My healing journey story, what I did to start to get my health back, and more importantly how I found myself again during my 2013 and onward chronic illness journey. My healing journey started with Celiac and gluten-free living and escalated to SIBO, Candida overgrowth, Leaky Gut, food sensitivities, rashes, facial numbing and so much more. It's been a wild ride, and I am sure you are curious to find ways to get your spiritual groove back during your healing journey too.
My healing journey story 2013 & onward
Yes, I have fallen off the blogger planet. Yes, I stopped posting. Where do I even start? Where do I begin? Do I write an introduction as to why I fell off the planet? Or do I just start blogging as if I never disappeared? Though that might be weird. I feel that I owe it to you guys to fess up. To let you know where I have been hiding. I've been hiding in my healing journey. Well, In a nutshell…I left my 13-year fashion career as a women's fashion designer to pursue Holistic Nutrition. I went back to school at The Institute For Integrative Nutrition and got certified in Holistic Nutrition, and Health Coaching. Which was by the way an awesome life-changing experience! I just graduated at the beginning of July 2014. And in 2015 I will be doing the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's 6-month business program.
I am currently working with a web designer to transform and expand Goodie Goodie Gluten-free on an awesome WordPress website. Goodie Goodie Gluten-free is getting a whole new glam look! And I am super excited. The site will launch in the Fall. And I cannot wait for you to see it!
Diving into holistic nutrition w/ podcasts
Diving into the world of holistic nutrition while on my own personal healing journey led me to become quite spiritual. I've learned all kinds of holistic practices like yoga, and meditation. Mindfulness became something I was really curious about and started making self-care a top priority that included daily wellness check-ins with myself, writing in my gratitude journal, listening to numbers as a way of hearing signs, and listening to health and wellness podcasts that Lit up my world.
The first wellness podcast I ever gave a second glance at became a podcast I would listen to daily. Katie Dalebout is a writer, a yoga teacher, and a wellness coach that talked to various wellness professionals on her podcast The Wellness Wonderland from Gabby Bernstein to Robyn Youkilis, Jenny Sansouci, Jordan Bach, and more! It is all things wellness, self-love, self-care, being in the wellness business, and thriving with health problems. The Wellness Wonderland became Let it Out Podcast, but you can still find her Wellness Wonderland Podcast episodes here.
Diving into holistic nutrition through diet
Dealing with multiple chronic health conditions
I have experienced Anemia, Vitamin deficiencies, a full body absorption problem, inflammation almost everywhere, crazy rashes, cystic acne, terrible hair loss, facial and throat numbing. 80 percent of what I eat causes facial, throat, and tongue-numbing on the left side of my face! This healing journey has taken me to situations I never thought I'd be in. I've had cat scans on my sinuses, a brain scan, leaky gut, an endoscopy, environmental allergies, eczema, drastic weight loss (almost 15 pounds), acid reflux, food sensitivities (to way too many foods), Adult Asthma (that I'm not sure is even asthma), chronic fatigue, long bouts of Strep Throat, swollen glands, stomach viruses, random Flu-like viruses, Ankle tendonitis (twice), horrific headaches, stomach issues (to say the least), dreadfully long periods (10 days!) and so much more.
I have been under the care of a Neurologist, an Immunologist, an Allergist, 2 Integrative Functional Medical Doctors, an Endocrinologist, a specialist Gynecologist, a Gastroenterologist, 3 Dermatologists, 3 Hair Doctors, a Trichologist, an ENT doctor, a General Internist, an Orthopedist even a Homeopathic doctor and more all since August 2012.
When it all started, it started out slow. Little by little. And then the issues got bigger and bigger. I had an Endocrinologist and a Specialist Gynecologist. By the time January 2013 approached my doctor roster had doubled and sh*t really started to hit the fan in June of 2013. After June 2013 my doctor roster along with my medical mystery symptoms and ailments had quadrupled. And my medical problems escalated. A whopping two years of doctors. My week looks like 3-4 doctor's appointments plus working and school. The blog had to take a backseat. The Anemia started back in July 2012 and that is really what triggered this crazy journey or so I thought. I have been misdiagnosed throughout this entire healing journey process, told I needed a Psychiatrist, and overall completely misunderstood since August 2012.
Just when I thought one medical issue was horrific the next one following was and is so much worse. I honestly thought I would crawl under a rock when my hair started falling out. There were days I sat and cried in my apartment. Actually pretty much all of Summer 2013 was me crying in my apartment over my hair loss. I just didn't know what was happening. And the stress that went along with these health issues was enormous! I was gluten-free 100 percent-I followed all the rules, and I couldn't understand why me, why now.
Although this was color matching when I was still blonde!
I haven't colored my hair since.
Lucky for me I met this amazing wig maker/stylist through a friend of a friend who made not only custom wigs, which I didn't need but Halo's which is real hair sewn to an invisible elastic string and worn sort of like an invisible headband. You would never know I was wearing partially fake hair. It took me a long time to accept that I needed to wear a halo. Getting diagnosed with a non-permanent form of Alopecia called Telogen Effluvium in June 2013 and realizing that my hair was really going to take 3-4 years to grow back as the hair doctors said, was a tough pill to swallow. But I am so grateful for people like Merria Dearman who create hair as an art and do it well. Because the fears that were going through my mind were stopping me from living." You see, I have always preached that once you go gluten-free, you are set for life, never to deal with ugly Celiac Disease again and onward to the life you are meant to enjoy in sweet perfection.
