We all have a story.
I am grateful that most of my life has been happy, healthy, and fulfilling. I always manage to fall into some sort of unexpected adventure and have genuine love and friendship in my life. However, like many of us in the functional nutrition space, I have been there – a place full of disappointment, anger, frustration and pain.
I grew up battling severe depression, anxiety and faced ADD in my early adult years. I have a competitive nature, a desire to over achieve and constantly pursue perfection. Focusing on the next goal was the norm. As a proud recovering perfectionist, I can see how these attributes contributed to challenges with my mental health, which I dealt with through conventional care.
In 2010, although believing that I was quite healthy, I began to encounter a lingering annoyance of immune, neurological, cognitive and digestive challenges. After consulting a myraid of doctors with varying specialities, I realized that although conventional medicine is excellent for acute illnesses, when faced with a complex or chronic condition, “labeling the condition, writing a prescription and sending me on my way” was not the solution. No one was focused on the root cause(s) of my various symptoms.
While maneuvering through this highly frustrating process for six years, I came to the realization of the current gap in our health care system: treating an isolated set of symptoms instead of addressing the whole person. I began exploring the field of functional nutrition and medicine. I became completely fascinated about our body systems and how we are connected emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually – specifically, the gut-brain connection and the role genetics play with our vitality.
My drive to become well led me to Functional Nutrition Lab and the Institute for Functional Medicine. These resources opened an entire new world to me (and six years of educational studies) as I began to think and look at my diagnosis from a functional perspective. This difference is a critical component in improving one’s quality of life. After engaging a functional M.D. and a biological dentist it was determined that environmental toxins from mold, chronic lyme disease, lyme co-infections, and cavitations are the root causes of my condition. The toxic mold presented itself in the condition CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) also called biotoxin illness, which comprises all of your major body systems.
Wide eyed sleepless nights and the miserable, daily feeling of being “wired and tired” became the norm, taking 5-6 days to recover from a light training session, seeing the words clearly in my mind but not being able to say them aloud, experiencing heightened anxiety, enduring excruciating nerve pain from head to toe and feeling like you swallowed a basketball each time you ate (with a pregnant size stomach to match!) … are just a few symptoms of how these illnesses manifested in my body. CIRS and Lyme disease have become debilitating to my daily functioning. It is unbelievable and humbling to say the least. Watch here if you would like to learn more about the symptoms of biotoxin illness from mold and how common it is in our living or work environments. View the diagram here for a scientific glance of how this multi-system inflammation develops in the body.
Since a myriad of symptoms and down stream conditions (SIBO, Candida, dysbiosis of large intestine) arose as a result of this body-wide inflammation, it’s a tedious road to recovery and one that requires a team of knowledgeable experts. My doctor expressed my recovery would be a marathon, not a sprint. I can now appreciate her accuracy!
To complement my education in functional nutrition, I immersed myself into the nurturing world of yoga therapy, mindfulness and meditation. The power of the breath taught me the nurturing elements of self-care, self-compassion and self-love that I had been missing. As I cultivated greater awareness of myself as a whole person, a new definition of health emerged.
Through firsthand experience, I realize it is essential to view any chronic condition through a “root cause” lens. Working alongside your physician or specialist, today as an FNLP (Functional Nutrition Lifestyle Practitioner), I support a functional perspective to nutrition and lifestyle as an integral part of your daily transformation to better health. It’s extremely fulfilling to be part of the solution in bridging this gap in our health care system.
Whether assisting with severe stress management or navigating through a complex illness, I explore your genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors which all play a unique role in how you will heal. Working functionally and engaging in a therapeutic partnership with my clients, allows me to guide and teach you to be empowered as your own agent of change in your life.
Alongside the development of my holistic health practices has always been the enduring presence of faith, whether lingering in darkness or shining brightly in my face. I may not have been fully aware or in tune to its power as much as I am today, but it has saved my life.
I have now re-written my story. It’s called Empowerment.
If my journey resonates with you and you’re ready to live the vibrant life you know you deserve, schedule your complimentary consult here!