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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

Reader Interactions

84 Comments

  1. Hey Lauren! Thanks for writing such a meaningful post–it’s exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve been dealing with the effects of my own health crisis for over 2 years now–I actually found your website in the first place because I was on the Candida diet and your reasoning convinced me to switch over to GAPS! Still on GAPS but that aside…I’ve found myself increasingly frustrated recently. With all I do, how different I am from everyone else, why am I not healed? Will I ever be all better? Or is my health permanently compromised? One of my major struggles is with adult acne–the beacon telling the world of my internal struggle– to combat it I eat cleanly, take DIM, eat carrots, vitex berry–you name it, I do it. My hope is that more time on GAPS will help me heal. I wish I was at the finish line but after all my hard work I see now that I’m only a couple miles in! Your idea that imperfect health challenges us anew every day so that we can experience life’s many lessons with humility and understanding, resonates with me strongly. Thank you for being honest and open. I’ve recently found that Bikram yoga has propelled my spiritual growth/physical healing to new levels. So it’s something to try if you’re interested. I guess the main thing is to keep trying new things and if they’re working to stick with them through and through. Again thank you. Empowered Sustenance has been an inspiration to me for the last two years and though your healing journey is ‘imperfect’ the inspiration you have given me, has been truly meaningful and necessary to my life and healing.

    • You aren’t alone! I just recently joined the land of candida overgrowth, via corticosteroids for a poison oak rash, but my inflammation and adult acne have plague me for the last 15 years. Aren’t you glad we have found a great website community through Lauren and other people like her? Hang in there!

      • So grateful for Lauren and all she has to say. Being in my 50’s, I see her as a vast of information, but never thought of her as perfect or not-perfect. But after reading this post, I now see some of the challenges she faces that I was naïve too. Life is a constant journey, and Lauren dealing with her health and what actions to take are all part of it. 25 years ago, give and take, when I was having children, I sure wish I knew then what I know now about food and prescription drugs I fed my babies, toddlers, teenagers, etc., without thinking twice about anything I put in their bodies until I reacted to a prescribed eye drop in 2011. The rest is history, and I am grateful I found Lauren and what she has to say!! Keep up the good work, and I will now read your posts realizing EMOTIONS go into this as well…….:)

  2. Thank you for such an interesting and thought provoking read. I have been ill with ME and fibromyalgia for 26 years, a lot of that time bed or settee bound. I too found myself saying when I am normal, when I am better, all will be well. I slowly grew to appreciate my journey through life and realised that my life would not have been better or worse with better health, just different. I learnt to celebrate what I had and enjoy doing what I could do. But…. Yes the but…. I still find myself wishing to be whole and normal at times. Loving yourself and your life amid seeming chaos and pain can be very difficult. We can nurture our bodies with nutrition which I must admit helps the pain greatly but we must allow ourselves to nurture our souls and allow ourselves to be not perfect for if we were perfect what else would we have to learn? We only have one life and constantly striving for perfection can often mean that we forget to enjoy the small things and the life we are actually living.

    Now if only I can remind myself of that when next I say when I am better!!!!

    • sorry to hear about your ME/fibromyalgia. I have recently discovered a wonderful healing technique for my own ME. It is called Dynamic Neural Retraining System or DNRS. Run by a lovely lady called Annie Hopper. She has much integrity and compassion. Have a look at her website and see what you think. I am using the techniques and getting great results. Lots of luck and best wishes

  3. I am so grateful for this post. I am a recovering perfectionist as well (in all aspects of life). Meditation helps tremendously as do positive visualizations. Life is a journey and we must not forget to live while we are in search of a better health.
    Writing about your current issues takes such pressure of me thinking that I AM A FAILURE because I have setbacks! So thank you!

  4. Thank you for this. I plan to re-read it. I have been learning this lesson, too.

    I read a passage yesterday that reminded me of this theme and that I try to apply in my own health journey…doing all I can, but ultimately being at peace with whatever the outcome is, even if it’s not “perfect health”.

    It said:
    “You should resign yourself entirely into the hands of the good God, who, when you have done your little duty about this inspiration and design that you have, will be pleased with whatever you do, even if it be much less. In a word, you must have courage to do everything to [bring to fulfillment the goal you seek], since God gives you such a desire. But if after all your efforts, you cannot succeed, you could not please our Lord more than by sacrificing to Him your will, and remaining in tranquility, humility, and devotion, entirely conformed and submissive to His divine will and good pleasure. You will recognize this clearly enough when, having done your best, you cannot fulfill your desires.

    For our good God sometimes tries our courage and our love, depriving us of the things that seem to us, and which really are, very good for the soul. And if He sees us ardent in their pursuit, and yet humble, tranquil, and resigned to doing without and to the privation of the thing sought, He gives us blessings greater in the privation than in the possession of the thing desired. For in all things and everywhere, God loves those who with good heart and simplicity, on all occasions and in all events, can say to Him, “Thy will be done.”

