with all ages of patients from neonatal to geriatric care. 

As a Boise native, Kaitlin enjoyed a collegiate softball career in front of her friends and family at The College of Idaho. Kaitlin graduated from the college with a bachelors degree in Health Sciences. She later attended Idaho State University and obtained her nursing degree. After working as a registered nurse in the hospital, Kaitlin discovered she wanted to help patients optimize their health in the primary care setting by building foundational wellness. As a result, Kaitlin applied to Northwest Nazarene University and later graduated with honors with her Family Nurse Practitioner degree.

Kaitlin is passionate about providing quality care and helping patients feel their best. She practices an individualized, patient-centered, and science-based approach when meeting with patients and believes the best outcomes are met when patient and provider work in collaboration. She is continuing her education through The Institute For Functional Medicine with the goal of obtaining her Functional Medicine Provider certification.

Kaitlin is married to her husband, Matt, and has two sons. They enjoy spending time outside golfing, hiking, and running around with the kids.

Elizabeth Hingley, NP-C, IFMCP, CDCES

Elizabeth Hingley is an accomplished Family Nurse Practitioner, who earned her MSN degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 2013. Her passion for patient care and dedication to her profession led her to pursue additional certifications. In 2022, she received her IFMCP through IFM.org, and she has been a Certified Diabetes and Education Specialist since 2011. Elizabeth has gained valuable experience in urgent care and endocrine management, specializing in diabetes, thyroid, testosterone, and weight management. She noticed that even with traditional medicine, some patients still experienced persistent symptoms, which led her to explore alternative therapies and focus on lifestyle management to address the underlying causes. Elizabeth is committed to patient education and empowering them to take ownership of their health, working with them as partners on their health journey. In addition to her passion for health and wellness, Elizabeth enjoys traveling with her loved ones, trail running, hiking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Christa Inzer Castillo MSPAS, PA-C, MPH

Christa Inzer Castillo is a board certified Physician Assistant, with 14 years of experience in  family practice, who offers primary and acute care for adults and children. She loves the opportunity to get to know entire families and develop relationships with her  patients. While trained in western medicine she has long infused a whole person and natural  approaches to achieve best patient outcomes.  

Personal experience, specifically a mother who has responded poorly to the traditional western  medical approach, but used whole body approaches to find answers inspired Christa to begin  the process of understanding root cause medicine. The desire to help answer “why” is this  going on in the body and “how” to help the body heal has become a passion. The process of  teasing out each person’s unique puzzle is fascinating and rewarding, especially when you start  to see health restored.  

Christa grew up in the Treasure Valley, graduated from Meridian High School, earned her  Bachelor of Science in Biology from the College of Idaho. In 2008 she earned her Master of  Science in Physician Assistant Studies and Masters of Public Health from Touro University in  Vallejo, California.  

Outside of the clinic, Christa enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children. You can  find them outside working on numerous projects with chickens, goats, rabbits, dogs, cats, and  gardening, or hiking and exploring the great state of Idaho. She also loves to serve in her  church and squeeze in a swim.

Jennifer Paulson, DNP, FNP-BC, APHN-BC, IFMCP

Jennifer Paulson joins FMI after 8 years of owning her private practice in Bend, Oregon. She is dually board-certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from University of Arizona and completed her graduate studies in Nursing at Concordia University in Wisconsin. 

Jennifer discovered early in her primary care role as a nurse practitioner that the band-aid approach used in medical settings was not the way she wanted to practice. She knew from her personal healing journey with autoimmune disease and recovering her children from neurodevelopmental disorders she needed a different model to provide care to her patients. She earned her certification with the Institute of Functional Medicine in 2017.  Her practice style is unique and she truly meets each patient where they are on their wellness journey while holding space for learning and growing. She enjoys caring for patients of all ages. 

Jennifer also holds certifications and advanced studies in mind-body-medicine such as Yoga, Reiki, HeartMath™, Ayurveda, Holistic Pelvic Care™, and lifestyle genomics. Jennifer is an educator at heart and has held faculty positions with Georgetown University and currently teaches Doctor of Nutrition students at University of Western States. 

