I'm Joseph Bershad, a Certified Functional Nutrition Coach, Culinarian classically trained in traditional French cuisine and food product development leader based in Baltimore, Maryland.
I hold certifications from The Functional Nutrition Lab as a Functional Nutrition Counselor and from mindbodygreen as a Functional Nutrition Coach.
I am a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
I received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Biology, with emphasis in Vertebrate Physiology and an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts from The Restaurant School in Philadelphia, PA, where I was class valedictorian.
I've always enjoyed food, but my passion arose from watching Saturday afternoon cooking shows on PBS, way before the Food Network.
This sparked my interest to grow my own cooking skills which ultimately led me to culinary school in Philadelphia.
I spent 10 years working in kitchens at premiere innovative modern French restaurants in Philadelphia (Taquet, Passerelle, Ciboulette and Tierra) and New York City (Le Bernardin and Dava), and was a private in-home chef for a well-to-do family in suburban Philadelphia.
During this time I honed my culinary skills with a focus on a whole foods based modern Mediterranean cuisine.
I then spent 22 years leading highly successful product development teams for Keystone Foods (now a part of Tyson Foods) and the spice company, McCormick.
I oversaw new product development and commercialization of hundreds of innovative culinary menu items for some of the world’s top global restaurant and consumer packaged goods brands.
Brands you are familiar with like, McDonald's, Wendy's, Chic-Fil-A, Subway, KFC, Chipotle, Campbell's Soup, Hormel and many more.
These were amazing jobs that allowed me to meet great people, learn new and exciting technologies and travel all over the place.
However one day I woke up and said to myself that I can't do this anymore.
Making mass product food items with unhealthy fats, flavors, preservatives and other ingredients that you can't pronounce, was not for me anymore knowing how bad they are for your health.
I knew then that it was time for me to do something different and to be able focus on helping people improve their health vs making them sick.
Having both a science and culinary background has allowed me to combine both of these passions to be able to invigorate my own health and wellness by knowing how and what to eat.
This is what led me to become a functional nutrition coach.
Now I want to help you to do the same.
My personal health journey really began when I was in my early 30’s when I was working as a private chef. I thought I was in eating well and in great shape riding my road bike 50+ miles per week.
Eventually, I realized I wasn’t feeling as great as I expected considering my good habits. I was experiencing brain fog, fatigue, lack of energy, and poor memory recall.
I worked with multiple traditional doctors who told me that nothing was wrong with me.
I was told to “just live with it," which I managed to do until my late 40’s, when my health started to get worse.
At that time I developed lower back pain, which ultimately was due to three herniated discs from too much work travel, a two hour daily commute, a suboptimal diet, and not enough exercise. Unfortunately this eventually required painful back surgery and a long recovery.
While working with a chiropractor who also practiced functional medicine, I learned how to optimize my health by improving my diet and lifestyle so that I was able to address and improve my prior symptoms.
I was also able to drop 30+ pounds that I could never lose before and I continue to keep it off today.
This was all possible by following an anti-inflammatory Mediterranean based diet, exercising regularly, and implementing key lifestyle habits.
This was an enlightening experience for me that triggered my passion for functional and integrative care.
A few years later, I started having odd digestive concerns and again no one could figure out what was going on.
After working with a digestion centric functional medicine doctor who dove in deep to figure out my WHY, I was diagnosed with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO), most likely due to job and life stress that caused a leaky gut.
My doctor put me on a specific regime of antibiotics, antifungals, supplements, a low FODMAP diet, and lifestyle changes.
It took time, but I did get better.
This also demonstrates that healing is not always linear.
I continued to read and listen to everything I could get my hands on about the functional model.
I eventually left my job as a director of product development at McCormick to practice what I am truly passionate about today.
I now want to help you optimize your health and help you find your empowerment by taking control of your own diet, nutrition, and lifestyle.
Together we will build a partnership.
We will discuss the issues you are facing and implement diet and lifestyle changes that will make a positive impact towards your healing.
If you are seeing other healthcare professionals, we can collaborate with them to bring you the best possible care.
I am proud and excited to work with clients who suffer from chronic inflammation, poor cognition and digestive issues.
Where I will teach you how to overcome inflammation by eating wholesome, nutrient dense and delicious foods and practice my proven lifestyle tactics to have you feeling the best that you have in years.
Don't keep putting off focusing on your own health.
The longer you wait, the worse it will become.
The time to start is now.
Please schedule your free 30 minute discovery call with me to start your journey to feeling the best you have in years.
Need a clear path to the most optimal foods for your health?
Download your free guide in just seconds and start stocking your kitchen with better options that will help you heal and thrive.
Formatted in an easy bulleted list and separated by category, print this and keep it handy as you start your health journey.