    • Could you post who wrote that passage? It’s very good.
      I was going to say that I have glorified the goal of being healthy, to my detriment. I now know that, as we live in an imperfect, fallen world, perfect health is the myth! We do the best we can, knowing that our best self is yet to come, John 3:16

  5. Something that this post brought to my mind was the appreciation of how far I’ve come. I think once you stop feeling like absolute crap all the time (when you’re at your own version of rock bottom), it’s hard to remember what that feels like!

    I get so caught up in the little health problems that I’m still working to balance out, that I forget that the fact that I can go a full day without feeling bloated and sick, with lingering cystic acne, and acid reflux is a miracle in and of itself.

    Thanks for the reminder to honor my journey! I’m a completely different and much healthier person than I was five years ago.

  6. I totally understand what you are saying, but it still doesn’t make it easy. I, too, have UC and hypothyroidism (subclinical, not Hashi’s) and I’m currently recovering from stage 3 adrenal fatigue. My minerals are screwed up as well – can’t get my ferritin where I want it, I’m taking a ton of magnesium…and I eat really well. GF for 2 years, no processed crap, etc. I also wonder why I can’t get things “fixed” so I can go back to feeling like I did 10 or 15 years ago. I want to fix it. I don’t want to have issues. Add to the fact that I’m 46 and probably have other hormone issues going on at this stage of the game and the fun never ends. I try to be positive, I try to read about being thankful, meditating, I do yoga, I focus on my breathing, I try to deal with stress, but it’s not enough.

    I am working with someone now who is helping me and that has been a great burden-release. Functional health practitioner, of course, as no conventional doctor was ever helpful.

    I appreciate your posts and inspiration. If nothing else, know you are helping others and we are in the same boat as you (recovering from perfectionism and striving for perfect health). Smile!

  7. Lauren, I rarely comment ever, that is just to say this post really moved me. I read several health blogs and yours is my favorite, but whIle I find your journey so empowering and beautiful I do find myself in disbelief of your seeming perfection. I feel this way when reading most of this type of blog. What am I doing wrong that I cannot fix my much less severe issues? Are these writers really this perfect? How will my children ever be as healthy as they can be if I cannot even stick to simple lifestyle improvements? Looking back, I can see how far I have come, and that still there is a long way to go. I hope your struggles improve and you can let go of the negativity that envelopes each of us when we start comparing ourselves to others or worse yet to an ideal. Be well on your journey, gnothi seauton, lots of encouragement sent your way from a grateful and inspired believer in you.

  8. You are a delight! Your blog is refreshing and I so appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. I’m feeling so inspired and uplifted after reading your article. Keep being you…the world needs your awesomeness!

  9. Ohhh girrrl! I hear ya! every. single. thing. you said!

    I love that part about healing “Healing is not about reaching perfection. It’s about constant adjusting and reorienting oneself in order to maintain balance.” this is wonderfully said and a great reminder for me today! 🙂

    Thank you for being transparent and having the positive impact that I’m sure this post will have to many!

    Christal

  10. Great! I was doing fabulously til a trip to NYC in 2013 on 4 filthy jets gave me a VERY serious virus..it was 8 months illness and starting over from scratch..I have been so tired and frustrated..BUT moving forward! Thanks!

  11. What a lovely reminder. I’ve struggled in the passed, first with an eating disorder, then in college with Lyme’s disease, mono, and arsenic & uranium poisoning. Along with a host of allergies and sensitivities to various foods and chemicals. Over the last 4+ years I’ve worked REALLY hard to heal and struggled ceaselessly with feelings of failure over not getting better fast enough. Working through buried issues of self loathing, learning to really appreciate who I am, to love who I am, has been a long road. I struggle to find balance, to remind myself that this is a journey I chose, and to accept that I am healing in every moment. And I have to love that. I choose to find peace and joy in that, and when I find myself disheartened it’s so very nice to have a reminder like this. Thank you.

  12. Thank you so much for posting this, Lauren. I’ve been striving towards bodily perfection with my healing, and have started hating my body sometimes because the healing process “isn’t working.” But I’m starting to realize that the perfect healing I’m looking for may not come; in spite of this, I know that I will still grow through the experience. You’re so inspiring!