My misconception that led to less hope
But this thinking of mine was oh. so. wrong. The truth is, is that going gluten-free is not always the ONLY answer. It's only part of the equation. So instead of blogging about this entire experience as it was happening, I completely retreated.
I retreated because 80 percent of what I eat makes the left side of my face, throat, and tongue completely numb. Like scary numb. I lived on Benadryl at first because we didn't know what the symptom was coming from. I thought it was an allergy. At first, I was hysterical. I would stay up late at night trying to figure out how to fix this, try and figure out why it was happening, making game plans and to-do lists to conquer this.
Healing journey realizations
But guess what? I realized that healing is a process. And healing takes a long time. That length of time shouldn't deter us. It's important to realize this as it will help you move forward on your journey.
Currently, I work with a new amazing Integrative Functional Medical Doctor, and we are taking this healing process step by step, clean meal by clean meal.
I realize Perfection does not exist and we are all on some sort of journey. And a Journey is not a destination, nor is happiness. We have to create what we want and take action to get it and even that is part of the journey. Without our stories, our struggles, we wouldn't be who we are, or even where we are today at this very moment with the good and with the bad.
13 spiritual rituals to get your groove back
Gratitude Journals- Every day you will write down 3 things that you are grateful for and why. There are no rules for this book, no one sees it but you! This little journal is your journey alone.
Inspiration Boards - An inspiration board is simply a foam board where you pin or tape all things from magazines, Pinterest, souvenirs from your life onto this board. It's something fun and pretty to look at and since you created it, it's homemade functional art. It serves a purpose. That is, to inspire.
Vision Boards - are similar but instead of putting things on it that inspire, you put things on it that you want. What you want your life, love life, career, house, etc to look like. It's a Law of Attraction kind of thinking, what you put out into the Universe you get right back. The purpose of this board is to co-create with the Universe. You are putting it out there, what you want onto this board, your next step will be to take action, and the Universe will meet you halfway.
Mediation- It's a practice and needs to be done often to reap any benefits. Meditation is about calming your body and breath work. It's also about calming your brain. To just sit in a safe space and deeply relax is the ultimate gift. It's a place inside yourself where you can really get to know what you need. Start with classes or guided meditations on this activity. And you can even create a safe space in your home or apartment. A small area designated to be your meditation station. In that space you can add a comfy pillow to sit on, an array of your favorite books and magazines, and anything inspirational you may want to sit with when you are having a meditation moment, some relaxation time, downtime, or even a bad day. Fill that area with stuff you love!
Yoga - A beautiful stretching activity that is more ritualistic. It provides the movement of energy. Your body has energy running through it all day long. Some energy gets stuck and often causes physical or emotional stuckness. Yoga moves you through that process through the art of stretch, and breath. Yoga also helps period cramps, muscle spams, balances stress levels, builds your muscles, and tones your body. After an hour of yoga, you'll feel like you are walking on a cloud. As if you just walked out of a massage.
Exercise-this can be done in conjunction with Yoga. Has similar effects to yoga but is more energizing than zen relaxation like Yoga. Exercise is a great way to get the anger out or frustrated emotions. Same with yoga, but it's a different kind of Adrenaline. Exercising feels like a rush. It also rids toxins quickly, tones your body, gets your sweat on, and gives you confidence.
Clean eating - You are what you eat. You can't have all the energy in the world if you are eating fast food, tons of sugar, bad fats as opposed to good fats, processed junk, and ingredients you can't even understand. Clean eating is mostly about eating whole foods such as fresh veggies, and fresh fruits, whole grains, organic, and grass-fed. The options we eat are meant to be clean. The clean category is little sauces, little processed food, if any, little sugars, and only using natural sugars. It's a cleaner diet.
Elimination Diets- Eliminating white sugar was the best thing I ever did. Elimination diets are not forever, they are merely set in place to detox your body from toxins, or to figure out symptoms through food eliminations. And when you do a detox diet or an elimination diet, as frustrating as it is in the beginning, you learn so much about your body. You learn what your body can handle and what it can't. You learn that you only have one body so you want to treat it right. You learn that some foods are just not workable for your body despite it's "healthy" label or even their junk food label. And what's even more amazing is that when you finally learn to eliminate what's not OK for your particular body, mystery symptoms disappear. Taking charge of your body feels amazing!
Eliminating substances and alcohol-I'm not sure I even need to preach on this topic. Just merely reducing your intake of alcohol, wine, spirits, hard liquor, and beer will improve your moods, your diet, your weight, your thoughts, your energy levels, your quality of sleep, and your overall zest for life. Learn to party sober.
Listening to Music-I have always said life is better with music. I swear it makes everything so much less stressful. And it actually changes brain chemistry in a really good way.
Reading good books-Sometimes getting lost in someone else's story is a good thing. It takes you away from obsessing on your own problems and promotes better sleep. (Make sure it's a real book or an old Kindle and not an iPad (that blue light will get your further into sleepless nights).
Listening to your body - Instead of listening to everyone else. You know your body.
Interested in more stories about my healing journey?
Health & spiritual rituals that help you get your groove back!