Updated: Jul 9, 2019
I want to share my story with you so that you can have a better understanding of why I have such a passion for holistic healing. I haven't always been so health conscious, but if someone would have told me then what I know now...
I grew up the American way, not really being taught to care about nutrition. We ate what we could and wanted, as did everyone else, and it was usually as affordable as possible. My favorite beverage was Dr. Pepper. My favorite food was Ramen Noodles. It may not have been exactly the food pyramid guidelines, but life was good.
It did seem like I was always sick, though. Sinus infections, allergies, colds, and other upper respiratory illnesses were a constant battle. The reason why I hate the taste of grape anything is now an inside joke between me and my dad that started with the unreasonable intake of Dimetapp cough syrup. But, between that and antibiotics, I got through. Except for the chronic constipation, but I didn't really know that was a thing at that age. Pooping once every four days is normal, right?
When I was senior in high school, I was determined to become a pharmacist. To me, that was health, healing, and a great salary. I would boycott the cafeteria most days because I didn't like school food. Lunch consisted of pop-tarts and a 20 oz. Dr. Pepper from the vending machine. My mom would say the only water I drank came from the shower. If I had the choice between anything else and water, it would always be anything else. Why not?
I was accepted into University of Charleston as a pre-pharmacy major to pursue the "dream" of being a pharmacist. Unfortunately, the later half of my undergraduate career decided to take a different direction. My stressful and not-so-healthy lifestyle caught up to me. My food choices weren’t “horrible“. I tried to eat healthy-ish. I can remember shopping with my mom and buying all of the "low-fat/no-fat" foods because fat was bad. But there was always McDonald's and Taco Bell value meals because they were cheap, easy, and on my way to wherever.
I had late nights (no regrets!) and early mornings, appreciated a nice cold beer (or many), and stressed over everything (the final was due when?!?). I enjoyed my life, but my body couldn't handle what I was doing. I began to experience chronic pain mainly in my neck and shoulders that was untouchable. There were evenings when I would ask for my boyfriend to just squeeze my neck hoping for just a pinch of relief. I was tired. I was unhappy. And I was in pain.
Long story short, I was a child of the Standard American way. My chart at the doctor's office is about the size of a medical text book. If it started to hurt, go get it fixed. If you are unhappy, go get it fixed. It was suggested I was experiencing the onset of Fibromyalgia. I was on Tramadol for the pain, Prozac for the depression and of course, birth control for my irregular cycles. Did this help? No. It made it worse. Far worse. (Side note: Drug-nutrient depletion is real, but rarely discussed. If you are taking any medications, especially birth control, blood sugar, cholesterol, and high blood pressure medications, please be in contact).
I can remember the heart ache I felt when I was let go from my job at a health food store because of my poor condition. Yes, I even worked at a health food store! Did I know anything about healthy living? No. It was just a job. There was so much going on in my life at that time. I wasn't able to work and focus on anything other than pain, I was transitioning away from being a pharmacy major, and it was just decided that letting me go was of my best interest. I didn't feel the same, but what could I do?
Reminiscing about my journey makes me grateful that I was able to learn from these experiences. Along the way, I have worn heart monitors for palpitations, have had numerous EKGs, taken the drugs for pain and depression, and felt like absolute shit. My gut was a wreck due to all of the antibiotics I took as a kid. Like I said, regular bowel movements to me was every three days or so. My inflammation was a direct result of a pro-inflammatory diet filled with sugar and refined food, many nutrient depletions, and the Candida that was a result of poor gut health (that nasty white film on my tongue was the biggest indicator of yeast that NO ONE EVER LOOKED FOR). Let alone, the dehydration from never getting enough water.
Needless to say, I am not a Pharmacist. My passions changed as my health did. Shortly after I graduated with a degree in Biology, I started to research that health food thing again. Maybe there was something to the vitamins and supplements after all. I mean, the customers I had when I worked at the store seemed to believe in it. My need to feel better lead me to the #InstituteofIntegrativeNutrition, where I took a one year class about holistic health coaching and nutrition. I started to implement what I was learning on myself. The improvement I saw within one year was mind-blowing and created the need to learn more and help others like it helped me.
Today, I am proud to say I am no longer in pain. I am no longer unhappy. I am no longer severely constipated and miserable. Today, I can say that I have found a better path to take: the (w)holistic approach. In May of this year, I completed my Master's degree in Nutrition and Integrative Health with a focus on Herbal Medicine from #MUIH. The desire to share this wealth of experience and knowledge grows every day. What we eat and do in our lives impact every aspect of our wellbeing. The proof is in the chia pudding!
My journey does not end here. You see, I am on a mission to bring true healing to you. It has not been an easy journey. In fact, I continue to work on myself daily. What has happened, though, is I have first-hand experienced the resiliency of our body. We are designed to heal. We need fed the proper nutrients, to eliminate the toxins, and remove harmful anti-nutrients. It is my mission to help you find your resilience and aid you in your wellness adventure.
Healthy blessings to you and yours.