So I know I’ve talked about what a Health Coach is and what we do, but have you ever wondered how I got to this point? And maybe how you could become one too? My journey is one I don’t talk about often; not because I’m embarrassed by it, but because it took me so long to actually start on this journey! I can’t believe I put it off for so long, when my intuition, my entire being was screaming at me to do something different!
First, let’s start with where I was and how I ended up on this path to becoming a Health Coach. In 2009, I was engaged…well, sort of engaged…he hadn’t quite asked me yet, but he had the ring(s) and we were making all the plans for the big day in 2010 (long story…ugh). The whole time we were dating, I had started breaking out like crazy (all along my chin, which I later found out is indicative of hormonal issues). I was on birth control and assumed that it was just stress causing the break-outs. I did the normal thing of going to a dermatologist and getting on medicine/antibiotics because let’s face it, I was vain and I just wanted my face to clear up!
Well, fast forward to the end of 2009, and the engagement/relationship was called off because he had an indiscretion with someone that wasn’t me (yet another long story). My break-outs weren’t getting any better, and really appeared to be getting worse. I am fairly pale-skinned so the redness of the acne was very noticeable. I was very self-conscious of it and hated leaving the house like that. All throughout 2010, it was like that, and I had been on antibiotic after antibiotic to treat it.
End of 2010 into 2011, I deployed for six months (my then and current day job is with the Department of Defense). My acne was still an issue, and I literally was trying everything under the sun to control it. Let me clarify, I was trying any and all medications and other “natural” remedies, but for eating healthy and clean and not using the overly processed products on my face. When I returned home in 2011, I had zero energy, my face was a hot mess, and my eyebrows had started thinning. At this point, I’d been on birth control for just about 14 years, maybe almost 15 years.
So I started seeing a doctor who told me a lot of my symptoms appeared to be caused by issues with my thyroid and that prolonged use of birth control can cause those issues. So being an all or nothing type person, I immediately stopped taking my birth control…mid-cycle and everything. Well holy crap….and I thought my acne had been bad before??? My face went OUT OF CONTROL! It looked like I had a beard of acne! It was horrifying and it hurt like crazy! Everything I tried made it burn and hurt and more red!
So I went back to the dermatologist, who told me it was some sort of dermatitis mixed in with the acne and the only cure was antibiotics (surprise, surprise). They, of course, could not tell me what actually caused the dermatitis. How can you prevent something when you have no idea what caused it in the first place??? So the dermatitis cleared up, but the acne remained.
I won’t bore you with the details of the rest of 2011, 2012, and 2013, but let’s just suffice it to say that my face went through all the spectrums. Some days it would look okay, while others I didn’t even want to leave the house. I went back and forth to being on antibiotics to not wanting to be on any medicine. I was so embarrassed all the time and questioned how anyone was going to take me seriously because I looked like a pre-pubescent teenager. I can’t tell you the number of times I called my mom crying about it. And I can’t tell you the number of times I went to the dermatologist hoping for something other than an antibiotic “quick fix.” Because let me tell you, antibiotics don’t fix the underlying problem!!!! They only mask the problem and make it “better” for the short term. Once you are off the meds, the problem comes back in full force!
I was at a breaking point when the dermatologist recommended Accutane. At the time, I wasn’t on birth control and you have to be on two forms of it for them to even consider Accutane. And I knew I didn’t want to be back on birth control. I also knew that I wasn’t a huge fan of being placed on any other medication. At this point in my journey, I was trying to steer clear of medications and heal my gut from years of antibiotic use. I knew I had to change something in my life in order to avoid Accutane. I promised myself, and voiced this promise to my mom, that if I couldn’t fix it with diet and lifestyle changes, that Accutane would be my last resort.
I mean, it was so bad…in 2012, I lived in Suffolk, VA.and it was Halloween. I distinctly remember calling my mom in tears because my face was still broken out and so red and painful…I told her that I didn’t even need a mask to scare the kids! I even told her that I couldn’t possibly remove anything else from my diet….that if I did, I would be eating dirt!! Yes, I was at a low point in my life!