In her time outside of work, Jennifer loves gardening, baking, fishing and spending time with her growing family-husband, children, grandchildren, cats, and dogs.  

Gavin Guard, PA-C, MPAS, CISSN, Pn1

Gavin Guard believes that the average doctor visit is not giving patients the time and support they deserve. Gavin graduated summa cum laude from Whitman College with a bachelor’s in biochemistry before completing graduate medical school training at the University of Colorado. His main clinical focuses include gastrointestinal disorders, thyroid and hormone health, as well as metabolic disease like diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Aside from patient care, Gavin is also publishing medical literature in the functional medicine field. He wakes up every morning to help patients find lasting solutions to their health so that they can experience hope and feel restored. When not in the clinic or reading papers, you can find him spending time with his wife and two young girls or pumping iron in the weight room.

Specialties include:
- Digestive concerns (IBS, SIBO, reflux, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, IBD)
- Longevity and metabolic health (heart health, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, weight loss)
- Mold illness and toxicity
- Thyroid health
- Hormones (testosterone, menopause, female hormones)
- Autoimmunity
- Brain fog, fatigue

Allyson Howarth, DNP, FNP-C, WHNP

Allyson Howarth is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She offers functional primary care and women’s health care. Allyson's heart for women's health began as a labor and delivery nurse in 2011 out of a strong desire to provide a safe place for women to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Allyson discovered Functional Medicine through her own personal struggle with autoimmune disease. When traditional medicine didn’t have a solution for her poor health, she wholeheartedly embraced functional medicine in her quest for healing. She is passionate about helping her patients find healing and is excited to be able to implement functional medicine principles with conventional healthcare. 

Allyson is working towards her certification with the institute of Functional Medicine. Allyson earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oregon Health Science University, a Master of Art in Human Services with an emphasis in Health and Wellness from Liberty University, and both of her Master of Science in Nursing and Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Frontier Nursing University. 

Outside of work, Allyson’s favorite activity is spending time with her family. She also enjoys reading, researching, traveling, biking on the Green Belt, and hiking with her husband.

Kristin Gomes, APRN-CNM

Kristin is a Certified Nurse Midwife.  She received a bachelor’s of science in nursing from California State University San Bernardino.  After working as a registered nurse in transplant, oncology, and palliative care Kristin switched her focus to gynecology, labor, and birth.  Recognizing the need to emphasize health, wellness, and prevention in our culture, she saw an opportunity to impact the health of women and their families through education focused, more personalized, family centered care. Thus, Kristin pursued a graduate degree in nurse midwifery at New York University and graduated with honors in 2014.  She has practiced as a nurse midwife in the Treasure Valley since 2015.

Throughout her years of practice Kristin has always strived to provide an inclusive and holistic approach to healthcare. She aspires to meet each woman where they are and collaborate with them on their health journey.  She has seen the profound difference in treating a symptom vs treating the cause while supporting the body.  The desire to support the innate healing and protective qualities of the body through evidenced based care led to her discovery of functional medicine.  In late 2020 she began her training through the Institute for Functional Medicine which she completed in the winter of 2022.  At Functional Medicine of Idaho alongside the community of practitioners, nutritionists, nurses, and health coaches Kristin has the opportunity to provide a personalized and integrative women’s health experience focused on individualized wellness. 

Kristin feels deeply connected to nature.  When she’s not in the mountains camping, hiking, kayaking, or fishing you can find her tending her garden beds or on her yoga mat.  Her favorite season is winter, preferably one with lots of snow, and her happy place is on her skis with her husband and daughter.

Josiah Smith, PA-C

Josiah Smith graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Drexel University in 1998. He continued his education and received his Master of Physician Assistant Studies in 2007. He served as a medical officer with the Army National Guard and earned the rank of Captain. He started his career in Family Practice and moved onto Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care. When he experienced overwhelming life stressors ten years ago, he sought out conventional medical care and all that was offered were several “pills.” Not satisfied that this would fix the “root” cause of his symptoms, Josiah found a Functional Medical provider that transformed his wellbeing through a lifestyle and root cause resolution approach. Impressed with his health transformation, he started his own pursuit of being trained in Functional Medicine.

