Episode 1- My Story

In this 1st episode, I go into detail about what brought me to a holistic lifestyle. I share how sick my daughter was and how it took 3 long years to get to the root cause of her sickness. I also share how my own health was suffering along the way.

On this first episode, I just wanted to take some time to share a little bit about what brought me to a more holistic lifestyle. There’s always that pivotal moment in somebody’s life or that event in somebody’s life that brings about change. And that’s exactly what happened for me. For me. It started many years ago, when our daughter was five years old. She was in kindergarten, she was actually finishing up her year of kindergarten, and he was coming home with headaches, just Her eyes were hurting, her head was hurting, and she just wasn’t feeling great. And it started developing to become more and more frequently.

0:43 So she would come home from school, and she would just have to lay on the couch and just put an ice pack on her head and just, she would watch TV and you know, just have the ice pack on her head and she would start to feel a little a little bit better. And then she would you know, up and do her homework or whatever. So I wasn’t really sure what was going on. But I certainly you know, made the eye appointment, had her eyes checked all of all of that. But as time went on, she began having headaches every single day. And then she started to get really severe headaches and migraines around three to four times a week. And it was just, it just really would knock her down. I was also noticing around that time that she was starting to develop these rashes. And she was getting these rashes in the specific places on her body. And it was hard for her to it was hard to heal it it was hard to for it to go away the things that was trying this wasn’t really working the creams and, and the soaps and things. And so basically she was having psoriasis and eczema.

1:50 And so between getting our eyes checked, going to her pediatrician, trying to find out why she was having these headaches, what was going on. It really took a full year of just a bunch of blood work various different tests, creams, medicines, talking to this doctor, that doctor going to the specialist, I kind of started feeling by the end of that year that I was spinning my wheels. And after a full year, my daughter wasn’t any better off, she was still having headaches. She was having those migraines three to four times a week. And it was just really I could tell it was really taking its toll on her. I remember a specific visit to her pediatrician whom I greatly respected. I just loved this man so much. But I remember having a conversation with him. And he was great. He jumped on getting her tested for this or that. But I wanted to have a conversation with him about food like is it something I’m feeding her? Is it possible that what she’s eating is causing this. And he he assured me that the food had absolutely nothing to do with why she was getting headaches? Well, even back then I knew nothing, nothing, not even a glimmer of what I know. Now. It just didn’t make sense to me. And I believe that as a mom, we have that in our sense that that says that not everything is quite right, that there needs to be more done. But we also don’t always know what that is right and which is why we go to the experts. So I began to dig deeper as best as I could. I was trying everything I could think of to help her. She went to so many specialists, we were doing even deeper testing, they were putting her on different medications she was seeing. She was seeing a neurologist by this point. And on my own. I was changing her own food, I was changing what she was eating, I was taking way specific food groups to see if any of them made any difference at all. Of course, I really didn’t know what I was doing. But I tried. She had consistent neurological appointments. And we even tried biofeedback therapy. I didn’t even know what that was. And it was very, very new to me. But we were trying multiple different medications as well to see which one would work to stop the pain. And really nothing was helping. And as I began researching those medications, we’d come home for an appointment. I didn’t know what this was, and they assured me that it would be fine for her Now bear in mind, she’s six years old. I was finding out all the various side effects from those medications. And I just I’ll just never forget you guys. I’ll just never forget that helpless feeling that I had because I couldn’t help her. And the doctors certainly weren’t helping either. They weren’t being able they weren’t able to figure it all out. So I was just feeling really alone in this process and feeling worse and worse as a as a mom because she wasn’t feeling any better. She was wasn’t getting any relief. This went on for A couple of years and it’s just such a process, isn’t it? You’ve got to wait so many months for this appointment so many months for that appointment. Let’s try this treatment for six weeks and see if that helps. I mean, it was just, it’s such a process. And well finally we went to an herbalist in another state, my mom had actually recommended her she had found out about this woman. And I was like, No, let me just wait and see, let you know we’ve we’re trying this treatment. We’re trying this, we’re trying that. I think I was at that time I was waiting on a CAT scan or something. But I finally went ahead and did it. So that day was pretty, pretty incredible. I’ll never forget that day.

