My goal is to share with you what I've learned while studying holistic nutrition and working over the last 8+ years healing my own body from adrenal fatigue, insulin resistance and irritable bowel syndrome. I want you to join me on the path to wellness now. Let's get going!
Like most of you, I wear many different hats: wife, mother, daughter, niece, volunteer.
My husband Brian and I have 3 teenage/college aged sons. We live outside of Charlotte, NC.
When my children were headed off to elementary school, we made the decision that I would return to work and pursue a real estate career. I was determined to be the best real estate agent I could be and I wanted to be financially successful to help support our family. I was blessed to have family and friends support me and quickly had a thriving...and really stressful real estate business.
About the time the economy was nose-diving in 2008, my health started doing the same. I had no energy, a completely jacked-up menstrual cycle, had gained about 30 lbs on top of already being overweight and I was barely functioning. Life was stressful both at work and home.
I chose to seek help from my ob/gyn who couldn't really find anything specifically wrong with me but suggested I try an anti-depressant. I can remember thinking "I don’t think I feel depressed but I guess I’ll try this".
My lethargy and weight gain continued. The anti-depressant wasn’t helping. By this time, I had been to my primary care physician. My blood labs came back with elevated cholesterol, borderline thyroid (not enough to treat), and low iron levels. Oh and don’t let me forget, insulin resistance was in full force. He didn’t label me pre-diabetic but he probably should have. He gave me some general dietary guidelines and sent me on my way.
Around this same time, I was introduced to a homeopath. My health continued to decline. I was experiencing severe stomach issues (heartburn/reflux, embarrassingly stinky gas and constant stomach pain). I mentioned these stomach issues to her and she didn’t have any answers but suggested I return to my primary care doctor. She sent me back with a list of blood labs that she thought my doc should investigate. I am thankful for her help and guidance. Without her insistence, I might have just accepted feeling terrible.
I began to wonder who else might be able to help me. I knew a neighbor who specializes in bio-identical hormone therapy and I thought she might be a source of help. At the time, she was working with a doc who practices functional medicine. I visited her, they did blood and saliva labs and we waited for the results.
I remember it was overwhelming the day they rolled out the results of my tests. Unfortunately, my list had grown. Let’s see if I can recollect: adrenal fatigue, low progesterone, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, gluten/wheat intolerance, low iron, borderline thyroid, low vitamin D, borderline low B-12 and I think I might even be missing something.
I was sent home on a gluten-free diet with a meal replacement smoothie mix, hormone replacement therapy, two adrenal support supplements, a low dose natural thyroid prescription, vitamin D and iron. And we really weren’t even directly addressing my digestive issues. Talk about deer in the headlights.
I dove into my new plan determined to feel better! I began to lose weight at a quick pace which spurred me on to continue. The meal replacement was giving some relief to my stomach. My energy levels were still low but I thought I might see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. I even began to work out at Curves a couple days a week.
I was seeing improvements over 90 days or so but my stomach was still not right. I felt like we were still missing a piece of the puzzle. We decided to complete blood labs to look at food sensitivities. The results came back and whoa! I had a long list of foods that I was highly or moderately intolerant too. Missing puzzle piece found! They added a few more supplements to support my digestive system and I began the process of working on healing my gut.
Fast forward just a bit. I felt God calling me away from the stress of the real estate business. We were still in the midst of a major real estate bubble. If my health had been better, I could have weathered the storm but I couldn’t care for myself and also keep my business going. It was a tough decision but I felt it was right and thankfully my husband was willing to go with the flow. When you are obedient to God’s calling, He comes shining through with love and protection.
Around this same time, my close friend Lisa had started studying for her masters in holistic nutrition(MSHN). I don’t even remember the details but it seemed that I was also supposed to be studying more about health and that maybe God had a plan for me to help my family and others around me. I began my journey of health education at Hawthorn University.
I was feeling better when I stayed perfectly on track. When I went slightly off the rails, I could almost immediately feel a difference in my health. Caring for myself was a full-time job! I think maybe in the back of my mind I was still hoping for a quick fix but I began to accept the reality that isn’t a possibility. It was going to take time and energy to heal myself. I dove into investigating and learning.
I had the good fortune (and I don’t believe an accident) to be invited to a seminar on functional health that was being offered in Charlotte by a company that provides professional grade supplements directly to doctors. At the seminar, I had met the company rep who happened to be looking for a marketing assistant. I had the opportunity to spend two years working with her and attending the company’s professional training courses. This allowed me to meet doctors who were in the trenches working with people similar to me. I picked up bits and pieces that I began to put into place in my health regimen. I was my own guinea pig.
A number of years have passed. I have continued to grow and learn while continuing to pay attention to my own health and slowly making my way through my master’s program which I completed in 2017. Caring for myself is still at the forefront on who I am but it is no longer a full-time job or maybe I have embraced self-care fully and it is part of me now. I have learned to live with the individuality of my body and the quirks that make me who I am. I eat a whole foods-based ketogenic diet. I take a daily multivitamin, fish oil and periodically revisit other supportive supplements as needed. Healing is an option!
I would not change one step along my path to healing. I continue to research and learn. I believe my journey makes me uniquely qualified to help others who are experiencing similar health concerns. I have a passion and I believe a calling to lead others to health. I take that responsibility very seriously.
If something about my story sounds familiar and you are seeking healing, I hope you will hang out with me here. Feel free to join up for my email list (you can unsubscribe anytime!), join my private Facebook group, visit my blog page or try out my super easy recipes.