Are you struggling with candida overgrowth or a gut imbalance? Are your days spent in pain, discomfort or feeling shame around your body and symptoms? Are your nights spent googling to figure out how the heck you can finally beat your feelings of bloat, brain fog, anxiety, or chronic yeast infections? Close your eyes for a moment. Breathe. And picture a future, three years from now, where none of that is a part of your daily life. How else would you be spending your time? What would you be able to do if you weren’t feeling so darn sick and tired all the time?
Three years ago, I made a conscious decision to stop accepting my health, and my life, as it was, and to make a big change.
After more than three years of painful, frustrating, and chronic yeast infections and a slew of awful related issues like Bacterial Vaginosis and Lichen Simplex Chronicus, I had hit my rock bottom.
I was at my heaviest weight, and I was not very active because my body was stiff and in pain. I was spacey, anxious, and depressed. I experienced so much shame and stigma around my body. I had constant digestive issues, with a lot of bloating and discomfort. I was barely able to be intimate or close with my husband, and my relationship was suffering. I felt totally out of control of my body, my health, and my life. Doctors continually lectured me about hygiene and sent me on my way with new pills and creams to address the vaginal symptoms I was experiencing, but no one talked to me about what possible ROOT CAUSE might be underneath my constant yeast infections. And I had no understanding that those infections were also tied to so many other symptoms I was experiencing, like digestive distress.
When I initially heard from a friend about using diet to fight my yeast infections, I didn’t understand how that made sense. How could the food I eat have any impact on my vagina? I didn’t get it. It blows my mind now to realize how little we are taught about how the food that we eat impacts our WHOLE body, not just our digestive system. I jumped into research mode and began to understand the connections more. But I wasn’t fully convinced. It took about 3 more months of yeast infections for me to finally reach my breaking point and to decide to commit to the diet. After a European vacation where I enjoyed all the yummy wine, cheese, and bread that I desired, I decided I was ready to give this a real shot. And if I was going to do it, I was going to go ALL in. That’s just what I did.
Now, three years later, I only wish I’d known that information sooner, so I hadn’t wasted years of my life feeling sluggish, depressed, and in pain.
But I also realize that without hitting my own personal “rock bottom” I may not have truly committed to the diet and lifestyle changes and could still be stuck in that seemingly never-ending cycle today.
After I started the diet, I almost immediately experienced a relief in some of my symptoms – including some surprises I wasn’t even prepared for. My frequent canker sores disappeared. My dandruff stopped. I was sleeping faster and deeper than I had in years. I noticed I didn’t feel as anxious. My skin looked clearer. Weight that I’d been holding onto for years started falling off me. My face looked less round and puffy. I felt more able to work out and began attending regular yoga classes again. My digestion became more regular and less irritable. My brain felt clearer and my awful memory seemed to improve. I had more energy. And my yeast infections? GONE. Three years later (and with many more foods back in my life again) I’m still feeling the effects of that initial diet change.
After I healed, I became a full-blown believer in the power of nutrition to not only prevent–but to even reverse–many of our common health issues. I made it my mission to help spread this awareness, first on Instagram, then on this blog, and eventually I found my way into making this my whole career. I studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I armed myself with crucial nutrition info and coaching skills, and started a new career as a holistic health coach.
I now help other women learn how to listen to their own bodies (another thing we were never taught how to do), heal their chronic health issues, take back control over their own life, and thrive again.
It’s the most fulfilling work, and I am humbled and amazed when I look back to where I was only three years ago. I went from a depressed, disconnected, and chronically sick person, to an integrative nutrition holistic gut health coach.
If you’re struggling with your own candida diet and health issues, know that there is another way to live. There’s another way to be. Every single person’s candida diet journey and story is a different one. Each of our bodies are unique, and so is our healing process. I tell my story to help you know that you CAN heal – but your story and your healing will most definitely be different than mine. It will be your OWN story! In my coaching I work one-on-one with clients as co-detectives to navigate our way through new diet and lifestyle changes together, to understand what does and doesn’t work for their unique body. If you’re interested in learning more, apply to work with me and start with your own free consultation.
Even now as you open your eyes and find yourself back in the present time, hold onto that dream for three years from now. If I can make such a drastic change in my own life, I know that you can, too.