The Wellness Place

The Wellness Place

The place to go for optimal health and nutrition, naturally! Established in 2013. The Wellness Place’s mission is to provide a simplified path to natural health that allows you to express your fullest potential.

At the core of our Functional Wellness model is the relationship between our environment, our genes, and the way that our genes express over time.

Operating as usual


Time for some accountability: I owe honey an apology.

In the past, I have written about honey and recommended that people avoid it at all costs. This position was based on the fact that honey has a very high sugar content. In fact, the actual fructose content in most batches of honey is around 40 percent, but this percentage can vary wildly from 21 to 43 percent due to how and where the honey is harvested and processed. When digging deeper into the literature about this sweet nectar from nature, I discovered that science supports the idea that it may not be so bad after all. We may be able to make a small space for honey in our lives.

In fact, several human trials have indicated that honey consumption is associated with better insulin response and better blood glucose levels. Some researchers have gone so far as to characterize honey as a “novel anti-diabetic agent” in terms of its effects on both the liver and pancreas where it has been shown to improve blood sugar control, and the gastrointestinal tract where it positively modifies the gut microbiota.

So, have I changed my position on honey? Yes, and that’s a reflection of how scientific research continues to inform us.

And my promise to you is that I will continue to change my position(s) any time science starts to align behind findings that support lifestyle modifications associated with improved health outcomes, whether or not they're in harmony with my earlier recommendations. This is about getting you the information you need to protect your health, not my reputation.


Are You Waking Up In The Middle Of The Night?

The Symptoms and Signs of Gluten Intolerance You Haven't Heard About 10/16/2021

The Symptoms and Signs of Gluten Intolerance You Haven't Heard About

The Symptoms and Signs of Gluten Intolerance You Haven't Heard About Skin problems, depression, and headaches are potential signs of gluten intolerance. Find out if you’re dealing with a gluten sensitivity.

Timeline Photos 10/16/2021

Timeline Photos

Acne rosacea is an inflammatory condition that affects about 10% of adults. While conventional medicine typically treats acne rosacea by prescribing lotions and potions, Functional Medicine seeks to get at the problem’s root cause. ⁣⁣⁠
On a previous episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I sat down with Dr. Todd LePine to talk about common drivers of acne rosacea, why it is frequently related to gut health, and how they treat patients with this condition.⁣⁣⁠
Take a listen here:

Photos from Mark Hyman, MD's post 10/07/2021

Photos from Mark Hyman, MD's post

Instagram Photos 10/07/2021

Instagram Photos


It’s time to flip out your notions on cholesterol.

The sun's energy turns a cholesterol molecules in your skin into vitamin D3, which is carried to your liver and then your kidneys to transform it to active vitamin D.

Solar UV radiation (290–400 nm) comprises 90–100% UVA (320–400 nm) and 0–10% UVB (280–320 nm). The action spectrum for cutaneous pre-vitamin D3 synthesis shows that only UVB radiation initiates synthesis.

In the bowel, fatty foods are broken down into cholesterol which is oxidised to form pro-vitamin D3. It is then transported to the skin where it is isomerized into pre-vitamin D3 by UVB radiation.

Research has found a significant positive relation between baseline vitamin D and total cholesterol level

The relation between total cholesterol and vitamin D production, indicates that a low natural cholesterol level might be problematic.

Your body has an inbuilt system to absorb cholesterol in order to convert sunlight to vitamin D.

Researchers have demonstrated that when levels of cholesterol are high, a switch is flicked so that less cholesterol is made and more vitamin D is produced in the skin.

Cholesterol, which is essential for cell growth, is produced in the body by a complex series of reactions involving more than 20 different steps. The last step relies on the enzyme DHCR7, which converts a substance called 7DHC into cholesterol.

This substance, 7DHC, can also be turned into vitamin D by UV from sunlight.

Cell culture experiments that high levels of cholesterol destroy the enzyme, switching off cholesterol production. This led to a build-up of 7DHC, which increased production of vitamin D in skin cells exposed to UV.