Josiah opened his own functional medicine consulting practice in Las Vegas with several health coaches. His professional pursuits continued into learning how to optimize the body’s healing potential via other therapeutic interventions. He uses regenerative medicine for aesthetics, sexual wellness, repair and recovery of the body. These include peptide therapy, hormone optimization, IV infusions, Acoustic Wave Therapy, and other cellular interventions to enhance vitality and longevity.

In his personal time he enjoys international traveling and exploring cultures, history, and cuisine with his wife and four teenagers. Josiah also enjoys hiking and skiing.

Stephanie Ritari, PA-C

Stephanie Ritari is a board-certified Physician Assistant who offers primary care for adults at the Functional Medicine of Idaho Meridian Wellness Center. She specializes in Internal Medicine and has spent the majority of her career in the field of cardiovascular disorders.

Stephanie has more than 15 years experience as a Physician Assistant in a variety of medical areas, including cardiology and electrophysiology. Holistic practices have long been a part of Stephanie’s lifestyle, with a particular focus on clean living and nutrition. She has embedded functional principles into her conventional medicine practice throughout her career. After watching family members struggle to find answers for their chronic illnesses, Stephanie became more interested in finding ways to take a root cause approach in her own practice. Wanting to provide a proactive, comprehensive, and preventative scope of care for her patients, Stephanie began studying functional medicine. In 2021, she joined Functional Medicine of Idaho, where she is able to provide evidence based, root cause medicine.

Stephanie earned her Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Montana and her masters in Physician Assistant Studies from Rocky Mountain College. She is currently working towards her certification with The Institute for Functional Medicine. 

In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and dog doing outdoor activities including biking, hiking, and skiing. She also loves interior design and traveling, and is hoping to start her own garden in the near future.

Dr. David Musnick, MD, IFMCP

Dr. David Musnick is seeing patients through FMI Center For Optimal Health in Eagle, ID. To inquire about being seen by Dr. Musnick, follow this link to the FMI Center For Optimal Health here or call (208) 609-9130.

David Musnick MD is a master clinician and diagnostician in both Orthopedic, Sports Medicine and Functional Medicine. He is board Certified in Sports Medicine and Internal Medicine. He has 33 years in Sports Medicine and Internal Medicine and 26 years in Functional Medicine. He has developed his own unique approach to assessment and treatment especially in the areas of Orthopedic Medicine and Concussion and brain based problems. He has seen thousands of cases over the years and has been published in numerous books, speaking locally and nationally on numerous conditions, especially Osteoarthritis and Concussion. He is Certified in Functional Medicine and was one of the original teachers of Functional Medicine. Originally from the Boston area, Dr. Musnick MD spent 33 years of his career in the Seattle area before moving to Idaho in Jan 2022. He enjoys the great outdoors, mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, weight lifting and pickleball. He has expertise treating a vast array of conditions and he has many specialized treatments that he has trained in and developed a very high level of skill in. 

Treatments

Dr Musnick does the following treatments:

Bone Marrow Aspirate injections of joints for Osteoarthritis    

EFT Tapping training for stress, Anxiety etc 

Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM)  Note Dr Musnick is one of the most experienced FSM clinicians in the world.  This treatment can be used ot treat brain, nervous system, Orthopedic and lung, liver and most internal structures   

Genetic Assessment and Interpretation link

Homeopathy (from the French School of Homeopathy)  

Low Level Laser treatment LLLT  

Neural Therapy

Peri Neural Injections for pain    

Prolotherapy Regenerative injections of the Spine and Extremities 

PRP Platelet Rich Plasma injections of ligaments, tendons and joints  

Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF)  

Scar assessment and treatment   

Ultrasound guided injections    

Sports Medicine/Orthopedic Medicine

Areas of expertise

All conditions begin with a very comprehensive history and physical examination

Note: Dr. Musnick has 33 years of experience in Sports and Orthopedic Medicine.   He does not simply come up with a diagnosis label and one treatment for it.   He considers every factor that may be involved and determines every involved tissue, joint, ligament, tendon, muscle, nerve and all other structures.  He determines the status of the pain processing system.  He determines the state of the tissue and comes up with a very comprehensive treatment plan for any Orthopedic, Sports Medicine condition.  His treatment plan may include: supplements, Homeopathy, Frequency Specific Microcurrent, PT, manipulative treatments, and injection therapies (scars, Prolotherapy, PRP, Bone Marrow Aspirate).  Dr Musnick can help you to decide all of your options including if you need surgery or if there are non-surgical options.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Knees, Hips, Ankle, Foot, Neck, low back, Shoulder, Hand, Wrist

