Sarah has been to every single Take Back Your Health™ DC Conference, but one year I had to do a double-take when I saw her! She looked so vibrant and healthy compared to earlier years. So I asked if I could interview her on her progress with taking back her health. I hope her story inspires you as well…
What have been your worst symptoms over the years?
My symptoms have been TMJ, headaches, depression, anxiety, insomnia, joint pain, weight gain, and diarrhea. At one point I was in completely debilitating pain from the TMJ. It felt like someone was using a drill to bore into the side of my jaw. I spent a year hooked on painkillers (and it took me another year to get weaned off of them).
After much digging and continual learning I also figured out that I have SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, a condition where the bacteria from the large colon backs up into the small intestines).
I’ve been on antidepressants and had lots of therapy. Emotionally I’m in a much better place. Years of working on it and lots of spiritual reflection in all kinds of ways have made a big difference for me.
At one point I was on 9 different medications for pain, depression, menopause, and blood pressure. I’m thrilled to say I’m down to just one for blood pressure.
How many Take Back Your Health™ Conferences have you attended?
I’ve been to all eight of the DC conferences. One year, I only made it to part of one day because I was in so much pain but at least I did make it for part of it! I love TBYH! I’ve recruited friends to come with me. I always come out all jazzed up and energized and with some new information to integrate into my journey.
How has your health improved since you started coming to the Conferences?
I am no longer in debilitating pain and am not depressed. I’m off all the pain killers and most meds. Over the years I’ve shed around 25 pounds. I’m much more confident and happier. I feel better.
The struggle with sleep, jaw clenching, and diarrhea still plague me but I keep digging and am determined to get to a better place with those issues as well!
Spiritually I feel like I have come a million miles. I am so much more aware and in touch with who I am (and not who I used to think I needed to be).
What are a few of the major lifestyle changes that you’ve made?
I do yoga two to three times a week and often meditate.
I eat way better than I used to. When I started feeling so bad and when my kids both got diagnosed with learning disabilities I started to question everything. And I realized how big diet is. I realized all of the garbage that is in our food system and really cleaned up what I put in my mouth.
I eat a ton of vegetables now. I also cook a lot more. I’ve found two cookbooks (Nourishing Traditions and The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook) that I adore and am about to toss out all the others I have, and I have a lot!
Also, over the last two years I’ve been learning a lot about essential oils and have been using them in different ways. The power of the plant never ceases to amaze me!
What are some of your favorite healthy foods?
The foundation of my day is a green shake. I feel sooooooo much better when I start the day that way.
I make a “Chocolate Kale” (2 bananas, kale, 3 Tbs. cacao nibs, 2 Tbs. cacao powder and almond milk, credit to Julie Morris, author Superfood Smoothies). And boy is it yummy! Sometimes I’ll throw in some protein powder too. And I experiment with all kinds of shakes.
I love goji berries, cherries, mushrooms, and turnips as well! I eat a LOT more greens. I love trying any new fruit or vegetable.
And I’m hooked on organic! Amazes me how much better it tastes! The difference between the taste of pasture raised eggs and conventional is crazy.
What’s your advice to others on this path?
There is lots of information and sometimes it can be conflicting. Don’t worry about catching every bit of it. Just know that you’ll walk away with exactly whatever you need to hear.
And come back to the Conference every year! Every year is different. I love sitting down to listen to someone that I’ve never heard of before to find out what great things they have to share. Get ready for an amazing weekend!