Growing up, I thought health was boring. I heard people talking about how good it was for your body, your mind, and all that good stuff, but that wasn’t the way I viewed it. I was brought up on Kraft macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches. Occasionally I threw in a bag of potato chips or a box of Oreos for good measure. In one sitting, might I add. I was blessed to have a high metabolism and an active lifestyle – and youth, a big factor here – that made me think there was nothing wrong with eating what tasted good, when it tasted good, with no qualms whatsoever. I had no desire to eat vegetables, or salads, or meat (or any protein really) because to me, those did not taste good. End of story.
As I grew into adulthood and began to attend college, my picky eating skills were put to the test. I actually started eating salads not because I particularly wanted or needed to, but because I wanted to fit in with all my friends! As for the rest of the vegetables in the world, forget it – and stay off my salad. I needed that valuable space for croutons.
In my life I experienced many symptoms of poor health that I did not understand. I thought these things were just part of who I was. I battled depression and anxiety heavily through my adolescence and childhood. I believed this was simply due to the fact that I did not grow up in the most positive circumstances a person could ask for – it never occurred to me that health could have a part in it. Likewise, as a teenager I struggled with very severe, painful and heavy periods. I literally would be lying on the floor, curled in a ball, trying my best not to cry because of cramps. My periods lasted at least two weeks and the flow was very heavy. I was miserable for half the month, every month. I ended up getting on hormonal birth control simply to control these symptoms. Unfortunately, that allowed me to put a band-aid on a bigger problem and continue to live the lifestyle I was living. As I graduated college, married, and became pregnant with my first child, these problems all continued. I heard of various diets and eating programs but I blew them off. I did begin to expand my diet a bit – I developed a love of tomatoes and spinach, believe it or not. But I still loved carbohydrates and sugar most of all.
My first experience in truly changing my diet occurred shortly after my daughter, Hannah was born. She had reflux, and in a desire to see her more comfortable and happy, I decided to try a thirty day dairy elimination diet to see if it would help her. I wish I could say it did, and I fell in love with this small change, but I did not notice a difference and ended up adding dairy back into my diet. I have always regretted this because my daughter indeed does have a dairy allergy, as we found out later. Then when my daughter was four months old, she began to have problems nursing. She simply did not want to nurse. I knew she was hungry, and she knew she was hungry, but she would have none of it. The only time I could get her to nurse was when she was sleeping! Consequently, I spent a lot of time walking around in the dark over the next few days. I got in touch with a dear friend of mine, Lisa, who was the healthiest and wisest person I knew. She recommended some herbal supplements to me, and that is how I was introduced to the company that would change my life through their high quality, herbal remedies. Knowing that there was very likely a problem with my gut health, Lisa had me try two products – a probiotic, and digestive enzymes. Both were 100% plant based sources, of the highest quality. Within twenty-four hours, after a four-day battle to get my daughter to nurse, she was nursing normally. We avoided any medications or supplementation. I was amazed, and my daughter’s pediatrician was amazed when I shared my story of how we overcame that hurdle.
Although I was very impressed by my results with those products, I was just not a stage in my life where I was interested in making the necessary changes to fully heal my gut and give my body the gift of true health. But I remembered that experience when Lisa offered me another product to try a couple of years later. It was a drink my least favorite food color: green. I was looking for something to keep off the afternoon crash I was experiencing. I did not want to put caffeine into my body, as I was once again nursing an infant, but I needed something to give me energy. So I tried this herbal powder that you mix with water. It helps to hydrate and replenish, energize, balance mood, and strengthen your immune system. Imagine my surprise when upon drinking it, not only did I not get an afternoon crash, but I also began to experience less drastic ups and downs in my mood, and when my children began to drink it as well, I found that when cold season rolled around we were close to untouchable. Sicknesses that left the other members of our family out for weeks gave us a runny nose for two to three days, max. I also experienced lighter periods with fewer cramps. I fell in love with the product and became more open as a result to herbal remedies and natural ways to experience health.
It is only in the recent past that I have truly begun to embrace health as a lifestyle. Due to a recurring skin rash I was convinced to try something called the Candida Diet. This involved taking all my favorite foods out of my life: dairy, gluten and sugar. I went through with this diet plan very unenthusiastically. However, I found some amazing changes when I followed this diet and incorporated Solle Naturals herbs into my life. My depression and anxiety did not just improve, they went away completely. This includes phobias that I thought were just “part of who I am.” My monthly cycle also underwent a complete change. I do not even experience cramps at all as a result of this health plan. In addition, my flow is light and lasts only three to four days. I do not experience the drastic mood swings that usually accompanied this time in the past. I no longer drink caffeine – instead I use an herbal drink that uses yerba mate and other herbs to provide energy with no crash, as well as balance my blood sugar and sugar cravings.
Now, for the first time in my life, I am actually enjoying improving my health. Now that my taste buds are not desensitized by sugar, I am learning to truly love the flavor of vegetables I never thought would cross my lips. I am learning that while the large slice of double-chocolate cake still looks appetizing, it just doesn’t FEEL right to eat anymore. In fact, when I eat even a bite of something with refined sugar, my body reacts drastically. After my first experience with that kind of sugar crash, I knew I would never go back. Nor do I desire to. I love feeling healthy, energized and focused. I enjoy exercising, putting good fuel into my body, and knowing that as a mother I am doing all I can to ensure that my children grow up knowing there’s a better way. My children will not grow up eating the food I ate, feeling the way I felt, and thinking that’s all there is to life. Because I believe it is my responsibility and privilege to teach them how to care for their bodies using the things God left on this earth for us – whole, natural foods and amazing herbs.
My journey with health and wellness continues to grow every day. It is my honor to include my friends and family in this walk, and to share what I have found to be life changing in the hope that I can help to change and influence other lives for the better.