Dr Musnick has a unique and integrative approach to OA to support the joint area, the ligaments, the muscles and tendons and the bone to decrease pain, prolong the life of the joint and improve function.  Dr Musnick has written a book chapter on this topic in the textbook Metabolic Therapies in Orthopedics.  He offers very comprehensive evaluation and treatment options of exercise modification, posture changes, shoe wear changes, supplements, homeopathy, Microcurrent, Prolotherapy, PRP and Bone Marrow Aspirate

Sprains/Injury of Knees, Hips, Ankle, Foot, Neck,  low back, Shoulder, Hand, Wrist

Ligament sprains may not fully heal and may need assistance to build more collagen and fibroblasts and joint stability    This may initially be done with PT but may need Prolotherapy or PRP injections.

Tendonitis/ Tendinopathy

Dr Musnick offers assessment with Ultrasound and a thorough examination of surrounding joints and muscles.  Treatment options address regeneration and range from exercise modification to microcurrent, laser and/or PRP injections.  Dr Musnick has written a book chapter on this topic in the textbook Metabolic Therapies in Orthopedics.

Neck/Cervical Spine   

Evaluation of neck pain with emphasis on looking for joint hypermobility.  Numerous treatment options offered including Prolotherapy if joint stability is needed.  Dr Musnick has 26 years of experience with Prolotherapy of the neck.

Muscle Pain, Spasm and Trigger Points

Comprehensive assessment of cause and treatment options with microcurrent, Stain Counter Strain and trigger point injections

Ehlers Danlos(EDS) and Hypermobility Syndromes

Comprehensive diagnosis and integrative treatment including ergonomics, shoe wear, microcurrent, homeopathy and regenerative injections(Prolotherapy, PRP,etc ) 

Disc and Nerve root injury and Pain

Do you need surgery or are there excellent non-surgical options like Microcurrent, PT etc

Functional Medicine

 Dr Musnick has extensive expertise in many conditions that can be treated with Functional Medicine.  He has 27 years of experience and 1000s of cases of successful treatment.   He was one of the original teachers of Functional Medicine.  He has integrated Functional Immunology training(500 plus extra hours) approach into his Functional Medicine which enables him to use this extra training to treat Autoimmune Conditions, Neuropathy, Allergies, Mast Cell Activation, Viral and Post COVID disorders etc.

Brain based conditions and symptoms:

Concussion Dr Musnick developed the world’s first integrative treatment approach to healing Concussion based on the pathophysiology of what goes on in the brain. He does a complete assessment, uses researched food and diet, supplements, exercise, EMF reduction, brain training and Microcurrent to heal the brain. He has a book Chapter in the Book Integrative Neurology 

Memory disorders

Cognitive Impairment (Dr Musnick has a comprehensive assessment and treatment program to treat memory and other brain based symptoms as well as early Dementia) He has helped many individuals improve their memory, stop brain fog and improve the sharpness of their brain   

Other Brain and Nervous System Based Conditions and Symptoms

Brain Fog

ADD

Parkinson’s Disease, MS

Neuropathy (peripheral and cranial)

POTS   Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia

Hormones: Adrenal, Thyroid and Testosterone imbalance including Hashimotos

Insomnia: Sleep Disorders   Dr Musnick has been teaching about non medication and medication approaches to insomnia.  Remember 6 or less hours of sleep can cause body and brain inflammation.  Dr Musnick uses homeopathy, supplements, Tapping, stress management, sleep Hygiene measures to improve sleep as well as medications when needed

Mood Disorders

Depression, Anxiety   Medications may not work or may have side effects so Dr Musnick uses supplements, homeopathy, exercise, Tapping etc. to improve these conditions

GI disorders

Fatty Liver: alcohol and non alcoholic 

There is an epidemic of this condition and it can progress to Cirrhosis and severe liver damage.