  13. I love all of your posts and have enjoyed so many of your recipes, but this one really stands out for its bravery and loveliness. I don’t have physical health issues that I’m aware of (knock wood), but my self-esteem, self-love, heart, and soul have all struggled this past year and a half. My husband, who I loved, believed in, and supported the whole time we were engaged/married, left me and our darling then 2.5 year-old son. Our daycare provider was shocked; she’s been around children and their families for over 30 years, and she said that she saw us as an incredibly loving and attached family. That’s how I saw us too – one with struggles, but very lucky in so many ways. He gave no explanation, besides, in response to my telling him that I loved him, “too bad you never showed it,” and essentially shut down the rich conversation we’d been having since we met in 2006. He drove down from where we lived in Boston to his parents’ house in rural Tennessee, sent hardly any money, and then filed for divorce. We went to court a few weeks ago (he wouldn’t meet with a mediator or get any help from any expert), which was awful mainly because he demanded that our now 3.75 year-old go to TN without me. It’s been surreal, heartbreaking, and utterly disorienting, and while I can finally see a glimmer of light and new love at the end of this particular tunnel, it’s taken a toll. Your post reminds me that rather than focusing on (perceived) failure, to remember that every setback can be a difficult but ultimately rewarding opportunity for learning. It’s not a Hallmark card platitude, it’s the way to live with grace and as much happiness as we can. Thank you for everything, Lauren.

  14. Thanks Lauren for writing this – I am a holistic heath coach and although my health is way better than it used to be I still struggle with some things that make me feel like the biggest failure ever – so it so good to hear your words and thoughts on it – so appreciated . We do tend to think we need to get ‘there’ and be perfect in order to help other but really we just need to keep on being students of our body and accept where we are at in the moment – even if that is not perfection. Keep on being brave 🙂

  15. We’ve all gone through our own internal struggles with logic and our non-logical thoughts. 🙂 If you haven’t heard of “Mindset” by Carol Dweck, please check it out. Many in the teaching profession, such as myself, have read it or been told to read it for our own professional development and as such we are trying to pass on the message of mindset to our students and families. Thank you for NOT being superwoman, but being a remarkable young woman I admire and appreciate.

  16. This post really resonated with me…I’ve come a long way on that “linear journey” in regards to my eating and lifestyle, ironically in some ways I thought I was healthier before. I’m pretty asymptomatic and usually just push through the small symptoms I accepted as normal. Now that I’m so much more aware of myself I’ve realized how far I have to go to achieve “health” but I can’t lose sight of how far I’ve come. And this just reminded me of that visual I’ve seen, you know the one with the road to success that winds all over the place, not the straight line we all expect!

  17. This might be the most important post you have ever written because as long as we anxiously are demanding “perfect” health from ourselves, we cannot be in the flow of ease and our bodies will suffer. So thank you very much for writing this!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Thanks Lauren,
    I too am a recovering perfectionist…its a very good thing to be aware of our tendencies toward wanting perfection, when, in reality, its all about growth, mental & spiritual!
    Love & hugs to you!
    the other comments re also extremely inspiring!

  19. Thank you Lauren for your recent post. I felt like you were talking about me. I have & have had many health issues in my life. I am a senior & am trying to get healthy & lose weight. I have lost 25 lbs but I am at a stand still & have tried everything & can’t get to the next 10. I am on a special diet from our clinic. I have been gluten free since Nov. I lost 20 lbs in a month & now up & down a pound or two. I too am a recovering protectionist. Since I went gluten free my fybromylgia is better, my colon problems are gone, I am regular instead of every 3 days,. I still have severe asthma, & chronic sinusitis. These r my frustrations. I have tried many things & I can’t seem to get it any better. Any ideas?

  20. I needed this post. Thank you. Just before reading it I had found myself debating whether or not I should share on my blog with my readers how I have been struggling with diarrhea for almost a month now. I kept thinking, “Hey I’m a health coach, I’m supposed to have this stuff figured out, right?” Then part of me feels like the diarrhea is just an excuse I’m using for falling short of my racing goals. Failure. I wasn’t perfect in my race today.

    Lauren, you are absolutely right. Our health is a process and part of our life journey. It’s certainly not linear. I find myself looking back and remembering to celebrate my progress. 2 years ago I was on the sidelines watching all my friends race while I was sick with my annual battle with bronchitis. Today I placed 2nd in a small local race. Sure I ran straight to the port-a-potty afterwards, but at least I can breath and am not coughing my head off.

    It sadden’s me to learn that you are now struggling with Hashimoto’s, copper toxicity and mineral imbalances. It doesn’t seem fair that someone who is so careful should have to go through that. I believe there is good in all experiences and not only will you be able to help others suffering with the same in the future, but look how many of us you have helped by your transparency in writing this post.

    Bless you Lauren!

  21. Lauren,
    I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and I have always been impressed with your presentation and desire to help others.
    Thanks for the honesty, many people suffer with negative feelings concerning health and fitness. The more open you can be and the more you present yourself as a real person, struggling with your own issues, the more people you can truly help.
    Those of use seeking health, happiness and fulfillment don’t need role models out in front of us, we need compassionate mentors to come along side and be with us on the journey.
    God bless you!

  22. So well written with thoughts I have and could not express. I rarely comment but this has moved me along with eveyone’s comments to print out and read everyday. Chronic pain and taking ibruprofen, acetaminations, aspirins (better choice over narcotics) has compromised my kidneys. I also stuggle with hypothyroid. Very glad I found you a short time ago. I live on a dime and am trying to grow a garden from seed so that I can have organic vegetables.

