Meet Barbara

Voted best nutritionist in Marin 2020

Professional Training

Barbara Sobel, MS, CNS, LDN is a clinical nutritionist using the functional medicine approach.  She practices in the San Francisco Bay area and virtually by video conference or by phone across the country.  Barbara’s extensive training and clinical experience include:

  • Masters of Science in Nutrition & Integrative Health from Maryland University of Integrative Health
  • Advanced post-graduate training with the Institute of Functional Medicine with a concentration on treating clients with complex, chronic conditions. She is trained to use a comprehensive set of interventions including therapeutic diets, nutritional supplements, botanicals, lifestyle, exercise, sleep, and stress-management techniques. 
  • Certified in Mind-Body Medicine from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.
  • In addition to working with clients in her own practice, Barbara has worked as a nutritionist at a specialized functional medicine practice delivering personalized medical care to those with complicated conditions. Barbara worked closely with the practitioner team to translate their recommendations into workable, sustainable changes that lead to optimal wellness for patients.

“Barbara is incredibly knowledgeable, thorough and compassionate. I’ve worked with her for several months now.  She can always be reached, keeps my health a priority and goes way beyond to make sure that my health improves. I highly recommend her without any reservation.”

San Diego, CA

Barbara’s Journey of Finding Wellness Through Nutrition

A few years ago, I regularly ran and biked the hills above my town. I looked forward to savoring the views from the hilltops and feeling the endorphin rush I got from physically challenging myself.

After a particularly stressful year, I found myself lying on my couch, recovering from knee surgery. My knee eventually healed, but I couldn’t get off the couch. I often felt cold, and my hair began to fall out. I needed a lot of coffee to function – multiple cups in the morning and afternoon. I found simple problems, like what to make for dinner, difficult to solve. It was getting harder and harder to take care of my family, and I began to gain weight.

I sought the help of physicians. I was referred from one specialist to another, took a multitude of diagnostic tests sometimes getting a diagnosis and sometimes a list of conditions that I did not have. I learned that I had vitamin deficiencies, even though I ate what I thought was a good diet. I also learned that my thyroid function was low. I was prescribed several medications, each for a different symptom, but no one could tell me why I still didn’t feel well or why these medications were not working. I was also diagnosed with multiple food intolerances. Even when I removed the afflicting foods, I still suffered from fatigue, weight gain and brain fog.

Later, I began working with a functional medicine practitioner. Slowly they worked with me to uncover deeper and deeper layers of my health. I learned that I had specific genetic mutations that made me predisposed to certain conditions. I identified environmental triggers in my home that were contributing to my health issues. I changed my diet and supplement program to meet the unique needs of my body and balance my blood sugar. Eventually, I began feeling better, thinking clearer and losing weight.

As I navigated through these personal health challenges, my curiosity grew. I wanted to learn the science behind the nutritional and diet changes I was making. I enrolled in a Masters Program in Nutrition and Holistic Health at Maryland University of Integrative Health. I threw myself into learning chemistry and biochemistry, nutrients, vitamins and minerals, states of disease and health, and counseling. I learned how to evaluate medical studies and create a healing presence for my clients.

All of this experience has helped me to build my nutrition practice, Barbara Sobel Nutrition, focused on using real food to help people feel their best!

The Rest of the Picture

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UC San Diego. I began my professional career working for elected officials at the state and local levels and later transitioned into communications consulting. I took several years off from paid work to stay home with my children. During that time, I used my advocacy, planning, communication and fundraising skills to help local schools as well as environmental and health-focused non-profit organizations.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my two teenage boys, husband and cat. I love to cook and experiment with twists on recipes, building on flavors and ways to increase their nutrient value, taste and pleasure around food and eating.