Sisters with a Story

If you have followed along with me here for a while, you may have noticed that I love good food and the health and joy it brings us. My passion for living a good life, full of health and wealth, connected with my community, my family, my animals is what drives me. I am grateful for a life filled with people and work that I love. I am also grateful for the opportunities to learn and grow in health and wholeness. In each challenge, frustration, or heartbreak, I have experienced growth and insight and change. Rarely are these things easy, yet I am grateful. Don't get me wrong, it is not the challenge or hurt these things may bring that I am grateful for, but for the love and compassion with which they can be met I am very grateful.

Love and compassion that grows with every step, for myself, family, community, life.

I've seen a meme going around lately (probably on Facebook) that says "Grow what you have." What a great reminder to be present in the blessings around you and in you, yes seek growth but not necessarily elsewhere or in something new. Foster growth in what you have, make flourish what you have already planted, go deeper not necessarily further.
So, as for my sister and I who share work (and most other things, sometimes willingly), we have begun to share our stories. These are our stories of transformation.

From Amy:
This time last year I was calling Washington University Infertility and Reproductive Medicine Center to cancel an appointment I had made in the middle of December. We had dreams of having our own children, like many, but started behind in the game. My husband, having had children already, was infertile when I met him. We incurred a large cost for the reversal in hopes that would be the only obstacle to overcome. We were wrong. And thank goodness we were, because it gave us a tremendous opportunity to take a good look at ourselves and our health. People may often only think of women's health for reproduction and hormonal balance, but men's health and hormonal balance is just as important. After a year and half of building in nutrition through whole foods and supplementation, bodywork and self-care we were able to give our baby girl the best possible foundation for health. Living our happiest healthiest lives yet!!

From April:
Sometimes it's hard to even remember how bad I used to feel, until I begin to write down symptoms that I experienced on a daily basis. There was about an 18 month span where I was in and out of Drs. offices, underwent blood tests, MRIs, scans, surgeries, was on prescription antidepressants, pain relievers, and convinced I was suffering a major chronic debilitating disease like MS.
What I know now is that I was suffering a major gut imbalance and candida overgrowth. Issues such as these can be triggered from antibiotic use, chronic and acute stress, acquired food sensitivities, toxin overload, and just plain overworking ourselves and our bodies. Today I begin airing my laundry list of health issues that no longer challenge me or minimally challenge me since I have begun to restore balance in my gut through probiotic use and avoiding simple sugars.
-joint pain
-interrupted sleep (like eyeballs peeled wide awake at 3am)
-eczema, rashes/hives
-dry flaky scalp and skin
-tired (sick and tired of being sick and tired)
-irritability, anxiety, depression, panic attacks
-bloating, alternating diarrhea and constipation
-chronic sinus/allergy infections
-autoimmunity lupus/shingles
-nerve pain shooting/tingling/numbness
-headaches, migraines
-PMS, missed periods, excessive bleeding, hair loss, infertility
The top 3 things that have helped me regain my health:
1. Restore Balance of gut flora with probiotics and fermented foods
2. Heal gut lining with anti-inflammatory and collagen rich supplements and 
whole food.
3. Reduce cravings and simple sugar intake with whole food and natural 
supplement substitutions.
I don't really want to call these "before and after" photos. I'm still moving through this health journey. I am, in so many ways, a different person than that girl on the lower left. I barely recognize her, and could easily convince myself she never existed (if it wasn't for this old facebook photo.) Instead, I honor and acknowledge what I have learned along the way, and am grateful for who I am now. Stronger, deeper, happier, healthier, bolder, braver.

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