My lifelong journey toward good health has been an often frustrating, sometimes scary, and constantly evolving process. From the time I was an infant, born underweight and prematurely, I dealt with what seemed like one thing after the next — from terrible food and environmental allergies to migraines, GERD, and debilitating nausea caused by cyclic vomiting syndrome, it’s hard to remember a time I ever felt well. I was tired of being sick, and as a competitive dancer from the age of 3, the fulfillment of my dreams depended on my wellness. As a young adult, I began trying to tackle my health issues one by one through both nutrition and exercise, solving many of my digestive issues and migraines by cutting out certain foods and replacing them with whole foods and juices, and diversifying my physical fitness routine. The process took years, and I still had good days and bad, but I knew I was on the right track. Then one morning in February 2016, everything changed.
For about a year, I had been feeling inexplicably exhausted, tweaking my health routine and paying close attention to my body to try to figure out why, nothing was working and I knew something was wrong. When I woke up one day and my entire body was painfully numb, I knew this was bigger than the issues I’d experienced in the past. Over the next week it got worse and worse, especially in my arms and hands, which were so swollen I could hardly bend them; I began having spasms and the pain was almost too much for even tough old me to bear. After a few trips to the chiropractor didn’t do any good, I took myself to the ER where they prescribed me Xanax, told me I was having a “panic attack” because “anxiety can cause some weird symptoms,” and sent me home. Now, having been a long time sufferer of anxiety, panic attacks, and severe OCD, I knew better. Intuitively, I put myself on a “low-inflammation” diet, cutting out animal products and other inflammatory foods, which helped some, but didn’t solve the issue of a diagnosis or the severe pain and discomfort I was in. A little less than two months after that first morning, I had a diagnosis: Multiple Sclerosis. What I’d been experiencing was my first “relapse.” I was devastated and scared, but having battled my own body before, I knew there was only one thing to do: take action. With the MS diagnosis, I immediately went to work on modifying my life in order to better manage my disease and prevent further harm to my body, which meant even more changes to my diet. Though the disease is chronic and some days it feels out of control, I feel drastic positive physical and mental progress. My symptoms have decreased and become less severe and my blood work backs that up — the inflammation markers in my blood have decreased dramatically and my doctors are impressed with how well I’m getting along. My overall health has improved, and so many of the other issues I used to have are on the backburner. The truth is, I should have started eating this way a long time ago; a plant-based gluten free diet and every day exercise is what works best for my body. Two mantras inform my mentality when it comes to my own health (and yours):
What I put in my body has a direct impact on its function.
I keep active because I never want my disease to rob me of the ability to move.
My own wellness evolution through holistic nutrition and fitness has inspired me to devote my life to helping others — especially those battling chronic illness and autoimmune disease — manage their health issues and live their best lives. Certified in Holistic Nutrition, Health Coaching, Fitness Instruction, and Personal Training, I cater to my client’s needs as an individual, working with your schedule and creating meal and workout programs specific to your body, and providing the support and encouragement it takes to begin, and maintain your own wellness evolution. It’s an honor to join you on your journey.
Start your evolution!