Growing up on the Standard American Diet, (SAD) my daily intake of food consisted of whole wheat cereal for breakfast, a sandwich at lunch and meat and potatoes for dinner. Although we weren’t allow many sweets, I did crave sugar and over indulged any time I could. I was sick a lot, and took many rounds of antibiotics. I also experienced tremendously itchy skin, which was worse at night, so I didn’t sleep well. In the morning, I was always moody, exhausted and experienced brain fog.
During the 80’s and 90’s the low-fat, no fat diet and counting calories was all the rage. Consuming carbs, gluten and sugar was acceptable on these diets, not realizing the detriment it made to my brain, joints and the cause of chronic inflammation.
In college, I was a competitive body builder. While getting ready for a competition, I herniated 2 lumbar discs which cause years and years of chronic pain and inflammation. I used over the counter pain killers, ice packs and sleeping pills to cope, but at times, I needed a cane to aid in walking due to the sever sciatic pain. Although I strived to stay athletic, there were periods when I was very limited in the amount of activity I could tolerate, so, my weight was a constant struggle, and at one point I was over 200 pounds!
In 2014, I noticed my already poor memory was getting worse and I mean really worse; to the point I was afraid I had dementia or early Alzheimer’s. I was having a really hard time reading. I would stare at a word, but not able to recognize or say it. Conveying a thought through speech was getting hard. I would have difficulties completing a sentence, because I couldn’t find the words or even know what the words were. I would stand there and point at ‘that thing’. Indeed, it was very frustrating and scary. My kids at the time were 9 & 10, they thought it was funny, bless their hearts, but I didn’t think so.
Although I considered myself ‘healthy’ at the time, I look back now and see how little by little I was being poisoned and deceived by marketing tactics and commercialism. All of these symptoms and conditions multiplied and accumulated, and then, I finally crashed.
In July 2015, I collapsed in bed with the worse migraine I had ever had, extreme exhaustion, and didn’t get out of bed for 3 weeks. The diagnoses came back I had a lot of health issues including : Adrenal burnout, and auto immune disease (psoriasis), blood sugar issues, extremely low immunity, malnourished, leaky-gut, pathogens, candida, Epstein-Barr, and gluten and sugar intolerance. I thought I was dying. Never did I think, or was aware that years of progressively poor nutrition habits and lifestyle choices, led to physical and mental disorders, including: mood swings, memory and cognitive impairments, insomnia, inflammation conditions, concentration problems, depression, headaches and migraines and chronic stress/fatigue and pain.
My body was shutting down. My choices were to go on more antibiotics, steroids and antidepressants. I didn’t like that idea. I’ve always believed that body can heal itself it you give it the time and means to do it. So I started searching. I needed to find a way to detoxify my body and give it an opportunity to rest, reset, rejuvenate and recover.
I researched and followed as much holistic nutritional, healing protocols as I could find, and graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I am happy to be here today to share with you what I have not only learned, but what I have lived. And can testify, first hand, that food is medicine.