I grew up in a “health conscious” household but throughout my seemingly healthy upbringing, I was essentially unaware that I had celiac disease– as well as a truckload of other food allergies- wearing down my body. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties, in 2010, that the “perfect storm” of health issues rained down on me after a trip abroad: gastric dysfunction, mono, thyroid dysfunction, hormonal dysfunction, heavy metal poisoning, parasites, SIBO, candida, severe edema, etc. I began fighting for my life.

Is it over? No. Is it better? Yes. Health and vitality are my focus now and I want to help others prevent what happened to me or treat what’s already onset. I hear more and more each day that people are developing insane food allergies in their twenties. Why? That is yet to be determined, but we sure can fight it with shared knowledge, unwavering determination and communal support.

After being diagnosed with celiac, I had an extremely tumultuous, painful, and dramatic breakup with gluten. After having experienced the deliciousness of gluten my whole life, I realized I was addicted to it and that it was toxic for me to keep going back to it. Not to mention that I was now for the first time AWARE that it was bad for me. Sounds like an on-again, off-again boyfriend, doesn’t it? (Cue Justin Timberlake’s song, “Cry Me A River.”)

Despite the intense gluten divorce, I was still having major symptoms. I was chronically breaking out in hives all over my face. It then spread to my hands. At first I thought it was directly related to the food I was eating, so I went on a strict elimination diet to get to the bottom of it! The diet relieved some of it, but the hives were persistent. One of my doctors had a lotion on her desk and gave it to me to use on the irritated parts of my hands. It was the only product I put on my skin that didn’t aggravate the irritation more. I then began thinking, “Why would some products make my skin break out while others felt so soothing and non-irritating?” I began to research this and found out that the product was 100% natural with very few ingredients. I also read that it is gluten-free!

I then had my “A-HA! Moment” and everything started to make sense. My mind started racing as I researched if products with gluten could irritate someone with Celiac Disease externally as well as internally. Celiac is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and prevents absorption of food. People with celiac disease or even extreme gluten allergies cannot tolerate gluten internally. I quickly learned that gluten is in many more products than simply the food we eat. It is surprisingly found in many every day products such as vitamins, medicines, lotions, makeup products, and hairspray. I decided it was time to remove gluten completely from my life.

I got rid of every product in my house that contained gluten, even the ones that were questionable. It looked like I was moving an ex-boyfriend out when I was finished packing up all of my gluten filled products. Although it was difficult to shut it out of my life, I have successfully done so to the point where I don’t even think of it anymore, and have deleted its number! I bought gluten-free face wash, body wash, lotion, makeup – EVERYTHING. Guess what happened? My face stopped breaking out in hives completely. My internal and external healing process rapidly accelerated once I began treating it naturally, and I started to feel better.

Everything changed after my trip abroad in 2010. I realized I had to focus my life in helping others reach their best possible selves physically, mentally, and spiritually. I now work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime.

I am living proof that there needs to be a harmonious balance between the external and internal in order for the body to be at peace with itself.