ABOUT OUR INSTRUCTORS
Julie Church, RD, CD, CEDRD
Julie is known for her authenticity, passion and cheerleading, which shows up both professionally as Co-founder of Opal and personally as mother/wife. Co-creating Opal stemmed from a desire to offer a new way to heal from mainstream diet culture. Julie knew early in her educational journey that conventional health and consumer diet culture was not helpful and pursued education and experiences in the 90s that introduced her to Intuitive Eating, Non-Diet, and Health at Every Size. Since then, she has put those approaches to work in a private practice setting, at Seattle Pacific University counseling center and in creating Opal: Food+Body Wisdom’s weight-inclusive approach to nutrition and weight as Nutrition Director. Julie grew up in Wisconsin enjoying youth athletics, gardening, friends and family in a way that only the midwest can bring! She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelors in Science in Dietetics in 1999 and quickly moved west to Seattle to intern at a church to serve college students. Life in Seattle led to many opportunities: international travel, community service, helping college students gain insight into their food and body issues, and public health work as a dietitian. All of this continually solidified Julie’s “role in the world” was to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist ( #DI00001262 ) who helps individuals heal from eating disorders. Julie has professional interest and advanced training in: Attuned/ Intuitive Eating, Diet Recovery/Chronic Dieting, Family Nutrition, Health at Every Size, RO-DBT, Certified Eating Disorder Dietitian-Supervisor through International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (CEDRD-S)
Kara Bazzi, LMFT, CEDS
Kara is a therapist, leader, speaker and podcaster. As co-founder of Opal, she feels deeply called and connected to the vision of Opal: to inspire cultural change regarding food, body, movement and mental health.
Her entry into the mental health field comes from personal experience of developing an eating disorder through the context of college athletics. Her personal experience paired with years of working with athletes with food, body and exercise concerns, has fueled her passion in developing and running the Exercise+Sport program at Opal.
Kara is committed to the work of inclusion and challenging the unhelpful narratives in society that negatively impact our relationship to our bodies, food, movement and selves.
Kara is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (#LF00002454) and continues to offer clinical leadership to the Exercise+Sport team at Opal, alongside training and educating folks in the community about eating disorders in the context of sport and exercise through trainings, writings, and podcasting. She is particularly interested in training athletic coaches to ensure that coaches are equipped in best practices when it comes to mental health.
Alyssa Davis, MS, RDN
Alyssa is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in the state of Washington (#DI61088773 ), holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Health degrees from Loma Linda University. She completed internship rotations at various locations including: Kaiser Permanente, WIC and EXOS Athletes’ Performance, Inc. She possesses a diverse background in clinical, community and sports nutrition settings. Alyssa specializes in working with eating disorders, disordered eating, and performance nutrition. Alyssa has extensive experience working with eating disorders at all levels of care. She also has experience working with clients with diabetes, food allergies, GI complications (i.e. irritable bowel syndrome), PCOS, emotional eating, and substance abuse.
Alyssa is passionate about food and nutrition, mindful eating, and providing education and counseling from a non-diet perspective. She integrates compassion and creativity into work with all of her clients. Alyssa is a perpetual learner and frequently has the opportunity to work alongside people to help them achieve goals regarding nutrition and mind-body connection. Operating in vastly different settings has provided her a wide range of experience needed for effective interaction with her clients and patients.