I grew up in rural Pennsylvania on almost 20 acres of land and forest where my tomboy self could live her best life. I spent my time making mud pies, hanging with the boy scouts, fishing and generally doing anything outside. There wasn't much to do and I had no friends that lived within walking/bike riding distance, but it did give me a hunger to be outdoors, rain or shine.
My maternal Grandparents were our neighbors. I realize now what a blessing that was. If my Grandmother was baking, I was in the kitchen with her. Otherwise, I would beg Mom to whip up a cake or some cookies. Super bonus if I could use my Easy Bake oven! And if the weather was right, I was outside whipping up some mud pies hoping my Mom would come pretend eat them with me.
Was I picky eater?
I never considered myself one but honestly, I probably was. Nothing beat a bowl of rice Krispies for breakfast and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. We bought milk by the half gallon in a glass bottle. And if we ran out, my Grandparents always had extra. I did eat other things sometimes but largely, that was my breakfast and lunch every day. Whoever was serving spaghetti for dinner, got me as a guest, invited or not.
My memories of childhood are quite foggy. In hindsight with so little nutrition to make me function properly, how could it be anything any different. I recall it included a lot of throwing up, falling asleep every time we got in the car, difficulty getting out of bed and struggling to do well in school both academically and socially.
Going to the doctor didn't produce fruitful results but honestly, I don't remember going very much, if at all. I hated it and I'm not sure my family could afford it. I always felt like it was a burden to even ask.
Although I struggled in more ways than one, trips to my Grandparents house nearby always "made things better." They always had cookies, Reese's peanut butter cups (kept in the fridge), ice-cream and marshmallow fluff with peanut butter ready to top the coveted Ritz crackers. Spaghetti was a regular on the menu and I made SURE I was present for spaghetti night. It wasn't fancy, but Gram made the best spaghetti.
Fast forward into young adulthood and symptoms did not improve. I embraced being a young wife and Mother, and although I liked to cook, I didn't venture from what I knew. Frozen salisbury steak, instant mashed potatoes, boxed macaroni and cheese and pasta were regulars on the menu. My energy continued to decline, I started getting chronic migraines, anxiety, depression, brain fog and constant inflammation piled up on top of my already stressed body.
I was too busy taking care of kids, a house and a marriage to take care of me. I realize now that's an unhealthy mindset and that taking care of me could have actually made me a better wife and Mother, but that's what I thought at the time. I think it’s safe to say that I’m not the only person on the planet in this boat.
As with most women, my health came crashing down in my 40's. I had gained weight I couldn't lose, had severe acne, constant struggles with depression and anxiety, my body ached, I frequently got sinus infections and I was taking over the counter migraine medicine nearly every day.
As an adult, I did go to the doctor more often. I was always tired, sick and the symptoms continued to stockpile. Even the smallest symptoms we tend to see as bothersome are all interconnected. Although they are common they are not normal.
The amount of NSAIDS I took topped out around 25-30 on an average week. That doesn't come without consequence but I was trying to not only survive but function at bare minimum. I had no one to help and those I sought out to help, just...didn't.
My almost 20 year marriage fell apart, my oldest child had seemingly unresolvable mental health issues and I got laid off my job. I had no savings, no income and the person I trusted the most showed me that he could not be trusted and worse yet he wasn't even interested in trying. I hit rock bottom.
I spent the next couple of years growing in my relationship with Christ, serving others, and raising my youngest daughter who was still in high school. questioning why I made the decisions that I do
My mission is to open new doors to my fellow sufferers who feel they:
-Haven’t always felt up to par or struggled with chronic symptoms
-Who have looked for answers and felt they have been led astray or been dismissed
-Didn’t get the results they were looking for
I believe a whole foods lifestyle with proper sleep, movement and laughter can make or break someone’s health and/or recovery from illness. When we begin to address what's really causing our symptoms, and not just band-aiding the symptoms, relief and recovery have a way of brightening our lives back into a new perspective.
Education is key and mainstream media, big pharma and western medicine have misrepresented critical information about food and its relationship to the health of our bodies. I’ve had to put aside the beliefs that I “knew” were correct simply because they have been drilled in my psyche my entire life.
I invite you to do the same. Keep an open mind and you’ll be impressed with what is actually true.
Nutrition is a very fickle subject, as is our constantly changing bodies. Your answers are not linear. I provide the information and you make the decision if, and how, to apply it. When ya know better, ya do better.
Thank you for visiting!