So I went vegan…I’d been vegetarian prior to that, but in the beginning of 2013, my new year’s resolution was to start cooking more whole foods and to become a vegan. I removed all dairy, eggs, all processed foods (including that fake vegetarian meat crap), all grains and bread (I decided to try removing gluten too), and I added in more vegetables and fruits. But I was still drinking coffee every day and having “healthy” sweet treats (even those vegan books make amazing desserts!!).
After moving from Suffolk to Virginia Beach mid-2013, and doing countless hours of research into the causes of acne, I finally figured out that most likely the cause of my acne and sleep issues and anxiety was hormonal. Duh. After being on birth control for about 15 years and then abruptly going off it, that would make sense. Now let’s see…at this point, I’d been off birth control for two years and had done countless different things to try to improve/heal my acne. Everything but try to get my hormones balanced.
So in the end of 2013, I decided to do a 21-day Sugar Detox. I’d learned that sugar has a monstrous effect on female hormones and can totally wreak havoc on a person’s body. The other eye opener for me was after my knee surgery in May 2013. The day of surgery, I couldn’t come out of the anesthetic. And when I was waking up, I was hot and sweaty and knew I needed food…I was having one of my attacks where my blood sugar was too low and I needed something to eat. The nurse or doctor (or whoever) took my blood sugar and told me it was way too high to need any food. But it wasn’t until I insisted and they gave me some crackers (or something) that I started feeling better. That was a scary feeling. You see, the night before, I had indulged (or over-indulged) on some of those “healthy” vegan
sweet treats! So of course my blood sugar was through the roof! I knew I needed to make a change!
So back to the sugar detox. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done! I was used to having something sweet every night after dinner. And to completely cut that off for 21 days?? Holy crap! Plus, having to watch everything else I ate to ensure I wasn’t accidentally eating sugar?? It was difficult. But can I just tell you that for the first time in just about two years my acne started clearing up? My face was no longer full of red bumps and it wasn’t painful! And something else happened during the detox…I started craving meat…like, I needed meat! And yes, I am now a meat eater again. But the biggest thing I learned is that we are all individuals!! What works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for someone else! I had finally learned to listen to my body and give it what it needed!!! That, in and of itself, was the biggest takeaway of it all!
My journey hasn’t been a perfect one; I’ve had my trials and errors. I now know that too much sugar causes my face to break out like crazy. I also now know that almonds and almond butter do the same thing to me. I’ve also incorporated essential oils into my life, which has also drastically improved my life and my skin.
But the one thing that remained consistent is that through all of my research and internet searches, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) kept popping up. I read blog after blog about IIN and this amazing school and becoming a health coach. I can remember talking to my mom and my best friend about it and what they thought. Did they think I was crazy because I wanted to go to school (again) to become a health coach? Mind you, I was finishing up my second master’s in 2013 and this school was on my mind. I knew I couldn’t do both at the same time.
But in the end of 2013, roughly around the same time as the sugar detox, I got an email saying that tuition was going to be increased starting the following day. I was so nervous! I called my mom and my best friend, going on and on about spending all this money on a program and what if I quit my day job and failed? I mean, I had every excuse under the sun. Until I realized that going to school and becoming a health coach didn’t mean I had to quit my day job. It just meant that I would be more knowledgeable about health and nutrition, not only to help myself, but to help my friends and family. So I enrolled and put a start date of May 2014.
I’ll admit, it was scary. This path is completely different from my day job…like, a complete 180. And I have a cushy government job…but I knew that my passion has always been in health, nutrition, and physical fitness. I knew that my friends and family have always asked me questions about what they should eat, what supplements they should take, what exercises they should do. I’d always been that “go-to” person. I also knew that in my years of research and trying to figure out what was going on with my body that the universe was drawing me towards IIN.
And I also knew that I wanted to help others figure it all out much faster than I did. Because I know how humiliating it is to be 30 years old and have adult acne. And I know how painful it is to look in the mirror and all you see is acne and red and pain. And I know what it’s like to suffer because you don’t know what’s wrong or how to fix it. I can’t tell you the number of times I went to the doctor for not only my acne, but my fatigue and anxiety and insomnia. Time and again, I was told I was “normal” and “healthy” and that nothing was wrong. But I knew I wasn’t healthy, by any stretch of the word!!
