Hello, I am Karen Ortiz. I am a mom, pediatrician and cyclist. I have helped busy parents, kids and cyclists with weight loss and fitness. I want to share that knowledge.
My vision is a world of empowered, strong and vibrant woman who nourish themselves and their families with love, healthy yummy food, adventures and activities.
My mission is to empower busy parents to attain nourished and fit bodies by providing guidance, plans and coaching to improve diet, lose weight and reach those fitness goals.
My passion is simply riding BIKES, nourishing BODIES and helping others do the same.
My Food and Bike Evolution
I have struggled figuring out what’s healthy ever since I can remember.
From the age of 7, I remember seeing a cereal commercial that told me I was supposed to eat a large bowl of cereal, 2 pieces of toast with butter, a large glass of milk and a large glass of orange juice. This was all placed on a nice tray with a vase of flowers.
So, I tried eating and drinking all that at the tiny age of 7. I also made my sister a tray. She was 5. Needless to say we couldn’t quite eat and drink all of that and I remember feeling sluggish. That was my earliest memory of the utter confusion of what’s healthy.
Middle school and high school brought the typical preteen and teenage body image issues. I wasn’t extreme with my eating but I never could quite figure out what was the right thing to eat. I was a people pleaser and wanted to do the “right thing”.
After becoming a doctor, I picked up John Robbin’s book The Food Revolution. I turned vegetarian and then vegan and read all the of veg authors of the time – John Robbins, Caldwell Esselston, MD, Joel Fuhrman, MD and Neil Barnard, MD. I went to Food As Medicine Conferences and saw many of these same people speak along with others. There were and always are contradictory opinions.
I started to work on childhood obesity research but struggled feeling like I wasn’t truly helping the kids and families. It was tough. I could provide advice, but what was the best advice?
I continued being vegetarian and off and on vegan, until I just felt a bit more worn down. I added fish back into my diet, which seemed to help.
In the midst of all this, I started bike racing and really progressing thru the ranks. I moved over the next 10 years from beginner to expert in mountain biking and to winning some Cat 3 stage races in road racing.
As my training progressed, I continued to experiment with my diet.
I have tried paleo, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, low fat, low glycemic and ketogenic diets.
After more education as a physician in practice, at conferences and with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition I have come to the conclusion that whole foods, self- experimentation, patience, self-awareness and consistency are the keys to determining the most nourishing diet for the individual. There is no one perfect diet.
Now, I am back riding and racing long distances and eating my nourishing diet. I plan to soon ride across the country or Ride the Divide. My goals to come.
I love working out the details of nutrition with riding, racing and just living.
In my practice, I work with children and families on their nutrition and have expanded my practice more and more to work with kids on losing weight. It is heartbreaking to hear kids stories about being bullied about their weight and already dealing with serious bouts of anxiety and depression.
I have come to realize that I love working with mom’s. Helping them trickle down their new lifestyles down to their kids and empower both themselves and their families.
I also love getting women on bikes. I have coached both racers and noncompetitive riders and have felt such a thrill at seeing them achieve new goals and reach a new level of biking prowess!
Those ladies rocked it!!
Professional Version of my Bio
Karen Ortiz is a board certified MD with certifications in Pediatrics and Holistic Medicine. She has earned her certification as a health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and has published medical research articles in the fields of pediatric obesity and nutrition.
Dr. Ortiz graduated from Vanderbilt University Medical School with Honors. She then went on to complete a pediatrics residency at the University of Utah, where she became an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. As a faculty member she engaged in resident and medical student teaching, worked in her own clinical practice, was an acting pediatrician in an autism clinic and became engaged in Pediatric Obesity research. Currently, Dr. Ortiz practices in a thriving pediatric practice in Albuquerque, NM and is a coach to amateur cyclists in nutrition and cycling.
Dr. Ortiz is an Expert Mountain Biker, Cat 3 road racer and has competed in numerous races throughout her biking career. A few of her biking accomplishments include a 3rd place finish in LOTOJA – a 200-mile road race from Logan Utah to Jackson Hole Wyoming. She has completed the Leadville 100 3 times and earned her belt buckle each time. She won the first San Juan Hut to Hut Mountain bike race that traversed from Durango to Moab.