It's All Connected Natural Health & Living!
Here's a little bit about my story.
In July of 2006, on my son's 5th birthday, I suffered a traumatic head/neurological event that was never definitively diagnosed. The best guess that any of the doctors had was that I had 2 TIAs (mini strokes), but I also lost the ability to walk without assistance or speak fluently for the next three months. I was pretty much confined to bed and needed live in care. I was a mom of three young boys, had just run my first leg of a relay in a marathon (5.6 miles - the longest I had ever run) and had eaten a pretty healthy diet by most standards prior to this. I had no known health issues and led a busy active life. Despite a full neurological workup, ruling out a brain aneurism 3 times, and many trips to the ER, I wasn't getting better or finding any answers. My life, as I had known it, was over.
Three months later, in October, I went to an MD who had a very different approach. At my very first visit with her she began testing my gut function. I kept thinking she didn't hear me - I had a head injury! Every other doctor and specialist had been looking at my head and here she was looking at my gut. Hmm...
We discovered that I had a gluten intolerance, systemic candida, an unknown mold exposure, an autoimmune problem and a parasite, in addition to a heavy metal toxicity which I had previously known about and didn't think was a big deal. Other than a short course of antiparasitics and antibiotics, the rest of my approach to healing was nutrition based. In January I found a physical therapist and personal trainer to help me ease back into working out in a supported way. By May I had trained and was prepared for a half marathon. So in 7 months I had gone from not being able to walk without assistance, to running 13.1 miles. It was a powerful experience of food as medicine. The key was not only discovering what not to eat, but also in giving my body the nutrients it needed to heal and thrive. My doctor wanted me to start talking with other patients about the food I was eating and that eventually led me to the decision to go back to school and attend the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I had been a social worker previously and this felt like the perfect next step.
While at IIN I studied over 100 dietary theories and was taught by some of the greatest minds in nutrition and wellness - Deepak Chopra, MD - Mind Body Medicine; David Wolfe - an authority on raw foods; Sally Fallon - The leader in the field of Traditional foods; John Douillard, MD - Ayurvedic Physician; Walter Willett, MD - Chairman of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health; David Katz, MD - Director of Yale Prevention Research Center; Neal Barnard, MD - Founding President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; Bernie Siegel, MD - Expert in healing, love and patient empowerment; and so many more brilliant and cutting edge leaders in the field of nutrition and wellness. The teacher who influenced me the most was Mark Hyman, MD who is a world leader of Functional Medicine - the approach that gave me my life back. Actually, after I healed, I was better than I had ever been before and I knew that I had to use my knowledge of nutrition, and combine it with my love of cooking, to help people lead thriving, vibrant lives once again. From this, It's All Connected Natural Health & Living was born. I began seeing private clients both locally and all over the world thanks to telephones and the internet. I offered workshops, corporate lunch and learns, cooking classes, health food store tours, pantry makeovers, created a video series on things that added to living a happy healthy lifestyle, wrote for a women's magazine in India and had a local health column in our town newspaper. I was even asked to speak at conferences at Lincoln Center in NYC, Miami, San Diego and Long Beach, CA. I knew I had found my calling and had a thriving business.
Fast forward to 2016, having been on a hiatus from my health coaching business so that I could be dedicated full time to a volunteer project, I experienced a year of extreme stress. During this time my food choices stayed the same, but my self care was non-existent, my sleep suffered, my stress soared, and my autoimmune and weight issues were triggered by that all too familiar pattern of being chronically over-extended and stressed. By December of 2016 I struggled to go upstairs at bedtime and equally struggled getting back down the stairs in the morning as my inflammatory response was greatly impacting my mobility. I felt as though I was rapidly declining. Doctors were at a loss about what was "wrong with me".
In January of 2017 I knew I had to find a way to save my life. I knew from previous experience that I did well without sugar and with higher fats, but had never combined the two approaches before. I began experimenting with low carb high/fat eating and learning about the state of ketosis. (This is when your metabolism switches from burning glucose (carbs) for fuel to burning ketones (fats) for fuel. Within 2 weeks the undiagnosable rash on my legs disappeared. I could run both up and down the stairs with ease. As a matter of fact, I started to run up and down the stairs for fun just because I could!
I dove head first into exploring the world of Ketogenic eating and devoured information from experts I respected, including Mark Hyman, MD. who wrote Eat Fat Get Thin (which is not specifically ketogenic). I developed my own hybrid approach heavily focused on nutrient density. My sleep drastically improved, my mobility improved, my moods improved, I began to fill every available moment with various forms of self care. My life was radically transforming right before my eyes and I realized how flawed the "there is something wrong with me" belief had been. I began focusing on everything that was right and started looking at how to find compassion in all situations. Even the ugly ones. I discovered what life feels like with no guilt, no blame and no shame.
Just as my doctor had encouraged me to work with her patients many years ago, this time a past client approached me to work with her. I told her I wasn't seeing clients at that time because I wanted to keep my focus specifically on this approach. She instantly replied that she wanted to follow this approach too, and our work together began. In seeing her tremendous success, I knew that I needed to be able to get this work out to more people and I wanted to have daily contact with them to guide them through this process. Thus my 3 month online Get Your Mojo On support group was born. To learn more about this group, go check out the Get Your Mojo On page! It's time to love your cells and feel fabulous!
I'm a native Vermonter, mom to three amazing sons, married to an incredible chef, and live in Vermont with our Ragdoll cat, our Great Pyrenees puppy, and sometimes with a flock of eclectic laying hens.
I have been eating locally and organically for over 20 years. I discovered a gluten intolerance in 2006 and a gluten cross reactivity (a gluten reaction to non-gluten containing foods) in 2013. Having been identified with four autoimmune conditions, it became essential for me to find the best food for my body. In January of 2017 I discovered that I thrive eating an organic Paleo/Ketogenic diet with no sugar intake and plenty of nutrient dense fats. This is when I discovered true food freedom.
I have lost 42 lbs and all of my mysterious autoimmune symptoms. My medical markers are now all in the optimal and ideal range. I feel full of vitality and continue to be amazed by the transformation.
I love recipe development, meal planning and cooking. Every bite should be nourishing and delicious - with or without food sensitivities!
I believe that each individual is unique and work with each client at their own pace to upgrade their lives.