Growing up, I associated food with family and love – especially during holidays. The whole ritual of meal preparation, eating dinner together, sharing conversation, and post-dinner desserts were a consistent source of comfort for me.
I didn’t really think too much about nutrition or what a “balanced diet” really meant or looked like until I went away to college. Now that I had to fend for myself, I didn’t really make the best choices – between the beer, late-night pizzas and junk food, I easily gained 30 pounds. I had been naturally thin and never gave my weight much thought or exercised at all, but I realized that I had to figure something out because clearly these habits were not serving me in a healthy way.
At the time, I didn’t have the tools or knowledge to change my choices. I tried some crazy restrictive diets but didn’t shed the weight until I was back at home eating my mom’s home cooking. This was profound for me. I finally realized that not only is the nutritional value better with home-cooked meals, but the love going into the meal prep combined with the ritual of togetherness made it nourishing for the soul, as well. As a result, I maintained a healthier lifestyle through the rest of college – making better food choices and sticking to a regular exercise routine.
In my mid-20’s, I enjoyed cooking meals for myself and then-husband. As I was exposed to different cuisines and cultures, I loved trying new recipes in the kitchen. I also discovered that whenever I consumed red meat, it didn’t agree with me. So, I eventually adopted a pescatarian diet, which I continue to follow today.
Sounds like I had things figured out, right? Not so fast. Even though I had ‘all the things’ that represented success in my 20’s (a husband, nice home, good job), I wasn’t truly happy. I put on a happy face and hid my unhappiness from my friends and family.
When my father passed away after a short battle with cancer, I was forced to hold up the mirror and really take a look at my life and what was most important to ME. I realized that life is too short to not be happy – this gave me the courage to trust my instincts, end my marriage, and start a new chapter in my life – regardless of anyone else’s expectations. This gave me freedom and independence that I hadn’t known before, and I embraced it!
Cut to a decade later: not long after I turned 40, my “regular” menstrual cycle with formerly mild symptoms turned ugly. I had major mood swings each month coupled with depression and anxiety, and I saw the number on the scale slowly creeping up. When I asked my doctor about these symptoms, they wanted to give me an anti-depressant. But I didn’t feel like that was the right answer for me. I researched natural supplements on my own and found some that worked well. However, the last few years have brought symptoms of perimenopause: irregular periods or none at all, hot flashes, night sweats, and more mood swings. My body once again felt out of my control.
It was through my education at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) that I learned the importance of being truly mindful in all facets of my life: physical activity, relationships, and spirituality, as well as diet – everything is connected to our overall well-being. After consistently applying what I’ve learned, I haven’t experienced any unusual symptoms for months, and I feel like I’ve reclaimed my life. My goal as a Holistic Health Coach is to help other women with similar challenges to become empowered in all aspects of their life, so they can feel their very best.
I'd be honored to work with you!
I am a certified Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Additionally, I have successfully completed specialized courses on Gut Health and Hormone Health.
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