Blood ‘cholesterol’ are actually lipoproteins that are collections of fats that house fat-soluble vitamins and other critical nutrients around the body.

There are low density LDL (circulated and emptied) as well as high density HDL (released from liver with nutrients to deliver around the body).

It’s like the postage system of your body that delivers critical cholesterol and sunlight collected its molecular form in vitamin D3.

Foods that contain cholesterol and are high in saturated fat. Full fat dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and cream. Animal fats, such as butter, ghee, and spreads made from animal fats, lard, suet and dripping.

Saturated fat and cholesterol help your body produce vitamin D from UV radiation.

Did you know when you eat butter, it gathers in your skin and turns into vitamin D when stimulated by sunlight?


If you look at the full mouth x-ray of a child’s mouth you see how their body is in strict requirement for as many nutrients as possible.

Growing skeletal systems and dental arches are hungry for nutrients to help place minerals and reinforce the immune system.

When you see kids today, that have tooth decay, stuffy noses, asthma, and tired eyes, these are at its foundations a nutritional problem.

The problem is today our modern diet is devoid of the foods that provide these resources that children need so much.

Parents today are left with the difficult job of navigating how to feed their children effectively.

There are big problems when you walk down a supermarket aisle, every single food targeted to kids are full of sugar, refined carbohydrates, and vegetable oils.

Here’s the rules I follow when feeding my children (ages 0-3) :

1) Meat and eggs served as a priority at the start of a meal when children are hungry. That way you raise the chances of a kid actually eating the foods.
2) Vegetables cooked in fat and some raw are a secondary food, they are served after meats in a meal.
3) Try to add organ meats (cod-liver oil is an easy one) or bone broth where you can into sauces, dishes, and sneak it in where you can!
4) No grains or cereal. My kids are three they haven’t eaten grains, they will, but I don’t want this taking up their attention/stomach space for more nourishing foods. Eggs for breakfast!
5) No fruit. Main reason for this is the sugar content and the way fruit pushes their palate to want ‘sweet’. Kids are very hard to get away from sweet things, once they have a taste for it.
6) No vegetable oils. This means cutting out most packaged foods where you can, they probably sneak in here or there, but for the most part they foods cooked in butter/coconut oil or animal fats.
7) Drinks include milk and water. That’s it, absolutely no juices.

Now if you haven’t started your child on a diet like this it’s hard to transition, and you may need to make compensations, but you can use some of these as a guide.

Favorite breakfast includes omelets cooked with butter, cheese, sliced ham, powdered bone broth, and served with milk/cod-liver oil.

Remember feeding children is hard, but they will adapt, and if you believe and understand why it’s important they eat this way, you will persist in helping them to find the best foods possible.

Ok, I’d love to hear what food tricks you use with your children….

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: What It Is, Symptoms & Treatment | Chris Kresser 09/17/2021

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: What It Is, Symptoms & Treatment | Chris Kresser

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: What It Is, Symptoms & Treatment | Chris Kresser B12 deficiency can cause depression, fatigue, and other serious problems. Find out more about what this vitamin does and learn how to correct a deficiency.


It’s normal to pull wisdom teeth out, right?

Infected wisdom teeth can cause painful abscesses that often need extraction.

When the problem reaches this point, surgery is often the only option, but are we really understanding the root cause?

Wisdom teeth surgery is one of the most common surgeries across the globe, it’s like a rite of passage.

If we dig a bit deeper, the prevalence of wisdom teeth issues shows how little we understand about dental growth and development.

Teeth shouldn’t be crooked, it’s a growth issue with the jaw when they are.

The human jaw is growing at different rates and stages right from being in the womb. It bothered me for some time in dental practice how this question just isn’t raised.

At ages, 5-6 kids begin to lose their milk teeth. Adult teeth begin to move into alignment, and often are cramped from the beginning.

Bite issues are a sign that there is inadequate or limited space for this eruption. These can be where the upper teeth sit behind the lower teeth on the meeting of the jaws.

Other issues occur from thumb sucking or pacifier habits that can cause an ‘open bite’ where the front teeth don’t meet.

