The long-short story of how I got here...
I remember as a kid eating big meals with the end goal of a nap, and I remember the contrasting images that the media culture presented of women displaying their perfectly figured bodies while holding a piece of junk food. With my lack of education on the power of food coupled with frequent childhood sickness & an early-in-life diagnosis of severe Scoliosis, life had created The Perfect Storm.
Before I was educated on the relationship between what we consume & how are bodies respond, I always struggled to achieve optimum health. My spinal nerves were (and still are) out of line, my bowels were irritable all the time, acne raged on my face, and I did everything I could to mask the symptoms I dealt with too often. I never got to the root of the problem.
In my late teens to early twenties...
I transitioned into adulthood attending universities where healthy food was hard to find and physical activity was hardly encouraged unless it was for school credit. With the learned mindset of, "calories-in-calories-out" paired with a terrible body image, the "Freshman Fifteen" quickly became twenty... and then thirty.
I continued to yo-yo diet into my early relationship with Brandon when I decided to try one of those "health products" we see our friends on Facebook using to lose that extra weight. Not once did I think about what ingredients were inside those products, but I didn’t care because it allowed me to lose 30 pounds before Brandon and I's wedding day. My dress couldn't have looked more flattering.
What I wish I would have known was that I had been flooding my body with toxic chemicals while enduring long periods of intense workouts 6-7 days a week. Not a good combination. I also had no idea that the mindset I had built surrounding my health, and even my body, were as unhealthy as my now-formed habits in order to make me "skinny."
The breaking point in my health happened when I realized that the back pain I had been experiencing was progressively making life worse, so I desperately sought help in the form of heavy narcotics just to function. I thought I had no other choice.
During that time, Brandon and I had just migrated to Louisiana in order for him to pursue his PhD degree, and looking back at all the stress my body was under, I don't know how I functioned. Physically, emotionally, and mentally; my body started to break down at 25 years old. Talk about a “Quarter Life Crisis.”
When I realized that I was not able to help my husband move into our new apartment back in 2015, that pain was getting worse, and consistently felt low energy, I was willing to try anything just to FEEL BETTER.
That's when a friend of mine shared with me how her family was consuming powdered produce, then led me to the published clinical research behind it. I admit that I was very VERY skeptical about ANY product at that point but I decided to give that and the Shred10 Lifestyle Program a try. At that point, it was really important to me to know exactly what I was putting into my body and fruits, vegetables, and berries made perfect sense because I was hardly eating ANY of those things! I could barely stomach a raw blueberry.
Within a few days my body started to feel GOOD for the first time. I had finally found an answer that taught me the tools I had been longed for.
It was even more important than ever after getting off the previous "health product" because what really happened was: I gained 50 pounds in 4 months. That's too much, too fast.
Not long into my health journey, with a growing self-education on the power of plants, did I watch some of my very own family members experience their own health crisis' later in their lives. It was a wakeup call both Brandon and I that in order to achieve any of our dreams that we would need to learn the simple art of self-care. I'm not talking about bubble baths and face masks either. I'm talking about eating what our bodies actually need (more produce), drinking more water, getting more sleep, moving our bodies more, and self-assessing our mental health, while enjoying dessert.
Those few years while I was trying to figure out my health were very hard, they were messy, and they have been most rewarding on the other side.
So why do I do what I do?
I guess it boils down to one thing that Maya Angelou put best,
"If you KNOW better, DO better."
Once you actually gain health, it's really hard to go back and enjoy life the same way. I do not claim to be a health expert, and there are a lot of pieces to physical health outside of nutrition, but I do have a lot of life experience with the human body.
Also: Wow. What an impact the end of our fork has on our quality of life. Not only does it impact us, it impacts the world around us.
No longer do I see my love for food as a weakness, but a strength I’ve gained which has allowed me to get my health back.
I share my love for realistic holistic living, because it IS possible.
It's not expensive,
It's not complicated,
and the food is NOT boring.
I also love serving people where they are at. I believe in living by example. I don't think we "vegans" should be standing on the street corner banging our loud [and annoying] gongs about why you HAVE TO GO VEGAN. It is not my job to tell you to go vegan, but tell you why you should. It's also not my job to diagnose your health problems, but give you tools in which are proven to create long & lasting health improvements.
So these next few months, years, however & wherever this journey ends up taking us, I hope that you're inspired to become a more mindful individual making choices that everyone can benefit from.