Dr Musnick has a unique liver healing program that involves precise diagnosis and an integrative approach to treatment with dietary changes, supplements including Phosphatidyl Choline, assessment and treatment of leaky gut, FSM microcurrent treatment of the liver to reduce inflammation and fibrosis scarring of the liver.

There may be a reduction of swelling, inflammation and size of an enlarged liver.

SIBO and IBS 

especially tough or recurring cases and those with poor motility. Dr Musnick has developed an approach which integrates treating the vagus nerve, the microbiome, uses microcurrent, homeopathy, medication(antibiotic or herbs)

 Post COVID, Long COVID including loss of taste and smell  link

Dr Musnick has a comprehensive approach to the many manifestations of this condition including loss of taste and smell, problems in the brain, lung, sinus and other organs.  He may use supplements, Homeopathy and microcurrent

 Cardiovascular disorders including Lipid Cholesterol issues

Complete assessment and integrative treatment options.  Supplement options for those that wish to avoid statins.

Energy and Fatigue

A very comprehensive approach evaluating Hormones, mitochondrial ATP, NAD and energy production

Oxalates

Dr Musnick is very familiar with oxalates and a lot oxalate diet

MCAS  Mast Cell Activation

Dr Musnick has years of experience evaluating and treating MCAS

*To inquire about being seen by Dr. Musnick, follow this link to the FMI Center For Optimal Health here or call (208) 609-9130.

IFM Certified Practitioner

Aaron Dykstra, DNP, FNP-C

Aaron Dykstra is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. He offers pediatric primary care, including well-child checks and acute visits, in the Pediatric Department of the Functional Medicine of Idaho Meridian Wellness Center.

Functional and alternative therapies were a part of Aaron’s life from a young age, and he has implemented these principles into his conventional medicine practice throughout his career. Aaron has more than 8 years of experience in a variety of medical disciplines, including pediatrics, obstetrics, mental health, and nutrition. He has practiced in rural health clinics in California and Oregon. For the last 5 years, Aaron has had a passion for working with children and implementing positive change through the family unit. Aaron joined the Functional Medicine of Idaho Pediatric Team in 2021. His enthusiasm for educating children and parents about living a healthy lifestyle allows him to provide preventative and acute care for infants, children, and adolescents. 

Aaron obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Brigham Young University. He earned both his Master’s of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice through the University of Arizona. He has obtained a Family Herbalist and Family Nutritionist certifications through The School of Natural Healing by Dr. Christopher. He is currently working towards his certification with The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Outside of work, you will find Aaron spending time with his wife and 5 kids, mountain biking, running, or camping in the backyard. Aaron is a big fan of Master Chef and enjoys cooking.

Nadia Kravchuk, DNP, FNP-C

Nadia Kravchuk is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. She offers functional pediatric primary care, including well-child checks and acute visits, in the Pediatric Department of the Functional Medicine of Idaho Meridian Wellness Center.

Nadia and her family immigrated to the United States in 1989 where they first settled in Oregon and then moved to Idaho in 2001. Complementary medicine practices were embedded into her lifestyle at a young age, and she has implemented these principles into her conventional medicine practice throughout her career. She has more than 15 years experience in a variety of medical environments, including emergency room, intensive care unit, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, family practice, and aesthetics.

Nadia joined Functional Medicine of Idaho so that she can combine functional principles with the foundations of conventional medicine to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. As an avid gardener, beekeeper, and sustainable living enthusiast, she understands the importance and role of optimizing nutrition, sleep, physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. She has a passion for pediatric functional medicine and understands that early recognition and interventions can correct imbalances, prevent chronic illness, and improve overall outcomes for children.

Nadia obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Northwest Nazarene University. She earned both her Master’s of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice through Frontier Nursing University. In 2017, she was the recipient of the HCA Excellence in Nursing Award. She is currently working towards her certification with The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Outside of work, you will find Nadia working on her urban homestead, hiking, foraging, camping, snowboarding, and spending time with her husband and her dog, Wolfy. She is also fluent in both English and Russian.