My interest in health and healing began on my 40th birthday when I realized I entered peri-menopause. The next several years were a litany of mood swings, depression, panic attacks, anxiety, weight gain, hair loss and erratic hormones. All of the symptoms I would later discover, were symptoms menopause and low thyroid function. I found myself on the threshold of a phase of life when hormone imbalances create these symptoms and getting through it would, according to my doctor, require antidepressants. With that recommendation, my doctor handed me a prescription and said goodbye. My inner voice was telling me that this was not the right approach. Hormone imbalance caused my symptoms and an antidepressant was not a remedy for hormonal imbalance. I read every book I could find on the subject of health and healing with a concentration of women in menopause. In my quest to heal from hormonal imbalance, I learned that women with undiagnosed and untreated thyroid dysfunction experience a much deeper and challenging peri-menopause. Untreated thyroid dysfunction exacerbates the symptoms of peri-menopause, which are debilitating for many. I could not locate a doctor who would prescribe Natural Thyroid because my TSH was always in 'normal range.' TSH is the test most mainstream MDs rely on for thyroid evaluation and if your level is in range, you are sent on your way regardless of how you are feeling and the many symptoms you probably have. I knew that if my hormone imbalance was responsible for my symptoms, then I had to find a natural way to get myself back into balance while working with a thyroid literate physician and continuing to educate myself.
During my own struggle with peri-menopause, my then 12-year-old son became very sick. His symptoms were mostly digestive in nature and came on suddenly and without any obvious prior symptoms. He started puberty when this all began and I now know that the cascade of hormones that flooded his body, activated what was finally diagnosed as Lyme Disease, after 9 years and Mold Illness soon after. His rapid succession of symptoms were incredibly challenging. He was so sick we were forced to withdraw him from school and take on the responsibility of his education through homeschooling. I was thrust into the position of teacher practically overnight. Our mornings were spent at our kitchen table, moving from one subject to another, while afternoons consisted of doctor visits, tests, and procedures. We sought the help of conventional doctors, alternative practitioners, and many, many holistic healing modalities. The conventional medical testing always rendered normal results, even the allergy tests which have up to a 35% inaccuracy rate. I read books on digestion, food allergies and healing conditions that could possibly trigger the symptoms he was presenting with. When the conventional doctors had nothing to offer, I found a holistic practitioner who performed a blood spot allergy test on him revealing the foods he was reacting to were positive for a food intolerance.
The Beet Lady Is Born
Removing the offending foods was the first step in the healing process. Creating and customizing recipes to fit his new food requirements was important to keeping him nourished. Part of that process was reinventing condiments and sauces and that is how The Beet Lady brand was born. Cullen's sudden sensitivity to tomatoes meant that I had to find a healthful replacement, enter Beets! I spent hours in the kitchen blending ingredients with Beets so that he could continue to enjoy things like Ketchup and Marinara Sauce and as I continued to educate myself in nutrition, food allergies, trigger foods and how food effects health, I realized the need for alternatives like this was not exclusive to my son. There was a whole community of kids and adults who needed these alternatives too. Several years later, when I had more time, I developed The Beet Lady which is now sold on Amazon and over 75 stores around the country. It now consists of Beet Ketchup, Beet Marinara Sauce and Beet SuperFood Powders. www.TheBeetLady.com
He had been sick for years with no diagnosis until late in 2015 when we found an LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) who ran the 'proper' tests that finally provided the diagnosis of Lyme Disease with the co-infectins, Borrelia and Bartonella. Soon after this diagnosis, we learned he also had been struggling with Mold Illness. Lyme and Mold generally go hand in hand. They cause low thyroid function, digestive problems, cognitive issues and a whole host of other health problems, including autoimmune diseases.
For more on Cullen's health crisis and healing journey, you can click this link: http://hypothyroidmom.com/undiagnosed-hypothyroidism-was-responsible-for-my-sons-missed-adolescence-2/ (This article was written prior to the diagnosis of Lyme and Mold Illness)
I spent the next several years pouring through books, magazines and listening to lectures as the world of holistic health unfolded. I had no idea how food could effect the body in ways that either promote good health or destroy health. I learned that vitamin and mineral deficiencies have the potential to contribute to many disease states, including thyroid disease. Through my own self-discovery and education, I was able to help while I furthered my knowledge and moved through my daily activities. I guided people to make different choices in their diet and lifestyle while educating them in supplementing their deficiencies. As I continued to help, I realized that my intervention in teaching and encouraging better health choices was not only exciting and fun, it was healing people. I was energized and decided to make this a new career direction for me, so I researched schools for coursework to build on my own education and eventually become Certified. In 2009, I attended the American College of Healthcare Sciences where I studied herbs, homeopathic medicine and nutrition, earning two Certifications in Wellness Consulting and Holistic Nutrition Consulting. In 2010, I continued my education and training as a Health Coach at the Institute For Integrative Nutrition, a cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program. During my training, I studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. My teachers included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities. In 2020, I studied Mold Illness and Mycotoxins under the direction of Dr. Jill Crista, one of he world experts in Mold Illness, completing Mold Illness Certification Courses.
Through my educational experiences, I have earned five Certifications as a Health Coach, Wellness Consultant, Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Certified in Mold Illness. I am Board Certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. This educational journey has equipped me with extensive knowledge of holistic nutrition, health consulting, and preventive health. Drawing on these skills and my knowledge of different dietary theories, I work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.
I offer private one-on-one consultations through my Flex-Time, which can be found on this website. Before booking time with me, please send me an email to let me know the nature of the health issue you'd like to discuss.
Certified Health Coach: Institute For Integrative Nutrition
Certified Holistic Health Practitioner:
American Association Of Drugless Practitioners
Certified Holistic Wellness Consultant:
American College Of Healthcare Sciences
Certified Holistic Wellness Consultant:
American College Of Healthcare Sciences
Certified Mold Illness Consulting
Ask me about I.I.N.
I attended and graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition school and would be pleased to share my I.I.N. education experience with you. If you are considering attending I.I.N. and would like some advice and input before you sign up, reach out to me at LifesHealthiest@gmail.com and I would be pleased to speak with you.