I wish I had a picture of what I looked like at my worst, but I’ll admit it again…I’m vain. And I hated having my picture taken then. I hated looking at the pictures and seeing only acne. I have one from 2011 (it’s not the greatest and it’s definitely not at my worst), but you can see how tired I look and you can see the acne along my chin. And here’s what I look like now. I look refreshed and vibrant with clear skin!!
I limit my sugar intake, I limit my caffeine intake and only drink decaf coffee when I have it, I eat whole, real foods (nothing processed), and I use essential oils as part of my daily routine. I love how I look now. And yes, I know that the acne didn’t define me as a person…but it made me less confident, which made me less “me.” I also sleep much better, my anxiety is under control, and I actually have energy to get everything done and then some!! All without medication!!
I want to be able to help guide you on your journey! Whether that is to IIN to become a health coach to help other people, or to just learn more about health and nutrition to help yourself and your family! Ask me how to become a part of an amazing school with an amazing program that has drastically changed my life!
And if your journey doesn’t include IIN, that’s okay too! Because I have amazing six month programs that can help you get to the root causes of your health concerns. Think about it…Six months working with me to help you instead of YEARS of trial and error and research and starting all over again when something fails! Let me help you become the healthiest, happiest version of YOU. Because I’d love to be a part of your journey!!! Click HERE to find out how to work with me! It all starts with a FREE complimentary health consultation :) Let’s get you started today!
With love and wellness,
So I completed my Whole30 this week (on Tuesday, February 10th to be exact), but I really haven’t added anything back in yet. I’m actually kind of afraid to add anything back in, because I don’t want all my old problems to come back…plus, I *may* or *may not* be addicted to sugar too, so I’m leery of adding that back in. I’m sleeping better, my acne is clearing up, I’m not as anxious, my PMS was pretty much non-existent last month, my joints aren’t as sore/inflamed, and I’ve set a few PRs this past month at CrossFit. Overall, I feel MUCH better than I did before I started it. However, here’s the one setback. I only lost 1.4 pounds!! I must admit, I was a little bummed about that. As someone who doesn’t ever weigh myself, this was kind of a blow to my ego. Especially because Scott (my loving boyfriend who did the Whole30 with me) lost 10 pounds!! Seriously…10 in 30 days! Ugh. Men.
After weighing ourselves this morning, we took after pictures (see below for before and after pictures). Don’t mind the fact that I have a disgusted, silly look on my face…we should’ve taken the pictures before we weighed ourselves, LOL (also keep in mind it was 5am). Before I go any further, let me just point out that the number on the scale is just that…a number. It doesn’t define who you are and it certainly is not a reflection of you as a person. I’ll admit that as of this morning, February 12, 2015, I weigh 137 pounds. This is, by far, the most I have ever weighed (well, except for the start of the Whole30 when I weighed 138.4). But I looked at the pictures of myself (both the before and the after), and I see the difference. I feel the difference. And I know that if I lost 10 pounds like Scott did, I would be way too thin and wouldn’t be strong enough to continue my CrossFit workouts and PRs.
I know that my body is exactly where it needs to be. My clothes fit well (I haven’t had to buy new clothes because I gained or lost too much in quite a while), I’m happy with the way that I look, and I’m even happier with the way I feel. Because, you see, isn’t that what it’s all about? So what if I weighed 115 pounds, like I did in high school and into college? How would I feel? Would I be able to keep up with CrossFit? Would I be as toned and muscular? I don’t think so. Because I look back at pictures of myself in high school and college when I thought I was very fit and looked my best and I realize I was flabby and not toned. Yes, I was thin (probably too thin at some points), but that was it. I was just thin. I ran all the time, so I wasn’t out of shape. But there was nothing else there.