5:41 My daughter and I walked into the office and my husband stayed in the car because he was very skeptical about the whole thing. And so we walked in and the herbalist took one look at our daughter and she goes, Has she ever been tested for a wheat allergy? And so I’m of course I’m like, Yes, twice, I mean, she had that blood test. She had the food allergy testing done. Everything was always coming out clear. But she could tell just from looking at her. She knew that we were dealing with a food intolerance or an allergy. And it was in her opinion, that was wheat. That was the strangest thing to me. But as soon as she said that, I felt such hope because finally after three long years, we were finally getting some answers. she proceeded to do what is called a muscle test. kinesiology, where you’re testing your strength or your weakness based on what you’re holding in your hand. So for example, she gave Sierra a box of pasta, she was sitting on my lap at the time, and she was told to put her arm out and not let the herbalist push it down when she applied pressure to her arm aid immediately dropped, which is an indicator of muscle weakness. So she went on to show us with other foods containing wheat or gluten. And sure enough, the same thing. Then she showed me foods without wheat. And that showed her strength. Well, that was it. I was a believer, it was just so obvious right there, that we had a diagnosis, we have hope I felt validated as a mom, no one suggested it could be food related, since all of her allergy testing came back negative. The doctors, we had actually gotten to the point with neurology where they were starting to suggest that it was in her head that it was emotional base and that she needed therapy. Well, I am all for therapy. But that was not the answer here something was wrong. And the relief that we felt that I felt from finally knowing what was wrong was amazing.

This we could handle! I could handle having a child who had a food allergy. It broke my heart when I realized that she had a wheat allergy and she was gluten intolerant. When some of those very changes I was making to her food was giving her more whole wheat more more of the thing that she was allergic to I felt horrible when I realized that but I didn’t know of course, how would I know she also checked her skin. Because remember, she was having psoriasis and eczema. And through that visit just we were there for maybe an hour, which was wonderful that we actually got that much time that was that was wonderful compared to the 15-20 minute other appointments that we had had. But she found out that she had some parasites in her gut as well. So I wasn’t really thinking at that time about those parasites and how they may have gotten there. Because I was so just relieved, just so relieved to have an answer about her headaches and her migraines. But I I know now that parasites are one of those pesky things where you just don’t always know where they come from anyway.

So the important thing is, is just get them out. So we began a pretty intense protocol that I know my daughter did not enjoy. It was really hard. She had to go through a pretty intense detox. And we had to remove those little critters and we had to begin healing her gut. She started taking probiotics and other herbs that she didn’t love back then because she’s 24 now so back then a lot of it was liquid, she had drops liquid drops. Now you can get a lot of these herbs in supplement form so that makes it a lot easier. But she had to you know, put these drops in her juice and try to kill those parasites and flush them out of her body. She did a lot of detoxing soaks in Epsom salt bath sea salt baths, different homeopathic remedies to help draw out those toxins in her body but All of that we did for her gut. The absolute biggest change of all was when we removed the wheat from her foods. That change. I’m telling you, it was crazy fast. Now, by this time she’s eight years old. It was incredible. Within a week, I could tell that she felt better. She was smiling more she was wanting to play she had her normal, eight year old energy that every eight year old should have. After a month, I felt like I was finally getting my daughter back. She no longer looked sick and pale. She had had dark circles under her eyes, which again, I knew something wasn’t right. And she just looked sick. But those were gone. And within a few months, her skin had started clearing up from that eczema and psoriasis.

Guys, listen, this took three years, from the first appointment to that final appointment with the herbalist, three years. And we never went back to any more of those doctor appointments. I cancelled them all. She was fully under my care. And now that I knew what I was dealing with, I felt more confident than I ever did, because I knew what we were dealing with. So I wish I could say that having a child with gluten intolerance was easy peasy with the meals.

