Job/Occupation/Life Passion: Board Certified Holistic Practitioner, Health Coach, nurse
How did you learn about the connection between nutrition and health?
My story began in 2013, where I adopted an eating protocol via Dr. Mark Hyman’s Ultrametabolism, after discovering my cholesterol was high. Following that plan, I lost 35 pounds in 5 months and had more energy for a period of time. But I started getting tired, having palpitations, wake-ups at night where I couldn’t go back to sleep, and others. I had already, over my lifetime, been diagnosed with being overweight, high blood pressure, tachycardia, chronic migraines, lumago, bulging disks, ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, and others. I presented my issues to my doctor, whose only answer was the old, tired adage…”You are getting older, and this is what happens when you get older.”
Have you addressed health issues through nutrition?
I am autoimmune (discovered myself by literally forcing the conventional docs to test me for thyroid antibodies) based on my research of my symptoms from various functional medicine doctors whom I follow.., so I began researching healing autoimmunity. I eliminated gluten, dairy and similar proteins completely from my diet. This includes all store-bought breads, pastries, pastas, and milk and milk products…and replaced them with my own, home-baked, (primarily coconut flour), products, and nut milks, primarily coconut milk. This is where my fibromyalgia, headaches and low back pain went away for good, I hope indefinitely. I gave up beans completely (too difficult to absorb, even when soaked), nuts (too much phytic acid in a healing gut). I gave up all processed/packaged foods, and bought and ate/eat only organic (unless ewg.org‘s list says I can eat conventional). I consume pastured eggs only, grass-fed beef 1-2x/week, wild-caught fish, and only hormone and antibiotic free chicken and turkey. I don’t use any conventional oils, only olive for my homemade salad dressings, and coconut oil and grass-fed butter for higher heat cooking. I eat an 80/20 raw diet. I have eliminated soy, and soy products, though I must admit, I still consume soy lecithin, as Chris Kresser, whom I admire, says it shouldn’t be problematic. I have an adoration of dark chocolate, you see… 😉 so it is unavoidable. I would make my own, but my time is limited, as I am a full-time nurse, wife, and mother as well.
About 6 months later, after adopting the additional protocols outlined above, I felt great. I still do, another 6-9 months later. You wouldn’t guess to look at me that I’m going to be 50 soon. I feel better than I ever did in my life, and get around like a 20 year old. My only conditions remaining are gas (from all the cruciferous veggies I eat every day in my salad), and thyroid antibody levels that have plateaued still outside of normal range. I surmise, accurately I am sure, that this is due to undiscovered food sensitivities, as I cannot afford the testing required to pay out of pocket for IgG and IgA food sensitivity panels and interpretations. I wish I could, as I know these antibodies may continue to wear away at my thyroid over time, possibly resulting in a reversal of everything I have accomplished. Hopefully, as per Dr. Izabella Wentz (I am one of her recommended clinicians), my consumption of Thytrophin PM will target the action of the antibodies as opposed to my thyroid, and then all will be right with the world!
It should be noted, that I underwent all the above, totally alone. No family or friend support. It was very hard, but I was determined to decipher how powerful the proper consumption of food is for myself. From what I have read over the past 3 years (the same amount of time as you, apparently), the odds are extremely low for success while going it alone. I almost ended up in divorce from my husband, and estrangement from my daughter, as I tried to help them with their problematic behaviors before they became sick as well. Now, in order to keep the peace, I must continue to go it alone, and keep my mouth shut. So far it is working, but the clinician inside of me worries for them. I’m definitely not perfect, I do let out some thoughts once in awhile!
When did you change your diet, and what results have you seen? Please see above. I began my journey in 2013, and have since healed 24 conditions through the power of food and nutritional compounds.
What resources (classes, books etc.) or people were instrumental in supporting your healthy lifestyle? Dr. Mark Hyman, Izabella Wentz’s “The Root Cause” book, blog, FB…Dr. Aristo Vojdani, Dr. Tom O’Bryan, Dr. Perlmutter, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Axe, Dr. Datis Kharrazian’s “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When my Lab Tests Are Normal?” book…Empowered Sustenance, and all their respective websites and blogs…to name just a few…
What staple foods do you prepare frequently? My Weekly Salad, and baked goods without all the toxins
What is your favorite part of your kitchen? I have several sections dedicated entirely to myself, as my family doesn’t eat the way I do. The pictures are included in this email as attachments. I would say my fridge, as it is mostly all me with my veggies, fruits, grass fed beef and pastured eggs!!
What would you change about your kitchen? all the unhealthy food that my family eats in their section of the kitchen. I would love for them to be onboard.
What kitchen tools can’t you live without? My veggie knife, and my ultra small loaf pan for my Paleo breads. Oh, and parchment paper!
Are you a recipe-follower or improvisationalist? I’m a follower mostly. For my salad, I’m an improvisationalist. I throw in whatever is local and comes in my CSA
What are your favorite cookbooks? Not any one in particular, as I usually grab them online. A link to my recipe page is included here, where the authors are all acknowledged.
Want to share your Story of Sustenance?
I began blogging because I had a powerful enthusiasm to share my story of healing through food. If you have had that same experience, I want Empowered Sustenance to be a platform for you to share, as well. Tell us, how has food changed your (or your family’s) life? Readers and bloggers alike are invited to participate.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the submission form. Take a look at my Real Food Kitchen Tour for examples of the kitchen tour portion of the submission.