~ Certified Nutritional Therapist Specializing in Digestive Wellness Living A Happy Vibrant Life
Watch Jennifer's interview on BodyMind TV with Lars Gustafsson, founder of BodyMind Institute:
Greetings! I want to thank you for stopping by my page and caring enough about yourself to investigate a nutrition based whole foods lifestyle! You won’t regret it! One thing I have learned in my endeavor to achieve the best health ever is that we must have support. For that reason, I start this off giving thanks to my best friend and encourager, my mother, who was and is my continued support to teach others how to achieve optimal health. In addition, I thank my God for opening my eyes to the subject of nutrition and giving me the strength to pursue my dream of becoming a nutritionist!
As strange as it may seem, I’m glad I experienced the unfortunate journey of poor health and near death because it has shaped the person I am. I was born a perfectly healthy baby, but soon after my MMR vaccination my mother noticed swelling in my joints, and I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Then it went to my eyes…a five-year-old is having cataract surgery in both eyes. Then only a few years later the seizures were diagnosed which all along my ophthalmologist thought were “double vision.” So, I did a lot of growing up in the first decade of my life. I’ll spare you the details, so we’ll fast-forward to age 19 when the arthritis came out of remission with a vengeance! Now I was taking Methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug) and Humira (kills your immune system) just to be able to walk. My mind was on college and my career, so I persevered. Fast-forward again to 2006. As I was just about to graduate with a degree in English Education, I suddenly became deathly ill with Strep-Pneumonia, which turned into Sepsis, then Staph and MRSA. My fever was 107, and the doctors told my mother “we’ll see what we can salvage.” They didn’t expect me to live through the night. My heart rate was so low they pumped 30 lbs. of water in me; my oxygen so low they did a tracheotomy, and for 3 weeks I was in the ICU. When I woke up, I had a new realization that my health was 100% in my hands, and I must get off of the toxic medications. After seven weeks in the hospital I was more than ready to dive into nutrition, but first I had to learn to walk again…
This event made me realize that life is too short to do something that we’re not thoroughly passionate about. I enjoyed teaching kids, but I wasn’t “on fire” for it. Out of need I began studying nutrition with a passion, and I found that I loved it! In 2010 I discovered David Wolfe and the idea of having The Best Day Ever! Through him I learned that nutrition in more than fruits and vegetables, so I upgraded to superfoods! Thanks to teachers like David and Lars, I’m able to pass along ideas such as absorbing the earth’s natural antioxidants via grounding!
I’ve found that I can easily relate to so many people with chronic illnesses because I’ve been there. My love of nutrition inspired many people, so I knew that I was meant to make a career of this. After looking at many schools, I chose to attend Nutrition Therapy Institute where I became a Certified Nutrition Therapist, and I continue to study every day. I’ve attended Functional Nutrition Alliance to study gut health, and Lars Gustafsson’s amazing BodyMind Institute. “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” ~ Henry Ford. We must always remain students!
When I began the endeavor to my new career, I gained a greater appreciation for how amazing the human body is. Something as simple as water is so important for every function in our body. My new favorite word is homeostasis: the tendency of biological systems to maintain relatively constant conditions in the internal environment while continuously interacting with and adjusting to changes originating within or outside the system. The way my experience has shaped my practice is the fact that it’s a journey. I’m still on my healing journey. My clients want a quick fix, but I’m focusing on root-cause resolution. I don’t hesitate to let them know that I’m still on some mediations, but I’ve cut them back by 75% by diet alone! When clients complain that they’re not getting much better, I remind them that they didn’t get this way overnight. It takes time as our body regenerates and detoxifies from the years of adding drops to our toxic bucket. Eventually the bucket runs over. One day I picked up Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care, and I found that I was passionate about gut health and digestion! What can I say…poop is cool! Therefore, I’ve made that my specialty. As Hippocrates said “all disease begins in the gut.” With that final thought, I encourage you to begin your journey to health with a whole food, real food diet.