I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Why did I choose this profession? Because of my own pain. My journey includes debilitating migraines, chronic sinus infections, eczema, weight management struggles, cystic acne, back and neck pain, and anxiety and depression. If any of that sounds familiar, you're in the right place.
I've had migraines for as long as I could remember. I remember being only 8 or 9 years old and leaving sleepovers, dance classes, school, because the pain was so bad I'd be shaking and vomiting. Whispers sounded like nails on a chalkboard. This wasn't something that happened once or twice a year. It happened a lot. The sinus infections were the same way - chronic. I was allergic to all the weeds, trees, you name it. A normal day started with a steroid, and ended with an antibiotic and a ton of Advil. I had an amazing allergy physician, and I got allergy shots weekly during peak allergy seasons. I was pumped full of drugs.
These same issues traveled to adulthood with me, but then new issues came. My weight, my skin, my mental health. I was a college graduate, determined to make it on my own without much support from my wonderful parents (I'm kiddo number 4 - I needed my independence). Mom had almost always cooked growing up, and suddenly I found myself eating Pasta Roni and using my Lean Mean Grilling Machine for chicken. Other fun meal options included grilled cheese, and tortilla chips sprinkled with shredded cheese, baked for a few minutes so I could call them nachos.
I had a great job straight out of college - a good corporate desk job. But I wasn't making very much, and I discovered a little thing called "climbing the corporate ladder". You mean if I'm smart, well-mannered, and put in 60 hours a week I, I can get a BETTER job? SIGN ME UP! I'd grown up as a dancer, went to college at Texas A&M, which doesn't exactly have a small campus, and at the ripe ol' age of 22, I found myself SITTING. All the time.
The back pain started. The weight gain picked up. I didn't experience the "Freshman 15". I thought I was someone who got away with a natural good figure. Instead of the Freshman 15, I gained 30 pounds within a few months of my desk job. My face had broken out in cystic painful acne all over my cheeks and chin. I avoided going out, going to company parties, going anywhere. My face HURT. My back HURT. My head HURT. The depression came. The anxiety came. "People think I'm ugly". "She'll get promoted over me because she's prettier". This went on for YEARS.
And then, at 30 years old, something horrible happened that changed my life forever. I lost my mom to a very aggressive cancer. And doctors didn't have answers. I wanted answers. I needed answers. And I found William Li's TedTalk - Can We Eat to Starve Cancer? Now, the talk is older, and I'm not here to agree or disagree about his work. But I started looking at food. Everywhere. All of it. What if my pain was because of my food? What if food really DID matter? What if I'd been destroying my body slowly for the last 30 years?
It took me a few more years to find a program that fit what I needed. A program that said it's not about this diet, or this food, or always organic or always low carb/low fat/low sugar/low something. It's about bio-individuality. My body is not like anyone else's. So why was I trying to find the right way by following what anyone else was doing?
I do not believe in looking at your diet and asking you to conform to mine. I do not believe in setting unachievable goals for you. I DO believe in educating you, and helping you understand your body. I DO believe that healing can come through changes in food and lifestyle. This is not about diet recommendations. This is about you choosing to take back your health. Reducing your pain. Letting go of all the things that keep you from doing the things you love. Are you ready?