Years ago, I moved across the country for a brand new life adventure. I had always been health conscious but deep down knew that my eating habits weren't the greatest.
Then one day I woke up in searing pain.
The front of my hips felt like they were on fire, I had extreme bursitis in my hip joints and the connective tissue between my hips and my knees (the IT Band) were as hard as steel rods. Walking, standing and even sitting in a chair were excruciating to the point of tears. I spent several months flat on my back all day long having to plot my every movement in order to minimize my pain.
Specialists, massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists – you name it, I visited them. No answers. Medication was useless. X-Rays and CT scans revealed nothing. I was frustrated and felt all alone in my pain, no closer to a cure than the first day I woke up with this mysterious affliction.
Forced to research the human body more than I ever had, I learned that my body had natural defenses for what was attacking it and if I kept with my search, I could unlock them. Finally, after discussing my situation with a friend, the subject of diet came up. What was I eating? Could that actually have something to do with it?
I found a physician in New York with a holistic approach who, after much discussion and testing, diagnosed me with major food sensitivities, hormonal imbalances, thyroid disease, and dangerously high heavy metal levels. My diet became pivotal for overcoming all of these ailments.
After years of not making the best food decisions, it was now up to me to completely reinvent the way I cooked and ate. It truly meant my life.
After much research and trial and error, I developed a unique system for making truly healthy and gourmet-tasting foods quickly, without a lot of effort. With my new diet free of the stuff that was making me sick, I finally started to feel healthy again. I lost 15 pounds over the course of a few months and kept it off.
What was truly extraordinary for me, however, was the realization that when I was eating healthy foods, a fog in my life lifted and the pain permanently disappeared. I found out from my doctor that after all this time that I had fibromyalgia, known to be "incurable". This was when the relationship between mind and body suddenly became real to me. I learned lessons that I knew I had to share with others so that they could avoid the ordeal I endured.
I searched for the best nutrition school in the country, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, to get the education and board certification I needed. It's the only school in the world with a holistic approach to health where I could learn over 200 different diet theories, far surpassing a one-size-fits-all approach. It also has a teaching faculty that includes some of the world's foremost health experts, such as Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil. M.D., and Walter Willet, M.D. of Harvard's School of Public Health.
I learned that there was so much more to nutrition than what comes on a plate. Health is less about regimented eating and much more about developing healthy habits, slowly but steadily, that we can enjoy effortlessly for the rest of our lives. This has become my personal and professional mission to help other people find their own path to wellness.
Spreading the Word
You don't have to go through the trials I did to do something to improve your well-being. You can learn from my lessons and save yourself heartache, time and money.
|Pictures of Sandra Keros taken by Emily Payne|