My Story- (Or: “My Journey From Frozen Microwave Diet Dinners and Jane Fonda Work-out Videos to Where I am Now”)
Practically all of my clients and many of my friends eventually ask me: “Were you always this healthy?” The short answer: NO! The full story follows:
My serpentine path to healthy eating began back in the 1980’s when, as a teenager, I began an endless quest for fool-proof weight loss techniques. I read women’s magazines and cut out articles with titles like “Lose 3 Inches in 3 Days!”, or “Get a Bikini Body in 2 Weeks!” I tried almost every different diet plan I read about. None lasted very long, or provided the results I wanted.
In the 80s, the hip dieter believed “fat is bad, carbs are good”. Suffice it to say I ate a lot of white bread and pasta. And plenty of Weight Watcher’s microwave dinners and fat-free foods. And bland salads with no dressing. And a lot of candy. A LOT. In college, I added cola to my repertoire and quickly became addicted to the sugar and caffeine concoction. While I exercised consistently and played college-level sports, I was never satisfied with my weight, and perpetually on a diet.
While I was a busy school teacher in the 1990s, I’d usually have a cup of coffee for breakfast and a bag of jelly beans and a box of Lemon Heads for lunch. And I couldn’t figure out why I was often tired and cranky!! I thought these foods were okay, because they were fat free. Ugh. Now I know that this eating pattern ultimately led to a tremendous addiction to sugar and refined carbs that took many years to kick.
After a few years of full-time teaching, I was exhausted! I loved my job but it was starting to wear me down. I was tired most of the time and my blood sugar was so unstable that I would often get “the shakes”. I’d stabilize my blood sugar by eating dried fruit, juice, or bread. It worked temporarily, but didn’t get to the root of the problem.
I vividly remember one evening during my spring vacation, my best friend suggested we go out for a drink. I really wanted to see her and catch up, but I was exhausted (even thought it was my vacation and I wasn’t even working!) and had to drag my self out to meet her. She had just come from a yoga class and was vibrant, energetic, flushed and happy. The contrast between my friend and how I felt and looked was alarming, and ultimately was my “wake-up call”. The very next day I went to my first yoga class.
Yoga literally turned my world upside down! If you practice yoga, then you know what I mean. Yoga is so much more than exercise. Not only did yoga strengthen and tone my body, it also opened my heart and mind to new ways of thinking and viewing the world.
I was so profoundly impacted by yoga that I got certified to teach. I’ve been teaching yoga since 1999, have studied with some of the world’s top teachers, and hold several certifications. As I got deeper into the practice, the connection between the food I ate and my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self was revealed. My life and my diet began to evolve. There were the vegetarian years, the vegan year, and eventually the shift to a kosher diet. Along the way, I began to see the importance of eating organic, whole foods and reducing refined carbohydrates, sugar and stimulants. As I began to eat more whole grains, veggies and healthy protein, some less healthful foods dropped away naturally. Other things, like sugar and coffee, were more tenacious and continue to challenge me to this day! Learning to cook was a natural next step, both as a part of married life and a desire to take charge of my own nourishment. I began to devour cookbooks (not literally!) and learn from the pros.
Because our bodies and lives are always changing, the foods that nourish us best at any given time change as well. The birth of our first child came with a crash course in food allergies and food sensitivities, and I continued to learn and incorporate this new knowledge into my expanding repertoire. As our family grew and I was exposed to more young children and new parents, I saw that many people were struggling to feed their families. We all had questions like: What is the best food for our children? What should a new mom eat to nourish her growing baby? To lose the pregnancy weight? To maintain her sanity? How do we find time to shop, prepare and eat healthy meals? As I tackled these questions, I found myself organically sharing my experience and knowledge with others.
In 2006, I received my training and certification to practice Health Counseling at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. IIN is the only nutrition school in the world that integrates all the different dietary theories—combining the knowledge of traditional philosophies (such as macrobiotics and Ayurveda) with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone and raw foods. For more information about my education, please go to www.integrativenutrition.com.
The services I offer through Wellness From Within are a culmination of many years of classroom study, informal learning, and personal experience. As a nutrition counselor and yoga teacher, I am here to support you to make the changes necessary to improve your health and quality of life.
Could one conversation change your life? Find out by scheduling a session me. We will discuss your unique situation in depth and determine how I can help you reach your personal goals.
To schedule your introductory call, or for more information, please contact me at: 054 204 4773 or firstname.lastname@example.org