What made you become a family nurse practitioner?

That’s a great question! Do you want the short answer or the long one?

Here is the short story:

I inspired to be in a position where I could partner with my patients to help them become the best person they could be. I did not want to just prescribe another medication (although sometimes it is necessary), I wanted to help them answer the WHY behind what was going on with their body and health.

Here is the long story:

When I was in high school, my dream was to go to NYU to become a fashion designer (shocking I know). I was constantly adding designs to my fashion portfolio and making some of my own clothes to wear to school (yikes!). When it was time to apply to college my parents encouraged me to stay in state to take advantage of Hope for at least a year and then transfer to NYU if I still wanted to be a fashion designer. However during the first semester of college, I started noticing my clothes were fitting a bit tighter (anyone else?). Growing up I was a dancer and lacrosse player so I never worried about what I ate or purposefully adding exercise to my daily routine. I quickly realized that if you wanted to be healthy, you actually had to try (another shocker). I became a group fitness instructor, Body Pump instructor, and personal trainer.

After my second year of college, it was time to “declare” a major. I realized I loved the fitness side of wellness, but I wanted to dive deeper into the science. I decided to become a nurse so I could blend the art of caring and therapeutic communication with the science of medicine. After finishing nursing school, I went straight to the ER to develop my skills in a fast paced environment. I loved my time in the ER, but I knew I wanted to get on the other side… prevention. I went back to school and got my Master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. Once I completed my Master’s degree, I landed my dream job at CentreSpring MD with Dr. Taz. Because I love school so much, I started my Doctor of Nursing Practice while working at CentreSpring MD and completed my dissertation on digestive health (thank you to those that were in my study).

As you can see, I absolutely love school and learning. Who knows what I will do when I complete Board Certification in Functional Medicine (almost there!).

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

This is a tough question. I try to “supplement” a healthy diet so I cycle supplements depending on what I am eating and how my body is doing. The one supplement I try to take most days is actually a medical food. I love Ultra InflamX Plus 360 in my morning shake because it provides protein, amino acids, vitamins, a prebiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties from curcumin, polyphenols, ginger, and rosemary.

Here is what my morning shake looks like:

  • Milk (coconut or almond milk)
  • Fat (MCT oil, nut butter, or avocado)
  • Frozen berries

Blend those 3 ingredients first, then add 2 scoops of Ultra InflamX Plus and blend for 10 seconds (if you blend the Ultra InflamX too long you will lose some of the health benefits).

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

Snacking while cooking. Gosh, this one was hard to break! I am starved by the time I start cooking, so I used to snack. Then I was too full to even eat dinner with my husband (or I would still eat it and not feel well).

To help break this terrible habit, I did two things:

  1. I added a snack (with a healthy fat and protein) around 3:30 PM
  2. I sip sparkling water out of a wine glass while cooking

What’s your favorite way to break a sweat?

I feel like time is always a factor so I would have to say my favorite is HIIT (high intensity interval training). I love to turn music on and do 10-20 minutes of intervals at home. I alternate between 1 minute of cardio and 1 minute of strength. I have some of these workouts on my STAT Wellness app. You should check them out!

If I have more time, I love Stellar Bodies and Fast-Twitch in Atlanta.

Name one health tip you think every woman should know.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone; you are already enough.

Social media has made it so challenging for woman of all ages. There is so much pressure on women and I believe this is hindering our ability to truly become healthy. I want every woman out there reading this to know you are already beautiful. I recommend keeping a gratitude journal and writing down one positive thing that happens each day. Research is validating that gratitude is actually good for our health. Is happiness the new healthy?

What’s the one health food trend you wish would just go away?

Juice cleanses. Don’t get me wrong, I love healthy cold pressed juices. They are full of antioxidants and a great addition to a healthy diet. However, when you do a juice cleanse you are missing key macronutrients (protein, fat). If you want to do a cleanse, add cold pressed juices into a plant based diet. Eat plenty of vegetables (all the colors of the rainbow) and add healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil. Take a break from animal products (meats, dairy), processed foods, dyes, gluten, soy, caffeine, and alcohol.

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

When I am not working at the Centre, I am typically working on STAT Wellness, training for my marathon (Big Sur is less than 3 weeks away), and hanging out with my amazing husband, Cam and our adorable puppy, Charlie. Some of our favorite things to do is travel, try out new restaurants (any recommendations for us?), walk the beltline, explore new parks, and socialize with friends. Since marrying Cam, I am able to relax more and enjoy quality time with the ones I love. I am thankful to have someone in my life that makes me laugh as hard as he does!

What is your favorite guilty ‘cheat’ treat and how do you balance this in your diet?

Dark chocolate and red wine; they are full of antioxidants right? Although dark chocolate and red wine have health benefits, I always have to remember moderation. It is so easy to eat half a dark chocolate bar (or the whole bar) without even realizing it. To help balance this into my diet, I keep the dark chocolate out of sight so I don’t want a square every time I go into the pantry. Instead my husband and I will pour a glass of red wine and each bring out a square or two of dark chocolate. We slowly sip our wine and enjoy quality time together. This is one of our favorite Friday night traditions.

Hopefully I will get to meet you soon (if I haven’t already)!
Kristin Oja, DNP, FNP, PT-C

Kristin Corbin Oja, recently having completed her doctorate of nursing practice, is a board-certified family nurse practitioner, registered nurse, personal trainer, and group fitness instructor.

Email appointments@centrespringmd.com to schedule a visit with Kristin Corbin Oja.

Tags: , , , ,

Categories: General