Name: Jackie Schultz
Age (optional): 39
Location: Franklin, Wisconsin
Job/Occupation/Life Passion: Holistic Wellness Coach / SAHM
How did you learn about the connection between nutrition and health?
I have had many encounters, in my life, that made it very apparent that there is a link between nutrition and health. The first and most impactful one came like a brick smashing on my head. It was my mom passing away from lung cancer at the age of 58. From diagnosis to death, it was 3 months. I was 30 years old with a 4 year old and a 9 month old and here I was mourning the loss of my mom. I kept asking myself how this could have happened. She had not smoked for 18 years. Then, I started thinking about her lifestyle choices. She had a passion for carb and sugar laden foods and she was a Type 2 diabetic. Do I think eating these foods gave her cancer? No, but I do believe that there is a link between sugar, cancer, and an acidic body environment. I do not think her body was prepared to handle abnormal cancer cells and the sugar was fuel for the cancer to grow. This stopped me in my tracks and I committed, then and there, that my life would be different. I knew that food had a power that most people had underestimated, little did I know it would change the course of my life.
Have you addressed health issues through nutrition? My mom’s death was a wake up call and my son becoming sick, after a trip to Disneyworld, was time to put what I knew into action. My son, accidentally, drank pool water on a trip to Disneyworld 6 years ago. He became stomach sick towards the end of our trip and it never stopped. He had always been a fussy, shy, and picky eater from the start and this made it worse. We saw doctors and chiropractors. We did all the “usual” that insurance covered, but bloodwork and stool samples with nothing turning up wrong with him. Finally, I decided to see a naturopath. He seemed fine on the outside but my mother’s instinct told me something was not right. After some different stool, saliva sample, and blood tests we found out that my son had gut dysbiosis due to food sensitivities to gluten, dairy, and egg, he was riddled with candida and had H Pylori as well. His gut was a mess! Immediately, we cut out the offending foods and started on some gut building supplementation.The whole family got tested for food sensitivities and results were similar, so, we became a gluten, dairy, and egg free family. My son’s condition improved within a few weeks. Beyond his stomach getting better, my socially shy and anxious son became a little bit more outgoing and less shy with every week. I have noticed the same improvement in my generalized anxiety as well. His recovery and food became my passion and I knew I had to share what I had learned with others and that is when I got my certification and became a holistic wellness coach.
What resources (classes, books etc.) or people were instrumental in supporting your healthy lifestyle?
Two books changed the way I thought about food. The Cure: Heal Your Body Save Your Life by Dr. Timothy Brantley was the first book I picked up after my mom died. I saw him on TV and was inspired by his research on PH in the body. The second book is The Ultramind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman. It really taught me that my anxiety didn’t need to have a hold on me and that I could control it through nutrition and lifestyle changes instead of medication.
I am a food/wellness blog junkie but I have 3 favorites: Detoxinista, Empowered Sustenance and Intuition Physician. These blogs not only offer recipes that I can use but hey also are full of information and new things for me to learn. Makes me see that most of us foodies went through what we went through in order to grow from it and teach others. Of course, my N.D. Dr. Sarah Axtell, changed mine and my family’s lives. She listened to me, mother to mother. I don’t feel rushed in her presence. She ordered the tests we needed and she helped me fix my son. Lastly, of course my husband and kids are a huge support. They go along with this new and slightly alternative lifestyle of ours even if everyone else thinks it’s weird. They can make light of it and they are learning from it.
What staple foods do you prepare frequently?
#1 has to be Smoothies!!! My son, who is not as picky anymore, has a hard time getting enough vegetables. I have been making a smoothie for him everyday since he was 1 1/2…he is 9 now! My smoothies have evolved into nutrient packed drinks of wellness. He loves them. We all have adopted the habit of a smoothie a day. My kids want snacks, so we eat a lot of nut and coconut oil treats, like nut/date balls or oat banana bars. There tastes have changed so much that their sweet tooths aren’t even that sweet anymore. Lastly, we make a lot of ethnic dishes. They are very easy to adopt into our food sensitivity lifestyle and they are filling. Indian curry, falafel, greek meatballs, Mexican meals…we love them all. My kids have become more adventurous eater because of it.
What is your favorite part of your kitchen?
I love the counter space (every bit of it gets used when I cook) and my huge pantry. I also love the large window in the kitchen. It brings in so much natural light and allows me to keep an eye on the kids in the backyard while I cook.
What would you change about your kitchen?
I am short, so I would love to lower the counters. I would also have put a sink in my island for ease of use. On my ultimate wish list would also be a huge industrial refrigerator.
What kitchen tools can’t you live without?
I cannot cannot cannot cannot live without my Vitamix. I got it as a Christmas gift 3 years ago and it has become my love! It does everything.
Are you a recipe-follower or improvisationalist?
I am a horrible baker because I have a hard time adding exactly this and exactly that. I am definitely a cook at heart. It’s hard for me to write down a recipe because most times it’s a pinch of this or a splash of that. My mom’s recipes were the same way. I do like following recipes for inspiration, but I usually put my spin on them. I am especially good at taking our family favorites and making them fit our allergy free lifestyle.
What are your favorite cookbooks?
Favorite cookbook, hands down would be Nourishing Meals. It is a bible for me. My family loves everything that comes out of it.
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.