If you asked me 20 years ago if I could see myself as a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner helping others with their most challenging health concerns, I would have said no. My focus was a career in financial services, raising two children and volunteering to help those in need. In August of 2017 everything changed when I woke up one day and every major joint in my body hurt.
I have struggled with stomach issues since I was a young girl. As I got older, I began to discover that certain foods would trigger my upset stomach. Trying to avoid these foods was challenging and the thought of eliminating them seemed impossible.
One morning in August of 2017 my body was telling me that something must change. I woke up with intense pain in my knees, ankles, feet, back, hips and wrists. My body felt extremely fatigued and OTC solutions did not provide me with any relief.
It was time to visit my doctor and run some bloodwork, the results led to a recommendation to see a Rheumatologist. Taking my doctor’s advice, I went to see a highly recommended Rheumatologist who would run additional tests. The diagnosis was Ankylosing Spondylitis, in addition to a gene marker called HLA B27. The Rheumatologist stated that those with HLA B27 are prone to get 3 or 4 other autoimmune disorders in addition to what I have.
I was given a pamphlet for my diagnosis and a pamphlet for the medication that was recommended and sent on my way. In the follow up appointment, the Rheumatologist’s only solution was medication. As I focused my questions on the medication options and side effects that concerned me, the Rheumatologist stated that all medications have side effects, and I should pick one that I will take for the rest of my life.
My mind was now burdened with a diagnosis of a chronic inflammatory disease. I was nervous and determined to find a solution. The internet only adds to my concerns with claims that I could be in a wheelchair in 15-20 years. It was a scary time in my life, but I just knew in my heart that there was a better way. After reading multiple books and joining multiple Ankylosing Spondylitis groups, I was able to suppress the chronic inflammation with diet and lifestyle. My lifestyle change did not happen overnight, it has been an enlightening journey that has brought me to a better place than where I was in August of 2017.
My self-study and desire to help others led me to certified courses on health coaching with a focus on functional nutrition, diet and lifestyle. I want to help others that have been in the same position as myself, not just the people with the same diagnosis as me. Many people have autoimmune conditions, or they struggle with fatigue, lack of energy, skin issues etc. and they are searching for answers to what is going on inside their body.
It is not easy to be told that you have a chronic illness, but it changed my life for the better. My passion is to help others and let them know that it is possible to make changes. I believe in the positive effects functional nutrition and lifestyle can provide. I want to help you every step of the way, providing you the support and accountability that is extremely important to people that are having to take this journey.
Today I enjoy a highly active life with my husband and two children. We spend time together in the kitchen, outdoors, traveling and entertaining family and friends.