Hi, I’m Renee, “The Health Nut Mama” !
Why “The Health Nut Mama”?
Well, I have to give my dad credit for the name. I was talking to him a few weeks ago & he made a comment that “so & so” was a ‘health nut’ like me! So there it is, in a “nutshell,” so to speak! Pun intended.
It all started for me a few decades ago, during the fat-free era. I was terrified of fat! It was the 80’s! Fat made you fat! Then, in the early 90’s, I was told I couldn’t have children due to severe endometriosis. After years of trying and a failed marriage, I had given up.
I met someone a few years later. He had 2 little girls. I had an instant fairy tale family. About 3 years into the marriage, we decided to try in-vitro. We were doing 3 different hormone shots a day, trying to get my body ready when I was told it was not working. So, we stopped & I gave up again. Six weeks later, I found out I was pregnant! I was ecstatic! Everything was great until I found out I had placenta previa. At 7 months, I had to be put on bed rest. At 37 weeks, I delivered the most beautiful baby girl via C-section. This changed my life forever. I quit my job & told my husband I couldn’t go back. God had given me this little miracle & I had to do it right. My life was perfect.
Fast forward 3 years and my fairy tale was not such a fairy tale anymore. I didn’t know how hard it was to be in a blended family. I was so stressed out. I became very depressed. I felt horrible, had no energy. I had put on over 20 lbs & just wanted to stay in bed all day. I woke up one morning & decided I had to take control of my life!
I joined the gym & hired a personal trainer & lost most of the weight but still felt terrible. I was eating “healthy,” or at least I thought I was. You know, soy milk, fat-free everything, & whole grains. The pediatrician even told me to put my daughter on skim milk when she was 2 years old! Can you believe that?
Not long after, I found out that I had thyroid disease/Hashimotos. No wonder I felt so bad!
When my daughter was 9, she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease affecting her skin. When she was 12, she was diagnosed with Thyroid/Hashimoto’s. Two auto-immune diseases by age 12! This changed my world. How had this happened? Had I made my beautiful baby girl sick? I decided that day that I was going to find out what had caused this.
We had been told since my daughter was in 2nd grade that she might have ADHD. By the time she was in 7th grade, we finally caved & put her on medication. I hated it! I hated the way it changed her personality. I was determined to find another way. I couldn’t let her get sicker.
Not long after, I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s & RA. I could barely get in & out of the car. I was having terrible joint pain.
I started reading anything and everything that I could get my hands on relating to auto-immune disease & ADHD. Thank goodness for the internet which provided a world of information. I read as many books as I could, to find a natural alternative to trying one drug after another. The first book I read was Grain Brain by Dr. David Permutter then I read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. These 2 books kick-started our drastic diet change. Wow, what a difference in how I felt. Within a few weeks, I found the Paleo Diet. After a few months of Paleo & feeling so much better but not quite 100%. I read the book The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne and decided to go full AIP. It was overwhelming at first but so worth it. I have a list of books that may be helpful on my resource page.
Back to my story, my daughter’s endocrinologist wanted to start her on double the lowest dosage of Synthroid (a synthetic thyroid medicine, the same thing I was on at the time) This, I couldn’t accept. I told him about my research & that I intended to change her diet completely and told him I would rather start her on the lowest dosage & see how she did. He acted like he didn’t agree with me or believe me (I felt the rolling of the eyes), but he agreed to put her on the lowest dosage but wanted to see her back in 3 months. I think he wanted to prove it didn’t work but would pacify me. In 3 months, we checked her again. Her antibodies had come down & her TSH was improving. He said, “whatever you are doing, keep doing it.” We kept her on the lowest dosage.
It’s been over 3 years now & we haven’t raised her dosage at all. After only a couple of months of changing her diet, I was able to take her off the ADHD meds completely. Per my request, we have her on NatureThroid instead of Synthroid. (He didn’t like this either, but agreed to write it for me.)
I am a firm believer that food is our medicine. The only medicine I take now is for my thyroid. Up until I changed my diet, they would increase my meds (double them) every time I went in for my check-up. Since making this change, I have been able to decrease the amount, but not totally. My antibodies have been coming down & my nodules have stabilized. My joint pain has gone away. I never took any meds for RA or Sjogren’s even though it was recommended & I refused. I am totally managing through diet & lifestyle. It can be done, you just have to put your health first & be proactive. Remember traditional Doctors only treat symptoms. Be your own advocate.
Update Nov. 2016: I just recently had my blood work done & my RA & Sjogren’s came back negative! Yay Me!!!
Yes, it is hard but so worth it!
My mission is simple: I want to help others make the transition to healing & living naturally, easier than it has been for me. I want to share my own journey (that’s the hardest part, I’m a pretty private person) so that you will know it is truly possible to get better & feel better. One thing I learned is, You have to take, control of your own health one day at a time!