Hi! My name is Kendra Whitmire, and I am the nutritionist at and owner of Sunshine Nutrition & Wellness. In addition to holding a master's degree in nutrition, I have experienced first hand the transformative power of food and nutrition to improve health.
Despite experiencing stomach problems as long as I can remember, my story really began in 2006 when I started to experience digestive problems that really interrupted my life. I went to several doctors, none of whom could really give me a reason nor a solution.
I lived with it for several years until one day, it got even worse. I had to quit my job and felt really limited in what I could do. Once the digestive problems were better, all of a sudden, I had massive fatigue and anxiety problems! Again, going to the doctors was little help, even though I met with understanding and helpful doctors. I was always afraid that my friends and family members would take my low energy, frequent canceling, and lack of interest personally or just think it was all in my head, but thankfully, I found I had supportive people in my life.
After many years of trying different things, working with a functional medicine nutritionist made the biggest difference. I had already cut out some food due to allergies and intolerances discovered in some of my work with the doctors and felt I ate pretty well, but my nutritionist and I went beyond that and addressed the underlying triggers and found additional ways to support my health.
Although I remain on my own health journey, including just recently finally getting some answers in the form of an autoimmune diagnosis after more than a decade of doctor's appointments and tests, I finally feel that I am back to a place where I can once more live the life I want to live and engage in the activities I want to do!
My journey led to a desire to learn more about nutrition and its role in biochemistry, the pathology of diseases, and optimal health, partly because I am a nerd and love learning but also so I could help others in the way I myself was helped. I decided to get my master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States, from which I graduated with distinction.
As you have probably already intuned based on my story, my path to becoming a nutritionist has not been a simple, linear journey. I have had previous careers, including working as a freelance writer. In addition to my master's degree in nutrition, I hold two master's degrees in English from the Shakespeare Insitute, a part of the University of Birmingham in England: an MA in Shakespeare Studies and a Master of Philosophy (mPhil - a research-based master's degree) for which I wrote a thesis entitled "Uses of Shakespeare References on American Television 1990-2010." I earned my undergraduate degree in English and German from the University of Southern California.
Although sometimes it can feel like my whole life revolves around nutrition (in a good way -- again, I love learning!), I also have additional hobbies and interests. I love running and have been known to enter as many half-marathons at Disneyland as possible. I enjoy reading and watching movies, and I count TV as one of the loves of my life. To calm down and de-stress, I like to do some yoga or go watch the sun set over the beach.