  23. Thank you, Lauren for your transparency. I feel compelled to comment that although I try to pursue good health and nutrition for my family, with balance and moderation, I truly believe the only real healing happens when we allow Jesus to go into our emotionally hurt places and peel back the layers. At the root of most disease is a spiritual disease that is what is truly harming us. We, in our own attempts, try to find ways to heal ourselves through nutrition, homeopathy, exercise, medication, etc. Those things have their place, but without God doing an “inner healing” in our lives, sickness may resolve in one area, only to pop up in another, because like a weed, the root is still down there under the soil. I have seen in my own life, and God’s work in others I know, that bitterness, unforgiveness, rejection, etc. are the roots. Only a few people ever allow God to show them these things because it is so painful and difficult to walk there. But that is where I find true healing – I’m a work in progress in that area too! Through ministries like Pastor Henry Wright with Be in Health, and Pastor John Aldridge at Sonrise Church and ministries, I have learned, and continue to learn, how to be free of these things that have made me ill. It makes great sense to do things through nutrition that are good for our bodies, but it also makes sense to get the weeds out of the way so our flowers can truly bloom!:) May the Lord bless your sweet, tender, heart and make you whole in every way.

  24. Very encouraging post! I admire your vulnerability and appreciate your insights. I’ve had Crohn’s for over 40 years, and other digestive, autoimmune issues in the past 10 years. I admit that for many years, I was not proactive about my health. I became proactive 10 years ago, and am so grateful for all the resources (internet, doctors, lab tests) that exist today. For the last 4 years I have been very strict with SCD or AIP. I do lots of research (reading blogs and books; listening to podcasts), in my continual search for the “missing” piece(s) to find complete relief of my symptoms. I, too, often feel like a failure. I tell myself that when I achieve “perfect” health, I will help others on their journeys, and I will live a “normal, fuller” life.
    You have reminded me so well that I can choose 1) to be grateful for my journey and growth, 2) to redefine healing and success as learning to face my challenges (versus attaining freedom from symptoms), 3) to be more accepting of my body as it is, 4) to not judge myself (or my body) for not responding or behaving in specific ways that I desire or expect.
    I will not give up on my quest for improved health, but I don’t have to achieve perfection to be okay with myself, or feel “normal..” I have a full life today. Thank you for helping me remember that!

  25. This post mirrors so much of what I and my family have been experiencing with recovery from autoimmune disorders. I’m grateful for this beautiful reminder that our health journeys are ones of transformation, not perfection. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  26. Thank you for this post. I have been dealing with chronic Lyme disease for 2 years and lately struggling with “why am I not getting well, when I’m doing it all the right way with treatments, nutrition and lifestyle.” Thank you for addressing the ideas of perfection, failure and health. It’s exactly what I needed to read.

  27. Thanks for sharing all this and for your honesty. You’ve inspired me to take a deep breath. Lately I’ve been discouraged as I had been doing well on SCD and the LEAP program, but took a vacation and (even though I ordered everything SCD) have been having issues for the 6 weeks since. I’ve been on SCD for 15 months and LEAP for a year and feel so limited in what I can eat. I’m very much ready to graduate to the next level and start focusing on my other health problems (insomnia, etc.). I think I’ve been being too hard on myself. It’s good to know I’m not the only health perfectionist out there.

  28. Hi Lauren, I am a holistic health practitioner. I always believe that illness is 90% emotional. That if you were not born with the issue then you can help get past it if you really really look at the emotional aspect of it. I myself had stage 4 cancer. With wonderful people around me, I beat the heck out of those crazy cancer cells. And I am now cancer free. But it was a lot of ups and downs. I feel that I had to go through that experience so that I could appreciate all the emotional aspects of being that sick so that I would be able to help others. If you are drawn to helping others maybe the universe is giving you these experiences to be able to answer questions with the utmost authority. Something to think about.

  29. This is a wonderful article. I too struggle with health issues and wonder how this can be possible, since I eat so very healthy, exercise, don’t smoke, and all that good stuff. Sometimes healing happens at a physical level, but also a t a spiritual, emotional, and/or mental level. But I am so appreciative of all the various tools, healing modalities, and medical and health care knowledge out there for the taking (so to speak). To everyone: let you intention be health, well, vitality, and joy.

  30. Some time in the last two years or so, I came across a blog written by a woman who suffered for years from pain and various problems. She had a brilliant career, but increasingly becomes incapable of managing her company. She was tested for so many different things, and followed all kinds of healthy protocols, until one day she figured it out: copper toxicity.

    Maybe you’ve discovered her blog post about it? I’m not sure how to find it, but it was incredibly insightful. As someone else requested, I’d like to hear more about this. How do you know you suffer from copper toxicity?

    Also, since you’ve openly shared that you are passionate about the mind body connection, I’ve often wondered why you have written so extensively about food and recipes, and the different products you use, and haven’t addressed this much.