High narrow palates can mean a child doesn’t breathe through their nose very well, the palate is the floor of the nasal sinus, so breathing and straight teeth are connected.

If a child can’t breathe through their nose, they may have an underlying jaw growth issue, or they're at risk of having crooked teeth later in life. Symptoms include snoring and mouth breathing at night.

When kids don’t breathe well they often posture their head forward instead of straight over their shoulders. That’s kids who slump and lean, which affects their skeletal growth, a part of the system the jaws are growing with.

Tired, slumped, shoulders, jaw pain, headaches during growth and development may all be a signal a child isn’t developing as they could be.

Today myofunctional growth-focused therapy can correct jaw growth issues, and habits really do affect how young faces develops.

The jaws are the foundations of the airway, brain, and skeletal system. Instead of waiting for wisdom teeth to grow in and get infected, we can pick these issues up, and prevent them.

Did you or a family member have impacted wisdom teeth?

Carbohydrates - Why quality trumps quantity | Chris Kresser 08/29/2021

Carbohydrates - Why quality trumps quantity | Chris Kresser

Carbohydrates - Why quality trumps quantity | Chris Kresser Do you obsessively count carbs? The good news is you probably don’t need to—if you eat the right foods. Eating quality carbs is what counts.


Getting better sleep is dependent on your brain producing melatonin. As the most powerful endocrine hormone, primarily released in the brain but also in organs including the gut, melatonin regulates circadian rhythm, immune system, and metabolism.

​Deep, restful sleep is fundamental for your body to growth and repair systems, so you really need to have a good hold around your melatonin production and sleep quality.

Did you know every 28 days, your melatonin is disrupted when the full moon arises?

​With a mass of 81 quintillion tonnes, the moon is 1/6 of earth’s total mass. The moon’s gravity is hence responsible for 56% of earth’s ocean tidal energy. It moves those vast bodies of water as it orbits and influences our planet.

​The moon pulls upward on earth’s oceans while the earth’s gravity acts downward. These forces, alongside the sun and other bodies create the total tidal changes of the oceans.

It affects all life on earth, including animal breeding and feeding cycles moving in close connection to the moon.

​Lions time attacks more during the week after a full moon. Cows more births occur near or during near full and full moon. Biodynamic wine farming uses moon cycles​

During full moon periods, researchers have found that deep sleep decreases by 30%. Time to fall asleep increases by five minutes and total sleep duration falls twenty minutes.

The female menstrual cycle, and moon cycle are both 28 days.

Studies in 1980 and 1986 both found that human menstrual cycles move in sync with the moon’s phases. However, they had conflicting results on what part of the cycle occurred during the new moon phase.

 In 2014, a study of more than 8,000 women found them more likely to ovulate during the new moon.

The full moon affects your melatonin levels, so here are some factors to boost your production:

1) Watch the sunrise
2) Use UV blocking glasses after sunset
3) Reduce sugar consumption
4) Eat more of the amino acid tryptophan, you can also supplement in times of melatonin disruption.

Food sources of tryptophan are chicken, eggs, cheese, fish, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and turkey

​How are you spending this full moon?


We are solving the mystery of vitamin K2.

I've been following the story for nearly a decade now.

The vitamin K2 dependent protein Matrix GLA shows us why it is so important.

Matrix GLA protein is found many soft tissues such as kidney, lung, heart, and spleen.

In 1997 the penny dropped, matrix-GLA was shown to act as an inhibitor of several processes both in skeletal and soft tissues: calcium precipitation in hyaline cartilage and human vascular smooth muscle cells.

That means this vitamin K2-dependent molecule is actively lifting calcium out of these organs.

That is it stops the hardening of cartilage during development and in ageing breakdown

The history of the Mgp/Bgp gene family has been discussed for more than two decades, particularly in relation to the evolution of a mineralized skeleton in vertebrates

In March 2021, a very interesting study looked at the ancient origins of these vitamin K2-dependent molecules.

By looking at genes of some of the earliest vertebrates that grew jaws, they found how vitamin K2 molecules guided the earliest jaws on planet earth.