I look at pictures now and think, “Damn…I am muscular!” In fact, I just said it yesterday about a picture one of our coaches took. I said to Scott, “Holy cow! My arm looks huge! And I mean because of my muscles!” I LOVE how I look now. I LOVE how I feel. And to me, that is SO MUCH MORE important than the number on the scale! I know that I can pick up heavy items without the help of Scott (even though I let him help me more than I care to admit, LOL)…and I know that my body will support me doing the crazy things I do at CrossFit. Most importantly, I know that my legs and especially my knees are now strong enough to support me should I jump off another 6 foot wall and NOT tear something (circa 2013, I tore my ACL and meniscus attempting to run a Tough Mudder and came off a 6 foot wall wrong…it wasn’t pleasant). But now, my knee and quad muscles are so much stronger! It’s amazing what a year at CrossFit will do for you!!
So I encourage you to NOT get discouraged if you’re doing a Whole30 or some other detox and you’re not losing weight. Because the number isn’t important! Are you feeling better? Do your clothes fit better? Are you sleeping better? Is your skin clearing up? Are you thinking more clearly? Think of all the non-scale victories instead! And also remember that it takes 4 weeks for you to feel a difference in your body after working out and changing your diet, it takes 8 weeks for you to see it, and it takes 12 weeks for your friends and family to notice and see it. Keep it up! Because YOU are totally WORTH it!!!
With love and wellness,
Last weekend, I went to Boulder, CO for a doTERRA essential oils conference. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I can tell you that the conference was from 9 to 5 both Saturday and Sunday, and as much as I wanted to learn more about the oils, I was also dreading sitting in a conference for both of my weekend days. I mean, how am I supposed to enjoy being away from home in Boulder when I’m sitting in a class/meeting room all day for both days??
My mom and I flew in Friday night so we were prepared for an early Saturday wake-up. And that it was…aren’t vacations meant for sleeping in?? My sister-in-law also joined us for the weekend, so it was a nice girls’ weekend (at least there was that) :) Well, the three of us head downstairs around 830 or so (after breakfast, of course, which was Whole30 compliant!!) to get signed in and find some seats (in the back, closest to the door for easy escapes!). The first thing we’re told is that there were going to be no breaks because they had so much information to cover. What?! Don’t they know how much water I drink and how often that means I’m in the bathroom?? Ugh.
But then the conference started…and boy, was I wrong for dreading it. Because it was absolutely amazing! Hayley and Wes Hobson, the people holding the conference, were amazing! Their stories were so relatable and they were so personable and easy to talk to. Plus, the other stories I heard were so uplifting and life-changing. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in my struggles was refreshing. I can’t tell you how many times I cried that weekend listening to others’ stories and seeing how the oils have changed
their lives. I’ve been there! I have the same stories!
My weekend in Boulder changed my perspective on essential oils. I used them daily prior to the conference (and I still do), but how I view them as a part of my life and a part of my business is very different now. The fact that there is an oil for EVERYTHING still amazes me! Have a sore back? I have an oil for that. Having hormonal/cycle issues? I have an oil for that. Have an insect bite? I have an oil for that. Have acne? Yup, you guessed it…I have an oil for that! What about snoring? I have an oil for that too! This stuff is amazing! And it is truly life-changing!
I got into using essential oils basically as a last resort. I had tried EVERYTHING for my insomnia, fatigue, and acne. My mom started using them and suggested a few that she thought would work best for me. At first, I wasn’t a believer. I thought it was going to be something that I spent a ton of money on and then it would end up under the bathroom sink, only to be thrown away months later when I was cleaning out the mess that accumulates there (seriously, how many half-empty bottles do you have under your sink??).
So I signed up for a wholesale account with doTERRA in July 2014. I bought a small kit so I could have the oils and see how they would work for me. Almost immediately, I could see and feel the difference. I started using lavender on the bottoms of my feet to help me sleep and noticed I was falling asleep easier. I purchased the calming blend and added it with the lavender and holy crap! I was sleeping through the night!! I started using the digestive blend for my digestive issues and noticed I wasn’t having issues going to the bathroom anymore! I even started using the oils to help balance my hormones! And for the first time in YEARS, I have a normal cycle…WITHOUT ANY MEDICATION! I’m not on birth control and I’m not taking anything to keep me regulated. Oils have helped me with that (plus a healthy diet and exercise)! Seriously though…how crazy is that??
