The Decision to Focus on My Health
I know and understand the challenges that patients face when it comes to making healthy choices for themselves and their families. I spent years of medical training caring for the wellness of others and teaching my patients the importance of proper nutrition, movement and stress reduction—but in the process, the long hours and high pressure of my program led me to make unhealthy decisions regarding my own health and wellness. I became motivated to find an answer to how I was expected to help patients make healthy lifestyle choices when the demands of my professional life seemed to make it impossible for me to practice a lifestyle that I preached. I became fascinated with nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine as the potential key to solving much of the chronic diseases afflicting my patients each day. I decided to become board certified in Lifestyle Medicine and to channel my energy into working diligently with the one patient I had seldom made time for, ME.
Through my medical training, patient care encounters, extensive nutrition research and embracing my own roots from an ancient culture which turned to nourishing food before the existence of pharmacotherapy for healing, I was able to find a sustainable solution to make healthy eating and exercise attainable and sustainable. I carefully designed a plan that would bring me back to optimal health, physically and emotionally.
Overcoming Severe Labor and Delivery Complications
I know firsthand the power of healthy eating and physical activity to recover from severe postpartum complications which also led to excessive weight gain. After giving birth, I suffered a life threatening postpartum bleed. I lost half of my blood supply and my iron stores fell from top normal to nearly zero. The months following delivery were extremely challenging as I struggled to find the strength and energy to care for myself and most importantly, my baby girl. During this time, I dealt with weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, dwindling milk supply and feelings of sadness and guilt.
I had always taken pride in the fact that through my counseling, my patients had lost weight, kept it off for good and taken back control of their own health and wellness. So, I decided to focus my efforts on bringing up my hemoglobin and iron stores through a balanced iron-rich diet rather than iron infusion therapy under my doctor’s supervision, which had been recommended. Thankfully, this was an option since my condition was stable and I did not require urgent/emergent blood transfusion.
At my three month follow-up visit, I shocked my hematologist with my lab results. My iron levels were well on their way to normalizing without medical intervention; I had managed to bring them up through optimizing my nutrition. I was on track to recovering and slowly regaining the strength I needed to be the best mom I could be. I was feeling healthier, happier and stronger.
However, because my goal at that time was to bring up my blood and iron counts that had dwindled to alarming levels, I was not in a condition to think about my weight. This, coupled with the fact that I was not yet medically cleared by my doctor for exercise, resulted in packing on many extra pounds becoming heavier than I had ever been in my life. Gradually, I found it harder to be quick on my feet.
As my waistline and frustration grew, I was determined to get back into shape and to my whole self again. I developed a plan that would bring me back to my optimal weight and health while allowing me to enjoy the delicious foods that I love to cook and eat. Once the weight started coming off, I grew even healthier and encouraged by the support and positive feedback from family and friends.
The healthy lifestyle changes that I embraced allowed me to have more energy to keep up with my girls and be a better role model for my family. The best part is that through this journey, my family has embraced these healthy behaviors as they look forward to helping me create healthy and nutritious meals and engage in outdoor adventures. It brings me pure joy to see my children so excited about healthy cooking and physical activity in the same way that I was as a child.
Let Me Help You Achieve Your Personal Health and Wellness Goals
I know what it is like to not fit into my clothes. I know what it is like to mindlessly consume food void of nutritional value while working long and late hours as a doctor in training at the hospital. I know what it is like to feel uncomfortable about my appearance and to feel overwhelmed with planning healthy meals and exercise because of a demanding work schedule.
My decisions to opt for a lifestyle approach first were rooted in coming from an ancient culture with a refined understanding of the medicinal properties of food. Certain foods have been used to treat ailments for centuries, before the advent of science and modern pharmacotherapy. From an early age, I watched and learned the importance of eating fresh, whole foods, cooking nutritionally balanced meals and understanding the value of incorporating healing and supportive spices in daily meals.
Now, I am thrilled to share the knowledge of my professional expertise in Lifestyle Medicine, nutrition research, coupled with my personal journey and background, to help you achieve YOUR wellness goals whether they be sustainable weight loss, improved nutrition, better self-care or just plain feeling happy, healthy and beautiful!