    I’m sure we’d all welcome more posts like the one you just wrote. The transparency and honest sharing is refreshing.

  31. Your courage, compassion and well earned wisdom are palpable, Lauren. I am moved by your willingness to be so transparent and deeply hope that you get even a fraction of the support and inspiration you give to so many others on this circuitous journey toward wholeness.

  32. Tears formed in my eyes as I read your post. I have been on a journey to heal my son’s autism since he was two and a half years old. He has made monumental progress, now at age six but still has so far to go. I get frustrated and overwhelmed and every other emotion that you can think of, along the way. But most of that is due to my own perfectionism. Which has only caused me a lot of grief and stress that has lead to my own health issues. So thank you Lauren for being a part of my transformation. It’s amazing how a shift in perspective can break through so many barriers and obstacles. I love how honest you are with your reader about your healing journey. Thank you.

    With Gratitude,

    Tolly

  33. Wow.. that was well written and something I really needed to hear right now. Thank you so much for sharing this, I think it is a great reminder for everyone who is trying to heal. Sometimes it is hard to see how far we have come, if we are still struggling with some health issues. You rock Lauren!! Keep up your hard work 🙂

  34. Thank you so much for this honest post. It is so very comforting and inspiring! I live and work in/near Seattle and think of you whenever Bastyr comes up in conversation. Just, well, thank you.

  35. Thank you so much for your transparency, i have battled for years with my health, finally got serious about 9 months ago. I have some resigual symptoms and new things crop up that need to be addressed I am super hard on myself. I am 90% hard core And feel like I should be perfect, but that is where I’m incorrect. As long as I walk this earth there will be issues with my body but I can strife to hold to my convictions, create a healthy lifestyle for my family and hopefully inspire those around me. I love your website and have gleaned much from your research and education. Thank you again its nice to be reminded we are not alone. Sincerely, Heather

  36. Don’t just look at the thanks, Lauren, SEE it. Know it. I always liked how if you didn’t get something out by YOUR date, you owned it, “hey- sorry, readers, BUSY!” In the vernacular, “Its all good!”. ” No worries.” “No sweat.” “chill.”
    Ain’t NONE of us getting’ outta here alive, which does of course mean that we are ALL slowly “losing” (?) the battles with time, genetics, and the life forces that feed on us and break us down so THEY can live. Do I sound grim?
    I’m actually happier than I’ve ever been in my life and even further from “perfect” than I’ve ever been! Lol!
    One of the changes happened when I realized we all have this “perfect” concept and if we were to compare notes, our “perfects” would all be different! Some might not even overlap!
    I’m finally “good enough.”
    Oddly, ironically, and yet perfectly sensibly but really logically, it “helped” when I lost everything.
    (It was truly a “series of unfortunate events”: stroke, heart surgery, car wreck, job loss, bachelor’s degree final semester suspension, home forclosure, empty nest x 3, mind, boyfriend, friends… (I never really had health…)

  37. When I lost (almost) everything, I gained (wait for it!) -freedom!
    I realized that my world wouldn’t explode if I got a D or took a day off work or let my floors, toilets and sheets be “dirty.”. I realized sometimes its WORTH diarrhea, hypersomnia, AND fog-brain to have a shot of tequila or eat damned Twinkie!
    -Oh yes I did!
    Sometimes it ISN’T worth it. Those aren’t “failures,” they’re reminders of why I DON’T have a Twinkie every year and why I would seldom imbibe more than 3 times annually.
    We need those reminders like a kid needs a timeout. Its part of the balancing act. Remember, “when you’re walking, you fall. Forward. Just a little bit, and then catch yourself from falling. Over and over. And you find you’re walking, yeah, you’re walking.” -Laurie Anderson.

  38. Lauren, thank you for this post. It came at just the right time. After two months on AIP, being very diligent, I ate non-AIP Thai food AND non-AIP ice cream. Felt terrible about myself and scared for the future if I can’t stick to this diet. A book that has helped me and is in line with what your professor said is “The 12 Stages of Healing” by Dr. Donald Epstein. He talks about how there are 12 stages of healing that people go through that correspond with 12 stages of conciousness. Over the course of our life we may cycle through the 12 stages many times. Each time we go through a stage we learn new wisdom, and all stages have their value, even the ones that don’t feel so good, like stage one, where you feel helpless and hopeless. I’ve been through stage one a number of times and always come out of it, so know there is always hope!

  39. Have you researched Dr. Carolyn Dean? She developed a unique magnesium product after spending a decade trying to find one that would work for her. I don’t normally comment on blogs but I truly believe she could help you. My brother has met her, I have listened to her common sense and wisdom for over a year, she is a real honest person! 🙂 Oh and I use her products!

  40. You wrote, ““I know so much about nutrition, I unendingly research healing, I see experienced practitioners, and take such meticulous care of my health. Why aren’t my health challenges resolving instantly? Why am I dealing with symptoms that are so uncomfortable and inconvenient? I must be a failure.”