Then, one day at training for work, I got bit not once, but twice, by a horsefly. Now, if any of you have been bitten by one, those suckers are super itchy, like above and beyond a normal bug bite itchy! Nothing was helping! So I did a little research on the oils I had on hand and it said peppermint and oregano would help. I thought it was a bit weird, but I tried it. And the itching stopped!!! Within a matter of days, the bites/welts were gone and I no longer itched! I was a believer! Oregano helps with stopping infections and if you aren’t careful with horsefly bites, they can get pretty badly infected. I would have never known that without using the oils! I mean, I smelled like a minty pizza, but I wasn’t itchy anymore!
Seriously, these things are amazing. They have changed my life and how I look at medications. I first turn to the oils when I have a pain (headaches, anyone?). There are oils for headaches/migraines. I even got my boyfriend, Scott, converted. He used to have migraines pretty badly and would take medicine routinely for it. Now he uses the oils instead. He knows they aren’t messing with his internal system like regular medications do. We also use them on his three children, who are 12, 10, and 5. I’ve even used them on my godson when he was 3 months old!!! These oils are safe for everyone, people (caveat is that they need to be diluted with children)!!! And they work!!
If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, please reach out :)I would love to work with you on any health concerns you may have and determine how we can make you the happiest, healthiest version of YOU!! If you are interested in making some money by sharing the essential oils, definitely reach out! It’s a great opportunity to be a part of an amazing organization that has even more amazing products!! I truly believe in this product and how it’s changed my life. What can it do for you?
We woke up to this Sunday morning in Boulder :) Isn’t it beautiful?!
With love and wellness,
So you’ve done it…you’ve decided to change the way you eat. You started eating better, whether that was incorporating real, whole foods into your diet or going paleo (you know, the caveman way of eating…meat, fruits, veggies, nuts, etc.) or **gasp** you started counting calories. Now, I won’t get into this in detail here, but counting calories is (in my humble opinion) one of the WORST ways to lose weight. Especially because most people eat those fat free frozen meals or the fat free desserts thinking they are good for you. Guess what?! They are chemical shit-storms (pardon my French). They are empty calories that are not nutritious!! How can you possibly be getting what your body needs from a frozen meal?!?! Anyways, I digress.
So you’re eating healthier, however that may look for you (remember, everyone is an individual and what works for me won’t necessarily work for you – it’s that beautiful thing called bio-individuality). But you’ve noticed you aren’t losing weight…you aren’t feeling any better, you aren’t sleeping better. What gives? You’re frustrated and about to throw in the towel. It can be SO disheartening to feel like you’re doing everything “right” and yet still not having any results…at least positive results.
But let’s stop and take a step back. First things first, are you keeping a food journal and being completely honest with yourself about what you’re eating? When I first started learning how to cook (i.e., broke away from the frozen meals and microwave dinners), I didn’t pay too much attention to what I was eating or when or how much…until I started keeping track of it. I kept a food journal for quite awhile, mainly to keep track of what was bothering me and causing me symptoms, but also to keep myself accountable to what I was actually consuming on a daily basis. If I didn’t write it down, then I didn’t have that piece of pie (or three), right?! This is the time to really hold yourself accountable and be honest with yourself!
Also, take a look at some of the “swaps” you’ve made. For instance, I used to be a sucker for no-bake cookies…you know, the oats, chocolate, peanut butter balls of goodness that you threw together when you needed a chocolate fix. OMG – I could eat those for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Have I mentioned I’m a sugar addict?!
So when I switched to eating healthier and focusing on real, whole foods, I also switched my sugar/”sweet treats,” as I called them. I would still make myself a “sweet treat” after dinner, but use the “healthy” ingredients. So it couldn’t possibly be bad for me! I would make a chocolate brownie in a mug with coconut flour and coconut sugar and cacao powder and all the other little ingredients that went along with it…or a pumpkin pie in a mug…or fruit “ice cream” with cacao nibs and coconut milk. It was all natural and not processed, so it had to be good for me! Right?!?!
