Let food be thy medicine

On my road to healing by body, my mind and my family.

I became aware of the power of food and herbs when I was a child diagnosed with an incurable kidney disease. I was lucky to be born in Russia where alternative medicine was not a thing of the past and my mother was a true believer in its power.

Daily for years she was preparing special herbal brews for me, and I was to follow a strict diet conducive to kidneys health. I still remember cranberry juice/teas every day. As I got older, for me, the scariest result of that disease was that I would not be able to have children. However by the age of 17, when I had my annual hospital evaluation, doctors could not find any signs of the disease. And today I have two beautiful daughters, thanks to my mom and her believe in natural/alternative medicine. Back then important of food should have registered with me, but it didn’t.

In my twenties due to my job I had to work with a nutritionist and a trainer on regular basis and yet while I was taking the right supplements, doing right exercises my overall lifestyle was not healthy. My only objective was to stay skinny. Interestingly now I see this all around with my friends, my family – people thinking they are leading a healthy lifestyle, when in reality they are overtaxing their bodies and not fueling them with right nutrient rich foods. That used to be me, until few years ago when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease Lichen planopilaris / lichen planus (also I do not like the word disease, I call it my autoimmune project) and this turned out to be the best gift the universe could have given me, for me and my family.

Prior to this, I considered myself very healthy and fit, and while I was given many opportunities to realize the power of our bodies to heal themselves if we just let them, I was not ready to receive these messages yet. After birth of my first child I had postpartum symptoms and as I was nursing I refused to take pills, on a hunch I took a jump rope, went outside and after only about 10 minutes of exercise I felt great – never needed those pills after all!

Later working at a job I no longer enjoyed and having a very difficult time dealing with the stress, the pressure and the expectations, I was miserable, depressed and unhappy. I found yoga and through that found some clarity, got rid of my depression, changed jobs, made a huge move across the country and even got certified as a yoga instructor.

My autoimmune “project” came later in life when I was ready for it. You can read more about it here. By that time I became very aware of my spirituality, practicing, meditating. I was healing my mind and now it was time to heal my body. With the help of some amazing naturopathic and alternative medicine doctors, and lots and lots of research on my part, I no longer have symptoms. But I have to say that these last 4 years were not easy, in fact at times I felt like loosing it with responsibility of feeding nutritious diet to my family and at the same time healing myself. Limitations on what I could not eat were huge and ever-changing, how to implement all these requirements into our family’s diet?! I was literally lost when told to go Gluten Free – “What are we gonna eat?!” I was in shock and now 4 years later I am Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Yeast-Free, Vegan and trying to see how much Raw I can comfortably go. (please note I do not advocate this diet for all, in fact my for my oldest is not vegan to her dismay 🙂

   My struggle or should I say opportunities I faced on this journey led me to make a decision of becoming a Health/Wellness Coach. In October 2012 I have embarked on a new journey by enrolling into Health Coach Training Program with Institute for Integrative Nutrition. For the last couple of years I’ve felt like I am ready for the next step and with IIN I believe I have found it.

To your health!

Elena

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