CICELY SHANKLE, RESIDENT NUTRITIONIST
Cicely has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska for over 21 years 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.
University of Alaska Fairbanks – Bachelor of Science: Biochemistry, Minor: music. Graduated magna cum laude
Eastern Michigan University – Master of Science: Human Nutrition. Graduated magna cum laude
Dean’s List in 2013, 2016, and 2017.
What are your specialties?
My specialties include working with those that have asthma and allergy symptoms and finding and treating the source of body-wide inflammation. Personally, I have experienced allergic asthma and even been hospitalized (twice) for it, narrowly escaping death one of those times. Knowing that I did not want to live a life dependent on medications and doctors visits, 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.
What do you like to treat and why?
I like to work with patients that have difficulties understanding how the food their eating affects their body. This includes those who can not seem to meet their nutritional goals no matter how hard they try, such as those who wish to lose (or gain) weight, improve athletic performance, or tailoring their diet to a certain medical need. We all have a very personal relationship with food and knowing how food impacts that relationship can be the difference between a positive or negative outcome.
How long have you been in Alaska and why did you move here?
I have lived in Fairbanks Alaska for over 21 years. 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 a woman) at that time. Fairbanks has been my home since.
I’ve worked in several 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 and being accepted for the Masters of Science Human Nutrition program at Eastern Michigan University, I bar-tended for a couple years to pay for graduate school. I wanted to shift away from the food/beverage service and align myself with the healthcare industry so I became a receptionist for a small, locally-owned naturopathic clinic and worked my way up to office manager within a year and a half. Although this job was fun and kept me busy, it wasn’t quite aligned with direct healthcare so I applied for a nutritional internship at ACNM and as they say, the rest is history.
Hobbies and other interests?
I love to play soccer in my free time. You can usually catch me at the soccer fields in the evenings during the summer or at a local school for indoor soccer during the winter. I also love to cook and experiment with foods and flavors.
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)?
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.
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.
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.
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 a resident nutritionist 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.