Except I still felt awful…I was bloated and my acne wasn’t improving and I continued sleeping poorly and feeling exhausted all the time. Having these “sweet treats” became an every night treat for me…it was an after dinner treat that I couldn’t not have. It became a necessity. That’s when I took a hard look at what exactly these treats were doing to my body. Because the harsh reality is that our bodies do not differentiate between the highly processed sugar treats and the all-natural “good for you” treats. Sugar is sugar is sugar, according to your body.
So for me, being super sensitive to sugar and having reactions to eating a ton of it (think acne and mood swings and trouble sleeping), having these treats every night was extremely detrimental for me. And I have to be careful when I do have them because I tend to go a little overboard.
My point in all this is to be careful in making these seemingly healthy treats. Hop on google and there are countless ways to make desserts paleo or healthier or “better for you.” But be careful…because it is still sugar!! And your body will still react to it, whether it’s “healthy” sugar or not!
This one thing may be one huge reason you aren’t seeing any results. I know it was for me. So keep track of your food intake…are you eating too much sugar? Test it out…take it out for 14-21 days, and see how you react. Do you feel better? Are you sleeping better? Does your skin clear up? Are your mood swings better? Keep track of it! I promise, you will see results and you will learn so much about yourself in the process!!
Have a fantastic weekend! I’m in Boulder, CO for a doTerra conference :) I’ll fill you in about it next week.
With love and wellness,
Welcome back! I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving and spent it with loved ones! This was the first year I hosted Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and, if I do say so myself, it was a huge success! We had a great day (albeit a busy one) and we enjoyed great company and even better food! So think back to my last post when I was talking about my health problems and how I was attempting to fix them on my own. I ended it with a discussion on juice cleanses and how they were great, but didn’t really work for me.
So onto 2013…I decided I would become vegan and gluten-free and continue my quest to cook real, whole foods. I’d also been doing a lot of online research about acne and how to cure the underlying hormonal issues that were a problem. A lot of the other issues I was having (anxiety, insomnia, etc.) were also related to my underlying hormone problems. Of course, the dermatologist wanted to put me back on antibiotics or for me to go back on birth control (I took myself off them in 2011 – that’s a whole other post). They also wanted me to try Accutane, but after reading the side effects and seeing how dried out it makes people really turned me off. I already had naturally dry skin; I didn’t need the extra help. Plus, the other side effects in general scared me. So I made it my journey and goal to find out how to cure myself naturally. Being put on a drug, whether it was on antibiotics or birth control, was a last resort…and one I really didn’t want to take.
In October 2013, I was still breaking out and couldn’t figure out what was causing it, even though I was eating pretty healthy and was doing my best to eat real, whole foods. I was eating a lot of nuts (as snacks and in meals as replacement items), still drinking alcohol, and had a wicked sweet tooth. I would make “healthy” sweet treats after dinner almost every night. I think I had myself convinced it was okay because I was using paleo ingredients. That makes it okay, right?! By that point, I had had enough. I came across a 21-day sugar detox that really spoke to me – this is the one I did: http://balancedbites.com/category/21-day-sugar-detox. I knew I needed to break my addiction to sugar…because yes, sugar is addictive. Once you have some, your body continues to crave more and more of it. I stopped drinking alcohol, cut out the sweet treats, limited the amount of fruit I was eating, and quit eating food that had sugar in it or converted to sugar after eating it. Two weeks into it, my skin was clearing up and I started craving meat like you wouldn’t believe. Specifically, I started craving bacon. I learned to finally listen to what my body needed and give it the right fuel to keep me going. I started eating meat again and have more energy and feel so much better than I did before. I have my sugar moments still, but it’s definitely not as bad as it once was. And I learned that sugar and eating a lot of nuts, specifically almonds, triggers my acne. It’s taken me years to figure this out, and sometimes it’s still a learning process. I’ve also tried my hand at a couple Whole 30s – http://whole30.com, which is 30 days of paleo eating; i.e, taking out alcohol, bread/gluten, grains/rice, any sugar, etc. I feel so much better when I eat that way, but it is very restrictive and time consuming. It truly is meant as a reset for your system, not as a way to eat forever.
