While growing up in what most would call a completely dysfunctional home taught me how to be independent and cook for myself, it also left me in a state of constant anxiety.
During the first 14 years of my life we lived in 2 countries, moved in and out of 7 houses, and changed school systems 6 times. These years were comprised of scrambling to find some peace in my mind and body through whatever means possible. I always made best-friends with the perfect girls, the ones with the shiny straight hair their mum would braid for them at their perfect breakfast table, the ones who would come to school with pink binders and the newest, coolest Abercrombie t-shirt. I thought if I just looked, dressed, and ate like the other perfect girls in my class, I would be as perfect and as happy as them. My reality was far from this. Until I learned the tricks of the system, I went to school looking like the Hanson Brothers meets Little House on the Prairie.
Throughout these formative years, I learned how to perfect this mirage through my ability to make due with what I had to just about fit in. I honed the art of ‘up-cycling’ thrift store clothes, and made my own lunches to fit in with the organic, mum-packed lunches my friends brought. While I thought I was in perfect disguise, the constant stress and hard work required to uphold this mirage began to weigh on my mental and physical health.
Throughout high school, this only got worse, as I joined the track and cross country team, signed up for every advanced class I could, became the president of the largest service club at school and had a job at the same time. Burning it at both ends was an understatement; I was constantly running away from my stresses with more activities all while living on bread, microwave burritos and ice-cream. When I lost my period during the season, my coach replied, 'everyone does', while my doctor prescribed iron tablets. I felt completely overwhelmed and this only got worse over the next few years. As I finished high-school, my stubbornness to ‘not be like every other small town girl’ put my 17- year young self on a plane to Paris to work as an AuPair for a family I had never met. This was definitely my most challenging year to date. New country, no support, strangers - and I was meant to be the grown up AuPair?… obviously the makings of a disaster.
During this year, my now 5-year chronic constipation got much much worse (until I discovered the power of coffee) along with my anxiety, depression, insomnia and now cry-worthy stomach pain. Utterly frustrated by any doctor's advice at this time, I began obsessively looking online and in any english book shops I could find to try to figure out what my problem was.
Finally, as I started University the following year (2009) in Brighton, England, I was able to get some answers. While at first every doctor diagnosed me with IBS, finally through elimination diets and allergy tests, I discovered that gluten was the biggest culprit. After a month of crying nonstop over never being able to eat peanut-butter-jelly-toast ever again, I started to feel a bit better. The pain ceased a bit, but the constipation, bloating and inflammation were constantly there.
I became a little obsessed ( :) ) with finding solutions to my own health problems, including supplements to help with my depression and insomnia, and herbs to help heal my gut - which I discovered had been totally destroyed by years of eating gluten. Very slowly, I started to feel better and better.
After finishing my degree in Psychology and having become completely fascinated by the healing powers I saw and felt from food and natural herbs, I went on a year-long journey, studying raw food nutrition and juicing all over Europe; a journey which eventually led me back oversees to study Holistic Nutrition in Berkeley, California. The two years I spent at Bauman College felt like what I had alway dreamt of - I felt so lucky to finally be surrounded by other people who wanted to talk about food and attaining health like I did(/do)! During this time I began learning about traditional medicine and healing and how the western diet created the most un-healthy people compared to the rest of the world. I became once again consumed by learning everything I could about other non-western modes of eating and healing; a path which sent me back to university - again determined that I needed to learn more. My intrigue led me to London to embark on a masters degree in the Anthropology of Food at SOAS University of London.
For the last few years I have worked with men and women around the world to arm them with the knowledge and tools they need to nourish their stomachs, minds, bodies and souls. I feel fortunate to be able to share what I've learned over the years to improve the life of my clients in a simple, engaging and fun way! I look forward to hearing from you.
Feel free to contact me to see how we can you can work with me or just ask me any questions!