Want to know more about Cassie?

Cassie Petro, MS, CN is a Colorado native that believes integrative medicine and personalized nutrition are the missing links to optimal health and wellness. Cassie is a Certified Nutritionist (CN) in the state of Washington, and a Certified Nutrition Specialist candidate through the American Nutrition Association. Cassie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Health from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She then went on to complete a double Master of Science in Nutrition and a Master of Science in Global Health from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. 

During her time in grad school, Cassie was Class President for the Student Government Association for each of her degree programs. She completed her Food As Medicine Educator training where she implemented and co-led cooking-based nutrition workshops. In addition, she completed both capstones in Cape Town, South Africa where she focused on food sovereignty and racial inequalities. 

After grad school, Cassie was practicing clinical nutrition therapy in Washington state. Although the Pacific Northwest became her utopia, Cassie returned to her roots back in Colorado to establish her private practice and help make integrative medicine and nutrition therapy more accessible and utilized in her community. Cassie recognized the differences between naturopathic medicine in the PNW compared to Colorado, and is driven by the desire for more communities and individuals to experience the life-changing benefits of a more holistic approach to medicine and healthcare. 

When she is not seeing patients, Cassie spends her time free-time outdoors or in her garden, experimenting in the kitchen, or enjoying a good book. Her hobbies also include yoga, mobility training, weight lifting, and various arts and crafts, despite not being artistically inclined. Cassie’s ultimate passion, however, is traveling and backpacking- she loves eating her way through new countries and experiencing life in other parts of the world. She is a cat mom of two talkative main coons, Dallas and Sydney, who are her ultimate travel and life companions. 

Professional Affiliations:

How does she practice?

Cassie practices as a Certified Nutritionist and her scope of practice includes personalized nutrition therapy. Her areas of focus include digestive health, hormonal health, metabolic function, maternal and child health, mental health, and stress management. 

Cassie has dedicated the last 10 years to expanding her knowledge in evidence-based medicine, trauma-informed care, medical nutrition therapy, and health equity. She believes that optimal health and true healing is attainable with an integrative approach to both clinical practice and public health. 

Cassie recognizes that our lives revolve around and depend on food, which is why nurturing our relationship to food is something Cassie strives to strengthen with each of her clients. Cassie’s approach to nutritional therapy is collaborative and personalized to optimize alignment and function within the whole body and mind. Evidence-based nutrition science, health coaching, and integrity guide her practice to meet the needs of each unique individual she works with. Cassie recognizes the various challenges that can impact proper nutrition and aims to reduce internal and external limitations through nutrition education, empowerment, and lifestyle and behavior change. Health is not a one-size-fits-all and Cassie understands that everybody and every body is different. Cassie is skilled at working with a wide range of people, abilities, and health concerns, and has extensive experience working with children and parents in a variety of capacities.

When working with Cassie, you can expect to deconstruct various beliefs around food, become more connected and attuned with your body, learn which foods are best for you and your health needs, gain confidence in preparing meals and improve your culinary skills. Cassie helps her clients sift through all of the never-ending nutrition information (and misinformation), as well as diet culture, in a way that fosters a sense of freedom around food. 

Cassie does not work with people primarily seeking to lose weight, and here’s why: 

  • Weight loss can never be guaranteed, especially in a healthy, sustainable way.
  • Weight loss is typically a result of malnourishment, undernutrition, or disordered eating, which does not align with Cassie’s philosophy of care. 
  • In most cases, helping people lose weight causes more harm and can increase their risk of comorbidities, which also does not align with Cassie’s philosophy of care.
  • Body’s change naturally and each body functions best at a weight that is specific to them. 

Here is Cassie’s approach to weight: 

  • Weight will never be a focus when working with Cassie, because how much you weigh has little clinical significance to your level of health.
  • Oftentimes unintended weight gain is a symptom of an underlying imbalance that Cassie helps to reveal and correct, but weight loss isn’t the objective.
  • Sometimes, weight gain is a natural, normal, and necessary transition the body takes and Cassie helps her clients work through such changes and helps each person feel better in and about their bodies. 
  • Cassie guides her clients through learning how to properly nourish their bodies instead of neglecting, depriving, or hating their bodies. 
  • Cassie helps her clients discover and learn what nutrients and modalities their bodies need to feel and function better. 
  • Cassie assists her clients in discovering body neutrality, while also deconstructing weight stigma and societal norms around body sizes. 

How did she get into Dietetics-Nutrition?

I was originally pursuing a career as a Registered Nurse until my perspective of health and medicine shifted. In 2016, I had been working in a long-term care facility as a Certified Nurse Assistant for several years at this point, and I was getting ready to start nursing school in the fall. As a CNA you are someone’s eyes, ears, arms, legs, and voice when theirs no longer work. Caring for those who are at the end of life and being by their side as they take their last breath was by far the most challenging, yet most rewarding, job I have ever had the privilege of doing. It affirmed that a career in medicine and healthcare was right for me. However, assisting in managing my residents’ pain and symptoms, instead of treating it, regardless of where they were in their lifecycle, was something that didn’t sit right with me. It was hard to witness how the body declines so rapidly with age, and why there was so much suffering with it. I thought there had to be something more we could do as healthcare professionals, but conventional medicine failed to give me any answers. This curiosity ignited my quest for answers. 

In addition, I didn’t understand why the food we served residents wasn’t personalized for each resident’s needs and health concerns, or higher quality. Food is what sustains us and malnourishment seemed to go hand-in-hand with aging and decline. This also made me question why food wasn’t prioritized for everyone, especially in our earlier years of life. This sparked my interest in pediatric care instead of end-of-life care. I became more interested in nutrition at this time, but only had limited, conventional knowledge about it. I was also someone who could burn water and had zero confidence in the kitchen so diving into nutrition was very intimidating for me.

Around the same time as working as a CNA, I discovered yoga. I needed something to help me decompress after a long, physically and emotionally draining shift. My first yoga class was comical and slightly humiliating, but it quickly became my safe place where I didn’t have to be desensitized to my emotions or ignore my own bodys’ needs. I could just breathe. I could move my body in ways that I didn’t know it could move, and in ways that felt like a privilege because I knew others who were no longer able to. Gratitude, mind-body practices, and breathwork were completely foreign to me, and despite being uncomfortable at first, they made life easier for me. 

The summer before I was supposed to start nursing school, I went on my first solo international trip where I volunteered in various communities in search of some answers. These communities were rural and marginalized, and had very limited access to healthcare facilities. However, each village had a “medicine man” or healer, and grew and raised their own food and medicine. They also had a level of community and cultural practices that I had never experienced before. Despite high rates of infectious diseases and being far away from medical clinics, the way they lived and their level of health sparked more curiosity than I had before. 

After witnessing the gaps within the healthcare system in the US, experiencing life abroad, and being exposed to alternative and traditional medicines of indigenous people, I discovered my passion for holistic health, nutrition, and health policy. When I returned, I decided to hold-off on nursing school and changed my major to Integrative Health Care. Dr. Kelsey Asplin, along with other professors within the program, expanded my understanding of medicine, health and wellness in a way that significantly impacted my career path and goals. It wasn’t easy for me to essentially abandon my lifelong dream of becoming a nurse, but yoga, integrative health, and naturopathic medicine led me to the answers I was longing for throughout this journey.