It was found that Mgp1 in the inhibition of mineralization during the maturation of the skeletal tissues in the small-spotted catshark.

This observation is shared with all described gene expression patterns in skeletal tissues in other jawed vertebrates. The roles of Mgp/Bgp are related to the prevention of over calcification of the tissue.

These early mechanisms show how vitamin K2 has been fundamental to jaw growth and how we should consider that human jaws are likely too dependent on vitamin K2-driven molecules.

Vitamin K2 directs the hormonal signals of bone growth with three other factors:
• Growth hormone (GH)
• Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)
• Vitamin D

Growth hormone, IGF-1 and Vitamin D have a three-way interaction in bone growth.
More human studies are needed to confirm the dosage of Vitamin K2 for jaw growth.

However, the broad range of research supports its role in normal facial growth and straight teeth.

Problems associated with malocclusion and crooked teeth stay with people for life. The fundamental role of Vitamin K2 in the skeletal system means it should be at the center of a strategy to prevent crooked teeth in future generations.
Foods that are rich in vitamin K2 include:

• Natto, fermented soy
• Goose liver
• Cheese
• Egg yolks
• Dark chicken meat
• Butter

Do you eat enough vitamin K2?


We’ve been seeing this all over IG, and couldn’t resist sharing it too! 😁 Posted @withregram • @sacacupunctureproject Repost from @stillpointca


Do you have restless sleep or grind your teeth?

Teeth grinding often accompanies a set of other symptoms, including:

​- Low blood pressure
- Chronic stuffy nose
- Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD)
- Headaches or migraines
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Tension headache
- Hyperventilation syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Cold feet and hands
- Depression or anxiety
- Brain fog, daytime sleepiness
- Allergies, skin rashes

Why would this be?

People who grind their teeth, often work or study long hours or report stressful family situations. Stress plays a part, but teeth grinding also reveals how people breathe during sleep. To put it more correctly, teeth grinding hints at a set of sleep disorders and lack of oxygen during sleep. It’s a little-known condition known as upper airway resistance syndrome. And it is far more common than you’d expect.

It’s estimated that 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. You may ask how the number could be so big? Many people simply don’t know they are at risk. They also have sleep disorders that are hard to pick up and even define.

The relatively small number of diagnoses are those with obstructive sleep apnea, yet it’s estimated 1 billion people globally suffer from OSA.

Teeth grinding is often associated with a condition abbreviated as UARS – UPPER AIRWAY RESISTANCE SYNDROME.

Sleep tests reveal UARS is sleep interrupted with frequent respiratory effort related arousals (RERAs). It’s due to higher pressure in the airways that send a message of ‘choking’ to your brain. If you suffer RERAs all night long, your body cannot enter deep REM sleep.

​UARS indicates sympathetic FLIGHT OR FLIGHT driven sleep. It is the little sister of sleep apnea, and we need to talk about it.

Imagine the sound of tooth enamel screeching against under 250 pounds of force per inch. That’s what dentists think when they see teeth grinding in patients. For a long time, I would prescribe a night splint to prevent damage to the teeth. Whilst guards can sometimes help, the real way to help a patient is to identify their breathing issue.

Do you or a family member suffer from teeth grinding?

Our Story

Holly L’Italien, LAc, is a Functional Wellness Practitioner who specializes in using a whole body approach to achieve optimal health and beauty. After graduating from Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin in 2008, Holly worked at a highly-regarded wellness center and built a strong foundation in functional wellness techniques. She went on to earn her Masters Human Nutrition (magna cm laude) in 2012 and started The Wellness Place in 2013. She graduated with the first class of ADAPT Trained Health Practitioner from the Kresser Institute, the only functional medicine and evolutionary health training company. She is also trained as an Epigenetic Human Potential Coach with Apeiron Academy. Holly helps her clients achieve radiant health by harnessing the wisdom of ancient medicine with modern nutritional approaches, precision genomics, functional wellness, and advanced laboratory testing.

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Seriously... Carbs Don't Count?



1805 Princeton Av
Austin, TX

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 2pm - 5pm
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