What made you become a family nurse practitioner?

In high school I completed an internship in an Atlanta-area hospital designed for students interested in the medical field.  I noticed that doctors in traditional medicine spent much less time with their patients than nurses.  I was inspired by the time and care nurses took with their patients to understand their needs and build meaningful relationships. Developing that relationship with my patients has always been important to me, so that guided my decision to go to nursing school.

Once I graduated, I immediately began working as a nurse in labor and delivery, which I absolutely loved.  After working in this area for a few years, I began to realize that my impact on my patient’s lives was important, but I was not able to then follow them through more of their experiences.  I spent some of the most exciting, scary, and devastating moments of my patients lives with them. And then, they went home and I rarely got to see them again.  In order to have a broader impact I wanted to be able to follow them throughout more of their lives, as they grew their families and the bumps along the way. That is when I decided I wanted to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

I truly value being a Family Nurse Practitioner at CentreSpringMD and the relationships I am able to build with my patients. I value that working in integrative medicine allows me to utilize new research and truly get my patients to their best health. I now feel like I am finally able to practice medicine the right way.  I am able to look at the whole person (diet, exercise, mindfulness, nutrients, hormonal balance) and help my patients get healthy, prevent disease and optimize their health.

What’s the one supplement you take every day and why?

I never miss my active B vitamins and probiotics!

My body does not methylate well, or is unable to use the B vitamins from foods as effectively.  This means that by taking the active B vitamins, my energy and mood are at optimal levels, as well as improves my overall health and future risk for disease.  Since I started these several years ago, I never miss them. B vitamins are important for hormonal balance and neurotransmitter function, as well as energy, so it is an important nutrient to optimize in everyone.

Secondly, I take different probiotics and always rotate my brand.  This allows me to get a wide diversity of bacteria for optimal gut health.  It is hard to get enough gut balancing probiotics in a daily diet, so to support this, I take one daily.

What’s one bad health habit you had to break?

One thing that I still have to make an effort to work on every day is stopping to take time for myself.  After going through grad school while working, then starting my career as a family nurse practitioner while planning my wedding, I spent years not including any time for mindfulness and balance.  You can only continue that way for so long before your body just crashes.  I had to learn to incorporate some form of mindfulness every day.  I enjoy going to the gym, light walking outside with my dog, as well as meditation and deep breathing.  When things get busy it is easy to forget about staying mindful, so I have to work hard to make sure I stay balanced.

What’s your favorite way to break a sweat/workout that you’re obsessed with?

I love doing group workouts. I belong to a local gym and we do a mix of cardio and weight training.  I love the energy and community of working out with other people.  We do something different every day which keeps my body on its toes! Also, although I never thought I would say this, I love early morning workouts. Last year I found myself unable to find enough time in the day for the gym so I had to make the time before work in the mornings.  I will never go back!  Although it is still not always easy to get out of bed, it gets my day off to such a great start, helps me have more energy and improves my mental focus throughout the day.

How do you spend your time when you’re not at the Centre?

I absolutely love anything that involves being outdoors and with my family and friends.  On the weekends my husband and our puppy Nala enjoy finding hikes around Atlanta, walking the Beltline, kayaking, going to farmers’ markets and festivals.  We also love the abundance of fun, new and healthy restaurants in Atlanta and enjoy exploring new places with friends.

Christina Connors Grace is a certified family nurse practitioner and registered nurse. She brings a passionate, caring approach to patient care with a wealth of experience in women’s and family medicine.

Email appointments@centrespringmd.com to schedule a visit with Christina Connors Grace.

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