My journey to reclaiming my health...
At 15 I saw a Naturopath for the first time. I was curious about natural health and wanted answers to my chronic digestive complaints. I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and it was also suggested I had a yeast (Candidiasis) overgrowth.
So what did I do?
Absolutely nothing. In fact, my diet worsened throughout my teenage and early adult years. Gluten was apart of almost every meal, and I was hitting up my favorite fast food chains daily-often multiple times per day. I was the type of person to get that coupon booklet in the mail and have it finished within the week. I had a full blown sugar addiction, and constantly needed "a sweet" after every meal. My cravings were out of control! At 19 I also started drinking & partying often-this theme would continue into my 20s.
After a big move, big breakup, and being robbed shortly after moving to the new city-my physical and mental health started spiraling. I was stresssssed. Food became my only stability and comfort, and I continued to make dietary & lifestyle choices that would adversely affect my health.
When I was 23, my life long bond with anxiety became debilitating. I wouldn't respond to friends or family's texts, and some days I couldn't leave my apartment. I had cystic acne, chronic bloating, 0 energy and continued to feel like a victim of my sugar cravings. With my family physician only offering birth control and anti-depressants for my concerns - I decided to seek out help with another Naturopathic Doctor. I started eating 80% organic, and was put on an anti- fungal protocol. For 8 weeks I kicked refined sugar, gluten + alcohol and I felt SO good...
And then I "relapsed".
I didn't finish the protocol, and never went to my follow up appointment with my ND, because I felt so much SHAME. So naturally, I reverted back to my old ways. I ended up in a binge-restrict-binge cycle with food. My weight fluctuated constantly, and I still had cystic acne, bloating, anxiety, and cravings. I had some knowledge or idea of what foods made me feel good, and I was taking a combination of random supplements I thought I needed. I was still scared of food however, and I had a terrible relationship with my body and self-esteem. I felt like I was living on autopilot.
By 2017, I was eating organic, taking a few helpful supplements and found myself really wanting to study nutrition. In 2018, I ended up in Mexico for a backpacking adventure alongside my partner. It was so rad, until my last few weeks in paradise I had a taco that changed my f*cking life.
The taco served me some SEVERE food poisoning. My gut was already in such poor shape, and I didn't have the proper defences needed to handle the foreign bacteria. I'm talking 7 days of rain from both ends. My trip was cut short, and I took the first flight back to Canada. I was given another round of antibiotics and I was back to "normal"...right?
A year later, I had developed "Post Infectious IBS". At the time, I was in school studying holistic nutrition Monday-Friday and working until 4am on the weekends. I was chronically stressed & certainly not getting enough sleep-which was not helpful for my IBS. Although I was eating really mindful, whole food focused, balanced, organic meals-I was still left constantly bloated, gassy, & anxious. My bowels were irritated! Everything I ate became a problem for my digestion-even greens, and probiotic rich foods! By the end of the day I wouldn't even fit or feel comfortable in my clothes. I felt defeated and ashamed.
I would spend the rest of my school year in and out of several clinician's & practitioner's offices. I was doing round after round of herbal antibiotics, every diet under the sun, and I fell into a pattern of being in poorer condition after treatment than before. I needed someone who really understood my condition & health history, who was committed to uncovering my root cause & could understand and speak my language.
I decided to become that practitioner for myself. After receiving my certified nutritional practitioner designation (CNP), I continued to complete further functional medicine training in digestive disorders, IBS, SIBO, and the gut microbiome. Armed with a positive SIBO breath test diagnosis, I went to work on myself. I developed my own 3 month protocol and followed my own dietary, lifestyle and supplementation recommendations.
By 2020, I became SIBO free for good & had a very happy gut! I am no longer anxious, afraid of food, or feeling betrayed by food choices or my body. My skin has cleared, my weight & mood stabilized and it feels SO good to be back in my body & mind.
It brings me JOY when I am able to empower my clients to take back control of their body, mind, and well-being. The science behind Gut health is very near and dear to my heart, and in turn compliments the intuitive & holistic approach I use to facilitate change with my clients. I've been through it all with my gut, I've made the mistakes, and I am in the trenches with you.