    I totally empathise! But instead of feeling like a failure I just want to give up. My thoughts go along – why bother??? I am still not well. I might as well don’t bother anymore. And so I fell off the wagon (of sticking to my Paleo way of eating) and I am not paying for it! Sigh!

  41. Lauren,
    This is for you. I am a 53 year old woman dedicated to helping others find their best wellness. I’m not a professional in the field of healthcare. I am a woman with Hashimoto. The history of thyroid disease roots run deep in both of my parent’s family trees. However, the lack of physician awareness or interest in this disease when mine was triggered at 36 wask “nada”. I mean zilch in my area of the country. It took me nine years to get on a viable road to recovery. Along this road, I came along potholes, but for the most part I have learned some absolutely valuable lessons. Without three life tools nobody will be at their best whole being.

    1. Faith. My complete confidence God was/is going to be beside me through this journey all the way to the end of this earthly life. “Me” is inside this cacoon of a body. One day I’ m breaking free. There will be no battles of any kind in heaven. This is an unshakeble truth for me. No debates, no “what ifs”, God is my place to run when I need strength, comfort, to celebrate, rejoice, and be thankful.

    2. Truth. I’ve done my research. I will always do my research. There are fifty bizillion “Dr.s and Authorities” filling the electronic and paper universe with crap and/or well meaning junk. Sadly, when I get down to the nitty gritty of their purpose, I find $$$’s and egos rule. Endorsement fees, percentages of product sales, their product is THE life saving product (happens to cost big bucks), and even one or two guys that love getting attention from all their adoring female friends…..motivators for using ill, desperate people to get gain. Sickening to the mind and soul. Yet foolishness wins time and time again. Ill people end up depressed, bitter, more obsessed, and their bodies get jerked around, likely sicker than they were. Seeking truthfilled healing is hardwork. Quick fixes are rare and rarely last.

    3. Perserverance and Happiness. When are we most happy in the journey of life? When we are pleased with our own efforts. When we see ourselves truthfully. No minute by minute pity parties, no excuses, no rationalizing why we are where we are complete with dark, dismal undertones. We are happiest at the end of a day, or in the middle of a sleepless night, when we reflect on the truth of what we pushed through in the day. We can break the selfish, self obsessed, isolating, world we create for ourselves when we have chronic illnesses. We can choose happiness.

    Lauren, I came across your blogsite on one of my days of researching good, legit sites for my “searching” friends to connect with in their journey to wellness. I think you are a pretty amazing young lady. I see a young woman, who chosen unselfishness, persistance, failure is not defeat, faith, common sense, high work ethic, and personal integrity. I think that does put you on a list of Superwomen.
    I have yet to feel you are telling your readers to drop everything and follow your lead. I don’t feel the least pressured to buy all the things you have discussed using yourself. You aren’t afraid to point out health experiments gone awry. I like your honest, candour. Refreshing!

    We are physiological beings. No two bodies are identical. I choose,, after years of personal experience, to use a well researched blend of traditional and natriopathic medicine. I am at my best when I use both. I happen to have a medical team that use both. I would recommend two books highly respected by team of doctors that personally have been a huge blessing. Dr. William Backus’ book, “Telling Yourself The Truth” should be a manditory read once any person reaches the age of thirteen. LOL. Seriously, the whole planet could use a class from this book. Secondly, Dr. Izabella Wentz book,”Hashimoto: Finding Your Root Cause” was recommended. Her consistent reminder each human body is different, the importance of not playing around with vitamins and supplements without having proper tests done first, and her years of research using viable research from around the world.
    Of course, a quality translation of God’s Holy Word is imperative for me. Oh, I only know one of these authors. I am not compensated monetarily or materially by the first two mentioned authors. May smiles always be knit into your journey. Keep up the integrity with which you work.

  42. I love this post Lauren. Readjusting our thinking to what health actually means to us is a biggie and speaking (well, typing) as someone who struggles with various health issues, this is very important. Love your blog!

  43. Thank you Lauren, as you can see from the comments many of us needed this. It is frustrating to sometimes restrict ourselves from so many things and still see others who don´t need to take any precautions and be so much healthier than us. Thank you, thank you, not giving up on my journey.

  44. Thanks for this post- I agree that my health journey is also about transformation, not just “getting better” Regarding perfectionism- I really appreciate your blog, and I’ve gotten a lot out of it. I’m glad you didn’t wait until you were 100% better to start blogging- we would have missed out on quite a lot! (it reminds me of the Henry Van Dyke quote (sub “completely healthy” for “best”): “The woods would be quiet if no bird sang but the one that sang best”

    I very recently (in the last month) found out about MTHFR mutation. I’ve barely looked into this myself (and I have no medical training), so I can’t provide the best sources out there, but, among MANY other things, including many chronic illnesses, it affects our ability to detoxify heavy metals. For example, http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/mthfr/ states ” It can mean you won’t break down toxins or heavy metals well i.e. you could find yourself with high iron, or high copper, or high lead, or high mercury….etc. High copper can also cause low ferritin, even though your iron levels look great!”