Oh my gosh, it wasn’t. Let me tell you, especially Back then, I had to make two different meals most nights, I had to go to Whole Foods to get her gluten free foods. There was no other store in the area that had gluten free except for this one small little market, which was amazing when I found it such a treasure and they’re still open today. But I couldn’t find gluten free anywhere else. So I remember that first day coming out of whole foods with two paper bags. Yep, just walking down to my car, two bags, and we’re only halfway full. I don’t know why they didn’t put everything in one bag. I had spent $75 I just sat in my car. And I just cried for a minute. I just had to I was alone. I just had to let it out because it was all so expensive. And I was like What in the world? How are we going to do this. And the worst part was she hated the bread every loaf of bread I bought which was I think there was like three at the time. She hated all of it. I will say it really did taste dry and a little bit like cardboard in the beginning and they have come so far. gluten free bread is amazing now so next thing I started doing start baking everything. I’m researching. I’m going to the library I’m I’m looking for everything gluten free, so that I can begin to bake and make my own food for her. So I started making homemade bread and mini bagels because she really loved those bagels. And I just wanted her to have a little sense of normalcy, you know, I mean, she was a kid, she was an elementary school like she needed to be able to eat normal foods as much as she could. Well, the bagels she loved. She liked the whole process of them to she would help me make them it was hours long of process. I got much faster at it as time went on. But anytime you have to let something rise up takes more time, of course. But the breads, she did not like I mean, she actually liked some thin crackers that I found at Whole Foods that I would use as a bread kind of as a sandwich for her. She liked that better than any bread I baked. I mean, I could spend hours trying new recipes and baking bread. And she didn’t like any of it. You know, that’s such a kid for you. Right? But you know, she had gone through so much during that time.

She you know, three years of poking blood work, scary tests, you know, having to say no to foods that she wanted once she discovered what was going on, because she knew it would make her sick birthdays in school parties were never easy for her and lunchtime was hard school because kids just didn’t understand you know why her food look like that. Why didn’t come into package and why it was different. And so she got teased and even going to see family traveling was was not easy as no one really understood how wheat was in just about everything. So for a while she did have to continue to take really large supplements to help her body detox and to heal. Remember, we had to heal that gut. And she was just such a trooper. I still can’t believe that an eight year old was swallowing such large supplements. But she was getting better. And even at her age, she knew it was worth it. I will say that now. As a 24 year old. She hates taking pills, especially if they’re big but I wanted to tell you my story about what brought me to holistic living, and learning just how important food is for our health. It’s just, you know, it was such a lightbulb moment, it just made so much sense to me. But at the same time, I was focusing all on her, I was focusing on what she needed, so that she could heal that she could feel better, because that’s what we do as moms, right?

We focus so much on our kids and what their needs that we slowly find our own needs slipping away. And we don’t mean to we’re not trying to treat ourselves poorly, but we just do. You know, we compartmentalize we ignore, we stuffed things down, we just keep on going. We just keep on trucking. And meanwhile, all around us, our own health is fading. Because it’s a slow fade. It doesn’t just happen all at once. It’s a slow fade. And that happened to me. And I still honestly, knowing what I know now, I can’t believe I struggled for so long that I never got the connection. I was like such a late bloomer. I wasn’t focusing on my own symptoms and my own health. And so what started out being a small thing at first, it became a snowball effect.

So I was just continuously in this wheel of exhaustion, you know, fatigue, I wake up, and I would have good energy for a little while, but then I would start to crash. And certainly by the afternoon two or 3pm, I was exhausted, like I was done for my day. Of course, you can’t be done by 3pm. But um, you know, I was struggling with brain fog. I just my brain wasn’t working, you know, I just was feeling really off. And to make it all worse, guys, I’m so embarrassed to admit this. I was having daily headaches. I was having headaches every single day.

