It All Started When…
I was never one of those skinny girls in high school, but I wasn’t excessively overweight, even though I felt like I was. My family was not overweight and I thought I ate relatively healthy, but when I look back, I realize my mom always gave us dessert or unhealthy snacks after every lunch and every dinner. I tried to maintain a healthy weight as I got older. I got married and had 2 kids. I gained 50 pounds with my first pregnancy but only lost about 25 pounds. The old saying, “You are eating for two” is very deceiving, and I was really disappointed in myself for gaining all that weight. Then I gained another 50 pounds with my 2nd pregnancy, and again, struggled to get this weight off. I didn’t think it was going to be that hard to lose weight, considering how easy it was to gain it. I lost some, but never did get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. With both pregnancies, I was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I had to monitor my blood sugar during each pregnancy, and now I was considered pre-diabetic, which meant I was at a higher risk of getting diabetes later in life.
After my 2nd daughter was born, I started drinking soy protein shakes from a popular weight loss company, in hopes of losing all that pregnancy weight. I was drinking those shakes for 2 meals a day. I did lose weight, but I really wasn’t eating healthy at all, even though I thought I was. About 2 years later, I started feeling tired all the time. I would work all day, then come home and fall asleep just sitting on the couch, which is not something I ever did before. I continued to have a difficult time losing weight, and my hair was falling out. I figured it had to be because I had a 4-year-old and 2-year-old, and I worked full-time. One day my doctor asked if I had ever had my thyroid levels checked. Sure enough, my TSH level was off the chart (literally, it was 23). I had a radioactive uptake scan, and they found a multi-nodular goiter. The needle biopsy came back negative, so it wasn’t cancer. At least I had an answer to why I was feeling the way I was.
After being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I started researching the possible cause. I stumbled upon some food choices that weren’t good for the thyroid (like soy), and this piqued my curiosity. I remembered all those soy protein shakes I drank to lose weight. I also discovered that soy was a hormone disruptor, so I was convinced that this caused my thyroid problem. I was extremely upset that something promoted as healthy was really not, and I was paying the price now. Over the next several years, I tried countless ways to lose weight, but my thyroid made it difficult.
Fast forward a few more years. Facebook was just starting to get popular, and some of my health-conscious friends were posting about something called GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). I started researching them and was intrigued. I discovered all the chemicals and added ingredients in things we ate, like sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. I started making food from scratch, including condiments and sauces, like ketchup and BBQ sauce. I decided to get my Master’s degree in Environmental Studies because I wanted to learn more about our environment and food safety.
I started my path down the rabbit hole and haven’t looked back. I learned so much in grad school, and with my own research. The chemicals that were being incorporated into the DNA of our food was mind-blowing, and the damage being done to our bodies was just coming to light. Soon after, I made some major dietary changes. I cut out all grains and sugar, which was not easy doing it alone. I made everything I ate from scratch. It took a lot of research and planning ahead, but I learned a lot. There were many days that I just wanted to stop making all my food and go back to eating unhealthy food, but I didn’t give up.
In May 2016, my husband, who really didn’t want to eat what I ate, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. We were both shocked by this diagnosis. His A1C was 12.3. He had been diabetic for at least a year and we had no clue, because we didn’t see any warning signs, or so we thought. All my research and my own history with gestational diabetes were now being put to good use on him. I taught him how to read labels on the foods he ate, so he could learn what was healthy and what wasn’t. He struggled in the beginning, trying to get used to eating differently. He now ate a salad before every dinner, and he was not a fan of veggies before this happened. Because he improved his diet, within one year his medication was cut in half. He was so excited about lowering his medication, his goal is to get off it completely in the near future.
This led me to enroll in a certification program to become a health and life coach. I knew this was perfect for me. After all the years I lived with my illnesses, all my research on food safety, learning how to change my diet on my own, and then helping my husband improve his diet, I could now help others do the same thing, and they didn’t have to do it alone. I decided to take it a step further and became a holistic nutritionist. This opened up even more curiosity about how food really affects our bodies. I was stunned and amazed at how certain diets can help prevent and even reverse chronic illnesses. I am now committed to helping those who want to remove processed foods from their life, and can’t wait to help you HEAL, TRANSFORM, and THRIVE in your new lifestyle!