I describe myself as a devout foodie, artist, mother, future farmer, nutritional therapist, and recovering pastry chef. I was born in 1970 at a time when fast food, hungry-man TV dinners, Kraft Macaroni and cheese, and Jello with cool-whip were mainstays in my household. Not so surprisingly, I was an obese child by the time I was in kindergarten. Food was just as important to me then as it is now but so much has changed, thankfully.
When I was fifteen I enrolled in an accelerated industrial baking course for a two-year certification and began a 27 year career in French pastry. The creativity was great. One must force inspiration to meet cake-decorating deadlines, juggle many elements with the intensity of a line cook and the grace of a ballerina. Every day I felt like I concord the evil of time and made it to the finish line before it could grab me by the ankles and drag me into a mud puddle. I ended up with my own wholesale dessert bakery for many years. What happened half way into it was shocking. I became allergic to eggs, then dairy, then yeast and add to that mushrooms. I could not even taste my own recipes as I developed them. In some cases, I was affected by touching these ingredients and yet I worked with them on a daily bases. This occurrence was so confusing to me at the time. I remember meeting people like this when I worked in a health-food store bakery as a teenager. I clearly remember wondering, “How can people be allergic to food? Food is what we need to survive!”
As time went on, the bakery turned into a restaurant, the restaurant turned into a bar, and I turned into a ball of stress knots that no massage therapist was able to kneed out of my shoulders. The stress of my career, combined with the build up from the foods I was eating combined to bring me down. The business went down and I went down with it. Then there was silence and I could feel what was going on with myself with out the distractions of my needy business. I was in pain, physical pain, I was extremely overweight, I was exhausted and in discovering that all of this could be the result of a yeast overgrowth in my body, I was pissed off. As a large woman, I was empowered by accepting myself the way I was. I had never had a child before so I thought, maybe this is what my body looks like after I have a child.. For seven years I embraced my larger self not realizing that I was simply not well.
As it turned out, I had systemic Candida, a yeast overgrowth caused by my unhealthy lifestyle including antibiotic use for any little infection. When I found out what was going on, I was empowered to take control of my health again. There was such an easing of my conscience that it “wasn’t my fault” that I was flabby and listless. It was these little microorganisms that were trying to take over, each one with its own brain and demands for starch and sugar. Those weren’t my cravings after all!
Without the help of doctors, (at the time, where I was living, I was unable to find practitioners of any kind that believed Candida to cause any problems), I embarked on a complete focus on my wellness. The entire focus was to starve out the yeast in my system. I ended up, much to my surprise, loosing eighty pounds and becoming much healthier than I had ever been, though I would never do now what I did then. Others were inspired by my transformation and wanted me to help them. I ended up educating myself by way of the Nutritional Therapy Association and becoming an NTP. Looking back on my years of healing and all of the decisions I made for my self and my health, I see what a worth while and life enhancing journey it has been. I am now embarking on the full GAPS DIET journey to get to the root and restore my immune system fully. I am so thankful for the discoveries made and those who have inspired me, from others in the healing arts to local farmers that nourish their communities.
One of my passions in life is to help others to discover how good they can feel and how good the food tastes, whole, nutrient-dense, from a garden, roasted, sautéed, whipped or just with pasture butter melted on it. I have been devoted to Nutritional Therapy for nine years now. I am not an expert, by any means, but I am a foodie. I am here to share my passion for eating well. I eat something delicious every time I am hungry and so should you.