Hello Again!

Sorry for the (8 month?) radio silence. It's been a while... Honestly, I just didn't really feel like posting. I lost my creative inspiration for a little bit there, so why force it when it doesn't feel right? On top of that, I've had an extremely busy summer, a lot of changes happening, and some other not so fun stuff. Blogs are usually these pretty little inspirational places on the internet that we visit. They tend to reflect the beautiful things in life and highlights of our lives. But what they don't usually reflect is the tougher stuff - the struggles, the hardships... Those are things that most people don't share, and that I too, don't post about. But the result of everything that's been happening over the past year is a good one. I have very exciting news: I am going to back to school to become a certified holistic health coach! This week, I started my year long course at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. To explain how this came to be, there is a little bit of a background story...

At the age of 19 (about my sophomore year in college), I developed psoriasis. There is no rhyme or reason for why it started when it did, nor how it started. Plus, doctors really don't know what causes it. Most importantly, having an autoimmune disease means your body is out of whack - and that there is some type of imbalance. Getting to the bottom of this imbalance is the hard part because it takes a TON of trial and error, and there is no solution that works for everyone. For the first few years, I went to the typical dermatologist. Excuse me while I get on my soap box for a second but in western medicine, doctors just prescribe something to take care of the issue immediately. Prescriptions are like a band aid - they are quick fix, but they don't cure the underlying problem. As soon as you stop using them, the condition comes back, sometimes even worse. I'm all for going to see the doctor for a broken bone, but what I've learned on this journey is that the creams, pills, etc. don't do a damn thing other than make these type of conditions worse. They only wreak havoc on your body and throw your system more off balance. Since there is no "cure" for autoimmune issues, doctors are just taking an educated guess. 

Now, I haven't had a flare up since 2012, until this summer, which was when I decided to try and get to the bottom of this, in a more holistic and natural way. I ditched the prescriptions and instead began to change the way I approached my diet as well as the products I use. I started seeing a functional doctor (shout out to Parsley Health - if any of you are in the NYC area, you absolutely should go see Dr. Berzin, she's incredible!). In short, functional medicine gets to the root of the problem. It looks at your whole medical history and starts at the very beginning (like literal beginning - any health conditions you've had since day 1). We began with an elimination diet; removing dairy and gluten. I ended up loving the diet and didn't want to enter the gluten and dairy back in! It was so easy to just go without it - I felt great, lighter almost (or course I lost a few lbs), and my skin felt great too. I still very rarely eat dairy (it doesn't have positive effects on the skin), and I avoid gluten whenever possible (it has no benefits for you anyway!).

Dr. Berzin also took a full blood test to check the levels of pretty much everything (vitamins, minerals, hormones, etc.) and boy was that an eye opener. We discovered that my hormones were totally out of whack - like not even close to normal. Well, I went off birth control about a year and a half ago but before I was on it, I never had a regular period. I remember my OBGYN telling me years ago that it was no biggie, and that I might need help getting pregnant in the future, but to not worry at all about it and that birth control would fix it. What a bunch of crap that was. Again, birth control was just covering up the bigger issue. Without going into too much detail, in 3 months, through supplementation, tweaking my diet and my activity level, Dr. Berzin got my hormone levels completely back down to a normal and healthy level. I'd also recommend Alisa if you are having any kind of "woman issues". A little more about her here.

I'll wrap it up now since this is starting to become a novel. Over the past year or so, I learned a few things. Functional medicine is incredible - I would recommend it to anyone who just wants to improve their quality of life or feel even a little better. I believe it's the future of our health care. If anything, you will learn a ton about yourself and your health. Having an autoimmune disorder has been eye opening to me in so many ways, and yet I have so much more to learn and explore. It all starts with the way you eat and treat your body - your diet, your physical activities, and your mental health. I've never felt better in my own body in my whole life, and I attirubte that to my diet and lifestyle changes I've made over the past year or so. And that is how I came to be enrolled in IIN

How will the blog change? I'm planning to do a lot more health oriented posts, whether its about natural beauty, recipes, or just posts on products I love or have discovered. I still plan to do style posts (I FINALLY took some photos again last weekend so stay tuned for those), and I still love to shop (obviously)! Unfortunately, I now have about 10 hours of "school work" each week, so I probably won't be posting too much, but still, I'm very excited to be back at it!