17:10 And it’s just so funny when I think back of how many appointments that I went to with her, especially all those biofeedback therapy appointments, I would go there and I was in the middle of a migraine cycle on my own. It just, it was such a struggle for me sometimes. And I’m just really embarrassed to even admit that how slow the learner I was, but I know that you guys can relate to me, because moms generally don’t put themselves first and how many signs are we missing along the way. I mean, I had suffered with digestion issues for ever, for as long as I can remember, even as a kid, my digestion was never great by any means. And then when the migraines came along, and the headaches, I just thought, now this is my life. I mean, I was always waking up tired, kind of achy. And I started quote unquote, taking better care of myself by working out six days a week. And that was mostly for my mental health. Because I needed me time I was just really feeling like I needed some time for me. But I was also hoping that along the way, I would gain some energy. I really wasn’t feeling much better. And it was really hard to get through those workouts. I wasn’t even pushing it.

That’s the sad part. But I wasn’t losing weight. I wasn’t losing my bloated belly. I wasn’t gaining better sleep, I wasn’t feeling better in my digestion. In fact, it was hard. It was just really hard. I was doing cardio and power walking and I was enjoying the walking more because it wasn’t as hard on me as the intense cardio videos I was doing. But it was just really hard to push myself to work out to even get out there and walk. And I love walking. I mean, I’ve always loved walking. I tried to split it up so that I was walking as many days as I was doing the cardio, kind of trying to get myself a little bit of a balance. But it didn’t matter. I just was so depleted at the end of each workout. Well along the way. I was never a coffee drinker and I became a coffee drinker like sometime during this whole time trying to figure out what was going on with me. I became a coffee drinker because of my fatigue. And in the afternoon, you know, picking up the kids from carpool. It became a habit to make some coffee in the afternoon to help get me through until bedtime. I mean, there was no time for a nap. But I did notice that drinking the coffee made me so sleepy. I didn’t understand why it was like the total opposite of what it should do. I was starting to think that my brain fog, my fatigue my joints that ached so much. I was really starting to think like, Okay, I’m in my 30s like, This Is it right?

20:00 This is normal Is this normal? But it didn’t make sense to me. Again, go with your gut, right? Go with your inner instinct. It just bothered me. I was so young, you know why? Why was it okay for doctors to tell me that I could take Imodium every day for the rest of my life? What, like that just didn’t make sense. You know, I, I had no idea that essentially I was hurting myself on a daily basis. But I thought it was doing good things for my body. I just wasn’t getting that connection, that what I was putting into my body was having an immediate effect on my health. It was affecting everything, my energy levels, my digestion, my mood, and of course, my sleep. But again, remember, slow learner, I wasn’t getting the connection. And during this time, I was praying and searching for another career path. I had been teaching pre k for many, many years. And it helped me be able to raise my kids and be there for them for their sporting events, their after school activities, different things like it just really was such a blessing that I could do that for so many years. And I loved those kids. But my own children were getting older in college was coming fast. And I needed to work more. And we just frankly, we just needed more income to help pay for it. So I was really just praying through what would make me happy what what I what did I want to do, like I literally I was a mom, I was a mom and I was a pre k teacher. Like, I didn’t know, what was it that I should go into next. But when I started really praying and thinking about what got me excited about learning, it always came back to health. It always came back to wellness, the power of food.

So I went back to school for holistic and functional health coaching. And I haven’t looked back because it makes so much sense food is medicine, or it can be poison. And we have to learn what our bodies need, so that we can treat it the way it deserves. And so that it will work correctly for us. So that started my journey that started my own personal journey, I started listening to my body instead of just demanding what I wanted it to do. I started to realize how vital the right kind of food was for my body. It began making sense to me that the fact that I would skip lunch to cram in errands after work, and then grab a happy meal on the way to carpool. And then wonder why my stomach hurt and I wanted to take a nap. Or here’s one I remember, I think I was being healthier by rushing home throwing a hot pocket in the microwave, grabbing a Diet Dr. Pepper and then dashing off to carpool. Yeah, no, that didn’t work either. Either way, I felt horrible. And I paid for it. So going back to school really helped me to start putting my focus on listening to my body. And what did my body need for to function better? So I had, I had to stay focused, I had to really check in with myself daily for a while, at least until it became a habit, right? It’s so easy to create these bad habits, but it’s a little bit harder to create healthier habits.

