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CICELY SHANKLE, MS, CNS

Cicely Shankle, MS, CNS has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska since 1997 and is very excited to be working at the Alaska Center for Natural Medicine to help people achieve their nutritional goals and/or manage a medical condition through diet. The current nutrition world is both confusing and conflicting so she is here to help those navigate this complex journey to better health through diet.

SCHOOLS ATTENDED/DEGREES:

University of Alaska Fairbanks – Bachelor of Science: Biochemistry, Minor: music (Magna Cum Laude)

Eastern Michigan University – Master of Science: Human Nutrition (Magna Cum Laude)

AWARDS/SPECIAL TRAINING:

  • Certified Nutrition Specialist

WHAT ARE YOUR SPECIALTIES?

I specialize in low-sugar/low-carb, ketogenic, dairy-free, and anti-inflammatory diets. This ties into managing medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, IBS/IBD, and cancer. Additionally, I work with patients to improve their general health through food knowledge, hydration, exercise, and stress management. I believe that understanding different aspects of food, such as where it comes from, how it’s made, and how it affects our body is the first step in being able to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO TREAT AND WHY?

I have a very personal relationship with allergies and asthma so I like to help those who have experienced the same thing. I received my first inhaler at the age of 6. Unfortunately, this also allowed me to be dependent on them. I was hospitalized twice for asthma attacks, narrowly escaping death one of those times. Knowing that I did not want to live a life dependent on medications and doctors visits (nor could I afford it), I took initiative of my health and have improved my own conditions through research, diet, and exercise over a 2 year period. While I am not “cured” of my asthma, my symptoms have improved over 90% and I no longer require the use of an inhaler.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN ALASKA AND WHY DID YOU MOVE HERE?

I have lived in Fairbanks since 1997. I moved here from Chang De, China with my mom when I was 5-years-old. She wanted to provide me more opportunities in life than what was available in China (especially for women) at that time. Fairbanks has been my home since.

PREVIOUS CAREERS?

I’ve worked in various industries before gearing my attention towards nutritional healthcare. During my undergrad at UAF, I worked as a research assistant performing analyses on chemical solutions involving chromium and its applicability towards diabetes research. I also had another job as part of the administrative staff at the emergency room of Fairbanks Memorial Hospital at this time. After graduating from UAF, I was accepted for the Masters of Science Human Nutrition program at Eastern Michigan University, so I bar-tended for a couple years to pay for it. Ultimately, I wanted to shift away from the food/beverage service industry and align myself with the healthcare industry so I worked for a small, locally owned naturopathic clinic for a couple years. Although this job was fun and kept me busy, it was not quite aligned with direct healthcare so I applied for a nutritional internship at ACNM and the rest, they say, is history.

HOBBIES AND OTHER INTERESTS?

I love to play soccer! You can usually catch me at the soccer fields in the summer or at a local school for indoor soccer in the winter. I also climb, play volleyball, and snowboard. I like to stay active without needing to go to the gym. I also love to cook and experiment with flavors and textures in my free time.

FAMILY?

It is just me and my mom here in Fairbanks. My extended family all resides in China.

BOOK OR WEBSITE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PATIENTS (ABOUT 5)?

  1. Chemical Cuisine - this website has a comprehensive list of common (and uncommon) food additives and preservatives present in today’s food industry. They are categorized by how safe they are for consumption and health.

  2. Today’s Dietitian – this website has a lot of up-to-date, science-backed information on what’s going on in the nutrition field that covers a wide array of topics such as current nutrition trends, business advice, controversial policies, nutritional medical conditions, and of course, healthy recipes.

  3. nccam.nih.gov - this is the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. You can search this database for the most up-to-date journal articles on complementary medicine.

  4. The Weston Price Foundation – this is your source for accurate information on nutrition and health, always aiming to provide the scientific validation of traditional foodways. I really like this site because they provide a LOT of useful, science-backed information in various formats such as videos, podcasts, blogs, journal articles, and press releases.


Cicely Shankle is certified nutrition specialist at the Alaska Center for Natural Medicine. To schedule an appointment with Cicely, call 907.452.3600 or visit us at 3039 Davis Road, Fairbanks, AK 99709.