I also recently started using Essential Oils and became a Wellness Advocate with DoTerra. I was a little skeptical at first as to how using oils like that would work for me. But I don’t like taking medicine and I don’t like using things that aren’t natural on my skin. So little by little, I tried them out. I used different oils for headaches, which I tend to get when I’m stressed. I was amazed when they worked! I also started using different oils for PMS symptoms and cramps. Once I found the right combination and when to use them, I was once again amazed they worked. I now use essential oils for almost everything. I use lemon in my water in the morning to help flush my system and get the day started right. I use lavender, frankincense, and melaleuca as part of my face moisturizer in the mornings and evenings. I also use lavender and a blend called serenity at night on my feet and in a diffuser to help me sleep. And when I get bug bites (which is often), I either use lavender or a mix of peppermint and oregano to help stop the itching. I recently used a mixture of coconut oil and lavender on my boyfriend’s feet when he had a massive amount of bug bites from a night spent in dirty water. Within days, his feet were healed and clearing up with no itching. I’m amazed at how these oils work, and I continue to learn more about them every day.
I also stopped using any products with ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce or had to look up to learn what it was. I use all natural products for my face wash and I use coconut oil and tamanu oil in conjunction with the essential oils as my moisturizer. I buy natural shampoo and conditioner. Anything you put ON or IN your body affects you! Your skin is the largest organ of your body, so whatever you put on it will be instantly absorbed. So it makes sense that if you’re using highly processed lotions and soaps that your internal system is going to have that much more to detox out. Add that to any highly processed foods you’re eating and your body has to work that much harder to flush it all out! It’s amazing how all the little changes add up to a happier, healthier version of myself!
I’ll end this post on that note and hope that you have a beautiful Monday! And a happy first day of December! I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by! 24 days til Christmas!! How’s your shopping coming along??
With love and wellness,
Hi, and welcome to Wellness Wisdom with Whitney! I have a very important question for you:
Have you ever felt trapped or imprisoned by the endless diets and rounds of exercise that seem to go nowhere? I want to help you escape that endless trap and help you create a healthy, lasting lifestyle for an authentic, happy YOU!!
I am Whitney Cumpson, an up and coming Health Coach and a doTerra Wellness Advocate in Virginia Beach, VA. I am currently enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and will be a pre-certified Health Coach in December 2014, and a Certified Health Coach upon obtaining my certificate in June 2015. First and foremost, I want to say that I don’t believe in the word “diet.” I think a person who “diets” sets themselves up for failure, because it’s all about restrictions and things they can’t have. Instead, I’m here to help you focus on lifestyle changes and focus on all the amazing foods you CAN eat! There is a wide array of real, whole foods that are nourishing and healthy and absolutely delicious!! I want to help you discover that deliciousness!
Now I know some of you may be asking what, exactly, is a Health Coach and a Wellness Advocate? A Health Coach is someone who works with you to help you understand and create healthy eating habits, build a healthier relationship with food, define your specific health goals, gain awareness around lifestyle nourishment, provide you support and motivation, as well as help you create a personalized action plan to reach your health goals. I’d work with you on all these things (and more) and help hold you accountable on your progress. A Wellness Advocate provides you information and education on doTerra essential oils and how they can help you in your every day life. They are safe and easy to use for you, your children, your family, EVERYONE! Essential oils go hand in hand with your health and lifestyle goals! I’ve recently started using them for all sorts of things and I LOVE them!! But I’ll tell you a bit more about that in a later post.
First, I want to tell you a little about myself. It’s been a long road of personal discovery into my health problems, one that’s involved a lot of doctor trips and not understanding why I felt the way I did. It’s also one that involves a lot of self-discovery and learning about myself, as well as how to create the healthiest, happiest version of myself I could possibly be.
