Living an unhealthy life
I have always been fascinated by the power of food to both heal and harm the human body. I grew up consuming a lot of sugar and very few vegetables. As a young adult, I sensed that my food was making me sick, so I experimented with different kinds of diets. I tried to make better choices to alleviate my chronic eczema and fatigue, improve the quality of my sleep and lose weight. Later on, I became dependent on caffeine to lift my mood and boost my energy throughout the day. I thought I was eating well and exercising sufficiently, but I did not look or feel healthy.
An uncomfortable wake-up call
After my daughters were born, my hair started to fall out and I was always tired. They both had immediate symptoms of food allergies and weak immune systems. None of us were seriously ill, but we were not normal in my opinion. This went on for twenty years!
Starting a journey towards well-being
I needed to find a new way to improve my diet and health. In 1999, I enrolled in the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts, partly because I wanted more knowledge about expanding my food choices, but also to learn how to replace meat, dairy, wheat, eggs and other foods with alternatives that were just as healthy– or maybe even more so. This gave me a new way of thinking and eating that had the potential to dramatically change my health. In 2006, I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in order to gain a broader knowledge of food and food and healing. Of the many lessons that I learned, two stand out: what is healthy for one person may not be for another– and that our bodies often give us feedback about what’s good or bad for us.
Finally, a healthy solution
In 2010, my family members and I finally attained state-of-the-art testing for gluten intolerance and food allergies. Being diagnosed with gluten and dairy sensitivities was the best bad news we have ever received. It solved the mystery of which foods were the source of our problems. It set us on a path of healing and self-awareness and ultimately the ideas behind helping others find a recipe for a healthy life. During the transition process, I didn’t just give up the old foods all at once; instead, I slowly replaced them with healthier versions of foods that satisfied the same needs and desires. My diet makeover, which evolved over several years, also required a greater proportion of vegetables, whole grains and protein, and a decreased amount of sugar and processed food. This multi-step experience has informed my current work as a health coach, allowing me to support my clients as they change their habits and their lives.
A recipe for a healthy life
As time goes on, I know that if I eat well, get enough exercise and participate in activities that I enjoy, I am less attracted to unhealthy food and can stay in control of my health. The journey is never completely over for any of us, but if you figure out your recipe for a healthy life, it is the best way to ensure that you will continue to be happy and healthy.