SO MUCH INFORMATION TO ABSORB
There is so much information out there (books, internet, social media, people you know) on what you should eat. Then, to add more confusion, there is even more to choose from when it comes to something specific: weight loss, autoimmune diseases, cancer, IBS/IBD, depression/anxiety, etc.
When I was healing from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), I did so much research on my own, plus I started seeing a naturopath, I had my beloved integrative medicine physician and then I eventually added a rheumatologist to the mix.
I read many, many books on inflammation, on gut health, on autoimmune issues, on hormones and on RA specifically. I had my Pharmacy Degree and I had recently obtained a Holistic Health Coach Certification from IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition out of New York) which offered a very broad education on nutrition. The education focused on bio-individuality and offered a little bit of education on everything – vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, low fat, low carb and even breatharian models and many more. This certification opened my world up to many many teachings, many authors and gave me a lot to think about – but it didn’t give me the specific answers I needed.
I am grateful for everything that I learn and for everything that happens for me, even my RA diagnosis. My knowledge that I did have was swirling in my head, the advice I received from my health team swirled around in there too. I was dedicated to healing – it was scary at times and the journey on that path wasn’t easy.
I did some juicing, things I learned from the Paddison Program. I tried the AIP diet, recommended by my naturopath, I tried the Specific Carbohydrate diet, recommended by my Integrative MD. I was tested and treated for SIBO. I opted for using the herbal treatment for SIBO instead of the pharmaceutical Xifaxan. I consider myself a Paradoxical Pharmacist – I know about all of these medications but would prefer to heal naturally for so many reasons, one being the side effects that prescription medications can cause.
I was trying to follow information from books I read by Neal Barnard, Susan Blum, Steven Gundry, Don Colbert, Josh Axe, Dave Aspry, Izabella Wentz, Joel Fuhrman, Sara Gottfried, Julia Ross, Mark Hyman, Michal Platt, etc. – and I am sure there were many more in the library I collected and even more that I read or listened to online.
TRYING TO TIE IT ALL TOGETHER BUT FALLING SHORT
Ultimately I landed on a vegetarian keto version of a diet from trying to incorporate everything I had been given by the health care team. This seemed to keep some of my symptoms at bay but I continued to be extremely fatigued, was carrying some extra weight, my entire body was swollen and my hair was thinning. I felt defeated and lost.
My blood work didn’t show the classic signs of RA, but I agreed to see a rheumatologist. With his observations of my swollen joints, all of my other symptoms and some added blood work, I received my diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis and a secondary diagnosis of hypothyroidism.
I handled that ok, as well as could be expected, but then came the choices of medications. Again, this paradoxical pharmacist did not want to take steroids or the methotrexate or the hydroxychloroquine or the injectable biologics. But ultimately, I was scared and this fear was enough to push me to agree to try the medications. I responded remarkably quickly to all of the treatments, maybe because of the diet and lifestyle I had adopted. I continued with eating my vegetarian keto dietary plan and was able to achieve medication supported remission in under a year. My Rheumatologist pushed for me to continue on the medication to ensure the remission. I agreed to stay on medication for a bit longer, but my goal was to discontinue the medications and to stay in remission.
DIVINE INTERVENTION: A PUSH TO EXPLORE A DIFFERENT PATH
In November 2019, something stirred in me to reach out to someone I had met just once several years ago. When I met this amazing person, I had just finished my IIN Health Coach Certification and she had just finished her Health Coach Certification from HMI (Health Mastery Institute out of Kauai). I had been so intrigued by her account of her training and how excitedly she spoke of her teacher, Liana Shanti. At the time I had met with her, I just couldn’t imagine doing another Health Certification but I did enroll in one of Liana’s classes, 66 Day Health Mastery Program, and went on with my life. This program is amazing but I didn’t realize it at the time – I read through the first 4 modules to gain the knowledge but I didn’t apply the program to my life fully.
When I reached out to this amazing person, Cahira Nolani, in November of 2019, she graciously agreed to meet with me. I had a ton of questions that she patiently answered and that night I decided to enroll in HMI. To say the least, HMI has been LIFE CHANGING.
A LIGHT OF AN OPPORTUNITY
When the world “shut down” in March of 2020, I decided to go off of all of my prescriptions. This was also prompted by fear of the unknown. I did not want to be immunocompromised in the face of an unknown virus. I threw myself into learning everything I could from HMI.
Not only do I attribute HMI to helping me stay in remission after abruptly stopping my medications, it also helped me understand that the high fat that I was eating was most likely the culprit for disrupting my hormones. I was already eating fairly healthy but changing up my diet by lowering the fat and increasing what I thought was “forbidden” fruit made a drastic improvement in my health and wellbeing.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON
Everything happens for a reason! I truly believe that if I had done the program, 66 Day Health Mastery Program, back in 2015, I may not have been confronted with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I don’t look back at what could have been, I look back and see all of the lessons I have learned along the way. Our failures are our best teachers!
HELP IS HERE – YOU JUST HAVE TO ASK
The information I learned in HMI also provided me with more knowledge and more confidence to help others on their healing path.
Reach out if my story resonates with you and you would like guidance on your health journey.
You too can heal!!
G.E.T. Happy G.E.T. Healthy G.E.T. Whole