About 5 years ago, I was ending a very unhealthy relationship – one that included an engagement ring and a lot of wedding plans. I was unhappy, my face was breaking out (which I attributed to stress), I wasn’t sleeping well at all (insomnia, waking up with night sweats, etc.), I was unsatisfied at work, my anxiety was through the roof, and I had zero energy – I had enough to get up, work out, drag my sorry butt to work, then come home to eat dinner, sleep and do it all again the next day. It was no way to live my life. At the time, I did the “normal” thing of going to my regular doctor, who tested my thyroid and iron levels and found that everything was “normal.” He told me I was super healthy and that if all his patients were as healthy as me that he wouldn’t have a practice. However, I was still exhausted (this really doesn’t accurately describe how I was feeling) and breaking out and unhappy. I went to a dermatologist, as well, for my acne. Surprisingly, they put me on antibiotics. This wasn’t the first time I’d been on them for this issue, nor was it the first time I’d been on them in my life. I started having strep throat every year from a young age and was on antibiotics on an annual basis to cure it. In fact, I had strep throat three times in the first semester of my freshman year in college!! Yes, I still had my tonsils then. I didn’t get them out til I was almost 26!! Needless to say, I’d been on antibiotics almost my entire life!!
When I started realizing what the antibiotics were doing to my body, I talked to my dermatologist about going off them and asking if food could be causing my issues. Of course, the answer was no. So I did what anyone would do – I stopped taking the antibiotics, obviously. I didn’t want to have to rely on a medication for the rest of my life just to have clear skin. Shockingly, my skin issues came right back. There was a period where I didn’t want to go anywhere in public it was so bad. It seemed as if the only thing that worked was antibiotics…talk about super depressing.
Fast forward to 2011, I’m still having a lot of health issues – from severe anxiety to insomnia to acne. I yo-yoed between feeling okay and feeling awful, and between clear skin and severe break-outs. Nothing had really changed from the past couple years – I was unhappy with how I felt, how I looked, my overall health and physical body, my emotional and mental state, and my career path. I was at my wit’s end; I was tired of going to doctors and having them tell me nothing was wrong, that I was healthy. For goodness sake, I was miserable!!! I didn’t know how to turn it all around, so I started doing some of my own research online (who doesn’t love Google?!) and attempting to learn all I could to make the necessary changes I needed. I’d been a vegetarian for three years at that point, and my mom recommended a chiropractor and nutritionist for my ongoing issues (I also had neck/shoulder/back pain from a previous injury). The new doc immediately put me on a “cleanse;” now, mind you, I was already eating no dairy and no meat, but he put me on a very restrictive cleanse. On this cleanse, I wasn’t allowed to eat bread, alcohol, certain fruits or vegetables, no dairy (but I could substitute coconut yogurt, for instance), to name a few. The problem was I was starving! And I had no energy to do much of anything! It was even worse than before!! I barely had the energy to get out of bed and make it through the workday, let alone keep up my active lifestyle of running and working out. I knew this cleanse wasn’t working for me.
I guess I should back up and say that I was one of those “unhealthy” vegetarians. You know, the ones who eat fake meat and all the processed stuff that comes in the frozen section, as well as continuing to eat the high sugar “low fat” treats. Let’s just say cooking was unheard of for me. I wanted to eat right away without having to wait for anything. Having the microwave beep after 3 to 4 minutes to let me know my meal was ready was enough for me. So in comes 2012/2013: I made a resolution to start cooking (basically to teach myself how to cook) and use more whole foods. I HAD to break myself away from the processed, frozen meals! It took me awhile to find “easy” recipes that I was willing to try and that I enjoyed, and honestly, I felt like I was hungry all the time, but once I got “better” at cooking, I found I actually enjoyed it, and felt so much better! My face started clearing up, although I was still having breakouts, and still having insomnia issues. I felt better, but I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I even went through a stage where I did a juicing cleanse and tried to have at least one “juice” meal a day. I can honestly say it was very healthy and I felt great, but I was STARVING all the time. I don’t think juice as a meal replacement works for someone as active as me. But they were definitely good and good for me, just not the best way for me to “cleanse” my system.
I could go on for days about how awful I felt, but I need to start preparing for Thanksgiving tomorrow! I can’t believe it’s already this time of year! Friends, family, and yummy food! It doesn’t get any better than that! Enjoy your holidays and look for post 2 in the next week!
Lots of love and wellness!