And I had to stay focused, I had to make sure that I was making changes that as time went on, I wouldn’t have to think about as much anymore unless something felt off. Once something felt off, then I would start tracking again. But I want to give you some examples of what happened once I started really listening to my body and really laser focusing on what I needed. And just close out the noise of everything else around me, because there’s so much confusing information out there. So the obvious changes, like cutting out the gluten and some dairy definitely cleared up my IBS. I mean, oh my gosh, when I felt better, I did not want to mess with that. I was not going back to feeling like that. So for me personally, it wasn’t too difficult for me to avoid certain foods.

Now remember, IBS? dairy is dairy is not your friend, okay for IBS. So being that I’ve always had gut issues, I was used to being careful with foods like ice cream. So when my family would get ice cream, if I had my own ice cream, I’d be sick for sure. But if I had like a few bites of somebody, or just a very, very small amount, and I hadn’t had any other dairy that day, it was kind of a 50/50 chance if I would be okay that night or not. But it just I had been so sick for so long in my gut that it just really wasn’t worth it. I had so many times where we all had ice cream and I didn’t you know, I would have you know, one or two bites and that was it. Or sometimes I would just say Nope, it’s not worth it to me.

25:00 To be honest, it still isn’t. It’s just not worth it to me just when you’ve been sick for so long, it just really you get clarity on what, what is really worth it. But I want you to hear me on this. Even with all of the work, I just scratched the surface of, you know, my story. But even with all the work I put into changing my eating and my lifestyle, I still struggle with my health in other ways. Sometimes, for example, I’m still battling my thyroid disorder, I still battle my adrenal fatigue from time to time, my sleep isn’t always the best. I think it was when I was getting closer to my 40s, I developed a different form of migraines that I’ve thought for years was just weather related barometric pressure changes, those kind of migraines, because that’s how I had kind of linked it together. But now I’m in the process of digging deeper into that to see if hormones are more to blame, which I think they are. But more on that later. Those are some of the physical roadblocks that I’ve I’ve had. But even with all of those issues that I’m still working through, I feel loads better than I did before. Because in my 30s, well, in my 20s, too, I was treating my body as a machine. And I stopped doing that. And I started to respect it, I started to treat it better. And it responded, my blood sugar’s leveled out, my metabolism and hormones became more in balance. My sleep was better. I mean, it’s so life changing, when we discover what our body needs, not somebody else’s our body when we discover that, it’s truly amazing. So going through my own journey, that’s what brought a strong desire in me to help other women learn what they need to feel better in their own bodies. Because I know how hard it can be to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of a family while you’re doing everything for everyone else. But you know, I just want you to know it doesn’t have to be this way. You make sure your kids get the nourishment, right moms, so don’t you deserve the same care? See, I believe we were all created to live this life abundantly. But we don’t always do that. We don’t always believe that. We get in that continual rut of work home chores, kids spouse, repeat, right? And I get it, things have to get done. But at what expense. I just want you to think about that. As women. I believe we can have peace within ourselves. We can wake up feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep ready to go and not having to drag ourselves to the coffee pot. I mean, even a few good nights makes all the difference, right? I mean, we can make changes that are doable that don’t feel like one more chore, not one more overwhelming or depriving change in our life. No more crazy fad diets or intense workouts that leave you feeling exhausted. No more confusion over all the many differing opinions about health. It’s on social media, in the news and just no more negative self talk, no more comparison. I just feel like it’s enough.

30:00 Be with them and help guide them to the knowledge that you have for them. I pray they would feel your presence and leading over any situation they may be facing with themselves or their kids right now. I pray that they would know that they are not alone. And that you hear each word and you see each tear. Thank you Father for that. We ask for your wisdom and direction going forward, I thank you for loving us Father. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.