Ever since the age of sixteen, I knew there was something wrong in the way people around me approached their food. I grew up in the middle of America where we ate loads of fried food, pizza, meat, and processed food. Seeing so many of my family members very sick and on multiple medications, being utterly obsessed with their weight, obese, counting calories and eating processed food constantly, I knew this was not a healthy way of living.
I remember being very tired and feeling sick after every single meal I ate even at the tender age of sixteen. I would have major gas issues and acid reflux just from eating my meal, and my parents would give me medicine that dulled the problem, but it would continue to happen every time. I would feel exhausted and feeling like I needed a nap right after eating lunch, or what people call a “food coma.” I also received at least two rounds of antibiotics every year due to sinus infections that never seemed to go away. These issues, even though they are minor compared to my family’s health issues, were considered a normal thing.
I developed an unhealthy obsession with exercise and food in my high school years that today I would call orthorexia. I had this warped idea in my mind that food was the enemy and I had to eat as little as possible to be healthy. After years of this mind game, I was graduating high school and was off to college. I didn’t want people to think I was crazy for not eating very much and exercising all the time so I started to eat a lot more, drink too much alcohol, and get very little sleep to fit in with my peers. This was the most unhealthy I had been, but I did not know this at the time. When I would go to the doctors they would never ask me what kind of things I ate regularly and I was always skeptical because it never seemed they wanted to know what I was truly feeling. They wanted to write me a prescription and get me out of their office.
In my second year of undergraduate school, I studied abroad in France! My first reaction was WOW. I could not believe how beautiful this city was. This was my first time in Europe and I was ready to absorb and learn as much as I could. The people instantly seemed youthful and healthy no matter how old they were. The pace was much slower and relaxed while music was playing on the streets. This was very different from how the American life was. In my eyes, the people were healthy!
I became very excited to learn even more about their culture and learn how they eat, what their lifestyle was like, and how they exercise. Their food was very fresh with healthy bread alongside beautiful fresh salads and galettes! The amount of food they ate did not feel different than how we ate, but their approach to fresh, real whole foods was a staple in their diet. There were several other cities in other countries that truly opened my eyes to healthier ways of living and I knew I had to learn more about what they were doing differently.
This was the turning point in my life.
I continued learning about what happens to food before it hits our plates and I was inspired to learn as much as I could! When visiting Egypt at age 23, I met many other travelers and several were vegan. I never really heard the word vegan before and was intrigued and began asking questions on why they were vegan. Topics they brought up were food was not as healthy as it used to be, animals injected with hormones beyond our knowledge, many diseases are preventable with plant-based eating, and the list continued! I was in shock that they knew so much and wanted to study more about veganism. After these trips, I began my health journey investigating what the healthiest way of living could be. Soon my approach to food had changed.
I slowly started to find alternatives to foods I once loved. I was eating foods that were very high in nutritional value, tasted delicious, were plant-based and as close to its original source as possible. I stopped eating so many processed foods and only ate sugar and fried foods once in a while instead of every day. I lost about ten pounds without even trying! I had so much more energy, and my acid reflux was nonexistent. I could not believe how much better I had felt and how my approach to food was much more mindful. I saw food as fuel and realized healthy fuel can still taste delicious!
Shortly after I arrived back in Iowa, I finished my fashion design studies and moved to another big city, New York, New York. I am forever thankful that fashion brought me to NYC, but I knew deep down that fashion was not the right career for me. After six years of trying to make fashion work, I began to look at other options for what I could do with health and wellness.
I had this deep feeling that I wanted a larger purpose in my life.
I began researching different options for additional schooling and enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. This is the largest nutrition school in the world, and I loved the idea that this program would teach me so many areas of a healthy lifestyle beyond nutrition. These included stress, spirituality, relationships, careers, and several others.
Specifically, I was curious about how stress and diet play a significant role in the kind of illnesses that occur. These areas of study are not taught to us in our American society and having this extension of knowledge made me want to help even more people. What I have learned is valuable and can make a significant difference in the way you live your life! It goes so much deeper than just what you look like on the outside. You can give yourself tools for complete inner peace, health, and happiness and never do a fad diet again!
Today, my clients come to me for various reasons, and no one is the same. I work one on one with people who are ready to make the change. Most people are not shown what a healthy lifestyle even looks like and these issues are deep-rooted in the way they were raised. I love being a safe place for my client, guiding them to reach the goals they are looking for and seeing success in their health journey! My clients are shown that food can still be enjoyable and learn the specific tools catered to their exact needs which will help them see what they need to be healthy and happy!
Do you have questions for me?
I would love to hear from you! To learn more about how I can help you find a healthy and fulfilling life, check out my Services Page or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org