    I started taking Apex brand AC-Glutathione S-Acetyl L-Glutathione K-88 & Paleogoix (http://paleologix.com/) supplements and started feeling better within DAYS- I have never had such a quick response to something.

    I’m not a doctor & have no medical training, but since I’ve read that a fairly large portion of the population has this mutation (around 40%), I think it can be worth looking into if you haven’t already….

  45. Oh my word, you are right on with this article!

    Lauren, your story, at least the first part of it, sounds just like mine. Same time frame, same everything… But unlike everyone else here, I can’t just say “I have __________ and so forth.” Every dr I’ve been to has given me a list of 10-12 different things and said, you prolly have 1 or more or all of those things…not for sure which ones!

    What I’ve come to on my own is that what I have is either POTS or identical to it. But the catch is that POTS is so “all-encompassing” that you can literally have anything wrong with you and still be lumped in there! But I have such a wide array of junk going on that that bill fits me well too, lol… So really, I haven’t quite come through what you call the “transformation” stage. I’ve had debilitating migraines and pain for 9 yrs, and all the rest of the autoimmune stuff going on has picked up speed in the last 4-6 yrs. (I’m now 21).

    I’m basically on my own now, taking it a day at a time, figuring out what works for my body and what doesn’t, becoming a little bit “hippy-ish” in my lifestyle to stay as natural as possible. Trying to get through college as well, and it’s slow goin! 😛 🙂

    I love the info on your site here, and it’s just lovely to “meet” someone else along the same journey of healing…Many blessings to you, Lauren!!

  46. Amazing post, thank you for sharing! It’s so true that we (people into health, etc) tend to think there is this end point where we’ll just be glowing balls of perfect energy and happiness every moment of every day and that’s just not true. Sometimes it’s cyclical and there is always opportunity for growth. Loved it!

  47. Absolutely agree! I’ve been working through health issues for the past 3 years and have made so much progress but continue to strive to obtain ‘perfect health’. I must realize it will take time and is an evolving life experience towards growth and expanded consciousness. But why does it have to be so hard?! lol Thank you for the post!

  48. Hi Lauren, I concur that seeking fitness & health perfection is the enemy of perfectly acceptable health. I noted from your article references to sever acne followed later with onset of ulcerative colitis. Often it is the case that such linkage evidences colitis as a direct result of isotretinoin use aka accutane which was often inappropriately prescribed for severe acne. Many suffering colitis or inflammatory bowel disease have successfully found some degree of financial relief in lawsuits against the manufacturers who knowingly avoided fully communicating the known risks. Thanks for your heartfelt and informative blog. M\

  49. I just want to say thank you for posting this beautiful heartflow. I’ve struggled with CFS/ME and issues not dissimilar to your own here and the path at this point has reached the 25 year mark. You’re spot-on. It’s not about arrival or perfection but the transformation(s!) we’re willing to unfold as we surrender to the process. And this past year has been so difficult for my health, right after great headway…slam. I have fought hard that feeling of being a failure because I’m a recovering perfectionist as well. Posts like these, friends who own their humanity make all the difference. Keep on, beautiful woman, keep on…
    R

  50. Thanks Lauren for putting this journey into perspective. I have had a very long journey dealing with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia with many things in between. When I am at my lowest point I think what does it matter, as the struggle is so hard, but then no one said life was going to be easy. I have learned at those times to rest and take care of me, When I feel useless and what does my life matter, I remember from where I came and that Jesus is with me and this life is not the end of the story. I have a story to tell others and share with them information that can help them. And I thank God for each day especially for the pain free ones and I too continue in my research. Blessings & Peace

  51. You nailed it again Lauren! As an NTP I have felt like a failure because of my eczema. Or anytime I get a stomach ache. Or whatever. I’m like, “What kind of practitioner am I if I can’t even heal myself?” Absurd. And I run in circles around the same perfectionistic thoughts as you–any health issue is like this blight on my desire to be perfect. Thankfully I see a fantastic mind-body oriented ND who has helped me overcome a lot of this. Good for you for speaking into so many people’s real struggles.

