Most every health coach has had their own wellness journey.
I am no exception.
For many years I had a high stress career in the legal field, but I never felt it was my true calling. Frankly, I never had a clue what my true calling was. However, through a series of fortunate, and somewhat unfortunate, events, I came to find out.
It started in my 30's, a particularly stressful time in my life, I had Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP). MVP means you have a faulty valve in your heart and is a condition that is quite common, especially among women. As a result of this diagnosis, my doctor at the time advised me that I needed to take antibiotics when having dental work done so I wouldn’t get an infection in my heart. So every time I had dental work done, I took mega doses of antibiotics both before and after. I asked her several times if this was absolutely necessary and she assured me that it was. I always felt that one day she would tell me it was no longer required, and sure enough, more than 15 years later, that’s exactly what happened. Unfortunately, by that time, the damage to the healthy bacteria in my gut had been done, and no one at the time was saying to take probiotics to re-establish your gut microbiome.
I developed all kinds of gut issues and sought help from several traditional doctors – none of whom were able to help me. It was a very frustrating time in my life, to say the least. I went to several alternative practitioners and learned something new from each one. They also helped me to make the connection between health and nutrition. I started reading everything I could on nutrition and gradually changed my own eating habits.
I learned that when we infuse our bodies with nutrient dense, unprocessed, whole foods, we change on a cellular level.
My health issues were somewhat improved, but I still had concerns. So I decided to get my certification in nutrition from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). It was a big decision and signified the beginning of a new direction in my life. I studied over 100 different dietary theories and heard many experts lecture in their field of nutrition and wellness. Two lecturers that particularly resonated with me were Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Frank Lipman, both functional medicine doctors. They spoke about getting to the root cause of a disease, not just treating the symptoms. The moment I heard them I knew that I wanted to be a part of the functional medicine movement and to help other people find healing too.
After receiving my certification from IIN, I was fortunate to get a job with a functional medicine doctor in Santa Barbara, California, as a health coach. As he had a full practice, I had to hit the ground running. This experience reinforced my desire to help people and to pursue Functional Medicine training. I began attending the Applied School of Functional Medicine where I learned the mechanics of functional medicine and the key supplements that promote the body’s return from dysfunction and disease to optimal functionality. This was finally it – I was doing it – a real career change.
I had found my true calling.
During this time, I was seeing a my own Functional Medicine practitioner. He ran several functional medicine lab tests, including a comprehensive stool test, which showed one of the root cause of many of my gut issues were parasites, and that several processes in my body were far from optimal. Through treating the parasites, targeted supplements, and certain lifestyle changes, I have made great progress with my health issues. I am seeing firsthand in my own body the functional medicine model at work:
Minimize (take out what’s harmful: toxins, infections, allergens, stress); Maximize (put in what’s needed: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats); then get out of the way and create an environment for Healing (sleep, rest, laughter, stress reduction, meaningful relationships).
My body is healing.
I have more energy, my gut issues are being resolved, and my sleep is so much better. I still have more work to do but I have a clear direction and hope!! I was so used to feeling a certain way that I forgot what optimal health felt like. And now, at last, it’s within my grasp!
It has been a long journey but I am truly thankful to have taken this path and discovered my true calling. Now I want to help others experience the same transformational healing. I am here to tell you -- I get it!! I know how frustrating it can be!! I’m here to show you how incredibly satisfying, peaceful, and simple life can become once you feel good in your body. Feeling good means you’re free. Free from the digestive discomfort, mood swings, food sensitivities, insomnia, and weight that just won’t budge – the things that keep you feeling stuck, stagnant, and in a cycle of eating and living that just isn’t working.