  52. Hi Lauren, I enjoy reading your posts and have found them informative. I had/have Hashimoto’s and thankfully through my journey to a better health that is no longer a problem for me, same for my severe interstitial cystitis. The only time these thing do bother me now is when I am under a lot of stress, which we all know is not good for us. I have recently been able to keep my adult acne under control after almost 4 years of problems with it. I am going on 1 month now of no break-outs! I still have a way to go, health-wise, but it does help to know what your underlying causes come from. I use Nature’s Sunshine herbs and a lot of essential oils, and we see an herbalist who reads our eyes (iridology) so we know our root problems and we aren’t just treating symptoms but actually healing the genetic health problems passed down to us from our family. To know what to take we do the muscle response testing so it’s basically our bodies telling us what they need. Its fascinating to me how much I unknowingly passed down to my 4 children while I was pregnant. We are working diligently to help them before their issues become much worse. Reading this post is definitely helpful in knowing though, that we do need to be realistic in our goals for health. I am thankful for the changes that have been made for us, and your posts on hormones and other things, as well as suggestions have been extremely informative, I don’t know what we would do w/out our salt lamps and oils 🙂 I do feel I need to add too, and I know some ppl won’t like it, I know God has definitely helped us and given me the knowledge in ability to know what is helpful and how to use things. My children have not had to see a physician in years and I’m thankful for that. I’m not against them but all they do for us is charge a ton of money and never do anything helpful. I am thankful He has allowed me to find this blog as well, and for the healing He has done.

    As for my acne the thing that has helped mine (hormone related) is the Yogi Healthy Skin tea and some of the Eden’s Garden oils for skin (grapefruit, frankincense, kanuka, and cocoa). Hope this helps someone. I drink the tea every night and I don’t like the taste so I add the Yogi Vanilla Hazelnut w/ it to make it taste better.

  53. Thanks for this article. Your thought process is mine!!!! I have had glimpses of the healthy thought process, but the one that sticks most days is “why am I not healthier…. you would think with all I am doing I would be healthy… other people don’t do anything and they’re doing ok…..”
    Your article also had me reflect on my spiritual journey through the past ten years as I have tried to heal my IBS along with my ND. I am not the same person I was ten years ago and while I am still healing, the knowledge I have gained, the reverence for food, how it’s made, what we put in our bodies… it all matters to me, where before it wasn’t even on my radar. I have grown so much, have more wisdom. I am thankful, at times, for this journey, for I like who I am now far more than who I use to be!! Great article!!!

  54. Thank you for your honest insights! I am always looking to be completely healed and that isn’t happening. I’m better but not perfect. I never would accept that I won’t but it is my new reality and that is good enough!

  55. Love this post! It’s hard to accept not always eating 100% healthy or organic even thought I want to and research health, nutrition, and natural living all the time. It is definitely a process. But it’s about the journey not the destination, and I think we must always keep that in mind. As long as we are doing our best, trying to eat healthy and exercise, I think we have already made some big steps. 🙂

  56. Dear Lauren, Like so many of your other readers, this blog post comes at a perfect time for me. This week, the nurse at my functional medicine doctor’s office, who knows how hard I have been fighting, told me that I should reflect on whether it is time to stop fighting and move my energy toward acceptance. I still work toward healing and pray for miracles, but I am trying to take the edge off of my battle and be more grateful for the here and now. Constantly seeking, like you, to learn and improve. Thank you so much for your heartfelt post! XO, Ann

  57. I work in the field of natural healing and I have a few suggestions for those of you struggling with health issues. PH balance is a huge factor as I’m sure many of you already know. There is a very controversial therapy andd pennies to do. Thankfully you can buy the book on Amazon and read over 500 reviews. It’s called THE ONE MINUTE CURE TO ALL DISEASES. Read the reviews if nothing else. Also look up Carnivora and the youtube picture of a white blood cell after one hour. Search “carnivora 1 hour”. One more thing…look into doing a ionic cleanse somewhere in your city. Google your zip code and ion cleanse. These are all therapies that I have worked with and see fast relief from symptoms Within days. God bless to you all. This is an amazing website.

  58. I’m late to this party, but thankful that I found the article. I too struggle with trying to find an answer to various health issues. I keep thinking it’s one thing, only to find out it’s another. My search has spanned years. I also find myself jealous of healthy energetic people who do not understand my struggle. And although no one ever says it, I sense they wonder why I need so much rest and can’t keep up with them. I desperately want to! I feel like I’m in my 50’s but I am only in my 30’s. I struggle with accepting where I’m at, and striving to be my best/healthiest self. When is it too much? It’s become almost an obsession. Anyway, thanks for providing this forum for me to vent. I enjoy your posts.

  59. Hi Lauren,

    I know you might not see this right away, but I just wanted to let you know that this post really resonated with me. I’ve been reading your blog for a little while now and am starting to make changes in my life to finally, finally get to a better place health-wise. I’ve struggled with Lyme’s disease, IBS, various food intolerances and an eating disorder after losing weight from taking heavy antibiotics a couple of years ago, and your blog has really helped set me on the right path towards sustainable health. Thank you! You are right, it’s a long journey and we might never get to “the end”–but that’s okay. Just doing a little bit better than we were yesterday is what’s important. 🙂

  60. I really needed this today. Today is one of those “non-linear” days, if you know what I mean. But getting frustrated is certainly not going to rectify the problem, only intensify it. It’s funny how just hearing someone else express the same sentiments feels so…comforting. Thanks for your wonderful blog! I read this post before, but fatefully stumbled upon it again today—a time when I really, really needed it! ♥

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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